May 14, 2006 |
It's Charlie Kaufman's world. We just live in it. The day after I first saw Kaufman's movie "Adaptation," my wife and I took our daughter to a birthday party. It was mid-December, an afternoon of flat white sunlight, washed out in that Southern California winter way. At the door, a tangle of balloons announced the festivities in orange and blue and red.
September 9, 2001 |
San Francisco has Frank Norris' "McTeague." Boston has John P. Marquand's "The Late George Apley." Chicago has James Farrell's "Studs Lonigan" and Saul Bellow's "The Adventures of Augie March." New York has Dos Passos' "Manhattan Transfer" and Tom Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities." Big, defining novels like these clarify the social terrain of a place and serve as a way of saying, "This is who and what we are." And Los Angeles has ... well, nothing that David L.
HOME & GARDEN
August 14, 2003
I enjoyed reading about the Pico-Robertson area ("An Ever-Present Past," by David L. Ulin, July 31). I work in the community, and it's near where I live. But owing to the large Jewish component of the neighborhood, I have come to calling it Pickle-Rebbetsin. Much more evocative! Eric A. Gordon Los Angeles
November 14, 2010
ESSENTIAL "The Innocents Abroad" "Roughing It" "Life on the Mississippi" "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" "The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson" These are the jewels in Twain's crown, the center of his reputation and his vision of American life. Spanning much of his career, they highlight his skills as a journalist and travel writer ("The Innocents Abroad" and "Roughing It"), his eye as an autobiographer and social observer ("Life on the Mississippi") and his groundbreaking work in the novel ("Huckleberry Finn" and "Pudd'nhead Wilson")
February 15, 2003
REGARDING "Poets Are Heard in Protest" (by David L. Ulin, Feb. 11): To President Bush: "When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses, for art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment." John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Says it all. Michael McNamara Sylmar
September 14, 2006
Re "Why pay millions for 'A Million's' lies?" Opinion, Sept. 10 David L. Ulin's evident disregard for nonfiction comes through in his defense of what he terms "creative nonfiction." If readers were moved by the fantasies presented as fact in James Frey's memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," does that make the "emotional response" invalid, he asks. Well, yes, because readers were falsely led to believe they were responding to an honest depiction of real events. "Creativity, after all," Ulin writes, "is a matter of illusion."
June 11, 2006
David L. Ulin sidesteps the importance of the third act in movies ("Why Charlie Kaufman Is Us," May 14). Movies are an accelerated form of narrative, so without a strong closing, the entire clothesline of ideas collapses. Kaufman is masterful at ideas, but an emperor with no "close." He is in good company. In an era of "The Towering Inferno" and "The Poseidon Adventure," Woody Allen's operatic neuroses were hailed as comic genius. At a time of inoffensive Dan Fogelberg ballads, Michael Jackson's overcooked obsessions thrilled music fans worldwide.