November 16, 2003 |
The movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" brings all of today's thunder and breathlessness to adventures of the early 19th century. The novel from which it was drawn, of course, does not -- not in design, not in effect, not by leagues. But what we have here, Patrick O'Brian fans, is less jarring a collision of visions than might be expected. Books or movie? That's not apt to get you far this time.
September 4, 2002 |
Fox Studios Baja sits beside one of Mexico's dirtiest, most litter-strewn roadways, about 25 miles south of the U.S. border. Across the street teeters a phalanx of thrown-together shacks crowded with rusting lawn ornaments and terra-cotta palm pots. Within the guarded studio gate, a 20-foot-tall inflatable monkey wobbles astride the replica turret blown from the replica battleship Arizona in Fox's cinematic version of "Pearl Harbor," which was filmed here.
April 27, 2000 |
A monster. A coward. Conceited, supercilious, arrogant, a hypocrite, self-delusional. Heartless. With these words, the Sunday Times of London recently fired another stabbing broadside at the just-deceased British novelist Patrick O'Brian. On his home soil, the once-obscure, then celebrated O'Brian has not been treated kindly--not in the final two years leading up to his death in Dublin in January and not in the weeks since.
April 23, 2000 |
What is the moral usefulness of fiction? What are its moral limits? When a writer creates incest and murder, what is he or she asking of us? That we judge and forgive him? That we watch him forgive himself? That we look at our own lives and play our actions out on a mental stage so hypothetical it may as well be fiction? In "The Blue Bedspread," sister and brother find solace in each other, find escape from their violent father. As they grow older, escape becomes sex.
January 8, 2000 |
The graceful and contrarian British novelist Patrick O'Brian, who surprised the literary world--and himself--by luring legions of readers away from the onslaught of the Information Age and back to the slower epoch of sailing ships and discovery, has died. A pathfinder who defied trend by resurrecting the long-ago form of the serial novel, O'Brian turned 85 just a month ago. His London agent and New York publisher said the writer took ill in Dublin on Saturday and died Sunday in a hospital.
November 30, 1999 |
They came to celebrate the past: not the aloof, musty, once-removed yesteryear of textbooks. But the right-here, close-up, living, breathing, gunpowder-smelling, tall-ships and high-seas, upon-my-honor past of novelist Patrick O'Brian. At the New York Yacht Club, itself a citadel for things venerated, Walter Cronkite, William F. Buckley Jr., retired U.S. Navy Vice Adm. George W. Emery, and more the 100 of the Eastern Seaboard's establishment came.