Saturday, March 24, 2012

Being Dramatic

At the library I perused a book about film director Kenneth Branagh. The book stressed Branagh's dramatic entrance in his version of Shakespeare's "Henry V."

Two of the best American novelists knew how to create dramatic entrances for their characters. Think of the introduction of Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and the equally effective entrance of Dominique Francon in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. In both instances, the characters are much talked about before we see them, which adds to the effect. The best novelists are buiulders who know how to set-up aspects of their material, whether characters, or important plot moments.

I classify both Fitzgerald and Ayn Rand as pop writers. Two of the very best. Not only did they understand the importance of being dramatic, they were also the most visual of writers. Influenced by movies, perhaps, but it works. Pop ,lit is painting with words.

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