Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who is Scarlett?

Don't know if anyone is still reading here, but since I'm reading actual books this summer, I thought I'd take a minute to jot some things down.

Gone With the Wind:
OK, I know I'm possibly the last person in the universe to read this book, and I saw the movie twice before I actually got down to the business of reading it--but I REALLY loved the book. People (my husband, for instance) often talked to me about how they read it in only three days, or whatever, and I thought, wow, impressive, sort of--but there really is nothing else to do once the book is cracked but finish it.

So, I watched the movie after reading it, and suddenly the movie was no longer the charming thing it had once been for me. All the best parts were cut. Both Rhett and Scarlett were less despicable than they should have been. All the really politically incorrect parts were cut, as well as  2/3rds of the characters. What are you going to do with a thousand pages of material, I guess--but I'm picturing a remake. Wondering about Lily Collins as Scarlett.
Or maybe Camilla Belle?

Thought of Jude Law for Ashley Wilkes, but I can't decide if that's just because I chased Gone with the Wind with a re-screening of Cold Mountain (and now I remember why I thought that movie was stupid).

Who is the modern day Rhett Butler, though?

I was noticing some similarities in plot between GWTW and Downton Abbey--the cold hearted Scarlett cancels her sister's chances at finding love. The idea of the great house as a symbol of personal redemption. ... And Michele Dockrey came to mind as having Scarlett potential as well.

Anyhoo, now I'm reading another page-turner--Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. When this book came out, I thought I would be scandalized by it--but, alas-- I'm not. Fascinating. More later.


Otepoti said...

Oooh, Gone With the Wind! Thanks for reminding me - my mother told us that when the book came out, and was enjoyed hugely but covertly, my grandmother got her reserved copy from the library but hid it in the wardrobe, lest my mother (aged twelve) got hold of it. So of course, my mother read it on the quiet when her mother was out. Ah me.

This story utterly failed to inspire us girls to read GWTW, which, then, was not old enough to be new again. I remembered it later, though, when it came time for me to comb out books from our own shelves that I'd rather our daughter didn't get hold of, or not from her parents, anyway. Mainly, this was Robert Heinlein's free love and skin-crawling incest.

There's a lot of stuff I regret ever having read, but how can you describe the effects of the pollution of imagination to the young?

Otepoti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily J. said...

Lily Collins is way too innocent and weak looking. I don't know the second lady, but she definitely looks more likely for Scarlett O'Hara.

Jude Law as Ashley? Maybe. It's hard to pin Ashley down - apparently a goody-goody, but with that melancholic side Jude Law might capture. But he's kind of small, isn't he?

Clark Gable is hard to top as Rhett.

Somehow Gone with the Wind was in the elementary school library, and I checked it out over Christmas break in fifth grade because it was the biggest book I could find. Most of the "scandalous" parts went right over my head, but it was the first book I read through tears. Except maybe Felix Salten's Fifteen Rabbits.

I don't know Robert Heinlein, but I guess my mind had already been polluted by Danielle Steele, whose books another friend stole from under her mother's bed and passed to me.

BettyDuffy said...

I've been revising my selections for Ashley Wilkes. I now think maybe Bradley Cooper would be a better match, or, you know, Ryan Gosling.

And then skeezy Johnny Depp crossed my mind for Rhett. He looks like a pirate sometimes, at least. Or maybe, Jon Hamm.

Melanie B said...

I've never read it either. Hmmm...

But in my own youth I did read way too much Heinlein and other sci-fi with far too much free love and other sexual oddities that seemed de rigeur for all writers of that era of science fiction. Very much wish I hadn't.

lissla lissar said...

Yes. I spent most of my teenage years reading Heinlein and most of my twenties wishing I hadn't. He's one of the authors I verbally lambaste in my head, and way too often. Particularly about parenthood. Not even getting into the creepy pedophilic incest.

I think I read GWTW when I was ten. I loved the dresses, and was so impressed with myself for reading such a long book.