Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter: 1978 – Ann Beattie




Ann Beattie - September 8, 1947 – alive

This is a tough one. I really have mixed feelings about this short. I really have an unsettled disposition writing abut this author and her work.

You see, Ann Beattie is good. Really good.

Ann Beattie is alive and still produces wonderful writing.

I think that having looked over her bio, watched an interview with her on Youtube, and seen that she even has a Facebook Fan page...I just can’t seem to get into her. I know that I can’t possibly like every writer I come across. But I have a tough time understanding why I am having the feelings I do about her. When she told the interviewer in the Youtube clip that she will be releasing a book of her collected shorts from the New Yorker, I was excited...I immediately thought that I needed that book.

Perhaps that is my subconscious telling me that it is important to know this writer more.

Perhaps that was the message that this story was to give to me.

The exposure to this advanced piece of storytelling was to give me a hint that Beattie is one of the few that I need to invest more time with.

Winter:1978, was ahead of its time. For this very reason, its inclusion in BASS was perfect.

I feel that the story should land around 1998.

What the hell am I talking about?

I felt, as I was reading this story, that I was watching several scenes from a movie made in the late ‘90s.

A movie starring...lets say...Claire Danes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, Donald Sutherland – you see the group I’m pulling together.

It would be shot with a handheld camera and been filmed in very earthy colors on cloudy cold days by the writer director and would have won an award at Sundance. Oh- it would also have a soundtrack by several “emerging” artist in the alterna-indie-folk-arty genre.

It would have played at the Naro movie theater here in Norfolk, and would have found a solid position as an “indie” favorite of the now older Grunge generation.

Perhaps what I pulled from this story was an atmosphere.

I was able to feel myself transported back to 1998...(my 1998) and relive for a brief period of time, my life then.

And this was done by an author that wrote the story in the late 70s or early 80s.

So when you read that a story or author transcends time and space – I guess this is what “they” mean.

1 comment:

  1. Beattie is one of my favorite writers--I have most of her books--and she's a big influence on how I go about writing fiction too. However, I do admit that some of her stories baffle me. One collection was too surreal and vague, one of her most recent ones seemed pointless and tired. But I love her, despite. Baffling or not, no one can deny how talented a writer she is. I don't even see those "baffling" stories as a weakness, but just a personally disappointed, haha.

    So glad you've read Beattie. I was looking at the post re the contents of this year's BASS, and saw a lot of familiar and personally loved writers.

    All the best to you!

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