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Friday, January 02, 2004

Playing catch-up 

South African writer Antjie Krog is about to be captured on celluloid, with Juliette Binoche playing the role. Krog muses about the subject, among other things.

Stefan Zweig is considered one of the best writers in his native France; so why has the English-speaking world been so slow to catch on? The Telegraph attempts to find out why.

Also at the Daily T is an interview with children's author Lauren Child and a close look at why some celeb biographies are successful and why others just aren't.

The latest edition of Storyteller: A NOVEL VIEW is available online. I stumbled across the website while perusing James Lee Burke's site one day and came across the interview he'd done with "The BookSquirt", as Tammy refers to herself. Lots of interviews (this month including Edward Wright and Jim Fusilli), book reviews (including a very nice one of Sean Doolittle's BURN), and even some short fiction as well. More is available at the A Novel View website, which looks very promising indeed.

And finally, Rick Groen of the Globe and Mail laments that Steve Martin has become a complete sellout, and worse, that "the worlds of theatre and literature would not be significantly poorer places if Martin hadn't written a word. By contrast, the world of film is much worse off because of his artistic departure." As this comes only a scant few hours after having a similar discussion with my brother, I'm all the more interested. No question that CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN is a crappy movie, one that totally messes and destroys with the original content of Frank Gilbreth's book (never mind the Clifton Webb movie.) BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE wasn't much better. So why? Like Groen, I think it's a question of money, but also that for whatever reason, Martin's not terribly interested anymore in the possibilities of film. He takes the moolah and it supports the projects that he really wants to do right now: plays, books, droll little essays. We, as his once-adoring public, may feel he's making the wrong move, but what can we do, force-feed him into movies he doesn't want to do even though he might be better served doing them? Sure, I'd like to see the Steve Martin of old, but instead, we're getting a Steve Martin that's, well, old.

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