Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tangential analysis (1)

It is my intent here to share memorable examples of writing from both film and literature and to tie these passages to the words, images, and sounds of other media. In doing so I hope to demonstrate though synaptic exercise the beauty of tangential thought.

Heart of Darkness (chp. 1; pg. 16-17)
"We felt meditative, and fit for nothing but placid staring. The day was ending in a serenity of still and exquisite brilliance. The water shone pacifically; the sky, without a speck, was a benign immensity of unstained light; the very mist on the Essex marshes was like a gauzy and radiant fabric, hung from the wooded rises inland, and draping the low shores in diaphanous folds. Only the gloom to the west, brooding over the upper reaches, became more sombre every minute, as if angered by the approach of the sun.

"And at last, in its curved and imperceptible fall, the sun sank low, and from glowing white changed to a dull red without rays and without heat, as if about to go out suddenly stricken to death by the touch of that gloom brooding over a crowd of men.

"Forthwith a change came over the waters, and the serenity became less brilliant but more profound. The old river in its broad reach rested unruffled at the decline of the day, after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks, spread out in the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth. We looked at the venerable stream not in the vivid flush of a short day that comes and departs for ever, but in the august light of abiding memories. And indeed nothing is easier for a man who has, as the phrase goes, 'followed the sea' with reverence and affection, than to evoke the great spirit of the past upon the lower reaches of the Thames."

Princess Mononoke (1997)
San: "No! I don't want to become a demon!"

The Golden Compass (chp. 10)
"Lonely? I don't know. They tell me this is cold. I don't know what cold is, because I don't freeze. So I don't know what lonely means either. Bears are made to be solitary."

Jane Eyre (chp. 32; pg. 452)
"I am simply, in my original state - stripped of that blood-bleached robe with which Christianity covers human deformity - a cold, hard, ambitious man. Natural affection only, of all the sentiments, has permanent power over me. Reason, and not Feeling, is my guide: my ambition is unlimited; my desire to rise higher, to do more than others, insatiable. I honour endurance, perseverance, industry, talent; because these are the means by which men achieve great ends, and mount to lofty eminence."

Gandhi (1982)
Gandhi: "Where there's injustice, I always believed in fighting. The question is, do you fight to change things or to punish?"

A Pirandellian Prison - Zimbardo 1973 (pg. 9)
"To what extent do we allow ourselves to become imprisoned by docilely accepting the roles others assign us or, indeed, choose to remain prisoners because being passive and dependent frees us from the need to act and be responsible for out actions? The prison of fear constructed in the delusions of the paranoid is no less confining or less real than the cell that every shy person erects to limit his own freedom in anxious anticipation of being ridiculed and rejected by his guards - often guards of his own making."

Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Captain, Road Prison 36: "You gonna get used to wearin' them chains after a while, Luke. Don't you never stop listenin' to them clinking. 'Cause they gonna remind you of what I been saying. For your own good."
Luke: "Wish you'd stop bein' so good to me, cap'n."


O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Sheriff Cooley: "Sweet, summer rain. Like God's own mercy."

-- Boscoe the Bear

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