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Talk Is Cheap, Thank Goodness Dept.


Something else came to mind after my discussion of how not every book can and should be filmed: the economics of it.

One of the advantages of the written word is that it's cheap. It's far less expensive to put words on a page, and that much less expensive to get them back off a page, than it is to put images on a screen. This despite the fact that our words and our movies are being delivered that much more from the same screens — believe me, the irony isn't lost on me.

The problem lies in how much easier it is to be the recipient of a movie than a book. Earlier I made the analogy that there's far less effort involved in lying back and having a movie ladle its images and speech into your eyes and ears, than there is in trying to feed yourself the same things as offered up by a book. Complaints of that stripe have been made ever since movies or TV began to offend the sensibilities of English teachers, so I don't think for a moment I'm breaking ground with this revelation.

What's worrisome is how this might be further affected by the idea that a book is just a preface for some piece of visual material. If we think the movie or the TV series has become more revelatory, more immediate, the costs involved will always ensure that only the most broadly salable material will be sponsored and distributed.

The fact that words are cheap means we can and should put things into words that don't stand a chance of ever manifesting any other way.


Tags: books  literature  movies  writing 


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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2014/07/13 10:00.

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