Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#181
Official welcomes to RefLib and gistenhose, even though you both are very well-represented out in the main forums.:icon_wink: Great to find out a little more about you.

RefLib, you sound like the perfect person to field this question: what literary work do you think comes closest to presenting characters and stories the way that the Sopranos does? I ask because I'm not a reader but would like to dabble a bit and because Norman Mailer recently stated that the Sopranos was the only TV show put together like a great novel. Got me wondering what novels it may best compare to.

Gistenhose, I agree that the demographics of the Sopranos audience (and derivatively of this board) are staggeringly diverse. I guess that's as good a way as any to know that a work of art or pop culture has really hit a nerve . . . when very different people can watch it for very different reasons and all find value and truth in it.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#182
"RefLib, you sound like the perfect person to field this question: what literary work do you think comes closest to presenting characters and stories the way that the Sopranos does? I ask because I'm not a reader but would like to dabble a bit and because Norman Mailer recently stated that the Sopranos was the only TV show put together like a great novel. Got me wondering what novels it may best compare to."

While I thank you for the compliment, I must explain that I am probably very different from most of the people in my field. So many of my interests seem to be outside of the interests of my collegues. I'm dragging them in, one at a time. Our patrons/customers are pretty well in agreement with me.

You may laugh, but may I suggest the very popular "Harry Potter" series. A former boyfriend, from high school days decades ago, has been teaching literature since that time, came pretty close to mocking my reviews of the Harry Potter books when they were first out. He changed his tone less than half-way through the first book.

J. K. Rowling has the same sort of muse that Chase, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis had. Almost as a gift, they saw a story from beginning to end. Then they actually had to write it out and fill in the details. Not only did each of them manage to do it, but the stories that were fleshed out in detail were probably more than their original vision, while being true to it.

Harry Potter is not just a children's story. It is complex, the characters age together, it is dark, inventive, historic, and humorous. It covers character development and exposure. There is always the story within the story. The settings are vivid and memorable. I would recommend anyone who is not a reader, who would like to read, start with something as engaging as the Harry Potter books. You can always view the movies later. So much has to be taken out of the books to put together a movie. Much is lost.

C.S. Lewis's Narnia tales are an even easier read that progresses characters over a period of time. Deep insights within an easily digestible read. Considering your views on redemption, you should enjoy it. Once again, it is not really a children's series. Most of the people who really get the most out of it are adults. Sort of like the difference between those who see the Sopranos as nudity, sex, cursing and violence as opposed to an epic tale. You either get it or you don't but you might be entertained anyway.

Tolkien, friend of C.S. Lewis, wrote the "Lord of the Rings" series which really begins with "The Hobbit". Characters aging together, moving on, interactions, threatened lives, creatures are used to indicate types of personalities, also a redemption story. Again, it is better to read these before seeing any of the movies.

In my opinion, no one should have done a movie on the Lord of the Rings or Narnia before the year 2000. There simply was not the technology available to flesh out these stories before that time. Any image in a reader's mind was a better job that any depiction. The movies have improved greatly, but still have to leave out things that are in the books because they are not easily tranferred to a movie format.

Just going off the top of my head, Chase has repeatedly referred to Dante. Read that years ago. Not an easy read, but it does cover the idea of the Roman Catholic take on heaven, hell, and purgatory.

Those concepts are also covered by the Lewis and Tolkien works. It is covered in another way by Rowling. All of these works brush on similarities reminiscent of Tony's coma. The almost dead. Those dead but not yet assigned to heaven or hell. They also include some form of resurrecton.

Chase also referred to another epic, "Tristan and Isolt". This is a great love story of love and lose, where love continues dispite all else. There are Americanized versions for those who would like to know the story without reading the original.

This came up when Carm was in France and I think also when she was having an affair with the guidance counselor at A.J.'s school. Was that episode Eloise?

Also, very early in the Soprano's there is a reference to Eloise when Carmela wants to don white gloves while she and Meadow go to the Plaze for tea. Meadow lets Camela know that she hates that tradition with her mother. Obviously, Carm is carrying on an idolized version of the life she wanted with her daughter. She is oblivious to her own real life.

Eloise, referred to the stories about a child growing up in a hotel in NY. "Eloise of the Plaza Hotel".

Was it Test Dream where Tony was staying in the Plaze Hotel?


By using Eliose we now we see Chase referring to true children's books as Tony reconnects to Carm while he is staying at the Plaza Hotel. They end up on the phone going over memories they shared from their childhood.

That covers a sprinkling of ideas. None of these works are about the mafia. All are about the human condition as it relates to our inner thoughts as well as outward actions. Life on earth as well as the chalk marks on an immortal soul.

There are other authors who I really appreciate for various reasons. The ones I have named are the ones that, in my opinion, come the closest to matching the overall vision of Chase. They tackle the same subjects in varying degrees.

None of the authors hit as close to the bone as Chase does in every aspect of the Sopranos.

Most current authors who are very good, at best cover a few significant days in the life of a person. James Patterson tries to go a bit futher with his character "Cross", but the depth is just not there.

Chase must be a very well read man, or have a way to intergrate the knowledge of others into his overall idea. In addition, he was able to do something that none of these wonderful authors have done, he intergrated the visual with the written word, and the music that adds another layer of depth.

Unlike these other authors, Chase's main character is the "bad" guy. Yet he is human and subject to all of the aspects of humanity that every other "hero" is.

Rowling has a position that neither Lewis or Tolkien had, in that she is consulted on the movies. That must be very hard for her since so much is lost in the actual film. Both a blessing and a curse.

Chase is a genius for having covered every single aspect of vision, writing, camera, actors, music etc.

Now if I have totally missed the question and you just wanted to know my favorite authors, my apologies.

I do have one more thought, you might want to read , "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen. It reminds me of Carmela and her struggle to find her own life and lose her dependence on Tony.

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#183
Thanks for that great and thorough reply, RefLib. Definitely a post I will be marking for future reference.

I bought the Narnia Chronicles for my niece (now 10) a couple of years ago. Thought it was a book she could grow into. I bought it because I absolutely fell in love with the movie "Shadowlands" and the unique love story it depicted between Lewis and Joy Gresham. (And the George Fenton score for that movie is really, really gorgeous music.) I had never read anything of Lewis' before.

I was more interested in his life and non-fiction than his fiction and have put several documentary films about him and his Christian lectures/apolagetics on my wish list at Amazon. Still hope to get those some time soon.

I did see the Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe movie and must confess that I was quite underwhelmed. Yet, at the same time, I know there has to be something in those books that would really intrigue me because so much about the author intrigues me. Maybe while my niece is out of school for the summer, I can make a little reading project out of the Narnia Chronicles with her.

Thanks again for all the recommendations.:icon_wink:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#184
I'm an avid NBA watcher too (get League Pass every year), but I mainly watch out of loyalty to individual players rather than teams. I'm a Vince Carter fan, so the Nets are my current rooting interest (which makes for a nice NJ/Sopranos connection, especially since James Gandolfini has been shown at a number of home games the past couple of years). My aunt was a rabid Kings fan a few years ago, when the core included Divac, Stojakovic, Webber, and, especially Mike Bibby and Bobby Jackson. Alas, she is no longer a Kings fan either.


I love Vince Carter, too, although we didn't see much of him for a while with the injury. Yeah, those were my guys on the Kings. That was a fun team to watch. The Sonics have a new owner who may move them. I used to go see them often when I lived in Seattle, and they come here to Missoula every few years during the preseason, so that's always fun.

You were asking reflib about books. This is not the Great American Novel, and it's probably just my own bias because I love him, but I'd say Thomas Hardy comes closest to David Chase in some ways. While his novels are about (mainly) rural England in the second half of the nineteenth century, they are about deeply flawed but extremely human characters. Many of them are trying to live moral lives and be good people, but find their own ambitions, sex drives, greed, vanity, ideals, etc.--not to mention their uncertainty in the existence of an omnipotent god as presented by the Church of England--coming into conflict with society, economic reality, a seemingly uncaring universe, etc. There are no mobsters, but these everyday, working-class people do commit all sorts of horrific but somehow understandable acts--murder, wife and child abandonment, adultery, elopement, cruel business dealings, and so on. All of this is against a background of fascinating details about technical subjects like stone masonry and architecture, astronomy, and sheep or dairy farming, as opposed to the inner workings of organized crime.

I've seen Normal Mailer's take on The Sopranos before, and I really think it is most like a 19th-century novel, where you have the time to really get to know an entire small world and all the people in it. Modern novels (which I also love) tend to be more confessional and focus on the author's stand-in rather than all the supporting characters and the way the whole community works.

My husband and I just started watch the BBC production of Bleak House and I'm loving it (he refuses to watch The Sopranos because "It's a TV show." Of course I told him, "It's not TV. It's HBO." But he will watch Bleak House. Go figure.) I'm sure it's just because I've got The Sopranos on the brain, but I can't help thinking about the parallels. Maybe I'll have to give Dickens another try. I've definitely seen him mentioned in connection with The Sopranos. Also Emile Zola, another of my all-time favorites.

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#185
This is just too interesting that so many of us who are in love with the Sopranos, also love basketball.

I was hooked on the Larry Bird led Boston Celtics. Today, it is Jason Kidd and the NJ Nets.

I'll never follow another team as closely as I did the Celtics. These days it is the NCAA teams and the march to the Final Four that gets my full attention. I watch as many of the men's and women's games as possible.

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#186
Fly, I also loved the Shadowlands. In earlier years I spent a lot of time reading not only everything Lewis wrote, but also everything I could find written about him.

Years ago I spent my one and only week in England, with my mother. I told her that my only request was that we be in Oxford on Tuesday for lunch at the Eagle and Child. It embarrassed my mother when we arrived and I asked where Lewis, Toklien, and the other Inklings had sat every Tuesday when they met to have lunch, beer, and go over their current writings.

That day will always be a wonderful memory as I sat in the place where some of my literary heros had discussed Narnia, and the Lord of the Rings while they were works in progress, and I toasted them with a beer.

As I found out on that visit to Oxford, as well as the many things I read about Lewis, you will find that much that is in the Narnia tales is connected to his real life surroundings at the time he was writing.

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#187
RefLib wrote:This is just too interesting that so many of us who are in love with the Sopranos, also love basketball.

I was hooked on the Larry Bird led Boston Celtics. Today, it is Jason Kidd and the NJ Nets.


That's the team and the player that launched my interest in basketball! I was planning to go to Berklee College of Music, which is in Boston, so I started watching the series between the Celtics and Sixers in 1981 and continued to follow them through to their championship over the Rockets that year. I was hooked thereafter.

I watched every Celtics game as religiously as I watch the Sopranos, still have many of those games on video tape (though I never watch them). Bird will likely always remain my favorite player, as I watched him pull so many miraculous plays out of nowhere.

Before Bird retired, I really became enamored of one of his youngest teammates, Dee Brown, who I followed beyond his Celtics days and into his trade to Toronto, which is why I was around to see all of Vince Carter's sensational first few seasons with the Raptors. Vince is now 30, so I'm starting to get nervous about who will carry my NBA torch when he retires.:icon_biggrin:
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#188
RefLib wrote:This is just too interesting that so many of us who are in love with the Sopranos, also love basketball.

I was hooked on the Larry Bird led Boston Celtics. Today, it is Jason Kidd and the NJ Nets.


I think the only thing I've ever been obsessive about other than The Sopranos is basketball. But I was a Magic Johnson and the Lakers fan, so I've always respected Larry Bird, but Magic was my first love. Actually, my family watched the Lakers the whole time I was growing up, but they're all football people, so the spark didn't catch fire till the 80s. I stopped watching the Lakers when Dr. Buss chose Kobe over Shaq. A smart business decision, one Tony himself would probably make, but so disloyal. I couldn't have been more delighted when Shaq and my man Gary Payton won the title with Miami.

OK, don't get me started.

Also, I forgot to agree about the Harry Potter books. I did the same thing with them that I did with The Sopranos. For the first three I wondered what all the fuss was about. Then I finally read one, and I read straight through and was caught up in a week.

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#189
[quote="gistenhose"]

What a MAAH-VA-LOUS suggestion! I agree totally. Could you write The University of West Florida in Pensacola about that idea? Or maybe Rutgers in NJ would be better. She could also teach music (piano, theory, composition - she's an excellent pianist with a fabulous ear, and plays the guitar - self-taught), music technology, photography, law (did you know that she holds a Law degree cum laude in addition to her Berklee B.M.?) - and really just about anything.

You are all aware I'm sure of her writing and analytical skills. [One could - and some have - talk to her with personal problems and come away thinking that she has been educated in psychology or psychiatry.] Even though I am her Aunt (and we have been quite close all our lives but especially so since her mother - my sister - died of cancer in 1999) , I assure you that all these things are true and verifiable. I have been so thrilled that her own establishment of this forum has given her so much pleasure thru the splendid, diverse, and higher level interaction it provides with all of you.

I say Thank You, Chase Lounge members!

jz

Re: Let Us Know Where You Are From And A Little About Yourse

#190
janicezany wrote:What a MAAH-VA-LOUS suggestion! I agree totally. Could you write The University of West Florida in Pensacola about that idea? Or maybe Rutgers in NJ would be better. She could also teach music (piano, theory, composition - she's an excellent pianist with a fabulous ear, and plays the guitar - self-taught), music technology, photography, law (did you know that she holds a Law degree cum laude in addition to her Berklee B.M.?) - and really just about anything.

You are all aware I'm sure of her writing and analytical skills. [One could - and some have - talk to her with personal problems and come away thinking that she has been educated in psychology or psychiatry.] Even though I am her Aunt (and we have been quite close all our lives but especially so since her mother - my sister - died of cancer in 1999) , I assure you that all these things are true and verifiable. I have been so thrilled that her own establishment of this forum has given her so much pleasure thru the splendid, diverse, and higher level interaction it provides with all of you.

I say Thank You, Chase Lounge members!

jz


OMG, who let the dogs out??:icon_biggrin: Please ignore the fawning, everyone, and carry on. My aunt knows I love her as much as I've ever loved anyone, but she is completely over the top!

JZ, since this thread is about telling a little bit about one's SELF, feel free to return to topic and share with the readers a little about yourself (and please do so without mentioning me.:icon_wink:)
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

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