[DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Howl's Moving Castle

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Tue Jan 7 14:07:08 EST 2014


Actually, that's incredibly helpful! I'm not much of a film
person so I didn't have that theoretical structure to apply to
DWJ or literature in general.

-deborah

On Tue, 7 Jan 2014, Farah Mendlesohn wrote:

> Screwball comedy should be thought of as a snowball rolling down a slope.
> It starts small and slow, gathers momentum and consequence and ends in a
> crash. Think of that moment at the end of Bringing Up Baby when the
> dinosaur collapses.
>
> I realised recently that it's the comedy version of the horror trajectory
> (which starts small and distant, and gets more terrifying and closer).
>
> The key thing is that the increase in pace is geometric rather than linear:
> when you map the increasing speed, it's a curve.
>
>
> That may of course not help at all.
>
> best
> Farah
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On 7 January 2014 14:08, Jameela Lares <jameela.lares at usm.edu> wrote:
>
>> I have heard before of the screwball structure--as in film, screwball
>> comedy?--applied to fiction.  I am not sure how the structure affects the
>> ending. Could you explain further?
>>
>> Jameela Lares
>> Professor of English
>> The University of Southern Mississippi
>> 118 College Drive, #5037
>> Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
>> 601 266-4319 ofc
>> 601 266-5757 fax
>> ________________________________________
>> From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [dwj-bounces at suberic.net] on behalf of
>> Farah Mendlesohn [farah.sf at gmail.com]
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 3:06 AM
>> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
>> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Howl's Moving Castle
>>
>> On 7 January 2014 09:01, Kylie Ding <kylie_ding at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Does anyone else feel that the ending of HMC is rushed?  Even though I've
>>> read it quite a few times over the years it doesn't stick in my brain,
>> and
>>> this time I was trying to pinpoint what the problem was.
>>
>>
>> They are all "rushed" in the sense that Jones has a preference for the
>> Screwball structure. This often works well (think of the tumbling of the
>> characters into the garden at the end of Charmed Life) but at other times
>> it's all too Agatha Christie-ish and we all assemble in the drawing room
>> (Conrad's Fate may be the worst).
>>
>> Farah
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>
>
>
>

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