Sunday, November 26, 2006


Yesterday I read Anderson Cooper's autobiography and then saw the movie Stranger Than Fiction and I really liked both. Think what you will.

The autobiography Dispatches from the Edge is interesting not because of Cooper's (the rather attractive prematurely gray CNN newsman and son of Gloria Vanderbilt) views on current events but because of his experience of them. He gets to do things I don't get to do and he writes about them pretty well. In the reverse of what memoirs tend to do--draw global meaning out of personal events--he draws personal meaning out of global events. I liked it.

Stranger Than Fiction is the rare movie that poses the question of whether a work of art (a great work of art according to the Dustin Hoffman character but then his bookshelf contains a lot of Robert Parker and Sue Grafton) is worth even one human life. The movie has lots of meta qualities, including a nod to the fact that it's sometimes hard to end a work of fiction without killing somebody off, an argument for literary theoriests as the arbiters of life (and as faculty lifeguards) and an argument for the hero over the anti-hero. If you liked Adaptation then this is that movie's answer. I loved it.

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