A movie, a book and bits of my real life are the topics of my  first post in the New Year. Let's hope it is a good one, without any tears. What? ... Yes, those words are not mine.

1. A Movie: The Words 

Plagiarism, writing, life and fiction ...The Words. I've seen this movie a few times in the latest weeks since it is running on my satellite TV channels. I was attracted by the title first and started watching it without knowing much about cast and plot. Positively surprised at discovering it was about writing, writers and books, I went on watching,  discovering one by one its protagonists: Dennis Quaid, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons and Ben Barnes.
I liked it very much! Have you seen it?

It's an attempt to represent the creative process of writing, focused on some fundamental questions among which the inextricable relation between art and life, reality and fiction. 
The narrative device chosen by director and screenwriter is not new and may result confusing: a story inside a story inside another story, Chinese boxes.  


Rory Jansen is a young writer living in New York. When he sees his manuscript rejected by several publishers he realizes he will never be able to become a successful author. Despite his wife's closeness and support, Rory understands that his expectations are doomed to fail miserably.

One day by chance he finds an old yellowed manuscript in a vintage bag his wife gets from a junk shop. In its pages he discovers the story he has always wanted to write: an extraordinarily touching love story set in the years of WWII. Rory decides to copy it in his computer and to send it to his publisher as if it were his own.


2.  A saga: Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches

2013 was the year of my discovery of ... witches, vampires, shadowhunters, changelings, demons, werewolves, etc. After a life of prejudices and dismissive comments, I tried and liked the fantasy genre, both  in YA and adult fiction. A Discovery of Witches  and its sequel (Shadow of Night) are the latest books in the genre I read and appreciated. 

Written by Deborah Harkness, they tell about the adventures and misadventures of an American historian, Diana Bishop, who also happens to be a reluctant witch. While working on one of her academic researches in the ancient Oxfordian Bodleian Library, she opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript. That represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer. Especially after she meets vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin and a remarkable knowledge about so many different fields. 

Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures ... 
In Shadow of Night , I'm reading these days, Diana and Matthew experience time travelling and their journey through Elizabethan England is so interesting and intriguing to read! Though they haven't met William Shakespeare yet, but only  his infamous (well, he is not a nice character in the book) rival, Kit Marlowe, this part of the story is the one I've  most appreciated so far. 


3. My personal woes: dealing with great losses

As for the woes in the title, I should tell you bits of  my own real life in the last twelve months - which have been the worst in my entire life. I won't use many details, I'll just tell you that I lost three of the most important people in my life and I'm still coping with the acceptance of the latest sudden loss. 
Not an overstatement,  but I've really lost three pillars in my existence and I feel confused, if not shocked, wrecked or unrooted. 
The experience of illness and death can be disruptive and upsetting per se. If it comes in a moment of personal change and fragility,  it may even provoke irreparable damages. 
However, I don't want to surrender. I won't give in, for myself and for the people I love. I'll go on living, striving, working hard as I've always done. That is also the most precious legacy I got from those dear,  loved ones. The three of them, in their different ways,  used to face life and its troubles with courage, positivity, optimism and strength. I owe them acceptance and resistance. 
Farewell to my lovely grandmother (23 January 2013), my always smiling  and encouraging mother -in - law (9 March 2013) and to my rock, my dear dad (31 December 2013) . May they rest in peace and watch on us wherever they are.  


Servetus said...

Hugs and condolences to you. My mother died this year and some days I'm not sure how I am still breathing. I am impressed by your determination.

Maria Grazia said...

Condolences to you for your own loss, Servetus. Life can be very hard in moments like these. We need time to grieve but I'm sure we can find the strength to go on. We owe that to our beloved departed as well as to the ones who love us and still live.
We must accept and embrace life for what it is.
As for myself, I must be strong for my mother, sons and husband.

dstoutholcomb said...

Condolences on your losses this past year.

Traxy said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry for your losses. :( Hopefully 2014 will be a better year for you and your family. *hugs*

Maria Grazia said...

Thanks @dstoutholcomb and @Traxy for dropping by and for your kind words.