Mar 26, 2012


A bunch of racist Twitter reactions to the black actors in The Hunger Games movie are making the news rounds today. To paraphrase, several people said they hadn't pictured Rue and Cinna as being black when they read the book, and it ruined the movie for them. One person went so far as to say that once he saw that Rue was black, he wasn't sad when she died.

I'm struggling to express just how angry this makes me. It makes my teeth ache.

First of all, Rue is mentioned in the book as having "dark brown skin." Were they picturing somebody with a Snookie fake tan? More likely, these mouth-breathing cretins, with their first-grade reading levels, lurched ponderously and ignorantly through the book, skipping all the words that were too hard for them (i.e., longer than four letters). Actually, no. First graders would have understood that. Jesus.

What kills me, though, is that in addition to having disgustingly racist thoughts in the first place, instead of just keeping them to themselves, these people thought it was acceptable to post them on Twitter, where the whole world can see them along with their personal information. Are you kidding me, people?

I'm glad the site I linked to above has posted their usernames and pictures. I hope these people get an earful. I'm guessing they'll never change their ways, but at least they'll get hell for it.

And now I need to go hit something inanimate.

Mar 2, 2012

Book imitates art

The main character in the novel I'm working on is a painter. I can't even remember how it came about, but I started trawling through the online collection of the MoMA for general inspiration, and I came across some drawings by French symbolist painter Odilon Redon. Something about his art really spoke to me, and the moods he created seemed similar to the dream world I was creating in my manuscript. I didn't know much about him, so I started searching the interwebs for more of his art.

Obviously, seeing the paintings in real life is far more ideal than looking up prints online, but I had so much fun looking at all of his work and letting it inspire scenes in my book. I was particularly drawn to the solitary female images like this and this. And Vierge nimbee inspired an entire scene. Some of Redon's more bizarre charcoal pieces just plain tickled my fancy. Nothing was directly based on those, but they helped set my mood when I sat down to write various parts.

Another artist I borrowed from to create scenery was cubist painter Lyonel Feininger. The town and inhabitants of Nod were inspired by his paintings, and I used some of his other pieces (seascapes, bridges, moonlight) as general mood material. I pictured the cove where Jared's house was set as looking something like this.

It truly is a luxury to have access to all of this art at your fingertips, and I'm well aware that the online versions are nothing compared to the originals. I hope to see some of these paintings in person one day. Maybe once the kids are older and this is a practical kind of trip. In the meantime, I'll be keeping my eyes open for local exhibitions.