Monday, February 18, 2008

The Guardian looks again at Richard Yates


5 Red Pandas said...

Nice to see Yates getting some recognition.

I didn't particularly like this bit though:

"The highest compliment I can pay him is to say that he writes like a screenwriter, not like a novelist. He wants you to see everything he describes. Dramatic writers find novels unbearable because novelists mostly junk word on word, incident on incident... "

I don't think Yates would have enjoyed this comparison as he did screenwriting solely to make money. Also, I think a writer would argue that the strength of a novel or short story is the writer's ability to explore a character's inner life and psychology, not the scenery. This is especially true after film proved better at capturing images than writers can with words (which isn't to say a good metaphor and a few well chosen adjectives can't do an admirable job!)

Which Malkmus show are you going to? I'm looking forward to it.

blucarbnpinwheel said...

We're going to the Malkmus show in Williamsburg. I went to the box office after work when they went on sale and I guess the first Bowery show sold out in less than 4 hours.

Apparently David Hare (source of the quote you cited) is a playwright (I'm not familiar with his work), so that would go quite a way to explain the quote.

I think you're right about how Yates would take it...

5 Red Pandas said...

Cool. We're going to the Williamsburg show as well as the Bowery, so maybe we'll see you there.

Yates had terrible luck with the movie business. Many directors had promised to make Revolutionary Road into a movie, which would have been a good payday for Yates, but those plans never panned out for him. He wrote a screenplay for a William Styron book, but I don't think that was made into a movie either. Apparently his screenplay is quite good.

For an encyclopedia assignment I looked up Richard Yates, so this is all very timely for me.