Prestige and Pynchon

Clancy and I saw The Prestige in the worst theater in the world on New Year’s Eve. I had read the considerably more interesting book (how could you eliminate the frame story?) immediately beforehand, and I find it curious that Michael Wood, who’s reviewed both the the film and Against the Day in the LRB didn’t mention the shared fascination with Tesla and the occult properties of electricity seen in both. (Of course, he may in fact have noticed and didn’t see the need to include every observation in his review, which I’m increasingly learning to be able to forgive…)

R. P. Blackmur’s analysis of the Mrs. Luce arsenic story is really quite striking in “The Logos in the Catacomb.”

2 thoughts on “Prestige and Pynchon

  1. I’ve just finished reading the considerably more interesting book. I wish I’d read it beforehand as I found it quite hard to work out how mysterious the pronouning fun in Borden’s journal was supposed to be. I agree that the frame story was a strange deletion, but the parts of the novel that did make it into the movie had already been rendered unnecessarily baroque in the process.

    Tesla seems to be in vogue recently – e.g., there’s a segment in Coffee and Cigarettes called Jack shows Meg his Tesla Coil (or something.) Does Michael Wood mention that David Bowie as Tesla looks uncannily like Ricky Gervais?

  2. Ricky Gervais fit my visualization of the other magician more than Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale or whoever it was.

    I’m not entirely sure that the novel makes sense, plot-wise, now that I think about it.

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