People with a literary sensibility often claim—more as an exclamation of their personality than a literal assertion of truth—that “the book is always better than the movie.” While I, of course, understand the general notion that novels and stories and biographies have, practically speaking, more time and space and nuance at their fingertips, whereas the logistics of film impose all kinds of obstructions and limitations on the form’s narrative choices–thus making it easy to stake primacy on the endless possibilities of literature over the necessarily collaborative, corporately funded and obstacle-ridden visual art of cinema. This is problem with the book-movie dichotomy: the mediums are so fundamentally dissimilar and share such a tenuous resemblance you might as well say you like riddles more than math equations.
The Trip to Echo Spring by Olivia Laing | Buffalo Almanack
“Laing’s book does not try to reduce these writers to messy, drunken archetypes. Instead, Laing’s investigation into the drinking lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Berryman, John Cheever, Tennessee Williams and Raymond Carver takes a more sympathetic approach. Alcoholism remains a major social problem. The issue of why so many of our great artists suffer from such an affliction seems an important question, not to be dealt with lightly…”