Hiatus Report #1

Ha!

I found an available computer at the library at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, so I’ll just give you these juicy tidbits about my week so far.

- I’m in a week-long fiction workshop with Erin McGraw, an author I hadn’t yet discovered, but now you can call me a fan. She read from an upcoming work tonight, and it was extraordinary. She’s married to the poet Andrew Hudgins, and Anne and I had the pleasure of enoying a meal with these two. They’re amazing. Read their stuff.

- Speaking of meals. Last night, Anne and I stole away for a dinner with two folks with the initials L.D. and K.B., late, in downtown Santa Fe. If you know who I’m talking about, you know how indescribably happy Anne and I were to have such a blessing… how happy we still are.

- The first chapter of the sequel to my novel “Auralia’s Colors” was well-received by the fiction workshop… very encouraging as I dive into the deep end of bringing this book to fruition and then into your hands.

- Anne is reveling in her poetry workshop with the brilliant B.H. Fairchild.

- Santa Fe is as gorgeous as ever. Every evening is a sky gallery of work painted by Georgia O’Keeffe… Yes, she’s getting better and better in the afterlife.

- Wednesday night: Over the Rhine, live. I have the privilege of introducing them. Good grief, how do I keep my introduction from running longer than the show?

All of this to say: See what can happen at the Glen Workshop? Tell me you’re signing up for next year’s event as soon as possible!

Oh… Arts and Faith board folks… TCTRUFFIN is here too. I’ve met another A&F’er!

More to come, in greater detail, upon my return to my desk at home. This is a library computer, and there are folks waiting, so….

T.T.F.N.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Thom

    “What you’re promoting is artistic arrogance at the expense of parental control.”

    Hardly. Parental control is still there. You can skip the offending scene. Or not let the child watch the film. Or we can buy the software and edit them ourselves. Jeffrey is hardly advocating anything over parental control.

  • Travis

    Mark’s got a point there…

    To edit a work of art is to interfere with what the artist intended, and in changing what the artist deliberately crafted, you change not just the effect, but the meaning.

    So? I fail to see what the inherent badness is here. I edit fairy tales when I want to teach my daughter something other than the original author’s intent.

    And about this artistic integrity… God is the only true artist. We’re all editors — and poor ones at that. I say if a parent thinks they can tweak a story so it reflects the Author’s intent better, they should go for it. What you’re promoting is artistic arrogance at the expense of parental control.

    Used to be if you wanted to blank out part of a film, you just popped the VHS tape in (with some tape over that hole) and recorded over the offending parts. Viewers lost that ability with DVDs.

  • mark

    Jeffrey,

    To compare Art to Holy Scripture is a road I don’t think you want to travel.

  • Martin

    Let’s send a big roll of Narnia toilet tissue to Phillip Pullman. I’m sure he’d enjoy wiping his butt with Aslan…

  • jasdye

    Jeffrey,

    Here, here!

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    If my pastor makes references to Narnia from the pulpit, and I’m sure he will, I have no problem with that. The story is full of rich metaphors. If I find out, though, that he did it so he could enter a contest that’s been planned in order to help promote the movie from the pulpit… that would make me sick to my stomach.

  • Glenn

    Jeff,
    Two comments today:
    1) Excellent review of “Walk the Line.” I haven’t yet seen the film, but it’s on my to-watch list. You have framed it perfectly in context and given the viewer everything he or she wants to know going in, without ruining it. And that’s why newspapers and “old media” are losing people to folks like you. You aren’t afraid to take your time getting into a subject with depth, something that’s sorely missing from most of pop culture.
    and #2)
    Lay off the self-righteous Narnia stuff. “whip cracking”? I mean, come on. You sound as self-righteous as the people like Pat Robertson you love to come down hard on. C.S. Lewis was a Christian and for Christians to be inspired and dazzled by the story of redemption found in TCON is what, a bad thing? Come on. Someone wants to preach a sermon related to Narnia and you have a problem with it? What if there weren’t a movie coming out next month? Would you still have a problem with the same sermon? Methinks you’d be calling attention to it for a different reason.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    To edit a work of art is to interfere with what the artist intended, and in changing what the artist deliberately crafted, you change not just the effect, but the meaning.

    Otherwise: Hey, let’s just edit all the references to Jesus out of Handel’s Messiah… you know, so secular audiences can enjoy it too.

    Why not follow Thomas Jefferson’s example, and publish versions of the Bible that cut out the parts that make readers uncomfortable?

    In teaching kids that it’s fine to splice up art, we’re teaching them to disrespect the artist, and to avoid considering why the artist made the choices he did.

    Here’s more on the subject:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/commentaries/antismut-overstreet.html

  • Travis

    Don’t go cutting it up and teaching your children that art should be custom-altered based on personal preference.

    Why not? How come a studio can edit the “artistic vision” of the writer, director, producer and actors all they want? Because they’re paying the bills, that’s why. From where I’m standing, they wouldn’t be able to pay those bills if we (the consumers) weren’t paying to watch the final product.

    So really, we pay the bills. Every one of us is an editor; it’s just a matter of whether we’ll do our jobs or not.

  • sg

    Glad to see you back posting! Even gladder you’re having such a good time. :)

  • Nick Alexander

    Ack! I was in Glorieta, just outside of Santa Fe, this whole weekend. We could’ve met in person… Oh well…


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