Posted by VJL on February 16, 1998 at 12:33:13:
In response to Virtual Views, written by Hil on February 14, 1998 at 20:01:48
] BTW, where are you located? In NY where Carey lives?
About the Q&A: I always found it interesting that Peter Carey could destroy his beautiful characters as easily as one of Lucinda's Prince Rupert's drops! Carey said that when he began the novel he knew how he wanted it to end: he wanted a man to deliver something to the outback, father a child, and die. So, poor Oscar's fate was determined before he even came to life as a character.
Carey also talked about how his idea for the glass church on a river evolved. He said he wanted to write a story about the delivery of Christian stories into the outback. What he said was fascinating, but I'm afraid this is where my memory gets hazy. I'm reluctant to write more about it because I may misinterpret what he said. I hope you'll forgive me. At the time I was very moved by the film, and more than a little nervous about meeting a person that I admire very much. Please feel free e-mail me if you are interested in the fragments of what I remember...perhaps you could piece them together into a coherent thought?
What else...He said the only thing from the book that could be considered autobiographical was the beginning: "If there was a Bishop, my mother would have him to tea."
When he was asked to name his favorite scene of the movie, he said it was the end, the part that he didn't write.
About the movie...I have to say that after all the time I spent trying to understand why Peter Carey ended the novel the way he did, I felt shocked, betrayed, and slightly angry about the movie's ending. Come to think of it, my initial reaction to the book was exactly the same. So maybe Gillian Armstrong did it just to stay true to the spirit of the book? (just kidding)
BTW, I'm probably slipping into "Virtual Views" territory here, but I definitely recommend a second viewing of the movie if you are a fan of the book. It's such a beautiful film and I'm afraid it won't stay in the theaters for very long. I loved seeing the tiny details from the book on screen. And I would love to hear what everyone liked/disliked about the movie and whether there were scenes from the book that you wished were in the film.
P.S. I can't resist inserting a reference to Jane Austen. This quote comes from an 8/17/97 Sydney Morning Herald article about Peter Carey.
"He gets them laughing with the story of how, when researching 'Oscar and Lucinda' he talked his way into a student's room at Oriel College, Oxford, masquerading as a man from the BBC. He took notes aplenty, including the insalubrious detail that the poor chap was using a grey sock as a bookmark in his copy of 'Pride and Prejudice'."
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