There is a Woody Allen movie called Midnight In Paris that I am obsessed with. Owen Wilson is always playing Owen Wilson, I’m sorry to say, but the rest of the cast is so amazing I kind of forget about the main protagonist. It’s about Paris in the 1920s with names like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, etc. Since literature was not my strong suit in grade school, what with the whole English second language thing, I could never keep track of the timeline. This whole time, I thought it was just a wonderful fantasy movie of big names. Because there is no way all these greats could be all from the same time period, right? Then I came across a book in my local bookshop in the Ferry Building called The Paris Wife. I don’t know what made me pull it out and read the back, but it showed the same names. It blew my mind learning that those guys really DID hang out together back in the day!
It made me really think about modern life.
While we’re so incredibly lucky to be so connected with affordable travel options, email, and social media I feel kind of sad that we all have to be connected all the time. Modern life is missing necessary mystery, is it not? The circle I mentioned would go to Pamplona to see the bull fights, frequent cafes to meet each other, and write letters. So much was unknown that it made people a bit more interesting. I don’t want to be those people that poops on technology, because I’m a huge fan, but I kind of hate that we all know so much about each other. Like, I know that a friend of mine had gyro for lunch, and another is shopping for a new plant, and another is sipping margaritas in Mexico. I kind of miss the good old days where you learn everything in person. So you meet up for dinner and share all the things that’s happened between now and the last time you saw each other. Having the quiet time in between helps other edit their stories too so you cut a lot of bullshit filler conversations. Doesn’t that make life more interesting? Now I feel like most people are too busy taking photos to have something to show on social media instead of being in the present. Even worse, everyone is so big on transparency and being real that they don’t learn the line between honesty and airing your dirty laundry.
Secondly, I feel a big gap in books in terms of true literature. It doesn’t take much to get published now, so it’s not the lack of options. Remember in grade school when we would read The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc? I wonder what authors in our time will jump into literature status to be taught in future schools. Because, I have read a lot of trash. I have fun using my imagination when I read it, but it’s still poorly written. Needless to say The Paris Wife ignited my interest in literature.