Gone with the Wind

Art Imitates Art

Have you ever had one of those bizarre experiences where the branches of your life intersect in weird ways? I had an artistic version of that experience happen to me this week…

I’ve been reading David Copperfield for the past week (which is a book of a book). The first chapter is subtitled I Am Born, and begins with the line “To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born.” Now, for die hard Gone with the Wind fans like me, this evokes the scene in the movie in which Scarlet, Melanie, Mrs. Meade and India are killing time as they wait for the men to return from “clearing out the woods.” I’ve seen the movie a hundred times (okay maybe less than that) and I picked up David Copperfield and thought “Oh! Yeah! They read this in the movie!” It became creepy when I wrote a paper last week about the 1939 film version of Wuthering Heights and its ties to GWTW, thinking to myself “I want to watch it!”

The preface of my version of David Copperfield talks about the trend of the Bildungsroman (which I admit, I had to Google: it’s a coming of age story). When I was working on my novel this morning, it occurred to me that I was writing a Bildungsroman and didn’t even realize it!

But wait, there’s more! As a boy, the character David Copperfield reads Robinson Crusoe, and I just read Robinson Crusoe!

On a side note, David Copperfield is actually really funny, and I’m not the type to laugh at 150-year-old humor.

Finally, and this has nothing to do with the post other than that I just found out, David Copperfield the magician took his name from David Copperfield the book! Of all the names in the world! That’s like me changing my name to Anna Karenina…

Don’t Call Me Sugar

Over the weekend, I worked on a creative non-fiction essay. I wanted to write a series of personal experiences, each headlined with a Scarlett O’Hara quote from the film Gone with the Wind. The intention was to show how Scarlett O’Hara’s audacious character is really a role model for me and, I think, for many women. I created an extensive list of Scarlett quotes, delivered perfectly in Vivien Leigh’s incomparable on-screen performance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the flow of telling my anecdotes while working in the quotes, so I had to botch the idea.
The list remains, and reminds me why Scarlett O’Hara is my absolute favorite character of all time. Even if you’re not a fan of the lengthy film, there are so many memorable moments that the movie itself can’t be denied as one of the greatest of all time. Here is a selection from the list of quotes I pulled:

“Fiddle-dee-dee! War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream!”

“Why does a girl have to be so silly to catch a husband?”

“I never heard of such bad taste.”

“If I said I was madly in love with you, you’d know I was lying.”

“I can shoot straight, if I don’t have to shoot too far.”

“Great balls of fire! Don’t bother me anymore and don’t call me Sugar.”

“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

*It should be noted that Margaret Mitchell’s novel was adopted for the screen by Sidney Howard, among other uncredited contributors. See more quotes at IMDb or browse this extensive list at the GWTW Fan Page.