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RonPrice
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9/23/2013 5:23:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
PRINT AND IMAGES
A Reflection on Identity and Crime Fiction

Part 1:

I"ve never been a reader of crime fiction, the literary genre that fictionalizes crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. Crime fiction is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction, and other genres such as: science fiction or historical fiction, among a host of other categories of fiction. Literary and genre boundaries though can be, and often are, blurred.

The genre of crime fiction has several sub-categories or sub-genres: detective fiction, the whodunit, the locked-room mystery, a sub-division called cozy, the legal thriller, courtroom drama, and hard-boiled fiction. Readers of this prose-poetic piece here can read all about the subject of crime fiction at Wikipedia, if they have the interest.

In my 65 years of reading, fiction of any kind has not been high on my reading inventory, unless it was part of the curriculum when I was a student or teacher in the years from 1949 to 2005. My reading life as a student and as a teacher has been primarily: in the humanities, the sciences: social and physical, biological and applied.

The humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture using methods that are analytical, critical, or speculative. The humanities have a significant historical element, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences. The humanities include: ancient and modern languages and literature, philosophy and religion, as well as the visual and performing arts such as music and theatre.

Part 2:

The humanities are sometimes regarded as social sciences and, in this case, they include: history, anthropology, area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, law and linguistics, among many other subjects and disciplines. Scholars working in the humanities are described and labeled in many ways. As I look back over those 65 years of reading, my guesstimation is that, since 1949 at the age of 5, I have been looking at print for an average of 4 hours every day. My website has over 90 categories and sub-categories of the world"s knowledge reflecting the broad range of my reading interests over my lifetime.

As I say, though, in the opening paragraph here, crime fiction has not been part of my reading record. In fact, I cannot recall ever reading a book of this genre. I have made up for this dearth of reading material: (i) since I was conceived in October 1943 in the lunch-pail city of Hamilton Ontario with about two years left in WW2, and (ii) since I retired from FT, PT and most volunteer work in the years 1999 to 2005. I have compensated for this lack, if lack it be, by watching many a whodunit on TV beginning as far back as the early 1950s.

Last night I watched The Departed, a 2006 American crime-thriller-film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg, with Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin, among others, in supporting roles.

Part 3:

Film critic Stanley Kauffmann described a major theme, perhaps the major theme, of The Departed---the concept of identity. Kauffmann says that identity is one of the oldest themes in drama. He discusses how this theme came into this movie time and time again. "Identity", says Kauffmann, "affects one's actions, emotions, self-assurance and even dreams." Kauffmann will be 100 years of age in 3 years. He is an American author, editor, and critic of film and theatre. He has written for The New Republic for over half a century, since 1958, and he currently contributes film criticism to that magazine.

The concept of identity is squarely at the center of this crime thriller. I did not need Kauffmann to tell me this. The father-son relationship is a motif throughout the film and so is the basic question in life: "who am I?" Identity, also called sameness, is whatever makes an entity definable and recognizable. Personal identity is the continuity of existence of a person through time.

Gender identity, identity formation, the process of the development of the distinct personality of an individual, individuality, social identity, and cultural identity are all examined in the fields of: psychology, sociology, and philosophy, among several other disciplines. Persona, a social role or a character played by an actor, and sexual orientation identity, that is, how people identify and deal with their sexuality, are also part of this wide-ranging subject.

Part 4:

It is not my intention to discuss the characters and the plot, the money this film earned or all the awards this film won. Suffice it to say: At the 64th Golden Globe Awards on 15 January 2007, The Departed won one award for Best Director(Martin Scorsese), while being nominated for five other awards including: Best Picture, Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Wahlberg), and Best Screenplay(William Monahan).

Readers with an interest in this film can Google to their hearts" content at several internet sites to learn all the details they want to know about this film now some six years old. I will now close this prose-poetic piece with a few lines that attempt to convey how this film spoke to me in the 2 and 1/2 hours that I gave to it in the late evening of one of the last days in winter in Australia. With the age of 70 coming my way in 10 months" time, I felt like having this brief reflection on whodunits in general, and this film in particular, as well as the 100s of hours of pleasure this film genre has given me since I retired from FT, PT and most volunteer work, after a 50++ year student-teacher-employment life from 1949 to 2005.-Ron Price with thanks to The Departed, SBSONE TV, 9:30 to 12:30, 9/10 September, 2013.

This theme, identity, is made
for the Facebook generation
of "look-at-me", the "I-me-&
mine" generation and several
of the generations before in my
time..."I Me Mine" is a song by
the Beatles, written and sung by
George Harrison"I Me Mine is
also the title of Harrison's book,1
his autobiography"..This song
traces its origins to January "69
the Get Back/Let It Be sessions
when it was rehearsed at those
Twickenham Film Studios"It
was the last new song recorded
by the band before their split in
1970. I remember it well when
I came out of the Canadian Arctic,
a hospital in Whitby, as I finished
my days in Canada before coming
to Aussieland where I will lay my
bones in the next decade or two, or
three, and probably by 2044 when I
will be 100 and get my letter from a
King, or a Queen, if I last that long.

1 I, too, have written extensively and autobiographically in the last two decades, 1993 to 2013, as my working-job life was closing, and as I gradually reinvented myself as: a writer and author, poet and publisher, editor and researcher, online blogger and journalist, reader and scholar. My autobiographical-memoiristic writing, in which my identity is openly manifest, is centred on a triptych. A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections, which are hinged together; they can be folded shut or displayed openly. My triptych of: self, society and religion is displayed openly in cyberspace. My religion is the Baha"i Faith.

Ron Price
11/9/"13.
Married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16, and a Baha'i for 56(in 2015)
RonPrice
Posts: 32
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9/26/2013 12:38:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 5:23:44 AM, RonPrice wrote:
PRINT AND IMAGES
A Reflection on Identity and Crime Fiction

Part 1:

I"ve never been a reader of crime fiction, the literary genre that fictionalizes crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. Crime fiction is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction, and other genres such as: science fiction or historical fiction, among a host of other categories of fiction. Literary and genre boundaries though can be, and often are, blurred.

The genre of crime fiction has several sub-categories or sub-genres: detective fiction, the whodunit, the locked-room mystery, a sub-division called cozy, the legal thriller, courtroom drama, and hard-boiled fiction. Readers of this prose-poetic piece here can read all about the subject of crime fiction at Wikipedia, if they have the interest.

In my 65 years of reading, fiction of any kind has not been high on my reading inventory, unless it was part of the curriculum when I was a student or teacher in the years from 1949 to 2005. My reading life as a student and as a teacher has been primarily: in the humanities, the sciences: social and physical, biological and applied.

The humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture using methods that are analytical, critical, or speculative. The humanities have a significant historical element, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences. The humanities include: ancient and modern languages and literature, philosophy and religion, as well as the visual and performing arts such as music and theatre.

Part 2:

The humanities are sometimes regarded as social sciences and, in this case, they include: history, anthropology, area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, law and linguistics, among many other subjects and disciplines. Scholars working in the humanities are described and labeled in many ways. As I look back over those 65 years of reading, my guesstimation is that, since 1949 at the age of 5, I have been looking at print for an average of 4 hours every day. My website has over 90 categories and sub-categories of the world"s knowledge reflecting the broad range of my reading interests over my lifetime.

As I say, though, in the opening paragraph here, crime fiction has not been part of my reading record. In fact, I cannot recall ever reading a book of this genre. I have made up for this dearth of reading material: (i) since I was conceived in October 1943 in the lunch-pail city of Hamilton Ontario with about two years left in WW2, and (ii) since I retired from FT, PT and most volunteer work in the years 1999 to 2005. I have compensated for this lack, if lack it be, by watching many a whodunit on TV beginning as far back as the early 1950s.

Last night I watched The Departed, a 2006 American crime-thriller-film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg, with Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin, among others, in supporting roles.

Part 3:

Film critic Stanley Kauffmann described a major theme, perhaps the major theme, of The Departed---the concept of identity. Kauffmann says that identity is one of the oldest themes in drama. He discusses how this theme came into this movie time and time again. "Identity", says Kauffmann, "affects one's actions, emotions, self-assurance and even dreams." Kauffmann will be 100 years of age in 3 years. He is an American author, editor, and critic of film and theatre. He has written for The New Republic for over half a century, since 1958, and he currently contributes film criticism to that magazine.

The concept of identity is squarely at the center of this crime thriller. I did not need Kauffmann to tell me this. The father-son relationship is a motif throughout the film and so is the basic question in life: "who am I?" Identity, also called sameness, is whatever makes an entity definable and recognizable. Personal identity is the continuity of existence of a person through time.

Gender identity, identity formation, the process of the development of the distinct personality of an individual, individuality, social identity, and cultural identity are all examined in the fields of: psychology, sociology, and philosophy, among several other disciplines. Persona, a social role or a character played by an actor, and sexual orientation identity, that is, how people identify and deal with their sexuality, are also part of this wide-ranging subject.

Part 4:

It is not my intention to discuss the characters and the plot, the money this film earned or all the awards this film won. Suffice it to say: At the 64th Golden Globe Awards on 15 January 2007, The Departed won one award for Best Director(Martin Scorsese), while being nominated for five other awards including: Best Picture, Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Wahlberg), and Best Screenplay(William Monahan).

Readers with an interest in this film can Google to their hearts" content at several internet sites to learn all the details they want to know about this film now some six years old. I will now close this prose-poetic piece with a few lines that attempt to convey how this film spoke to me in the 2 and 1/2 hours that I gave to it in the late evening of one of the last days in winter in Australia. With the age of 70 coming my way in 10 months" time, I felt like having this brief reflection on whodunits in general, and this film in particular, as well as the 100s of hours of pleasure this film genre has given me since I retired from FT, PT and most volunteer work, after a 50++ year student-teacher-employment life from 1949 to 2005.-Ron Price with thanks to The Departed, SBSONE TV, 9:30 to 12:30, 9/10 September, 2013.

This theme, identity, is made
for the Facebook generation
of "look-at-me", the "I-me-&
mine" generation and several
of the generations before in my
time..."I Me Mine" is a song by
the Beatles, written and sung by
George Harrison"I Me Mine is
also the title of Harrison's book,1
his autobiography"..This song
traces its origins to January "69
the Get Back/Let It Be sessions
when it was rehearsed at those
Twickenham Film Studios"It
was the last new song recorded
by the band before their split in
1970. I remember it well when
I came out of the Canadian Arctic,
a hospital in Whitby, as I finished
my days in Canada before coming
to Aussieland where I will lay my
bones in the next decade or two, or
three, and probably by 2044 when I
will be 100 and get my letter from a
King, or a Queen, if I last that long.

1 I, too, have written extensively and autobiographically in the last two decades, 1993 to 2013, as my working-job life was closing, and as I gradually reinvented myself as: a writer and author, poet and publisher, editor and researcher, online blogger and journalist, reader and scholar. My autobiographical-memoiristic writing, in which my identity is openly manifest, is centred on a triptych. A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections, which are hinged together; they can be folded shut or displayed openly. My triptych of: self, society and religion is displayed openly in cyberspace. My religion is the Baha"i Faith.

Ron Price
11/9/"13.
------------------------------------
For those who come to the above post, I look forward to hearing from you, if you would like to comment, if you have an interest in the subject matter of my post. Otherwise, I trust you enjoy the read and, if it is not on your agenda of interest, "no worries" as they say Downunder.-Ron
Married for 48 years, a teacher for 32, a student for 18, a writer and editor for 16, and a Baha'i for 56(in 2015)