So interesting how different people come to things: Richard Brody, in The New Yorker, thinks that the sentence that I take to be so simple and so significant at the end of The Life of Pi, is "vapid" and "hollow."  He thinks the movie is superficial, its "theological" aspect shallow. I'm stumped by this, by his misreading, bringing in the Holocaust as evidence of the "better story" that God (apparently) chooses, which has nothing to do with what the movie is driving at--and, in fact, nothing to do with what Pi is asking at the end. And not one word about the minute by minute hallucinatory beauty of the film, which is so much a part of its impact and meaning.

The final thing Pi says still stays with me, since it's opened a door I'm standing in front of.

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I finished the first phase of rebuilding the picket fence. Two mistakes that cost me time: I still move too fast; I still don't see or ask myself, at each step: Now, what am I doing? Have I accounted for each thing? Before I nail this in, is it right in every way? And because I don't, I have to do it over. What is this...blankness in me that rushes ahead, heedlessly? You'd think, by this time...but, no. Yes, yes, a work-very much-in-progress!

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Could it be more beautiful outside? Hard to imagine how--maybe if sanity were declared, the Jihadists were condemned, outloud, by the ordinary Muslims who want to live a normal life; the Evangelicals were dismissed by thoughtful Christians who get it that any form of intolerance is not the love that they say Christ preached; the Fascists of every kind were exposed as the psychopaths they are. . .well, you see where this is going.

Shakespeare, as usual, gets it right, in As You Like It--knowing that the only poetry of spring is song:

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green cornfield did pass,
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.



 


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