Thursday, July 19, 2007
the history boys
I finally watched The History Boys last night, and I can't stop thinking about it. Sort of a Tom Stoppard with soul, it was one of those very rare pieces of fiction that is actually able to say something (a lot of things, actually) interesting and intelligent about literature. Far from the faff spouted by Robin Williams in The Dead Poets' Society (which bears a passing resemblance to THB in setting and structure), the stuff that the masters in THB say strikes one as just that *bit* better (because it's funny as well as brilliant) than what your college professors said, if they were as clever as Edward Tayler, Wallace Gray and Edward Said. It's full of poignant moments, too, of course. But the worst one, for me, was when the ringer brought in from Oxford to make sure the boys all get places admits that he never thinks about going "back up," because, he says: "I'm not clever enough. I'm not anything really." God, I feel like that ALL the time. Oh, yes, and THB uses "journalism" in the just the right pejorative sense. They really do need to start making more plays into movies.