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Earthsea Series a Travesty - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 16th, 2004

11:01 am - Earthsea Series a Travesty

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I was so excited to see the new Earthsea mini-series until I read Earthsea in Clorox, an essay by Le Guin explaining the situation with the mini-series which she had no involvement in and how badly it has changed the story.

Folks, if you haven't read the books, do not see the mini-series.

Comments:

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From:dygel
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:16 pm (UTC)
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Wait, if you haven't read the books? Wouldn't you say that you could watch it if you haven't read them, since you have no previous bearing on the story from the books?
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From:mr_ducktape
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:24 pm (UTC)
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I'm guessing his intent was that if you watch this crappy miniseries before reading the books, you might get a bad impression and lose any interest in reading them.

Zarf?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:32 pm (UTC)
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Basically the books are pure unadulterated awesomeness. And this series takes 90% of the awesome and throws it away. If you watch the series first and get that impression in your head that this is what the characters are like, it might spoil your enjoyment of the books because you'll have to work hard to wipe those impressions out.

If you read the books first, you can approach the series knowing what comes from LeGuin and what doesn't.

I don't want people getting a bad impression of my favorite author.
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From:mr_ducktape
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:24 pm (UTC)
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ke_jia TiVo'ed it. I'm not terribly interested (still need to get to the books, haven't yet) and wasn't planning on watching it.

Too bad. Isabella Rossalini kicks ass, but Kristen Kreuk is one of the several factors that drove me away from SMALLVILLE.
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From:szasz
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
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And you were expecting anything else from a sci-fi channel treatment of good science fiction? I'm confused.

Look what they did to "The Cold Equations" for god's sake. Although that movie, bad as it was, did launch Poppy Montgomery's career, and that makes me glad.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
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I thought they did a reasonable job with Dune.
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From:the_sween
Date:December 16th, 2004 06:37 pm (UTC)
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That truly sucks ass. Except for their versions of Dune and Children of Dune, I've just been very disappointed with their productions overall.
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From:desert_fox
Date:December 16th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)

Herbert Fan

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I echo your sentiments. :)
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From:juvenilia
Date:December 16th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)
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this is exactly how i feel about the lord of the rings, and EVERYONE keeps telling me to shut up about it and appreciate the movies for what they are, rather than comparing them with the book.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 16th, 2004 09:27 pm (UTC)
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My impression from talking to most Tolkien geeks is that the movies skip some important scenes and leave out some important character moments but that they don't substantially alter the characters or the central metaphors to the extent that meaning is changed. Perhaps some meaning is lost, but not altered.

Do you feel like there are places in which the LotR movies actually get things WRONG (as opposed to just omitting them or changing them in minor ways that don't impact the overall metaphor/meaning)?

The problem with the Earthsea stuff sounds like they completely threw out the whole taoist metaphor of balance that is the central theme of the entire series and replaces it with a western imperialist crusade metaphor that is the antithesis of everything that Le Guin has ever written. Ick.

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From:cassiopia
Date:December 16th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)
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What I keep wondering is why didn't she post the essay on her own site?

Oh, nevermind in the last hour there is a new link on her site to this:
http://slate.msn.com/id/2111107/

When I saw no mention of it on her site I was leery of its source.
So that answers that question.

Something of Le Guin's in next on my reading list once I finish the book I'm currently reading. Any recomendations on a good place to start?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 16th, 2004 07:07 pm (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure that Le Guin doesn't maintain her own website. Vonda McIntyre has some involvement in the website (she's the designer). I don't know who updates the content.

Le Guin probably just didn't get around to telling someone to put up a link right away. I don't think she's a big web person.

But really, if Gaiman is posting to his blog, you can guess that it's legit. I don't think he'd post something supposedly by a fellow author without knowing where it is from.
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From:xymboulos
Date:December 16th, 2004 07:53 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad you warned me - it's sitting on TiVo.

To mitigate any disappointment, I found the recent A&E adaptation of "Lathe of Heaven" to be good.
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From:lidora
Date:December 16th, 2004 09:33 pm (UTC)
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this is exactly what happened when they made a mini-series of the mysts of avalon. i was so appalled by what they did with ms bradley's beautiful work of fiction.
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From:boannan
Date:December 17th, 2004 02:54 am (UTC)
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well thanks. you were pretty much the person I was waiting to hear from before I even let myself get excited about this. :)

I'll have to go read her essay about the series. I'm particularly interested in how she ended up having no involvement.

Really the characters in Earthsea for me are so unique I kind of can't conceive of actors playing them. I mean who plays Ged? Colin Farrell? Russell Crowe? bizarre.
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