Pa ty bota e humb kuptimin,
pa ty dielli e humb shkëlqimin,
pa ty dita më erësohet,
pa ty nata nuk kalohet,
pa ty ëndra nuk ëndërohet,
pa ty zemra më helmohet
Pa ty bota e humb kuptimin,
He’s the only one I truly confide in.
After viewing the film version of Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain”, I felt myself on the verge of tears. I was very much saddened by this film, more than I was while reading the story. This film definitely did a better job of conveying this story to an audience than did the book because of the vivid imagery that helps to show the back story of Anders and the voice of the narrator that really captured the sympathetic attitude towards Anders.
The differences between the film and text played a major role in making the film better. With the film, we can firmly establish the tone of the narrator to be sympathetic while in the story, the narrator’s tone can be mistaken for disgust or regret: “Anders — a book critic known for the weary, elegant savagery with which he dispatched almost everything he reviewed,” (Wolff 1). Another difference made in the film was the showing of Anders in class as a teacher. His rude and angry remarks towards his students gave me a good idea of how dissatisfied and conflicted Anders was as opposed to the way the text portrayed his personality, which was more arrogant.
However different they were, both the film and the original text had their limitations and merits. The film did a great job in establishing the tone of the narrator, which was a bit too confusing to decipher from the text. The way in which the narrator speaks the words “they is” at the end of the film captures a soft, reminiscent feeling as would a special lullaby. The limitation of this film, however, is that the narrator was not used throughout the whole film: the narrator was introduced around the middle of the film which may have been offsetting for some viewers. Though the text might have been a better way to allow the audience to envision the images in their own minds, it did not do well to convey the tone of the narrator, which played a major role in this story.
Of all the short stories I have come across so far, I would have to say that the most enjoyable and effective of these stories have been written by Edgar Allan Poe, while the least enjoyable have been written by Anton Chekhov. Although both author’s styles of writing have their merits and limitations, Poe’s style is far more appealing with his grasping diction and effective repetition, which is best represented in “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Chekhov, on the other hand, with his omniscient narrator and unsatisfying situational irony best represented in his short story “The Kiss”, does not have such an appealing style because his writing seems to be dragged out and quite boring.
Poe’s style of writing is very dark and foreboding, which makes it all the more appealing. Through his use of powerful diction and effective repetition, Poe engages readers, forcing them to devote their attention to his writing and be mindful of his message. As he writes about his actions in “The Tell-Tale Heart” for example, he states “You should have seen how wisely I proceeded… with what dissimulation I went to work!” (Poe, 1). The use of the word “dissimulation,” which is not commonly used, requires that readers pause to really think about the background implications of such a term. In addition to vocabulary, Poe’s use of repetition ensures that readers will think about the deeper meaning of his writing and understand which concepts are important in his stories. In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator, after claiming that he is not insane, goes on to describe “how stealthily, stealthily” (2) he proceeds when entering the chamber of the elderly man and illuminating the room with the lantern. The repetition of “stealthily” demonstrates just how sneaky the narrator is, suggesting that he is, in fact, insane.
In his short story “The Kiss”, Chekhov presents his style of writing as extremely extensive and tedious. With his use of omniscient narration and disappointing situational irony, Chekhov will leave readers feeling unsatisfied with his stories. For instance, the omniscient narrator is useful in describing the thoughts and feelings of Ryabovitch, but he does this so extensively that the kiss is no longer a kiss but a whole fantasy he imagined in his head: “He began describing very minutely the incident of the kiss… In the course of that moment he had told everything, and it surprised him dreadfully to find how short a time it took him to tell it,” (Chekhov 10). Even more inadequate was the ending of the story, which was unanticipated and ironic. Towards the end of “The Kiss”, Ryabovitch decided not to go to the General’s house again, where he could’ve potentially met the girl he spent such a long time dreaming and fantasizing about.
The writing styles of Poe and Chekhov both have their limitations and merits despite their differences. Poe’s strong vocabulary is a virtue in his style of writing: the stories are so much more vivid and interesting with fulfilling details and imagery. Though his stories may be restricted due to his first person narration, the intricate insight into the narrator’s mind is fascinating. Chekhov’s style of writing is also very good with imagery but the extensive details of unimportant things make his stories very boring to read. Chekhov’s writing may have been further limited due to the strict censorship that was being practiced in Russia during his time.
As one can see, the interesting and elaborate writing style of Poe greatly outdoes the extensive and dreary writing style of Chekhov. With his use of extraordinary diction and repetition, Poe does well in establishing feelings of horror in his writing, especially in “The Tell-Tale Heart”, which does well to engage readers. Unlike Poe, Chekhov’s descriptive writing is not attractive in that it seems redundant and useless. His use of an omniscient narrator makes “The Kiss” an unnecessarily drawn-out fantasy. The situational irony by the end of the story is also unsatisfying because the protagonist does not find the girl he’s been dreaming of for so long.
“Fine… The friendship is over” starts Michelle Yeoh condescendingly in this scene of ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’ (2000). Director Ang Lee opens the scene with a long shot of the actresses in a large, roofless room, establishing the setting of the fight about to take place. The scene changes to a medium shot of Yeoh from the tip of her sword and zooms into a close up of her stern, ruthless face. She glances up towards the sword of the green destiny which Ziyi Zhang is wielding and Lee does well to direct the camera to follow her sight from the blade of the majestic sword(from a low angle shot) to the lesser face of Zhang (at a medium shot). All the while, the music increases in volume, building up the suspense until the drums finally start and move the actresses into fighting, caught on slow motion to add dramatic effect. The scene afterward becomes very fast paced, moving constantly from medium shots to close ups to zoom-ins and zoom-outs. The constant changing of types of shots was a good choice for filming this scene by Lee because it goes well with the equally fast paced fighting and quick thinking of the fighters. If the scene was shot at a static medium shot alone, for example, it would not have done well to get the audience into the action. Lee also uses bird’s eye view shots of the women so that it almost looks as though the women are dancing instead of fighting.
Zhang is nearly slain at first, probably because for a moment she underestimated the skill of Yeoh which is evident in her surprised facial expression. However, she persists and puts up an incredible fight, mostly thanks to the powerful sword she is wielding that, when applied with enough force, destroys any weapon Yeoh uses against her. A canted shot of Yeoh at (2:17) is significant of her desperation against the unstoppable sword when she tries to handle a weapon much too heavy to use. A belittling smile appears on Zhang’s face when she realizes she has already won. But Yeoh, fueled with anger by her facial expression is quick to retaliate and knock Zhang off her feet. A close up shot of Zhang’s shaking yet firm hand on the sword signifies her struggle and stubbornness, and it also shows in her facial expression. The acting in this scene is very fitting for the situation and though there is little dialogue to be heard, the facial expressions and cries of struggle are enough to convey the tension between the women.
DON’T GO FAR OFF, NOT EVEN FOR A DAY
Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.
Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.
Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,
because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?
I have scarcely left you
When you go in me, crystalline,
Or uneasy, wounded by me
Or overwhelmed with love, as
when your eyes
Close upon the gift of life
That without cease I give you.
We have found each other
Thirsty and we have
Drunk up all the water and the
We found each other
And we bit each other
As fire bites,
Leaving wounds in us.
But wait for me,
Keep for me your sweetness.
I will give you too
One week without seeing him is too much. I am so clingy I feel like tearing through my own skin because of how much I just miss him. I miss him so much and not only in the sense of longing to see him in person but I want to feel him so badly right now. I miss the smell of his skin and the texture of his clothes and the sound of his voice and the warmth of his breath and the look in his eyes. Sometimes I can’t believe how crazy I get over this one person, one human being.
Sometimes I feel so consumed in this love that it makes the distance that much harder to bear.
I just need to be near him, that’s all.
How can I ever repay him for all his kindness and affection, all the gifts and understanding words, all the kisses and caresses, the hand holding, the song singing the poem writing the joke making the love making the game playing the wrestling the teasing in movie theaters, restaurants, museums, parks, boats, trains, cars, living room couches, all the traveling to go on a little date with me, all the money used on me, how can I ever repay him for his gorgeous smile with the one canine that’s a little bit out of place that drives me absolutely insane with adoration, those lips so full and red like the clouds over a sunset in Albania, those eyes that radiate kindness and love without ever faltering
You’re rough and then you’re gentle, depending on the wind.
Cold, you get under my skin. You serve the greater good but only at my expense.
Your drops of ice on my hands make them so tense
gripping my umbrella.
But I withstand you, for I look forward to the beautiful greenery that is in your plan.
Three weeks I slept with nothing but the air of your scent surrounding me, dreaming about you half a world away, thinking about the stars and skies we share, missing the feel of your five o’clock shadow on my skin, the moisture of your lips, the rhythm of your voice, the eyes shaded by your brow, your laughter, your thoughts, your love.
I got a hold of her $500 camera and was parading around with it that warm day in October. Walking to DeKalb I entertained myself my taking photos of people around me, and I decided to take one of the group of people you were standing with. Looking back at the picture, you’re the only one looking at me. I did nothing to acknowledge that I took a picture of you and I made it clear that I wasn’t going to show you the picture, nor even stop to say thanks.
I felt angry and disappointed with you. My junior year, a year after I first saw you, your psychology class was right next door to my sociology class and I had to endure feeling minuscule and worthless before your handsome face. I enjoyed your smiles and little waves, though I rarely returned them. I thought you viewed me as a girl who’d pursue you no matter what, but I made sure I wasn’t that kind of girl. I was supposed to capture your heart and let you do the rest, but things didn’t go my way, and I was bitter about it, and your petty acknowledgments were mocking me.
But being the romantic that I am, I wanted to at least know the person you were, hoping that you might turn out to be someone I would’ve been glad to avoid. So I returned your waves and smiles and all was uneventful for a while.
Sometimes I believe in chance. She pointed you out to me in the halls and I was instantly smitten. I wanted to know you, to capture your attention some way. I loved the feeling I felt; you put a challenge before me. I wanted you, but only less than I do now. I remember thinking that I needed to know what you wanted, and I needed to make myself that person, except better. Making people fall for me was like a game, and sometimes I tested myself for the sake of self assurance. But you were a test I couldn’t figure out. I thought I had everything laid out for us, that I could snatch your heart in an instant with the prefect glance. But I was wrong. You were too shy and I was too upfront with my intentions. You broke my heart without my even knowing you.
When we reminisce about this time, you always get upset because of the missed opportunity. It took you exactly one year to summon up some courage to talk to me. This precise time always interests me, no matter how much you hate talking about it. I love hearing how often I crossed your mind in regret, how all that time I thought I’d been rejected, it was only actually a much needed period of maturation and learning for the both us.
For during this time period we dated other people and we each had horrible experiences that lowered our standards and expectations dramatically, though we didn’t realize it then.
I always knew I had so much love in me that I longed to share with someone, but no one seemed deserving enough, at least not until we gave each other a chance.And that’s exactly the part you hate so much; one year together in our already short lives had gone to waste. But I don’t look at it that way, because during that one year we got a taste of the loveless.