Thursday, June 14, 2012

Favorites that I never read/watched again

Can something really be a "favorite" if you don't watch it or read it over and over again? I wonder. I got to thinking of Madame Bovary the other day. It's technically one of my most favorite books ever. However. I have only read it once, or possibly twice. If it was twice, it was in quick succession after the first time. In any case, that was almost 14 years ago, and I haven't read it again since. So can it still be a favorite? I think so. Though I think I should read it again to re-evaluate its position on my favorites list.

Or how about, say, Life is Beautiful. I braved the crowds at the BYU International Cinema to see this movie sometime in 1999ish. And I loved it. I remember it really well, I laugh at the memory of some scenes, and I tear up at the thought of others. And yet I haven't made a point of watching it ever again. So did I really love it, or maybe just kind of like it?

Do you have any books or movies like this, that you thought you loved but that you don't care to read/watch again? It seems that the habit of repeat readings/viewings sets certain books and movies in a higher (or maybe just different) category than those that we merely really like, or really enjoy.


Liz Johnson said...

I think there are movies/books/stories/etc. that affect us in a certain way, or change us, and that makes us love it. But you don't necessarily need to repeat the experience, because it's effect has already been felt. Does that make sense? I had this experience with "Schindler's List." I LOVED the movie - I thought it was brilliantly done, and heart-wrenching, and terrible, and it changed the way I see the world. But I never want to see it again, because it was such a difficult film to watch.

That said, I own "Life is Beautiful" and have re-watched it 3 or 4 times. But I think it might be my favorite movie ever. That and "Zoolander." I'm a classy person.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Yes, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. I read it as an assignment in my Western American Lit class at BYU, taught by Neal Lambert. A potent and powerful story, over the years I thought about it often and still felt the emotions it evoked. 25 years later I reread it and found my opinions about some of the characters had flip-flopped. Maturity will do that to you . . .

Others I've read only once or twice and still reflect on: To Kill A Mockingbird; Twenty Years a Growin'; Icon of Spring; Bleak House; Cry, the Beloved Country; Sometimes a Great Notion. This last one I first read in 1972 and reread 40 years later (2012!). Painful and sad still.

When a book or movie engenders a deep/emotional/life-changing effect, we don't necessarily need or want to repeat that experience often.

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

This will tell you how nerdy I am, but The Red Shift was a book that changed my views on science, the cosmos, God and my understanding of creation. I still have the copy I read in 9th grade because I convinced the librarian to let me keep it, I had written all over the pages, and buy a new one for the school.

The book is still sitting on my shelf with my other philosophy, intellectual kinds of books. When I was on bedrest before the twin's were born I reread it because I was desperately rereading things I loved because I was fighting boredom. In some ways the second read was slightly disappointing. By the fourth chapter I realized why I was feeling that way; my life held so many shades of this book in my understanding of my life and the universe, that it was kind of like going back and reading a book on the scientific method. I know and accept the scientific method, and I really haven't read anything explaining it since middle school, but I haven't needed to. I know it, I use it, it is part of who I am.

Amanda said...

Liz wrote exactly what I was thinking.

Bridget said...

Liz, that reminds me of United 93. Great movie...but I will probably never watch it again. Do they even sell movies like that on DVD?

Teresa Jane said...

Life is Beautiful IS as good, if not better, than you remember. It makes me laugh and cry. I own it... so we can watch it sometime this summer! I simply cannot wait until you come!


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