What the journey does to the characters

They don't make movie posters like this anymore.

I’m currently engrossed in my three full-term summer classes, with my favourite being the Murder Mysteries one. I’ve found myself often asking this last month how this is a 4000-level class and not merely a book club; I think the only difference is the essay tests and the paper that’s due! Yours truly made a perfect 100 on the first essay test, so I’m fired up to start shortly on my paper, which will be a compare/contrast between Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express & Death on the Nile, both the books and the film versions. I’ve set myself up to make it interesting, b/c we read Murder first and watched the movie immediately afterwards in class, and I’m doing the opposite for Death (watched the film on Netflix and beginning to read it now). It’s hard to beat Bette Davis’ acting, even at its most over-the-topness, so at this point I like the book version of MotOE better, and the film version of DotN more. But we’ll see how it ends up once the paper’s done.

One of the other authors I’ve been introduced to in this same class is Raymond Chandler, author of many murder mysteries, of which his most famous is probably The Big Sleep. We read Farewell, My Lovely and I was immediately taken in by his writing style and the effortlessness with which he creates his characters and scenarios. Coincidentally, Interview mag just did a piece on Bret Easton Ellis, author of Less Than Zero & American Psycho, among other works. He slipped in a comment about Mr. Chandler that really hit home for me, regarding life in general:

But the mystery itself doesn’t matter. You know, the answers don’t matter in the end of a Raymond Chandler novel. What’s so interesting isn’t who did it and how. It’s more the mood it creates and what the journey does to the characters, which is very compelling.

I myself have never read any Ellis, though American Psycho is one of my favourite films, mainly because of the nuanced acting throughout (the story is clearly very gritty and bloody). But this quote from him, which he was using while discussing his new book Imperial Bedrooms, not only piqued my interest because of my newfound love of Chandler, but because it’s a gentle reminder–to me at least–that life’s not about the destination, but the journey.

I’ve been privately stressing lately about college finally coming to an end. No one could’ve convinced me that I’d be so un-enthused about approaching my last semester after all these years! It’s not the graduating or the end of classes that scares me, of course: it’s what comes after it. And I’m definitely not afraid of work, but I’m afraid of landing (or, more than likely, not) that *perfect* job. Then I realize that it’s not about that; it’s about getting experience and rolling with it, trusting that God will lead me on the path He wants me to be on. I’ve even just realized in the last year how much more drawn to the arts I am than I ever gave myself credit for, so perhaps that’s a direction I could go that I’ve never seriously considered. The bottom line is that it’s not worth stressing over, especially not to the point that I can’t even fully enjoy my last 1.5 semesters of school.

So here’s me, giving it (the stress) all to God, and ending this meandering blog so I can actually get some cramming done for this science test tomorrow. Hope everyone has a fantastic July 4th, and a happy new fiscal year to all those in the biz world!


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