fiction files redux discussion

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message 1: by Ben, uneasy in a position of power; a yorkshire pudding (new)

Ben Loory | 241 comments Mod
"The world is a stage, so rob it."

-- Jesse James



i heard this somewhere but i don't know where and i can't find it. i can't imagine jesse james was actually as funny and well-read as that makes him sound, so it is probably from somewhere or something else. like, for instance, young guns or something even more embarrassing. in any case, i can't track it down, so if anyone has any ideas, or any ideas for where or how to start looking, please let me know. thanks.


message 2: by Martyn (new)

Martyn | 299 comments you sure you didn't dream it?


message 3: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
is it from the Ron Hansen book (and/or subsequent interminable film)?


message 4: by Ben, uneasy in a position of power; a yorkshire pudding (new)

Ben Loory | 241 comments Mod
i neither read that book nor saw the movie... though i want to do both... maybe i did dream it, i don't know... the thing is, it's the attribution to jesse james that's the punchline, so it has to have been written down like that somewhere... as a joke. very confusing...


message 5: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
I've heard that's a really good book. We're talking about that assassination by the coward... oh, crap I can't remember ... wait, hold on! look at that search function!

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford? Right?


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Ben wrote: "i neither read that book nor saw the movie... though i want to do both... maybe i did dream it, i don't know... the thing is, it's the attribution to jesse james that's the punchline, so it has to ..."

I've seen it on a few websites and blogs, sometimes closer to the Shakespearean quote by starting "All the world's a stage ..." But no one gives an original source.

Incidentally, at no time did Jesse James ever mumble "To flee or not to flee, that is the question," so don't any of y'all start up with that nonsense!








message 7: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 887 comments Mod
I can tell you for sure it's not from Young Guns. I know this because when I was twelve I was obsessed with Kiefer Sutherland to the point that I watched that movie on a nonstop loop and Jesse James isn't even a character in it.

:)


message 8: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "Incidentally, at no time did Jesse James ever mumble "To flee or not to flee, that is the question," so don't any of y'all start up with that nonsense!"

this doesn't help ben but i couldn't resist the connection to adrian's comment -- from the dictionary i was working on last year. ben: is it a quote from one of the other western movies you saw in the last year? appaloosa? :)




message 9: by Greg (new)

Greg Downs I haven't seen the movie, though I don't doubt it's a mess. The book is really good. Not a life changer but a really well done novel. Ron Hansen is one of those writers who usually gets left out of discussions he should be a part of.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Maureen wrote:




You shameless thread-stealer! What the hell kind of a tease is this? You know how I feel about giant monsters.

Send me the next page of this item, so I can see if the monsters get the kids. (Probably not. Just another tease.)





message 11: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
Greg wrote: "I haven't seen the movie, though I don't doubt it's a mess. The book is really good. Not a life changer but a really well done novel. Ron Hansen is one of those writers who usually gets left out..."

when I was going thru my middle brow western phase (True Grit, Little Big Man, Welcome to Hardtimes, Deadwood, Smonk) I started this book and it just didnt catch fire for me - the fault was mine and I plan on giving it another shot


message 12: by Greg (new)

Greg Downs Nebraska, his collection of stories, is even better, if you get interested in Hansen. Nebraska is up there with Larry Woiwode's early stories and Jim Heynan's One-Room Schoolhouse for Great Plains fiction.


message 13: by Neil (new)

Neil McCrea | 204 comments Jesse James might have been funnier and more well read than you suppose. There is an amazing museum in Cody, Wyoming (the name of which escapes me) that has a gargantuan collection of primary source material from many of the major figures of Western lore. They have quite a sizable amount of correspondence to and from Jesse James. I bet you can find an answer to your question on their website. I'd link it for you if I weren't terminally lazy.

On another note, I found the movie of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford to be an understated work of great depth and beauty. The cinematography alone makes the flick a worthwhile rent.

. . . and yay Greg for mentioning Jim Heynan's One Room Schoolhouse, I love love love that book.


message 14: by Greg (new)

Greg Downs James' letters were extremely well written and referenced all kinds of oddities, like famous British outlaws of earlier centuries. They were likely co-written with a helpful editor, but who knows?

The other, more-depressing thing, that comes from reading his letters is the realization--which T J Stiles makes clear in his bio--that James' primary commitment was to the Confederacy. He learned to be an "outlaw" by slaughtering Unionists and ex-slaves during the war, then connected up with a group of ex-Confederates who fled to Mexico after the war in hopes of remaking a slave society there. (James did not go to Mexico with them.) He attacked banks and railroads that were associated with major Union leaders or with Unionist sympathy during the war. And he claimed for himself the title not of outlaw but the last soldier of the Civil War, fighting against the North and against the emancipation of slaves. A Kansas City editor, and former Confederate officer, was his main co-conspirator in this PR campaign, and explicitly tied it to all kinds of other projects to celebrate the Confederacy and denigrate emancipation. James was probably both much smarter and much more despicable than the popular legends suggest.


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