Re: Our hearty congratulations to Tyson Homosexual

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This could do a lot for gay rights, though, especially in combatting the stereotype that male homosexuals are bad at sports. Now all we need is an ultimate fighter named "Gay".


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:24 AM
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Poor form, Labs.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:27 AM
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i wonder sometimes what it would be like, great or scandalous, if the Olympics would again start to be performed in nude like in ancient Greece


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:28 AM
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What amazes me is that this got all the juvenile hype, yet no one else has pointed out the second place finisher: Walter Dix.

I cannot be the only person who saw Gay and Dix in the lineup and went "please, first and second, first and second, c'mon!". And given how Dix is progressing and that he's only 22 (Tyson Gay is 25), we should should be seeing a lot more Gay Dix in track and field's future.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:28 AM
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Homosexuallord Perry was baseball player who pitched over 300 wins in the Major Leagues. It is notable that he never played catcher.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:29 AM
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3: the male athletes would never go for it. Testicular shrinkage, displayed for all to see!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:30 AM
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This is just another part of the global movement to turn all real world headlines into Onion headlines.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:30 AM
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I wonder if Randall Homosexual goes by Randy Homosexual when he's not playing football?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:31 AM
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3: I know they'd gain me as a viewer. But only if the athletes slathered themselves in olive oil first.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:31 AM
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6- Big head, tiny t's. Yup, definitely juiced.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:31 AM
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Neuticles, Sifu.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:33 AM
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Sorry Apo!!

Wow. A Gay-Dix rivalry. In which they might go head to head. God is good.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:35 AM
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It's a shame that Ben Gay never caught on in the NFL.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:44 AM
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7 is damn funny.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:46 AM
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|| As long as we're on the Onion, this video is pretty damn funny.

Sorry -- can't resist the Onion linkage, although I realize it could go on all day. ||>


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:00 PM
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15: "Obviously these children are afraid children's healthcare is the first step down a slippery slope to socialized medicine. Its a personal issue and a moral issue for them."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:18 PM
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A part of my job is to do this sort of web-filtering but none of our clients, not even the most conservative, want to do actual by-the-word substitutions. The article probably explains some idiotic point they're trying to make, some "that word meant a good thing until you people came along" bullshit, but you see I cannot view sites that Websense has categorized as "Advocacy Groups."


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:32 PM
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Another quiet week in Lake Wobegon:

Wolves trade Mayo to Memphis for Love

"Minnesota Timberwolves fans went to bed wondering how O.J. Mayo would fit in with their guard-heavy team."

"Memphis Grizzlies backers hit the hay hoping that Kevin Love would open things up for Rudy Homosexual in the frontcourt."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:35 PM
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Wiki:

The son of Karen Love and 1970s NBA forward Stan Love....[who is] is the brother of Beach Boys' singer Mike Love, and the first cousin of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, the late Carl Wilson, and the late Dennis Wilson.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:39 PM
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Bleg part two! If any of you are still willing to feed me examples of twist endings, after all your generosity yesterday, today I am looking for examples of the following type:

In these stories, the revelation is that SURPRISE! some particular event that you saw or heard about in detail earlier was not what it appeared to be. The big reveal in The Usual Suspects (not the revelation about anyone's identity, but the slo-mo aha moment) is an example of this kind of twist. Pretty much any story where there is a con that also cons the audience probably falls into this category too. To qualify, this revelation must be a genuine surprise in the story, and you must be able to look back and say, "ohhh, yes, it's true, everything I saw/was told is consistent with this new explanation of what was really happening." And the primary thing that you are inspired to re-evaluate must be the true nature of some event, particularly.

I imagine you find more of these in film than in prose, but I'd love to have at least some examples from books.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:48 PM
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20: Half of David Mamet's films?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:54 PM
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20: Apartment Zero, Psycho (well, a lot of Hitchcock does this)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:54 PM
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This is for a class, isn't it rfts? Do your own homework.

Actually, I'm having trouble thinking of a twist movie that doesn't fit your description.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:54 PM
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Books: Gass's The Tunnel, Welsh's Marabou Stork Nightmares


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:55 PM
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Oh! Wieland! And Edgar Huntly! Pretty much any of CBB's.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:56 PM
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23: I know you're teasing, but actually, I'm writing an article on how some narrative surprises work their magic in part by virtue of exploiting certain cognitive biases. But recently I've been struck by the fact that I just didn't have enough examples, or different enough examples, to satisfy myself. The argument doesn't actually rest on having lots of illustrative examples, but the paper will be much more aesthetically pleasing and satisfying if the examples are nice and varied. And now I've also just become acquisitive, and want to compile a nice fat list for the sake of itself.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:00 PM
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I guess pretty much all gothic novels do that, rfts, but CBB's are especially trippy and fucked-up about the aha moments because the narrators often don't ever acknowledge the discovery that the reader is allowed make, and then the book goes on to show how the narrator's failure to react to the evidence plays out. It makes for a very messy feeling.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:00 PM
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I know you're teasing, but actually, I'm writing an article on how some narrative surprises work their magic in part by virtue of exploiting certain cognitive biases.

AHA! I knew it all along!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:01 PM
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The Sixth Sense (especially all the scenes where B Willis's ex is giving him the total-freeze-out).


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:01 PM
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Actually, I'm having trouble thinking of a twist movie that doesn't fit your description.

A lot of them work that way sort of incidentally -- surprise! IT WAS EARTH ALL ALONG! and yes, that means you need to reinterpret the significance or shape of some events you saw earlier. But the big revelation itself isn't necessarily keyed to a surprise about what the nature of some apparent event actually was.

Also, of course, sometimes those revelations are so tame that they don't really feel like a noteworthy twist. Oh, you thought that you were seeing our hero die, but that was just his *car* burning up. He had escaped moments before. But, you know, you saw what seemed to be a car exploding, and that's what it was, all right.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:05 PM
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Lolita is a good one for that, too. I was just teaching it and all my students were really frustrated by the line where Humbert claims that the astute reader will have pieced together the clues that he himself did not that point to the abductor of Lolita, because they didn't get it. Then, when he says the name, everyone was all, "Oh shit! HE WAS THERE ALL ALONG!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:06 PM
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Vertigo isn't a conventional twist movie, since the surprise is revealed in the middle, but it's such a profound take on falsehood and revelation. The movie actually ends up being about the "hero's" response to his own deception, and by extension about romantic projection in general. What a great movie that is.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:07 PM
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It's true, this kind of twist is maybe too common to begin to count. But super memorable examples are still great.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:08 PM
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AHA! I knew it all along!

You scamp.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:11 PM
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I was about to say The Sixth Sense too, but it seemed too obvious, and on rereading 26 it seems rfts is looking for movies with one particular twist scene rather than the whole of the movie. That seems weird and arbitrary, but whatever.

How about Memento? The first (last?) scene in the film where the guy with the mustache gets shot looks completely different by the time we get to the end (beginning?) of the movie.

I'd love to have at least some examples from books.

Do comic book retcons count? If so, I can think of two examples off the top of my head in the mid-90s X-Books alone. No, wait, three.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:14 PM
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The final final director's cut of Blade Runner works like this. Scenes are added at the end which make it clear that (SPOILER!) Deckerd is a replicant. If someone were to see it fresh now, they would begin by seeing the replicants and bad guys, come to recognize their humanity, and then see that the viewpoint character is one, too.

The scene this forces you to re-evaluate is a good one, too. You don't re-evaluate anything involving the characters or their relationships. You re-evaluate the clunky "as you know, Bob" exposition of the premise atht the beginning of the movie. Why is the police chief explaining the very basics of a blade runner's job to a blade runner? Because he's fresh from the factory and still needs these things spelled out!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:15 PM
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As has been mentioned a few times recently here, the reveal at the end of Watchmen plays with genre expectations in all sorts of funny ways.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:17 PM
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Another example might be Michael Crichton's Sphere, but I don't remember exactly since it's been so long since I read the book or saw the movie. There was ambiguity about who was making the weird stuff happen, but I don't remember if it hinged on any specific scenes or not.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:19 PM
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That seems weird and arbitrary, but whatever.

It's mainly that I'm trying to flesh out my set of examples with variations that aren't well represented there already.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:19 PM
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And one of the big things is that I have a bazillion examples where the revelation is about *who* someone is, but not many that are purely or primarily about *what* some event was. Nice observation about Blade Runner, there, Rob -- I hadn't thought about that particular re-evaluation. You thought this was an example of author-level crummy writing! But no, it's an example of story-level sensical behavior.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:22 PM
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Identity with John Cusack, but it's absolute crap and should be avoided at all costs.
Both The Prestige and The Illusionist, though the version of events which The Illusionist twist reveals always was, it seemed to me, more obvious than the version which the audience is expected to believe.
Primer!


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:24 PM
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Total Recall?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:25 PM
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i can't recall any movies or books with surprise, forgot, but i recalled a joke
so a chukcha in an expensive fur coat is in the elevator, two robbers come in and demand: - take off your coat
- is it summer already now?


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:27 PM
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Primal Fear was, I think, one of the first great 90's twist movies. So many of its moves have been improved upon later that I think it looks pretty hacky now, but I liked it when it came out.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:29 PM
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In the last episode of Newhart, it turns out it was all a dream. Is that what you're looking for?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:32 PM
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Primal Fear is in fact already on my list! It does seem super hacky in retrospect, but it was a real gotcha for me at the time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:32 PM
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Did they ever actually reveal the nature of the event in 2001? I know they did in 2010, so maybe that's a different category; the nature of an event revealed as different than expectations in the course of a second movie thirty years later?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:33 PM
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perhaps Aura by Fuentes? I struggling to recall the set-up.

Where is that darn Stanley when you need him?!?!?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:33 PM
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St. Elsewhere!!!!

It was all a dream in the autistic kid's mind.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:34 PM
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45 -- Awesome.

What's really scary is that I probably consume at least 2 movies/week and 2-3 novels per month, and have for at least 10 years, but can't come up with any examples or even fully remember the plots of the favorites. I guess I really was just wasting time.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:34 PM
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In the last episode of Newhart, it turns out it was all a dream.

The Wizard of Oz! Lamest twist ever.

It would be interesting to think about what really makes a twist work, how those kinds of surprises succeed and fail dramatically. Perhaps it has something to do with the extent to which the characters have also deceived themselves and this has affected the narrative, as opposed to just the audience being deceived.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:35 PM
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49: hasn't that twist grown to encompass most of television?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:36 PM
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As it happens, the Newhart type of example doesn't help me for this particular project, because there's no point at which the story engages in any kind of misdirection. Since it's entirely a last-minute decision, there's no moment or moments earlier on where the show makes some effort to play fair with the viewer by giving her something that, in retrospect, COULD have been a clue that it was all a dream, if only she had been clever enough to see it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:37 PM
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Actually Futurama has a great extended twist along these lines, set up from the very first episode.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:40 PM
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51: In the book, of course, she's really been gone for months and Em and Henry have built a new house in the meanwhile.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:44 PM
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53: Oh, it kind of worked, in that it got you to respond sincerely.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:46 PM
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53: Oh, it kind of worked, in that it got you to respond sincerely.

It was all a TRAP?!!!!

DUN DUN DUN


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:47 PM
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Ramona is asked to stay well behaved for the present, and we think she's going to get a gift. But it turns out, at the end of the chapter, that present also means now. No present.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:49 PM
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Misled doesn't mean "missled"! It means "misled"! Only Encyclopedia Brown saw that one!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:51 PM
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Actually, what about 12 monkeys? They keep feeding you flashbacks in time, and by the end you have a totally different interpretation of all the flashback scenes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:51 PM
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The fat lady couldn't have gone into the attic, because when the kid from The Bloodhound Gang stepped foot on the ladder, the rung cracked, and he was a skinny little thang.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:52 PM
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What looked like a friendly question turned out at the end to be pulling my chain! In the next episode you will appear to have some innocent question about why my culture is so corrupt.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:53 PM
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60 is earnest.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:53 PM
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There, see? You were fafnir ALL ALONG!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:54 PM
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12 Monkeys is indeed a good example. Chain-pull free!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:54 PM
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That's better.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:55 PM
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There, see? You were fafnir ALL ALONG!

yay


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:56 PM
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The Conversation.

And probably a number of Brian DePalma movies, the plot details of which are somewhat scrambled in my head at this point.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:57 PM
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40: Red, I should totally admit that I owe the observation about the "you know bob" scene to one of the Neilson-Haydens. I forget which one. It is on their blog.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 1:59 PM
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As has been mentioned a few times recently here, the reveal at the end of Watchmen plays with genre expectations in all sorts of funny ways.

I mentioned this yesterday. Woo Alan Moore.

Rfts, I'm not sure I mentioned this when you were quizzing me about the plot twist in Pop. 1280, but Gene Wolfe's There Are Doors should be on your "Scenario X is Actually Y" list. (Also "The Fourth Point of the Compass", yo!)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:02 PM
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65: See I gave you all of those as bad examples of what you wanted yesterday and now this pushy heebster is getting them. wah! wah! wah!

When Yosarian realizes that Orr has rowed to Sweden in Catch-22 forces reinterpretation of the interplay between Yossarian and Orr after Orr kept ditching his plane in the water which led Yossarian to request to notfly with him.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:02 PM
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Not to worry. It's originally from the "Turkey City Lexicon." (Updated later by Bruce Sterling in Interzone, and then Paragons.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:04 PM
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72 to 69.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:04 PM
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I think all of my examples are the wrong sort of twist (or too may twists), but ...
The pregnancy/cancer murder/suicide part of Rebecca. Subelements of Sleuth and Memento. (Twelve Monkeys also came to mind, but it is not played completely fairly.)

And flying right into the teeth of rtfs's "person x is y" prohibition, I will still suggest Body Heat. I fail.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:05 PM
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47: Isn't the end of 2001 clearer in the book, which was written as the screenplay was being written?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:05 PM
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65: See I gave you all of those as bad examples of what you wanted yesterday and now this pushy heebster is getting them. wah! wah! wah!

It's true. I'm a jerk! Plus I hijack the site two whole afternoons in a row. History's greatest monster.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:06 PM
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74: Boy, suddenly heebie doesn't write so good.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:07 PM
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Re: 69 -- OH, I'm dumb, I see what you are saying. Thanks.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:07 PM
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Don't Look Now sort of does this. I don't think you've seen it, so I don't want to spoil it. (It's somewhere between "Scenario X is Scenario Y" and a "Person X is Person Y" rugpull.)

Foucault's Pendulum. House of Leaves, although I didn't much like it as a book.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:08 PM
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It just sounds so much more legitimate when I say it, JP.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:08 PM
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72: I didn't just get the phrase "as you know bob" from making light. The whole observation that in Blade Runner you have to re-evaluate the "as you know bob" scene is theirs.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:08 PM
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Heebie and Stormcrow were both the killer!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:09 PM
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80: Do you know what? You're right!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:09 PM
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What about Atonement? The old "Annie Hall" that was just the way I would have liked it to happen trick.....

And does The Man Who Was Thursday fit here? Especially the part where it seems like the heroes are being chased by a mob of anarchists?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:10 PM
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81: Right, gotcha. Sorry, I'm a bit slow.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:12 PM
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ACD's "The Red-headed league." Any O. Henry bank examiner story-- O. Henry was an actual real life con man who went to jail when he got caught embezzling, and understood pretty well the ways to quickly inspire trust in others. This is a basic element of plenty of mysteries, so maybe not what you're getting at, since wikipedia enumerates the best-known potentially profitable cognitive biases?

How does a successful swindle differ from the case you care about?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:14 PM
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As has been mentioned a few times recently here, the reveal at the end of Watchmen plays with genre expectations in all sorts of funny ways.

Which reveal at the end of Watchmen?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:14 PM
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I hated Atonement so much that I hesitate to give it credit for that one. Okay, sure, the surprise that Person X = Role Y, that's an aboveboard surprise, but the "that was just the way I wish it had happened" trick to me felt like a real failure to set up the surprise in such a way that it could be properly satisfying. But I may just be a big grump.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:15 PM
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One of the major differences, of course, between a regular swindle and a narrative swindle is that at the end of the latter kind, the reader should (ideally) feel like he or she was given a fighting chance not to be swindled. Or, well, it's a touch more complicated than that -- the burden of "a fighting chance" goes farther than what I think we feel is necessary to give narrative surprises credit for playing fair. I don't mean to set you all on a chase for stories that use the cognitive tricks I have in mind, though. I'm just trying to get a (guidedly) varied list of examples of different kinds of narrative revelations that make you realize that you were "tricked" about what was "really" going on before the revelation set you straight.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:22 PM
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Possibly The Third Man, though the event reevaluation comes well before the end (nor is the reevaluated event actually depicted visually in the first place). And maybe An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, which is nothing but one big reevaluated event, but I doubt it counts as sufficiently "fair".


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:23 PM
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Which reveal at the end of Watchmen?

To elide the reveal, I presume everyone is referring to the reason the antagonist feels free to act like a James Bond villain and explain his nefarious plan.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:27 PM
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Carter Beats The Devil has a swindle twist ending.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:29 PM
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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:29 PM
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The Devil's Advocate


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:32 PM
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Not at the end of the movie, but the revelation by the George Clooney character in O Brother Where Art Thou that there is no buried treasure forces a quick reexamination of what has transpired to that point.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:34 PM
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91: I never brought up Watchmen, but I would've thought the "twist in the end of Watchmen" refers to the fate of envelope. Maybe I'm taking "end" too literally.

9 Queens, but I haven't seen it since I saw it in theatres and don't remember it that well.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:35 PM
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91: I was thinking of the whole antarctic scene as a single reveal that simultaneously conforms to genre norms and defies them. Part 1: Here's villains nefarious scheme. Over the top, but within the genre. Part 2: Here's why the villain in purple can reveal the scheme. Ha, didn't expect that! This part goes against genre norms. Part 3: The scheme works. Holy shit, this is way against genre norms. Who's even the villain now?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:35 PM
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The fate of Rorschach's diary is the twist after the twist. Its a twisty comic.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:36 PM
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"It's a swindle . Soylent Green is made out of deception."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:37 PM
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Who's even the villain now?

You, the reader, for rooting for a fascist like Rorschach.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:38 PM
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When Kobe choked in the Finals.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:38 PM
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When Stormcrow killed snarkout.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:39 PM
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How about Fight Club?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:39 PM
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104

100: No fair, the narrative structure tricked me into rooting for Rorschach!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:40 PM
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105

47: Did they ever actually reveal the nature of the event in 2001?

No. Or at least not very clearly. The whole thing was kind of interesting.

Arthur C Clarke wrote a short story called "The Sentinel" which became the basis for the "2001" screenplay which Clarke also wrote and which was used for Kubrick's movie.

When the movie came out Clarke disliked Kubrick's obscure interpretation so much Clarke wrote and published the book "2001 A Space Odyssey" to explain the story more clearly. In this case the book was written after the screenplay which is unusual.

I agreed with Clarke. I thought the movie was too obscure and nearly nobody could decipher what was going on from watching the film without some "helper" text or some other guide.

From an artistic standpoint it was an interesting juxtaposition of the bone-dry, hard-science Clarke with the artsy-fartsy, touchy-feely Kubrick.

I heard that the final third of the movie was great to watch while on acid but I don't know that from personal experience.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:40 PM
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106

When Stormcrow killed snarkout.

This story has no moral / This story has no end / This story only goes to show/ That there ain't no good in men


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:42 PM
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107

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. The movie with Richard Burton. Not sure how closely it follows the book, although it's probably not too far off.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:43 PM
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108

I heard that the final third of the movie was great to watch while on acid

The final third of the movie bears a strong resemblance to what happened to me once when I was on acid.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:46 PM
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109

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

The book is that way too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:46 PM
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110

Huh. I don't see the difference, I guess. Both times that I got conned as a teenager, I knew immediately that greed had made me stupid; I had certainly read a particular narrative uncritically, and felt defeated in a fair game rather than hopelessly stung, as when talking to a mobile phone service provider or getting a cabbie shakedown.

Assuming that one-on-one narratives, even scripted ones, are out-of-bounds, I think clearest examples will come from what gets dismissed as genre fiction. Philip K Dick's successful books, maybe Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone. The reveals are not especially sudden, but both Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House depend on a key relationship being gradually revealed to the reader. Are you only interested in recent fiction with literary ambition?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:48 PM
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rob,

Oops, I hadn't seen 75 when I wrote 105.

Also in 105 it was particularly the freaky ending of "2001" that Clarke disliked but I think some of the other stuff is fairly in the movie is obscure too.

I don't know for sure but I'd guess they didn't focus group movies back then. Either that or Kubrick ignored the results.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:49 PM
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112

Are you only interested in recent fiction with literary ambition?

No.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:53 PM
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113

Who's even the villain now?

The guy who engineered World War III just so he could prove he could stop it, maybe?

I always liked Jim Henley's take on this. Ozymandias's scheme, involving as it does a mass slaughter of human life, can only be justified if it's guaranteed to work; the existence of Rorshach's journal at the end of the book, however, demonstrates that it's not.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 2:56 PM
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Huh. I don't see the difference, I guess. Both times that I got conned as a teenager, I knew immediately that greed had made me stupid; I had certainly read a particular narrative uncritically, and felt defeated in a fair game rather than hopelessly stung, as when talking to a mobile phone service provider or getting a cabbie shakedown.

A one-on-one interaction doesn't fulfill the same niche as a reader reading a text that an author has previously written. (Rfts' work is all about the ways in which these two forms of discourse differ and the ways in which they are the same, and the weirdness that happens when we try to parse them similarly.) When nineteen-year-old me bought some $50 cabinet speakers a catalog claimed were worth $500 for $100, that may be similar to the revelation that it was THE EARTH ALL ALONG, but the con artist is under no obligation to make me feel like all the clues were there had I only the wit to find them, and the fair play aspect is one that I think is critical here.

A really successful example of the rug-pulling novel -- Pale Fire, Foucault's Pendulum, Michael Swanwick's Stations of the Tide -- can practically rub your nose in the fact that the narrative or the characters are deceptive without you cottoning on. A really poor example of the form feels like a Harry Stephen Keeler novel; "An Instance at Owl Creek Bridge" is a great story, but there's no way to look back and say that you should have guessed what was happening.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:03 PM
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When the movie came out Clarke disliked Kubrick's obscure interpretation so much Clarke wrote and published the book "2001 A Space Odyssey" to explain the story more clearly. In this case the book was written after the screenplay which is unusual. I agreed with Clarke.

I might have agreed with Clarke, except that I watched the movie and liked it a whole lot, and then I read the book and it was deadly dull.

And really, you can totally tell what happens at the end of the movie without reading the book: just as the apes were weirdly shocked/inspired/transformed into their next stage of evolution by encountering the alien monolith, the astronaut's encounter with the monolith evolves him, too, by turning him into a cosmic space baby. I didn't really need to read Clarke's anal technical details about wormholes and space stations and Jupiter turning into a sun to see that astronaut + monolith = crazy-cool super space baby. As for the flashy lights and all that, I figured that's the minimum required amount of transitional special effects for showing a guy turning into a super space baby.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:03 PM
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No?
in The moonstone i first thought the indian doctor, then the poor maid, forget what order it was and never the guy himself
but when i read, 12-13 yo perhaps, totally forgot
yeah, that was a good book, delicious
i think i forget all what i read before, not one example i could recall :(
93? or 1793, i recalled i was surprised at the old reactionary saving a child, if it could be counted as a surprise


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:07 PM
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I certainly don't feel the need to read the technical details about Clarke's anus.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:11 PM
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118

117 - It is tiny, like a wormhole


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:11 PM
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I might have agreed with Clarke, except that I watched the movie and liked it a whole lot, and then I read the book and it was deadly dull.

As I said - bone-dry hard-science. I must be more towards the bone-dry end of the spectrum than you are because I liked the book more than the movie but, you know, artistic differences.

I thought Kubrick's omission of the space-baby banishing the orbital nukes to be pretty glaring. That action makes the ending hopeful instead of baffling. At least to me. I really think he should have made that clear.

But Kubrick is a legend and I'm a nobody, so what do I know?


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:12 PM
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And pardon me for gushing but I thought Kubrick's transition from the thrown bone (a primitive tool) to the rotating space station (an advanced tool) to be absolutely brilliant. I'd like to think that was intentional on his part.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:17 PM
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I'd like to think that was intentional on his part.

I think you're pretty safe in thinking that, old bean.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:18 PM
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122

Is Fight Club an example? I'm not sure I understand the criterion. Do you have to be shown the clue of the twist, and then you figure it out, or can you be told?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:28 PM
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123

When it turned out that communism was only a red herring.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:31 PM
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124

Fight Club has a twist of the correct general type, but it's a genre I have plenty of. The scheme works like this:

You read a book or watch a movie and have the impression that things are a certain way, or perhaps you are unsure what the "truth" of the matter is. Meanwhile the author is also laying the necessary groundwork so that later, when you learn what is "really" the case, you will feel that the author played fair. Everything is consistent with the revelatory explanation, you could have even guessed if you had been really on the ball. Then, later on, there is a reveal, which prompts you to re-evaluate what you read or saw before, in light of the new information -- and lo, it all fits!

This is not an unusual set of constraints at all -- it's the way clues are supposed to be handled in classic murder mysteries, for example.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:34 PM
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125

One more - from Vonnegut's Sirens of Titans, the revelation of the entire manipulation of the events comprising the first part of the book by the Tralfamadorian (and taken further by the later revelation of the banality of the message he was carrying).

(And on preview, seems to be pretty much what rtfs is describing in 124.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:37 PM
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Foxytail, will you reveal your project to us? It sounds very interesting.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:45 PM
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127

Surprise reveals?

Watched Once last night. Very Very nice. Would it count? Enough info provided throughout movie to predict the ending.

How 'bout Knocked Up?

Incidentally, Superbad is just sitting there in the On Demand listings, challenging and reproaching me. Like Adam Bede, I am just scared of the committment.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:50 PM
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And pardon me for gushing but I thought Kubrick's transition from the thrown bone (a primitive tool) to the rotating space station (an advanced tool) to be absolutely brilliant. I'd like to think that was intentional on his part.

Not me. I'd like to think of that as a random, happy accident.


Posted by: Grumps | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:53 PM
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129

There's no such thing as intention.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:55 PM
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130

Fuck what did Aristotle say about surprise in drama?
And where did I read that, The Valve?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:55 PM
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131

What do you mean by that, John?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 3:58 PM
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132

Yeah, I would say the last scene in the car in Knocked Up with the easy chemistry, the disappearance of tension, is a reveal.

Most movies, most narratives probably have them.

Uhh, final four words in The Lives of Others


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:03 PM
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131: What do you mean by that, John?

That he is a Cretan.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:06 PM
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A lot of the HP books were about this kind of reveal -- in each book subsequent to the first, you receive information that explains previous events and reverses expectations. E.g., the reveal re: Scabbers in Prisoner of Azkaban, the reveal re: Lily and Snape in Deathly Hallows, &c.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:11 PM
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It's all causes, Wrongshore. We may think that we're "doing" things or "acting" or "having intentions", but it's just causes. We're sort of like pipes through which the causes run.

Never use the word "intention" in the presence of a philosopher or a literary critic. They'll go on and on and bore you to death. No such fucking thing as intention.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:13 PM
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The ending of The Monster At The End Of This Book, when it turns out that [SPOILER ALERT!] the monster at the end of this book was Grover all along.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:14 PM
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The Good Soldier has a bit of that happening, as does The Wasp Factory. That latter is a nice example, come to think of it.

Great Expectations, when the identity of the benefactor is revealed?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:15 PM
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The Wasp Factory

Oh yeah. And Use of Weapons is probably an even better example.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:23 PM
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139

I think the end of Iron Man, when you find out that Tony Stark is Iron Man, is an example. Wait, was that a spoiler?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:24 PM
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Love Iain Banks, especially M-style. Wrongshore, I am all tuckered out right now but will happily share more about my project when I am a little livelier and more articulate.

Thanks again, everyone, for indulging me. I promise not to do it again tomorrow.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:28 PM
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Doesn't every Iain Banks novel fit that?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:32 PM
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I must admit that I forget all of the details of the deceptions and how they unravel, but Tim O'Brien's Tomcat in Love is a pretty good working of the unreliable narrator trope, with the multiple deceptions you would expect and some decent slow reveals (well slow for me*).

Plus the narrator is "Rolvaag Professor in Modern American Lexicology" at the University of Minnesota (at least at the start of the book).

*On maybe my 50th reading of the Winnie-the-Pooh books I ran downstairs and proudly blurted out to my Mother, "I just figured something out! Kanga+Roo=Kangaroo." She chose not to withhold her ridicule.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:33 PM
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Regarding 131 and 129, John, I left something for you in the comments over at Standpipe's blog.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:50 PM
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"There is nothing but the text"

Y'all are being shallow, no offense, in choosing these tricksy novels. Let us take Chinatown. Robert Towne wanted a more upbeat ending, but Polanski chose the downer. Aside from the obvious "reveal" near the end, which is only as important in that the personal corruption mirrors the social/political, would the alternate ending completely change the movie?

Do we, on repeated viewings, see the Nicholson character throughout as a bit of a fool, a Quixotic figure, because of Polanski's ending? For instance is the conversation at the countryclub(Yacht ?) with Houston understood differently the 2nd time through?

I think the last pages of Anna Karenina include a reveal. The ending of any narrative illuminates the narrative in a surprising way.

"Thus let each man's relation be clipped".


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:53 PM
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Fuck

"So may the relation of each man be clipped"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 4:56 PM
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I love stras right now for reminding me of The Monster At The End Of The Book.

I know Mamet was mentioned in general but The Spanish Prisoner was my fave of this genre.

For lowbrow, wasn't that voodoo horror movie starring Kate Hudson in New Orleans like this? Blanking on the name.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 5:36 PM
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redfoxtailshrub, you don't need me to recommend Todorov's book on the fantastic in literature, do you? Because I will!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 6:40 PM
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I'm a little late to the party, but... really? Patton Gay Dix? And the headline writer deserves a medal of their own, too...


Posted by: J-Dub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 7:42 PM
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I think you're pretty safe in thinking that, old bean.

Nice to hear. What I was getting at is that sometimes creative people will admit that viewers find things in their art that the artist didn't intentionally put there. Maybe they did it subconsciously if you believe in that kind of thing.

And that interaction is cool - and to me it explains why a certain amount of ambiguity in art is OK.

So Kubrick may have been thinking of the tool aspect or he might have been simply thinking of a nice visual transition. Either way I applaud it, fellow bean.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 07- 2-08 10:28 AM
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