by Guest blogger Kate Gallison
The women in my book group were yakking about a book the other night, as is our habit, and one of us remarked that the book in question was entertaining but not deep.
Naturally, since everything is about me, I wandered off into a reflection on whether or not my own work had any depth to it. Entertaining? Yes. Deep? Probably not so much. In fact, I'm not sure I would even know depth if I encountered it. I know beautiful writing when I see it, as well as vivid characters, well-crafted dialog, and clever plotting. But, depth? What is that?
In this I'm not very different from the protagonist of my early movie stories. Emily Daggett Weiss has the defects of her qualities, as they used to say in the olden days. She is a gifted visual artist, working in moving pictures. Her eye is for the surface of things. A young beauty herself, she sees and appreciates physical beauty. As a film director, like Alice Guy Blaché, like D. W. Griffith, she can put together a ravishing series of images gorgeous enough to carry an audience away.
But a movie is a two-dimensional illusion. So is Hollywood itself, in many respects. Although Emily is perfectly at home in the glossy world of Hollywood culture, where appearances seem to be everything, she's almost blind to the under-the-surface complexities of human nature.
She married Adam Weiss, a stunningly handsome man, for his beauty. In the course of time he proved to be a skunk, as anyone could have told her. At last he ran off with another woman, sending Emily a telegram to announce that they were "deeply in love."
Well, that's Hollywood for you. But it ain't deep. Do you know any deep books? What are they? Tell me, that I may read and learn.
Kate has three grown sons and a bachelor's degree from Thomas Edison College. She lives in Lambertville, New Jersey, with her librarian husband and their cat. There she divides her time among her family, her writing, and various civic pursuits. She is a member of the Author's Guild, the MWA, Sisters in Crime, and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. She is descended from a convicted Salem witch.