Jan 23, 2012

RhoDeo 1204 AC Clark

Hello, hope you'll had a good weekend but likely you've come across a lot of anger and frustration over the taking out of Megaupload without any legal notice or verdict, and if I were a New Zea-lander i would be deeply ashamed of my groveling government. Earlier i came across Filesonic shutting down pre-emptivly, cowardly perhaps, but it seems the rule of law no longer applies for US government(corporate fascists) and being threatened with ruin and decades of jail sentences for running a filehoster in the western (New World Order) world makes the owners fearful. Meanwhile i still am unable to upload to multi upload you'll have to make do with Mediafire today.

The story behind one of the most famous films of the last century 2001: A Space Odyssey how a sci-fi writer and a filmdirector knocked out this great story- check Clarks diary entries, the man himself reads the final book chapters for you to enjoy.

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About Arthur C. Clarke and 2001:

Arthur C. Clarke was born in England. His prime interest was : Science. He became the Chairman of the renowned British Interplanetary Society, when to confess to an interest in space was to admit to some kind of advanced lunacy. He began to write for British and American magazines, and his first book was one of the masterpieces of imaginative science fiction, Against the Fall of Night, later re-written as The City and the Stars. Another early book of non-fiction was The Exploration of Space which was offered by the Book-of-the-Month Club in 1952.

By this late date it is doubtful if even Arthur knows how many books in how many languages are to his credit. To mention only a few: Childhood's End, Rendevous with Rama, and the recently published Imperial Earth (1976, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). But it is perhaps as author of the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey and co-author with Stanley Kubrick of the screenplay of that memorable film that he is best known.

The film "2001: A Space Odyssey" is by considered judgement one of the three or four most memorable films that this era has produced. It owes as much to the flaming Clarke imagination and mystique as it does to the Kubrick passion for poetry and perfection in detailed design. It was an author and director truly well met.

So how did it come about ?


May 28, 1964. Suggested to Stanley that "they" might be machines who regard organic life as a hideous disease. Stanley thinks this is cute and feels we've got something.

June 20. Finished the opening chapter, "View from the Year 2000," and started on the robot sequence.

July 2-8. Averaging one or two thousand words a day. Stanley reads first five chapters and says "We've got a best seller here."

July 9. Spent much of afternoon teaching Stanley how to use the slide rule - he's fascinated.

July 11. Joined Stanley to discuss plot development, but spent almost all the time arguing about Cantor's Theory of Transfinite Groups. Stanley tries to refute the "part equals the whole" paradox by arguing that a perfect square is not necessarily identical with the integer of the same value. I decide that he is a latent mathematical genius.

July 12. Now have everything - except the plot.

July 13. Got to work again on the novel and made good progress despite the distraction of the Republican Convention.

July 26. Stanley's birthday. Went to the Village and found a card showing the earth coming apart at the seams and bearing the inscription: "How can you have a Happy Birthday when the whole world may blow up any minute?"

July 28. Stanley: "What we want is a smashing theme of mythic grandeur."

August 6. Stanley suggests that we make the computer female and call her Athena.

August 17. We've also got the name of our hero at last - Alex Bowman. Hurrah!

August 19. Writing all day. Two thousand words exploring Jupiter's satellites. Dull work.

September 8. Upset stomach last night. Dreamed I was a robot being rebuilt. In a great burst of energy managed to redo two chapters. Took them to Stanley, who was very pleased and cooked me a fine steak, remarking: "Joe Levine doesn't do this for his writers."

September 29. Dreamed that shooting had started. Lots of actors standing around, but I still didn't know the story line.

December 10. Stanley calls after screening H.G. Wells' Things to Come, and says he'll never see another movie I recommend.

December 25. Stanley delighted with the last chapters, and convinced that we've extended the range of science fiction.

February 9, 1965. Caught Dali on TV, painting in a Fifth Avenue store window to promote Fantastic Voyage. Reported this to Stanley, who replied: "Don't worry - we've already reserved a window for you."

March 8. Fighting hard to stop Stan from bringing Dr. Poole back from the dead. I'm afraid his obsession with immortality has overcome his artistic instincts.

April 12. Much excitement when Stanley phones to say that the Russians claim to have detected radio signals from space. Rang Walter Sullivan at the New York Times and got the real story - merely fluctuations in Quasar CTA 102.

April 19. Went up to the office with about three thousand words Stanley hasn't read. The place is really humming now - about ten people working there, including two production staff from England. The walls are getting covered with impressive pictures and I already feel quite a minor cog in the works.

August 25. Suddenly realized how the novel should end, with Bowman standing beside the alien ship.

October 1. Stanley phoned with another ending. I find I left his treatment at his house last night - unconscious objection?

October 3. Stanley on phone, worried about ending ... gave him my latest ideas, and one of them suddenly clicked - Bowman will regress to infancy and we'll see him at the end as a baby in orbit. Stanley called again later, still very enthusiastic. Hope this isn't a false optimism: I feel cautiously encouraged myself.

October 5. Back to brood over the novel. Suddenly (I think!) found a logical reason why Bowman should appear at the end as a baby. It's his image of himself at this stage of his development. And perhaps the Cosmic Consciousness has a sense of humor. Phoned these ideas to Stan, who wasn't too impressed, but I'm happy now.

October 15. Stan has decided to kill off all the crew of Discovery and leave Bowman only. Drastic, but it seems right. After all, Odysseus was the sole survivor....

December 29, 1965. The TMA 1 set is huge - the stage is the second largest in Europe, and very impressive. A 150 x 50 x 20-foot hole, with equipment scattered around it. (E.g. neat little electric-powered excavator, bulldozers, etc. which could really work on the Moon!) About a hundred technicians were milling around. I spent some time with Stanley, reworking the script -- in fact we continued through lunch together. I also met the actors, and felt quite the proper expert when they started asking me astronomical questions. I stayed until 4 p.m. -- no actual shooting by then, but they were getting near it. The spacesuits, back-packs, etc. are beautifully done, and TMA 1 is quite impressive -- though someone had smeared the black finish and Stanley went on a rampage when I pointed it out to him.

January 7, 1966. Realized last night that the Star Gate had to be lapetus with its six-to-one brightness ratio. Got off a memo to Stan about that.

January 8. Record day -- three thousand words, including some of the most exciting in the book. I got quite scared when the computer started going nuts, being alone in the house with my electric typewriter....

January 14. Completed the Inferno chapter and have got Bowman into the hotel room. Now to get him out of it.

January 16. Long talk with Stan and managed to resolve most of the outstanding plot points. Got straight to work and by the time I staggered to bed stupefied had at last almost completed the first draft of the final sequence. Now I really feel the end's in sight -- but I've felt that twice before.

January 17. About midday got a first draft of the last chapters completed. Have had a headache ever since and my brain's still spinning around. Too exhausted to feel much pleasure -- only relief. Trying to unwind all day; luckily I'm off to the studio tomorrow, which will be a break.

February 4. Saw a screening of a demonstration film in which Stan has spliced together a few scenes to give the studio heads some idea of what's going on. He'd used Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream for the weightless scenes, and Vaughan Williams' Antarctica Symphony for the lunar sequence and the Star Gate special effects, with stunning results. I reeled out convinced that we have a masterpiece on our hands -- if Stan can keep it up.

May 29. Soviet Air Attache visited set. He looked at all the little instruction plaques on the spaceship panels and said, with a straight face, "You realize of course, that these should all be in Russian."

July 19. Almost all memory of the weeks of work at the Hotel Chelsea seems to have been obliterated, and there are versions of the book that I can hardly remember. I've lost count (fortunately) of the revisions and blind alleys. It's all rather depressing -- I only hope the ultimate result is worth it.

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Arthur C. Clarke reads 2001: A Space Odyssey (ogg 68mb)

01 The Moons Of Saturn (15:00)
The Sentinel
Into The Eye
02 Through The Star Gate (12:43)
Grand Central
The Alien Sky (Beginning)
03 Through The Star Gate (30:10)
The Alien Sky (Conclusion)

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Anonymous said...

Hi, quite agree about this loss of expressive freedom in the face of money grubbing. Hope you keep the faith, some of us enjoy artistic freedom. Thanks for what you are doing !!!!


Steinlager Lout said...

Well at least we are still Nuclear Free!