Friday, May 6, 2011

Why “Cloud Atlas?”

Cloud Atlas: A NovelEveryone* asks me, “Why do you use the alias ‘Cloud Atlas?’”

Simple. I am a cartographer of the ephemeral, an intellectual conquistador, vainly attempting to impose order over a fluid terrain...

Just kidding. It's the title of my favorite book of the past decade, and I think it sounds cool.

Now I see that the Wachowski Brothers (famous for The Matrix and, um...Speed Racer) plan to make Cloud Atlas into a movie, which is to say they are endeavoring to diminish its beauty. They've got Tom Hanks to play a part, so that's cool.

According to another article, some other big names are also interested:
Halle Berry is apparently in talks to play Meronym, the main character in the book's post-apocalyptic story, while Natalie Portman is considering the role of Somni 451, a cloned slave.
Not Korean
I'd like to point out that Meronym is *not* the main character of the post-apocalyptic story. And Somni-451 is Korean. The clone part is a bit of a spoiler, which I have just repeated.

Don't know if that's sloppy reporting or sloppy scriptwriting, but those slips are not a great start in terms of respecting the story.

I like Natalie Portman. I mean, who doesn't? But there are more appropriate actors for the part. What's Yunjin Kim (Sun from "Lost") doing these days? I kind of pictured her as Somni when I read the novel. Just sayin'.

Just to clarify: The novel is a series of six interconnected novellas that take place in different eras from the 19th century to the far future. Each is written in the style of a different literary genre. It's quite a feat.

* * *
*No one.

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