Raw, adjective: 4. painfully open, as a sore or wound

I've got Edward Norton on the brain.

Ever since seeing him in The Painted Veil few weeks ago, I can't stop thinking about, well, how GOOD he is. How much I like his body of work. How smart and often provocative his artistic choices are. The fact that he wrote and produced TPV, which is such a fascinating look at a particular moment in Chinese history. (And which, by the way, just won a Golden Globe for Best Score. As I watched, I remember thinking "Damn, this is a great score..." and after picking it up the other day, I was reminded just how gorgeous it is. Definitely check it out if you're looking for some beautiful new piano work - Lang Lang is featured, along with some nice cello action.)

Anyway - point of all this Ed Norton stuff is, between the ubiquitous media coverage and press junkets and whatnot, he keeps popping up in my dreams. As in, say, "Oh, Ed, let's go to the grocery store for some Braeburn apples" or "Ed, remember to put on your helmet before we blast off - and watch out for that six-legged alien to the right!" Yeah. Which ultimately inspired me to pull out my worn copy of Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club, which has for the last five years or so been my regular twice-a-year quickie read - because, yes, it's just that damn good. You've seen the movie, of course - who could forget Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, edgy and smart and vaguely Buddhist and surreptitiously Taoist and mellow and angry and passionate and virile and anti-consumerist and sculpted and....oh, I'm getting off track. Anyway, obviously, duh, you remember a shirtless and bruised Brad Pitt. And Norton was equally excellent in the film. But the novel is really worth your time, if you're looking for a quick and passionate read.

So searching for inspiration this morning in the midst of all my margin-scribbling, I stumbled upon one of my favorite sections. Some of it you'll recognize from being lifted into the film dialogue, but it's pretty perfect here as it is. So, a little blurb for you in case you're feeling in need of a little fire in your belly this cold and dark January day:

The mechanic starts talking and it's pure Tyler Durden.

"I see the strongest and the smartest men who have ever lived, " he says, his face outlined against the stars in the driver's window, "and these men are pumping gas and waiting tables."

The drop of his forehead, his brow, the slope of his nose, his eyelashes and the curve of his eyes, the plastic profile of his mouth, talking, these are all outlined in black against the stars. ....

"You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don't need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don't really need.

We don't have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression." (p. 149)

Hit it up! Really fuckin brilliant.

And PS - here's an article from the other day on Norton and TPV from the Chron.

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