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Mistress Marilyn's POV
No shit, Tempus Fugit!
Melvin Purvis, Tortured Hero~ 
11th-Sep-2009 12:13 pm
I actually cried a little today when I read the end of 'Vendetta,' Alston Purvis' story of the life of his father, Melvin Purvis. Even if Purvis hadn't lived in such remarkable times and been involved in such amazing historic events, the story of his fractured family was captivating (although it was not the focus of the book, by any means).

The real focus of the book is the relationship between Purvis and J. Edgar Hoover. The epilogue did the most to explain the lurid title, the decision to make the book center around Hoover's animus and active campaign against Purvis, even 25 years after the agent left the Bureau. Doris Rogers, Purvis' secretary in the 30s, was one of the important contributors to the book; and in the epilogue Alston explains that she told him--exhorted him--to make the book "angry"--as angry as she was, even at 90 years of age, at the treatment of her boss, Melvin Purvis.

I got the new edition of the book (done for the release of 'Public Enemies' with a quote from Christian Bale on the cover), but the original was even more lurid. Go under the cut for the cover photo and the quote.

Christian's quote:
"This book never left my side throughout the filming of Public Enemies. Melvin spoke to me through its pages. Alston has done us, and his father, a great service in recording Melvin Purvis' dynamic and tragic life here."

It really is a well-written book, no doubt thanks in part to Alex Treswiowski, the co-author. Yes, it's too personal, too analytical and too preachy from time to time, but overall I found it fascinating, enlightening and even heart-breaking.

And, it's GREAT background for fanfic. Now's the dilemma . . . can I stomach messing further with the life of a man who's already been misunderstood and fictionalized, even in government files, by writing slash fiction about him . . . especially slash fiction about the very relationship that, for all intents and purposes, finally destroyed him?

Hmmm . . . drum roll . . . uh, yes. I can. After all, it's the Bale character I'm borrowing, not the actual man.

I'll be sure to put an added disclaimer in my template.

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11th-Sep-2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
how interesting!

12th-Sep-2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Be sure to read my comment to this entry, Theresa...

12th-Sep-2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading, dearest!
12th-Sep-2009 02:35 am (UTC)
Hmmm . . . drum roll . . . uh, yes. I can.

This made me laugh out loud -- with joy. I ♥ you. I really do.

By the way, I can't WAIT to read this book! It sounds fabulous to me. I'm entirely fascinated by Melvin Purvis.

We're so lucky that we've spent a life getting interested in people from seeing movies and/or TV shows! Look how much research we've done over the years... (I remember a long day spent in the library finding books after seeing "The Bounty" back in the 80's. But I digress...)

Seeing you choked up today moved me. I also love the power of books to reach us deeply.

Have I mentioned how glad I am to see you back here at LJ? Damn, I missed you!

12th-Sep-2009 05:10 am (UTC)
If writing slash fiction about real people, alive or dead, sends me to hell, I'll no doubt be seeing folks like Dillinger and Purvis there.

So bring it!
12th-Sep-2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
I know I have missed her here too :)

I love that the two of you actually are smart, witty, read etc :)

12th-Sep-2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
14th-Sep-2009 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm so glad she's back too.

Here it is for the first time in months I'm not here and then everything is rolling again. Movement is good.

I didn't know she would break through the barrier she had for posting, so effectively, lol.

I agree how wonderful it is to find new interests by watching movies and reading books. Then on the plus side you actually learn things. Sometimes I can really get into research.
14th-Sep-2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
It's feast or famine with me. I stay off for weeks, then I'm obsessed.

When I go back to work tomorrow, I hope it doesn't all just fade away. It seems hard to reconcile the concentration on work and blogging/fandom.

I LOVE RESEARCH! I'm getting so I like the research part better than the writing part. Yikes. If I could just stick to one subject, I could really be an expert on something. I seem to prefer knowing a little about a lot of things, rather than a lot about one or two.
12th-Sep-2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
LOL was just back here on my friends page to check on a gal that is needing some clothes help ..

and it caught my eye that your current music was

Charlie cursing at Zuma


12th-Sep-2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you noticed! (I don't think Charlie did.)
13th-Sep-2009 09:00 am (UTC)
No, guys, I didn't notice! Funny! (grin)

You kill me, M.
12th-Sep-2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
It's like the Stalinist regime: wiping out Melvin from the official files of the FBI and trying to wipe him out of history.

I love the thought of Doris Rogers still furious even at age 90! She and Mel really did seem to have a good relationship in the movie.

I'll admit that this is the first fandom I've ever been in that's close to RPS, and I get around it by envisioning the characters I'm writing about as characters from the movie instead of RL people. I'm sprinkling in the RL facts when I want to, but it's like when I use JFK or some other RL figure in my fics...it's pretty much all fictional! That's all! :)

I love books that move me to strong reactions. I know the movie has gotten me more than a little teary-eyed by the end (is a sap).
14th-Sep-2009 12:57 am (UTC)
We had a great conversation yesterday on our way to the beach about how successful powerful forces, individuals or institutions have been in re-writing history. You see so much of this in religion and in war.

It's amazing that Hoover has been so successful to this day in smearing Purvis, despite living witnesses, newspaper accounts and motivated friends or family (like Alston). I just read another on line account today of how incompetent he was, saying he was 'in the right place at the right time' to get Dillinger.

Hey, I'm not saying Purvis was perfect. He made plenty of mistakes, just like everyone else did (and does). But let's face it. He couldn't have accomplished what he did if he hadn't had a lot going for him.

And yet a man who now inspires mostly contempt (Hoover) can still affect people's opinions of Purvis. It's outrageous.

And sad.
14th-Sep-2009 01:13 am (UTC)
It's infuriating! And of course most people don't care enough to research the truth, or just want to believe what's spooned out.

And I hear you about Purvis not being perfect, but he had to have something on the ball to be so successful.

The film showed him making mistakes but he had the right ideas. He just didn't have the right men to pull it off until he got the ex-Rangers.

The writing of history fascinates me. If you went to North Korea, for instance, you wouldn't recognize the account they have of the Korean War, and the viewpoints of World War II are very different in Germany and Japan, I'm sure.

The Internet gives me different POV, allowing me to see what other people in other countries think about things, and how they see America. Happily there is luv out there for Americans! LOL! But the media here is very U.S.-centric because they believe that Americans don't care about anything outside their borders. Yeesh.

And I do like the story of Public Enemies being very much an American story: the music, the New Deal/Great Depression backdrop, the uniqueness of the American gangster.

Eep! I'll stop prattling now. ;)
14th-Sep-2009 02:43 am (UTC)
I love that you love books.
14th-Sep-2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
I wish I read more. Charlie goes through books like a knife through warm butter. I can hardly start, much less finish (which is why it's such a big deal when I actually do).

I just wish there were more time, period. There's so much I want to read, so much I want to write, so much I want to do. It overwhelms me, so I end up doing none of it, just playing computer games in my spare time.
23rd-Jul-2011 05:23 pm (UTC) - Please DO!
HI!, and yes It would be greate to read some slash fiction with the Bale character of course, cheers!
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