What Makes You Cry

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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OddVincent
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What Makes You Cry

Postby OddVincent » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:39 pm

Howdy. My name is Vincent and I've never posted here before.

I recently posted this on the Dining Pavillion, but got no response. Maybe it's been done already or maybe there's just too much other stuff going on or maybe it's just... I dunno. Something.

Anyway, here's my message:

After reading the anecdote Harlan generously shared with us concerning Tom Snyder's rereading of "Jeffty is Five", it occurred to me that that's one of the (relatively) few stories that makes me cry despite the fact that I've always been something of a crybaby. (I'm ashamed to say that it isn't in my library at the moment. I've lost so many beloved books to moving mishaps, lending to unreliable friends and the like, but rest assured I will replace it.)

"Shatterday" also got me as did "Strange Wine" and I know if I weren't so worn out after a long day, I could think of a few others by Harlan because I'm pretty sure he has my other favorites beat in this department.

"One Hundred Years of Solitude" made me cry (and gasp) as did a couple of other Garcia Marquez stories. So did Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses". The last beautifully remorseful pages of "Lolita" got me as well. And again I know there are others, but relatively few considering how much I read.

I'd like to hear from anyone who'd like to tell, what writers, what stories make you cry. Out loud like. Not tear up, but really blubber in that I-hope-no-one-ever-sees-me-like-this-never-ever-sort of way.


I thought I'd throw it out here and see if anyone decided to bite.

Tony Rabig
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Postby Tony Rabig » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:56 pm

Vincent,

Okay, I'll bite. I don't blubber at stories or movies; tearing up sometimes is about as far as it goes with me. But...

"Shatterday" does it, as does "Jeffty." "The Function of Dream Sleep." The moment in "Paladin of the Lost Hour" when Billy Kinetta tells Gaspar, "Tell me. I'll remember for you."

Sturgeon's "A Saucer of Loneliness," "The Graveyard Reader."

The closing scenes of Robert Anderson's I Never Sang for My Father (for my money the great American tragedy -- sorry, Arthur Miller).

Zelazny's "A Rose for Ecclesiastes."

Don Robertson's novel Mystical Union.

Sections of William Goldman's novels The Temple of Gold and Boys & Girls Together.

Sections of Stephen King's Hearts in Atlantis.

The closing sections of Joe Haldeman's novel 1968.

There are others, but these are the ones that come immediately to mind.



Bests,
--tr

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Postby Moderator » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:46 am

Hey Vincent -
Welcome to the forums. Interesting topic.

Unfortunately, while I express my emotions fairly well, I was raised with a "suck-it-up" attitude when it comes to crying. Not that I've never done it, but I fight it back rather than let it out. Last vestiges of testosterone imbalance, I guess.

And, oddly enough -- and likely because of my upbringing -- I'm more likely to tear up at something heroic or patriotic rather than characterizations in a story. Show me the scene from Tora! Tora! Tora! where the captain of the Nevada choses to beach his ship -- the only one to get under way that horrible day -- rather than allow the Japanese to block the channel, and I'm done for. Likewise the "Awakened a Sleeping Giant" speech. Go figure.

Like Tony, Jeffty is Five and Paladin impacted me to the point where I could have shed a tear. And, I will admit to all geekdom, that one of the last scenes in the Babylon 5 series -- that of the station being blown up -- had me all weepy-eyed.

Odd. I know.

But there you have it.

Again, welcome to the boards.
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Lori Koonce
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Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:37 am

Vincent

First of all welcome to the monkey house.

Now, I don't know if it's because I'm female, or what, but what makes me cry really depends on the mood I'm in.

I rarely cry over anything I read, but I heard Harlan do a reading of Palidin of the Lost Hour that almost got me there, and if I read The Whimper of Whiped Dogs in the right frame of mind, I do get a little misty eyed.

But, I have to admit to crying over the video for "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie about 2 days ago. I don't know what it is about that song, but it can get me to bawling like a baby in no time.

Hope that answers your question!
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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:08 am

Welcome! And thanks for a provocative opening question.

I don't recall that I've ever cried over something I read on the page.

I do cry a lot in response to aural and visual stimuli -- that is to say, music and films, and occasionally a live play or reading. For example:

1. The eerie Chinese stringed instrument in "From Mao to Mozart"

2. Intense orchestral music such as Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" or Bartok's "Music for Percussion, Strings, and Celesta"

3. Last week, the conversion of the critic Anton Ego in "Ratatouille"

4. Harlan's reading of "Paladin of the Lost Hour"
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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:36 pm

So much makes me cry that it would shock the room. I may not give it away, but I am a really sensitive soul. Cried at many movies and cry during sad songs or when the song gives me nostalgia for some time in the past I loved.

I try not to bawl at the end of The Color Purple, but once the patty cakes start I cryyyyyyyyy a river.

Crying means you're human--note to Barber.

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:07 pm

Odd that you should ask.

Just a few days ago I bawled my eyes out when i caught the final scene of Alegria[/i] on the telly. It wasn't anything heartbreaking: just a couple of shabby circus clowns entertaining a crowd of children, then an old man telling his pupils "I give this story to you."

Now I can be a very sentimental, sensitive type. I often get teary eyed. But I never actually shed tears. I come very close; but I never actually cry. But there I was. So glad nobody saw me.

It's really perplexed me. What was it about this combination of images and words and sounds that struck such a nerve? I think it was something about the old man. I am moved by the wisdom of ages. And the fact it looked and felt like a dream. Dreams have a way of bypassing conscious restraints.

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Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:02 am

Harlan Ellison, "The Deathbird," pavanne 13, "SUPPLEMENTARY READING" essay: "AHBHU". And thus pavanne 19, question #4.

Kit Reed, "Automatic Tiger." Possibly for cat-people what Ellison's paean to Ahbhu is for dog-people, albeit more upbeat until the end (& involving a clockwork gimmick rather than a "real" animal).

I've read each of 'em once, & find I can hardly now begin without getting sentimental at least.

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Chuck Messer
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Postby Chuck Messer » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:27 am

What makes me cry? Abhu, definitely. To Kill a Mockingbird, both the book and movie. The funeral for Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood.

Seeing the Scofield Kid break down when he realizes what he's done after he made his first kill in Unforgiven.

Stubbing my toe in stocking feet. I also get really creative with cusswords.


Chuck
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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:03 am

To quote Craig T Nelson in the TV show "Coach":

"Sure its OK to cry, if you have your leg caught in a bear trap!|"

Frankie-poo, I am shocked at your posting. What's next, you going to admit you like to snuggle?
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Postby paul » Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:06 pm

I love reading out loud. To myself, to Kathy (my fianceé), to my daughter, to friends, to the kids and the blind at the library, i love it.

No matter how many times i read the Jefty is Five line,

"I had betrayed him for the sale of a 21" Mediterranean console television, and now his face was pulped meat.",

no matter that i know it's coming, no matter that i steel myself, i crack, i choke and i cry. From the time Donny picks Jefty up, everything builds to that line, for me.

I had a lady come up to me after that library reading (I only read that story there once), and she said, "You were crying weren't you?" I said, "Yes ma'am, I was." She smiled. "Thank you so very much for feeling that story. I was right there with you." She patted my arm and went on her way. She was probably 60. I never knew her name.

Another time after a reading, a girl who was a friend of a friend who came to our get-togethers (reading our work, others) asked, "Why did you cry?" We attempted to explain, to no avail. Finally in a scoff she demanded,"Why would you get upset over someone who isn't even real?" The ghosts of Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker, filtered through an angry Molière and Bukowski, then came from us all. Strangely enough, she ne'er returned.
---------------------------

The only movie that immediately pops to mind is the resuscitation scene in The Abyss. That used to get me, the first coupla times i saw it. Listening/watching Ed Harris is sometimes an amazing thing. Mastrantonio is okay, but Harris is in good form.

:oops:

Okay. Amélie. I admit it. Once you know what she's doing with Madeleine's letters. The reading kills me, every time.
---------------------------

Frank, you're not fooling anyone. Hugs are nature's socialism. Winky.
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OddVincent
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Postby OddVincent » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:21 am

Thanks to everyone for the welcomes and answers.

Lori, that song gets me too.

Chuck, ditto with poor, poor Bela.

Speaking of movies, the scene near the end of Fargo in which Frances McDormand says to the icy psycho, Stormare, in the back of her prowler: "I just don't understand." inexplicably causes me to burst (or at least pop) into tears every time I see it. I'm a softer touch when it comes to films though. I can even recall a Folger's commercial that made me cry once, sorry to confess it as I am.

Also, I really, really, REALLY like to snuggle.

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Lori Koonce
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Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:53 am

Vincent

You know I got to thinking about this subject over the weekend and remembered something from YEARS ago.

I saw the Movie Forest Gump with my father about a week after it was released. When Jenny met up with Forest for the second time, and told him she wasn't feeling well; I remember turning to my father and telling him that she had AIDS.

I started crying after I said that, and had to sit in the theater for about 5 minutes after the movie was over so I could pull myself together enough to leave without looking like a serious lunatic.

THink that's about the time I developed a serious crying phobia, but I could be wrong.
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Postby markabaddon » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:46 pm

Vincent, I think you and Franklin are going to get along just fine

Lori, I may be in the minority on this one, but I absolutely hated Forrest Gump. Any movie whose basic premise is that you can be dumb but if you have faith, and do what you are told, then everything will work out just fine sets my blood boiling
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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Postby OddVincent » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:51 pm

Mark, I have mixed feelings about the Gump. It's entertaining and moving, but I think there may be something in what you say.

Also, I think you might need a hug.

Or a good snuggle.


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