Friday, May 27, 2011

We Dream of What Now?

So the other day I sort of caught an episode of I Dream of Jeannie.  I say sort of because I had it on in the background while doing other things.

In the show, Major Tony Nelson learned that Jeannie had not been a genie for very long, as she said she'd been imprisoned at a young age into the bottle.  So to try and help her get over her apprehension of doing it right, Major Roger Healy suggests to Tony that he give her 1001 Nights: A Middle Eastern Folktale Collection (a.k.a Arabian Nights) so she can see how a genie behaves.

Tony likes the idea and buys it for her.  He tells her to read it cover to cover and he wants her to do all the things the genies do in the book.  Well... Jeannie reads it and gets very upset.  For she does not want to act like the genies in the tales.  For the genies are often cruel, manipulative and deceiving.  She begs Tony not to have to obey his command.  But he insists she follow it to the letter.

Distaught, Jeannie goes to Roger.  But Roger says she better do it, as it had been one of Tony's favorite books as a kid and he wants to see it just as it appears.  She reluctantly agrees.  And before we know it, Tony's hanging from his wrists above his head in a dank dungeon over a pit of snakes.

You see, Tony didn't quite remember the book for its actual content, rather his glorified recollection of specific parts.

I just found it interesting.  For isn't it the truth?  How often have we gone back to something and had a very different perspective on it, or been surprised at what we somehow forgot beyond our own picking and choosing of cherished sections?

I bet there are plenty of people for whom this is the case with Peter Pan!

1 comment:

Anon said...

I wonder if William Goldman had that in mind when he wrote The Princess Bride (The "Good Parts" Version)....