Friday, March 12, 2010

Stone Reader Movie (Day 2)

In this installment of the movie, Moskowitz isn't much closer to finding Mossman than he was until the very end of Part 2. Moskowitz talks to a guy who had something to do with the University of Iowa's writing program the same time Mossman was there. I didn't catch whether he was a classmate of Mossman, or whether he was a professor or something at the time Mossman was there. This person said he didn't remember Mossman. After talking to this guy for a while, he came up pretty empty in his search. That seemed to be the trend. So he then went and had a meeting with the original book jacket designer, and that guy didn't even remember doing it, or the book itself at all. He said it seemed familiar to him, but he didn't remember anything about it. So once again he was back to square one. He returned home empty handed. He resorted to searching the internet again. One day he had a breakthrough. He found two copies of 'The Stones of Summer' but decided he didn't want to buy them because he had already bought most of them already. A few days later he changed his mind and went to buy them, but discovered that two different publishers had already bought them up. He was excited that something happened, but I don't really think anything came from this bit of information. He eventually talked to one of the publishers who bought a copy. The publisher explained that he loved it when he read it at the age of 17, but realized there wasn't as much to it as he used to think, and so he dropped it after 100 pages. Moskowitz began to fear that he was the only one to like the book, which was funny to me because thats what I was talking about in my last blog.

Anyway, naturally he decides to head for the source. So he takes a trip to Iowa to visit the University of Iowa's writing department. He finds tons of manuscripts written by Mossman, and even his master's thesis there. Moskowitz and his friend keep searching for a while and end up finding an old picture of one of Dow's teachers. He asks about the man in the photo and is told that he lives nearby. Its the person Mossman dedicated 'The Stones of Summer' to. So he goes and talks to the guy and finds out the guy knows exactly what happened to Mossman. He thinks he pushed Mossman so hard while he was writing his book that he pushed him straight to the insane asylum, but only for a few months. He says Mossman put too much of himself into 'The Stones of Summer'. He said after he finished writing it, he had nothing left to himself. That's why he was institutionalized, and thats probably why he never wrote again. He tells Moskowitz that Mossman now lives in Cedar Rapids, only a short drive away. Moskowitz leaves and talks to the guy who took the book jacket photo. Moskowitz is getting really close to finding Mossman now. The book jacket photographer talks about when he knew Mossman, said that Mossman supported him for a while when he was struggling to make ends meet. Moskowitz shows the photographer the original book review written by Seelye, and the guy reads it aloud. It really was a great review. He reads a part at the end that compares Mossman to a river of thought and emotion or something like that, and says that such a source is unlikely to go dry soon. Thats ironic, considering that Mossman stopped writing altogether after that.

Towards the end he finally gets a couple of phone numbers that he could use to reach Mossman. He calls his mom to let her know that he finally found him, but then he asked her to make the phone call for him. After all that work and all that time he finally found Mossman, and he was too scared to even talk to him. But I guess he worked up the courage and made the call. Mossman actually seemed pretty normal when he talked to Moskowitz on the phone. After all this build up, and hearing about the guy, and all that everyone was saying about how wonderful his book was and how great of a writer he was, I kind of expected something different on the phone. I'm not really sure what i expected, but it wasn't what ended up happening. Mossman just kept mentioning how he had become introverted. After a little conversation, they set up a meeting for the next morning. Moskowitz had finally found Mossman. Now I guess he gets to go make all his dreams come true by talking to him. But that is for the next blog.

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