Why All Writers Should Know the Classics

…And, now that we bring it up, readers too:

Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises’ Literary Inspiration
by Silas Lesnick

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

With what is arguably the most famous opening line in all of literature, Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” paints a portrait of the class struggle taking place in Europe in the late 18th century. In less than two weeks, it’s a theme that Christopher Nolan is employing to bring about the conclusion of his Batman trilogy with the release of The Dark Knight Rises.

Speaking at this morning’s press conference for the film, Nolan and his brother and screenwriting partner, Jonathan, answered ComingSoon.net’s question about the film’s direct and indirect allusions to Dickens’ masterpiece.

“When Jonah showed me his first draft of his screenplay, it was 400 pages long or something,” says the director. “It had all this crazy stuff in it. As part of a primer when he handed it to me, he said, ‘You’ve got to think of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ which, of course, you’ve read.’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I read the script and was a little baffled by a few things and realized that I’d never read ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. It was just one of those things that I thought I had done. Then I got it, read it and absolutely loved it and got completely what he was talking about… When I did my draft on the script, it was all about ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.”

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Can’t wait to hear what this Dickens guy thinks.

2 thoughts on “Why All Writers Should Know the Classics

  1. geraldsanford says:

    Better yet: “All writers should make use of the classics”.gs

    • LB says:

      Not necessarily better, GS, just different. The problem I’ve always had with getting notes.

      See, I haven’t changed so much after all!

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