My Favorite Christmas Story

SMOKE is a film based on stories by Paul Auster. It’s about the weight of the intangible and the power of story. My favorite Christmas story ever comes at the end; it’s pretty much the entirety of Auster’s “Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story.” The incomparable Harvey Keitel does a masterful job in a long, long take.

Following this scene, the entire story is acted out silently while Tom Waits sings “Innocent When You Dream”. Wonderful. Wonderful. I loved it so much, Charlie bought me my own copy.

Highly recommended.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write something about the weight of intangibles and/or the power of story.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “My Favorite Christmas Story

  1. Jane

    December 12, 2014 at 10:52am

    I’m going to watch this later.

    I still love several versions of A Christmas Carol.

    Michael Caine’s muppet Xmas. The musical SCROOGE! And of course, there’s the Bill Murray version, too. Scrooge is just a truly great story, I suppose.

    Of course, modern times have pretty much refuted the theory that you can tell somebody the Truth, and they will just go right ahead and see the Light. Just doesn’t happen these days.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 12, 2014 at 11:09am

      Oh, yeah, ALL of those!

      I once explicated A Christmas Carol as a version of The Hero Journey. Right? Totally works.

      Ah, well, Dickens pretty economically and brilliantly set Scrooge up as a sweet nature that was warped out of its natural shape by circumstances and influences, but was secretly nourished by other influences, so that a couple hard smacks of Truth plus a few gentle nudges of memory broke through the crust and let his true nature out. A much better job of writing than it’s given credit for.

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