Saturday, November 25, 2006

As I Lay Undying

It seems that seven years ago, William Faulkner's daughter found among her father's things a completely finished, unproduced screenplay - about vampires.

I have two diametrically opposed thoughts about this. Firstly, no way, no how. Faulkner only wrote screenplays to make easy money and even then he never seemed entirely pleased about the process. But hey, that's what American writers back then had to do. So anyway, why would he write a complete, feature length screenplay that never got made? Had someone commissioned him to do it, but decided against it in the end? Because that seems to me the only way he would have written such a thing.

But then, when I think about Faulkner's body of work and his relationship with the deep, dark South, I can see how he might be tempted by vampires. Yet his screenplay is set in Eastern Europe, not the South. Would Faulkner really have written something not set in the South? Why a screenplay and not a novel?

It seems as though producer Lee Caplin is moving forward with a movie based on the screenplay, but I still have my doubts about its authenticity. If if was something he wrote for someone else and not a personally inspired work, should we be seeing it on the big screen as a Faulkner work?

I guess this serves as a caution to all writers: be careful what you leave behind.


newscoma said...

When I initially saw this story, I was rather pleased although I did question the authenticity of it all.
If he did write this, I'm intrigued.
I dig vampires and with a Faulkner stamp, it might be real cool

Vol Abroad said...

I'd buy this DVD out of the bargain bin.

melusina said...

Newscoma, thats the thing. If he DID write it and it was his own personal inspiration, that is one thing - I'd be quite intrigued. But the whole thing just doesn't add up for me. And if they are trying to sell a movie as a Faulkner tale and it is false, well, boo!

VolAbroad, it might go straight to the bargain bin. =p

Emily said...

Mel, you raise valid questions, but I say, go ahead and produce the thing. Even if it is awful, Faulkner has proven himself as a worthy writer time and again. Plus, there's something hysterically funny about all this; the meeting of the B movie and Classic American Literature.
My only reservation; what if it wasn't written by faulkner? I have some amateur novels and plays lying about that were definitely not written by me.....