DFW Biopic

Okay, let’s get real about the DFW biopic, shall we? Examine the evidence, below, via slate:

Let’s not even comment on the awkwardness of that grimace.

Okay, comment on it.

But don’t dwell.

What I find weird: that instead of making a movie of, oh, I don’t know, one of his BOOKS, let’s just make a movie about DFW on tour. And then film it at the Mall of America. (Which is where that Slate pic and vid were shot.)

I mean, forget about what the guy wrote, right? Or whether any of those words he committed to the page are really why anyone would care about seeing this kind of biopic. Naw, let’s just keep on magnifying that whole cult of the author thing. Let’s exploit his tragic suicide to make money (isn’t that, like, an author/writer thing that’s gift-wrapped for hollywood-style exploitation?). In fact, let’s make a buddy comedy / road movie. Because THAT sounds like a good idea.

Really, though, I call foul on the whole thing.  Maybe I’m being too harsh and it will turn out to be non-offensive pablum. But I doubt it.

For people who’ve at least tried, see the John Krasinski-directed Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, or the Colin Meloy / Michael Schur / Decemberists video for Calamity Song based on the game Eschaton from Infinite Jest.


Update: DFW’s estate is none too happy about the film. Big surprise.

After the Fatwa

JosephAnton_online-version_HC_nospineRushdie’s been getting plenty of coverage for his recent third-person memoir, and not all of it is positive. Over at the Atlantic, a reviewer made the case that the fatwa was successful in silencing Rushdie. And over at the B&N Review, they also say that too much celebrity has not been good. Too much name dropping is never fun to read. So, politics, celebrity, and writers collide, and the writer comes off the worse for it.

Mo Yan: Politics & Language

An incredible article over at the Kenyon Review discusses how politics can corrupt language. It’s one of the smartest arguments I’ve seen so far on why it was a mistake to award Mo Yan the Nobel Prize. Here, it isn’t just about bad politics, but how those politics have fundamentally changed the writing, made it lesser. It’s about the power of words and the importance of sentences. And that’s an argument I can get behind.