Saturday, April 5, 2008

Posthoumous Publishing

I wonder if anybody writes letters to friends and acquaintances expecting them to be published in a thick, hard-cover book one day, possibly after his or her death.

There was a New Yorker article this week about the friendship that went sour between French filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and the deceased Francois Truffaut, and the author quoted frequently from Truffaut's angry letters to and from Godard. It occurred to me that this was really personal stuff between these two titans of the New Wave, and what right had we to publish their letters and analyze them for signs of either animosity or lingering tenderness?

Inevitably, emails and blogs will be compiled into books about the so-called important people of our time. Emails being as fast and free as they are, I'm expecting a lot of boring books in the future. Here's an excerpt from Edward Norton's collection, published posthumously by Random Home-Unit in 2061 as Edward Norton History X: I Am Jack's Hastily Written Emails:

12/9/09, 9:16am

Haha. Yeah, I'll be there. Noon sounds good.


Noon does sound good, Ed. Thanks for the fucking insight.

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