Sing With Me Now: His Name Was Robert Paulson! (And Other Links)

1. Fresh from the WTF Department comes news that David Fincher is planning to make a musical version of Fight Club and Chuck Palahniuk is okay with this. You think I’m joking? I’m not joking. If you’re anything like me, and you probably aren’t, but if you are, then you’re picturing the song-and-dance numbers, and are wondering very important things: will whoever plays Marla sing a long, heartfelt number? Will Meat Loaf reprise his role for Broadway? Will there be some chanting and leaping during the soap-making song? Is it going to win a lot of Tony Awards? I’ve been thinking about this (and subsequently laughing) since I heard about it last night. Fight Club: The Musical! (Pajiba is less amused.)

2. And in other musical news, Anne Frank’s diary: in song.

3. And in other other musical news, despite the fact that the film version hasn’t really gotten off the ground, people are in talks to make a Broadway musical version of On the Road. Okay, I just totally made that up, but I had you for a second, didn’t I? Didn’t I? Admit it. I did.

4. Apparently around 25% of Brits didn’t read a single book last year, and furthermore lie to say that they’ve read books they haven’t. (I’m sure the same can be said of Americans.) But reading is good for you.

5. Fiction needs to quit with the solipsism, already.

6. From Australia, an opinion piece about helping young people enjoy reading. I think really cool books would help.

7. NPR has a blurb about Richard Wright’s final, unfinished novel being published by his daughter, with the added bonus of being able to listen to the full story.

8. On literature and memory.

9. If you’re looking for a literary vacation, then perhaps you might be interested in touring cool bookstores?

7 Responses

  1. SINGER: “Bob, you cannot join
    SINGER: “Bob, you cannot join my Fight Club!”

    CHORUS: Fight Club!

    SINGER: “Your tits are huge,
    and you look just like a stooge,
    Bob you cannot join my Fight Club!”

    CHORUS: Fight Club!

    BOB: I will Stand out on your porch
    until you seeeeeeeeee,
    That I am carrying a torch to beeeeeeeee,
    In your Fight Club!”

    CHORUS: Fight Club!

  2. The Fight Club Musical would
    The Fight Club Musical would be a hit with lots of Link Wray Guitar riffs and lyrics like the Dead Kennedys and Rage in the Machine used to put out.
    Why wasn’t a muscial ever done for Naked Lunch?

  3. Bill, that just made my
    Bill, that just made my morning.

    And since making musical versions of things seem to be all the rage (with a limited definition of “all the rage” I suppose), Naked Lunch will probably be hitting Broadway in no time.

  4. Actually, Warren and Jamelah,
    Actually, Warren and Jamelah, I wrote a musical based on Naked Lunch, called “Junk!”, with music by the Butthole Surfers (who worshipped Burroughs). But Inspector Lee came to me in a dream and threatened that if I did so he would send me to Interzone for all eternity. I decided to become a roadie for Hannah Montana instead.

  5. I don’t know how to fight
    I don’t know how to fight him.
    What to do, how to bruise him.
    I’ve been changed, yes really changed.
    In these past few days, when I’ve seen myself,
    I seem like someone else

    –brutally borrowed from Jesus Christ Superstar

  6. This is not a joke. There is
    This is not a joke. There is a trend. Going on. In the “writing life” (personally, it’s more death than life). It does have some serious implications and they’re being played out in the morphing of the relationships between “the writers” and the People With the Real Power. To wit: Hollywood. Le strike. Go writers. Nothing is going to be the same. Soon enough. To wit: New York. There is a vast sea change going on between writers and agents (yes, the real power). Agents are now being really quite upfront (because they feel they can afford to be) with the fact that: 1.) If you send them unsolicited work they can steal the ideas behind it and apply those concepts to venues such as film, performance, and subsidiary rights. 2.) They no longer need your permission to share your work with other business entities (production companies), and, in fact, they’re now making writers sign off on this by requiring writers who make unsolicited submissions agree to these terms where the writer may not share the work (this means other agents) but the agent may (will) share the work with any number (it’s up to the agent) of entities which means if you read between the lines that they could enter negotiations with you being privy to the fact your work is being seriously considered with a production company but you do not have knowledge of that fact; thusly you are entering into the negotiating/contractual process with “value” of the work being one thing on your side, and the “value” of the work with quite a different number on their side. What this means is that when the added “value” of the work is presented to the writer, the writer may not be (won’t be) privy to the contractual relationships (read percentages) between the people who are representing the work, and the people who plan to develop it into a production. Well. Okay. Tim. What does this mean. I’m glad you asked. It means that the writer has been kicked down one more peg. It’s not a joke that books become movies and plays. I have existed on the money from subsidiary rights. Publication rights can be so undervalued because publishers are mean and cheap. These subsidiary rights are important. In these sea changes, and they are happening quickly even as I write this, the writer is becoming increasingly ephemeral. Which is why I have left the writing life. Let me say this about that. I do NOT miss one single thing about it. What’s going on in Hollywood right now is going to affect everyone who writes. Because it’s going to reshape who owns what. And if you really think you own your work — think again. The producers and the agents know. It isn’t simply a matter of work crossing the line between book publication and performance. The issue goes to the reality that you can send someone your work — your sweat and your future and your dreams and any hope you might have, your blood — but they have the right to take those ideas and reshape them. Let us say they reshape them for the Internet because that is where the action is headed. They say they can do this because they say so. It’s not funny. It’s serious Big Girl stuff. And I look at those Hollywood writers and I hope they HOLD OUT but I don’t see much hope for it because the only power they have is the power to strike. In the end, they’re going to settle for whatever they can get. And the trickle down is going to be something every other writer is going to have to eat whether they are aware of it or not. The Internet is here and it’s changed everything. It’s a power grab that’s going on, and the “writer” will probably find the same old same old laws of nature where a few writers get to play and the rest are left out and are happy to be fed the scraps. The suits already own publishing and every production production company in America. And “the work” as it applies to the Internet is next. What they want is acccess to “the intellectual property rights” of “the work” which means any work and all work and they are seriously intent on setting precedent. Writers, because most of struggling and starving and a dime-a-dozen, have given away the ranch historically. There is a blip going on with that radar screen and it’s called le writer’s strike. They’re saying: we aren’t going to give our work away to you so you can reap the profits and we’re marginalized. The producers (who are the suits and this includes such entities as Random House that is as I write this developing their own film development division; this means a new slew of lawyers, not writers) are saying: you don’t have that kind of power, you only write this stuff; we turn it into plays and films, and we are going to keep you exactly where we want you.

    We’ll see…

    But probably…

  7. […] A Fight Club musical. I
    […] A Fight Club musical. I still remember when they released a Fight Club video game that not only went against everything the book preached about and had terrible gameplay, but allowed you to unlock a secret character- Fred Durst. Let’s assume the musical will be worse. […]

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