James Franco's Child of God

This topic contains 41 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Ken 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • 13 Sep 2013 at 12:42 pm #3979

    Candy Minx

    You know…I was thinking about Franco and him trying to get some kind of commitment from McCarthy and then McCarthy’s response…and I remembered a small interview I posted at the old forum a few years ago. It was from a Canandian literary magazine…and it might be one of the earlierst interviews with McCArthy. I tried to find it online again and it is no longer available. So I phoned the magazine this morning…and although they have many back issues for sale…the woman I spoke to had not even heard of this interview…so she was going to track it down for me.

    Then I realized…maybe just maybe I had posted it on my blog. And I had! Yay!

    so I phoned her back and got her email and sent the small interview to her via email.

    unfortuantely I neglected to post WHO had phoned McCarthy and got his comments!!!! I hope the woman I spoke to will be able to track that down for me.

    Anyways…here is the VERY short interview via phone in 1986. I’ve posted it before…and it was met with a fair bit of negativity ha ha although I don’t know why…maybe because McCarthy’s rather more significant interview was in a Canadian publication way before he got so famous and such…I wonder if James Franco has read this…I doubt it…perhaps I’ll try to send it to him…or perhaps he will stumble by here…

    <i>I reached McCarthy by phone in Texas and put it to him that perhaps the public found his tales a mite bleak. “Jolly tales,” he said, “are not what it is all about. My feeling is that all good literature is bleak. When a work gets a certain gloss on it with age, and the current reality of it is dulled, then we can say what has and what does not have the true tragic face. I’m guided by the sweep and grandeur of classical tragedy. Mine are the conditions common to people everywhere and finally the work has little to do with any personal aberration of the characters.”
    I suggested that perhaps one reason his work has not secured its deserved audience was that his characters were indeed cast adrift in some “unanimous dark of the world,” within a “lethal environment” which offered neither relief nor instruction, pre-wheel times, time without mercy, time presided over by the implacable face of Nothingness, with a will to survive, fortitude, as the only and last testament. Whereas today’s reader wanted events explained, lamented, accounted for: Lester is the way he is because he comes from a broken home, his parents whipped him, he had no shoes until he was ten years old.
    “I don’t doubt it,” McCarthy said. “Modern readers are a lot more familiar with Freud than with Sophocles.”
    I asked him how difficult he finds it to write these amazing novels. “I work on each for several years,” he said, “and am brought to the brink of innumerable suicides. I want, even for the worst of the characters, grace under pressure, some slinking nobility.”
    I asked him what he had been reading lately.
    “I’ve just finished Shakespeare and the Common Understanding,” he said. “And one of your guys, Michael On—? How do you say it?”
    “That’s right. Ondaatje. Wonderful stuff.” </i>

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Candy Minx.
    13 Sep 2013 at 12:54 pm #3981

    Candy Minx

    In 1987…Ondaatje only had one published novel…although it’s possible McCarthy could have been reading an ARC. So the published novel COMING THROUGH SLAUGHTER is one from 1976. And the next novel, published in 1987…is SKIN OF THE LION. So…it’s possible he could have been reading wither one…SKIN OF THE LION as ARC copy.

    and here is the Shakespeare book…


    13 Sep 2013 at 2:52 pm #3984

    Candy Minx

    Oaky…I’m a little excited!

    I called up Brick Magazine and told them I had found some of the article that I had posted at my blog…and so the woman I spoke to…Liz…was able to track it down.

    It was written by Leon Rooke.



    The issue the article is in is one they do not have a lot of copies in archive. So it’s not for sale…yet…but Liz sent me a pdf of the whole thing. She said she figured I could have it for free seeing as I had tracked it down and alerted her to this gem they had in their archives.

    Wes Morgan…I feel like YOU today!

    13 Sep 2013 at 2:54 pm #3985

    Candy Minx

    p.s. John Vanderheide…this article was published in Brick Magazine, which is published through Coach House Press…which should have some significance to you and your introduction to Blood Meridian!!!

    15 Sep 2013 at 10:13 am #3990

    Candy, do you think you could post the full citation for the interview here? I’m working on a paper on Outer Dark and I’ve been looking for interviews where McCarthy would comment on the significance of the Greek tragedy to his oeuvre, so Rooke’s conversation would be of great use to me. Many thanks in advance.

    15 Sep 2013 at 12:00 pm #3991

    Candy Minx

    Maciek Maslowski,

    I meant to come back and add the issue# etc thank you for pointing out I forgot…

    If you have an email available I can send you something you might enjoy reading.


    It’s from…

    From Brick 27, Spring 1986, used by permission of the author.

    The citations in this essay are from:

    The Orchard Keeper, New York: Ecco Press, 1965
    Outer Dark, New York: Random House, 1968
    Suttree, New York: Random House, 1979
    Child of God, New York: Random House, 1973
    Blood Meridian, New York: Random House, 1985

    15 Sep 2013 at 2:50 pm #3992

    Thank you so much! My e-mail address is maciej.m.maslowski@gmail.com. Thanks again, MM

    25 Sep 2013 at 9:54 am #4048


    Here is a review by Gerard Raymond. The film played at the New York Film Festival.

    This thoughtful review leads me to believe the adaptation may well be a success. I’m hoping it will play at the Chicago Film Festival.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  Pequod.
    16 Oct 2013 at 4:56 pm #4158


    Last week must have been “Cormac McCarthy Week” for Alexandra Alter at The Wall Street Journal. In addition to her article on The Counselor (as discussed on another thread), she also wrote this article about James Franco’s adaptation of Child Of God, which includes an interview with Franco which resembles an older interview linked above. Alter quotes another McCarthy scholar, here Steven Frye (Stacey Peebles in the “Counselor” article):

    “Child of God” is not a hard read. It’s got a nice clear narrative line, though you might have to use your dictionary now and then,” says McCarthy scholar Steven Frye, who edited “The Cambridge Companion to Cormac McCarthy.” “The problem with the adaptation of “Child of God” is simply the content. It’s going to be difficult to render a mass murdering necrophiliac.”

    The only thing that seems new (and it might not be; maybe I just forgot reading about it) is:

    Interviewer: What else did you talk to him [McCarthy] about?
    Franco: I’ve talked about Faulkner with him a bunch. He comes out of that tradition.

    Wonder what McCarthy said about Faulkner; we’ll never know.

    21 Oct 2013 at 10:48 pm #4207


    Rick Wallach 28 Aug 2013: Anyone hear anything about his As I Lay Dying yet?

    Looks like Franco’s As I Lay Dying will go directly to VOD/DVD, to be released November 5: Amazon, and is possibly available on iTunes beginning October 22.

    As yet, Franco’s Child Of God has no schedule for wide theatrical release… so who knows?

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