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New titles from others and blogging about my own books

Faulkner and Film

On March 28, I will be giving a talk at Columbia University.  Below is an outline of the talk:
1. There are several reasons I decided to do a biography of Faulkner (I will explain briefly), especially because of my conviction that previous biographers did not do justice to his life and work in Hollywood. That work was not separable from his output as a novelist, or to his character as a writer. So I want to describe what brought him to Hollywood and what held him there.
2. I will briefly describe the nature and significance of his Hollywood work from 1932 to 1955.
3. I then want to focus on To Have and Have Not. Should I bring a dvd? I want to show a few scenes, focus on Eddie (Walter Brennan) and how Faulkner's creation of this character fits into what I want to call his fables of fascism.
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Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film

Ruth Barton.  Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful woman in Film.  University Press of Kentucky, 2010.  281p ISBN 9780813126043, $29.95  

Barton's subtitle is no exaggeration.  It pinpoints what movie producers and reviewers remarked about Lamarr (1913-2000) nearly every time they mentioned or wrote about her.  An impeccable researcher, Barton (film, Trinity College Dublin) has written an engaging biography that also serves as a history of Hollywood from the 1930s to the 1950s.  She is especially insightful about Ecstasy (1933), the scandalous film in which Lamarr appeared in the nude, establishing herself as the quintessential sexualized figure of modern cinema for nearly two decades. Read More 

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Budd Schulberg

Budd Schulberg
From time to time, I'm going to invite guest bloggers to post and to invite your comments. This time, my guest is Marion Meade, biographer of Dorothy Parker, Buster Keaton, Woody Allen, and Nathanael West. I thought of her when I saw so many references to Budd Schulberg on this blog. Below you will find an account of her firsthand experience with a very controversial subject.


My first meeting with Budd Schulberg took place on December 9, 1982, in midtown Manhattan, in a dark chilly apartment that appeared to be uninhabited. (A pied-a-terre, he explained.) I was surprised to be introduced to his attorney, the first time in my experience that an interview subject brought legal backup.  Read More 
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