Literary adaptations

When I was in MFA school, I still thought there was a way to do a short story as a film. I can’t remember when I stopped caring about it. It had been something I cared about a lot starting after high school through college. The perfect adaptation. I remember I watched Hitchcock’s Secret Agent, which I desperately should revise after my year of Maugham, using the Master Willie title instead of Secret Agent or any such nonsense. But I watched it, this film from 1936, and I thought it might be a perfect adaptation. Hitchcock contemporaneously doing Maugham. There’s nothing else like it. No one as prolific as Hitchcock ever really did popular novels. It’s like if Spielberg doing A Time to Kill. Adapting a really popular author, not just a successful one. But I thought Secret Agent had some real potential. Maybe Razor’s Edge is the perfect adaptation. I like this Master Willie idea. I wish I could draw. I always wish I could draw when I get this kind of idea, because I can’t think of a way to do it in writing. But the late nineties and the early aughts had a lot of interesting and shitty adaptations. You know, the Raymond Chandler’s. Those were some legitimately great novels and great films. The Big Sleep anyway. And it’s not really a proud interest—wanting good literary adaptations, it’s kind of cheap—especially when you’re getting a writing MFA. But it’s so damned interesting.

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