Today’s roundup is chockablock with dark inspiration, from Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay about fascism to a new video game recreating bits of Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” It’s your Daily Blunt!
This holiday weekend was a jubilant one for Anne Rice: the author declared on social media that the film rights to her Vampire Chronicles novels were now entirely hers again, and with help from son (and fellow author) Christopher Rice, she intends to develop the books into “a television series of the highest quality.” As the article points out, this constitutes a major coup against Universal, which had spent years trying to get its own Rice adaptation off the ground — even enlisting “The Fault in Our Stars” screenwriter Josh Boone to write a remake of “Interview With the Vampire.” Now if they care to proceed, they’ll have to bargain with the vampire queen herself.
Who says poetry is dead? The video game “Elegy for a Dead World” invites players to explore apocalyptic landscapes inspired by the works of Shelley, Byron, and Keats, serving up writing prompts and creative challenges within the game. A vast world awaits you beyond the basic storytelling options: “In the more advanced levels, you’ll sometimes get new information halfway through the story, which casts a new light on things and forces you to explain or justify past actions.” If you ever really wondered whether we’re headed toward building anything like “Westworld” in real life, here’s your answer!
Good news for those who can’t stand Jack Kerouac: you are not alone. Beatdom has compiled citations from seven other famous writers who couldn’t stand the dude, including epic put-downs from Truman Capote (“That isn’t writing; it’s typing”) and Hunter S. Thompson (“The man is an ass, a mystic boob with intellectual myopia”). Or as John Updike put it: “This is what really happens when you get on the road. You don’t go anywhere.” Go ahead and bookmark these sick burns for the next time you run across somebody who’s included that “burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars” quote in their online dating profile.
Way back in 1995, The New York Review of Books published an Umberto Eco essay about fascism that the internet (fueled by current events) has decided is worth a revisit. Recalling his childhood spent in the heyday of WWII Italy, and noting the public’s forgetfulness when it comes to marking the various causes and effects of Europe’s totalitarianism, Eco frets about the possibility that “Nazism, in its original form, is about to reappear as a nationwide movement.” This long-form exploration of the past points directly toward our future — one the author himself would not survive to witness, but his patient analysis may be of great use to those left behind, who are determined to see it through.