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I must add two more things about As I Lay Dying before moving on.

First, how have I gone this long without providing a post involving some mention of graphic art? Seriously?

First, illustrator Nathan Olsen created some great images based on the book back in 1999, which he generously posts on his website. Each picture, obviously, interestingly, or perhaps even predictably enough is framed within an upside down coffin. They are, for the most part, very good and worth taking a look at. Here’s my favourite:

Vardaman Bundren mistakes his mother for a fish in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.

Interpreting Faulkner’s masterpiece in an even more ambitious and creative manner is New York-based artist Tony Lee. In May 2010, Lee published his re-imagining of As I Lay Dying through the manipulation of font and found images:

“I wanted to change how one understood Faulkner’s writing by approaching this book as a collection of found objects. I paired excerpts from each chapter in Faulkner’s original order with an object or image that references in some way to the featured character’s mood and persona. Each character is expressed with a different typeface in order to create a kind of immersive experience when reading each chapter. The final book was signature-bound by hand.”

The result is something beautiful – a collection of haunting images and ingenious composition.

And finally film. I want to ignore this, to pretend it isn’t happening, but I can’t. Ubiquitous Hollywood hack, James Franco, is adapting As I Lay Dying as a feature film. The good news: Michael Shannon may be involved. The bad news: James Franco is involved.

Let’s end with the good: Michael Shannon acting in Sam Mendes’s 2008 film adaptation of Richard Yates’s deeply brilliant and even ‘deeperly’ tragic Revolutionary Road.

– Joe

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