it’s may and it’s short story month. i have to ask myself, what is the best short story i’ve read this year. i need to think more about what goes on that particular list. that “i fucking love this story and want to steal something from it” list.
re-reading is a big deal for me, i’ll admit. and there is the element of
stealing building upon what has already been written that appeals to me. let’s talk HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad. this piece of writing inspired the movie Apocalypse Now and moved the story from the Congo to Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
John Milius wrote the screenplay on a dare from a film teacher who said, “no one can touch HEART OF DARKNESS. Orson Welles tried and failed.” Milius took the challenge and ran with it. he couldn’t let it go. although written by Milius, Francis Ford Coppola took the screenplay and adapted it as he went, shooting the movie. it was an organic process for Coppola and he almost lost everything because of it. of interest, FFC’s wife Eleanor filmed the process of shooting Apocalypse Now and in 1991, she released the footage in a documentary called Heart of Darkness.
Conrad to Milius to Francis Ford Coppola to Eleanor Coppola. circling one another, stealing from one another.
and it occurs to me how far a piece of writing can drive creative people.
what obsesses you?