English Lit 101 With James Franco
2:41 pm, September 19th | by Colette McIntyre
Because James Franco is James Franco, i.e. a friendly extraterrestrial with eight stomachs who crash landed in a suburban family’s garage and is devoted to teaching humanoids how to follow their aesthetic truths and eating our cats, he has made a film based on William Faulkner’s steam of consciousness tour de force, As I Lay Dying. Because the talkies are much more popular than dusty ol’ tomes about the death of a southern matriarch, a movie tie-in version of the novel has been released. Now, this is not abnormal; we’ve all bought our fair share of paperbacks from the Scholastic Book Fair that brandished the announcement “NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!” The reissue was expected. The cover design was not.
The Internet — especially critics like Time Out New York‘s Keith Uhlich — was furious. Seeing James Franco brood and furrow his eyebrows on the cover of one of the most important novels of the 20th century was an affront to human- and Faulknerkind. But, while everyone else was weeping and raging, Book Riot had the present mind to expand James Franco’s book cover brand. Instead of resisting, they “embraced the ridiculousness and put James Franco on ALL the book covers.” The results are extraordinary.
To see more of what happens when canonical literature stops being polite and starts getting Franco, click here.