Friday, October 14, 2005

Telling the Untold Stories

I’ve become quite fascinated recently in discovering books that have been written around someone else’s idea. For instance, Tracy Chevalier must have actually looked at Johannes Vermeer's portrait The Girl with a Pearl Earring and wondered about that girl enough to devise a story about her. It seems as if quite a number of people are curious about that no longer two-dimensional girl—the book is a best-seller and is soon to be a movie. Similarly, Gregory Macguire’s best-selling novel, turned musical, Wicked, the untold story of the Witches of Oz has also caught the attention of many. And that perennial favorite, Jane Austen, certainly has her share of followers. From Karen Joy Fowler’s contemporary The Jane Austen Book Club to fellow self-pubbed author Pamela Aidan’s story of Mr. Darcy (of Pride and Prejudice fame) in her Fitzwilliam Darcy: Gentleman series.

I wonder if it’s easy to write with pre-existing conditions and guidelines…I would have thought it would be more difficult. The bottom line, I suppose, is that if you craft a beautiful piece of art—be it a painting or a book—people will want to continue to connect with the characters. Not to mention that these creative new authors are introducing new generations to the classics.

1 comment:

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Whoops! I'm meant to correct this before I posted, but...
The Girl with a Pearl Earring was already made into a 2003. Obviously I haven't seen it.