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Faulkner meets HBO

day 16: death in the afternoon

David Milch, the creator of NYPD Blue and Deadwood, will be bringing Faulker’s
literary works to HBO. Yup, you read that right. Reports the New York Times:

“I’m not, probably, the first person they would have thought of approaching them,” Mr. Milch said in a phone interview, referring to his months-long discussions with the William Faulkner Literary Estate. “But a number of conversations were fruitful and here we are.”

But the Times points out Milch isn’t as far-fetched a choice as you might think:

But before he started putting colorful words in the mouths of Andy Sipowicz and Al Swearengen, Mr. Milch made his literary bones as an undergraduate at Yale University and a graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa; he worked with Robert Penn Warren (who shared a biographer, Joseph Blotner, with Faulkner), Cleanth Brooks and R. W. B. Lewis on a history of American literature, and contributed fiction and criticism to publications like The Southern Review and The Atlantic Monthly.

More recently, Mr. Milch said, his daughter Olivia had been studying Faulkner’s novel “Light in August” at Yale and “renewed my engagement with the material,” eventually leading to discussions between his company, Red Board Productions, and the William Faulkner Literary Estate.

Milch and the estate will work together to select some of Faulker’s works to adapt. The Sound and The Fury is an obvious choice—but how about a version of “A Rose for Emily” or “The Bear”? Which Faulkner works would you want to see?

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