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Directing Herbert White: Poems
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Directing Herbert White is the debut poetry collection by the actor, director, and writer James FrancoI'm a nocturnal creature, And I'm here to cheat time.You can see time and exhaustionTaking pay from my face In fifty yearsMy sleep will be death, I'll go like the rest, But I'll have playedAll the games and all the roles. from "Nocturnal""There's never been a book quite like this. Hollywood fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget." Frank Bidart"A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco's poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger, pass and fade. The author has a wonderful, self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk's lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanance. We leave the movie theater a little wiser." Anne Waldman"
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About the Author

James Franco is an actor, director, writer, and artist. He has appeared in numerous films, and has directed and adapted many literary works for the screen, including Frank Bidart's "Herbert White."

Reviews

Praise for "Directing Herbert White: """ "Franco's bold and magnetic examination of life in the mirrored hall of make-believe and fame taps deeply into our collective mythology." --"Booklist" "The stories in "Directing Herbert White" disconcert and titillate, they swagger and collapse, andthey explore what it feels like to be a character. "How did we get to be this way?" is the unspoken question--"weird, ugly humans, on and off stage, trying and failing?" Franco's poems are brave and whip-like, and in the center of their mirrored labyrinth, they house and refine a vulnerable, curious, and very distinct poetic sentience." --Tony Hoagland "A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco's poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk's lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanence. We leave the movie theater a little wiser." --Anne Waldman "There;s never been a book quite like this. Hollywood--fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist--is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget." --Frank Bidart"Individually and collectively, the poems in James Franco's "Directing Herbert White" dramatize the fever dream of American celebrity culture while coolly taking that fever's pulse. In a style both direct and elusive, as anguished as it is ironic, Franco shows us what it feels like to be, at one and the same time, looked at and invisible, acting and acted upon. But what makes this book so distinctive and powerful is the disturbing image of ourselves we see reflected back at us from the funhouse mirror of our public fantasies." --Alan Shapiro "Franco's bold and magnetic examination of life in the mirrored hall of make-believe and fame taps deeply into our collective mythology." --"Booklist" "The stories in "Directing Herbert White" disconcert and titillate, they swagger and collapse, andthey explore what it feels like to be a character. "How did we get to be this way?" is the unspoken question--"weird, ugly humans, on and off stage, trying and failing?" Franco's poems are brave and whip-like, and in the center of their mirrored labyrinth, they house and refine a vulnerable, curious, and very distinct poetic sentience." --Tony Hoagland "A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco's poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk's lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanence. We leave the movie theater a little wiser." --Anne Waldman "There's never been a book quite like this. Hollywood--fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist--is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget." --Frank Bidart"Individually and collectively, the poems in James Franco's "Directing Herbert White" dramatize the fever dream of American celebrity culture while coolly taking that fever's pulse. In a style both direct and elusive, as anguished as it is ironic, Franco shows us what it feels like to be, at one and the same time, looked at and invisible, acting and acted upon. But what makes this book so distinctive and powerful is the disturbing image of ourselves we see reflected back at us from the funhouse mirror of our public fantasies." --Alan Shapiro "Franco's bold and magnetic examination of life in the mirrored hall of make-believe and fame taps deeply into our collective mythology." --Booklist "The stories in Directing Herbert White disconcert and titillate, they swagger and collapse, andthey explore what it feels like to be a character. How did we get to be this way? is the unspoken question--weird, ugly humans, on and off stage, trying and failing? Franco's poems are brave and whip-like, and in the center of their mirrored labyrinth, they house and refine a vulnerable, curious, and very distinct poetic sentience." --Tony Hoagland "A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco's poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk's lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanence. We leave the movie theater a little wiser." --Anne Waldman "There's never been a book quite like this. Hollywood--fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist--is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget." --Frank Bidart "Individually and collectively, the poems in James Franco's Directing Herbert White dramatize the fever dream of American celebrity culture while coolly taking that fever's pulse. In a style both direct and elusive, as anguished as it is ironic, Franco shows us what it feels like to be, at one and the same time, looked at and invisible, acting and acted upon. But what makes this book so distinctive and powerful is the disturbing image of ourselves we see reflected back at us from the funhouse mirror of our public fantasies." --Alan Shapiro Franco's bold and magnetic examination of life in the mirrored hall of make-believe and fame taps deeply into our collective mythology. "Booklist" The stories in "Directing Herbert White" disconcert and titillate, they swagger and collapse, andthey explore what it feels like to be a character. "How did we get to be this way?" is the unspoken question--"weird, ugly humans, on and off stage, trying and failing?" Franco's poems are brave and whip-like, and in the center of their mirrored labyrinth, they house and refine a vulnerable, curious, and very distinct poetic sentience. "Tony Hoagland" A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco's poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk's lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanence. We leave the movie theater a little wiser. "Anne Waldman" There's never been a book quite like this. Hollywood--fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist--is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget. "Frank Bidart" Individually and collectively, the poems in James Franco's "Directing Herbert White" dramatize the fever dream of American celebrity culture while coolly taking that fever's pulse. In a style both direct and elusive, as anguished as it is ironic, Franco shows us what it feels like to be, at one and the same time, looked at and invisible, acting and acted upon. But what makes this book so distinctive and powerful is the disturbing image of ourselves we see reflected back at us from the funhouse mirror of our public fantasies. "Alan Shapiro""

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