Letters From a Lost Uncle Found Frozen Inside a Giant Peach?

"I say, what book do you have there?"

Da-da's not seen this anywhere, so consider this a scoop!

Letters From a Lost Uncle (1948) is a wonderfully obscure book by a wonderfully obscure author and illustrator, Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) -- though he's getting some traction these days from his Gormenghast books being made into films (Gordon Sumn-... er, Sting has purchased the rights). Anyway, Da-da was chatting books with a bookseller friend recently about Peake when the subject of Roald Dahl's, James and the Giant Peach came up. Da-da's friend then mentioned something quite interesting and Da-da checked it out, securing a fresh copy of Tim Burton's, "James and the Giant Peach" to check his observation.

Clearly, someone should alert the Peake family -- those copyright owners of Mervyn Peake's works -- as the entire arctic portion of Tim Burton's movie has been ostensibly lifted directly from, Letters From a Lost Uncle. Indeed, these icy scenes stick out to anyone who's read Dahl's book, as there's nothing like that in Dahl's original work, and Uncle is nothing but. To make matters spicier, said bookseller friend of Da-da's once rented a copy of Peake's book to Tim Burton for $50! (Da-da's friend refused to sell his personal copy, so the studio offered to rent it, and he agreed; the book was returned weeks later with a check.)

So, why does Da-da care? Well, speaking as an obscure author and artist original who will one day be dead, Da-da often sees it as his duty to champion those obscure and forgotten and original, esp. when everyone and their brother is credited these days. Credit where credit's due and all that. Stiff upper lip. Mind the gap. It's only fair, as they say, whoever THEY are, not that fair has anything to do with art and literature and film -- or the world, for that matter. Oh, well. C'est la fromage.


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...