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                                                  The Real Life Julian English

On February 14, 1933 Pottsville resident William "Birsie" Richards shot himself.

From Selected Letters, to Gerald Murphy, on July 30, 1962:

In the case of Julian English, the guy in real life was a fellow named Richards, who was definitely not country-club, but had charm and a certain kind of native intelligence, and who, when the chips were down, shot himself. I took his life, his psychological pattern, and covered him up with Brooks shirt and a Cadillac dealership and so on, and the reason the story rings so true is that it is God's truth, out of life.

Page 402.

Gerald Murphy, a Yale graduate, lived in France with his wife Sara in the early twenties after the War. The Murphys were close friends of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and of course O'Hara. This letter was written on  July 30, 1962, long after Gerald Murphy had returned to the U.S. to run his family's business.

                                                             On Writing

Also from Selected Letters, to David Brown, on February 14, 1959.

It is now pretty well known that I write fast and do not rewrite, so why pretend? If you look at your correspondence you can easily figure out that FROM THE TERRACE took me less than two years to write. And during those two years I took out about four months. The over-all time was from February 1957 to August 1958; the actual writing time was considerably less.

Page 286.

The first edition of From The Terrace is 897 pages.

David Brown was a prominent producer, whose life-long dream was to have Appointment in Samarra made into a movie. A few years ago he died at the age of 93. The script is sitting around somewhere. The cast was chosen, James McAvoy to play Julian and Amy Adams to play Caroline, but I would be surprised if anything ever gets off the ground. David Brown's wife was the late Helen Gurley Brown, who revolutionized Cosmopolitan magazine in the sixties.

1 comment:

RGK said...

Brown was a true devotee of O'Hara and was involved in the TEN NORTH FREDERICK film during his days at Fox. I remember reading of his participation in the Random House literary breakfast devoted to O'Hara in the late 90s when I was studying O'Hara. A couple of years later, while temping in the back of the book section at Newsweek, I fielded several calls from his wife (who had recently written a much remarked upon piece for the magazine) and had to curb my impulse to tell her how much I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss O'Hara with her husband.