Three literary Kickstarter projects that aren’t offensive

Last week there was a hubbub over a Kickstarter campaign to fund a “seduction” guidebook that included passages that encouraged men to be assertive with women. “Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances,” and other amateur advice justifiably set off alarm bells. Yet the furious attention that followed backfired -- the small, self-published book got funded eight times over. Can literary projects on Kickstarter that aren’t offensive do the same?

One that might is for a 25-minute film adaptation of the story “Oblivion” by David Foster Wallace (watch the video above). Director Francesco Marchione secured rights from the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust and publisher Little, Brown to make his version of the script. As far as I know, this is the first film project based on Wallace’s work since John Krasinski made “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men” -- at least, it’s the one that’s gotten closest to production. As of this writing, the production has raised just shy of $3,000 of its $30,000 goal.


A project even further from its fundraising goal but closer to us hereabouts is Literary L.A. - a feature documentary. It will feature a veritable who’s-who of Los Angeles writer-dom, leading off with our own book critic, David L. Ulin, and including Janet Fitch, Aimee Bender, Jerry Stahl and Steve Erickson (if you look in the credits, my colleague Hector Tobar is there too, with me much further down the page). The film is being produced by the L.A. Review of Books’ Tom Lutz and filmmaker Kurt Olerud; as of this writing it has raised about $600 of its $23,000 goal.

The third literary project has been created by, as he says, “simpleminded back-woodsman Alan Moore.” But he is in fact the same Alan Moore that created “Watchmen.” And “V for Vendetta.” And “Swamp Thing.” He’s written so much that when Tim Callahan at went back to reread all of his work, it took more than a year. His latest is the screenplay for a cycle of short films, “Jimmy’s End,” directed by Mitch Jenkins (watch the video for some Hitchcock jokes). It’s set in a fully realized alternate world that looks a bit like Berlin in the 1930s, but has its own music and legends and who knows what else. Four of five short films in the cycle are complete; when it’s all done, expanding the story into a feature film is possible. So far, £17,834 has been pledged of the £45,000 goal.


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