Reading in Bed with James Franco

The New Yorker does it.
(It's not from Paris)

So does the Paris Review.

I’ve done absolutely no research on this, and I’m not going to, so that’s all I’ll say: those two publications that I regularly read have a thing about getting famous people to read other famous people’s stories.

In this one, James Franco pauses during his reading of Amie Barrodale’s “William Wei” to do an ingenious plug of his own book. Someone off screen interrupts him. He says “Yes?……Well, that’s so-and-so, just give her my book.” It happens at about the 6 minute 30 second point. Did you know he had a book? Reading in Bed with James Franco.

The grainy footage, the access to Franco getting interrupted in such a casual, unplanned way, the fact that he is in bed and that it’s past midnight…do we need such elaborate, voyeurist performances to interest us in literature? I apologize: that was a facile question. Actually, I find it quite wonderful. I love the faux intimacy (who is doing the filming?), I love that the story he’s reading is good, I love that we can see two versions on the Paris Review website–the grainy version and the cleaned-up audio version, I love that this is a new kind of conversing with stories that has prompted me to add my own mediated voice. Do add yours.

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