About this book
Directing Herbert White
The debut poetry collection by the actor, director, and writer James Franco
I’m a nocturnal creature,
And I’m here to cheat time.
You can see time and exhaustion
Taking pay from my face—
In fifty years
My sleep will be death,
I’ll go like the rest,
But I’ll have played
All the games and all the roles.
“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, winner of the Bollingen Prize in American Poetry
“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, poet, editor, scholar, and cultural/political activist
About the Author
James Franco is an actor, director, writer, and visual artist. He has appeared in numerous films, and has directed and adapted many literary works for the screen, including Frank Bidart’s “Herbert White.”