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Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 22:37
by sneelock
positive passion made a good point - why not destroy the stuff while he was alive?
"you can't see it until it's finished"?

I respect his wishes but I also feel kind of gypped.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 22:50
by sloopjohnc
Quaco wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:I'm pretty cavalier and easygoing about most stuff, but if someone wants to put limits to how their work is used, distributed or published, and takes the time to set it down legally, then their executors should have the right to exercise the deceased's wishes. That I think the public should have more right to it is tough cookies.

Ah, but what if it were a scientific formula that would cure some terrible disease!


Never thought about that. I think that's a little different than a play or novel though. You couldn't make that assumption unless it went through years of R&D, testing, patent research, and FDA approval. But I get what you're sayin'.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 22:59
by sneelock
Kind of Ayn Rand/Howard Roarkian!

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 23:32
by Nikki Gradual
Grey Error wrote:
Count Machuki wrote:I say publish it.
What if his final masterpiece is there? That's more important than last wishes in this case, says i


I couldn't disagree more.
This thread taps into my two bugbears supremely: the importance of respecting the wishes of the dead (you know, it's the last thing that you're ever going to do for them, that kind of thing) and people DOING WHAT THEY PROMISE THEY WILL DO.
Almost nothing causes me to lose respect more for someone than when they are flakey, or promise to do something, and don't follow through. I like people who do the things they say they are going to do. When someone has trusted you enough to get all legal about it, then you're a low snake to fuck that up.
They were his wishes. Fulfill that duty. It's not hard.


The above. All of the above. Precisely how it is written above.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 23:40
by Count Machuki
Didn't Kafka want all of his stuff destroyed? Glad that didn't pan out.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 23:49
by take5_d_shorterer
Finally this has been noted.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 23:52
by toomanyhatz
If it had, though, we'd never know. Selfishly, I'm glad that Kafka's wishes weren't met. But it's still wrong that they weren't.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 06 Jul 2017, 23:55
by Davey the Fat Boy
We've gotten enough from the guy with his completed works. He doesn't owe us anything more.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 00:15
by Charlie O.
Quaco wrote:Ah, but what if it were a scientific formula that would cure some terrible disease!

Pretty unlikely, given that he was a playwright - but in that instance I would like to think that his will would specify "Destroy all of my unfinished work except for that possibly-disease-curing scientific formula."

As for the question "Why didn't he just destroy it himself?" - there are any number of possible reasons. I don't know the details of his later life, but maybe he was too physically infirm to find all that stuff and dispatch it himself. Maybe he was afraid that if he verbally asked somebody to do it, they'd squirrel it away and just tell him they'd destroyed it; better to get it in notarized writing.

Or (very likely, I think) maybe he thought there was a possibility that he might actually finish some of those things if he lived long enough.

If he didn't think the unfinished stuff was good enough to foist on the public... it probably wasn't.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 00:18
by sneelock
Well, they nearly put on that last one. I think they might have even rehearsed it. That's not to say it was finished but I'll bet it was interesting. I'm glad they put out "the last tycoon" but then, I guess F. Scott didn't tell anybody not to.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 10:18
by Fonz
Charlie O. wrote:I'm with Fonz (except that I actually voted).


Dude, I voted too!
I don't know who he was. Some old playwright or something.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 10:34
by Robert
Classic Rock Sneelock wrote:positive passion made a good point - why not destroy the stuff while he was alive?
"you can't see it until it's finished"?

I respect his wishes but I also feel kind of gypped.


I thought that too but there are numerous reasons not to.

I think it's pretty common for writers and song writers to have half finished works hanging around. The same with a song or novel they consider unworthy of publication in its current form but may be useful later to use- in part or wholly.

I think it is plain simple. The writer has the intellectual property and if he or she goes as far as drafting a legal document that all unpublished material must be destroyed after his/her death then that is just the end of it. In my view it never really got as far as being transferred to the estate.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 10:40
by fire and fueryIre
Four words....

Go set a watchman...

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 11:52
by Positive Passion
Robert wrote: In my view it never really got as far as being transferred to the estate.


:D

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 12:30
by Robert
Positive Passion wrote:
Robert wrote: In my view it never really got as far as being transferred to the estate.


:D


Hmmm?

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 15:10
by Rayge
If I can just remove this from Albee to a wider point. While neither my mother nor Chip left me with any deathbed instructions (except, in Chip's case, to do whatever I felt was right) I've thought a lot about this, and although I knee-jerk voted for destruction, in general I don't think the wishes of people in extremis should be binding on those left behind. This whole thing smacks to me of a denial of I-death at best, and at worse an overweening sense of self-importance, neither of which are anything I can get behind.

I for instance, have willed my carcase to science, and if science doesn't want it, have left instructions for no religious involvement in its disposal; but in the act of willing it, I have done my bit. If those still living want to throw a party or funeral, shove the meat into a mausoleum or resort to cannibalism, then that is what they must do. I cannot for the life of me (clever wording, cheers) see how what happens after I'm dead will have any importance, or indeed reality for me. My time ends with my body's death. And the importance and significance of all my 'art' (writings, photos, sculptures, gardens, whatever) and accumulated stuff vanishes with it. Other people can do what they like. I'm fine with being forgotten. That's as it should be. Ancestor worship is all about the descendants, not the progenitors, anyway.

Also, while I have never been in a position where I have had to make this choice, either because the deaths of loved ones have been so abrupt of because the dying person had the gumption not to attempt to put a lien on the living, I can't see it as 'wrong' to agree to a wish someone expresses on their deathbed in order that their last days are not marked with conflict, then not carry it out because it conflicts with one's own moral sense or in some way harms (in the widest possible sense) anyone living. I wouldn't break a solemn promise to the living (tbh, I'd think very hard before making one), but I cannot bound by the dead. It's not that I didn't respect them or didn't love them, because I did. Some may find this horribly venal, but it's pretty much hard-wired into my sense of self, and what it is to be alive.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 15:41
by Thang-y
This reminds me of Thomas Hardy

wiki: "Shortly after Hardy's death, the executors of his estate burnt his letters and notebooks, but twelve documents survived, one of them containing notes and extracts of newspaper stories from the 1820s, and research into these has provided insight into how Hardy used them in his works.[18] In the year of his death Mrs Hardy published The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1841–1891, compiled largely from contemporary notes, letters, diaries, and biographical memoranda, as well as from oral information in conversations extending over many years."

I'd mis-remembered it, I thought his last wife kept stuff against Hardy's wishes. Anyway .. it's interesting that Hardy aficionados find what was undestroyed useful.

My own view is if you don't want any work surviving after death, destroy it yourself. I'm with Ray what happens after my death doesn't concern me that much (though I prefer the idea that I'd be cremated) and if I do care about things left after me then I'll make the provisions myself. My husband had a huge (unwritten) list of things he wanted me to do after his death but he was an awful hoarder and there are many things that I won't keep, for example. He's dead, it means nothing to him now. I respect him and his work and things as much as I can but I won't keep a load of old crap because he wanted it kept (and I made no promise).



So anyway, I don't care about Edward Albee so I don't care about what happens, but in the case of work I admire and I'd have influence, I'd tell that person to destroy it him/herself or risk it being kept. If I can destroy it and promise to do so yeah I would. Generally though, sure you should have your wishes after death respected but ... you'll be dead. (Don't worry Ray, your dissection wishes will be respected.)

Quite a few people didn't care what happened after they died, eg diary writers such as Kenneth Williams; Alan Clark even published them before he died. Good for them.

And art work such as that by Aubrey Beardsey became much more known after their death - so glad that wasn't destroyed, even though

wiki: "Beardsley converted to Roman Catholicism in March 1897, and subsequently begged his publisher, Leonard Smithers, to “destroy all copies of Lysistrata and bad drawings... by all that is holy all obscene drawings." Smithers ignored Beardsley’s wishes, and actually continued to sell reproductions as well as forgeries of Beardsley's work.[9]"

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 15:48
by The Beatles
Rayge wrote:My time ends with my body's death.

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 17:07
by sloopjohnc
On the other hand, if I had a family member who was a famous artist or writer and asked me to be executor with all the contingencies involved., I think I'd decline. Even if they thought I'd be the best protector.

Even if I'd financially profit by doing so. I wouldn't want the headaches. I'd think being Albee's executor is a full time job what with all the rules and people wanting to put on productions of his plays. What's the point of just having to say, "no," all the time?

Re: Who's Afraid of Destroying Edward Albee?

Posted: 07 Jul 2017, 18:17
by Charlie O.
fueryIre wrote:Four words....

Go set a watchman...

I almost brought that up. Of course the difference there is that Harper Lee was still alive when that was published and (supposedly) approved its publication.