Friday, May 6, 2016

William Carlsen's "Jungle of Stone"

William Carlsen was a reporter for two decades at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. He has also worked for the New York Times and taught journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

Here Carlsen dreamcasts an adaptation of his new book, Jungle of Stone: The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya
I always had two actors in mind as I wrote my book, in part because it lends itself so much to a film, but also to help visualize my two protagonists as I wrote. The first, John L. Stephens, was a lawyer from New York before he set off on adventures in Greece, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and the Holy Land and returned to write bestsellers about his travels. Then he went off in 1839 with Frederick Catherwood, a British architect/artist, to discover the Maya civilization in Central America, Mexico and Yucatan. Stephens was described by a contemporary, Herman Melville, as a man with dark eyes and an intense blazing gaze, and by another as highly nervous and full of energy. So I thought of James Franco for the role. Catherwood was described as taller, a reserved Englishman who intently guarded his privacy, and, as an artist, a man of very few words. Called throughout their books together by Stephens as "Mr. Catherwood," there could be no other actor I would think of in the role than Colin Firth. Well, one can dream, of course. But they would make the perfect pair.
Visit William Carlsen's website.

Writers Read: William Carlsen.

--Marshal Zeringue