When silent movie actor Charlie Chaplin was alive, he wrote a novella about an alcoholic clown but it was never published. Now for the first time, Footlights will be available to the public.
The novella is a prequel to the film Limelight. Here is more about it from the publisher’s listing:
Well before becoming one of the masterpieces of Chaplin’s artistic maturity, and even before existing as a screenplay, Limelight was conceived by his author as a 34,000-word novella… Chaplin’s vivid, idiosyncratic style, unadulterated by editors, moves freely from the baldly colloquial to moments of rich imagery and Dickensian description. For a setting, he looked back to London and the music halls of his first professional years, an enchanted period in which he had broken out of the deprivations of his childhood to discover, progressively, his unique gifts as entertainer and communicator. But this retrospect also recalled the painful insecurity of an uneducated, uncultured boy launched into the world of success.
The book has come to light as part of a digitization project of Chaplin’s archives, headed up by Cineteca di Bologna, an Italian film restoration organization. The group has been digitising the Chaplin archive for his family. (Via The Guardian).