They have had every morsel of their lives dissected in every conceivable way, but what if they had been writers themselves…what would they have written?
John Lennon could have been an artist (he went to Liverpool Art School) his work appears to be scribble-like cartoons, with an element of wit. His life was dramatically cut short, killed by a crazed “fan”…but what if he’d lived much longer and felt inspired to write a book? What would he have written?
John Lennon was somewhat of a complex character…he was brought up by his aunt and only formed a relationship with his mother, when her life was cut short, by an accident. His autobiography or Beatles Memoirs would have made compulsive reading and copies would have flown out of book shops…unless of course he inserted some controversial comments, like his quote concerning The Beatles being more popular than Jesus Christ.
Would he have written a book similar to a “Beat Generation” type novel? Some kind of psychedelic drug induced masterpiece. He certainly went through an acid phase. He was noted for his acerbic wit and sometimes cruel sarcasm, juxtaposed with this was his passion for causes, and for “world peace”. What would he have made of…this post September the 11th world we live in?
Jim Morrison packed a lot into his 27 years on this planet, he was a natural poet, might he have not also been a great dark fiction writer? Similarly he might have written some great drug fueled novels.
The more recently diseased Amy Winehouse, who could have written an open honest account of all the demons residing in her head, but unfortunately drugs and alcohol got to her aged 27…Alternatively she might have chosen to write about how the Music industry manipulated her fine talent.
What of Politicians…once Richard Nixon had passed through all the political memoirs…he might have chosen to write a political thriller, full of corruption and intrigue. Bill Clinton (ok this man is still alive) could write something with political intrigue mixed with erotica/kinky sex…there seems to be an influx of EL James type writers, so he could do really well out of this.
What of artists? Picasso tried his hand at a multitude of artistic disciplines, what would a cubist novel read like? The story would have to be viewed from different angles and facets and would be very fragmented. Or perhaps he would have written a novel about “the noble art” of Bullfighting (which in my book is far from noble).
Leonardo Da Vinci, was a writer of sorts, well Leonardo was everything, not just a genius painter, he was a visionary, who could have written some of the most incredible Science Fiction stories ever, he would have surpassed HG Wells, who equally had an incredible vision of the future. If his novel was written using “mirror writing” to read it would take forever., with lots of obscure references.
Stanley Kubrick, a brilliant film director, would be hard to predict what kind of book he might have written…he was such a versatile director, capable of turning his hand to different types of film. He Was also a very meticulous and precise man, who did a lot of research into his films, so we could expect books with lots of detail, as well fired with a rampant imagination.
Comic genius and a master of mimicry, Peter Sellers, was another “complex character”. Almost preordained that he would be an actor, his life guided by his strong Jewish pushy mother “Peg” who contrived to build up a massive ego in her beloved son. Though known as a “comic and incredibly naturally funny man, who is well known for his portrayals of inspector Jacques Clouseau, Sellers desperately wanted to be seen in a much more serious light, not type cast as a clown like Clouseau. A great paradox with Sellers as well as many other comic greats, was that he suffered so much anxiety and from deep depression. He could easily conjure up different characters, so if he had written a work of fiction, maybe he would have been a highly imaginative character developer. Given his bent to be taken seriously, perhaps he would have written a very serious dark novel. Because he played so many different characters, he himself was lost amongst all these characters, maybe writing a book might have helped him to find himself.
Maybe if a lot of these characters had settled down and written novels, there would have been many therapeutic gains and maybe their shortened lives might have been extended…what if?
Francis H Powell is a writer and author of Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories. Follow him on Twitter @Dreamheadz