The Dead Cat-Alexandre Dumas
Rumor has it that Alexandre Dumas used a ghostwriter for some of his work. How true is it?
Alexandre Dumas was a mixed-race French literary genius. From The Count of Monte Cristoto the Three Musketeers we know his work and for many of us the movies that have been made around it.
I remember an episode of Good Times where Michael tells James that Alexandre Dumas was a black man. When I was five or six, this had no bearing on my life as I had no idea who Alexandre Dumas was in the first place. However, during the time in which Good Timeswas a hit television show it was groundbreaking information.
That is why when one of my writing peers told me that most of Dumas’ work had been ghostwritten I was angry first and dead set on proving her wrong second.
I happened upon Claude Schopp who is labeled as France’s Dumas expert. No disrespect to Mr. Schopp, but ultimately for me, when it comes to writing and the writing greats I take no one’s word for it unless they were there when the words were being written and have proof. That said, Mr. Schopp points out that there was an intern of sorts by the name Auguste Jules Maquet who was the brain behind the Three Musketeers and other works by Dumas.
I can only imagine what being a writer was like back then. There were no computers or typewriters as we know them today and getting writings prepared for print had to be a huge job for the author, publisher and printer. Maybe I will research that one day. Needing help with getting it done had to have been a must. I would think that in preparation both the writer and his help would need to know the work so well that they could pretty much recite it upon request.
Working on my novels I had to read it so much that I was vomiting it. Like literally, that is why self-editing is almost impossible. You know what words go where and even if they are not in the right place your brain doesn’t catch it because you are so close to the work.
I am not ready to hand over the legacy of one of the greatest writers in the world.
The Dead Cat encourages you to die a curiosity death as well by asking questions and doing the research about what matters most to you. Please feel free to post your comments below and let us know your thoughts.