BAG OF BONES : the origins of the title
I was reading a french ‘magazine’ from 1998, when i noticed an article entitled « STEPHEN KING talks about BAG OF BONES« . Knowing that the mini-series will soon be available, it was a perfect timing.
This article was based on a text Stephen King wrote about BAG OF BONES, and an interview from Simon & Schuster’s website (1998).
I dont know if you ever wondered where the BAG OF BONES title came from, but here is the answer (translated from french):
« Thomas Hardy, who supposedly said that compared to the dullest human being actually walking about on the face of the earth and casting his shadow there, the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is but a bag of bones. »
I did this job for several years now, and i can understand that idea, because, even through the most reputated litteracy characters, the most memorable, are only vowels, consonants & punctuation. They are not real people. It’s really one of the major problem for a writer. Thomas Hardy stopped writing novels himself after finishing Jude the Obscure and while he was at the height of his narrative genius. He went on writing poetry for another twenty years, and when someone asked him why he’d quit fiction he said he couldn’t understand why he had trucked with it so long in the first place. In retrospect it seemed silly to him, he said. Pointless. I know exactly what he meant, but i dont want to get it too well, because i am not exactly done with writing.
[Excerpt from Tenebres #4, page 15, translated from french / Hodder & Stoughton : BAG OF BONES reading guide]