THOMAS SAINSBURY kindly answers my questions on posthumous pros and cons

8 Apr

Have you already prepared for this in Last Will & Testament form?
I haven’t. But when I signed up with my playwriting agent I had to have someone to run my ‘estate’ and royalties in case I died. And so I’ve put my brother and sister.

How, morally, ethically, do you feel about an unfinished piece of yours being published once you no longer had the ability to veto, defend or edit it yourself?
Good question! Well thought. I’ve often thought about this one for other people. And I wouldn’t want an unfinished piece being out there. But I become desperate to read everything that some of my favourite writers have written. Any notebooks, or journal entries, or unfinished manuscripts – I want to read. So I suppose I can’t be hypocritical – though I can’t see anyone desperately wanting to read absolutely everything I’ve written.

What does it say, to you, about the nature of writing – are you certain that your  structure, the essence of the piece or indeed the total purpose of it, would come through strongly enough in note form and therefore be published as something representative if still incomplete.
Ooh. Just read the next two questions. Have probably answered them. I think that as long as they are printed as an unfinished script, or notebook, then that is fine.

From a reader’s perspective do you think that the public ought to make good on whatever you left behind – that they deserve, in some sense, to benefit from your thoughts however unfinished.
I do. Even though I don’t like being remembered for a crap play script – I do think the public ‘deserves’ it.

Thomas Sainsbury is the co-writer of Super City (recently aired on TV3 which disastrously didn’t get picked up for a second season. Typical). He’s also a prolific playwright, comedic wit and exceptionally talented actor.


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