Failed screenwriters of yesterday are the intellectuals of yesterday

In an excerpt from Eli Batuman's book, "The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them," Salon publishes a list of screenplays written by people famous for not being stifled screenwriters. This includes Winston Churchill, Jean-Paul Sartre, Aldous Huxley, and, of course, Vladimir Nabokov:
As a struggling young writer in Berlin, Vladimir Nabokov once wrote a phenomenally depressing screenplay titled "The Love of a Dwarf" (1924). The protagonist, a sexually frustrated London circus dwarf, has a one-night stand with the depressed, childless wife of a circus magician. The dwarf quits the circus and retires to a small northern town, waiting vainly for the magician’s wife to join him. Eight years later, she turns up on his doorstep, announces that he has a son, and rushes away. The dwarf pursues her, but dies of a heart attack at her feet. To the gathering onlookers, the magician’s wife announces that her son died a few days ago. In 1939, Esquire printed a short-story version of "The Love of a Dwarf," titled "The Potato Elf": it was Nabokov’s first American publication.

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