Unpublished Writings of Richard Fariņa

Early attempts at novels:
Fariņa started a novel in high school. It was set in Cuba and seems to have been written in the Hemingwayesque style that he used in several other stories. It's possible that parts of this early novel were later used for the story "The Passing of Various Lives," which in turn may have been based in part on his father's experiences in Cuba.

According to Hajdu, Fariņa also told Cornell classmates he had spent one summer between terms in a secluded cabin writing about his mother's family in Northern Ireland. His father apparently had the unfinished manuscript.

A Heavy Sound Breaks In
Directed by Gene Wright.
Starring: Derwood Crocker as George, Margaret Chow as Kathy.
Also starring David Seidler and Terry Cannon.

This one-act play was performed at Cornell on April 30, 1959 in Willard Straight Hall. The setting is a small apartment in New York City in the present. The plot seems to be very similar to that of his story "The End of a Young Man." Both works feature an idealistic young man drawn to a romanticized past who is persuaded by Irish saboteurs to persue adventure. A Heavy Sound Breaks In won the Forbes Heermans Prize for one-act plays for 1959. The title is an allusion to Alfred Byron's long poem, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812), from Canto Three, Stanza XXII:

But hark!--that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!

"The Ballad of the Last Caution Gun Battle"
This story, mentioned in Positively 4th Street, was rejected by Mademoiselle magazine, which had published other works by Fariņa. In 1963 he started plans to rework the story into a movie starring Bob Dylan--a western about a peace-loving cowboy who never carried a gun but had to take up arms to save his father. Tom Costner also alluded to this story in his review of the movie adaptation of Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me.

The Shelter
Thomas McKean, a longtime Fariņa fan, read the manuscript of this play. He recalls that it was a dense, poetic work that was more like a Byronic closet drama than a play with characters that could be performed in the conventional way. An article in Broadside of Boston ("Spotlight: Dick and Mimi Farina," April 28, 1965) announced that The Shelter would be staged at Club 47 in Cambridge and that Mimi would dance in it. The notes on the back of Celebrations for a Grey Day, which came out around the same time, stating that Mimi had danced in a production of this play at The Image Theatre, also in Cambridge. However, Mimi stated in an interview that The Shelter was never performed because they moved away (presumably back to California). In the same interview she also states that Richard was beginning to write a children's book before he died. Eric von Schmidt wrote and illustrated children's books, of course, so Richard might have been inspired by his friend.

Miscellaneous Pieces:
The following works were featured in the musical, Richard Fariņa: Long Time Coming and a Long Time Gone. In the playbill they are described as unpublished:

"Juan Carlos Rosenbloom"
A short story, apparently featuring the character from Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me. Perhaps it was a preliminary character sketch, or a scene deleted from the novel. Or perhaps it was a further episode--Mimi stated in another interview that "there were notes for a follow-up novel using the same characters."

"November Elegy"
A sestina expressing the nation's shock at the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

"Breaking the Travel-Ban, or, With the Students at the Front"
An article. No further info.

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