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‘Possession’ screenwriter and author visits Ohio State


Novelist, critic and screenwriter Frederic Tuten poses for a photo in Thompson Library. Credit: Courtesy of Richard Fletcher

Novelist, critic and screenwriter Frederic Tuten poses for a photo in Thompson Library. Credit: Courtesy of Richard Fletcher

“There’s always a way to find your voice,” said visiting novelist, critic and screenwriter Frederic Tuten. “But you’ve got to be persistent and determined.”

Tuten is set to speak at the Wexner Center for the Arts today at 4 p.m. The writer is to speak on the fiction between art and life with associate professor in the Department of Classics, Richard Fletcher.

Following the speaking event, the Wex Film/Video theater is set to screen Tuten’s most well-known film, “Possession,” at 7 p.m. The 1981 dramatic horror film was critically acclaimed and gathered a cult following, Fletcher said. The story follows a couple in the midst of divorce and the wife’s insanity surrounding the secret she has kept. The screening will begin with a brief introduction from Tuten and end with a question-and-answer session.

Much of Tuten’s work is archived in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library within Thompson Library. Various short stories, books and his screenplay for “Possession, will be on display this Friday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the library’s Special Collections room. The event requires collaboration among many parts of the university, according to Fletcher.

“We’re connecting the Wexner to the library to the humanities and Department of English,” he said. “Just bringing different faculty and students together through his presence, that’s one of the most exciting things.”

Fletcher works with the literary archive and has called Tuten a “living legend.” He is a member of the Humanities and the Arts discovery group, whose project, “Contemporary Arts and its Publics: Working through Reproduction” sponsored the visit. He also encourages students and faculty to attend the event and movie screening.

“They’ll see a person who’s not just done this one thing… and that has an incredible life,” he said. “He’s quite an inspiring person to listen to.”

While Fletcher is working with the archives, Tuten is currently penning a memoir he hopes resonates with readers and offers insight into their own lives.

“It’s not a memoir just about little me,” he said. “I hope people will read it and find themselves in it. If you live a long enough life then you have some ideas about living and thoughts about what it is you would say to someone else about it.”

Tuten especially calls to the young, idealistic writers who enjoy writing fresh and original work to attend his talk.

“I hope I can reach out to them and say to them many things having to do with trying not to write by formula,” he said. “You have to find your voice and make the work you have, the work you love and the work you want to do.”
The speaking event and display is free to the public, while the 7 p.m. screening is $6 for students and $8 for the public.

Correction Sept. 1: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the location of the screening. This article was also edited to clarify the sponsorship of the visit. 

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