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Harper Lee’s posthumous masterpiece

Lee’s estate releases previously unpublished novel “Go See The Watchmen”

By: Darien Campo
Literary Critic

It’s barely been a year, and readers around the world are still mourning the tragic loss of literary-giant Harper Lee. In only two books, Lee opened the hearts and minds of generations to a world of honesty and raw humanity. Harper Lee’s writing truly changed the face of the modern novel – and even in death, she’s about to do it again.

Last week, Lee’s estate announced they were releasing her third, unpublished, never-before-seen novel, “Go See The Watchmen.”

“She considered it her magnum opus,” Lee’s counsel told Time magazine. “All she ever wanted was for people to read this book.”

“Go See the Watchmen,” a 251 page rave review of Zack Snyder’s 2009 film “Watchmen” has been met with adoration from critics around the globe.

“Beautiful,” said James Wood, professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard University. “Absolutely gorgeous. The prose in ‘Go See The Watchmen’ is leading today’s literary slop by miles. No other author even stands a chance in the shadow of the late and great Harper Lee.”

Lee, after seeing “Watchmen” in theatres in 2009, was reportedly transfixed by the film. She praised Larry Fong’s cinematography as a “wonderful feast for the eyes – truly every frame a vast feat for the world of film!” She applauded David Hayter and Alex Tse’s bravery in taking the “substandard plot” of the source comic, by Alan Moore and David Gibbons, and “weaving it into something fantastic.”

“Even in her last days, all she would ever talk about is that movie,” her caretaker said in an interview with the New Yorker. “‘Annie,’ she would call out to me, ‘Annie, people have to see ‘The Watchmen,’ it could change the world.’ She even woke me once, in the middle of the night, screaming. She said that she had a nightmare that she was remembered in death for her previous book, the bird one, instead of what she considered to be her greatest work, ‘Go See The Watchmen.’”

“I told her there was no ‘The,’ it’s just ‘Watchmen,’ but, you know how they get at that age,” she continued.

Though most of the 251-page book is nothing but consistent praise of the 2009 action film, Harper Lee did have one criticism to offer.

“Of the many regrets of my life, my greatest will be that I did not get to see more of Rorschach. It is a dangerous opportunity wasted to have underused such a beautiful character, and Mr. Snyder should be ashamed of himself. Or perhaps he could make a Rorschach solo film sometime in the near future. Before I pass away would be nice,” wrote Harper Lee in “Go See The Watchmen.”

When asked for comment, director Zack Snyder replied, “Harper who?”

Contact the author at dcampo13@wou.edu