History Repeats . . .

—From EF— “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” Depending on your source, this originates with Hegel, Engels, or Marx, although it appears to be Marx who cites both of the others. Whatever, they all have the same idea, and they are referring to...

Pint o’ Guinness, Please . . .

—From CB— Who’s the best actor? That’s not a question, of course, that affects the future of the human race, nor can it even be answered. Film acting is radically different from stage acting, not only in distance but in selection—the film actor is subject to the...

Age Twelve . . .

—From EF— Recently I saw a play that dealt with the difficult issue of a sexual relationship between a very young girl (12) and a much older man (40), fifteen years after their one consensual consummated evening of love. They both remember it as love. Then things go...

Empathy . . .

—From CB— Classical drama at its best traces the motives of vile or stupid deeds. Sometimes it’s stated straight out, as with Lear’s Edmund. Often it’s indirect or even self-contradictory, as with Iago. But it only works if you can believe that the writer has deep...

The Tribe . . .

—From EF— If you’re reading this, it means you’re a reader, and as a reader you’ve probably had the experience of turning a book’s last page and wanting to growl, “No! Don’t stop there!” I stayed up late to finish Lab Girl, a memoir by Hope Jahren, and hop-scotched...

Comedy Tonight . . .

—CB— This week we had two performances of Survival, Elizabeth’s solo show. Both had wonderfully responsive audiences, 20-25 people at each. One was for an elder-housing complex, the other a house concert mainly drawn from the poetry community. These were the tenth and...

Creaking Open a Door . . .

—From EF— It’s a damned heady experience to stand before a door you thought you’d already opened, then open it. The sudden flood of light is magnificent. I’ve just finished binge-reading Johann Hari’s Lost Connections, and I’m still giddy. It’s a close-up personal...

Empathy . . .

—CB— I’ve never spent a lot of time asking myself about “my purpose in life.” One does, of course, in writing your college admissions essay, but after that it’s catch as catch can. There’s your mission statement for your theatre company, dozens of grant applications...

Strange Interlude. . .

—From EF— I had a strange, almost holy experience this last Friday. On Thursday, I got up at 5 a.m. to take Conrad to the SF-bound bus. He was attending a four-day writers’ conference, and I’d be on my own until Sunday. I came home, grabbed a little more sleep, and...

Obsession . . .

—From CB— I think I do obsession pretty well. Not that I would recommend it over Vitamin C, but it can be helpful to keep you on track. At times it can squeeze the life out of life, but if carefully nurtured I can be convinced, however rational I pretend to  be, that...

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