Saturday, April 29, 2017

Literature and Narrative: Lysicrates and Philanthropy

Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.” Margot Fonteyn, Autobiography more

Death comes, but it is not your death –-
it is the outstretched hand we snuff
our cigarettes out in; the boat turned
away from the harbor as the waves rise.

It comes with a swelled chest and a closed
mind. Makes its bed with the Father of Lies.
It arrives while we are otherwise occupied.
This is how Death comes: It comes with flags
and silence...

Jozef Imrich and Maria Imrichova on The why of cooking ...

JESUS WANTS ME FOR A MOONBEAM by Steve Rogers is a play adapted from the novella by Peter Goldsworthy. It is an evocative, haunting, moving tale about loss and familial relationships, a husband and wife, parents and children, brother and sister. It explores the nature of an ideal family, and their quest to define their lives through each other, isolating themselves  

Rodgers’ Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam is adapted from Peter Goldsworthy’s novella and is a haunting story of suffocating love, grief and loss, and a family so close that the parents made an extreme decision when their young daughter is diagnosed with leukemia; a decision their son will struggle to understand Actor-writer Steve Rodgers wins $12,500 Lysicrates Prize for new Australian playwriting

One of the reasons we created this initiative was that we have the highest respect for artists and thinkers in general – scribblers, daubers, and assorted eggheads – because it is they who define our identity, and whose work lasts. Today we remember Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides, who all won prizes at the Dionysia Festival. Some day in the future, we hope that in the same way some of the winners of the Lysicrates Prize in Sydney will also be remembered for
their passion and insight, and their skill in framing their creations. 

Little over a year ago, two incredibly elegant, erudite and passionate people came into my office in Kings Cross
with an idea. They wanted to create a prize for new playwriting in the spirit of the ancient festivals in Greece. They envisioned the theatrical equivalent 
of the Archibald Prize. In their mind’s eye they saw it in the Royal Botanic Gardens, within sight of the Lysicrates Monument, on a warm summer night. Most importantly they believed that  the winning play should be decided by the audience: the people of Sydney celebrating the talents of the playwrights living amongst us.
My first thought was that they were crazy  ... 
So my second thought: if they are crazy, then they are my kind of crazy. 
Lysicrates Prize Book 

The imposing offices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are in downtown Seattle, just opposite the city’s famous Space Needle. It was here in the spring of 2015 that Paul Ramsay Foundation chief executive Simon Freeman, together with directors Michael Siddle and Peter Evans, began a tour of some of America’s leading philanthropic foundations. With a bucket list that included the Ford Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, they were keen to see how the big US foundations operate and are resourced.
“What we took from that trip was a real understanding of what it actually means to be an engaged funder,” says Freeman, who criss-crossed the US to visit 10 foundations over the same number of days. Philanthropy 50: biggest private givers in 2016

"To believe that change is driven by technology, when technology is driven by humans, renders force and power invisible,"    Changing Landscapes 

Arthur Krystal isn't so much literary critic with theories to peddle as an enthusiast with pleasures to share and enemies to fend off... fend off  

Stalin once thought that under Communism alcohol could be abolished because people would be so happy they wouldn’t want it. Moonshine flourished in the USSR  

Performing ‘Hamlet’ In A Sandstorm At A Syrian Refugee Camp

Dominic Dromgoole, the former director of Shakespeare’s Globe and godfather of the company’severy-country-on-earth tour ofHamlet, writes about the tour’s visit to Amman, Jordan, and to the Zaatari settlement for refugeesnear the Jordanian-Syrian border.

Why did Les Misérables, a 500,000 word novel composed over 16 years, conquer the world? Because Victor Hugo, who believed in progress, told a story of irrepressible  optimism   

 “I saw not only the astonishing beauty of this land but also scars of change ever more blatant and pervasive..." 

Edmund Wilson gave Fitzgerald a copy of The Trial in early 1939, during a visit east. In May, Fitzgerald wrote thanking him, the first of his Los Angeles letters Wilson uses in The Crack Up: “It seemed to renew old times [with you] learning about Franz Kafka […]” Fitzgerald wrote another Princeton friend around this time recommending, among other books, “The Trial —fantastic novel by the Czech Franz Kafka which you may have to wait for but it is worth it.” Eighteen months later, the Czech was still on his mind, writing Max Perkins, his Scribner’s editor: “Kafka was an extraordinary Czechoslavakian [sic] Jew who died in ’36 [wrong, but the Crack Up year]. He will never have a wide public but The Trial and America are two books writers will never be able to forget.” He closes: “This is the first day off I have taken for many months and I just wanted to tell you the book is coming along and that comparatively speaking all is well.”
He was dead a week later. The Afterlife of F. Scott Fitzgerald

In Hungary they walk by a river and Ivan says that he wants to throw a stray dog into it. She asks why he’d want to do such a thing. He says rivers make him want to throw things into them, and jokes that he can’t throw her in. She knows this is “meant to sound playful,” but feels “insulted and humiliated.” Ivan reads her mood correctly: “I think you don’t like to throw the dog into the river.” I don’t think Ivan would throw a dog into a river, and I don’t think they’re talking about dogs. The Sexless Idiot