Monday, October 23, 2017

The Spectre of Sylvia and Shakespeare: Culture Cops

Almanac: Christopher Shinn on theatrical success

“Whether or not your play succeeds is essentially arbitrary.” Christopher Shinn (interviewed by Jessie Thompson in the Evening StandardAugust 10, 2017)... read more

“Nobody particularly wants the happy ending when they care more for the story than the person.”

“I knew that if I could succeed at being demolished, I could succeed at anything.”

                                       to a man like you,” she said,

“because the shiny shoes, and flattery

                                        and the self-
lubricating slime of affluence would mean
you’d never have to face your failure as a human being.” 

“People have had enough of well-constructed intrigue, clever plot hooks, and denouements… Take it from me, readers expect something different from literature and they’re right: they expect the Real, the authentic.  They want to be told about life, don’t you see? Literature mustn’t mistake its territory.” 

“There is nothing more exasperating than reading in contemporary guidebooks disparagements of places that are deemed to be “seedy.” Do the writers not notice that such places are invariably crowded with people? When a neighborhood is described as “seedy” by some Lonely Planet prude, I immediately head there.” 
– Lawrence Osborne

“There is nothing original about me except a little original sin.” – Jane Bowles

“We came to theatre  to measure ourselves against the great emptiness.”
~ I wish Gabbie wrote it :-) 

Where Did The Idea Of A Mentor Come From? ‘The Odyssey’ – And Homer’s Version Is Wisdom Personified

In fact, Homer’s version is literally Wisdom personified – which is to say that it’s Athena, goddess of wisdom, appearing to Telemachus in the form of a man named Mentor. Harvard classicist Gregory Nagy talks to The Atlantic about how Homer’s Mentor is still relevant today.

 "A summer was just a summer, and its dead bodies should remain confined to it.”  The Atlantic River

Children hear ghost stories when they are little. Gabbie still gets nightmares from Mittleuropean ghost stories ... They tell the same ghost stories when they get older, to their own sons and daughters.  There are millions of incredible things in all the mythologies, and every religion still conjures angels and devils.  We spend years of our lives having trouble going to sleep because we worry about those demons and vampires, spectres and ghouls.  As time goes by, we find there are no monsters and no ghosts.  If we have trouble falling asleep at night, it’s not because we’re worried the fantastic will materialise but rather that reality will get harder and more brutal.  

 The best teachers teach, do and more importantly they enable the future and support and inspire the young

Apart from needing money, the only reason to write is to face one’s pathologies.” Christopher Shinn (interviewed by Jessie Thompson in the Evening StandardAugust 10, 2017)... read more

The chemistry of influence and inspiration is unstable, and its results uncertain... If big throbbing teenage emotions are what Robbins wants from both poetry and pop, they’re harder to come by than they used to be, it seems. Equipment for Living is, in large part, an elegy for old enthusiasms. “[N]ow all I get from music is music,” he writes. “Those songs slide right off me now. They gave me everything they had in them […] Listening to most rock and roll now involves remembering what it used to do for me that it can’t anymore.” I fell in love with such-and-such band or poet “at too early an age,” Robbins repeats; now entering middle age and established in his field, he is anxiously considering his early loves and wondering if he’d wasted valuable passion on them...Singing Muses

A 2 1/2-hour history play that pleases, puzzles and provokes, in a form that keeps shifting wildly from one moment to the next like a bucking bronco. One moment it's a poetic drama, the next a comedy – then cabaret, RCMP musical ride or game show. There's even a scene in which Don Cherry provides colour commentary on the Battle of Duck Lake. Theatre and Performance via Gabbie

Forgotten Images : "The Spectre"

'Screaming' man fined $149 for singing 'EverybodyDance Now'

'I don’t know if my voice was very bad and that’s why I got the ticket,' he said (BC singing lines from the Midnight Oil on Market Street ;-)

 Trust But Verify Agents | Bill Peschel

What Sylvia Plath’s letters reveal about the poet we thought we knew

David Crilly, artistic director at The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, said: "If a student of English Literature doesn't know that Titus Andronicus contains scenes of violence they shouldn't be on the course." I could not agree more ...

  To get unstuck, I must let go of my “career” as an established writer and begin again as a novice. In truth, I am a novice in every new moment of the day, each of which presents possibilities unknown and untried. Why not embrace that fact and see what happens? As Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki said:
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”In practical terms, what does it mean to begin again? I was afraid you’d ask. The truth is, I’m clueless, which may prove, mirable dictu, that I’m actually practicing beginner’s mind. If I’d waited for an answer, I wouldn’t have written this little piece — and writing it may help me get unstuck as a person, as a writer, as a citizen of the world. Simply pecking away at it over the past few days has already taken me to a place that feels less stagnant and more alive. At very least, I’ve been reminded that such a place exists.