<= 2003.03.17

2003.03.23 =>

shock and awe

I figured it would start while I was away. What can I hope but the obvious things?—that it's over soon, that we don't kill too many thousands of people, that once the last bunkers are busted Europe will be able to swallow its rancor at our abominable diplomacy and help us rebuild.

Thursday night I went and saw a production of Happy Days at a tiny black-box theater in back of a coffee shop. Beckett has been my favorite playwright since college, but for a long time the only emotion I really associated with him was a creeping dull dread, now and then leavened by a nasty smirk or a shock of horror. The back of my copy of Molloy quotes the New York Times Book Review as saying "Behind all his mournful blasphemies against man there is real love." I never really believed that; I just admired him because I thought he had basically got the human condition right. I certainly never thought that one of his plays would bring me to tears, as this one did. Who knows why: because the war was on, because love is a car driving off a pier. In one of my college classes we debated whether Beckett's characters even qualify as human. Back then I suspected that Molloy, at least, did not—but it turns out that they all do. The love is there, too; without it the plays would not exist. The people are real people, as is Beckett, as are we, singing our songs while the mound of earth engulfs our throats.

 

<= 2003.03.17

2003.03.23 =>

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