Peter Weiss, on his birthday November 8

Surrealist-Absurdist narratives of Kafka-esque nightmares, the theatrical techniques of Brecht, Artaud, Ionesco, and Beckett, and a prose aesthetic developed from Genet, Robbe-Grillet, and Queneau, with a vast intellect and command of history and culture; Peter Weiss has created treasures of world literature and theatre whose power to motivate change and transform meaning will endure forever. … Continue reading Peter Weiss, on his birthday November 8

Sam Shepard, on his birthday November 5

Fantasies of Absurdism with Surrealist imagery and the Existential doubt and anxiety of Sartre, a theatre of mythic America shadowed by the nihilistic terror of Beckett; Sam Shepard wrote, acted, and directed tragedies of social fragmentation and dysfunctional families with lyrical and unique beauty. Among his finest works are nightmare dreamscapes of dystopian Americana, a … Continue reading Sam Shepard, on his birthday November 5

Arthur Miller, on his birthday October 17

Social responsibility and the project of becoming human, the interrogation and reformation of the American national character, goals, and ideals, family and nation, freedom and state terror; Arthur Miller seems newly relevant today. Death of a Salesman presents themes of memory, history, identity, truth and illusion; a play of family relationships and the Great American … Continue reading Arthur Miller, on his birthday October 17

Wallace Stevens, on his birthday October 2

Sensuous, gorgeous poetry and puzzles of strange symbols like a private language or obfuscating code, Wallace Stevens combined in his art English Romanticism and French Symbolism like the performance of a highwire act. His poetry is a stunning negotiation of balance between the forces of conservatism- here expressed as the literary tradition of Romantic Idealism … Continue reading Wallace Stevens, on his birthday October 2

On Halloween and that Old Time Religion

Looking for something literary about the real Old Time Religion this Halloween, perhaps with a Maria Gimbutas Pan-European orientation? For a luminous and beautiful exploration of European paganism and the original Mother Goddess faith, backed by immense scholarship and a decades-long passion for the subject, one can do no better than Ted Hughes’ magnificent Shakespeare … Continue reading On Halloween and that Old Time Religion

Eugene O’Neil, on his birthday October 16

Alcoholism and addiction as metaphor and force of dehumanization, subsuming all human relations into a consumer fetishism of poisoned desires; the tyranny of history, a descent into madness and chaos, with a basketfull of lies, rages, jealousies, and a chorus of sins; the plays of Eugene O’Neil blend Tennessee Williams with Samuel Beckett and throw … Continue reading Eugene O’Neil, on his birthday October 16