An Enthusiasm of Links

Christmas Day, 2010
You know what I haven't done in forever?  Posted an enthusiasm of links.

(You might also have answered "Reviewed a book or film," and right you'd be.  Mt. Grademore behind me and Mt. Courseprep looming, let's see whether I can't remedy that one as well in the near future.)

Via the Smart Bitches, a monkishly silent Hallelujah chorus:

It makes me think of the creepier seasons of Buffy.

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A piece of Onion brilliance reposted in honor of recent legislation: "Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Paves Way for Gay Sex Right on Battlefield, Opponents Fantasize."  And, just like that, a million romance novel plots are hatched in the fevered brains of gay rights opponents....

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Mere days after finishing the grading on my metatheatre course, the AV Club's annual TV awards supplied me with this piece of sublime oddity made possible by knowing that not a soul is watching your show: a metasitcom.

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An old link, but an intriguing one: nearly a year ago, the Believer reversed the blind review structure, asking the reviewer to evaluate a book about which he had no background information.  The cover was stripped, as was the title page, and the title and author's name were blacked out on the spine. Here's what happened.

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In the excellent Guardian Theatre Blog, Alexis Soloski ponders why America doesn't have a richer tradition of historical drama, and concludes that it is (at least in part) due to the lack of formative canonical precedents like Shakespeare's history plays.  I don't know.  America has always easily claimed the British literary tradition whenever it suited.  It seems more likely to me that this is a combination of 1) early religious antitheatricalism which slowed the development of new dramas in general and commercially risky theatre in particular, 2) a later dearth of the sort of established and extensive new theatre funding models that exist in Europe, with a particular emphasis on the lack of a central national theatre in this country that might take history as one of its natural subjects.  I'd love to hear more on this subject, as I'm certainly no Americanist in my dramatic scholarship.

But I wonder - are there really (proportional to the total theatrical output) fewer American history plays than other nations produce? How many history plays does Britain produce in an average year?  If the subject were political theatre, I would certainly agree - the American theatre system is considerably more profit-driven than its British counterpart, and its audience in general more conservative.  Moreover, there isn't as much of a sense that theatre (which is inevitably slow in its responses to current events, because of production costs and time) is the best forum for discussing politics, which change in the mercurial fashion of national obsession here.  We are unlike our great Athenian predecessors in democracy in this way; for them, the theatre was the perfect place to engage with the civic questions that each citizen would directly influence through votes, juries, and debates.  In fact, the theatrical model of conflict (the agon between two ethical forces equally convinced of their own rightness - think Creon and Antigone) is exactly the same model of debate that we have inherited from Athenian democratic and legal practices.

Please, all ye who know more about these topics, enter into this agon with me.  Educate me; I'm interested.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Erin says:

    The only contribution I can really make is that I love that monk video! I'm planning to subject my entire family to it. Thanks :-)

  2. I know, Erin! It's great, isn't it? They have such amazing precision....

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