I drew the cover for this week’s New Yorker
BOOK REVIEW: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) by Edward Albee
The first time I saw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was a few months ago and when I sat down in the theatre I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it is a famous play and that I thought the title was funny. After the first ten minutes or so I thought I had it all figured out: it was a comedy of manners about a loud wife and her grumpy husband. I settled in for a night of easy laughs, maybe a bit of slapstick along the way. Little did I know that by the time the first act was over, the audience would be left in a stunned silence, which was finally broken by the man sitting behind me who let out a quiet “…Jesus.”
Not that Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf isn’t funny. It is, in fact, absolutely hilarious… Until it’s not.
asked: ""The Flame Throwers", "Hild", "How To Build A Girl", "The Teleportation Accident""
Excellent, thank you for your input!
asked: "I was wondering if you (or your followers) could recommend any young adult literature set during WWII, and from the perspective of German sympathizers? Books written originally in languages other than English would be preferable - I'm writing a paper for an international children's lit course. I've so far looked at The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and War Without Friends (a Dutch book, don't know if you've heard of it). Thank you in advance!"
I’m guessing you’ve already thought about The Book Thief, but since it is about actual Germans during WWII and not sympathisers, it probably doesn’t fit your prompt anyway.
I can’t think of any other books (WWII is not my area of expertise, I’m afraid), but perhaps crowdsourcing will help.
Followers, any suggestions?
BOOK REVIEW: The Resurrectionist (2013) by E.B. Hudspeth
When I first saw this book I was in a bookstore in Liverpool and I fell in love the second I opened it to a random page. I looked, saw, closed it again, and said “yep, you’re coming with me.” The page I saw had an detailed anatomical drawing of a pegasus (you know, a mythological horse with wings), complete with a list of Latin terms for all the different bones and muscles. Have I piqued your interest yet?
"Did [Shakespeare] begin with making Romeo and Juliet in love at first glimpse, as a common and ordinary thinker would do? - No - he knew what he was about, he was to develop the whole passion, and he takes it in its first elements: that sense of imperfection, that yearning to combine itself with something lovely. Romeo became enamoured of the ideal he formed in his own mind, and then, as it were, christened the first real being as that which he desired. He appeared to be in love with Rosaline, but in truth he was in love only with his own idea. He felt the necessity of being beloved, which no noble mind can be without: Shakespeare then introduces Romeo to Juliet, and makes it not only a violent, but permanent love at first sight […]."
— Coleridge on Shakespeare: The Text of the Lectures, John Payne Collier
"W. Hazlitt did not think Coleridge at all competent to the task he had undertaken of lecturing on Shakespeare, as he was not well read in him. […] Coleridge was a man who had more ideas than any other person Hazlitt had even known, but no capability of attending to one object; he was constantly endeavouring to push matters to the furthest till he became obscure to everybody but himself. He was like a man who, instead of cultivating and bringing to perfection a small plot of ground, was attempting to cultivate a whole tract, but instead of accomplishing his object dug up the ground only for the encouragement of weeds."
Coleridge on Shakespeare: The Text of the Lectures, John Payne Collier.
"The character of Hamlet is perhaps that by which, since the days of Betterton, a succession of popular performers have had the greatest ambition to distinguish themselves. […] The play itself abounds in maxims and reflections beyond any other, and therefore we consider it as a proper vehicle for conveying moral instruction. But Hamlet himself - what does he suffer meanwhile by being dragged forth as a public schoolmaster, to give lectures to the crowd! Why, nine parts in ten of what Hamlet does are transactions between himself and his moral sense, they are the effusions of his solitary musings, which he retires to holes and corners and the most sequestered parts of the palace to pour forth; […] These profound sorrows, these light-and-noise-abhorring ruminations, which the tongue scarce dares utter to deaf walls and chambers, how can they be represented by a gesticulating actor, who comes and mouths them out before an audience, making four hundred people his confidants at once?"
— "On the tragedies of Shakespeare, considered with reference to their fitness for stage representation" (1811), Charles Lamb.
Shakespeare Tragedies Renamed for the Modern tumblr Teen
Titus Andronicus: "Well That Escalated Quickly"
Romeo and Juliet: "Shut Up, You’re Like 12"
Julius Caesar: "I Came Out Here to Run the Roman Empire and I Am Honestly Feeling So Attacked Right Now"
Hamlet: "[AGGRESSIVELY PRETENDS TO GO INSANE AND IN THE PROCESS GOES ACTUALLY INSANE MAYBE]"
Othello: "Othello: Is my wife cheating on me?? Iago: Bitch, she might be."
King Lear: "Shows Up To Realization of Commonality with Humanity and Renouncement of Titles as Identity-Definers 15 Years Late With Starbucks"
Macbeth: "Did It For the Vine"
Antony and Cleopatra: "Much Rome. Very Egypt. Such Different. Wow."