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Posts from the ‘#20booksofsummer 2019’ Category

21
Aug

#Poetry Omar Musa inspiring Australian voice!

Poem:   A Homeland

 

 

Conclusion:

Parang – with a name like this (knife)
I expected blood, gore, guts.
I got insight, openness, much humanity,
at times a palpable joy.
No ‘Hippa to Da Hoppa’ rap beat
…only the beating of a true poet’s heart.
#EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD!

  1. LISTEN…THIS MAN HAS A WAY WITH WORDS!
  2. Omar Musa gets standing ovation in Sydney 2013 TEDx talk:

 

My notes:

What does ‘Parang’ mean?
Malaysian short stout straight-edged knife

Who is Omar Musa?

Omar bin Musa (1984)
is an award-winning author, poet and rapper from Australia.
He has released three solo hip hop records and three books of poetry.
His debut novel Here Come the Dogs was published in 2014.
Here Come the Dogs was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award.
Musa was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015.

What is his background?
Musa is the son of Australian arts journalist Helen Musa and
Malaysian poet Musa bin Masran.
He is of Suluk, Kedayan and Irish ancestry.
He studied at the Australian National University
and the University of California, Santa Cruz
Musa was the winner of the Australian Poetry Slam of 2008
that gives him a bit of clout

Structure:
Part 1 – Parang (14 poems) = 9 are excellent….5 are very good!
Part 2 – Lost Planet (8 poems)
Part 3 – Dark Streets (5 poems)

 

  • My notes for part 1
  • …I’ll let you discover the rest of Musa’s poems!
  • They are a joy to read!

 

Part 1
Trancevery good – poet feels contact with story telling ancestor
Parangvery good contrasting images of ‘parang’ guardian angel of gangsters
….but also house builder and opener of paths
Belongingvery good “crystal thread of belonging”
…in touch with ancestoral as “steam unwinds from stories”
Blowpipevery good – weapon of the forests shoot at “…the throat of the past.”
The Old Roosterexcellent– triangle: poet – parang – arrogant, stutting rooster
Muhammad and Muhammadexcellent– nephew and baby cousin meet
…” his feet bicycling in air” sees “…tigers the size of pillows”
The Rotten Toothvery good…never put off a dentist appointment!
“…tooth turned sewer-black”
Collapsed Starexcellent
young man meets old man…who taught him chess…”a collapsing star”
Lightnig Over Sandakan excellent – young man visits dying grandmother
“…memory trembles, rain-written”
FELDA excellent “…perfect pattern of oil-rich trees minting money
…there was jungle here once, fecund”
(The Federal Land Development Authority is a Malaysian government agency that was founded to handle the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas and to organise smallholderfarms growing cash crops.)
Sunyi – (Sanskrit ‘silent,empty’) – excellent – very touching jungle story
Forest Fireexcellent – jungle plundered for profit
A Homelandexcellent – poet’s return to his homeland…but it has changed! “Exile’s folly”
The Parang (knife) and the Keris (dagger)excellent description of poet’s own blade
“…I made it….found the iron ore….beat it into the Italic font I….sharpened it.

 

23
Jul

#Paris In July “Le Grand Meaulnes”

Author: Alain-Fournier (1886 – 1914)
Title: Le Grand Meaulnes
Published: 1913
Contents: 200 pages (3 parts)
Language: French
Trivia: Le Grand Meaulnes was shortlisted for Prix Goncourt 1913 but lost by 1 vote.
Trivia: Today the book is nr 9 on Le Monde’s list 100 best books of 20th C.
Trivia: …and the Prix Goncourt winner “Le peuple de la mer’ has been long forgotten!

Available in English  “The Lost Estate”

Introduction:

  1. Le Grand Meaulnes is the only novel by French author Alain-Fournier.
  2. Fifteen-year-old François Seurel narrates the story of
  3. his relationship with seventeen-year-old Augustin Meaulnes
  4. as Meaulnes searches for his lost love.
  5. Impulsive, reckless and heroic,
  6. Meaulnes embodies the romantic ideal,
  7. the search for the unobtainable, and
  8. the mysterious world between childhood and adulthood.

 

ANALYSIS:

1. Explain the title. In what way is it suitable to the story?
Augustin Meaulnes, called ‘Le Grand Meaulnes’ fascinates the students with his mysterious personality.

2. What is the predominant element in the story?
Setting: (estate) The setting is the central focus of the book . The village of Sologne and its school, the mysterious ‘domain’/chateau with the surrounding paths , ponds, slopes, reeds, marshes. The characters are running away from the village school (Augustin), running away from the ‘domaine’ (Frantz), running away from village where young Yvonne waits for her new husband (Augustin).

3. Who is the single main character about. whom the story centers?
Main character is Augstin Meaulnes.
There are friendships: Augustin/François and Augustin/Frantz
There are loves: Augustin/Yvonne – Frantz/Valentine – François/Yvonne

4. What sort of conflict confronts the leading character or characters?
a. External – Augustin discovers an ‘enchanted forest’ meets a ‘princess’ (Yvonne). They part abruptly.
b. Internal – Augustin moves from childhood to adulthood, but never stops looking for his vanished beloved.

5. How is the conflict resolved?
Frantz: finds his ‘amour absolu’ (Valentine)
Augustin: finds his ‘amour libertine’ (Valentine) and ‘amour idéal’ (Yvonne)
François: finds his ‘amour impossilble’ (Yvonne)

7. Who tells the story? What point of view is used?
François is the narrator of the book. His parents are the teachers at Sainte Agathe in Sologne.

8. Where does the primary action take place?
Village of Sologne, Vierzon, Vieux-Nancay

9. How much time does the story cover?
I estimate that the story takes place over 10 years. It begins when Augustin arrives as a boarder with the Seruel family in Sologne. It ends as Augustin returns from a long trip.jaar.

10. How does the story get started? What is the initial incident?
Augustin arrives at the school. His arrival is going to change François’s calm and lonely life.

11. Briefly describe the rising action:
Augustin loses his way during a walk, discovers a beautiful estate, pre-wedding party and the love of his life.

12. What is the high point, or climax, of the story?
The writer uses language to indicate that Meaulnes and the ‘bohémien’ finally trust each other: (pg 92)

“Puis cessant d’ employer ce <vous> insolite chez des écoliers de Sainte-Agathe.”
Stop using ‘vous’ …unusual for students

The writer uses a mini-climax at the end of each part to move the story along. Part 1 gunshot in the forest; Part 2 letter from Augustin to François. The main climax in on page 104-105.
The illusions and pantomime disappear. Frantz removes the scarf. We see the scare of his attempted suicide. The tone in the book swings from an enchanted world of youth to harsh word of adulthood. “…enlève son bandeau pour être reonnu de nous.”

13. Discuss the falling action or close of the story.
François, Augustin and Frantz try to put the pieces of their ‘past youth and lost loves’ back together ‘…perhaps everything will be as in earlier times. Can the past return? Who knows! (Mais le passé peut-il renaítre? Qui sait!) (pg 159)

14. Does this story create any special mood?
Alain-Fournier creates through his atmospheric images a feeling of:
nostalgia: – tormented and cherished days ebb and flow against the rocks like waves, our adventures. (pg 11)
eeriness: – you hear the whistles and moans of the shipwrecked in the attic. (pg 164); “un vent noir et glacé soufflait dan le jardin mort” (pg 36)
enchantment: – I’m looking for something very mysterious. This passageway mentioned in books, the ancient hidden path, the one the exhausted prince was too tired to find. (pg111) (..famous quote from the book)

15. Is this story realistic or true to life?
We know that Alain-Fournier grew up far from the sea but had a life long desire to join the navy. The sea was his ideal and he used many nautical images in the book. Mysteriously he changed the little houses in the village of Sologne into ships, boats and sails. On page 57 the author describes men at the festive meal, freshly shaven who could have been ex-sailors. But he tells us they never sailed the seven seas…..only weathered rains and wind while making furrows in the fields and returning home in their carts. These are only a few nautical descriptions of the villages and people where the story takes place.

Yvonne de Quiévrecourt was born in 1885 in Paris.
In 1905 Alain Fournier was suddenly faced with the girl of his dreams.
This encounter changed Fournier’s life and provided the basis for Le Grand Meaulnes.

16. What is the structure of the book?
Part 1: (30%) Meaulnes’s arrival and departure in the village Solonge + strange adventure.
Part 2: (22%) Gypsy ‘Frantz’ – Meaulnes’s departure for Paris
Part 3: ( 37%) Wedding – Journal intime – lost happiness
The last chapter which reveals the intrigue, secret and its impact is only 3 pages!

17. What is the general theme of the story?
Adventure and discovery: Meaulnes and Yvonne after their wedding are ready to set out on an adventure. Like two passengers adrift in a boat (nautical image), in the winter wind, two lovers enclosed in happiness. (pg 170)
“Comme deux passagers dans un bateau à la dérive, ils sont dans le grand vent d’hivier, deux amants enfermés avec le bonheur.”

18. Did you identify with any of the characters?
François Seurel: Despite his unwavering loyalty to Augustin, his support of the abandoned Yvonne, his care of a nameless young child….he is left with nothing at the end. In ch1 we read of François’s sad and lonely days in the village. Augustin came and brightened his life. But after losing his best friend and the girl he had secretly fallen in love with (Yvonne) his days were again…sad and lonely.

19. Does this story contain any of the following elements?

Metaphor: sea, boats, sails, anchors, waves used to enhance the theme of an ‘adventure’.
The classroom is like a ship. (pg 23)
The village houses are boats anchored with their sails ready to be unfurled. (pg 142)
Symbol: Meaulnes is Robinson Crusoe on the brink of an adventure.
“Peut-être le gout des aventures plus fort que tout…” (pg 183)
The taste for adventure….stronger than everything.
Meaulnes reminds his young friend of Crusoe in the basket shop. (pg 22)
The title of ch 3 part 1 is a quote from Robinson Crusoe:
“Je fréquentais la boutique d’un cannier” .
Simile: Meaulnes is like a sailor keeping watch at night. (pg 36)
“comme ces marins qui n’ont pas pu se déhabituer defaire le quart…”
He is like a soldier on alert sleeping in his clothes. (pg 35)
“soldat au cantonnement d’ alerte”
All these actions increase the adventurous feeling of the book.

20. Does the story contain a single effect or impression for the reader?
Sadness: François is carrying Yvonne’s dead body. The only time he held her in his arms as the bridegroom he longed to be. “ Je baisse la tête sur la tête de celle que j’emporte, je respire fortement et ses cheveux blonds aspirés m’entrent dans la bouche, ces cheveux morts qui not un goût de terre.”
Translation:

I lowered my head onto the head of the one I was carrying,
I breathed deeply and inhaled her blond hairs into my mouth,
these dead hairs that have a taste of the earth.

Conclusion:

This book is more about rich images than tense action.
Because of author’s poetic style the words seem to float over the pages.
Weak point: part 2 the pantomime, band of roaming gypises….
This was diffcult to place in the narrative. I needed some help to understand why
Alain-Fournier included it. It is a mise-en-abyme, (frame story).
Pierrot struggling to grow up. (keeps falling and speaking in cries and hoots).
This parallels the struggle of the three main characters
…Francois, Augustin and Frantz – moving from youth to adulthood.
This is a very easy book to read, vocabulary is not difficult.
Strong point: I learned some beautiful words and wonderful expressions!
à la cornette! – a mock directed to a nun in reference to her headgear!

17
Jun

#Non-fiction biography James Tiptree jr.

 

Conclusion:

  1. Literary tastes were changing in the 1960s.
  2. Women were searching for new books
  3. …they were tired of romances, doctors and stories about horses.
  4. Fantasy and SF introduced some very talented writers.
  5. James Tiptree Jr. was born…nom de plume Alice Sheldon.
  6. Tiptree  burst onto the science fiction scene
  7. ….in the 1970s with a series of hard-edged, provocative short stories.
  8. Tiptree was hailed as a brilliant masculine writer.
  9. Ms Sheldon kept her JT persona very secret:
  10. no photo’s, no public appearances and
  11. most confusing was “his” strong
  12. feminist slant in his tales.
  13. For example The Women Men Don’t See.
  14. Women characters felt so alienated and powerless in society they
  15. choose to board a space ship with aliens rather than remain on earth!
  16. Strong point: This fascinating biography by Julie Phillips
  17. was ten years in the making.
  18. Julie Phillips takes us behind the scenes to learn the
  19. of the privileged yet troubled life of Alice Sheldon.
  20. With this information Sheldon’s short stories take on a new cachet.
  21. This book is considered one of the best biographies about a SF writer.

 

 

15
Jun

#Non-fiction Stamped From the Beginning

 

Introduction:

  1. Stamped From the Beginning is a magnificent book!
  2. Winner National Book Award 2016 for Non-fiction.
  3. Part 1 on is 1600s…get through it because in
  4. Part 2 with the introduction of Jefferson the book starts to sparkle!
  5. Part 3 Abolitionists…again get through is because
  6. Part 4 will take you from W.E. Du Bois up to Obama…riveting!

 

Conclusion:

  1. If you’ve never read anything about racism in USA…
  2. ..this probably would  be the best place to start!
  3. The book is a #MustRead for
  4. …anyone interested in understanding
  5. contemporary issues in America.
  6. Ibram X. Kendi is stunningly clear and straightforward.
  7. The book reads much like a conversation….
  8. from from pre-colonial times to the present
  9. …from the slave trade boat to Obama.

 

  1. This is an excellent book that all Americans should read.
  2. …especially in the light of the
  3. …approaching presidential election 2020.
  4. It is a long book….requires some commitment.
  5. I learned that the tactics may have changed but the goal
  6. …has remained depressingly the same:
  7. Do not let them vote!”
  8. “…If you can find a way to stop them,
  9. ….stop them!” (black Americans)
  10. This resulted in  2000 Bush winning Florida by 537 votes
  11. …and being  elected president!
  12. This book certainly has made me reflect
  13. …on and rethink my own views about race.
  14. I wonder what will happen in elections 2020 to prevent
  15. …black Americans voicing their choice.

 

Last thoughts:

  1. This is a very informative and educational  read.
  2. This book should be on every high-school reading list!
  3. It is interesting to compare and
  4. note the similarities of racism in 19th and 20th C
  5. …that continue to exist  even in the 21st century.

 

  • Interview with Ibram X. Kendi
  • …..explaining the title of the book

11
Jun

#Non-fiction Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

 

Conclusion:

Ch 1-16 Exposition…

  1. Childhood, slave work, escape
  2. from Maryland  to the North, New York.
  3. Douglass was a renowned orator.
  4. He spent years on speaking tours
  5. in US and Europe against slavery.


Ch 17- 21  the book begins to sparkle…

  1. Douglass asks the question
  2. we are still asking…more than 150 years later:
  3. Why deprive the right to vote for black Americans?
  4. …what is the world afraid of?

 

Douglass meets Lincoln in the White House.

  1. Lincoln – the emancipator
  2. the elegant restraint of a statesman
  3. …spoke with an eye on legality and public opinion
  4. Douglass – the national evangelist
  5. …with the fiery tones of a prophet.

 

Ch 22 – 31 Reconstruction….

  1. Douglass made no distinction between
  2. Andrew Johnson’s white supremacy and slavery itself…
  3. ….as long as Johnson controlled
  4. reconstruction the war was not over.
  5. Douglass speaking about President Andrew Johnson is an
  6. “…unmitigated calamity and a
  7. disgrace the country must stagger under.”
  8. Frederick Douglass was a
  9. frightening black man with brains
  10. …President Andrew Johnson’s basic nightmare!

 

Last thoughts:

  1. This is the best way to learn history…read biography.
  2. We read that progress has been made
  3. …but still America is polarized on the color line.
  4. The routine suppression of black voters
  5. is far-reaching and  has devastating consequences.
  6. We cannot be silent about it.

 

Best quote….and worth thinking about

  1. There is NO negro problem.
  2. The problem is whether the American people have
  3. honesty enough, loyalty enough, patriotism enough
  4. to  live up to their Constitution.

 

5
Jun

#Non-fiction Conclusion: The Mueller Report

 

  1. I may be very quiet for a while because I’m…
  2. Taking a break from my reading about plays and theatre.
  3. I may live in Netherlands but I still keep a close eye on US politics.
  4. We all should read this book The Mueller Report
  5. …and ask ourselves…..how in heavens name did Trump
  6. ….become the most powerful leader of the free world.
  7. Is there a democrat candidate who can stop him!
  8. #USA election November 3 2020.
  9. I’ll be up all night watching the results!

 

Update: 04.06.2019

  1. Reading the introduction by the Washington Post is like
  2. going down memory lane! Names that have drifted off the
  3. TV news: Quarles, McCabe, Comey, Sessions, retired Gen Flynn.
  4. I finally have learned what the Steele Dossier is!
  5. Well, after reading how many fake
  6. …Twitter and FB accounts were
  7. created to promote Trump’s campaign
  8. ...I’ll never believe a tweet again!
  9. Finished: volume 1 very detailed back round 2015-2018
  10. Not a fluid read….I had to force myself to keep paying attention

 

Update: 05.06.2019

  1. Trump has monopolized the TV during his #USStateVisit to UK this week.
  2. Seemed the right time to start the long awaited The Mueller Report.
  3. Volume 1  contains many  details about  the
  4. GRU  = Russian military intelligence agency
  5. sending spearphishing emails.
  6. The GRU wanted to gain access to email accounts of
  7. Clinton Campaign advisors and employees of the DNC (Dem Nat Convention)
  8. It also highlighted the role of Wikileaks during Trump’s campaign.
  9. Strong points vol 1:
  10. Book reminds me
  11. I should read the NEWS about POTUS more carefully.
  12. Trump is on a mission.
  13. Book makes me
  14. …that I should be more aware of Jared Kushner (son-in-law)
  15. #TheDealmaker
  16. He does not say much on camera
  17. …but he is always circling around the president.

Update: …starting volume 2 today.
  1. Reading pages and pages of Trump demanding that
  2. Comey ‘lift the cloud’ of the Russian investigation.
  3. Trumps insists Comey make  clear
  4. that Trump is NOT under investigation.
  5. Comey refused.
  6. May 9 2017: Trump fires the FBI director Comey
  7. …but he can not fire the FBI.
  8. The investigation continued…..
  9. To quote Shakespeare:
  10. “The lady (…in this case Trump) 
  11. …doth protest too much, methinks…”

 

Conclusion:

  1. Vol 2 indicates the Trump has a pattern of trying to
  2. influence people  in his entourage when they are involved
  3. in criminal investigations by Congress.
  4. I found this quote by James Comey
  5. …in 01.05.2019 Opinion, New York Times
  6. “Accomplished people lacking inner strength
  7. can’t resist the compromises
  8. …necessary to survive this president.”
  9. Flynn, Cohen, Manafort….
  10. There are numerous tweets Trump
  11. sends to his loyal advisors under investigation:
  12. “the boss loves you”,”hang in there”
  13. “thanks for what you do”, ” stay strong”
  14. “a brave man” for refusing to “break” ( Manafort)
  15. But once the person decides to cooperate with the
  16. government (Cohen give congressional testimony 2019)
  17. ….he is suddenly a RAT.
  18. What will happen now?
  19. I agree with Robert Mueller:

 

2
Jun

#Play Waiting For Godot

 

Conclusion:

  1. Reading time: 1 hour 40 min
  2. Waiting for Godot  is theater of absurd.
  3. Beckett thought the audience
  4. …MUST feel what it is like to be in an ABSURD world.
  5.  Beckett used bizarre characters speak in what sometimes
  6. …appears to be illogical, banal, chit chat.
  7. One cannot read Godot for the story because there is no story
  8. Waiting for Godot does not tell a story
  9. It explores a situation….2 tramps..waiting for Godot.
  10. What are the abusrd characteristics?
  11. No plot, no recognizable characters, no beginnings no ends,
  12. …reflections of dreams and nightmares, incoherent babblings.

 

Last Thoughts:

  1. The only way to gain any insight is to
  2. read a summary before starting this play.
  3. I used this LINK at Free Online Dictionary website.
  4. This is an excellent summary.
  5. Waiting for Godot
  6. …left critics bewildered and is now a classic.
  7. Nr. 7 on List 50 Best Play in Past 100 yrs.
  8. I was absolutely dreading this play...
  9. Need #Heineken

 

 

 

 

29
May

#Play Noises Off by Michael Frayn

 

Introduction:

  1. The play has received two major Broadway productions and
  2. …numerous regional ones in the United States,
  3. United Kingdom, and  other countries in Europe and Asia.
  4. In response to its popularity, Frayn has continued to
  5. rewrite the play in the thirty years since he first wrote it.

 

Conclusion:

  1. For once a blurb has lived up to expectations
  2. …this is surely the funniest farce ever written!
  3. This play-in-a-play left me laughing out loud!
  4. Noises Off  (1982) by Michael Frayn.
  5. It is said to be one of the
  6. ...greatest comedies ever preformed on stage!
  7. Reading the introduction…and discover the first laugh!
  8. Prague: play performed without Act 3 for 10 years…
  9. NO one noticed until Frayn arrived for a show!
  10. The play is available on Kindle.
  11. Reading time: 2 hr 55 min
  12. Perfect poolside
  13. …reading this summer.
  14. #LOL

 

26
May

#Non-fiction August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle

 

Introduction:

  1. August Wilson understood the power of the theater.
  2. He used it to its full potential by
  3. …inserting honesty and realism into every play.
  4. Some consider August Wilson “America’s Shakespeare”.
  5. August Wilson was an American playwright
  6. …who did the unheard of- penning ten plays.
  7. …one for each decade of the 20th C.

 

  1.  Wilson received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama:
  2.  Fences (1987), The Piano Lesson (1990)
  3. These 10 plays gives a glimpse into
  4. …American history through the
  5. …lens of the Black experience.
  6. August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle is a
  7. …series of critical essays about the plays.
  8. I have reviewed the first 5 essays
  9. …you can discover the rest of the book yourself!

 

Conclusion:

  1. Essays 1-6 were interesting
  2. Essays 7-13 …seemed to repeat many thoughts
  3. about two plays: Gem of the Ocean and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
  4. Weak point: the essays do  NOT explain all 10 plays
  5. One of the most famous play is Fences  NOT reviewed!
  6. It is considered  the African-American version
  7. ot The Death of a Salesman
  8. A few essays were very instructive about…
  9. Seven Guitars, The Piano Lesson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  10. ….but still feel  that the book
  11. does not live up to my expectations.
  12. #Disappointed

 

Plays:

 

Essays:

1. The  emancipated century – J.H. Scott  ( 2 plays discussed) – easy to read

  1. Play: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone 
  2. Set in 1911… the play is about African Americans cut adrift  by
  3. The Great Migration to the North and by slavery from their African past.
  4. The  characters meet in a boarding house
  5. They represent a cross-section of  African Americans.
  6. The boarders are  in the midst of a
  7. …massive search for their “song,” or identity.

 

  1. Play: The Piano Lesson
  2. Set in 1936…this is a …
  3. Family conflict between Bernice and her
  4. …brother Boy Willie about the family piano.
  5. For Boy Willie the piano is a way to get some quick cash to buy land. 
  6. For Bernice, the piano is a source of strength.
  7. It reminds her of the courage and endurance shown by her ancestors.
  8. Boy Willie looks to the future
  9. …while Bernice looks to the past.

 

2. Situated identity in The Janitor (J. Zeff):  short essay about a play that is NOT in the cycle.

  1. The Janitor is a 1985  4 minute play.
  2. A janitor is someone society ignores.
  3. He is left to sweep the floor.
  4. The janitor gets an idea.
  5. …sees a microphone in an empty hall
  6. …and just starts talking.
  7. Messageidentity is a work in progress which is in your control,
  8. “…but what you are now ain’t what you gonna become.”

 

3. Two Trains Running (S. Saddler, P. Bryant-Jackson) – This essay did not appeal to me. SKIM!

  1. This was a  comparison of two books by
  2. American scholars Living Black History, M. Marable and
  3. The Archive and the Repertoire, D. Taylor.
  4. Where is the play?
  5. I noticed they referred to the play
  6. Two Trains Running  but do NOT review this play at length
  7. …so I decided to skim this essay and
  8. …investigate the Pulitzer Prize 1992 play on Wikipedia.
  9. I learned more on Wiki…than in his essay!

 

4. World War II History (E. Bonds) – excellent essay,  I learned a lot about the difficult period just after WW II.  Black men struggle to move on after the war. They feel they are not benefiting from the post WW II economic boom.  They feel like…they are still fighting.

  1. Play: Seven Guitars
  2. Set in 1948…
  3. …The play begins and ends after the funeral of one of the main characters.
  4. Events leading to the funeral  are revealed in flashbacks.
  5. The essay explains the 7 characters (7 guitars) and their
  6. individual out-of-tune chords (life experiences).
  7. What I did not realize was how important the boxer
  8. Joe Lewis was for the African American community.
  9. Wilson uses Lewis’s fame and downfall as an essential part of the play.
  10. It is so sad to read that  African American GI’s were fighting
  11. …on two fronts:
  12. the enemy overseas….and racism at home.

 

5. Stereotype and Archetype in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (M. Downing) – best explanation difference stereotype vs archetype I’ve ever read.  Excellent essay, lucidly-written, logically-structured, and convincingly argued.

  1. Play: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  2. Set in 1920s…the historic exploitation of
  3. black recording artists by white producers.
  4. The essay explains how August Wilson started with
  5. stereotypes assigned by whites to blacks in the play.
  6. Then he remakes them into archetypes.
  7. I would have missed this
  8. …completely by just reading the play!
  9. Wilson places the stereotype (ST) at the beginning of the play
  10. …adds monologues…adds POV of African American characters
  11. …draws the original ST (evokes criticism, suspicion, scorn)
  12. …into an archetype (evokes empathy, understanding, compassion)
  13. Example: Ma Rainey is introduced as
  14. ST: chaotic, unreasonable, difficult, a risk with the law
  15. Wilson breaks this ST into components and rebuilds Ma as
  16. AT: mother, queen, goddess
20
May

#20BooksOfSummer 2019

  • I just love this photo from last years’s post #20BooksOfSummer 2018.
  • I’m using it again because it always makes me smile and
  • …I have the urge to make a  Gin & Tonic !

 

Read:

  1. Glengarry Glen RossD. Mamet READ
  2. The Glass MenagerieTennessee WilliamsREAD
  3. Waiting for GodotS. BeckettREAD
  4. Twenty-First Century American PlaywrightsC. BigsbyREAD
  5. The Mueller Report READ
  6. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of FreedomD. Blight – READ
  7. Stamped From the Beginning I.X. Kendi – READ
  8. The New Negro: The Life of Alain LockeJ.C. Stewart  – READ
  9. The ArsonistC. Hooper – READ
  10. HimselfJess Kidd – READ
  11. August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle (13 essays) – editor S. Shannon #20BoS – READ
  12. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  – E. Ablee – READ  (play
  13. Noises OffM. Frayn – READ  (play)
  14. FencesA. Wilson – READ  (play)
  15. Streetcar Named DesireT. Williams – READ
  16. Blakwork – A. Whittaker – READ
  17. James Tiptree, jr. The Double Life Alice Sheldon – J. Phillips – READ 
  18. Ghosts of the Tsunami R. L. Parry READ
  19. Indecent (play) – Paula Vogel READ
  20. The Heart’s Invisible Furies – J. Boyne – READ
  21. The Coddling of the American MInd G. Lukianoff, J. Haidt – READ
  22. Astonished Dice – G. Cochrane (short stories) – READ
  23. We Can Make a Life – C. Henry – READ
  24. Seeing Yellow (poetry) – E. Bourke – READ  shortlist Irish Times Poetry Award 2019
  25. The Weir (1997) by Conor McPherson – READ
  26. The First CasualtyPeter Greste – READ
  27. Max HavelaarMultatuli – READ
  28. 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to WriteS. Ruhl – READ
  29. These TruthsJill Lepore – READ

 

Using this list for #20BooksOfSummer….

#Challenge read 50 Best Plays in the Past 100 Years:     13/50

  1.  Death of a Salesman (1949) by Arthur Miller (Pulitzer 1949) – READ 
  2.  Streetcar Named Desire – T. Williams – READ
  3. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? E. Albee (Pulitzer 1963 READ
  4.  Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956) by Eugene O’Neill  – READ
  5. Fences – A. Wilson – READ 
  6. Angels in America: T. Kushner
  7. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett – READ 
  8.  Pygmalion (1913) by George Bernard Shaw
  9.  A Raisin in the Sun (1959) by Lorraine Hansberry READ 
  10.  Our Town (1938) by Thornton Wilder
  11.  Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921) by Luigi Pirandello
  12. The Glass Menagerie (1944) by Tennessee Williams – READ
  13. Glengarry Glen RossD. Mamet – READ
  14. August: Osage County (2007) by Tracy Letts
  15.  True West (1980) by Sam Shepard READ 
  16.  The Iceman Cometh (1946) by Eugene O’Neill
  17.  Look Back in Anger (1956) by John Osborne
  18.  A View from the Bridge (1955) by Arthur Miller – READ
  19.  The Little Foxes. (1939) by Lillian Hellman
  20.  The Real Thing (1982) by Tom Stoppard
  21.  Master Harold and the Boys (1982) by Athol Fugard
  22.  The Homecoming (1965) by Harold Pinter
  23.  Ruined (2008) by Lynn Nottage (2009)
  24.  Mother Courage and Her Children (1941) by Bertolt Brecht
  25.  Six Degrees of Separation (1990) by John Guare
  26.  Doubt (2004) by John Patrick Shanley
  27.  Top Girls (1982) by Caryl Churchill
  28.  Present Laughter (1942) by Noel Coward
  29. Noises Off – M. Frayn – READ 
  30. Marat/Sade (1964) by Peter Weiss
  31.  The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001) by Martin McDonagh
  32.  Machinal (1928) by Sophie Treadwell
  33.  The Norman Conquests(1973) trilogy by Alan Ayckbourn
  34.  The Bald Soprano (1950) by Eugene Ionesco
  35.  M. Butterfly (1988) by David Henry Hwang
  36.  The Dybbuk (1920) by S Ansky
  37.  Saved (1965) by Edward Bond
  38. Topdog/Underdog (2002) by Suzan-Lori Parks 
  39. The Front Page (1928) by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
  40. Accidental Death of an Anarchist (1970) by Dario Fo.
  41. Picnic (1953) by William Inge
  42. Journey’s End (1928) by R.C. Sherriff
  43. The Odd Couple (1965) by Neil Simon
  44. The Orphans Home cycle – 3 one act plays by Horton Foote (masterpieces!)
  45. The Women. (1936) by Clare Boothe Luce
  46. What The Butler Saw (1969) by Joe Orton
  47. Awake and Sing! (1935) by Clifford Odets
  48. The Piano Lesson (1987) by A. Wilson
  49. Uncommon Women and Others (1977) by Wendy Wasserstein
  50. The Weir (1997) by Conor McPherson- READ