‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Posts Tagged ‘drama

The West Wing

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I’m currently watching The West Wing Season 2 (much to the delight of one of my best friends Jenn) and several thoughts have occurred to me. Keep in mind that I am well aware that many of these thoughts have been written and uttered during the shows heyday back when it was “current”.

First off, Martin Sheen is quite possibly the best President to ever grace the television screen, and as Erin has remarked about my opinion of him, “Many, many, people have said that if given a chance they’d vote for him in real life.”

As much as this shows brings out the inner neo-liberal in me and has me cheering for this pure vision of a Democratic West Wing and all of its heart felt devotion to citizenship, freedom, democracy, and justice; well, it does get a bit heavy handed at times. I sometimes have to pull back and say to myself, calm down, they’re being a bit arrogant and a bit forceful in their ideologies.

With all of that, it’s still an amazing show that has some of the best writing I’ve ever seen. The pacing is fast, which is surprising considering the amount of exposition and talking that occurs in each episode. [ West Wing is famous for having helped establish ‘walk-n-talk’ scenes.]

I’m just starting in on Season 2 and I’ve already been warned about the eventual degradation in the quality of writing around Season 4 & 5 as a result of Aaron Sorkin’s departure, still I’m excited for so many more episodes, such a fun show. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

July 30, 2009 at 7:12 am

Recent Acquisitions:

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The Complete Plays by Anton Chekhov trans. Laurence Senelick

I’ve been enjoying a fair bit of drama this past year: Ben Jonson, Ibsen, Stoppard, and largely thanks to Erin. She has helped renew my interest and love for these works of fiction. Based on her recommendations, Chekhov will be consumed these next few months.

The Steel Remains Richard Morgan

He primarily writes science fiction, a particularly freaky science fiction in which consciousness is transplanted in the near future through technology, rendering bodies and genetics a consumer item. This is his first forray into fantasy and I am eager for this old world sword and sorcery tale.

Philip Roth: Novels and Other Narratives 1986-1991

I read the first of Roth’s Zuckerman Bound Trilogy, “The Ghost Writer” early in the summer and I’ve been a fan of Roth ever since. He writes on the subject of writing and what it is to be an author in the most brilliant fashion. Figured since I have one Library of America collection from him, I might as well start in on the others. Only three more to go.

Spent a fair bit of money today, but sometimes you need to treat yourself to a world of fiction and today felt like such a day, especially after the lousy week I’ve been having. Getting over a serious cough/cold, a family death, and tons and tons of work. Ugh, life is harsh, but at least I have good friends and good books. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

October 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm

The Lady from the Sea

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Edvard Munch

The Lady from the Sea Painted By: Edvard Munch

I just finished Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea” and WOW is all I can say. A most impressive play and a vast improvement upon one of his earlier works, “A Doll’s House”, my only other interaction with his works. I urge everyone to go out and find a copy of this work, you will not be disappointed. The story focuses on a young woman who feels torn between two worlds, between two different men. I won’t say much more than this as I’d rather not spoil the plot.

One thing to note while reading this is the way in which Ibsen portrays the ego/id and subconscious as a natural and demonic force. The story is set in a small town by a fjord in northern Norway and Ibsen brings the mythology of the sea and of this area into the story, often times creating a sense of fantasy or fairy.

As I expected, Ibsen has presented a passionate and vibrant woman who is consumed by her place in society and the many constraints and restrictions imposed upon her status as a woman.

While the situation that Ellida is placed in is much different from that of Nora’s in “A Doll’s House” I am hoping that his other plays branch out into other areas as this focus on the home and the feminine place in the home, despite its importance and relevance during the turn of the century and now; could easily become a tired convention that is all to common in his work. But I will not know this until I read more of his plays.

According to the introduction to this play written by Michael Meyer, this play most accurately depicts Ibsen’s own biographical interactions with the various women in his life. The play touches on many relationship subjects: the marriage proposal, expectations of the role of the wife, the “marriage contract” and what does that entail all of which Ibsen had some rather soap opera like experiences with.

Well worth your time and money. A brilliant playwright, it is no wonder that Jim felt the urge to learn Norwegian and write a letter to this aging master.

Written by thebeliever07

September 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Oh Henrik *sigh.

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I was in a very Ibsen mood yesterday afternoon, so I picked up a collection of Ibsen plays, coincidentally, they’re the ones you gave me Erin when we were first becoming friends as a Christmas gift. Anyways, I decided to read it in the order in which the collection presents the plays and thus began “The Lady from the Sea”.

I’m almost done with the play and I’ll be writing a review later on this evening. The only Ibsen play that I have read up until this one was “A Doll’s House” for Conley’s Modernist course.

This play is jsut as engaging and enjoyable as the other, yet I’m sensing a theme with Ibsen. He seems very muhc concerned with the plight of the “modern” housewife, the role of the female in the house and in society. One would think that this would lead him to write strong female characters, but from the two plays I’ve read so far, it seems that they are more tragic than strong. But, I guess that is a bit unfair, as Nora’s exit in the last act of “A Doll’s House” is a brave act. Still, this is only after four acts of suffering and patriarchal manipulation. Well, Ibsen would be proud, as Co-founder of the Royal Society of Ibsen, I am sure he’d be much pleased that I’m actively engaging his opus.

Written by thebeliever07

September 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm