34, Of 55, Plus Some Dead People

29 Jul

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Have well-passed the 50% marker for lines, now riding at pg 34 of 55, including 36 monologues soupin’ ’round in my brain as we speak. 

…Add to that the independent study sessions, and a couple specific character assignments by Mdm Director, and I’m rounding out nicely. 

“Songs of Innocence and Experience” (Blake),  wasn’t a fav, but then I’ve never been ape for poetry to begin with. Did take to a few of the 46 in that collection though: The Little Black Boy, The Chimney Sweeper,  and The Divine Image from the first movement, deal with race relations, child labor, and the collective responsibility of man’s humanity to man in ways that you could see heavily influenced Dickens (whom I love.)

Earth’s Answer, The Clod & The Pebble, The Sick Rose, The Angel, and The Garden of Love, from the later movement, focus on recognizing and redeeming the sullied soul of mankind, domination of ownership, bitterness of corruption, the mistake of regret and hardening of the heart. No surprise that I preferred the second movement to the first…thanks to richer imagery. London, itself was prob’ly the most depressing (and at the time true) portrait represented…offering not a single hope towards salvation. But then, in 1794 with war and revolution, what the hell would you expect?

…Personally, I’m enjoying my re-visit at “Howard’s End” (Forster), much more, though Rita doth protest it…MUCH.

It’s obvious why…as the most doomed character is someone she can so keenly empathize with: being in more or less the same social structure, hoping that self-study and book-learning alone will save one from the doomed destiny they were born into. She reads this in prep for her very first lesson with Frank…when she is not yet able to separate her subjectivity and sentimentality from literary criticism. It’s interesting how literal she takes the words that are spoken, and how personal a jab she sees them make at her own background. It paints a very different picture, while reading it through her eyes. The level of becoming totally incensed at the injustice of the social and political situations, from both the weaker and more powerful players, feeds her to not only go on a tirade about it, but cite it several times later in her study, as a continued annoyance. Makes me wonder if she picked it up again at the end of the play, (a year-and-a-half after her studies first began), would she view it the same way or actually be able to see with the subtlety of a more educated eye, the wide-scheme commentary it was written to be?

…I’d like to think, if given a second chance, she’d learn some things from Forster too. I’d like to think, someday she’ll be wandering around a dusty book store, see the title of a beat-up copy there on the shelf, sniff haughtily, and take it down while muttering to herself about how crappy it is. Then just scan it a bit…then a bit more…until her mutterings stop and she realizes how changed the words as-printed have become to her.

…And maybe…if she’s got a five-pound note in her bag, she might end up taking it home with her, again…and when she’s finished it, seek out Frank’s address, for a quick note. Something like:

***

Dear Frank,

Against m’better judgement, I’ve given “Howard’s bleedin’ End” a go, again. Not that it’s the greatest piece of literature ever writ, but…I guess it’s not quite the “crappier than crap,” I first thought.

…Though I still say Henry Wilcox, can kiss me arse.

~Rita.

***

…Anyway, halfway through “Howard’s,” then onto “Rubyfruit Jungle”, (by Rita Mae Brown) whom Rita has selected as her namesake…which I seriously cannot wait to jump into. I’m picturing it as a cross ‘tween a lesbian coming-of-age book, mixed with some “Lolita,” and a harlequin novel. I could be wrong…but that sounds about what would turn her on. We shall see…

Meanwhile, great homework from the boss thrown in, prompting a couple essays on how the constantly repeated “I want to know” quote changes throughout the text:

* Simple truth and curiosity
* Voracious hunger
* Frustrated irritation
*Ongoing quest for more

…As well citing the ties that restrict and bind her:

* Political and economic restrictions from outset
* Lack of education
* Peer pressure and expectation
* Wifely responsibilities
* Self-worth

…Along with a new one to work on: The affect of Frank’s alcoholism on Rita, with regards to her past dealings on the subject in her own life.

All good meat to chew and digest. Anyone who says that comedy is all fluff, is an idiot. ‘Course, this is not a normal comedy. There’s very little “normal” about it to my viewing. It’s a deliciously complicated duet where the highs and lows never quite match up but get close enough to kissing, to keep you on the edge of the seat…hoping…til the end.

~D

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