Der Zuschauer

A Journal of Essays and Reportage on Drama, History, and Literature

Archive for October 2008

Well, What About Opera?

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Didn’t you think about this all summer long on Long Island, and didn’t you let your hair down, as they say, down on the Cape? I didn’t; we didn’t; who did? But Trotsky, of course, had to flee Siberia twice before the Russian Civil War; there is his essay, Flight from Siberia, and perhaps he often experienced Yurt like conditions. If he did in fact recover in that filthy Mexico City hospital, perhaps he fled across the Pacific, and through the the Problems of the Chinese Revolution, ended up in Ulan Blator, and writing his Diaries in Exile, various volumes. We think his writings On the Labor Party in the United States, and On the Paris Commune significant. Moreover, Whither France? and Where is Britain Going? And the immortal writings regarding Women and the Family. Thank God, Dear Readers, we will not be seeing you soon in the Ukraine.

Our Best to you. Grabbe, Here.

More, More Now, More Over

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What is Performance Art? What is it for? What does it have to do with the drama? Why does it always focus on the body? Allow exhibitionism and pornography in pseudo subversive ways? By the way, have we expressed our detestation for the word “mode?” Is it not at least as boring as “gender,” ethnicity,” or “class?”

The dog won’t hunt.

Anymore that “borders” or “liminal.”

Is it not true that most writing on performance is at least as petrified and atrocious as all that billious wind-baggery in MLA publications?

Think about it; keep it on the stove-top.When it comes to boiling underwear in bleach, it may come in handy.

Yours, Grabbe, Degot, Inchbald.

We swim in shark-infested seas. We don’t allow our best, new, young talent to swim at all. We suggest real prolonged research. We suggest sand exercises, intense periods of study and reflection. and Mongoose-Hunting in the winter months. How are you all?

Yours, Kllinger, Grabbe, Degot, and Inchbald

Written by herrdramaturg

October 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

Is It Really Always Innocence When You Dream?

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We would like to remind our readers that auspicious indicated what was up with the birds, Gooney, and otherwise. Auspicia, in Latin, meant bird-watching. Also there was a group of divinators, Etruscan interpreters of the livers of slaughtered, sacrificed bulls, goats, et al, etc., ad infinitum, known as haruspices. This has been jauntily translated by one spark as gut-gazers. Also, we are told two incredible things in R. M. Ogilvie’s The Romans and Their Gods in the Age of Augustus. For religious reasons, the Divine Emperor took a position in the public streets as a beggar, and pleaded for alms, one day a year. Finally Suetonius tells us that the same said beggar/emperor only had dreams in the Spring. We wonder if they, the dreams, were wet? And, wet about what.

Written by herrdramaturg

October 21, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Basil Bunting on Iran

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“Man’s life so little worth,
do we fear to take or lose it?
No ill companion on a journey, Death
lays his purse on the table and opens the wine.”

Written by herrdramaturg

October 9, 2008 at 11:04 am

Trotsky on Wall Street

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“…Let us take up the subject of violence. The land was taken, the factories were taken, the bank deposits were taken, safes were opened; but what about talents, ideas?”

Written by herrdramaturg

October 9, 2008 at 10:32 am

Metaphysical Horror on Wall Street

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For we on Guam Island it began with the rumor that George W. Bush was reading J.L. Austin’s How To Do Things With Words. Trying to comprehend this led to a slightly hysterical wonder that resolved itself into a state of stupefaction. Then, World Hysterical Events seemed to promise that Wall Street would shortly follow the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and that capitalism would end up in the dust-bins of history.The bailout and its disastrous ambiguity led to metaphysical horror. A blank check for 700 billion dollars into the hands of a what? a who? a whom? into the hands of one man appointed by George Katerina Bush? Pace Austin, Bush was heard to say during the disastrous White House convocation, “If we don’t get something done here, this sucker could go down.”

In the People’s Republic of Cambridge, our correspondant Stanley Richardson tells us: “Old Bolshies and undergraduates are suddenly sporting pocket copies of The Communist Manifesto. The hat-coat and-tie types seem to be pouring through An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Bow-tie boys have been seen reading Rousseau’s The Social Contract. There has been a run on copies of Spengler’s Der Untergang des Abenlandes both in German and English.”

There is still, as Richardson points out, baseball, and the cafes, taverns, and bars of Davis Square. “Many,” he says, “are trying to hit the ball out of the park by hitting the bottle first.” Skorsky in Paris chortles at the “end of neo-liberalism.” What? “And, everwhere, the running dog investment bankers are retreating to various villas, vacation homes, or bunkers.”

We here on Guam have been drinking with the Gooney birds, playing badminton in the nude, and, listening to actors reading selections from Leszek Kolakowski’s Main Currents of Marxism, during our nightly barbecues. China is not far away. First Taiwan, then Guam Island. What was that old cant expression about the Dominio Effect?

Always our best to you. The Editors.

PS. If rumors prove true that after Austin, Georgie Boy wants to read Seven Types of Ambiguity, we’re all going to sea in a bottle. Last messages to follow.