Der Zuschauer

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

Archive for January 2009

The End of the Korean War

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Northeast Corridor 20 January 09

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We have had a lot of snow up here in January and some quite viciously cold days. The squirrels still leap and bounce; they never seem to fall. As far as history goes we don’t all go to the expected events, nor witness history in the field. It comes to us often, as it will, fortuitously. One can’t help but think of Gregory of Tours opening his History of the Franks, in the 6th century with the immortal, “A great many things keep happening, some good, some bad.” I woke up this morning and read Lucretius, and then packed up some volumes to sell in Harvard Square, a grievous sin I know. and always I feel Professor Kien will pounce on me in the stairwell, and I don’t know, Dear Readers, if I managed to arrive at the Harvard Bookstore (1932, and independent from the University), just at 12 o’clock on purpose or not, but arrive I did at noon, and the place was pleasantly crawling with people drinking campaign and watching Obama take office, and gleefully, with some dark elements, bidding Georgie Boy’s backside goodbye. It was a raucous crowed for “elite intellectual types”; in fact it reminded me of another Harvard Square institution: late night screenings of bad B-movies like Plan 9 From Outer Space at the Brattle Theatre. People laughed out loud, cheered, were irreverent but gracious, and we all enjoyed the experience very much. Aretha Franklin came out wearing a serious Plan 9 From Outerspace Sunday morning hat. The prayers were boring; that’s when I made my capitalist bid on books about linguistics and windbaggy volumes of Mark Twain, speeches, essays, reviews. The potted-palm music of Yo Yo Ma, et al, was an exquisite ineffable, but the cannon salute was a groove; the oath-taking was moving and slightly inept; god bless the man, his fortunes, and our fortunes. I won’t at this time remark on the address itself; its delivery was moving, forceful, and with a quality of mind-round-some-thing, that was exhilarating. One remembers how greatly underestimated the Gettysburg address was for decades. The Valley Forge Washington quotes were stormy and exciting. It was a bright, sunny day, without any wind. I left smiling with some tears in my eyes. I felt proud to be an America citizen again, but I was aware it was a pride that we would all have to work hard for. It is not a time for sunshine patriots; it is a time for hope.

For Der Zuschauer, Stanley Richardson
Copyright 2009, Guam Battalions

Written by herrdramaturg

January 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Eine Jugend in Deutschland

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Ich bin dreissig Jahre.
Mein haar wird grau.
Ich bin nicht mude.

Written by herrdramaturg

January 12, 2009 at 4:34 am

Henry James, The Scenic Art, #2

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“On its recent revival in London [The School for Scandal of Sheridan] was remodeled in accordance with modern notions of symmetry, and to this version the Museum [MFA, Boston] has apparently conformed. It is a very good one, and the only liberty it takes with the text is to transpose certain scenes and run others together. We have a great deal of tolerance for all audacities based on a desire to resolve an act into a single picture. Visible changes of scene is rapidly becoming a barbarism, and we strongly suspect this circumstance will end by giving a deathblow to Shakespeare as an acting dramatist.”


Oh, the blindness of historical prediction.

The Editors, Inchbald, Shadewell, et al.