Der Zuschauer

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

Archive for November 2009

Leon Trotsky from beyond the grave

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Sirs, There are new biographies of Leon Trotsky and reviewed in the TLS (October 23, 09), one is Bertrand M. Patenaude’s Stalin’s Nemesis, The exile and murder of Leon Trotsky The exile and murder of Leon and Robert Service’s Trotsky at 600 pages. Both are to be reccomended, even for those who have read the three volumes by Isaac Deutscher. Two points in the review struck us. Donal Rayfield writes, “Trotsky had qualities, however, which emerge in both these books. First, his passions were sexual as well as political. Aman who can, when sick, tired and sixty, write a love in terms obscenely primitive as Trotsky’s cannot fail to arouse admiration.” We certainly agree. he continues, “Secondly, Trotsky was a genuine writer: when he set aside party doctrine or factionalism and wrote about his and others’ lives, he wrote as vividly as the classics of Russian literature…” You will find more on Trotsky in It Is I, Ekaterina Degout.

Written by herrdramaturg

November 30, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Notes from the People’s Republic

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Dear Readers,
I am in the Fares Tower of the Tisch Library of Tufts University and have an Oxford Duden German Dictionary and a copy of Georg Heym’s Dichtungen und Schriften, of which I am to translate various poems for Max Klinger and Der Zuschauer. I have also been asked to review a copy of The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, Vol. 4: 1790-1900. I am now walking with a cane as much for balance as the left ankle, and I am also very interested in this question of Samuel Beckett and Karl Valentin that Klinger has raised. The autumn season here in Somerville/Cambridge has been gorgeous, and good theatre goes on all over the place. It is nice to be out of hospital captivity and see daily such things as hopping sparrows and harrier jet squirrels. These are days to be envied by those living and working on Guam Island. There are new biographies out on Leon Trotsky and I suppose Editor Degot is working on that. I have been thinking about how Henry James essays On the Art of Fiction (ed. Edel) are of great value to the interest of all working dramaturgs. I am unsure if I am in any way a 21st century writer but at least it is clear I shall die one. We hope you enjoy your Turkey Day and all the trimmings.

Stanley Richardson
for Der Zuschauer

Max Klinger on Editing

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Dear Readers,
I have great piles of publications to review, many of them the spent condoms of tedious minds; I did enjoy Samuel Beckett’s Letters, and Viktor Shklovsky’s Theory of Prose. I can say little of
The Cambridge History of English Romantic Literature (2009), ed. James Chandler. We had initially invited Isaiah Berlin to review the book from beyond the grave but he is off table-knocking somewhere. Why can’t Yugoslavians all just get along? I should also like to alert readers to the fact that I have never ridden on the surface of the water, with planks of laminated wood, beneath my jaunty thighs. Sometimes at editorial meetings I find it necessary to remind everyone “we are all just another asshole.” By the way, the one instance, or instances, that struck me most about Beckett’s Letters were his encounters with the caberet artist Karl Valentin. Has anyone looked into this or written on this? i do appreciate your general laudation of our titalia and illustrative pubic photographs. Some people just don’t seem to know how to get a bone on. See Victor Serge’s Memoires of a Revolutionary 1901-1941. Why is Christian Grabbe trying to sell me on an article on Tsunamis in Mongolia?” Are people out of their minds? And if so why?

Yours in Guam and Higher Education,
Max Klinger, Editor in Chief
Der Zuschauer

Happy Thanksgiving 09

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Karl Valentin

From all of us here, serving drama on Guam, to you, where ever you are. Keep hope alive.
The Editors

Written by herrdramaturg

November 24, 2009 at 11:55 am