The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2217 Thursday, 7 November 2002
Date: Wednesday, 6 Nov 2002 10:50:52 -0500
Subject: 13.2213 Re: Gertrude
Comment: Re: SHK 13.2213 Re: Gertrude
I believe that my "review" of the Updike "C & G" is in the archives. I
love Updike's novels, stories, and essays, and have read nearly all of
them as they came out, though we are at opposite ends of the political
spectrum. I'm the sort of female who is fodder for satire in his books,
but even Updike's cartoons are beautifully and truthfully limned. I
read him with, and for, pleasure.
I dislike the plays of Howard Barker, but besides being a fellow leftist
playwright of my own generation, he is a powerful thinker and a
formidable figure in English-speaking theatre. I have read everything
of Barker's I have been able to get my hands on (Less than a quarter of
his body of work) and I would certainly see any production of one of his
plays if one were ever done near where I live. Because I review plays
as well as write them, familiarizing myself with the work of an
important contemporary is part of my job.
I don't much like Mamet's plays, either-- but I've read them all, and
all his collected essays, and seen more than a dozen productions. He's
the most produced and influential American playwright of his generation:
how could any theatre person ignore him?
I would not venture an opinion if all I knew of a writer's work was what
I read in reviews.
Two literary works based on the same story are not necessarily
similar. In this case we all know that both are adaptations of
"Hamlet". If you have evidence that Barker adapted Updike (or vice
versa), please present it. I will apologize. If not, perhaps you
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