It was supposed to be a three hour tour. Sorry, wrong show. In The Tempest, two parties are stranded on a remote island. And both strandings are intended. Prospero gives up his seeming plans for revenge–and his rough magic–in what is famously taken as a reflection on what it is to be an artist, by a Shakespeare who is reaching the end of his career. What’s the relationship between the impulse to revenge, and artistic creativity? What, exactly, must be given up? Wes discusses these questions with Broadway actor Bill Youmans.
In the end, Professor Serebrekoff kisses the man who tried to murder him on the cheek, and jokingly reveals to him and an audience of other relatives that the trauma of almost-being-murdered has inspired him to write what would amount essentially to a self-help book. He then effectively tells them—each one of them with a good reason to wish that he had been actually-successfully-murdered—the following: Your hopes and dreams are all well and good. But they’ll come to naught unless you get to work: “do something, my friend! Work! Do something!” >> More
“Slaughterhouse Five” is a story about war, yet one that seems to advance the thesis that there can be no war stories that don’t entirely falsify the experience and significance of war. Why is war so hard to talk about? For one thing, it can be severely traumatic, constituted as it is by attempts by human beings to banish each other’s life stories from space and time and experience. perhaps trauma cannot be accurately represented within a narrative, the very essence of which is to supply a sense of power and mastery by fitting raw experience into a causal framework. >> More