it had a article on the wave of dramatists of the era -
Behan, Beckett, Osborne, Delaney, Pinter, Ionesco.
so I read that aged 15 myself and thought Beckett, Pinter and Ionesco sounded exciting.
the best thing was the writer when reviewing each play gave a full synopsis of the plot !
most people would hate spoilers like that but I thought it was great.
so instantly I knew Rhinoceros or The Caretaker were essential reads.
says a lot about how I view fiction.
some years later I tracked both down and some Sam B. and for once literature
met my expectations.
Rhinoceros is the best thing I've ever read - Berenger is my hero.
the final speech in that play, particularly the last few lines are beyond immense.
anyone know why people like the folks I've mentioned positively here
aren't on the secondary syllabus ?
or they just too good to let the education system ruin them for kids ?
I don’t know, I think Beckett would be great to counterbalance the typical dramas on the syllabus. I think Pinter might the on the British A-levels?
I think those writers are just way too mind-blowingly subversive for the makers of the curriculum of English as taught in secondary schools in Ireland... I mean that's proper absurdist theatre - they were turning the canon and what could be achieved on stage on its arse. To be honest Rhinoceros left me on the shore when I read it, and I may have seen a particularly egregious NUI Galway student production of Ionescu when I was in NUI Galway. I also remember a lifeless production of Pinter's The Dumbwaiter in NUI Galway which almost made me evaporate through my seat cringing.
I also remember some massive alphabetized encyclopaedia which had an entry on American 20th Century Literature. Wiseblood by Flannery O'Connor was a novel I discovered that way.
I remember when I had a mis-spent semester in Dun Laoghaire Institute of Technology of whatever technology it is they do there, and I think coming across the film version of The Caretaker was formative for me. Blew me away. Alan Bates.
Anyway, I think the gulf between these writers and the kind of trite, conservative modern guff that ends up on these curriculums can't even be fathomed. How Many Miles To Babylon??
Big shout out for Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia which you mention in a later post - one of my all-time favourites. Have you seen Peckinpah's WWII film, Cross of Iron? He focuses solely on a class analysis of the German army during WWII. Subversive in the context of American film-makers making WWII films... or any war films which are essentially propaganda. In an argument in the car with my mother about anti-Soviet propaganda in the American arts recently she concluded her two bits with "but shure why would they have made all those films?" The American propaganda cultural apparatus has done its job...
Pinter on the British A-levels surprises me. He's a proper British subversive. I tend to be in agreement with what Robbe-Grillet said about British arts/culture even though it was quite a sweeping statement. I just reread The Homecoming out loud last week playing all the parts myself.
I'm going to dig into some Edward Bond next.
Most of the sci-fi chat here going over my head. Anyway.
I remember my alcoholic secondary school teacher aunt moving from Newcastle West to Mullingar when I was in fourth year and nabbing some interesting titles from her collection - chief among them was One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest which was sweetass...pretty sure I had to repeat my leaving cert because my time was spent cracking into stuff like this. I also remember picking up 'The Ice Storm' by Rick Moody in Longford town in Leaving Cert. Good book. Good film. Maybe the only good thing either Rick Moody or Ang Lee have ever done.
Paul Auster was another late period secondary school rites of passage. Three for two in Books Upstairs.
For my two cents' worth, I think given the conservative nature of the curriculum, some Flannery O'Connor stories and Richard Yates' novels could be good for getting kids interested in literature and how it's crafted.
Hard to imagine anything formally radical like the absurdist theatre stuff getting close to considerations in Ireland.
I remember the Leaving Cert curriculum being pretty stinking for modern stuff. Almost literalist in its concerns and objectives. Dances With Wolves was the best modern work on it - 'nuff said.
of all plays i've read (not many, admittedly), i found the greatest gap between text and stage was with beckett. i read godot before i saw it, and it was a revelation on stage compared to the text.I’ve read all of his plays and they definitely work on the page, not as well as a performance but that’s true of all theatre. The other thing is that (under normal conditions), whatever Beckett ends up on the LC would actually be performed a lot more.
It's not like, say, not liking music or whatever. ("Hey, what kind of music are you into?" "You know what, I ...actually don't like music.")
I also met someone a few years ago who had never seen a film. I mean literally .. had never watched a film. And this was a woman in her 60s. TV yes - but had never had the inclination to watch a film. Not even one on TV.
I feel nothing for sport but that's different
I kinda think that's true even if your interests are narrow. I'm not sure it's possible to have a complete knowledge of anything, really, and if you're a creative type you're always going to have more ideas than time to fully implement/explore all of themI'm honestly jealous of people who look at large swathes of human interests and go "Nah, not for me." My main issue is I find it all so fascinating and I never have enough time
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