Monday, April 04, 2005

Comments on comments by Albee

The current New Yorker has an interesting profile of Edward Albee by Larissa MacFarquhar. But it's the the current physical issue so I can't link to it.

A couple of random replies: regarding Albee's control-freakishness, MacFarquhar quotes him saying, "No one goes around messing with composers' work the way they do with plays. That's probably where I learned not to put up with that junk. Nobody takes three or four measures out of one of Bach's fugues."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't operas come with "standard cuts"? Don't people toss measures out of Bach all the time by ignoring repeats? I can't find the reference at the moment, but I recently read that a Bruckner symphony has been performed modulo every other measure. Here Albee is demanding better treatment than Shakespeare gets.

(The profile later notes that Albee, after seeing a performance of "Seascape", cut out the entire second act.)

"'Dangerous' is one of his highest terms of praise [...]" - guess he'd like this poem below.

On stopping drinking: "He didn't go to A.A. - he did it on his own, with the help of Antabuse, a drug that, if taken in combination with alcohol, makes you sick. 'I have will,' he says."

Will and Antabuse. Also note that Antabuse would be useful at one's next frat party.

I'll pass over the discussion of the neologism "ass-waxing". And the interesting bit at the end about the unconscious as biology, because there's too much to type, but as a reductionist I was pleased to see it.


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