New: Book Report: Travesties

I walked partway home tonight; stopped on a narrow road. The streetlight wasn't on, but I was stopped by brilliance: some tree flowering full. Would I have noticed it if the road hadn't been darker than usual? I looked up at the blossoms, and beyond them the stars. And I thought let all the lights go out, I'd rather look at trees than lights.

I kept walking, walked around a bend. This road is up in the hills, not up where Twin Peaks become peaks, but most of the way up there. So I walked around a bend, and in the gap between buildings, I looked out at a panorama--city lit up at night. There was a heat shimmer in the air, and the city twinkled. Streetlights, bridges lit up, places of business with their bright signs. And I thought let all the trees fall down, I'd rather look at lights.

I don't know what my point is. I had a nice walk home. Just another blogger going on about his day. Don't mind me. I'm just stalling because I don't have anything clever to say about "Travesties".

It's a play by Tom Stoppard.

The name-brand characters are James Joyce, Tristan Tzara, and Lenin. Joyce wrote a work which is famously unintelligible because it's so carefully crafted. Tzara wrote poems which are famously unintelligible because he created them through random methods. Lenin wrote works which are famously unintelligible because every two-bit political hack chooses to interpret them differently. Wait, I guess that last one is a symptom, not a cause of unintelligibility. Anyhow.

What happens when you throw these characters in a play loosely following the structure of the Importance of Being Earnest as remembered by a clotheshorse gone senile?

I'm not sure how well I followed this play. Maybe I'd have an easier time making sense of it if I'd seen it instead of just reading the script.

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Posted 2007-03-22