Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue: Essays, A Play, Two Poems and a Prayer (Slavs!, Essays, Poems, and a Prayer)

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9781559361064: Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue: Essays, A Play, Two Poems and a Prayer (Slavs!, Essays, Poems, and a Prayer)
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Presents seven essays on various topics, the play, "Slavs!" and other writings

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About the Author:

Tony Kushner's plays include A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs!; as well as adaptations of Corneille's The Illusion, Ansky's The Dybbuk, Brecht's The Good Person of Szecguan and Goethe's Stella. Current projects include: Henry Box Brown or The Mirror of Slavery; and two musical plays: St. Cecilia or The Power of Music and Caroline or Change. His collaboration with Maurice Sendak on an American version of the children's opera, Brundibar, appeared in book form Fall 2003. Kushner grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and he lives in New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

"If you do political theater," says Kushner, author of the play Angels in America, "you are starting out with one big strike against you. You will have to be better than most, not just as good as." He also adds that in "becoming humorless we lose connection to the most vital parts of our culture." In this collection of nine essays (taken from addresses and articles), two lukewarm poems, a play and a moving prayer, he proves the validity of his own maxims. The initial essay, "Notes About Theater?My STUMP Speech," is terrific: his riff on the political and the personal, the theater of the ridiculous and the theater of the fabulous, synthesizes humor and commitment into wisdom. But the further Kushner's writings get from the personal, and the closer they get to the political, the less interesting they are. None of his pieces is exactly tightly argued, but his politics taken neat are a loose conglomeration of familiar rhetoric generally lacking an individual imprint. His most cogently argued position is that gay liberation must be linked to a fight against oppression of any stripe. Less convincing is his screed against the Gulf war, of which he says, "No single event during the course of my lifetime [Kushner was born in 1956], nothing that I can remember has occasioned such depression and despair as has the Gulf War." The play, a funny, insightful piece set in post-glasnost Russia, explores an ultimate crisis of faith, and in one of its best scenes, the old revolutionary Aleksii Antedilluvianovich Prelapsarianov exclaims "For ninety years I have wondered... WHY is the Good Cause always defeated by the Bad.... Because God... is a Menshevik!"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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