Archive for 'art'

Let’s write a Shakespeare play

1. Pick a big historical event with which, however mistakenly, people feel they are familiar. Alternatively, present an event so ridiculous it hardly matters.
2. Reduce it to six main characters (Henry the Whatever, fairies and/or transvestites). › Continue reading…

LadyButler

This is my friend Anna, also known as LadyButler. Anna’s closets actually look like this. It is a little scary and I try not to think about it too much. However, I do think–often–about my own shortcomings in this regard. I think how much nicer my life would be if my closets were not inhabited by demonic textiles.

I do know what the problem is, and I will not burden you with my personal neuroses. Just remember that the first short story of my adult life is called “The Closet and the Money,” and deals with the detritus of the Second World War, that somehow wound up stuffed in a standing closet in my childhood bedroom. That’s all I will say for now. › Continue reading…

Goddess of Salvation

Goddess of Salvation › Continue reading…

Everyone was excited that Orhan Pamuk and Salman Rushdie were coming to to town. Bookstores around Venice displayed posters for the literary conference, “Crossroads of Civilization.” This bookstore is on a street leading away from the Querini Stampalia. › Continue reading…

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Flying ferries

Planes in the Hudson, ferries in the sky. Join us on Upstage on 20 May at 9 pm Venice time. Go to the Salvation page on this site for login instructons. › Continue reading…

Nothing much happens in this play, either. It’s someone’s birthday, or it isn’t; two strangers arrive; the birthday boy leaves the next morning as a zombie. I wonder if I am suffering James Joycean déja-vu, or if I really recognize a boarding house, a mother, an eligible daughter figure, a stage Irishman and a Jew. Maybe it’s like a sensory deprivation touch: you start to project.
The theatre is from a great age of French something. The play is from a different great age of French something. Existentialism superimposed upon the flocked-red-velvet era. Paris despite the wars.
I love the sensuously curved metal rating on the stairs on our way out. I have given up wondering why we do not take the elevator. I ask the Canadian, how is her knee. She says, “That’s why you have two.”
Outside, the Eiffel tower has switched to an epileptic nightmare. Scintillating pinpoints of halogenic white lights among the stable gold. It bristles with self importance.
If only it would fade back into the iron sky. If only I would fade back into Paris.

I immediately head for the bathroom. At the door to the balcony, my colleagues hesitate to accept the usher’s offer to reseat us. “Is it better?” they ask. Well, yes. So are the seats she offers is one minute before the curtain rises.

The play is “The Birthday,” by Harold Pinter. It is Samuel Beckett light. There is too much human interest and entertainment for a Beckett play. No matter how badly it’s played, I’ve never heard anyone laugh at “Waiting for Godot.”

Nothing much happens in this play, either. It’s someone’s birthday, or it isn’t; two strangers arrive; the birthday boy leaves the next morning as a zombie. I wonder if I am suffering James Joycean déja-vu, or if I really recognize a boarding house, a mother, an eligible daughter figure, a stage Irishman and a Jew. Maybe it’s like sensory deprivation: you start to project.

We emerge on the Avenue Montaigne. The Théâtre des Champs Elysées is way at the foot of the street. We are back at the Seine. Across the river, the Eiffel Tower is lit up like Times Square, If every light bulb in Times Square were rearranged into a giant perfume bottle with a spray top.

“This is the Pont d’Alma.”

And I’m Marie Antoinette.

“It’s the Pont Alexandre III,” I said, losing all hope. We walk right past the Champs Elysées, our alleged destination.

“My friend Sarah’s apartment is around this corner,” I mention to my husband. He thinks this can’t be true.

A few blocks later, I point out the apartment of someone I worked for.

“It’s the place François I,” chides my husband.

“Well, it has to be somewhere,“ I say.

Perhaps I am deluded, I think. Perhaps they really know Paris much better than I do.

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