Thursday, June 2, 2011

A vacation, and a book blogging question

I will be wandering the prairie for a few days.  Back, let's say, Tuesday.

Do not forget to contemplate the possibility of reading Anything Ubu.  If you are wondering what goes on in Ubu Roi, Jarry's cover from the program for the first performance should help.

Let's see, that's Papa Ubu on the right, and I think the little fellows on the left are Polish princes.  And then there's a box on wheels, and a burning building, and the moon, and, yes, I have no idea.  No idea at all.

My question:  Has anyone come across theater blogs that are like book blogs, or book blogs that concentrate on plays - meaning, that are not just responding to current performances but are also reading plays, really writing about plays?  Anyone reading through Ionesco or Pinter or Calderón de la Barca or whomever?  If so, please direct me thither.  Thanks.


  1. The cover of teh Ubu Roi program just gives away everything! Can't help with theatre blog suggestions. Have a nice time wandering the prarie!

  2. I haven't found any so far. Are there any blogs that focus on films in the same way--not only present productions but also past films?

  3. Hi A.R.

    O.K. I’m reading Ubu Roi in French. (It’s a free Kindle book). It’s strange. It’s like 10 times easier to read than novel prose. It’s just conversational French. (I need to read more plays in French and Italian). But it is the only French book I’ve read without first reading the English translation. While I know what the 'words' mean, I can’t be sure it makes sense.

    Reading Ubu Roi in French reminds me very much of my first experience with reading “Waiting for Godot” in English. I knew there was something there or they would not have published it. But what was there exactly? “To be there or not to be there”, to me that was the question. (I’m not sure one should read “Godot” at 19 – at least, back then. Would you have liked your first Van Gogh if you saw it in real time back then?)

    Ubu seems less serious than Kafka, less funny than Ionesco, and exhibits far less viscosity than Beckett.

    I will have to read the thing in English now.


  4. Vince, I did the exact opposite thing to you, and really, the French is amazingly easy. I thought it would be a disaster for me from start to finish but it was quite the opposite.

    I will be keeping your penultimate paragraph in the back of my mind as I continue.

    Glad you're joining us!

  5. Other than the made-up slang words and portmanteaus, it does not surprise me that Ubu French is not exactly Proustian in its complexity. Probably true of non-Classical plays in general.

    Fred - I know one film blog, a darn good one, that is like the mythical theater blog I have imagined. It's The Criterion Contraption, which for some arbitrary reason is only about Criterion Collection releases. That does give him plenty to watch and write about. His "The Passion of Joan of Arc" post is a good place to see what he does.

  6. Thanks for the information. I shall check it out. I have found the Criterion Collection to be quite good. I have watched a number of films from them.