Friday, August 22, 2014

Turtle Dancing

Today, during the pouring rain, my mom and I went mall walking--a nice way to catch up and get a little exercise; she's practicing for being a tour guide in the annual cemetery walk this October, and I'll be an actor in the same walk, so I should practice 1) my lines 2) standing up for hours outside, mist* or shine 3) not peeing.**

We are synchronized in another way, too. She's been reading a biography of Somerset Maugham and re-reading some of his stories. And I've been reading a biography of Anton Chekhov and re-reading a couple of his stories, "The Bet" and "Ward Six."

In that magical way that various things align when one is so attuned, I find Chekhov's view aligning with that of Julia Cho in The Language Archive. Introducing "Ward No. 6," the anthologists say, about Chekhov's work, "the tragedy and pathos of life is caused by human beings themselves, not by society but by their failure to respond to or even communicate with one another." That happens in Cho's play, at times, just as it does in Chekhov's plays and stories. Likewise, "No other writer except Gogol possesses so fully the genius for arousing laughter mixed with tears." Such a mix is crucial to Cho's play, as well as Chekhov's, which he so often considered comedies, even if his audiences (and the Moscow Art Theater) didn't. Tee hee, sigh...

Speaking of Russian writer-doctors, I've seen a couple episodes of A Young Doctor's Notebook, starring John Hamm, based on the works of Mikhail Bulgakov, who also wrote The Master and Margarita, one of my favorite books of all time. It's a mix of comedy and tragedy, too. (Read this.)

OK, students are after me tonight. I just bought Christmas wrapping paper to finance a junior high field trip. And a DePaul student called to thank me for my annual contribution and solicit a new one. We discussed turtle dancing, oddly enough.***

*When it's pouring rain, we perform in a mausoleum or a garage.
**The mall has bathrooms. The cemetery has a porta-potty.
***In the context of dressage and fashion design. Which makes it a Random Coinciday in the blog.

1 comment:

Collagemama said...

Love this random turtle dance. It's been a kaleidoscope rodeo in my world.