Mar 25, 2009

Five Points...

Sorry, skipped town for a week or so, just getting back into the swing of things. A few notes in the way of catching up:

1. Isaac seems newly energized after confessing his frustrations with his blog (which, we can learn here, is pronounced "puh-RAB-uh-sis"). Really, in terms of output, generosity of spirit, and intellectual honesty, it's his world and we're just linking to it.

2. Doing some purging/consolidating at home, and I'm intrigued by what this list of duplicate books may say about me and my wife:
Midnight's Children
Darkness at Noon
A Handful of Dust
Angels in America (both plays)
Anna Karenina
The Satanic Verses
Too Many Songs By Tom Lehrer

3. I reviewed Darrell Dennis' Tales of an Urban Indian some weeks ago, and took note of a word he used for his grandmother in the show. It sounded something like "cat" or "ket." I looked it up in the script and found a curious spelling: "Ke7te." Not a typo, it turns out (though I chose to spare the copy editor at Time Out and left the word out of my review).

4. Michael Sargent is a sui generis L.A. original, a sort of latter-day love child of Warhol and Williams, and I think he's (over)due for national consideration. If you're in L.A., rush to see Grand Motel with Dennis Christopher and Shannon Holt at the Unknown Theatre--the playwright himself directed, and it's not quite an ideal production of all the play could be, but it's a rich, bittersweet cocktail and it deserves a future. If you miss that (it closes this coming weekend), then don't miss The Projectionist, a disarming, sardonic play with Hamish Linklater that opens this weekend in the lobby of the Spartacus--sorry, the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

5. Stumbled across John McWhorter's 2001 book Word on the Street (it was literally lying on the street in my neighborhood), and it is quietly blowing my prim little editor's mind. Expect another post soon about what Language Log would call "prescriptivist poppycock," and one about McWhorter's persuasive chapter on translating Shakespeare into modern English. (OK, a preview: The singular, non-sexist "they" is simply not wrong! The way we all use "hopefully," not wrong! Even "a whole nother"--not necessarily wrong! And sad old "whom" is better off dead! I'm telling you, this stuff may be elementary to many better-informed folks than I, but it is rocking my Strunk-and-White-schooled head.)

1 comment:

isaac butler said...

Wow. that was so sweet of you, rob. Thanks for the high praise.

BTW: MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN is one of my favorite books ever, but it totally f*ed with me. I had a dream where something really terrible happened to me and then the next day I read a chapter where it happened to the character in book.