Sunday, September 25, 2011

Something to Sink My Teeth Into

The problem with doing this powder punk stuff is that it gets my neo-Romantic heart beating again. Back when I was stumbling about in and out of colleges, drugs, play-writing and relationships that resembled those more of cats and dogs than fully conscious beings (my late teens and twenties), one of the salient trends in my reading was that of the writings Voltaire, Goethe; and then moving up the line to Emile Zola, Anton Chekov, Fydor Dostoevsky; even further into Bertolt Brecht, Bernard Shaw and Jean-Paul Sartre. Mind you, most of this reading was fictional works and stage scripts, not books on philosophy. One director of my plays at the time once said, "You don't get out much, but when I need Chekhov you're the man to drink with. Let's revel!"

I actually got out a bit more than the man assumed, but that's not the point here.

At 24 until about 31, I got my act together a bit and joined the Army, got serious about my studies, and did the adult things-- have a kid, buy a house with a satellite receiver in the backyard, drive a Ford Fairmont station wagon and whatnot. About the same time my cultural explorations became more in tune to FM Classic Rock stations, along with whatever was available at airport newsstands and mandatory textbooks. I could barely talk my party bruder in Germany, the second time around, to attend a showing of Death of Salesman, let alone an in-German presentation of Faustus.

And then getting out of Army, married life and other things, I decided it was "Me time" again. This took on the focus of being a fantasist. In case you are unfamiliar the term, a "fantasist" is, as according to the
World English Dictionary is pronounced "fæntəsɪst" and is a noun that describes a: 1.) a person who indulges in fantasies. 2.) a person who writes musical or literary fantasies. I think everyone reading this knows, I fulfilled this bit of actualization with a vengeance over the last twelve years or so.

But until recently, my most important concerns have been about whether JRR Tolkien or Lord Dunsany reflected the true face of fantasy. Now with the research that I have been doing my previous interests have been coming to the fore.

Did you know that Voltaire was always gossipy about his friend Fredrick the Great of Prussia? Okay sure that's nice, let's research his reign of Prussia. And then the next day on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, As It Happens was broadcasting sex poems written (in French) by Great Fred to his boy Voltaire. I am not making that up, the mainstream media is diverging into subjects that I thought I was making up a week ago.

Sadly for me, it has always been easier to understand the causes of the European Great War an the German Counter-Offensive (often called WWII), than to relate to most folks in the arts fields of things. So I am suddenly struck with the yearning for a bit more than video-tape Filmers and digital analoguers have to offer-- godshead bless Stargate and Dr. Who, they're just the cheapest speculative fiction shows ever made.

But when the Clevelang (big stuffy and over-princed) theater runs a Bertolt Brecht piece like, The Life of Galileo, I am stuck at looking the cheap-seats for a mere $100 dinner date, for the Peryton and I. That happens to be a bit much for my tastes.

I produced a rendition, The Caucasian Circle of Chalk back in 1987. Alas, no one cares.

No comments: