Call to Arms – Reading Challenge!
I know we’re all swamped with our stuff right now. Hell, even I am. However, there is some merit in this reading challenge I am presenting. It is my belief (and I could be wrong in this) that it is presumptuous for a student of the arts, be it theater, writing or literature, to graduate without reading what is considered seminal in their field. Before you gang up on me being a pretentious geek, I admit that I myself fall under that category – mainly the reason I am engaging in this challenge. I feel that creatively and critically I am in a dump and that there is a need to rejuvinate reading of primary texts be you a writer, an actor, a director, a literary critic or just a plain drunkard.
What am I proposing?
Every week we read one major play. Every Sunday we post something about it. (Oh noes, more paperz?!) Chill. It’s not a DECL-type paper with all the fancy footnotes and formatting. Really just say something about the text. Contribute something. You can ramble as much as you want. In my case, starting next Sunday, I will be posting about what I (hopefully we) read in my blog (http://harderfasterwetter.wordpress.com). There are generally no rules. Yes, you can skip a week if you’re really too busy. No professor, no pressure. Just you and the text and afterwards the blank page of a Facebook note or your blog to write a couple of paragraphs about what you read. One full-length play a week is a reasonable demand. Having it once a month defeats the purpose of trying to read a multitude of seminal texts and having it once a day – face it. Even I have a life.
So that’s it. We’re gonna be reading plays. (Why plays?! Well, generally I’m forwarding it because I feel that there is enough attention towards Fiction, Poetry and Creative Non-Fiction and plus, what the fuck, I started it.) This is how it goes – Every week starting now I’ll be assigning a play. Generally, I plan that every major movement or time period should have a representative text. Basically, we’ll go through the timeline of dramatic history. Let’s just one for each period though. So yes, no reading of both Oedipus Rex and Antigone for Greek Theater in this challenge. Just one per period so we could wrap this up in around a couple of months. If you don’t agree with what I chose as the representative text (Oh noez but I wanna read Medea!) that’s fine. You may. Again, no hard and fast rules.
I will be posting my comments and the next week’s challenge on my real blog. This is not my real blog, this is just a place to put my fiction, poetry and plays. My real blog is at http://harderfasterwetter.wordpress.com. I’m just cross-posting this here in case anyone who follows my blog is interested in going through with this challenge.
So, if anyone is interested in picking this up, our play for this week would be SOPHOCLES’ ANTIGONE (SOPHOCLES! Not Jean Anouilh’s Neoclassical Version). It was a tough call, though. Oedipus Rex arguably has the more literary merit and is the more famous of that generation. True, but I still believe that there is merit in Antigone. Plus, a lot of people are familiar with Oedipus Rex, it would be nice to do something else. (Also, she’s such a twisted ugly girl.)
Generally a nice guy but can bite upon command
I think this is fantastic idea. And to answer your question, I’d love to take part. Only one question, do you know where I can find each play online? Or will it be something for which I’ll just trek down to the library?
Game! Well, we’re doing Calderon dela Barca’s Life is a Dream this week, you can jump on! (Unless, you want to go all the way back to the first week and read Antigone? LOL) To answer the second question, hmmm, I suppose “old” texts (and by that I refer to those whose copyright has expired) may be available online but when we get to the more contemporary playwrights, I suppose a library visit is in order.
I’ve not read many plays but this is an interesting challenge. I feel like there are several pieces of drama I should have read before I graduated from the English Lit. program, but I was never forced to, so I didn’t. I guess I’ll have to start catching up! I’m glad you’re encouraging people to stretch their minds!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂
Indeed, lit programs (and to an extent, writing programs) tend to focus on poetry and prose and ignore one of the OLDEST genres — drama. 😦 Sadly, the Play Reading Challenge had to take a back-burner to the Tarot Writing Challenge and I do have my thesis to consider nowadays. Too bad I stopped in Modern Drama and will resume two weeks from now.
Thanks as well! Hope you enjoy the creative works here as a Lit Major!