Friday, November 5, 2010

writer birthdays, theatre season

A couple of notable writers were born today. American Novelist Joyce Maynard penned the thriller To Die For which was later turned into a film and has written other works of fiction and nonfiction. Yet she is probably better known for her relationship with J. D. Salinger than she is for her writing. Ms. Maynard has a website and a Facebook page.

English writer Christopher Wood was also born this day. Wood is a novelist and screenwriter and writes in many genres. He is very well known for his James Bond adaptations of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, and also writes historical fiction, adventure novels and has written a number of humorous, titillating novels under the pen name Timothy Lea.

Also in the news this week November 2nd marked a great anniversary for publishing and free speech. It's the day, fifty years ago, that Penguin Books was found not guilty of publishing obscenity with the release of it's edition of D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover. I'm sure virtually every major publisher wrote about it. I found Ian Brown's piece in The Globe and Mail well written and informative.

This week was also the start of theatre season for us. Pam and I have had the same seats at Manitoba Theatre Centre's main stage for many years, and it's a gift we look forward to every fall. The opening play this year is Dale Wasserman's wonderful adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest, one of the great novels of our time. The performance was absolutely outstanding and I marvel at the great talents of actors, particularly in live performance. I'm also reminded of how alive and fomentable writing really is. A novel begets a play, the play begets a film, and so on. By now Randle McMurphy and Nurse Ratched have morphed into characters worthy of rock star status, impelled, at least in part, by the tremendous performace of the actors who portray them. We love Randle McMurphy, and, boy, do we ever hate Nurse Ratched.

Read widely, it's our only hope...



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