Chesil a go

1 Jul

After reading other reviews—and following Ian’s (oh, not McEwan! I don’t think that I channel the author’s guidance in my head…) advice—I decided, despite my unfiltered reaction to the “lazy” NYT review, I would forge ahead with On Chesil Beach. Plus, the New Yorker already got me 45 pages (or 1/5 chapters) in. So why not?

It’s okay so far, pretty good, not awful, not amazing. Worth reading, of course.

Aaaaanyway today my work assignment—not crime!—brought me close to school. It was good to be back and to bump into lots of people I know after hours. Also the sun has turned my cheeks red. But then it rained. And, of course, I was caught in it. Some things never change.

Also, I saw the South Pacific revival last week with my family. This well-done musical doused my parents and grandparents in nostalgia (my grandma sang in my ear…). I enjoyed the excellent performance, but question the value of reviving a play so historically and ideologically topical. The different reactions from different generations (at least within my family) showcased a conceptual divide: my brother and I initially had trouble grasping that a huge chunk of the plot turned on questions of marriage between different races.

This stuff was revolutionary when Rodgers and Hammerstein produced it way back when. Now, it seems sort of meaningless: the overcoming of these barriers is a conclusion that does not need to be told, let alone celebrated with three hours of music, dialogue, and elaborate sets. But its lack of dramatic intrigue in 2009 could be considered an artistic feat—a barometer that illustrates how far we’ve come.

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