“Wherefore and hence? Therefore and ergo!” Did ever an American musical have more intellectual credentials than “Candide”? Candide. Music by Leonard Bernstein. Book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler. Lyrics by Richard Wilbur. Other lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and John LaTouche. Directed by Ralph Petillo with the Unicorn Company at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, through […]
An elegant and sleek meditation on the reverberations of trauma adapted for the stage from a collection of stories by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. After the Quake, based on the stories “Honey Pie” and Super-frog Saves Tokyo” by Haruki Murakami, which were translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin. Adapted for the stage by Frank […]
By Bill Marx You want a racy, nineteenth-century epic about sex, sin, drugs, and prostitution set in China? Here it is. Two more pieces on international fiction for World Books, the feature I edit for PRI’s The World.
By Bill Marx I am juggling editing and writing duties between two blogs, theartsfuse and World Books for the website of BBC/PRI’s radio program The World, which is produced at WGBH in Boston. The section aims to be a critical conversation made up of reviews, commentaries, interviews, podcasts, and news stories about international literature. Respected […]
Let us hob-and-nob with Death — Alfred, Lord Tennyson The Duck Variations by David Mamet. Directed by Marcus Stern. Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet. Directed by Paul Stacey. Presented by the American Repertory Theatre at Zero Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, through June 28. Reviewed by Bill Marx Death be not mentioned in David […]
By Caldwell Titcomb Starting in 1769 serious questions have been raised as to whether William Shakespeare (1564–1616) of Stratford-upon-Avon actually wrote the plays and poems attributed to him. For some years the true author was claimed to be Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626). So far, at least 60 persons have been put forward as the rightful […]
A novel about sexual obsession, inspired by “Lolita,” stretches the limits of credulity. Rupert: A Confession By Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison, Open Letter, $12.95, 131 pages Reviewed by Tommy Wallach I consider myself something of an expert in the seldom studied theme of impotence in film and literature. Most […]
June 3rd marks the 20th anniversary of the brutal suppression of the Tiananmen student movement. To mark the occasion, excerpts from “Massacre,” an epic poem about the violence that landed the writer in jail.
By Bill Marx Sigmund Freud sets out a weirdly Brobdingnagian survival scenario for kids. Young children rely on their parents, dependent on the intimidating bounty and emotional whims of “adult” giants who could easily dish out too much smothering love or unconscious hostility. Novelist Peter Stephan Jungk weaves a playfully tragicomic variation on this primal […]
By Bill Marx In the latest World Books podcast I talk to Robert Chandler, who along with his wife Elizabeth and Olga Meerson has translated Andrey Platonov’s novel “The Foundation Pit” for New York Review Books.