And now the weather has grown cooler, very quickly; already I am feeling the need for a sweater when I go out and seriously considering turning on the radiator. Meanwhile, I have begun a course on Irish literature. Prior to this, everything I knew about the subject I learned from a Fringe play I saw a couple of years back called Irish Authors Held Hostage, which is exactly what it says on the tin: famous Irish authors from Bram Stoker through to Frank and Malachy McCourt being held hostage by various terrorists groups from modern times. It’s really one of the funniest plays I’ve ever seen; I think about the only time I stopped laughing was in the Samuel Beckett scene, and that was apparently extremely funny to those that have read his works and get the joke. Shortly into this course I went searching on YouTube and found a couple of clips from an earlier staging:
In the third to last scene, Achmed, forced to listen to John Millington Synge recite dialogue in the style of his characters, cries out he can’t take it anymore and commits suicide. I’m afraid after three weeks of first trying to understand William Butler Yeats and then reading Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, I can’t say I blame him. I hope the later authors are more understandable or this fall will not be a pleasant one. As it is, I have to write a paper on Yeats using at least two poems not covered in class, and I really don’t know how I can do it when I can’t understand him without help. Next spring I think I’ll just take singing lessons.