Help us choose the October 2011 selection to read for the MobileRead Literary Book Club! The poll will be open for three days.
We will start the discussion thread for the selected work on October 17th and a thread for October's nominations will be created five days later on October 22nd. I will start the threads, but the discussion thread may have a "discussion leader" if one volunteers. Everyone can post whatever thoughts they wish on the month's selection, but the discussion leader's goal will be to continue the dialogue in a thought-provoking direction with discussion questions and the like.
In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day run-off poll. In the event that the run-off poll also ends in a tie, the tie will be resolved in favour of the selection that received all five of its initial nominations first.
This month as a trial the poll results will not be visible for most until the poll has closed. Everyone is still free to discuss their own votes or anything else relative, if they so wish.
Moderators and I will be able to see results anytime, so if there are any moderators voting, I ask them to please refrain from looking at the results until they've voted (as I will do too) and to obviously please refrain from discussing them. Thanks!
Select from the following works:
The Glass Menagerie
by Tennessee Williams
"Seeing The Glass Menagerie was like stumbling on a flower in a junkyard — Williams had pushed language and character to the front of the stage as never before." - Arthur Miller
"Delicate and perceptive, The Glass Menagerie inhabits a half-world between comedy and tragedy." - The New York Times
Abandoned by her husband, Amanda Wingfield comforts herself with recollections of her earlier, more gracious life in Blue Mountain when she was pursued by 'gentleman callers'. Her son Tom, a poet with a job in a warehouse, longs for adventure and escape from his mother's suffocating embrace, while Laura, her shy crippled daughter, has her glass menagerie and her memories. Amanda is desperate to find her daughter a husband, but when the long-awaited gentleman caller does arrive, Laura's romantic illusions are crushed.
Menagerie was Williams's first popular success and launched the brilliant, if somewhat controversial, career of our pre-eminent lyric playwright.
by George Bernard Shaw
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead
Candida, a comedy, was first published in 1898, as part of Shaw's Plays Pleasant and concerns a beautiful married woman's choice between the two men who love her. The central characters are clergyman James Morell, his wife Candida and a youthful poet, Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to win Candida's affections. The play questions Victorian notions of love and marriage, asking what a woman really desires from her husband. The cleric is a Christian Socialist, allowing Shaw—himself a Fabian Socialist—to weave political issues, current at the time, into the story. Shaw's warm and witty play continues to challenge conventional wisdom about male/female relationships.
by Tom Stoppard
by Henrik Ibsen
"Peer Gynt" captures humankind's unsure, imperfect and opportunistic nature, a portrait so intimate and accurate that the play has become a classic in Norwegian literature. This play was based on the Norwegian fairy tale and broke down the structural barriers of Norwegian theatre, as Ibsen wrote the entire play in verse-form. "Peer Gynt" drifts between the conscious and unconscious, blending realism and folkloric fantasy. Ibsen used this play to satirize transcendentalist ideas, new and revolutionary at the time, that encouraged a return to nature and simplicity. A year after finishing this work, Ibsen suffered his first severe stroke, and never wrote again. This play was incredibly controversial at the time it was written.
Originally intended to be a written drama, not for stage performance, Peer Gynt was Ibsen's last work to use poetry as a medium of dramatic expression, and the poetry is brilliantly appropriate to the imaginative swings between Scandinavian oral folk traditions, the Morrocan coast, the Sahara Desert, and the absurdist images of the Cairo madhouse.