Thread: Literary Plays Vote • October 2012
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
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Plays Vote • October 2012

Help us choose the October 2012 selection to read for the MR Literary Club! The poll will be open for two days.

The vote is multiple choice. You may vote for as many or as few as you like.

A discussion thread will begin shortly after a winner is chosen.

In the event of a tie, there will be a one-day non-multiple-choice 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 of its initial nominations first.


Select from the following works:


Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw
Spoiler:
Arms and the Man is a comedy with typically brilliant Shavian wit combined with very serious themes. Among them are the futility of war, hypocrisy, self-delusion, and stereotyping. Most satiric comedy has a dark edge and this play is no exception.

It is in the public domain and free from Project Gutenberg.


The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill
Spoiler:
Considered perhaps O'Neill's greatest play. Set in a 1912 Greenwich Village lower class saloon populated with a group of regulars who spend their lives drinking and discussing grandiose ambitions that will never come to fruition, As the play opens they are awaiting the annual visit from Hickey, a big-spending, fast-talking traveling salesman. This visit is different as Hickey brutally forces them to confront the reality of their lives, before making a shocking revelation about himself.

A quick search reveals that his is available as an ebook from Amazon, B&N, and Kobo.


The Oresteia by Aeschylus
Spoiler:
In the Oresteia—the only trilogy in Greek drama which survives from antiquity— Aeschylus took as his subject the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos, in the aftermath of the Trojan War. Moving from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, its spirit of struggle and regeneration is eternal.

Free ebooks available, although a preference in translation might lead one to purchase the Oresteia.


The Country Wife by William Wycherley
Spoiler:
A bawdy Restoration comedy.

The Country Wife is a Restoration comedy written in 1675 by William Wycherley. A product of the tolerant early Restoration period, the play reflects an aristocratic and anti-Puritan ideology, and was controversial for its sexual explicitness even in its own time. The title itself contains a lewd pun. It is based on several plays by Molière, with added features that 1670s London audiences demanded: colloquial prose dialogue in place of Molière's verse, a complicated, fast-paced plot tangle, and many sex jokes. It turns on two indelicate plot devices: a rake's trick of pretending impotence in order to safely have clandestine affairs with married women, and the arrival in London of an inexperienced young "country wife", with her discovery of the joys of town life, especially the fascinating London men.

The scandalous trick and the frank language have for much of the play's history kept it off the stage and out of print. Between 1753 and 1924, The Country Wife was considered too outrageous to be performed at all and was replaced on the stage by David Garrick's cleaned-up and bland version The Country Girl, now a forgotten curiosity. The original play is again a stage favourite today, and is also acclaimed by academic critics, who praise its linguistic energy, sharp social satire, and openness to different interpretations.

Free ebooks available.
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