Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-06-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
sun surfer
in this great future
sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
sun surfer's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,720
Karma: 16539320
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: ipad mini & sony 950
Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw

This is the MR Literary Club selection for October 2012. If you've already read it or would like to read it, feel free to join in the conversation!

Availability - project gutenberg free downloads for epub, kindle, html and more - project gutenberg free direct online text

So, what are you thoughts on it?

sun surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 02:52 PM   #2
sun surfer
in this great future
sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
sun surfer's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,720
Karma: 16539320
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: ipad mini & sony 950
I thought I'd try something new this month and add links in at the top of the discussion thread for the selection. Any feedback? I picked a tougher month to start though with a more obscure title - I don't use project gutenberg much (it's usually not always so well formatted and I can usually easily find the same thing better formatted elsewhere) but it seems to be the place for this title.

If anyone else wants to give any other links they know (free or for a price at a store) for this or future discussion threads, let me know and I'll edit them into the first post.
sun surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 05:21 AM   #3
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 811
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
There is a collected edition of Shaw's plays available on Amazon--The Plays of Shaw (20+ Plays) [Kindle Edition]. I got it because it seems the only collection {not complete BTW} available for a reasonable price ($1.23). As the reviews indicate, there are some formatting problems, though Arms and the Man does not itself seem to have any, reads well, and has an interesting introduction. It's the type of collection that I am willing to put up with until Delphi or Halcyon come out with something really good.

On the other hand, the PG version is adequately formatted and free. It does not have a TOC so one must make use of bookmarks for navigation. Since the play is only 72 pages long, this isn't really that much of a problem. It also has an introduction. I noticed that the PG version in Many Books was actually nicer to read than the version direct from PG.

If you're willing to spend $12.91, Amazon's Kindle edition of Plays Pleasant is a selection of plays by Shaw--including Arms and the Man--and judging by the sample it is certainly well formatted. There is one two star review but it's by someone who clearly doesn't like Shaw, as the criticisms were of Shaw's writing--not the formatting.

Though Shaw's star has dimmed since his death, he is well worth reading and far more a lateral thinker thematically than many modern writers and dramatists.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 10-07-2012 at 07:12 AM.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 07:30 AM   #4
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 811
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
I'm sure that those who have started the play have noted the very long, elaborate stage directions. This was because Shaw wanted his plays to be experienced by as large an audience as possible--including those who didn't or couldn't go to a theatre. He gave indications on the personalities of the characters and how the lines were spoken as well as exact descriptions of the stage settings. Further, the description quite frequently give indications of relationships and attitudes--so they should be read carefully. The result is that it is very easy for a reader to create a mental image of the play when reading. Thus, Shaw was quite happy if people read his plays rather than saw them at a theatre. However, this has led to the accusation that the plays don't have fluidity on stage.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 10-07-2012 at 11:13 AM.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
sun surfer
in this great future
sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.sun surfer ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
sun surfer's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,720
Karma: 16539320
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: ipad mini & sony 950
Thanks for the info fantasyfan; if you want me to add any of those links to the first post just post the links, but as it is you've given plenty enough info on them for anyone who wants to find them.

I've actually already finished, heh. Interesting little read and I really like the Bulgarian setting. I'm still letting it sink in, but I think I found it somewhere between OK to good. I like the ideas it brings up, especially
Spoiler:
of a rational soldier being so out of place and looked down on.

What I didn't like so much was
Spoiler:
the convention of all the couples ending up together at the end, at the expense of Nicola. There of course is possible discussion here, on "the soul of the servant" among other things, and Shaw is sympathetic to and gives much intelligence to Nicola, and yet he is still the one to get the brunt of the misunderstandings joke and still ends up the poorest (since Louka will now be rich) and alone, even though his relative success in the future is still implied. I suppose perhaps Shaw did it on purpose as a critique but I think if so it might go over many play-goers' heads and to them Nicola may be seen as a tertiary, unimportant character that was just there to be laughed at for a scene. And I also wonder why his head was shaved Japanese style? Was that a normal Bulgarian custom because it seems very unusual?

I noticed the long stage directions and wondered at them, but thought that perhaps they were more normal for plays of the period; thanks for clearing that up fantasyfan.

I do like that the title comes from the Aeneid, which I've read as well in the past month.

After finishing I did read up on it a bit, and found this one tidbit on wikipedia about Shaw that I found very amusing:
Quote:
The play was one of Shaw's first commercial successes. He was called onto stage after the curtain, where he received enthusiastic applause. However, amidst the cheers, one audience member booed. Shaw replied, in characteristic fashion, "My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?"
By the way, I must add one more thing after previewing this post that right cracked me up. The first spoiler wasn't working and I couldn't figure out the problem, until I noticed that instead of [/spoiler] at the end I had used [/soldier].
sun surfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 10:28 AM   #6
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,815
Karma: 35636086
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
There is a collected edition of Shaw's plays available on Amazon--The Plays of Shaw (20+ Plays) [Kindle Edition]. I got it because it seems the only collection {not complete BTW} available for a reasonable price ($1.23). As the reviews indicate, there are some formatting problems, though Arms and the Man does not itself seem to have any, reads well, and has an interesting introduction. It's the type of collection that I am willing to put up with until Delphi or Halcyon come out with something really good.
You got me to look at Amazon and in addition to a 99¢ edition of Shaw with 26 plays, I found a free edition of the Gilbert Keith Chesterton biography of Shaw, which could be fun. I know all of this is at PG, but this was easier. Haven't checked the epub venues for similar versions.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #7
Hamlet53
Babi Yar
Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Hamlet53's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,755
Karma: 45944891
Join Date: Mar 2009
Device: Kindle PW, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"
For consideration of any that might be interested.


A London stage production of George Bernard Shaw's play "Arms and the Man". A comedic play set during the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. On YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4FchU7tumI

For the benefit of those who might want to see the play performed on stage as well as reading it. Alice Krige, the women who appears first in this video, I immediately recognized as the incredibly beautiful actress that played Sybil Gordon, the romantic interest of Harold Abrahams in the film Chariots of Fire.
Hamlet53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2012, 05:30 PM   #8
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 811
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
For consideration of any that might be interested.


A London stage production of George Bernard Shaw's play "Arms and the Man". A comedic play set during the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. On YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4FchU7tumI

For the benefit of those who might want to see the play performed on stage as well as reading it. Alice Krige, the women who appears first in this video, I immediately recognized as the incredibly beautiful actress that played Sybil Gordon, the romantic interest of Harold Abrahams in the film Chariots of Fire.
Thanks! I've never actually seen it acted on stage.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 03:44 AM   #9
paola
Wizard
paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.paola ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
paola's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,726
Karma: 5077335
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Device: Pocketbook Pro 903, (beloved Pocketbook 360 RIP), Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
You got me to look at Amazon and in addition to a 99¢ edition of Shaw with 26 plays, I found a free edition of the Gilbert Keith Chesterton biography of Shaw, which could be fun. I know all of this is at PG, but this was easier. Haven't checked the epub venues for similar versions.
great tip! It does also exist in EPUB and other versions on Project Gutenberg, see here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
For consideration of any that might be interested.

A London stage production of George Bernard Shaw's play "Arms and the Man". A comedic play set during the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. On YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4FchU7tumI
Now I don't know whether I should do first, watch the play or read the script

Last edited by paola; 10-08-2012 at 03:47 AM. Reason: added answer to Hamlet53
paola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 811
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
Quote:
Originally Posted by paola View Post
great tip! It does also exist in EPUB and other versions on Project Gutenberg, see here.

Now I don't know whether I should do first, watch the play or read the script
Naturally everyone has their own preference, but I'm going to give it a careful reading first. In a sense, I will direct the play in my imagination and then go to the performance to get different insights. But that's just me.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 02:59 PM   #11
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 811
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
I would like to share a few of my thoughts about this play which, of course, represent only my own personal opinions. I'll make them fairly general and the given examples come only from the first act.

I feel that a vital aspect of this work is the way Shaw examines the problem of the "persona" or social mask that various characters tend to wear rather than engaging with their true feelings.

This is especially clear in the conflicts created between a romanticised "ideal"e.g.--patriotism--"Higher" love--heroism--and the reality of the way people act and the needs and desires that actually motivate them.

I believe that Shaw is trying to show that self-knowledge can only come through shedding the romantic illusions that distort the perception of the world as it is.

A very early example of this is seen in Act I when Catherine reports the heroism of Sergius. Raina makes a significant statement:

"Our ideas of what Sergius would do--our patriotism --our
heroic ideals. Oh, what faithless little creatures girls are!--I
sometimes used to doubt whether they were anything but dreams.
When I buckled on Sergius's sword he looked so noble: it was
treason to think of disillusion or humiliation or failure. "

Clearly she has seeds of doubt about the higher values she espouses. And she continues:

"Well, it came into my head just as he was holding me in
his arms and looking into my eyes, that perhaps we only had our
heroic ideas because we are so fond of reading Byron and
Pushkin, and because we were so delighted with the opera that
season at Bucharest. Real life is so seldom like that--indeed
never, as far as I knew it then."

This common-sense, this practicality about life is the reality that Raina knows. Her persona is created by Byron, Pushkin, and Opera!

When the fugitive enters her room to escape, Raina is confronted with real life. Her attempt at asserting heroic courage is dashed by certain actualities of her situation:

RAINA (cutting him short). You will shoot me. How do you know
that I am afraid to die?

MAN (cunningly). Ah; but suppose I don't shoot you, what will
happen then? Why, a lot of your cavalry--the greatest
blackguards in your army--will burst into this pretty room of
yours and slaughter me here like a pig; for I'll fight like a
demon: they shan't get me into the street to amuse themselves
with: I know what they are. Are you prepared to receive that
sort of company in your present undress? (Raina, suddenly
conscious of her nightgown, instinctively shrinks and gathers it
more closely about her. He watches her, and adds, pitilessly)
It's rather scanty, eh?

So the theme of the conflict between the mundane real and the romanticised ideal is established quite early on. Thus, one can explore this theme and see how Shaw links it to the problem of self-awareness later in the play. Of course, this is merely one way of approaching the drama which I happen to like and which suits me personally. There are plenty of other approaches equally good or better that one might prefer depending on inclination.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 10-10-2012 at 04:45 PM.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
fantasyfan
Guru
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 811
Karma: 8177718
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch 3G, iPad Air
The problem that the characters have with identity runs throughout this play: It is one of the areas that I really like.

Spoiler:
Sergius acts as a focus of this theme through his relationship with Louks. He is drawn to her, and cannot overcome this bond through the other {false} layers of identity he uses when speaking with Raina.

"SERGIUS (coming clear of the table and drawing her with him). I
am surprised at myself, Louka. What would Sergius, the hero of
Slivnitza, say if he saw me now? What would Sergius, the apostle
of the higher love, say if he saw me now? What would the half
dozen Sergiuses who keep popping in and out of this handsome
figure of mine say if they caught us here? (Letting go her hand
and slipping his arm dexterously round her waist.) Do you
consider my figure handsome, Louka?"

Louka actually does love him but is grounded in reality:

"LOUKA. Well, you see, sir, since you say you are half a dozen
different gentlemen all at once, I should have a great deal to
look after.

SERGIUS (charmed). Witty as well as pretty. (He tries to kiss
her.)

LOUKA (avoiding him). No, I don't want your kisses. Gentlefolk
are all alike--you making love to me behind Miss Raina's back,
and she doing the same behind yours."

When Sergius slips into a self-satisfied, "genteman" persona to put her down, Louka immediately points up his hypocrisy:

"LOUKA. It's so hard to know what a gentleman considers right. I
thought from your trying to kiss me that you had given up being
so particular."

and she senses who the "true" Sergius is:

"LOUKA. Ha! ha! I expect one of the six of you is very like me,
sir, though I am only Miss Raina's maid."

Louka has complete self-awareness, knows what she wants, and takes the necessary steps to get it.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 11:17 AM   #13
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,815
Karma: 35636086
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
Not spoilery, I just want to comment on how prescient Shaw was. The kind of cavalry charge led by Sergius against the heavy artillery, the height of absurdity, is exactly the kind of warfare engaged in by the red tabs in the forthcoming Great War. The only difference is that the brass realized early that horses were contraindicated, but they continued to throw men on foot up against automatic weapons and big guns again and again and yet again, until the armistice, with predictable results.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 06:09 PM   #14
Hamlet53
Babi Yar
Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Hamlet53 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Hamlet53's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,755
Karma: 45944891
Join Date: Mar 2009
Device: Kindle PW, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"
I want to get my two cents in on this and will likely not have time all next week so here goes . . . Be warned spoilers ahead.

This actually worked for me on two levels, thought not outstanding on either. The first was as a light comedy romance with only at the end the lovers paired up properly, or so that is what we are meant to conclude (more on that later).

The second level is as a social satire, and there the main problem is that, while it might have been daring and relevant when it was first staged (1894), now it is just a historical curiosity. Many of the social conventions that were its targets, romanticizing war, dueling for honor, and even attitudes regrading class distinction did not survive WWI. Another thing that detracted from the play for me is that I found it impossible to like or sympathize with any of the characters except Captain Bluntschli and Louka. The other characters I found to be shallow pompous asses. I would have preferred that Bluntschli and Louka end up married, a better match for both. That raises another point, I found it impossible to believe that Sergius Saranoff would have married Louka. Attempt to pressure her into a sexual fling yes, but marry her no. There really was no buildup in the play to suggest that he had developed any deep love for her, more that he was just an upper class horn dog that spotted an attractive servant he would like to take to bed, but that he considered below his class. I did find it amusing at the superior attitude Shaw took towards the Eastern Europeans regarding bathing and personal hygiene in general.
Hamlet53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 07:06 PM   #15
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.issybird ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
issybird's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,815
Karma: 35636086
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Device: 950, 350s, N7, &...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
I did find it amusing at the superior attitude Shaw took towards the Eastern Europeans regarding bathing and personal hygiene in general.
Hah! This probably bothered me more than anything else. The first joke might have have been mildly amusing, but then we visited it again. And again. Some things were funnier in the 1890's.

I really do love Shaw, but I must say he's better off in his his usual milieu, that of the English drawing room, where the wit can sparkle and where the social commentary is more subtle and not so superior.

I hadn't read this since 11th grade and while I was glad to revisit it, I don't think it deserves its popularity now, except that I can see that it's a fun play for a high school or community group (and I have seen many, many high school productions. Better Shaw than Shakespeare!). What was prescient in the 90's is irrelevant in the current age, which means we're left with jokes about dirty hands and libraries that would disgrace a summer cottage. Not so funny after all.
issybird is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Other Non-Fiction Shaw, George Bernard: Maxims for Revolutionists, v.1, 25 July 2008. Patricia Kindle Books 0 07-24-2008 10:50 PM
Other Non-Fiction Shaw, George Bernard: The Revolutionist’s Handbook, v.1, 25 July 2008 Patricia BBeB/LRF Books 0 07-24-2008 10:37 PM
Shaw, George Bernard: The Philanderer. v1, 26 Dec 2007 Madam Broshkina BBeB/LRF Books 0 12-26-2007 09:46 PM
Shaw, George Bernard: Pygmaillion. v1, 22 Dec 2007 Madam Broshkina BBeB/LRF Books 0 12-26-2007 09:18 PM
Other Non-Fiction Shaw, George Bernard: The Perfect Wagnerite, v.1, 12 Nov 2007. Patricia BBeB/LRF Books 0 11-11-2007 08:22 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:05 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.