Day: May 4, 2018

Don’t Shoot The Messenger: Elfriede Jelinek’s “Rechnitz” In New York

On March 24, 1945, there was a party in Rechnitz, an Austrian town on the Hungarian border. The hostess was Countess Margit Bátthyany, who may or may not have been having an affair with the town’s Gestapo chief, Franz Podezin, a guest at the party. In what would be a prelude to the end of WWII, the Soviet Army was about to invade, but the Countess and her guests decided to have one last hurrah. During the party, Podezin received orders to pick up some 180 Jewish inmates of a nearby labor camp from the train station, prisoners deemed...

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Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women”: A Dissent

My reaction to Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women when it first arrived in New York in 1994 was nicely glossed by the illustrious Uta Hagen in describing why she turned down the play’s central role: “I think that the old woman is relentlessly hateful—boring.” Just so. Ever since this play won the Pulitzer Prize that year, its fans have insisted that the hatefulness of its lead character—called simply A—served profound, redeeming ends. Critics across the “brow” spectrum, tired of hammering the talented, once lionized author for his string of disappointments over two decades, found themselves faced with an interesting, somewhat better...

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