Monday, November 18, 2013

A Love Letter of Sorts to Lady Augusta Bracknell in Ashland Oregon

(Arriving in Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival...feeling groovy!)

It was Lady Augusta Bracknell that got me thinking…driving the minivan on a scorching hot June day down Oregon Hwy 62 from the snow at Crater Lake down to the Angus Bowmer Theater in Ashland… just when do characters in books step off the pages and become real living souls?
(Sweet Robot Chalkboard... love it!)

Maybe this is all your fault Oscar Wilde, but as I was driving and talking to myself, as all readers do… I was making a quick list in my head of characters who have always seemed more fact than fiction…and thank the good Lord of Literature for it.
(Keep Ashland Weird... Ya Hear!)

Darling Miss Havisham, your wedding dress looks marvelous, and Julien Sorel you’re wicked beyond delight…Scout Finch I will introduce you to my daughters (pictured above) soon, you’ll have such a marvelous time trading tales with always present Anne Shirley, she’s quite feisty you know.  Then later Elizabeth Bennet, oh Lizzie every time Fanny starts droning on about virtue and you slide in with a joke… you slay me.  Speaking of which, Holden you’ve been holding court  now with Hawkeye and Howard Roark and Humbert Humbert for ages now.   Even Yossarian, who’s words will end this blog someday, have to agree.
(Yes, that's a Crusader Costume... Yes, that Monty Python standing guard)

Of course, so has Oskar Matzerath  and Alexander Portnoy and Vicomte de Valmont, who probably changed my life more than any other character not enshrined the “Melancholy Dane”… and what do Kundera’s Tomaz and Fiver from Watership Down have in common anyway?   Oh Leopold Bloom, I turn to you, with your follies and desires and short comings… you understand me, don’t you, dear?  I’d turn to that Elinor Dashwood, but she’s such a puritan.
(Zzzzzz!  Dreaming of Books)

We pull into town and take a room at the Stratford Inn.  The girls hit the indoor pool and I pull myself together before a late night of The Bard!
(Oh yes, did I mention Willy the Shake was here too?)

These lessons I plan during the short summer months… Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Importance of Being Earnest…teaching Shakespeare and Wilde to the apathetic Chinese… who value nothing that I value… who care nothing for these things...who the currency of Madame Bovary and Dick Diver and Freaking Lady Augusta Bracknell are discarded at pennies on the dollar.  Yet, I still care.  I still have to try.  Maybe for one… maybe for that one…the pages will come alive.

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