Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue: Essays, A Play, Two Poems and a Prayer

Overview


This first collection of writings by Tony Kushner--including his latest play, Slavs! gives us a glimpse into the mind of one of the great writers of our generation.

In this first collection of writings by Tony Kushner, including his latest play Slavs!, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright grapples with the timeless issues of bigotry, war, faith, love, as well as tackling the contemporary topics as AIDS, gay rights and the moral ...

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Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness: Essays, A Play, Two Poems and a Prayer

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Overview


This first collection of writings by Tony Kushner--including his latest play, Slavs! gives us a glimpse into the mind of one of the great writers of our generation.

In this first collection of writings by Tony Kushner, including his latest play Slavs!, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright grapples with the timeless issues of bigotry, war, faith, love, as well as tackling the contemporary topics as AIDS, gay rights and the moral horrors of the Gulf War.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``If you do political theater,'' says Kushner, author of the play Angels in America, ``you are starting out with one big strike against you. You will have to be better than most, not just as good as.'' He also adds that in ``becoming humorless we lose connection to the most vital parts of our culture.'' In this collection of nine essays (taken from addresses and articles), two lukewarm poems, a play and a moving prayer, he proves the validity of his own maxims. The initial essay, ``Notes About TheaterMy STUMP Speech,'' is terrific: his riff on the political and the personal, the theater of the ridiculous and the theater of the fabulous, synthesizes humor and commitment into wisdom. But the further Kushner's writings get from the personal, and the closer they get to the political, the less interesting they are. None of his pieces is exactly tightly argued, but his politics taken neat are a loose conglomeration of familiar rhetoric generally lacking an individual imprint. His most cogently argued position is that gay liberation must be linked to a fight against oppression of any stripe. Less convincing is his screed against the Gulf war, of which he says, ``No single event during the course of my lifetime [Kushner was born in 1956], nothing that I can remember has occasioned such depression and despair as has the Gulf War.'' The play, a funny, insightful piece set in post-glasnost Russia, explores an ultimate crisis of faith, and in one of its best scenes, the old revolutionary Aleksii Antedilluvianovich Prelapsarianov exclaims ``For ninety years I have wondered... WHY is the Good Cause always defeated by the Bad.... Because God... is a Menshevik!'' (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559361002
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Tony Kushner's plays include A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs!; as well as adaptations of Corneille's The Illusion, Ansky's The Dybbuk, Brecht's The Good Person of Szecguan and Goethe's Stella. Current projects include: Henry Box Brown or The Mirror of Slavery; and two musical plays: St. Cecilia or The Power of Music and Caroline or Change. His collaboration with Maurice Sendak on an American version of the children's opera, Brundibar, appeared in book form Fall 2003. Kushner grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and he lives in New York.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Essays
American Things 3
Fick oder Kaputt! 13
A Socialism of the Skin (Liberation, Honey!) 19
With a Little Help from My Friends 33
Some Questions About Tolerance 41
Copious, Gigantic, and Sane 49
On Pretentiousness 55
A Play
Slavs! 81
Two Poems
An Epithalamion 189
The Second Month of Mourning 203
And a Prayer 215
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2005

    Terrific Insight

    For those who are familiar with the work of Mr. Kushner, this volume of essays will provide an appreciated insight into the political beliefs that give vigor to his theatrical works. Spirited, intelligent, and highly passionate, these essays give the extraordinary man a human face. One cannot help but share his fierce passion for social justice and human rights after indulging in this collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2001

    Kushner no one can beat him

    If you love a good laugh and intelligent reading (or viewing) you must get this book (and all of his other books.)

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