Proof

Proof

by David Auburn

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780571199976
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 03/05/2001
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 125,269
Product dimensions: 5.63(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.27(d)

About the Author

David Auburn's plays include Skyscraper (Greenwich House Theater) and Fifth Planet (New York Stage and Film). In 2001 he received the Kesselring Prize and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Proof 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
SarahJay More than 1 year ago
I picked up "Proof" on the recommendation of a friend knowing next to nothing about the plot. I was completely floored. This play is a page-turner that will have you really thinking about what it means to believe in something (not in a religious way) versus having "proof," because so often in life things are not layed out for us clearly in black and white. This play is absolutely perfect for stimulating discussion. I definitely recommend it for book clubs and/or discussion groups of any kind. And I know sometimes people don't like to read plays, they'd prefer to see them acted out, and there is definitely merit to that, but believe me, "Proof" is the kind of play that reads like a book. You will not feel like you are missing much by reading the dialogue as opposed to seeing it acted out.

(Sidenote: A movie version of "Proof" came out with Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins a couple of years ago. Do NOT see the movie. It pales in comparison. If you must, make sure you read the play first. You will not regret it.)
391 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is a short but intense play, filled with wonderful scenes for acting classes (always a boon!). The characters - Catherine, especially - are compelling without being terribly likeable, which is always interesting to see in theatre. It reads more like a novel than a play, and Auburn's style is incredible.
tibobi on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Short of It:A past-paced, gripping play about young woman struggling with the recent loss of her father, the arrival of her uptight sister, and her own self-doubt over whether or not she¿s sane.The Rest of It:Proof, a play by David Auburn is about a young woman named Catherine, who finds her sanity questionable after caring for, and losing her father to mental illness and heart failure. After spending the last few years frustrated and concerned over her father¿s wellbeing and internalizing those feelings, she is suddenly thrust into society and forced to look at herself. We are invited into her world to feel as she does, vulnerable, fragile and completely unsure of herself.If the storyline sounds familiar to you, you might be remembering the movie which came out in 2005 and starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins. As far as adaptations go, the movie was actually pretty good.I read the play for my Contemporary Lit class and I loved it. It¿s filled with conflict and doubt and then there are the conversations that revolve around mathematics (might as well be a different language to me) but they were necessary and powerful in conveying the absolute brilliance of both father and daughter. The main question here is whether or not Catherine has inherited her father¿s mental illness as well. Auburn does an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing. It¿s a quick read, only 96pp but as soon as I finished it I went right back and read it again.It¿s been a long time since I¿ve read a play but it was refreshing and broke up my reading rut. Reading it reminded me of all the drama classes I took in college. So much is left up to your interpretation and I sort of like being challenged that way.After reading it, I saw the movie and it was really very good. The whole experience was a win-win.
JosephJ on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Excellent play. Having seen older relatives deal with Alzheimer's disease it was quite an intriguing read.
ntempest on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A fascinating, layered look into the lives of a brilliant mathematician and his mathematically gifted daughter. Despite the heavy role math plays in the story, there is very little actual mathematics involved in this play. Instead, Auburn addresses larger concerns that could refer to any subject matter: lost potential and the question of when it becomes too late to make certain choices in one's life; family and the cost of caring for loved ones to the detriment of one's own interests and progress; the fine line between grief and madness; aging and all of its potential for destroying a person long for they die. A poignant, involving play where the characters are always intriguing and real, even when they are not particularly lovable.
shrew on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Brilliant mix of math and life. If you've seen the movie, forget it and read the play instead (or go see a stage production). If you enjoy the television show Numb3rs, you'll enjoy this one too. Catherine is a compelling heroine because she is so flawed and so real, as are her relationships with her family. This play is a quick read that will stick with you.
Ambrosia4 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This has been one of my all-time favorite plays for a very long time. It may be because of the subject matter: mathematics and psychology. This is the story of a 25-year-old woman who is the daughter of a famous mathematician who went insane. She grapples with the question of her own sanity, her future, a new man in her life, and her prudent sister after her father's death. It brings up so many questions I've had for myself that it has always been easy for me to identify with it.I saw this play produced very well and the movie, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, and Jake Gyllenhaal, is also done particularly well (with a script written by the play's author and following the play closely with some very interesting changes due to the added flexibility of a film rather than a play). Auburn's poetic writing from the point-of-view of an insane genius is moving and magnificent. Catherine's character is wholly developed and realistic, being someone I could see being friends with.If there is a production of this in your area, I encourage you to go! As a fine substitute, rent the movie. And above all, read Auburn's beautiful play!
Cariola on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is a reread for me as I'm teaching the play next week. It's a short, stunning play (it won a Pulitzer) about math, madness, and family dynamics. Catherine, a brilliant mathmetician, gave up her hopes of a college education and a career to care for her mathmetician father, who had "gone bonkers." Now she wonders if she is going down the same path, and her sister Claire's oversolicitousness isn't helping. After her father's funeral, his former student finds an impossibly brilliant mathmatical proof in the professor's notebooks. The question is: who wrote it? The play is sad, witty, and, yes, hopeful, all in one.
TanyaTomato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Short and sweet. Unrealized potential because family obligations have gotten in the way. Auburn really portrays the difficult time of dealing with an aging parent.
cinesnail88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the play I'm doing for my final project and I am so glad I chose it. The strange juxtaposition of theatre with math makes this play very fresh and new. The relationship between Catherine and Hal was also a big selling point for me, as it reminds me infinitely of myself.
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
Proof, a play by David Auburn is about a young woman named Catherine, who finds her sanity questionable after caring for, and losing her father to mental illness and heart failure. After spending the last few years frustrated and concerned over her father's wellbeing and internalizing those feelings, she is suddenly thrust into society and forced to look at herself. We are invited into her world to feel as she does, vulnerable, fragile and completely unsure of herself. If the storyline sounds familiar to you, you might be remembering the movie which came out in 2005 and starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins. As far as adaptations go, the movie was actually pretty good. I read the play for my Contemporary Lit class and I loved it. It's filled with conflict and doubt and then there are the conversations that revolve around mathematics (might as well be a different language to me) but they were necessary and powerful in conveying the absolute brilliance of both father and daughter. The main question here is whether or not Catherine has inherited her father's mental illness as well. Auburn does an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing. It's a quick read, only 96pp but as soon as I finished it I went right back and read it again. It's been a long time since I've read a play but it was refreshing and broke up my reading rut. Reading it reminded me of all the drama classes I took in college. So much is left up to your interpretation and I sort of like being challenged that way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was SUCH a good book. I loved it. Catherine is such a spunky character and everyone can relate to her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of Proof somehow jumped at me like no other play had before. I have seen the play twice. I didn't see it in New York, but I saw the first regional production of the play at the Alliance Theatre. This produciton starred Susan Pourfar as Catherine. Susan Pourfar breathed so much life into this role that now when I read it the show takes on new meaning. The story is new and REAL. Proof tells the story of the life of Catherine and the people most near her. Buy this book you won't regret it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this play; I would universally recommend it. Most plays, when you read them, have weak points, or rough edges, that snap you out of the reading trance, the illusion of reality. This play was smooth, smooth but dangerous in the real emotions boiling out. It seemed very believable, the charachters were realistic and well-presented. I borrowed this play from a friend and am about to buy my own copy, and copies for my friends as well. Very good.