I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

valley forge, 7th hike of 2011; monuments to monuments; danny boyle's frankenstein

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Back on track with the hiking, which will please my dad. WHAT'S GOING ON SON? he asked me recently. ARE YOU GUYS SLACKING OFF? (We swore that before the year was out we would complete all fifty hikes in a Philly-area hiking book my camerado got for his birthday--and we're a few hikes behind). Our highlights of Valley Forge were finding a turkey feather and hearing spring peepers, which to me sound just like the spacey atmospheric sound effects in original series Star Trek. We also enjoyed seeing a small monument the masons put up to commemorate their restoration of the National Memorial Arch. We hope a smaller monument will one day be erected to commemorate the restoration of the small monument that commemorates the restoration of the National Memorial Arch, till a trail of ever-tinier monuments spirals over the rolling hills of Valley Forge like dominos. We found some cool ruins and wondered if they were an open-air theater built for the bicentennial and then left to rot:
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See the deer on the right? The whole tableau suggested a post-apocalyptic scene in which we were strapping survivalists striding through the remnants of civilization looking for dinner, bows on our backs. My natural science goal for this hike was to learn to identify chestnut oak just by the bark--a modest goal, but I didn't have time to prepare more ambitious ones. I had hustled to Bryn Mawr Film Institute earlier in the day to see the simulcast of the National Theater's Frankenstein directed by Danny Boyle. As the creature, Benedict Cumberbach was preternaturally powerful, but also weightless as a dancer or ghost--a William Blake or Henry Fuseli drawing come to life. Here's Fuseli's Hamlet pere et fils:
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Cumberbach really did move and gesture with the strange, hypertrophic grace of a figure from the lunatic/classicist art of the time Frankenstein was written--and his performance was a miracle of power, lyricism, crudity, hope, and pain. The flaw in this Frankenstein was in the writing: the creature is so sensitive and enlightened, the murders seem out of character. Each time the plot starts ramping itself toward tragedy I can see more reasonable, plausible paths fork away from it, and wonder why these characters don't talk their problems out. If I was baffled at times by the creature's choices, I found nearly every choice Victor makes in the play unbelievable. It all made me want to reread the book--I was a little younger than its author last time I opened it.

UPDATE: my camerado informs me that we will have to rehike this week's hike, as we went nowhere near the parts of Valley Forge the book we are working from recommended. It's a good idea, because I'd like to read up on the history of Valley Forge--but--we are a good four hikes behind schedule aready... Will our year end as it began, with us scrambling around in the snow to complete our mission?

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