Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…


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Watching the sixth and seventh episodes of the second season of The Newsroom tonight, and, in the seventh, hearing the characters talking – as they had in every episode of the second season – about a sarin gas attack, it reminded me of Murakami’s book about the Tokyo subway terrorism.  It took seven episodes for me to be reminded of that.  I wonder why?  It seems to have happened very slowly.

Proust would know, no doubt.

But, dear reader, to how many decimal places would Proust be able to recite Pi?  Not that many, I bet.

And I was about to finish today’s post there, and just remembered that, ironically enough – having just been talking about my memory failing – I’d forgotten to mention the Stoppard play!  (I wrote 1500 or 1600 words today on the review, which is probably about a twentieth of what it’ll be in the end, so my mind is understandably frazzled.)

I got up at about 6.40 this morning, had breakfast, then turned two computers and a laptop on and had them all streaming the BBC Radio 2 website, in case one stream failed.  Two out of the three had the video stream going as well, with the radio on mute (the video stream had its own audio, you see).  And then 7am came, and I heard my first Stoppard play at the same time as the rest of the world.  My judgement?  Brilliant!  A minor work, for sure, but compelling, moving, funny – I laughed many times, alone in the room.  Dealing with moral philosophy, global warming, game theory, a little bit of banking, and a few other topics I can’t remember…  Especially in the first half, I kept thinking, “gosh, I must quote that line on Twitter or my blog”, but I can’t remember them now.

Now there’s a question: would I prefer to remember what I’ve read, and be able to quote lots of lines, or would I want to not remember much at all, and thus have it be fresh the next time I read it?  Quoting lines is a nice thing to be able to do (within reason), and there is an advantage to finding new things in a book the second time around; but would it not be nice to always have that sense of fresh wonder?

I have a cousin first removed (I just looked up how to work the relation out online – I’d never, until now, known how ‘cousins’ worked) who told me last Christmas – told the table rather – that she had a photographic memory.  So she can remember a whole book after reading it once, or something like that.  I asked her if she gets any enjoyment reading a book twice, but she doesn’t read books twice, apparently.  And that was the end of that conversation, as I couldn’t exactly dig into her psyche with three thousand questions across a table laden with turkey and bon-bons, could I?

I’ll listen to the Stoppard play again soon.  I managed to download (possibly illegally, though only as illegal as taping a song off the radio) the video accompaniment (plus audio) after it had aired (the BBC has it on their website for the next 7 days), and I downloaded myself a copy of the audio broadcast which was doing something very weird with the file/codec/etc, but now, tonight, I’ve got a proper version of the audio as well.  Excellent, excellent!  How horrible it would be to never be able to listen to it again!  (Perhaps they will release it as a DVD, though I doubt it.  A CD, perhaps.)  The creators of Wallace and Gromit, Aardman Animations, did the video – and an excellent video it was – though it wasn’t claymation but computer graphics.

I felt very emotional at times, too. Or on the verge of being very emotional, at least.  I can’t tell if it was some sort of hyperventilating fanboyish Beatlemania because the occasion was quite important to me, or if it was the play and the Pink Floyd music that was having that effect.  Certainly a potent experience, anyway.


Written by epistemysics

August 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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