Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Antigone and Lysistrata

Tonight we read Brecht's version of Sophocles' Antigone; we couldn't quite decide or figure out in what way it was Brecht's version - it was based on a translation by Hölderlin into German of the Greek play, but what exactly did Brecht do? That we don't know.

Still, it was fun and interesting, and we stopped to remind each other of what the story was. [Ah: husband, German literature professor, just got home and tells me his memory from high school is that in the Brecht, Creon's economic reasons for going to war are brought out much more.]

This was the first time we had read a play in German; always before it was in English. The Germans in the group have excellent English, almost to a woman. Tonight it was interesting for the shoe to be on the other foot. The other foot didn't speak German nearly as well but first of all, we could all read it pretty well thank you so much. And the story was pretty good!

Two weeks ago we read Lysistrata; I wrote to my family about it and said I was going to blog about it but you know, I haven't yet, so let me just put in here what I wrote to my family. I have to say the Lysistrata was an absolute hoot and probably, no certainly, the most fun we've had yet, so I wouldn't want to have not told you about it. Before I put that in here, though, let me just say that tonight's group was the same as for Lysistrata except that my son Max was missing (he's gone to Bangalore for two months), and Sabine's daughter Ada was present.

Here's my letter to my family about Lysistrata.

Last night at play-reading we read Lysistrata, I also want to blog
about that, but in brief it was glorious. (Lysistrata is the
Aristophanes play, 400 BC, Greek, comedy, about the women of Athens
and Sparta and other Greek cities who band together to deny sex to
their husbands till their husbands stop the war (the Peloponnesian
war, possibly?).) It was a text I found on the web, by an anonymous
translator, I think it was particularly earthy and bawdy perhaps -
anyway a very clear and vivid text and very funny - I think everyone
was pretty shocked by the frank language and we were all in stitches -
four middle-aged women and Max and Anna, our 20-ish friend who is here
taking  a year off from Harvard - the young'uns were really truly
shocked that the Greeks wrote about these things so many centuries

One of my friends from Weight Watchers also came to the group last
night - so it was Max, my son; Sabine, my old friend and roommate from
25 years ago; Meg and Anna from my writing group; and Annette from my
Weight Watchers group. Kind of fun to pull it all together like that.

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