19 June 2005

A path to knowing

Tony Kushner on Arthur Miller:
American playwrights have most to learn from the sound of Arthur Miller's voice: Humility, decency, generosity are its trademarks. Turn down the braying of ego, it says to us, turn down the chatter of entertainment, the whine of pornographic sensuality and prurience, abandon the practice of rendering judgment as an expression of isolation, superstition and terror, and reach for a deeper judgment, the kind of judgment that pulls a person beyond his expected reach toward something more than any single human animal ought to be capable of--toward something shared, communal, maybe even toward something universal, maybe even toward God. It's a path to knowing that is the birthright of dramatists and "genuine writers." It seems to me difficult because it's a lonely path, and Jewish in its demanding interiority. It's Jewish also in its faith that words have an awesome, almost sacred, power, force, weight. God, or the world, is listening, Arthur Miller reminds us, and when you speak, when you write, God, or the world, is also speaking and writing. "A great drama is a great jurisprudence," Arthur wrote. "Balance is all. It will evade us until we can once again see man as a whole, until sensitivity and power, justice and necessity are utterly face to face, until authority's justifications and rebellion's too are tracked even to those heights where the breath fails, where--because the largest point of view as well as the smaller has spoken--truly, the rest is silence."
(Via A&L Daily)

I'm off...

Happy Fathers' Day, everyone.

No comments: