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The Pillowman: A Play (Faber Drama) af…
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The Pillowman: A Play (Faber Drama) (original 2004; udgave 2004)

af Martin McDonagh (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5541533,276 (4.31)18
A writer in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of child-murders that are happening in his town.'Sometimes you don't even know what you've been craving until the real thing comes along.'New York Times'McDonagh is more than just a very clever theatrical stylist. His tricks and turns have a purpose. They are bridges over a deep pit of sympathy and sorrow, illuminated by a tragic vision of stunted and frustrated lives.' Fintan O'Toole,Irish TimesMartin McDonagh's searingly brilliant new play premières at the National Theatre, London in November 2003.… (mere)
Medlem:brokensandals
Titel:The Pillowman: A Play (Faber Drama)
Forfattere:Martin McDonagh (Forfatter)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2004), Edition: First, 112 pages
Samlinger:Skal læses
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read

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The Pillowman af Martin McDonagh (2004)

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A former professor of mine once dismissed the original BBC Office as “self-congratulatory.” I laughed at the time and disagreed with him, but his phrase comes in handy when thinking abut The Pillowman, which reads as if a college sophomore who had binged on Tarantino and Pinter sat down to write a play. I say this with the utmost conviction, as I am certain that, at 19, I would have loved this thing. The meta-theatrical conceits! The language! The verbal violence! The puzzles! The occasions for talking to one’s roommate in sentences beginning, “No—that’s the whole point! The guy’s stories don’t make murders happen—and that shows the relationship between art and life, even though we are told later that the murders—” etc. Now, at 45, this stuff seems much more tame than Antigone and certainly more tame than Oleanna or Speed the Plow. One is also reminded of Stoppard while reading this, but Stoppard is smarter.

I can hear McDonagh’s admirers now, perhaps assuming that I’m some waif or fuddy-duddy shocked by the violence. Wrong. The violence itself isn’t shocking although it is awful. What makes The Pillowman so self-indulgent is that the violence lacks any kind of moral center. Tarantino’s films are all informed by moral quandaries, which is why Mr. Orange’s last words in Reservoir Dogs make the audience gasp. Even popular fictions like The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby work because of a moral center to which the storytellers appeal. Not here. Instead, we get an onstage dramatization of a story titled “The Little Jesus Girl,” prefaced by the stage direction, “The dreadful details of the following are all acted out onstage.” Fine, by all means, show the story of the crucified girl—but don’t do so as an excuse to display your own naughtiness. (“Is he really going there? My word!”) Not only does that make the whole thing empty—it also makes it boring. And yes, I can already hear the refrain But that’s the point! I admit to being too old to care. The wisest thing said in the play is when the author / victim states of his work, “I’m not trying to say anything at all!” Nonsense. The entire set up—in which two terrifying critics—er, cops—torture an innocent—er, guilty, er, cutely ambiguous—writer into explaining himself is an invitation for an audience to laugh along—or be laughed at. The whole thing has a built-in fail-safe designed to make any review such as this one seem like it was written by a rube. So be it.

One more thing. It comes to me, later, after having written this, that the above is the same point made by Norman Mailer in his review of American Psycho, a review I read for the first time about a month ago when I was killing time at the library. That's a book worth reading: Mind of an Outlaw, the new anthology of his essays.

Update. A few weeks later, thinking there had to be more to McDonagh, I read The Beauty Queen of Leenane. While better than The Pillowman, it's still thin soup.
( )
  Stubb | Aug 28, 2018 |
Needs a reread after Three Billboards was so awful, but I fondly remember reading this. ( )
  triphopera | Apr 14, 2018 |
A complex, darkly humorous play about writing and creativity and how it could be not only valued but adversely viewed by society. ( )
  Hagelstein | Oct 23, 2016 |
I hate Martin McDonagh. He presents brutality simply for its shock value. This particular play is about murdering children. ( )
  JustMe869 | Jun 21, 2016 |
3
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
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A writer in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of child-murders that are happening in his town.'Sometimes you don't even know what you've been craving until the real thing comes along.'New York Times'McDonagh is more than just a very clever theatrical stylist. His tricks and turns have a purpose. They are bridges over a deep pit of sympathy and sorrow, illuminated by a tragic vision of stunted and frustrated lives.' Fintan O'Toole,Irish TimesMartin McDonagh's searingly brilliant new play premières at the National Theatre, London in November 2003.

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