"There is truth in all these criticisms. Like all ambitious, voluminous work — like an epic novel — there is bagginess, missteps. But also like a great novel, each viewer is grabbed by something different: a particular through-line keeps her watching, crowds out the shortcomings; a specific narrative or emotional thread compels devotion.”
"In four seasons, Don’s argument on behalf of advertising has gone from There’s something missing in the world that you’re uniquely able to provide to You need something to do to occupy your time until you die on your couch.”
Nikil Saval isn’t the only n +1 editor with a new book out. Through his magazine’s publishing arm, cofounder Benjamin Kunkel is releasing a play, Buzz, which comes on the heels of last month’s Utopia or Bust. At Full Stop, William Harris reviews Buzz, calling it “the type of play that propels itself by introducing the indefinite edges of a mystery.” It may also be a good time to read Kunkel’s Year in Reading entry.
"The trouble is that monsters have a lineage too, and our monsters have changed. Errol Childress is a quaint monster, a monster of convenience, a camp monster, a monster in drag. Monster, as every English professor likes to remind us, comes from the same root as demonstrate: a monster is supposed to mean, to signify, to instruct. Errol Childress has nothing to teach us, and neither does True Detective in its fond hope that these old manly genres can keep operating in the exhausted currency of mutilated women, or its insistence that evil somehow proclaims itself."
No great hand reached down from the sky and made me a writer. I made myself one, by writing.
Until that moment, I hadn’t really understood what I was doing there, why I had written my play in the first place. Now I knew. I had loved my friend back home, and we had drifted apart, as friends do, and I was trying to work all that out, what it meant to love somebody and have that end. Here I thought I’d written a topical one-act with a trick ending, and really I had written a love story.
When an audience is with you, it’s like running a rapids, that same raw power and unpredictability, and even the best actors can do little but hold on for dear life and hope the boat doesn’t capsize.
Moss Hart had talent, an inhuman tolerance for work, and a pair of brass balls, but what set him apart from the thousands of other guys hanging around theater lobbies in the mid-1920s trying to catch a break was that the man was fucking relentless.