Thursday, January 25, 2007

Death of a Salesman

Outside of the odd bit of Shakespeare, I can’t think that I’ve read a play since I was at school, so this week’s ‘book’ was an interesting experience.

Miller’s stage directions are detailed and emphatic, which I suspect gives many a director something of a dilemma, but as a reader it did at least dress the theatre of the mind.

However, one of the things that a novel achieves over plays and films, is the detailed insight into the internal monologue. A good actor may portray some of this, but a novel gives the author far more rope. Reading straight dialogue, you get glimpses of subtext in the nature of the phrasing and so forth, but it needs to come to life in your head before it truly starts to work.

In an astounding piece of “well duh!” thinking, I therefore conclude it is generally better to read a novel, but watch a play.

Tune in next week for startling new thinking as to why shoes are best worn on the feet and gloves on the hands.


sally said...

almsot a 'then it dawned on me..' moment!!!

Caroline said...

oh but i love that play. despite it ahving been rammed at us in schol I do, independnatly of my english teacher, like it. and i guess having seen it (well, one Director's interpretation of it) does help when just baknk reading the text.