Please, Library of America,
publish The Pittsburgh Cycle now!
|Playwright August Wilson|
playwright on the world stage of the entire century and he didn’t win the Nobel. Goes to show that they make many mistakes as they had plenty of chances to recognize him. My next five American playwrights would be Neil Simon, Lillian Hellman, George S. Kaufman (with various collaborators), Arthur Miller, and David Mamet. For a baker’s dozen, I’d add Arthur Laurents, John Guare, and Wendy Wasserstein.
|Dexter Looks Around Pittsburgh's Hill District|
Wilson’s language possesses his characters in a rhythm that’s poetic and steadily overpowering in its incantatory force. These people may not own much, including a sense of their own freedom, but they create their meaning through their words. The eloquence of the vernacular arising from elemental conflicts set in elegantly realistic plots turn into myths. Wilson is a direct descendant of Sophocles and Euripides, but the milieu of these plays is as detailed and natural as those of Ibsen, Chekhov, or Williams. His peer in fiction is Toni Morrison.
|Ensemble Theatre's Production of|
Gem of the Ocean
Okay, the Library of America has published American classics with consistent industriousness, so please can’t it collect these plays in a volume and get them out there? Is Wilson’s estate holding things up? I hope not.