Monday, September 19, 2011
Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Reading Albee is a very moving experience. It involves feeling charged, being pulled in different directions, being pushed into a quicksand of emotions and being thrust out into the cold. As it is, this play is really a brilliant reading experience and there is nothing quite like it. Its biting and brutal humour is charged with a vengeful energy so strong, it moves through the characters like electricity. One cannot really comment on the manner in which the play operates because it escapes critical scrutiny - it's essentially very electric and animal-like. It is, however, a play about the morbidity that inheres in our human relations and our susceptibility to violence, internalized very often but just as often unleashed on those we are forced to encounter life with. The vortex of mutual, blind violence into which the characters descend is ultimately so strong, you are left feeling very hollow when you finish the play. The climax of the play, at that moment when the underlying, unspoken "game" on which their lives are built comes undone and understanding dawns on the reader, is a moment of revelation - and you marvel at the simplicity with which the author mocks the suffering of his characters.
Albee is a good writer.