Once again I’ve been lax in posting, being busy with other things, namely writing on the memoir, still some drawing, and moving big rocks around behind my apartment building, where I’m making a terrace and a French drain. For fun, like a bus driver’s holiday, it’s a landscaper’s retirement. Meanwhile I note that nobody seems to have been particularly bothered by last week’s digital silence.
My apologies for doing this blog without a schedule, but it is what it is. I do have a vague list in mind of subjects to bloviate (blogiate?) about, though without clear priorities. There is a foggy plan to keep on posting drawings for my coloring book YE GODS! and to start serializing my novella BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, which will happen as/if I manage.
Since I’m feeling the need to think about something besides the Aztec god Huehuecoyotl (Old Coyote), my youthful tribulations of fifty years ago, and earthworking, I’m going to write this time about more of the free stuff I’m pushing on this website. Today I’ll tell you about the only play that Fyodor Dostoevsky almost wrote, and posthumously at that.
Let’s kindly say that I extracted or distilled my one-act play THE SPECIAL CASE from Dostoevsky’s classic novel CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. In three scenes, the young murderer Raskolnikov hides his guilt in a treacherous mind-game with the Police Inspector Porfiry Petrovich. The play was produced in 1992 at the Santa Fe Community Theatre (later the Playhouse). Now it’s free for anybody to read or produce. Just right click here and select “Save Target (or Link) As.” (P. S. I’d love an invite to any production and will try to make it.)
Being a dramaturge impressed me mostly with the transitory nature of theatrical art. All that’s left of that dramatic triumph now is this text, a rather good videotape, and a horrific memory of the elderly Porfiry character freezing in mid-sentence for several interminable moments. Wrong, I’ve also still got a little Victorian mirror that hung over Porfiry’s desk and a continuing acquaintance with the fellow named John who played the student friend Razumikhin.
More or less dizzy with that two minutes of local fame, I went on to “extract” a one-act play from a short story by another favorite Russian writer, Maxim Gorky, who also wrote magnificent plays you may have heard of, like THE LOWER DEPTHS. Some might call it adapting but whatever. The story is titled for its main character, CHELKASH, but I call my play more thematically SPOILS. Admittedly, it won’t be easy to stage as it mostly happens in a small boat being rowed on a dark sea. My thought is that it would work much better as a screenplay for an intimate video incorporating the nocturnal atmosphere and dark ships looming in the harbor.
SPOILS and my other theatrical pieces are also available for free download, reading, or production. Check them out too. There’s some unusual, if not downright odd, historical and experimental stuff.