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The Matchmaker (1954): Though the play feels a little like an elaborate Viennese pastry, which I gather is what its source play was, it’s Wilderian in its perspective: it juxtaposes a smaller world with a greater one, which in different ways is also true of Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth and even, I think, Wilder’s novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey. There are expanses of space, time, and destiny or fate or human purpose that Wilder opens up to us in these works, and in some cases to the chara...
Please see my reviews of Wilder's two early collections of short plays and the four major longer plays included in this volume.The uncollected shorter plays in this volume are of varying quality, as you'd expect. The earliest, from 1917, is surprisingly good and demonstrates that Wilder was more adept at drama than at fiction at that age. Of his uncompleted longer play _The Emporium_ there are two scenes not available in other collections. It is fascinating to read Wilder's journal entries about...
In the upcoming months, I will be seeing both The Skin of Our Teeth and Our Town. Previously, I have seen and enjoyed The Matchmaker, and I’m very familiar with Our Town, but I know little about The Skin of Our Teeth so I wanted to prepare a little before seeing the play.Surprisingly, this lengthy collection does not contain an introduction discussing Thornton Wilder and his career as a playwright. There is a chronology so at least that’s something. It’s pretty clear Wilder grew up in a life of
Our Town – *** This was much different than I remembered. It is more of an idyll on small town, rural living, a pastoral on “real America,” as some would call it – very white, very agricultural, rather egalitarian. As interesting and innovative as its presentation is, it’s hard not to read/see this play as a nostalgic look back at a life that, in reality, never existed for the vast majority of Americans. Frankly, I don’t know if this expresses the reality of any town in America.Sure, there’s the...
Read: The Angel That Troubled the Waters and Other Plays; The Long Christmas Dinner & Other Plays in One Act.
Ohhhhh, book lust, how I love to indulge in thee.
"In life and in literature mere sincerity is not sufficient." --Thornton Wilder.