Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Arthur Miller's The Crucible and a brand new home for my book reviews

We were so impressed by the NTlive screening of Arthur
Miller's A View From The Bridge in May that we both immediately wanted to see more Arthur Miller plays. Of course we couldn't find any productions nearby, but were happy to find a cut price DVD of The Crucible (download from Amazon / DVD from Speedyhen) when we visited Trago Mills shortly afterwards. Coincidence or witchcraft?!

Miller's play is set during the Salem witch trials of 1692, but was written as an allegory of the 1950s McCarthy-era witch-hunts. In Salem, accusations of witchcraft are rife. John Proctor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his wife Elizabeth (Joan Allen) are innocent of any such charges, although John has committed adultery with their former serving girl, Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder). When witch expert John Hale is called in to investigate the reports of witchcraft, Abigail attempts to implicate Elizabeth, thinking that she will then be able to resume her affair with John. This film was directed by Nicholas Hytner whose work we previously saw when he directed the superb Timon Of Athens in 2012.

The Crucible is just as powerful a drama as A View From The Bridge and Miller had a fantastic talent for writing realistic and believable dialogue. The film is now twenty years old, but hasn't dated and it was fascinating to see how easily religious fanaticism can be manipulated for personal gain, especially in times of hysteria as it was in the 1690s and the 1950s and still is today. It was interesting to see similar themes explored in the different settings of the two plays. One such is the importance of retaining a good name when all else is gone, even at the expense of life itself.

On a different note, today is the launch of my new book
reviews blog, Literary Flits, which you can find at
http://litflits.blogspot.co.uk
It's a candy-coloured sweetshop of bookish delights!

Book review posts seem to have been taking over Stephanie Jane so I thought it was high time they had a room of their own. I am planning a daily book review with each post dedicated to a single book, rather than squishing trios together as I do currently. I've already got some great new books lined up including fiction from Sweden, Japan, Jamaica and Turkey. Plus I'll be interspersing my new reviews with the best of my book finds from over here. There might also be giveaways!

If you already visited LitFlits in the past week, you probably saw the countdown clicker. If not, you have got until noon today which is when the first review will publish. I'm all excited!


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