A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Persephone and Pluto

I had vowed that for tonight's meeting of the Northampton Screenwriters Workshop, I would dress neatly for a change. Every previous meeting has fallen on a snowy day, necessitating unglamorous togs. Finally, we're into April. By midafternoon, however, the sky had darkened and an icky wet, sleety snow had started to fall. Regretfully, I donned what has become my NSW uniform: yellow slicker and puddle boots.

In Northampton, the sky was bright and the ground dry after all. Oh, well. Dinner at Bela was delicious, as usual. And the workshop was the most satisfying yet.

Julian Olf, product of Union, Columbia, and NYU, professor of theater at UMass, already accomplished and awarded screenwriter, gave us Persie and Pluto, a retelling of the Greek myth. In Olf's story, set in NYC, Persephone is a college professor, Pluto a Puerto Rican transvestite, Demeter a rich matron with a shih tzu, and Zeus a prosperous businessman. Julian brought along his wife, another theater prof, and several theater students to read. Wade's southern accent served him well reading the over-the-top part of Bobby. Terrific screenplay, terrific readings, and perceptive commentary afterward. Altogether, the most satisfying workshop I've attended so far.

I very much liked the thematic underpinnings of the script. The plot mirrors the Greek myth faithfully. The underworld of this story is the underworld of nightclubs and crime; the ending is a brilliant modern reinterpretation of the mythic Persephone's fate.

Persie and Pluto was timely, given the coming of spring. I, for one, have been thinking a lot about the seasons lately. This morning, I saw my first crocuses. When it seems winter will never end, flowers are a reassuring sign. And, of course, so are myths of life, death, and rebirth.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Dante said...

"puddle boots" eeeeeeee, so cute!

I'm also very pleased there are
still artists looking forward to
further application of myths into
our modern life struggles, happy
ones and otherwise. :)

-Dante.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Cicily Corbett said...

see my entry of may 1, 2006 for a poem i wrote which references the same myth. proserpina is, of course, the roman persephone.

12:09 AM  

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