“Broun, who was totally captivated by the Marx Brothers, went to see their shows—each one—as many times as possible (he saw Cocoanuts twenty-one times). Concerning this particular passion, he remarked: ‘Very likely my epitaph will read, “Here lies Heywood Broun (who?), killed by getting in the way of some scene shifters at a Marx Brothers show.”’”
Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? A play (1962) by the US playwright Edward Albee (1928-2016) depicting the tense relationship between a sharp-tongued college professor and his embittered wife. Filmed in 1966 with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the two main roles, the play owed its memorable title to a line of graffiti scribbled in soap on a mirror in a bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village that the author happened visit in the 1950s. The quip, evidently derived from the song title ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf’ from the Disney cartoon The Three Little Pigs (1933), was later redefined by Albee as meaning ‘who’s afraid of living without false illusions.’”
Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.
Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Isadora Duncan. This is a short worksheet, three questions, that could be expanded to include a couple more. I expect this would be high-interest material to certain students, so I’ve tagged it as such.
And, of course, Ms. Duncan’s rich life, in the hands of an interested student, is the stuff of a variety of avenues of inquiry, from modern dance to the life of a bohemian, and beyond. Incidentally, did you know that her sister Elizabeth Duncan was also a dancer? Or that her brother Raymond Duncan was as well? Finally, a second brother, Augustin Duncan was an actor and theatrical director who continued to perform and direct even after he had gone blind.
So, a couple of big questions that come out of even this cursory knowledge of the Duncan family are What is an artistic family? and How does an “artistic family” become artistic?
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.
“Atmosphere: The mood and feeling, the intangible quality which appeals to extra-sensory as well as sensory perception, evoked by a work of art. For instance, the opening scene in Hamlet where the watch is tense and apprehensive, even “jumpy.” By contrast, the beginning of Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist indicates clearly that the play is going to be comic to the point of knockabout. An excellent example in the novel is Hardy’s depiction of Egdon Heath in The Return of the Native.”
Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.
Posted in English Language Arts, Essays/Readings, Quotes, Reference
Tagged art, diction/grammar/style/usage, drama, fiction/literature, poetry, professional development, readings/research, term of art