Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"So there's this old lady..."

This phrase used to signal a brainstorming session. Throw out character ideas, plots, crazy scenarios. The old lady turned into Theresa Merchant - she was widowed and lived in Cincinnati and played bridge. She was tricked into letting her pal "Henry" stay with her. He reminded her of her late husband and, supposedly, shared the same name. Eventually Theresa figured out the truth but instead of kicking him out or calling him on it, she just took the upper hand.

Today I discussed Ibsen's "A Doll House"; last week was "The Glass Menagerie." Just when I'm thinking that women have come a long way since 1879 and 1946, I come across something like this report in the NYtimes about an NGO in South Africa's reports on the rise of "corrective rape" to "cure" lesbians. I'm midway through Coetzee's "Disgrace," and I think something like this has happened in the plot.

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