So today for The Sunday Salon, I’m reading something a bit different. For the first time, I am participating in the Library Thing group, Go Review That Book! It’s a group that basically allows other members of LT to dictate part of my reading list. The first book selected for me to review was The Alcestiad, a play by Thornton Wilder.
If not for Go Review That Book!, this is a book that probably would have languished on my shelf of books to read forever. I enjoyed Our Town well enough when I had to read it for school, but getting The Alcestiad was a pure fluke. I got it from a good friend of mine, who got several books from her grandfather, who found them waiting to go out to the trash from one of his neighbors. The books are all designed to look old and beautiful, and I’d by lying if I said that their appearance wasn’t the reason Mindy and I were excited about them. My thought was, “Maybe someday I’ll get around to reading them, but they’re not high priority.”
I’ve finished the first act, and I imagine it won’t be long until I finish the remaining two. It’s interesting; having read Our Town, I wasn’t expecting Greek theatre. For me, the funniest character thus far has been Teiresias, a representative of the Greek god Apollo. He cannot keep the primary characters’ names straight, and refers to them by names from famous Greek tragedies. If he were to address Wilder himself, I have little doubt he’d refer to him as “Sophocles” or something like that. I’ve been reading it out loud, though Wilder certainly isn’t as difficult to read as others, but just because it makes plays much more interesting if they’re at least read aloud. I have yet to figure out the extent of the conflict, but I suspect it will revolve around Alcestis, a princess who was begging Apollo to keep her from marrying King Admetus of Thessaly. Alcestis and Admetus seem to have made their peace by the end of the first act, but there’s no telling if it will last.
So my questions for my fellow Saloners are these: Do you read plays? If so, what methods do you employ in reading them (ie, reading aloud)? Do you let the choices of others dictate your reading material?
I hope you all have a great Sunday!