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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Isaac Newton
James Gleick
Progress: 20/289 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 232/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages
Blood Wedding - Federico García Lorca, Ted Hughes

"Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life..."


Except we're in rural Spain, not Verona and the plot of this little play is much more realistic, though the dialogue is less spectacular. Very down to earth in fact, which makes it feel a bit odd when the Moon Personified appears on stage in Act 3.


The major theme here, how grudge begets grudge, violence breeds violence, is the same as that of Shakespeare's much more famous play, but let's face it; on the evidence, it's an idea that can withstand repetition.


I've now read all of the plays that Hughes translated/adapted. Over all, the Greek Classics are by far the best but I almost certainly would never have read Phedra, Spring Awakening or this if not for the Hughes association and they have all been worthwhile. The connection between these three modern plays seems to be a level of emotional overwroughtness and open symbolism that takes them beyond the purely realistic. This makes sense for Hughes as he was obsessed with symbolism in his own writing.