Sunday, March 20, 2011

it is so fascinating to consider the variety of reactions one can have to a work of art. for instance, i just saw arcadia, which i truly loved. i mentioned to a friend that i had seen it, and he went into raptures about what a wonderful play it was. and then he me whether i had cried when i watched it. i was puzzled, and said that i did kind of feel like crying because i was so happy, and hugging all the actors and the playwright. but then i realized that he was talking about one of the main characters in the play, who we slowly realize will die in a fire at the age of sixteen, extinguishing a genius whose contributions will only be rediscovered after her journals come to light 200 years later. now honestly, i don't think i'm a cold person, but i had not considered the sadness of this event in the slightest. my enthusiastic reaction sprang primarily from the modern portion of the play, which follows three academics as they attempt to piece together and comprehend the lives of the inhabitants of a manor in the early nineteenth century. watching the process of searching, finding, and understanding that these people engaged in, i was truly moved by the historian's quest to demystify the puzzles of the past. i was literally on the edge of my seat as they slowly figured out the events that had transpired so long ago, and i honestly wanted to run to a library and start doing research as soon as the play was over. "it's the wanting to know that makes us matter." hooray for history!