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Sunday, October 13, 2002

Sunday October 13, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:55 PM

Two Literary Classics
(and a visit from a saint)

On this date in 1962, Edward Albee's classic play, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened on Broadway.


George and Martha by
Edward Albee
  

Click to enlarge.
George and Martha by
 St. James Marshall

As I was preparing this entry, based on the October 13 date of the Albee play's opening, after I looked for a picture of Marshall's book I thought I'd better check dates related to Marshall, too.   This is what I was surprised to find:  Marshall (b. Oct. 10, 1942) died in 1992 on today's date, October 13.  This may be verified at

The James Edward Marshall memorial page,

A James Edward Marshall biography, and

Author Anniversaries for October 13.

The titles of the three acts of Albee's play suffice to indicate its dark spiritual undercurrents:

"Fun and Games" (Act One),
"Walpurgisnacht" (Act Two) and
"The Exorcism" (Act Three).

A theological writer pondered Albee in 1963:

"If, as Tillich has said of Picasso's Guernica, a 'Protestant' picture means not covering up anything but looking at 'the human situation in its depths of estrangement and despair,' then we could call Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? a 'Protestant' play. On any other definition it might be difficult to justify its religious significance except as sheer nihilism."
— Hugh T. Kerr, Theological Table-Talk, July 1963

It is a great relief to have another George and Martha (who first appeared in 1972) to turn to on this dark anniversary, and a doubly great relief to know that Albee's darkness is balanced by the light of Saint James Edward Marshall, whose feast day is today.

For more on the carousel theme of the Marshall book's cover, click the link for "Spinning Wheel" in the entry below.

4 Comments

  1. “But our God is dead, Martha! Our God isdead!”

    “Stop it! Stop it!”

    Comment by HomerTheBrave — Monday, October 14, 2002 @ 1:42 AM

  2. “Hi, someday you are going to die?”

    Fabulous.  Just … fabulous. 

    And then there is the Father of Our Country and his lovely wife Martha.
    And then there are the adoptive parents of Superman.  George and Martha too?  Weren’t they?

    Comment by oOMisfitOo — Monday, October 14, 2002 @ 5:11 AM

  3. Thank you for the kind word, oOMisfitOo.
    As for the Kents, I’m sorry to say they were
    Jonathan and Martha.

    Comment by m759 — Monday, October 14, 2002 @ 4:46 PM

  4. Hi Steven,

    Just stopped over to say thanks for subbing. Hope you’re having a great week so far.

    – WFH

    Comment by starboard — Monday, October 14, 2002 @ 5:29 PM

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