100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and by Sarah Ruhl

By Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl is a mom of 3 and considered one of America's best-known playwrights. She has written a stunningly unique publication of essays whose issues diversity from the main minimum and private topics to the main encompassing issues of artwork and tradition. The titles themselves converse to the volume's specialty: "On lice," "On sound asleep within the theater," "On motherhood and stools (the furnishings kind)," "Greek mask and Bell's palsy."

100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write is a e-book within which chimpanzees, Chekhov, and baby care are both at domestic. a colourful, provocative exam of the probabilities of the theater, it's also a map to a truly specific inventive sensibility, and an unforeseen consultant for an individual who has selected an artist's lifestyles.

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Additional info for 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater

Sample text

Classical music, inasmuch as it is to survive commercially in this environment, is forced into serving functions derived from entertainment music. Some classical music does this successfully; other classical music does not. The idea of doing nothing else besides listening to music, for any sustained period of time, is foreign to many people. While virtually all of us use music, it is probably quite rare for people to focus exclusively on the music itself for long periods. It is far more common for our attention to drift in and out of focus as we think about or attend to other things.

The best goal, song, or poem is simply the one with the most votes. What could be more democratic? The judgment of value by any other means is, it seems, less than democratic—a situation that makes the whole idea of expertise implicitly elitist. Though we still believe in that notion when applied to medicine and science, it is increasingly irrelevant in questions of art or culture. Here, experts are irrelevant for the simple reason that the sole criterion for judging something like music is personal pleasure, a realm where the judgment of experts has no authority.

What is it about classical music that we don’t like? What is it that we reject in classical music, and what does an entertainment culture give us that matters so much more to us? In the end, what does matter to us? Unless we address these questions, important arguments in arts education and funding will continue to reproduce the assumptions of entrenched positions. When such arguments surface in the media, they rarely receive more than one-dimensional treatment. Amid all the public rows surrounding the closing and refurbishing of the Royal Opera House in London in , it was hard to find a balanced discussion of why an opera house might be worth paying for with public money.

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