So the woman turns toward her husband: “What’s the name of their country again?”
“Syria,” he answers.
“Right. Syria. The men shouldn’t run away like that,” she says. “They should take up their weapons and fight.”
Excerpt from a media report of local reactions to the presence of some six thousand asylum seekers massed on a dumping ground on the outskirts of Calais.
Whenever possible, un-couple the link between fear and anger. In combination, they are lethal. This may be amusing in fiction where no real limbs and no real lives are at risk. At the end of Hamlet, the pile of corpses can stop the light breathing, stand up, take a bow and move on to whatever plans they’d made for their evening. They’ll play at being corpses again on the following night (plus matinées on Sundays).
I’ve ordered a book called Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen after reading a few excerpts because what I read had the same effect on me as Sanford Meisner’s words did in Dennis Longwell’s Sanford Meisner on Acting. In both instances, the words apply to writing as well. Characters in any type of fiction (stage, film, writing, you name it) – how do you give them the semblance of life and the semblance of death. The semblance of love, of lust, of anger, of sorrow, of pain, or discomfort, or glorious exaltation – whatever.
You observe your own. You observe that of others – both real and fictional. You live with the love, the lust, the anger, the sorrow, the pain, the joy, etc. If a writer, you ask yourself which of the characters could best make use of the emotion at some point in the arc of story. Write, get on with your life, write some more, live some more, etc.
Read through the Ninth Canto of The Iliad again last night after watching a masterful performance by actress Catherine Frot in a film titled Marguerite, and walking home step by step by step down one hill of rundown houses and up another.
Wednesday October 21st 2015, 8:46 local time.