Thursday, December 29, 2011

Seasonal Greetings and my lecture in Madrid

I am sorry, but I am so keen to finish my new novel I haven't written a blog for a while; but I went to Madrid in November to speak at a conference on writing and the protection of intellectual rights - the protection of the rights of writers. My speech was reported in El Mundo in the 18th November 2011 issue. My Spanish readers, or readers who speak Spanish, can look it up in "News and Reviews" on my website. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all friends! Stephen V

Monday, August 29, 2011

a wonderrful performance in a pub

By chance I found myself in the Dolphin pub in Sydenham, just as they were about to start the matinee performance of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. I looked at the programme and I didn’t see a single name I had ever heard of. The last time I saw the play was at the National, directed by Peter Hall. I must confess I found that production immensely cumbersome and boring, in spite of Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell. I was seized by curiosity to see how Wilde would fare in an outer borough of London.

I intended to leave in the interval, but couldn’t. I was amazed, thrilled. I could never have imagined I could see a better performance of the play in the back garden of a pub in Sydenham than in the National, but this was the case. The director, Jonathan Kaufman, had a perfect sense of timing, and rhythm and so did his actors The play flew along as a smoothly and at such speed as a symphony in the hands of a good conductor. The actors were all young, full of energy, passion and intelligence – they made Wilde’s wit sparkle in every sentence. It was a fast performance, yet nothing was lost. I was particularly struck by the actress playing Gwendolen, Rosalind Parker, Joseph Attenborough (Algernon) and Tom Franck (Jack Worthing)– but, with a single exception, they were all good.

This brilliant production shouldn’t be playing in the garden of a pub in Sydenham, but at the National or at the West End. Each performance would be sold out and all these young actors would be famous.

Stephen Vizinczey

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A revised and amended Truth and Lies in Literature in Kindle.

I haven't been in my blog for ages - you either write your books or blog. But to those of you who are interested, there is a new edition of "Truth and Lies in Literature" published as a Kindle book.I discarded some of the original pieces which did not seem to meet the test of time. This Kindle edition includes most of the pieces in the previous printed editions, but none of them are simple reprints. All the pieces underwent some alterations. Every time they were translated for a foreign journal or for a foreign edition, I looked them over to see whether they could be improved and whether anything new that I had learned about the subject should be added. As I have said all too often, I am not so much a writer as a re-writer; I don’t revere my old mistakes, my old ignorance, or my incomplete thoughts.

To the revised versions of the pieces which were printed in the original 1983 and 1985 and the 1990 printed editions, I added "The Anatomy of Serious Rubbish or the Bay of Pigs of the American Literary Establishment" - and several essays whichappear here in English for the first time. Among these are “The Power Of Literary Criticism” and my foreword to the French edition of Mark Twain’s Autobiography, arguing that Mark Twain’s later works far surpass his celebrated boyhood novels, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I demonstrate, I hope, why Mark Twain remains the most important American writer to this day, a giant of world literature. My Stendhal essay includes now 30 years of constant study.