Sunday, January 12, 2020

Reading Ibsen

NWU is doing a production of Ibsen's The Doll's House next semester, and since I'm teaching an Intro to Lit, I thought I'd teach it.  And it's in the anthology.  So I started to read it so that it wouldn't be totally new when I taught it.  (I don't remember reading it before.)

I'm just in far enough that one of the characters is basically blackmailing another about the way she handled signing for a debt.  And I feel totally stressed out and tense.

I don't have any big financial stresses, and my only real debt is my mortgage.  But just thinking about the legal stuffs and financial problems makes me stressed out and tense.

I don't have a problem reading about a character in a play deciding to kill their king, perhaps because it's quite clear to me that 1) I'm not going to go out and kill anybody on purpose, and certainly not a national leader, and 2) in part that's because it's clear to me that killing someone, except under extreme duress (like actual, real, self-defense) never makes anything better.  So it doesn't stress me out that Macbeth wants to kill Duncan, or that Henry Tudor wants to kill Richard III.  Nope, not the least.

But the debt thing?  For some reason, that was so unpleasant that I just put the play down and went and did some cleaning. 

I may not actually teach it after all.  It will depend if I can make myself get through it.  But there's a certain point at which I really don't see the need to read lit to teach that makes me unhappy.

I really don't understand the theater folks wanting to put this on...

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