Archive for January, 2012

What’s That in the French?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I have been thinking about Godot (which you gotta believe is better than waiting for him; although, the idea of waiting under some tree, letting life come to you (as opposed to passing you by) has some appeal).  Years ago I saw a production of the Beckett play by an Irish company that pronounced Godot as GOD-o, as opposed to Go- Deau, making me wonder whether I (along with everyone else I had ever heard say the name of the play) had got it wrong.  After all, the players were Irish and so was Beckett, so perhaps they knew something that the rest of us did not.  And perhaps a reference to GOD was supposed to be so obvious or so ironic – take your pick.  But then again Beckett had originally written the play in French.  And the French would never pronounce Godot as GOD-o, and besides God in French is Dieu.  So the Irish must have had it wrong.  But then how can anything be wrong in an absurdist play like Waiting for Godot?  The fact that Beckett originally wrote the work in French (he translated it himself) is kind of astounding.  It puts me in mind of one my favourite lines – “We are all born mad.  Some remain so.”  I love the double-meaning of “mad”.  What did Beckett mean?  Or did he mean both senses?  I suppose the French would tell me since fou and furienx are really quite different … but I’d rather not know.

More Kiwi That

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

So I caught myself the other day telling someone that they could “ring me on…”, while I was arranging a “tramping” trip no less.  And I had sworn that I wouldn’t talk like the locals.  I mean, really, I know what tramping really means.  But there are some Kiwi expressions that are totally worth adopting.  Who can resist things having gotten so bad they’re beyond pear-shaped but have in fact gone to custard?  Or my personal favourite, the hospital pass.  This has nothing in common with a hall pass but rather comes from rugby.  It’s when someone gets passed the ball and you just know that they are going to get pummelled in a tackle that’s going to, well, send them to the hospital.  You can imagine it’s everyday usage.  But I think I’m going to give a pass (not a hospital pass) on the expression secret squirrel.  As far as I can tell, it just a strange (and silly) way of saying secret.

My 2011 Review

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

All the newspapers and the better magazines do it, so why not… My favourites of the year:

Favourite reads: Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones (and not just because he’s a local); Crow Lake by Mary Lawson (and not just because she’s Canadian)

Favourite guilty pleasure read: The Passage by Justin Cronin (I also read Breaking Dawn – I’m still trying to purge it from my memory)

Favourite play: Ruined by Lynn Nottage, Nightwood and Obsidian Theatre production (perfection)

Most overrated play: Jesus Christ Superstar – sure they can sing but the occasional acting wouldn’t have hurt.  Broadway can have it.

Favourite movie:  there must be something…

Worst movie:  Drive (I wouldn’t have hated it if it didn’t purport to be something it wasn’t.  It really is just the usual bad guy, grey guy car chase movie but with way moodier lighting).

Happy New Year to you all!