Thursday, December 27, 2018

Dear Great Book Guru,   I am completely enthralled with all the wonderful  holiday festivities beginning with the Winter Solstice-  but I  do think it is a good time to pause for a moment and consider the years ahead and the years behind. Do you have something to suggest- remembering it must be short, very short and very meaningful…  
Holiday Celebrant
Dear Holiday Celebrant,  Every year around this time,  I read Thornton Wilder’s play THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER.  It is in many ways reminiscent of his more famous “Our Town” but Wilder uses just one event – a Christmas dinner- to show the passage of time. The set is simple: a long table festooned with holiday baubles around which the characters are seated.  Over forty minutes- the length of the play- ninety years of Christmas dinners are celebrated.  We meet them as young people, sometimes infants, elderly relatives, thriving businessmen and women, fathers, mothers, aunts- with the table being the only constant.  Deaths occur as characters exit through portals on stage and costumes are kept at a minimum with white wigs used to show characters’ aging.  Throughout we sense a beautiful symmetry as time passes and life is renewed.  A wonderful reading anytime of year, but particularly this week- highly recommended!

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