Tag Archives: Contemporary Literature

Review: Proof (A Play)

Proof Cover

Proof: A Play
By David Auburn
Faber and Faver
March 2001

The Short of It:

A past-paced, gripping play about young woman struggling with the recent loss of her father, the arrival of her uptight sister, and her own self-doubt over whether or not she’s sane.

The Rest of It:

Proof, a play by David Auburn is about a young woman named Catherine, who finds her sanity questionable after caring for, and losing her father to mental illness and heart failure.  After spending the last few years frustrated and concerned over her father’s wellbeing and internalizing those feelings, she is suddenly thrust into society and forced to look at herself. We are invited into her world to feel as she does, vulnerable, fragile and completely unsure of herself.

If the storyline sounds familiar to you, you might be remembering the movie which came out in 2005 and starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins. As far as adaptations go, the movie was actually pretty good.

Proof The Movie

I read the play for my Contemporary Lit class and I loved it. It’s filled with conflict and doubt and then there are the conversations that revolve around mathematics (might as well be a different language to me) but they were necessary and powerful in conveying the absolute brilliance of both father and daughter. The main question here is whether or not Catherine has inherited her father’s mental illness as well. Auburn does an excellent job of  keeping the reader guessing. It’s a quick read, only 96pp but as soon as I finished it I went right back and read it again.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a play but it was refreshing and broke up my reading rut. Reading it reminded me of all the drama classes I took in college. So much is left up to your interpretation and I sort of like being challenged that way.

After reading it, I saw the movie and it was really very good. The whole experience was a win-win.

Have you ever read a play? If not, I encourage you to pick one up. Reading one is entirely different than reading a book but it’s an enjoyable experience.

Source: Purchased

For the Love of Words: Part One

More Stories We Tell Book CoverA few of you have sent emails asking about my literature class. I am two weeks into class and loving every minute of it. At first, I was hesitant to enjoy it because there is a lot of group participation required. I’m not shy but the assembling of groups makes me shudder. I consider myself a friendly sort, but when it comes to classwork, I prefer to work by myself. Call me a loner if you want but I get frustrated with slackers. So far though, the group discussions have been meaningful so I can’t complain.

Right now, we are discussing several short stories from More Stories We Tell, which is an absolutely fabulous collection of short fiction written by women. Some of the stories are only a few pages long but so powerful and thought-provoking. I just finished a story titled Love, Forever by Joyce Carol Oates and I am speechless over it.

I’ve always loved reading, but this class has reminded me how much I love the written word. I am sucking it all up like a sponge, reading and writing up a storm. It’s work, but fun work.

In between homework assignments I am reading five other books! All of them good too. I don’t know how bloggers who are also full-time students manage it.