If it's a book I like, I'm always happy to know more. So that's not a problem. and it provides a context for my thoughts. By however accidental and circuitous a route, though, I think it arrived at a proportion that feels "right." Maybe once a person has read and become comfortable with a book, that's always the case? I don't know. But it feels the right length for what it is, and I couldn't say that of some fairly well-known works: for instance, Der Rosenkavalier
, much though I love it, still seems to me too long for the kind of story it is.
And all the more credit that, even at this length, it's not ruthlessly plot-oriented; it still finds room for those incidental scenes that might have been omitted, but in fact add so much. (I can imagine a proposal to just cut out the whole trip to Pittsburgh -- but it plants the character of Jay, who turns up a couple more times, besides the pleasures of all the other details, including the Claudia Knight character.)
The scene with Abby going to Ian's dressing room between acts is still there, though.
When he saw my reflection in his mirror, his face took on a defensive look. 'Abby, before you say anything'"
"It's all right," I interrupted. "I think you're doing the right thing. And doing it beautifully. Keep it up!"
He relaxed slightly -- only slightly, because he would have kept it up whether I approved or not.
Do you mean that it was longer before?
One other thing I was especially tickled by, this time: the fact that the new British play, Androcles in Church
, was imagined in enough detail (even though quickly sketched in) that I could believe it existed. In fact, I'm rather sorry it doesn't.
In one respect, I may be too careful a reader! I noticed a facual mistake this time around, and I'm surprised by it mostly because I know how knowledgeable you are about theater. But in Chapter 11 of Part I, we're told that a new production of Hamlet
was opening in New York on New Year's Eve in order to qualify for that year's Tony Awards.
Movies do open at the end of a year in order to qualify, but the Tonys have always been geard to the theatrical season. The cutoff used to be in April, I think, and for some time now it's been in May -- but never at the end of a calendar year. As I said, no big deal; it got by me during my first few readings.
[This message has been edited by Jon (edited 02-27-2005).]