Wednesday, May 14, 2008
This Week in Reading May 11 - 17
This week and next are full of authors whose work found expression in the entertainment sectors of their eras. This week there are playwrights like Mikhail Bulgakov, Arthur Schnitzler, Max Frisch, Paul Zindel, and both Anthony Shaffer and his twin brother Peter Shaffer.
There are film directors and producers like George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis; scriptwriters Alan Ball and Dennis Potter; and songwriters Irving Berlin and Arthur Sullivan. There are even television performers who have written novels both weeks. Late night host and comedian Craig Ferguson is this week's example. There will be another next week.
Story writers and poets this week include Katherine Anne Porter , Armistead Maupin, and Adrienne Rich. Novelists range from Alphonse Daudet to Bruce Chatwin with the Saint's Leslie Charteris for mystery ,and science fiction is represented by Stephen R. Donaldson and Roger Zelazny.
This Week's Question: Which author born this week was the grandchild of the author of one of the books mentioned in the Answer to Last Week's Question below?
Answer to Last Week's Question: There is debate about it, but Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera, which was serialized first in 1909 to 1910 and adapted for stage and screen in many ways, may have been inspired by an English gothic horror novel from 1894 called Trilby in which a mad hypnotist named Svengali made an opera diva of a tone deaf woman in bohemian Paris. Susan Kay's 1991 Phantom retells Leroux's story in a literarily satisfying novel which also alludes to elements of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version.