Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seamlessly Elegant

Over at Canadian Literature, a Quarterly of Criticism and Review, Lisa Grekul reviews Eva's Threepenny Theatre alongside Ray Smith's Century. The years and years I spent obsessing (not writing) over structure are not lost:

While he develops a rich “cast of characters,” including his grandfather, his father, Eva’s sisters, and Eva’s last partner, Steinmetz is no detached recorder or alienated observer. And yet, the “singular” (to revisit Foran’s language) achievement of Eva’s Threepenny Theatre is that Steinmetz makes no apology for the seamlessly elegant ways in which he plays the “playwright.” Guided by Brecht’s notion that “[a]rt is not a mirror to reflect reality but a hammer with which to shape it,” Steinmetz makes his hammer apparent without bludgeoning readers with it. We don’t need to be told that he can never know the full truth—and yet, we somehow sense that he has come stunningly close.

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