Caesar and Cleopatra, George Bernard Shaw, imagination, Plays Pleasant, Saint Joan, The Man of Destiny, You Never Can Tell
When it comes to George Bernard Shaw… well, it’s complicated.
His Plays Pleasant, Caesar and Cleopatra, Saint Joan and a few more are a good part of why I became a playwright. And back in secondary school I talked my classmates into staging You Never Can Tell (not that we went far), and later directed a student production of the Man of Destiny while in College, in which I also played the Strange Lady, and bought a huge, sturdy, very heavy second-hand volume of the complete plays in Edinburgh, and lugged it around Scotland for weeks, and translated three of his short plays into Italian, and was recently startled to find out just how much Saint Joan still colours my perception of Joan of Arc – and yet… And yet, when it comes to the author himself, there are very few people in the history of literature that I dislike more intensely. I’m not saying it’s a reasonable dislike – but, based on his introductions and e, on what I read about him, and partly on the plays themselves, dislike him I do. So sue me.
Still, I truly like this quote of his:
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
What can I say? I thoroughly agree.