This blog is inspired by Nobel Prize-winning author and playwright Luigi Pirandello’s play, “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” which explores themes about the blurred lines between art and reality (which is so relevant to our time, with the advent of reality TV and YouTube.)
What particularly spoke to me in the play was the plight of his “six characters,” who, left unwritten, go in search of their author to find resolution and completion. They want their stories to be told. And one of the things that most saddens me in this world is that people’s stories are too often left unwritten and unread. What we lose are stories that are beautiful, or inspirational, or sad, or hilarious; other stories (like those belonging to our politicians, and other important public figures) that should be scrutinized beyond sound bytes; still others belong to fictional characters so brilliant they deserve resurrection.
The basic idea is that each week, I’ll profile and comment on six different characters (either real or fictional) from different areas and aspects of life, and group them thematically–themes such as politics, history, science, literature, pop culture, television, music, film, etc. The characters’ interconnections could be topical, pulled from current events (like “women in politics” or “top Oscar contenders for 2009”), or a random rattlebag of associations according to my whim of the week, such as “people with the worst haircuts”, or “ubervillains of the Victorian era,” or “kickass Portuguese-Americans.”
But let me warn you now, lest you get your hopes up too high: despite the fact that this blog was inspired by a Nobel prize winner, please don’t anticipate any Nobel-worthy content in here. In fact, some of it may be utter nonsense. But it may make you chuckle, or learn something new, or think about something in a different way, or introduce you to a great television show, or just help you kill time at the office, pretending you’re working on that really important Excel spreadsheet when you’re actually surreptitiously enjoying a post about Justin Bobby from “The Hills.” Or a post about John Adams. Or Joe the Plumber. You never know.
One last thing: if you enjoy the blog, please add comments! When the Pirandello play debuted in 1921, many people in the audience disliked it, shouting “manicomio!” (“madhouse!”) The author may not have enjoyed that sort of immediate reaction to his work, but I promise, I will. (And I might even take “manicomio!” as a compliment.) Anything is better than silence, or white space, or that sad testament at the end of a post, “0 comments.” So please don’t feel like you have to agree with my ideas; it would be enough if you were just entertained by my writing. Either way, I would love to hear from you, because it’s nice to know, in the words of that eloquent American leader and Russian diplomat Sarah Palin, that “I’m not doin’ this for naught.”
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