April 7, 2005

Axed and Taxed

Throughout Pick Up Ax by Anthony Clarvoe, I got the sensation I was leading a team of huskies...whoops--I was just thinking about a peppermint patty.

Back to Ax, back to Ax. Anyway, I got the sensation throughout the play that all of the characters had contention between one another. The ending, the ruthlessness of it, does not surprise. Cain and Abel-like.

In Literary Studies last year, Dr. Jerz instructed us to look beyond the lines and see the scene before us as depicted in the stage directions. In Pick up Ax, the mood room, is of great value to the reader/audience's perception of the events taking place. It is just as alive as the characters in it, the audience discovers. If you don't read the directions, you miss an entire element of the plot. At the conclusion, for example, a powerful image surfaces:

(KEITH slams his fist onto his desk. Rolling Stones's "Jumping Jack Flash" starts up. The walls go blood red. Through the window streams a sunset like fire. KEITH considers what his room is telling him. He punches numbers.)

This isn't limited to this section, however; it is just the most powerful. I don't know a lot of the songs included in the stage directions--I am a young'n, but it really makes me want to listen to get a better physical association with the play.

I think that is one of the most noticeable lacking elements of this play in written form. There are thousands of songs and pinpointing one, while great with the 80s theme, is problematic for the reader. It is also an easy mood-setter for Clarvoe; rather than letting other elements of the set speak, he instead inserts a song to speak for his scene. He permits another writer to take advantage of his creation. This is a bad move. The audience members may have their own interpretations of the songs (lost loves, bad days, deaths, etc.) which each person may associate with the song. He loses creative control in this medium inclusion.

However, this section also makes me think that Clarvoe wrote this for readers in mind, rather than audiences, but I may be limiting Clarvoe in saying that he can only write dialogue well. That is not my intention at all. Just surprised that similies can come as easily as a phrase turn. Great versatility on his part.

With all of the images and allusions to IF gaming (i.e. Adventure), I can see where we are going with this now.


As for the article "Adventure" by Martin Heller, it was, as Jerz said, "jumbled." At the beginning of the article, I got the hang of the switching from the IF game "Adventure" to the narrator's life, and then back again. However, when another plot line entered, I did not know what was going on, but I did know that it had a purpose.

The story portrays what we go through in our lives. It is an adventure. Sometimes we don't know if we are coming and going, which path to take, but we eventually find our way--make connections. Things are a jumbled mess, and only by stepping back from this article and life, and viewing the overall theme, can we understand the adventure as an entity quite apart from our own limited view.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at April 7, 2005 1:11 PM | TrackBack
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