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March 27, 2009


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Edward Einhorn

Hi Isaac -

Saw the reading at NYTW...I go more into this on my blog, but I think there's a real quandry about how to talk about something that may have shades of anti-Jewish sentiment. I think Seven Children does, and I don't think one needs to be a Zionist to feel that way. On the other hand, I think Churchill is a very talented playwright, and I agree that the word anti-Semitic can cut off dialogue.

What the play is missing is precisely what is going on on this blog. It implies a unified voice, it doesn't go to what I think is at the heart of Jewish reaction to the world, from the Holocaust to the modern day conflicts in Israel - the struggle of argument and counter-argument. Passionate disagreement, which I actually think is one of our most healthy traits.

Edward Einhorn

Reading the interview - actually it sound slike he has a very specific eight in mind as being better than Churchill - because it's seven now that Pinter has died.

I could name 5 offhand...but I'm not sure which others he's thinking of. For me, it would be Stoppard, Havel, Albee, Kushner & Mamet...

Rob Weinert-Kendt

There's a very illuminating correspondence from Churchill to Roth that someone pointed me to in my Comments section, in which she specifically explains the "Jewish" vs. "Israeli" issue, and some of the others raised by the play...http://is.gd/pbA1...I'm still pretty cool to the work as anything more than a squib of protest art by a great playwright, but this correspondence does air out and humanize the discussion a bit.


You know, I can't think of another 10-minute play that has generated this much debate.

Yes it's somewhat problematic, but if that's what can get people to finally have some sort of dialogue--that is a good thing. It's a shame so few plays can do this.

I dunno, I think a problematic play generating lots of dialogue seems better than even handed play generating silence.

Jason Grote

I would actually like to see a truly anti-Semitic anglophone play. Hell, I might write a balls-out self-hating Jew play, a la Tom Bradshaw. Maybe we're finally ready for a Holocaust farce!

I have little to contribute to this -- I think the recent Gaza attacks (as well as the treatment of Palestine for at least the past couple of decades, at least) is barbaric and wholly inexcusable, but I think 7JC is boring, artless, and self-righteous. But I also think that neither Stoppard nor Havel nor Mamet could carry Churchill's jockstrap. When the entire oeuvre is considered, Kushner isn't really better than her either, though Angels was maybe the best English-language play of the last 75 years.

I think both Kushner and Churchill would want to strangle me for comparing them in this way, though, (as would the others, but I don't care about them).

Thomas Garvey

Uh - does it really matter if there are eight playwrights better than Caryl Churchill? That's like, not a very large number . . . The woman is brilliant, even if there are seven or eight writers MORE brilliant, and it's obvious that the howls of execration directed from the likes of the idiotic Goldberg only ratify her play's moral power. And I'd just like to throw something else out there that everyone seems to be ignoring: the voices in the play are ARGUING. The text does NOT "imply a unified voice;" in fact anything but.

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