Michael, talking about the United States post-Civil War: “A union in which one party is unhappy -- it’s a lot like marriage actually.” And then, we were talking about the difference between comedies and tragedies, and in Shakespeare anyway, comedies always end with a marriage, usually more than one. Michael maintains that “Comedies were written by the unmarried.” I find this dynamic really interesting. He has 3 young daughters (and as SweetieGirl and i know, the acknowledgments or whatever in his book give his love to 4 females) and there’s a wide band gold ring on his left ring finger that might well be a wedding ring, but whenever he talks about marriage (and this was true in the class i had with him last semester as well) he’s very bitter. Yes, this is me caring way too much about the details of other people’s lives.
We were to write a paragraph of how we would have ended The Bostonians, and some people read theirs aloud at the end of class.
Gail’s ending just kind of writes off the Basil and Verena elopement and focuses on Olive going out on stage at the Music Hall. She is triumphant.
In Jessica’s, Verena marries Burrage and Basil hears her in the South, sounding like an automaton. And the last sentence is that Olive is dead. Michael looked stricken. He’s so cute.
Justine’s was such a Smithie one. Long internal monologue for Verena about how running off with a man would ruin her good name, get her called a trollope and all that, while nothing would happen to Basil, nothing ever happens to the man, and that’s not fair. In the end, she pulls out a pistol and shoots him through the heart.
Michael’s made me think, for the first time, “I wanna have 9 million of your babies.” Almost verbatim, this is his: Olive and Verena go to Europe to consummate their obvious love. They open a salon [he said in a French accent], attracting the best and the brightest. They help Gertrude Stein come out and meet Alice B. Toklas. They get their recipe for hash brownies, which is how they got through World War I.
Then in Sociology of Crime we watched an HBO America Undercover, Murder on a Sunday Morning. Short story: fifteen year old black boy is wrongly accused of murdering a Caucasian tourist in Jacksonville, Florida. The whole case was handled so incredibly poorly it’s shameful. The public defenders (Pat McGuinness and Ann Finnell) rocked, though. Pat would have been a bastard if he hadn’t been on the good guy side. Relating an incident that occurred during a break before he cross-examined one of the detectives. He was outside smoking, and the detective said, “Suck down another cancerstick.” Pat’s reply: “I always enjoy a cigarette before sex.” After a pause, he explains to the interviewer, “I wanted him to know I was going to screw him.”