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Monday March 29, 2010 in Books
Published for the first time, David French’s The Riddle of the World remains a classic of the Canadian stage.
Stockbroker Ron and ex-priest Steve are two new singles who get together to console themselves after having been abandoned by their mates. Through a comic series of false starts, disastrous one-night stands, dead-end blind dates and absurd attempts to reconnect with their former lovers, they are forced to come to terms with their fragile natures as men in a world with few signposts of male identity left standing. Initially blaming others for “taking their partners away,” Ron fails repeatedly to see and come to terms with his overwhelming possessiveness; while Steve gradually learns to embrace his own new found and deeply sublimated gay sexuality.
“The Riddle of the World,” a fragment of a poem by Alexander Pope, resonates throughout this arch comedy of manners as it revisits the eternal struggle of the flesh and the spirit on the road to the characters’ discovery of the true nature of love. Like all of Pope’s characters, Ron and Steve are engaged in a mock battle with the social phantoms of their time, in a “sexual revolution” wherein every higher purpose is unmasked as a conceit of self-interest.
Cast of 3 women and 2 men.
ISBN 13: 9780889224872 | ISBN 10: 889224870
6 W x 9 H inches | 66 pages
$15.95 CAN / $11.95 US
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA013000
QUOTES OF NOTE
“Sharp, funny…reaches the level of some of Shaw’s better work.”
[French] is one of Canda’s most acclaimed playwrights and an accomplished explorer of the power of memory.
—Quill & Quire
About the ContributorsDavid French
Born in Coley’s Point, Newfoundland, David French was one of Canada’s best-known and most critically acclaimed playwrights. His work received many major awards, and French was one of the first inductees into the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.