Literary News2022

Pittsburgh Cycle Plays (continued)
LAST FIVE PLAYS: SUMMARIES, VIDEOS

To "Read more," go to Background in Brief.

1957 Fences. Fifty-three-year-old Troy Maxson has broken the color line in Pittsburgh, becoming its first black man to drive a garbage truck. But he's embittered by not having done so earlier in baseball, an experience that affects the fate of his son. Read more...

1969 Two Trains Running. The 1960s civil rights movement has heated up of late, as have Piitsburgh's moves to replace a Hill District diner with public housing. All this news surfaces in banter among the restaurant regulars who people this play. Read more...

1977 Jitney. A jitney, or unlicensed taxicab, company, services the Pittsburgh Hill District because licensed cabs refuse to. The jitney drivers—an alcoholic, a hotheaded gossip, two army vets—congregate at the station. Read more...

1985 King Hedley II. Ruby's son, King, dreams of owning a video store. An ex-con, he did time for murder. His girlfriend pregnant, his job search fruitless, he sells stolen refrigerators, then resorts to theft before a spat with Ruby's old boyfriend leads to a fatal accident. Read more...

1997 Radio Golf. Well-educated Harmond Wilks, who has inherited his father’s Pittsburgh real-estate agency, sets out to redevelop the Hill District with a friend, whose attitude differs sharply from his own. Read more...

 

 


The Post-Gutenberg Era (continued)

It is no longer acceptable to merely imagine us and imagine for us.... We are the subjects of our own narrative, witnesses to and participants in our own experience.... We are choices. And to read imaginative literature by and about us is to choose to examine centers of the self...." (Morrison,"Unspeakable Things Unspoken")

Morrison's words constitute guidance for updating the literary canon. Instructive too are her views on teaching the novel Huckleberry Finn.

Spoken-word poems. The final Pittsburgh play, Radio Golf, debuted in 2005, the year YouTube launched its video-sharing platform. Other such platforms followed. Yet bound books remain vital. So do stage plays and radio/film adaptations. Quality content from all these sources finds its way onto Gleeditions, whose latest releases include 1) a set of early-20th-century e-texts from the evolving literary canon and 2) two video series: clips from celebrated performances of all Pittsburgh Cycle plays and 21st-century Spoken-Word Poems—a new, higher-ed subject of study and a new source of bound books today.

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