a mystery

It seems I just finished my blog last night and now I have to write another one because I'm going to Stratford today and I won't feel like writing when I return - and there' s the Blue Jays game to check, too. Well, that's all right because we're going to John Gabriel Borkman and I had planned to write something about it, not a review but some stray thoughts. Borkman is Ibsen's second last play (last one When We Dead Awaken), written in 1896, about a banker who played around with his clients' money (sound famliar?) and served time for it. Eight years after his release, what's become of the family fortune and what's to become of his son? I saw the play years ago at the Shaw Festival and thought then that it would make a good mystery novel in the style of Ross Macdonald.

Ross Macdonald was a pseudonym for the American-Canadian novelist , Kenneth Millar (1915-1983). (His wife, Margaret Millar, was also a crime fiction writer.) His mysteries carried overtones (or under?) of Oedipus and classic myths and he was considered the finest crime novelist of his time, so praised by William Goldman, no mean writer. Mcdonald's novels tended to be about family secrets or a scapegoat or past history influencing present action. If you know or have read or seen Borkman you will see why I thought it would be good for an adaptation, maybe not even a crime novel, maybe a modern play. I didn't write it, of course. But the idea simmered on a back burner (way back) and I jumped at this chance to see Ibsen's play again. It has a good cast.

I'm looking forward to seeing it. I'll let you know.j