TheaterThe Believer Is Abused, Hilariously, by Edward Albee
by Jen Graves
on Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM
Edward Albee has to be the funniest, most awkward, most pugnacious interview ever. Linda Leseman talked to him for this month's Believer, and he fought her all the way. She bobbed, weaved, ducked, dodged, flattered, fought back, and in the end probably just had to turn the tape recorder off and start drinking. So good.
A couple teasers:
BLVR: You don’t find it confusing?
EA: No. If I found it confusing, I would have de-confused it.
BLVR: That’s well said.
EA: I know. I thought it was when I said it.
BLVR: Do you know the first play I ever saw on Broadway? It was The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?
EA: For heaven’s sake. That’s a good start.
BLVR: The relationship between the male lead and the goat was rather shocking.
EA: Wasn’t shocking to him. It was shocking to whom?
BLVR: It was shocking to some of the people who saw the play.
EA: Yeah. I thought some people would be offended and bothered by it, yes.
BLVR: Was that intentional? Did you put it in there to shock people?
EA: Did I put it in there to shock? No. I put it in there because that’s what was happening. Don’t accuse me of doing anything to shock.
EA: That’s an insult.
BLVR: It was a question.
EA: No, it’s an insult. I would never do it. Some playwrights would. I wouldn’t. I mean, some people are quite capable of writing a play in which there’s a goat in the play and nothing happens. No relationship occurs between the goat and any of the humans. In my play, something happened between the goat and one of the humans. That wasn’t done to shock people. It was done because that’s what happened. I didn’t suddenly decide, Oh! I’ve got a goat here in this play. Maybe I can have them fucking!
JH: Imagine if they were fucking onstage. That would be you putting something intentionally onstage to shock. In that respect, you were withholding.
BLVR: What’s left to the imagination can be even more grotesque than what would have happened in reality.
EA: That’s on the assumption that in a civilized society people don’t fuck goats.