Shakespeare's language is lost, but a harrowing visual poetry fills in the gap. The theater is still the place where the play's verbal richness can best be honored. There's dark power in the seductive words of the Macbeths, whose loathsome deeds are conveyed in irresistible rhetoric. But tapping that sorcery in the theater has left scores of actors and directors badly burned.
Welles made great use of his prowess as a stage actor to motor his low-budget affair. Polanski left us spellbound with an atmosphere thick in eroticism and appalling menace. But the willingness of film directors to unseam the play and thereby expose the dramatic skeleton may be what has allowed a notable few of them to elude the curse on-screen.
The irony is that policy journalism in Washington is thriving. It’s just not being written for you, and you’re probably never going to read it.
In a sense I’m used to a kind of linguistic exile. My mother tongue, Bengali, is foreign in America. When you live in a country where your own language is considered foreign, you can feel a continuous sense of estrangement. You speak a secret, unknown language, lacking any correspondence to the environment. An absence that creates a distance within you.
In my case there is another distance, another schism. I don’t know Bengali perfectly. I don’t know how to write it, or even read it. I have an accent, I speak without authority, and so I’ve always perceived a disjunction between it and me. As a result I consider my mother tongue, paradoxically, a foreign language.
As for Italian, the exile has a different aspect. Almost as soon as we met, Italian and I were separated. My yearning seems foolish. And yet I feel it.
It started with a fundamental lie. Born a man named William, I became Leigh Anne Williams, a woman who published 20 romance novels.
Why hide the truth now? It was Another Life, back in the 1980s, a time when greed was good and money was funny, and the needs of both the haves and the have-nots were seen through Reagan-colored glasses. At the dawn of that far-away decade, this have-not was living on the touristy downtrodden end of Bleecker Street in the Village, struggling through an uncertain marriage, poor, and desperate for a steady gig.