April 28th, 2010


Recently read

Over the weekend I read the original play of Busman's Honeymoon (thanks, Newton library!) It was fascinating to compare it to the very familiar novel. The play, of course, is a lot more compact; it illuminated the novel in a few spots. Sometimes that was by a stage direction that explained why, from the mechanics of the things, something had to happen a particular way --- or a stage direction that explained an actor's motivation in a way that didn't survive the translation into prose. Sometimes that was by having a scene pared down to what Sayers considered the essence, and it wasn't what I would have chosen if I'd been given the task of adapting the novel.

I also understand the structure of the narrative a lot better by reading her introductory note, which explains what she was trying to accomplish by writing this in the first place. The afternote, explaining the mechanism by which the stage illusion of the denouement can be implemented safely, was also fascinating.

Recommended for all Sayers fans. The rest of you, go read the Wimsey novels, become Sayers fans, read the novel of Busman's Honeymoon a dozen times until you can recite passages by heart, and then read the play.


Overall, I thought that was well done, although I think Branagh's was better. Collapse )

And, of course, the two lines that jumped out at me? "Couldst thou on this mountain leave to feed and batten on this mieuuuuurrrrrrr?" and "'Tis sport to have the engineer hoist with his own Picard."