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Anonymous said: You've probably been asked this loads. But what is your favourite Sarah Kane play, and why?

I actually haven’t! My favourite play is Crave, but to be honest whenever I say it’s Crave I feel I’m betraying my love for Blasted, and if I say Blasted I feel I’m betraying Crave.

I think Blasted is brilliant theatre wise, it’s everything I love in literature and in the stage. I think it’s written with such detail and calculation and I can read so many things into it, I never get tired of reading it, never, and everytime I re-read it, I find new things, and I am outraged, I am amazed, I am reborn into this Kane-loving thing, every single time. 

However, I can’t even put into words what Crave means to me. Crave describes how I feel about life. If I am in a very low moment in my life, I will turn to Crave and it will help me deal with whatever I’m going through, because it simply depicts the contradictions of life in a way that fascinates me and helps me understand what I’m going through. I have always thought that a great way to help somebody understand the way my brain works would be to lend them a copy of Crave.

So perhaps the shortest answer is that, academically, I think Blasted is IT, whereas emotionally, I couldn’t go through life without re-reading Crave every once in a while.

What is yours? 

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daysasgrass said: I'm looking for inspiration for a Sarah Kane tattoo that isn't a quote, that's an image. I was wondering if you could point me towards any good resources for old "Crave" posters, from back when she was alive. Alternatively, do you know if Kane, herself, had any tattoos?

This is such an interesting question and yet again, I can’t be of much help. One of the things that bothers me the most about the whole Blasted being the most talked about Kane play is that Crave hardly got any recognition or any press hype at first, and so I’ve hardly been able to find information about the original production. I think it’s the least documented! The only thing that comes to my mind when I think about Crave, visually, is the cover of the play, but I’m sure you’re familiar with it as well.

So, while I have no posters that go back to when she was alive, I do have a few interesting ones located (and by interesting I mean posters that are slightly more creative than the simple title in a different font), these are just my two cents, I’m sorry I can’t be more useful: 1,2, 3, 4, 5.  

I don’t recall ever reading about her having any tattoos. I’ve wondered that myself as well sometimes, but I don’t think she ever discussed that.

I’d really like to see what you come up with, by the way! I have, precisely, the word Crave tattoed on my wrist. 

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Re: Kane’s Death and Reading an Author

Hello everybody, as you might have noticed I just replied an ask from sainte-ann about the reason behind Kane’s suicide. 
I recieved a message from triplea85 and with their permission I am reproducing it here. I am doing this mainly to clarify my response to sainte-ann, but also because I find it to be quite an interesting subject for debate and I would love to get some feedback from all of you!

triplea85 said:

Oh man. I have to say that I think the manner in which any given person chooses to engage with a work they like is always up to them, but I couldn’t disagree with your points about not gaining anything from looking into an author’s life more. As a writer, I have to say that my personal life and experiences influence my work a great deal. As much as I think my life is boring or a story not worth telling at the end of the day, and as much as I might not want anyone to ever write a bio about me, I know that I am who I am because of the things I’ve gone through and I write what I write for the same reason. I don’t think anyone can answer the question of why she took her own life as that person asked you, but I certainly think a much deeper understanding, if not an appreciation, of some of the subtleties in her work could easily be found if that information were attainable. And as a studier/lover of literature, I have to say I don’t think a full grasp of anyone’s work can be had without delving into at least a little of their bio and background. But that’s just me.

And my reply was:

I don’t think we entirely disagree about this. I do think that a certain appreciation of an author’s life helps in the understanding of a text, and I don’t think that I take an approach that completely blocks out the personal life of an author, but I do like to see a text for what the text can give me first, and I don’t entirely like to interpret it as it was “meant” to be interpreted, I like to interpret texts for myself and certainly I do like to put them in their context and in perspective afterwards, but what I do not like is to only see them through the lense of personal experience. Am I making sense? That was my point in answering that question. I love Sarah Kane more than I have ever loved any other author, of course I am interested in her and her personna, I am interested in what she studied, what she thought, what she lived and what she experienced (for instance, I am obsessed with what drove her to write each of her plays, I keep re-reading interviews with her to see what triggered a certain sentence, et cetera) but I don’t like to read her work a 100% conditioned by that knowledge. And I guess that goes with everybody else. Do I find it significant that she killed herself? Yes, very much. But do I find it conditioning of her work? No. I guess that my problem comes because I see it as crossing a line. I find it all perfect to want to find out the outline of somebody’s life. To want to know what she did, what she loved, who she hated, et cetera, to want to know whether she died in an accident or killed herself is okay as well. But to go as far as to know why she killed herself, especially when doing a little bit of research it is obvious she was depressed and suicidal most of her life, and especially as most of her work is sadly self-explanatory, I find it would give absolutely nothing to me. I suppose that knowing that the pain she refers to in her work eventually drove her to death is enough for my reading of her plays. I guess I have enough knowing that what drove her to suicide was that she was unhappy, I don’t need to know where her unhappiness came from because I think that everybody is entitled to their own pain and I have enough knowing what I already know about her and her pain.

I really understand what you mean, because I consider myself a writer as well, and I find that my writing is very much affected by what I read, what I experience, what I feel. That is impossible to resist. I think everybody takes a different approach to literature, and with the years I have learnt that I like to make a text mine and then if I am really interested in it, I like to go further. For instance, I always skip introductions in novels. If I really like the novel, I read it after I finish reading it. Generally, if I really like a novel I will want to go further, but I prefer to form my own opinions first. Sometimes I don’t have the interest in finding out about an author’s context, sometimes I will. But, what I guess I’m trying to get at, is that, to me, personally, there is a line as for how far I like to go in such knowledge. I am aware not everybody draws the line at the same place, and I think that’s wonderful, everybody should experience literature how they choose to.

*As our conversation continues triplea85 mentioned they disagreed with my referring to Kane’s work as “sadly self-explanatory” and I do want to clarify I’m referring to 4.48 Psychosis. I believe Kane’s work is truly complex and mostly inaccessible, deciphering it is part of what truly drawns me to her work, but I do believe that in 4.48 Psychosis, she put her life-experience and that it is her voice what is being put out there, and I have always had a hard time finding any other reading for that play. I am not saying I consider it a “suicide note” at all, I am only saying I do consider it to be quite honest and blunt about her views on life, living, death and dying.

Please, feel free to jump into the discussion!

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sainte-ann said: Why exactly did she commit suicide? I can't find it anywhere.

To be honest if you haven’t found it anywhere it is probably because nobody knows. Nobody knows what happens in the mind of a single, individual human being unless such being makes it known. So I don’t really think I can answer this question at all, except by saying that Kane unfortunately had a long history with clinical depression, and that has always been the clear and obvious answer to me. Depression sufferers do not need a reason to be depressed, so I would say there is not a specific answer to your question.

To be honest this is not something I have researched in depth at all. As long as I love and obsess over Kane, my interest has always been in her work, not her personal life. And I would honestly say I feel slightly uncomfortable whenever I come across anybody that discusses her life in such personal terms, because I find it to be a breach in her private life that she cannot ever protect. I have never sought after her personal life, but I have inevitably read about it in my research (the line between biography and anthology gets blurred at some point, specially when an author only has a few works to discuss).

The only thing I’ve read mentioning her death was in, I believe, an interview with Mel Kenyon, in Graham Saunder’s About Kane: The Playwright and the Work. If I recall correctly Kenyon discusses her death in slightly more graphic terms. 

I hope that clarified something for you, again, I doubt you will ever find the answer to your question, and honestly I wonder what finding out can give to you.

Quote
"I need to become who I already am."

— Sarah Kane, from 4.48 Psychosis (via theworldoccurred)

(Source: violentwavesofemotion, via theworldoccurred)

Photoset

A Polish Cleansed production from 2004.

(Source: kukamaria.blogspot.com.es)

Photo
Phaedra’s Love production from 2010, directed by Mariano Stolkine in Buenos Aires.

Phaedra’s Love production from 2010, directed by Mariano Stolkine in Buenos Aires.

(Source: clarin.com)

Chat
  • Ian: I write... stories. That's all. Stories. This isn't a story anyone wants to hear.
  • Soldier: Why not?
Link

Here’s a piece on several recent productions of Kane, along with thoughts and other information by Daniel Talbott. 

Chat
  • Hippolytus: (...) I'm satisfied to be alone.
  • Priest: Self-satisfaction is a contradiction in terms.
  • Hippolytus: I can rely on me. I never let me down.
  • Priest: True satisfaction comes from love.
  • Hippolytus: What when love dies? Alarm clock rings it's time to wake up, what then?
  • Priest: Love never dies. It evolves.
  • Hippolytus: You're dangerous.