Thursday, 29 March 2007

'Nihilistic hatred alive amongst UK intelligentsia'

People sometimes reveal their true opinions and feelings indirectly or by implication. One of the most startling and revealing pieces of theatre criticism I have ever read was published last week, on March 23, in the liberal British newspaper, The Guardian. It was a review of a new production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in the provincial city of Sheffield.

Praising the production, the reviewer, Lyn Gardner, wrote: “Perhaps more than any other production I’ve seen, it suggests that the first thud of axe against tree trunk is a blow for a revolution that will eventually sweep Madame Ranevskaya and her family into the oblivion they deserve. It’s a case of good riddance to bad rubbish.” [...]

I think it is very unlikely that the theatre critic was so ignorant that she had no idea of what went on while the winds of change blew. No one is that ignorant. This being the case, we must conclude that she actually approved of what the winds of change wrought. This is a most uncomfortable thought, for it means that the impulses of nihilistic hatred that brought about the catastrophes of the 20th century are with us still, particularly among the intelligentsia. Read more

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