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Wit: A Play

A book by Margaret Edson

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A dazzling play that puts everything into perspective!

  • Oct 26, 1999
Rating:
+5
If there ever was a play that deserved to win the Pulitzer Prize, this is the one. In this play, we are introduced to Dr. Vivian Bearing, Ph.D, John Donne expert. When she is diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer, she probes and studies how she has lived her life. Was it worth it? Was there something that could have been improved upon? Her assessment reveals a truer, greater picture of how all humanity should live life. Edson's use of medical vocabulary and knowledge woven with John Donne's poetry, as well as personal introspection, make this play all the more credible and emotionally satisifying.

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More Wit: A Play reviews
review by . May 12, 2013
A dazzling play that puts everything into perspective!
If there ever was a play that deserved to win the Pulitzer Prize, this is the one. In this play, we are introduced to Dr. Vivian Bearing, Ph.D, John Donne expert. When she is diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer, she probes and studies how she has lived her life. Was it worth it? Was there something that could have been improved upon? Her assessment reveals a truer, greater picture of how all humanity should live life. Edson's use of medical vocabulary and knowledge woven with John Donne's …
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Christian Engler ()
Ranked #652
Not much to say; my info section and likes pretty much says it all. Cheers.
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Wiki

Witis that rare beast: art that engages both the heart and the mind. "It is not my intention to give away the plot," Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., announces near the beginning of Margaret Edson'sPulitzer Prize-winning play, "but I think I die at the end. They've given me less than two hours." For two hours, this famed Donne scholar takes center stage, interrupting her doctors, nurses, and students to explicate her own story, its metaphors and conceits. Recently diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer, she is being treated with an experimental drug cocktail administered in "eight cycles. Eight neat little strophes." The chemo makes her feel worse than she ever thought possible; in fact, the treatment is making her sick, not the disease--an irony she says she'd appreciate in a Donne sonnet, if not so much in life.

Throughout, Vivian finds, the doctors study and discuss her body like a text: "Once I did the teaching, now I am taught. This is much easier. I just hold still and look cancerous. It requires less acting every time." As her time draws to a close, a sea change begins to work in the way Vivian thinks about life, death, and indeed, Donne. His complex, tightly knotted poems have always been a puzzle for her formidable intellect, a chance to display "verbal swordplay" and wit. Her sickness presents an entirely different challenge. A powerful, prickly personality, capable of dry asides even during a bout of gut-wrenching nausea ("You may remark that my vocabulary has taken a turn...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0571198775
ISBN-13: 978-0571198771
Author: Margaret Edson
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Faber & Faber
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