“Poor but my own”–Shakespeare’s clown Touchstone in As You Like It
At the tender age of 74 I am trying my wings as a writer of prose fiction. With apologies for my having a long way to go, here is a link to my first small success. The story, “Beer Is Technically a Vegetarian Meal,” from my projected novel One Wednesday in New York City, appeared in the online journal Underground Voices: http://www.undergroundvoices.com/UVHomanSidney.htm.
And my “Prisoners As Audience,” which originally appeared in Underground Voices (http://www.undergroundvoices.com/UVHomanSidney2.htm), has been reprinted in Haight Ashbury Literary Journal 29.1 (2011): 12.
Note: Here I am morphed with–you guessed it!–Shakespeare, by the talented young artist Mike Werkle.
ALL JOKING ASIDE: THE ART AND CRAFT OF COMEDY: I am collaborating with Brian Rhinehart, my former student and now a New York stage director as well as a member of the theatre faculties of the Actors Studio Drama School and Baruch College, on a book titled All Joking Aside. Growing out of our own experience in the theatre and with improv companies, the book attempts something of a “triple play”: a manual for actors on the craft and principles of comedy; for the general reader, an analysis of classic and current comedies from the perspective of those onstage and in the house; and a history of comic theory from the ancient Greeks to the present.
THE FÜHRER AND THE DOVE: My son Danny and I are finishing up a piece of historical fiction, a novel where a resistance group, despairing of attempts to assassinate Hitler, comes up with the idea of kidnapping his mistress Eva Braun and then substituting a look-like, skilled actress in her place. The actress then proceeds to undermine the obscene little man psychologically—a task both dangerous and yet promising, given all of his sexual and personality hang-ups—as a way of disrupting the Führer’s conduct of the war. Without distorting any of the known historical facts of Hitler’s life, the period from 1942-45, and the Third Reich cast of obscene characters, we follow the scheme from the kidnapping, through life with the fake Eva in Munich and at the Berghov, Hitler’s country estate, all the way to the (supposed) double suicide of the husband and wife in the bunker. This is our fictive take on the questions Ron Rosenbaum so brilliant raises in his study Explaining Hitler. [For my son’s site, Daniel Homan]
ONE WEDNESDAY IN NEW YORK CITY: A would-be novel where I look at the lives of very ordinary people, living within a four-block area of Brooklyn, who on a given Wednesday afternoon all experience one of those life-changing Joycean epiphanies. More than a touch of “six degrees of separation” here. The cast of characters ranges from a lovely soul suffering from agoraphobia, to an up-tight funeral director who for relief from his profession visits the Temple of Snake Handling and Redemption at night, from a grandmother charged with the obscene task of putting plaster of Paris covers on the genitalia of statuary in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to two middle-age bank tellers, their spouses deceased, who meet through one of those online questionnaires one fills out for a speed-dating service.
HITLER IN THE MOVIES: My colleague in Sociology, Hernan Vera and I have finished writing a book on Hitler in the Movies. We consider what his portraits in serious. comic, and fantasy films, docudramas and documentaries, and movies for television tell us about our conception of the monster. How we try to explain him, understand him through the media of popular culture.