Thursday 7 May 2009

snatch and grab

Many of the roots of the environmental crisis are so embedded within our lives that they're almost invisible. It's one reason they're hard to dramatise. A key element is our attitude to time.

In J. B. Priestley's Time and the Conways, now revived at the National (and blogged yesterday), it's the shabby nondescript son, Alan, the one who quotes from William Blake's Auguries of Innocence, who also outlines a view of time that isn't merely linear.

'Now, at this moment, or any moment,' he says, 'We're only a cross-section of our real selves.'

(Priestley's Blake seems more sedate and avuncular than visionary and ecstatic, but the play's focus on time is suggestive.)

'You know,' Alan explains to Kay, his journalist sister, 'I believe half our trouble now is because we think Time's ticking our lives away. That's why we snatch and grab and hurt each other.'

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