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Current Events

Karen YamauchiNovelist Jeffrey Eugenides appears in the Aspen Writers' Foundation's Winter Words series.
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Great writers of fiction, whether they realize it or not, are wannabe inter-sexuals. To breathe life into their characters, to make them feel real inside and out, men imagine themselves as women, and women as men. The best writers do this better than others, despite their own biological limitations. Jeffrey Eugenides is seemingly the first contemporary writer to grasp the possibility of a way around such constraints ” by creating a narrator who is both male and female. That freeing discovery was the seed for “Middlesex,” his rich, lyrical second novel that, like its main character, Cal, is many things woven into one. It’s safe to say that Eugenides, who spent nine years working on his Pulitzer Prize winner, is a different breed himself. The author, whose first novel “The Virgin Suicides” was also hailed by critics, appears at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at Paepcke Auditorium as part of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation Winter Words speaker series.

The Aspen area suffers no shortage of stage talent ” just a shortage of opportunities and venues for them to strut their stuff. Especially since the Crystal Palace shut down last year. So it’s not too much of a surprise that a modest venue like the Snowmass Chapel can boast a fantastic cast for its production of “Forever Plaid.” The cast comprises Franz Alderfer and Paul Dankers (stars of Aspen Community Theatre’s “Chicago” and “Pippin,” respectively) and John Goss and Adam Leath; the music director is David Dyer. “Forever Plaid,” a showcase for songs by guy groups of the late ’50/early ’60s, shows Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, March 20-22, as part of Snowmass’ Winter Cultural Series.

“Waltz with Bashir” is impressive. With stunning animation, Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman tackles the psychological wounds left by Israel’s 1982 war on a soldier who participated in it, and the nature of memory, dreams and healing along with it. For his effort, Folman earned an Oscar nomination. But there is something cold, clinical and incohesive in the storytelling; for all its ambition, it forgets the heart in favor of the head. But Freud would have loved it, and film buffs are advised to see it nonetheless. “Waltz with Bashir” shows Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17, at the Wheeler Opera House.


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