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Via Dolorosa And Where Shall We Live [Paperback]

David Hare
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1998 Faber Plays
In 1997, after many invitations, David Hare, a fifty-year-old British playwright, finally visited the fifty-year-old state of Israel while his play Amy's View was in rehearsal in Tel Aviv. During his visit, he traveled around the country, and his discussions with Jewish settlers encompassed the idealism, contradictions, and paranoia at the heart of modern Zionism in the wake of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. In the play that resulted-written to be performed by the author himself-Hare offers a meditation on this extraordinary trip to both Israel and the Palestinian territory, questioning his own values as searchingly as he examines the powerful beliefs of those he met.

Accompanying Via Dolorosa is Hare's lecture "When Shall We Live?," which also focuses on questions of art and faith-the same questions that have been interwoven throughout all of his extraordinary plays and have placed him in the first rank of dramatists writing today.


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Review

"People say, go to Israel. Because in Israel at least people are fighting . . . for something they believe in." -- from Via Dolorosa

"[David Hare is] one of the few major playwrights in our language." -- New York Post

About the Author

David Hare is the author of The Judas Kiss, Plenty, and The Secret Rapture, among other plays. He lives in London.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hare's work shines Jan. 7 2000
Format:Paperback
Fortunately i had the luck to actually see David Hare perform Via Dolorosa on Broadway, not once, but twice this past spring. In fact, I was able to see nearly 30 plays in five months as part of a Duke University program taught in Manhattan. My three favorite straight plays were 1. Amy's View, 2. Death of a Salesman, 3. Via Dolorosa. What I appreciated most about Hare's two plays was his ability to reveal the complexity, stubborness, and nobility, closely bordering stoicism, that pervades the human condition.
As an agnostic and an American I was overcome by the honest critique offered by Hare. Here is someone who has wrestled with the moral and ethical dillemas and subsequently infused them into his work. I excuse his humor, because, sometimes things are so horrible all we can do is laugh, and if we cannot, then it is truly a sad thing. Stones or ideas? When shall we live? So what if you don't like all his answers, at least he's raising the right questions.
I do not expect, nor do I particularily want Hare to moderate a Palestinian/Isreali debate. What I do want is for him to dig out and contextualize the emotional elements that ground this tragic situation. As a Westerner, I understand how this passion can captivate someone from a culture in desperate need of something to live for besides material wealth. Hare accomplished exactly what he set out to do, and we are in his debt for it.
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Format:Paperback
[PLEASE R-E-M-O-V-E the two not-reviews-but letters-to-you you've put in as reviews, and PUT T-H-I-S in. THIS is the review. Thank you.] * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This is not "a book". It has two totally different parts. The first, "Via Dolorosa", Hare calls a "play". It seems to be merely a monologue, a description of the author's short, recent first visit to Israel and Palestine. Rather than presenting a broad picture presenting major challenges and problems in the area, the author relies mainly on his personal experiences in rather extreme, nonrepresentative situations. E.g., in Israel: he devotes space to a difference of opinion of settlers as to whether the sabbath began at 4:15 or at 4:16 PM, and then states that no one could tell him why males are "allowed an extra 18-minute window to go on doing irreligious things.... No one can tell me why". One wonders what are these "irreligious things", but no answer is given. Hare misinforms the reader with another meaningless description: "We cannot sample [a delicious-looking stew] because today they are eating meat and we have been eating dairy. If we were German, we might be able to, because Germans need only three hours to switch from one to another." "Germans" aside, Hare has his eye of the needle trying to slip through an elephant; his facts are the opposite of reality [meat and milk]. His British Jewish neighbours could have corrected this error. Near his conclusion, he states that "an unnamed Israeli military commander" told him that 20,000 Jews were killed "in the cause of setting up the state. 'Not that every death isn't a tragedy...but...20,000 to set up a whole country; that's not so bad, you know.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
To the Editor of accepted book reviews:
I find most interesting your immediate acceptance of my review of don marquis' "Archyology", which you have left on-line and which represents my true feelings about the book. Yet, I twice wrote a review of David Hare's book, "Via Dolorosa and Wnen Shall We Live". I split my grading of the book into 5 stars for the second half, and 2 stars for the first and overall. I did NOT write ad hominem, but rather described what I believe are real flaws and errors in "Via Dolorosa".
Why didn't you accept it? Is it bad for merchandising?
I am a regular and enthusiastic Amazon customer and tell all my friends about you.
I'll also tell them about your rejection of my review, with no obvious reason for it.
I would appreciate your response.
Thank you.
Dr. Baruch Hurwich hurwich@cc.huji.ac.il
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2.0 out of 5 stars (see my review sent two weeks ago) Sept. 3 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
1. I have sent you two reviews of this book in the past 3 weeks.
The first, you reported to me, was too ad hominem.
I fixed that up and 2 weeks ago sent a second version.
You still are exercising censorship and not publishing my review of "Via Dolorosa" of Dvid Hare.
Interesting that you quickly pulished my 1st review sent to you - of "Archyology".
The last review I sent you was purely non-personal and all referred to the book. I gave the two parts of the book: 2 stars and 5 stars. The two parts are totally unconnected.
Where's my review?
Dr. Baruch Hurwich hurwich@cc.huji.ac.il
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and humorous monologue March 11 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I first saw this piece performed by David Hare himself as a monologue. As with all plays, a certain amount of drama and charm is lost when the printed edition is the only version experienced. I saw the language and sarcasm as simultaneously refreshing, especially for those who are pessimistic about the Middle East situation, and poetic, often illustrating and describing scenes and people with warmth and edge.
I would highly recommend finding the dramatic staging of this piece, but this edition is still a beautiful essay.
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