We have finished reading A Doll House in my literature class. We are watching a movie of the play with Claire Bloom and Anthony Hopkins. I was very distracted watching the film by my inability to remember how I knew of Claire Bloom. Sadly, I knew that it was a husband of hers that I associated her name with, but beyond that, I was at a loss (she was Philip Roth’s wife for five years and Rod Steiger’s for 10, there was another, but I don’t know anything about him and she did not stay married to any of them so…). And then the actor whom played the character of Nils: he was in the movie Indiana Jones– I had to suppress the urge to shout out my joyful recognition when it came to me. Nils is a great character, flawed but essentially sweet, the kind of crushed man you hope someone will save by love.
But, why I have this sort of information in my head is beyond me. Why can I not remember a brilliant line I read recently, but I know most of the names of the Kardashian sisters…well, maybe not their actual names but at least I know that there is a preponderance of ‘k’ sounds in their names. Damn supermarket check out line- literally stealing real estate in my mind.
We didn’t get past the first act. I really would have like to to see Act III. The moment I went back to (while reading) the play was when Nora realizes the gig is up. I was interested in Ibsen’s interpretation of that seminal moment. Some people have said that the action of the third act happens too quickly, but all it takes is a moment, no? Once she knows: she knows. It is that quick. To put a revelation of that order back inside is impossible. Her quiet, stiff truth is, I imagine, unfathomable to someone whom has not experienced that sort of thing.
I am sorry to admit to the plethora of useless knowledge swirling about my mind, curling around factoids and cheap images; but it is the the startlingly real knowing lurching forward that alters lives. I don’t know how people go back and feign ignorance once they know. That is something Ibsen understood well: The gravity of truth.