Thursday, March 31, 2022

#90 / The Burnt Flower Bed


I have been thinking about Ugo Betti's great play, The Burnt Flower Bed. Betti was an Italian judge, who is, I believe, better known as an author, and who is considered by many to be the greatest Italian playwright next to Pirandello.  
The Burnt Flower Bed is one of Betti's most celebrated plays, and I read it in a paperback version of the book shown above - a paperback book I still have, with all its underlines, on my bookshelves today. I think I must have first read The Burnt Flower Bed during my undergraduate years at Stanford University, but I can't remember, now, exactly when I read it, or why I picked up the book.
The Burnt Flower Bed made an impression, however. Here is a quote from the play that I have never forgotten (and that appeared, in fact, in one of my very first blog postings, way back in 2010):

That's what's needed, don't you see? That! Nothing else matters half so much. To reassure one another. To answer each other. Perhaps only you can listen to me and not laugh. Everyone has, inside himself ... what shall I call it? A piece of good news! Everyone is ... a very great, very important character! Yes, that's what we have to tell them up there! Every person must be persuaded - even if he is in rags - that he's immensely, immensely important (emphasis added)!
Why is everyone so important? We are important - each one of us, no matter what our background or circumstances - because we can each do something that might change the world, that might precipitate into reality something not formerly present, that will, in fact, transform the reality that we have taken for granted, and make it new.
This is the inestimable gift of freedom, of human possibility. We are not bound by the history that seeks to define us. Each one of us, despite appearances, is a "piece of good news." 

Or so we can be!

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