Monday, July 9, 2001

Without Feathers

by Woody Allen

A collection of Allen’s comedic writings. This is for the most part solid, laugh-out-loud Allen parodies and absurdity. Allen is at his best when parodying, say, the great Russian writers (“Should I marry W.? Not if she won’t tell me the other letters in her last name.”) or Ibsen, as in “Lovborg’s Women Considered,” or just being plain absurd, as in the superbly useless “Slang Origins.”

Throughout, the neurotic Allen themes resonate – fear of death and intimacy, etc. There are a couple of low points, like “God (A Play),” which is somewhat flat compared to the true absurdity of the meta-textual pioneers whom it parodies, like Pirandello and Ionesco. But in all, this is prime, vintage Allen, and at his best, he’s note-perfect.

four stars

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