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JB by Archibald MacLeish

JB (original 1958; edition 1958)

by Archibald MacLeish

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6261015,510 (3.72)15
Authors:Archibald MacLeish
Info:Houghton Mifflin (1958), Edition: First Edition. date on title page, Unknown Binding
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J.B.: A Play in Verse by Archibald MacLeish (1958)



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Reading this was fine and good and hard, just like Job is. But seeing it -- there is just something about it. I loved it. I loved all the questions it raises and does not answer. Why is life so hard? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? What are we to do after we suffer and suffer and suffer? Can we ask questions? Must we curse God and die? Can we not just choose to live? The ultimate to be or not to be, this ancient story made modern so that I can grasp it just a little better. ( )
1 vote sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
A modern retelling of the Job story. Love MacLeish's absurdist approach and symbolism. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
A look at the story of Job, told through the eyes of two actors, Mr. Zuss and Nickles, who take on the roles of God and Satan respectively. J.B. loses everything, but still refuses to curse God. That much is well known; the interest in this play lies in the modernization of the play, and also in the biting wit with which the author addresses his topic. Philosophical questions of life, death, and justice are examined, but answers are not easily dispensed. The audience is left to sort that out for themselves. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | Mar 16, 2015 |
By Archibald MacLeish
Pulitzer Prize winning Play

The world sucks. I could say worse but right now that is all I have strength for – the world sucks.
However – two ways to look at that world – however. However there is a silver lining or however damn it there is a silver lining.
I wrote a poem in January of 2012 – “My Job Days,” it was well received in my writers group. Rod – really great guy, brought me the play J.B. the next writers group meeting and told me to read it.
Brilliant – a brilliant play and just as frustrating as the book of Job itself.
We all have our causes – poverty, worker’s rights, anti-slavery, anti sex trafficking – so many harms in this world, so many disasters. It is hard to take when personal tragedy is answered by a question.
As a matter of fact it is mind bending.
I’ve finished J.B., and it has nearly finished me.
Of course it ended in a humanistic flare – he repented of nothing –he accepted that he is not God – but that was not what redeemed - the love of human for human redeemed.
And it is funny now, that has been my biggest sin – love of man, the desire to be loved by a creature that does not know me. How can he? Did man create me – make me move away from death, instill in me self-preservation? Oh damn – another question.
But the answer is no – no, he, he, he, he, he, he, nor will he ever replace HE.
You know, maybe man wasn’t meant to be saved at all – but the second, the warrior who struck back verbally at the serpent, maybe it was she who was meant to be saved – and he, he, he, he, is saved by default.
And it is mostly men reading this, scoffing at the word, “saved,” well you would, wouldn’t you – you don’t need to be saved from this world – she does. And blindly she, she, she, she, she, comes back, just like Sarah to J.B. She comes back to be human rather than seek her own whirl wind. And why wouldn’t she, built as she is – the lure of sex, the contentment and afterglow of orgasms, the feeling of partnership after God has dealt His tremendous blows. Ah deception, deception works in wonderful, wonderful ways – and the result – she would rather be a slave than be alone.
J.B. is brilliant – yeah I said that already – but it is true – it is brilliant. ( )
  skwoodiwis | Jun 10, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395083532, Paperback)

Based on the story of Job, this drama in verse tells the story of a twentieth-century American banker and millionaire whom God commands be stripped of his family and wealth, but who refuses to turn his back on God. J.B. won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1959 and the Tony Award for best play. More important, the play sparked a national conversation about the nature of God, the meaning of hope, and the role of the artist in society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:27 -0400)

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Modern poetic version of the biblical Book of Job which attempts to relate the concept of goodness to contemporary life.

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