O Starry Starry Night

A Play by Derek Walcott

  • Published: Jul 30, 2020

Two masterful artistsGauguin and van Goghcome alive in a vibrant drama about friendship, art, and madness Two paintersPaul Gauguin and Vincent van Goghare living together in the sleepy town of Arles in 1888. Soon, Gauguin, frustrated by van Gogh's... read more

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Details of O Starry Starry Night

Exact title of the book
O Starry Starry Night
Book author
Derek Walcott
ISBN
9780374712020
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Feb 18, 2014
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
112
File size (in PDF)
1008 kB

Some brief overview of book

Two masterful artistsGauguin and van Goghcome alive in a vibrant drama about friendship, art, and madness Two paintersPaul Gauguin and Vincent van Goghare living together in the sleepy town of Arles in 1888. Soon, Gauguin, frustrated by van Gogh's refusal to acknowledge his increasingly troubled mind, will depart for Paris. In two years, van Gogh will be dead by his own hand.

In the meantime, the friends discuss their craft; they frequent a local café that van Gogh will soon immortalize; they become acquainted with a young prostitute, Lotte, who becomes Gauguin's lover; they argue; they paint. In Derek Walcott's new historical play, O Starry Starry Night, two world-renowned artists come to life as they wrestle both with grand themesfriendship, loyalty, fameand with more mundane concerns, money primary among them. The scenes Walcott sketches summon several of van Gogh's most famous paintings Sunflowers, The Night Café, The Bedroom at Arles.

His manipulation of languagevan Gogh's eloquent monologues giving way to more abstract speechesevokes the painter's descent into madness. Over the action hangs the threat of violence, of death, which lends the play a potent urgency; for at least one of the characters, time is quickly running out. O Starry Starry Night is powerfully wrought, and demonstrates once again the sharpness of Walcott's eye as a painter, as a poet, as a writer, and, above all, as an observer of human follies, foibles, failings, and aspirations.

About author

Walcott (1930-2017) was born in St. Lucia, the West Indies, in 1930. His Collected Poems 1948-1984 was published in 1986, and his subsequent works include a book-length poem, Omeros (1990); a collection of verse, The Bounty (1997); and, in an edition illustrated with his own paintings, the long poem Tiepolo's Hound (2000).

His numerous plays include The Haitian Trilogy (2001) and Walker and The Ghost Dance (2002). Walcott received the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.

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