It was Jean Genet’s birthday recently, so here’s the 1975 film adaptation of The Maids.
On New Year’s Eve 1948 Frye started his first new diary since 1942 because he felt he was “not working hard enough” and a diary, as he puts it in an extensive statement of purpose, would provide “more machinery” to get him working harder — which proves just how relative “working hard” really is. That afternoon he went to see Laurence Oliver’s Hamlet, which, he says, suffers from a typical “subjective fallacy” to which this play is particularly prone, including “slash[ing] the soliloquies to pieces” and cutting Ophelia’s role to make her “just the ‘anima’ of Hamlet,” to the extent that “her mature intensity of feeling & her sharp sly humor” are no longer apparent.
On New Year’s Day, a Saturday, he makes this observation about the holiday itself: “New Year’s is a dull holiday: Christmas provides a definite ritual of things to do, but New Year’s is just a day to dither & dawdle through, overeating and underthinking.” Given the ambitions Frye laid out for that year — including becoming more fluent in German, Italian and Latin — it must have been an especially dull day.
The new year begins to make its way around the globe, starting in Sydney, Australia.