THE ENORMOUS DESPAIR by Judith Malina

THE ENORMOUS DESPAIR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the diary Judith Malina, co-founder of the Living Theater, kept through 1968-69, begun with the troupe's return from a two-year tour of Europe. Behind them, the enrages; ahead, a dumbstruck America waiting for repercussions of Chicago. . . . It's not easy to recapture that mood now; but Malina's pages, written in the urgency of the moment from the vantage of one of its likeliest victims, bring back all the paranoid exhilaration. Given the Becks' lurid press image, she may come as a surprise. No naked harridan this, but an open, profoundly political lady who spurns neither Shelley Winters (you can hear her talk) or the misguidedly violent White Panthers -- though she does reject Serge Obolensky; who affirms God to Paul Krasaner's incredulous face; who refuses the ""trap"" of bloodletting at the same time she sees the futility of ""cultural revolution."" Her own position is both more coherent and less rigid, more and less conventional, than expected, and from that viewpoint she provides shrewd glimpses of the counterculture's heroes (Ginsberg, Krishnamurti, Abbie Hoffman) and an inside look at the Theater in action. A valuable document and a sensitive piece of work.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1972
Publisher: Random House