Book review of Professor Taranne
This is a book review of “Professor Taranne” by Arthur Adamov. It is really a script from 1953 and I read it as part of my ‘A play a week reading challenge‘. It’s a challenge where I aim to read one play each week for a year, ending up with 52 plays on the list.
Professor Taranne basically spends the whole play trying to establish his identity and does not succeed. It was like it was meant to be confusing for the sake of confusion. I get that the structure is the same as when you dream, which adds to the absurdity, but it didn’t convince me. The language was good and the characters solid, but I wasn’t invested in the story or in the main character. I lacked a sense of urgency or sympathy with the professor, which clearly colored my reading experience.
Maybe I call it classic because it’s already so long ago, but I mean, Shakespeare did it, early greeks did it. I honestly didn’t feel like I gained much from reading Professor Taranne. It was like watching an old episode of a British sitcom in the style of Black Books or even Monty Python except it wasn’t actually fun. It lacked a certain angle, that I still cannot quite place.
I wasn’t inspired by it but it was a nice, short read. Perhaps some day, I’ll see the potential in it and make something off of it. But that day is not today. Not the best read (or the worst either). But hey, it counts for my list and I am one play smarter now, right?
Do you want to do the 52 plays in a year challenge that I’m doing? Feel free to read along or start your own challenge!
If you’re not used to reading scripts, I’d start out with a story you know, so you’ll get used to the script format.