By AGNES (ALEX) Borinsky
Introduced by Amina Cain
In Brief Chronicle, Books 6–8, Alexander Borinsky delivers a play in a single column. A history play that grounds epic themes—longing, violence and imperialism, and the bond between mother and son—in the quiet ways we talk.
March 1, 2017
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Brief Chronicle, Books 6-8 is a remarkable creature of our shattered and shuttered time. Borinsky’s theater examines everything that it encounters—including the various artifices of theater itself, i.e. character, costumes, boxes, supposed emotions (real or imagined), action as it would have its way, place/s, and all the supposed ends and means of the theater making apparatus—with a scrupulous but loving attentiveness. There is no one quite like him writing and making theater today.—Mac Wellman
In this big, small play, people learn who they are as they say things, punctuation makes gaps where lonely spirits and dances live, and stuff gets sticky between tender, selfish hearts. This is a battle cry for doing the daily work of becoming better in America.—Jennie Liu
If the world feels a little unknowable after reading this play, if you feel unknowable to yourself, how do you talk about that, how do you narrate what it was like? Still, I will tell you what I thought about when I finished Alexander Borinsky’s Brief Chronicle, Books 6-8, though it changed when I read it again, and it may be different for you too. Intimacy. The many ways (sometimes strange or uncomfortable) in which it’s possible to know another person. What it means to appear. What it means to live. When the play opens, it seems we are encountering something that has already been happening, without us, and this is surprisingly relaxing (we are allowed to be “late”). The ghost will arrive, but in a sense we are making an entrance too. This is not just about the one who watches and the one who is watched; in Borinsky’s play, those formalities have been emptied of their meaning. We are all here in this room for whatever will unfold.—Amina Cain
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Agnes (Alex) Borinsky is a writer and performer, originally from Baltimore, currently living in Los Angeles. Recent projects include Ding Dong It's the Ocean with Rady&Bloom, Weird Classrooms with University Settlement, and Of Government with Clubbed Thumb. Currently planning a translation festival with Masrah Ensemble, a community theater lab with Rustchuk Farm, and finishing a young adult novel, out from Farrar, Straus & Giroux's Books for Young Readers in 2020. She is an alum of Yale (humanities), Youngblood (theater), Brooklyn College (writing), and the Los Angeles Permaculture Academy (permaculture design).
Amina Cain is the author most recently of the short story collection CREATURE (Dorothy, 2013). Her work has appeared in publications such as n+1 and BOMB.