‘Most trends exist because they’re permitted to exist and have not been slaughtered’

The Believer published an interview with the late Edward Albee in 2013 that’s a minor masterpiece of sourness, and Albee’s right to be sour. <blockquoteEA: What is the MFA?

JH: Master of Fine Arts degree.

EA: I wasn’t aware of that.

BLVR: Really?

EA: I didn’t know that was a law now.

BLVR: Well, not a law, but—

EA: Is there somewhere that says you must have an MFA degree to get anywhere in the theater?

BLVR: Well, no, obviously if you’re—

EA: What is your question based on?

BLVR: My question is based on a trend I’ve observed that many—

EA: Most trends exist because they’re permitted to exist and have not been slaughtered.

BLVR: That’s well said.

EA: I know. I thought it was when I said it.

JH: The truth is that we, as young playwrights, obviously don’t operate in a vacuum, but I don’t have an MFA, and I refused to get one. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t—

EA: I got thrown out of college.

To read the rest is to feel pity for an interlocutor whose only crime is a vulgarity of diction.

My own experience with Albee is confined to reading The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? and loving Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf enough to have seen it staged a couple of times, most recently at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in 1997.

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