Author's Note for Good

Source: Methuen Drama

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Although Good is obviously based on facts of recent history, documentary material, and is peopled in some cases by real characters, this story of how a 'good' man gets caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich is a work of the imagination.

What the tragedy which I have written as a comedy, or musical-comedy is about, will hopefully emerge in the performance. If it proves the good play we hope it is, like all good plays, it will have a special meaning, or shade of meaning, for each person who experiences it.

The writing of the play is my response to a deeply felt, and deeply experienced trauma in recent history, the Third Reich's war on the Jews, as well as an intellectual awareness, not at all deeply felt, of my role as a 'Peace Criminal' in the Peace 'Crimes' of the West against the Third World - my part in the Auschwitzes we are all perpetrating today.

I put 'crimes' in inverted commas, because my concept of history - which will hopefully emerge from the play - is not quite simple enough to allow me to see either the anti-social activities of the Third Reich, or of the West today, as simply criminal. If the problem were so simple, the solution might then be equally so.

I grew up during the war under a deeply felt anxiety that the Germans might win the war, overrun Britain and that I and my mother and father would end up, like my less fortunate co-religionists, in a Nazi Death Camp - perhaps specially built in Scotland or England.

There seems to have been some pressure building up in me for a long time to write a play about the Final Solution, marking and responding to a great historical and personal trauma. Not as a Jew, wanting to add my wreath to those already piled high at the graves of the Six Million, but as my own little gesture to revive their memory in our consciousness. It still seems that there are lessons to be learned if we can examine the atrocities of the Third Reich as the result of the infinite complexity of contemporary human society, and not a simple conspiracy of criminals and psychopaths. The 'Inhumanities' seem to me only too human and leading to a final Final Solution to end all Final Solutions - the solution to the Human Problem, a nuclear holocaust.
Last edited: 25 February 2007 06:26:47
© The Estate of the late Cecil P Taylor.