The full title of the book is The Dramatic Literature of Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian writer. The book contains 2 of her plays: Isis (1986) and God Resigns at the Summit Meeting (1996). I met her last year on the deck of a friend’s house, where a group of us were having dinner with her. She was in town at the invitation of Friends of Women’s Studies at UC.
She has been imprisoned for her writing, and has had many difficulties because of her belief in women’s equality, and her insistence on speaking out. She’s still doing it now, in her 60s. She mentioned her play, God Resigns, which intrigued me, especially since a good friend writes a blog from God’s point of view, as He tries to manage Celestial Services (Heaven). We talked about possibly getting God Resigns produced, since it’s never had a premier anywhere on the planet.
A friend of a friend had an English translation, which I borrowed. Unfortunately, God Resigns is not very theatrical / dramatic, and is full of long speeches – most of which we feminists in the US listened to long ago, and on which there is agreement pretty much throughout this culture.
Isis, on the other hand, is full of drama, a real confrontation between the Sun God Ra, the God Seth (Isis’ brother) on the one hand, and Isis, Osiris and Horus on the other. Lots of shifting scenes, dramatic lighting ideas, major drama. The same feminist themes of equality, responsibility, sustainable practices, but presented in a totally different way.
I’m going to pass it to Carol, the friend who hosted the original dinner, and get her thoughts on both plays. Then we’ll see what we might do next.