Monday, March 24, 2008

Crushing on Albee

Recently heard a radio interview with playwright Edward Albee.

When he started talking about the way he felt about his adoption, I pulled over to listen.

He talked in a very unemotional, straightforward way.

He explained he didn't feel like it was a good fit...that he didn't feel like he belonged in the family...and he didn't much like his adoptive parents. (Ah, the Ding of familiarity!)

As simple as that.

He didn't seem bogged down by Guilt nor twisted by inner conflict.

This is the way it was, he seemed to be saying. No big deal.

How refreshing.

How liberating.

If only I could begin to look at my own adoption placement like that, expressed in no-nonsense sentences.

Now I'm fascinated. I'm not very familiar with his work. I know he's a famous adoptee. The fact that he's not a Cheerleader Adoptee is a big, fat relief.

In my head, adoption is endlessly exhausting and complicated. If I could just get some clarity. Must do some reading about Albee. Must read him. He must save all his adoption-related demons for his work.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Suz said...

This is VERY interesting to me. I met him in NY when he presented live at the Adoption Crossroads/Origins conference. At that conference, his position seemed to be contrary to what you heard here. I wish I had heard what you heard. I have friends who have a videotape of that conference. I should look it up.

He was engaging and funny but if I recall correctly (and I might not) he seemed to be pro-adoption (yet stated he did not fit). He also seemed very negative (at that time) towards BIRTHmothers. There were a few points in his presentation at the conference that I cringed however I chalked his views up to his generation and experience.

But again, this was two or so years ago. I could be remembering wrong.

Off to look up that video tape.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Suz,

It IS an interesting subject!

Anyway, just to be clear, he did not talk about adoption as an institution, but how his adoptive mother was cold (and domineering, I later read elsewhere) and that there was no warmth or love between them.

As for attitude toward birthmothers, I've met a few older male adoptees who SAY they aren't angry at the mother who gave them away, aren't the least bit curious, could care less, but having repressed a whole bunch of junk myself...I suspect, well, a lot of emotions.

So I'll be eager to hear if you find that tape and what he said!

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

Ive never seen/read "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff??" - would you say that that play is an expression of his adoptee-hood? Am just curious...I will have to rent the movie now on Netflix! LOL

I used to work for an African Art Gallery in the museum district in Houston...he came walking in one afternoon to talk to the owner. Didnt say much to me and I didnt say much either largely because at the moment I hadnt a clue as to who he was...I found out later! Dangit! Would have loved to have talked to him....

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A while ago, I read an article about Albee (I think it was in Vanity Fair Mag) and it discussed his background a bit. I distinctly recall he said that after he left his parent's home he did not see his A-mother for 17 years. After he became famous he became reacquainted with his a-mother and thereafter she would attend his parties - though apparently they spoke little. Ever the N, his A-mother she basked in his success. So, having read the earlier 2 posts I'm surprised how he spoke about his adoption and how it is different it is from the VF article.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Computadores said...

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6:28 AM  
Blogger Being Me said...

Hi Nina,
How is Albee doing? I'm imagining you writing a book since I'm missing you writing on your blog...

11:34 AM  
Blogger Being Me said...

Hi Nina,
How is Albee doing? I'm imagining you writing a book since I'm missing you writing on your blog...

11:34 AM  
Blogger GooseBreeder said...

Hi,heard him talk too and was very interested in the thing she said.So useful to have a professional thinker/writer give their views on something so profound for us all and which he understands for himself.Don't forget we all have the common trauma but all our situations are different and unique.Whatever our adoption placements were like, however perfect or imperfect we all have had the trauma of being removed from our mother.Many of us will have suppressed that memory because we had no words then to explain the feelings.Like many thi ngs it may sometimes come back to us to be dealt with.
Courage to us all to empower ourselves and stop living 'the adoption story' and tell the truth.

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Blogger La Doyenne said...

Just found this today when searching Albee and Adoption. He is speaking tonight at the NY Public Library and I wanted to remind myself what I thought about him as an adoptee playwright myself. Recently screened "Virginia Woolf," a movie I know really well, but hadn't seen since learning of Albee's adoptee status.

I was born in 1966, and I'm just beginning my search for my birth mother/family. Anything that helps me get perspective on the experience is of interest. Have you stopped blogging on your Adoptee Journal? I'm only discovering it today and I look forward to catching up with it--it is exactly the kind of thing I want to read right now.

Best of luck,
La D

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nina,
How is going nice to read your blog
cheers

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't validation the best? So very different from what we normally receive as children (adopted or otherwise) of Ns. Nice to drop in on you after way too much time, Nina!

Elise
Http://houseofbonsai.blogspot.com

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