Time for two more imperfect comparisons between artists across space, time, and mediums.
As I explained last time:
They demand expounding, and one day I hope to do just that for each. But before that day comes, I present them to you here, naked, so you can ponder — and, likely, doubt —their similarities; they’re not perfect for a reason!
Alexi Kaye Campbell is a wannabe Tom Stoppard
- Will Eno is theatre’s Coen Brothers
- OK, the rank imperfection of this one requires some immediate expounding. Like Samuel Beckett — remember, Eno was mentioned in my first round of comps as the 21st century Samuel Beckett; come to think of it, Eno’s also the American Samuel Beckett, because he’s much more interested in this country’s signature love affair with materialism…but I digress — both parties are obsessed with the relationship between life and death, specifically how humanity’s conception — or willful lack thereof — of the former colors all of our behavior, whether we know it or not. Eno and the Coens view death as life’s ultimate punchline, casting doubt upon the seriousness of any eternal meaning we may derive — or, usually, project — onto our existences. But instead of letting this maudlin conclusion dampen their fun, Eno and the Coens tonally revel in the irreverence of meaninglessness, through which they tap into the profound plight of our species’ insatiable quest for something more. And yet, their respective oeuvres are rather different. Both boast a consistent stylistic and thematic singularity. But whereas Eno’s plays often feel like they share the same universe, the Coens constantly play around with various genres; their output is undeniably more diverse. Also, if you delete the “c” from Coen, “oen” is an anagram for Eno, which is the sort of ridiculous coincidence that the faithful among us could believe suggests something more than our corporeality, and that Eno and the Coens would laugh at. Are they laughing at us, or the ridiculousness of life itself?