Further thoughts on Albee..
...although actually I'm probably just repeating myself. The guy was just full of himself. I think his message came down to this: I'm right, you're wrong. This, also, I think accounts for why Kauffmann still sticks in his craw. The key moment in his speech was when he said he holds up a mirror to society and that if people don't like it, they should change. It's pure arrogance -- my vision of the world is the only one worth having, and your disagreement only proves that the truth hurts. Somewhere in his speech he spoke of Kauffmann's "critical fallacy" -- that because he didn't like something, it must be bad. Albee seemed to be suffering from a similar fallacy of his own. He's in love with his own view of the world, contemptuous of anyone who doesn't agree. I think that's why he thinks Americans are barbaric. Kinda makes sense that he would start his speech by ripping into a little theater company that made the mistake of trying to mount one of his plays.
Saw Francine Prose tonight, and she was really good. She read at some length from A Changed Man. which I liked pretty well, although it got a little soft and chewy in the last third. Someone asked her if she ever read reviews; she said she did, and that while a lot of writers claim they don't, they still kind of do, in a roundabout way. Prose said she recently received an e-mail from a "famously unstable" writer, whse latest novel Prose reviewed for an on-line magazine. The writer told her that while she hadn't read Prose's review, her husband had, and her letter was in response to what he had told her. No idea who this mystery woman might be, though I have a hunch.