Our American Cousin Revisited

A Slate writer reads through Our American Cousin so we don’t have to. (For that we should be grateful – it sounds pretty dire.)

It’s the hoariest sick joke in America: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” By now it isn’t even a joke; it’s become a familiar way to complain that undue attention is being given to some frivolous aspect of an otherwise grim and urgent matter. But we’ve had a century and a half to ponder the awful tragedy of Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theater and its effect on the post-Civil War Reconstruction, the presidency, and the American character. Surely that interval is sufficiently decent that we may now ask, in earnest: What sort of aesthetic experience occupied the Great Emancipator’s final hours?

A pretty terrible one…

via The hackneyed play that ended Lincoln’s life. – Slate Magazine.

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