“What are all his escapes for?”: Making Sense of Muriel Rukeyser’s Houdini

Dear Reader, In what follows, I have tried to offer a careful reading of Muriel Rukeyser’s 1973 version of Houdini: A Musical, published by Paris Press in 2002. This is the version new audiences will soon encounter together during the four public Houdini events sponsored by the Eastern Michigan University Center for Jewish Studies and the English Department this spring. My goal was to strike at some of the play’s most central questions, to pick up on some of the ambiguities and ideas that might appeal to new and not-so-new readers alike. My own reading grew from the question Marco Bone [...]