First Day: Albert Camus Meets Crazy Horse in the Kingdom
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Theater, Ballett
The seven acts of the drama The First Day are set in the Kingdom of the Great Spirit as this Kingdom might have been imagined by Crazy Horse, the legendary war chief of the Lakota Sioux who was assassinated by the U.S. government in 1877, after he had surrendered. The action occurs on January 5, 1960 when Crazy Horse welcomes the French philosopher and writer Albert Camus to the Kingdom. Camus had been killed in an automobile accident the night before. Following introductions, the two begin a walk that lasts from dawn to dusk and traverses a variety of landscapes. Periodically they stop to converse with others in the Kingdom. These include Native Americans Chief Joseph and Chief Seattle, Jesus, and the poets Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and Federico Garcia Lorca. Walt Whitman is accompanied by a young friend named Jimmy, and Jesus finds himself leading a band of some twenty children. The travelers discuss various subjects, personal, historical and philosophical. Their principal interest, however, is the mysterious Almighty Power whose grace makes possible their eternal life. Considering this mystery, they also discuss justice and injustice among mortals, why men who struggled to do good often suffered at the hands of those who did evil, and whether poets and poetry are an influence for good in the affairs of mortals. At the end of the day, having bid good day to their fellow travelers and sitting on a mountain ledge overlooking expansive valleys as the night sky is illuminated by an astounding show of lights, Crazy Horse and Camus are joined by Socrates. Socrates explains why it is no evil on Earth can ultimately hurt a virtuous person and how it is the Almighty is revealed to humans during their mortal lives.