... On Rattigan | Bryan Appleyard
. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
The whole point of a Rattigan play is that characters live in a world in which free emotional expression is not an option. In Flare Path that letter in French specifically acts as a mechanism for suppressing strong emotion. The cultivation of the self and the glorification of self-expression, which became, from the sixties onwards, the presiding ideology, were not virtues in Rattigan’s moral universe but threats. Honour, self-control and endurance were the qualities that mattered.
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