Edward Bond: Letters 4
Edited by Ian Stuart, Ian Stuart
Routledge – 1998 – 224 pages
Edward Bond Letters, Volume IV, focuses on four significant areas of Edward Bond's work: education, imagination and the child; theatre-in-education; At the Inland Sea; language and imagery. The letters represent a coruscating attack on our present society, as well as offering insights into how the situation might be improved.
Bond's letters attack modern education, arguing that "children are being educated to sell themselves" and suggesting that social problems are caused by an oppression of the imagination.
Many letters refer directly to a play - for instance Tuesday, which presents an assessment of the many difficulties faced by contemporary society. The language and imagery of one of Bond's most recent plays, In the Company of Men, is animatedly discussed, and Bond reminds us in a final description that "the good image is always absent, because it is present in the mind.
" Numeracy and literacy are necessary but we must go beyond them or all the rest is sterile. Each child is different, the vicissitudes of its self-creation are different, too fine-tuned to its own experience of the world to be grasped by anyone else."