Robert Cohen: Rants, or The Piano Has Been Drinking (January 2004)
We’re often told that when it comes to good dramatic writing, less is more, Robert Cohen notes. But is this really always true? In this lecture, Cohen explores the value of rants in fiction, arguing that they can deepen a sense of a character and push the readers outside of their emotional comfort zones, puncturing the shield of conventional constructs. He finds examples of successful rants in sources as diverse as Tom Waits, D.H. Lawrence, Philip Roth and William Shakespeare, among others.