Review: Proof by David Auburn
They say there’s a fine line between genius and insanity.
I’m not usually one to read plays, but I decided to broaden my horizons a few months ago. Proof is an award winning play about a woman dealing with the loss of her mathematician father. The math part plays an important part. After years of caring for her mentally ill father, Catherine finds herself suddenly alone and lost. Her sister shows up to “deal” with things which means she starts bossing Catherine around, decides to sell the house, and forces Catherine to move to New York with her. Hal, one of her father’s ex-students, starts hanging around the house to go through her father’s old journals looking for genius math proofs.
The journals, though, are filled with gibberish. Except for one. The end of the play revolves around that journal and its secrets.
I found this book in the library among the books on mental illness. It caught my eye as it wasn’t a self-help or guide. I’m always interested in the take on mental illness in literature. Although I don’t suffer from schizophrenia (which is probably what Catherine’s father had), I could relate to Catherine’s plight of worrying if she inherited the mind-robbing disease. Having bipolar, I do understand what it’s like to be mentally ill, be worried things will get worse, and not really know where to go or what to do about it. It’s confusing and scary. And it’s inheritable, so I don’t blame Catherine for worrying.
Although the end is a bit predictable, I enjoyed this quick read.