Hey, you know your August Wilson. You’ve read Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. So why is it you pick up The New Yorker this morning and scratch your head over references to “1839 Wylie” and “Old Joe Barlow”? Shouldn’t you know this? Isn’t your place of employment staging one of these plays in a few months? What’s wrong with you?
So are you going to enhance your August Wilson knowledge by actually reading his ten plays? No way—this is the twenty-first century! We don’t read books. We read wikis! Wikis! I have no idea what that word means, but the basic idea is that other people write about things and then you get to steal what they wrote for your schoolwork.
So what does that have to do with you, the clueless August Wilson reader? Well, for your benefit, I’m starting The August Wilson Wiki! Beginning with my own limited knowledge, I am creating a page that lists all of Wilson’s plays. From there, devotees from across the Internet will fill in the blanks, rendering the Wilsonverse in detail. It will be easy to make your way through the Twentieth Century Cycle of African-American Experience, one wiki page at a time.
And once you do, call me and tell me what happens in these plays. I’m too busy to check the wiki.