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Plays - playwrights

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Titles to Look Out For:
[in alphabetical order, dated to earliest edition. Each listing includes later editions and printings]
1994. Bodied Spaces: Phenomenology and Performance in Contemporary Drama by Stanton B. Garner, Jr.
1993. Ionesco's Imperatives: The Politics of Culture by Rosette C. Lamont
1978. The Selected Plays of Thomas Middleton. Edited by David L. Frost

On Amazon:
Lamont, Rosette C. 'Ionesco's Imperatives: The Politics of Culture', published in 1993 in hardback with dustjacket by the University of Michigan, 328pp, ISBN 0472103105. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this edition on Amazon
1993, University of Michigan
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  • Ionesco's Imperatives: The Politics of Culture [top]
    Written by Rosette C. Lamont
    First published in 1993 in the US by The University of Michigan Press, in hardback with dustjacket, 328pp, ISBN 0472103105
    Jacket illustration: Eugene Ionesco, 1969 by Beverly Anoux Pabst
    Jacket design: Heidi M. Dailey

Contents:
Rosette Lamont met Eugene Ionesco in 1960 and their conversations through the years after that lend the book substance and authenticity.

In this study, leading scholar Rosette C. Lamont traces Eugene Ionesco's development as a writer and dramatist from his Surrealist beginnings through to his late "dream plays." Her careful analysis of Ionesco's entire oeuvre shows how the archetypal and the historical are intermingled in a synthesis that marks Ionesco as a major figure in post-World War II, post-Holocaust literature. Lamont's rereading of Ionesco's work reveals the dramatist as profoundly marked by the events occurring in Europe in his time and his personal experiences with war, occupation, and concentration camps. Despite his repeated statements that he was strictly apolitical, later in life Ionesco himself admitted that being officially apolitical may well be the most political of attitudes.

The author links the modern idea of totalitarianism with the playwright's critique of language, thereby placing her discussion of his work within the new theoretical approaches to language and power. In moving the analysis of his work beyond the category of absurdist theatre, Lamont reveals how the power of his plays resides in his synthesis of the political, psychological, and metaphysical.

Chapters:
Introduction
1. Ionescoland
2. The Wonder-full Enfant Terrible
3. The Surrealist Prankster
4. Metaphysical Farce
5. Matter and Air
6. Bérenger: Birth of an Antihero
7. Death and Dying
8. The Political Cartoonist
9. The Modern Classicist
10. The Dream Plays

Conclusion: Ionesco and His Critics
Chronology; Stage Productions; Notes; Bibliography; Index

About the Author:
At the time of publication, the author was Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the Graduate School and Queens Collegef, City University of New York. Her previous books include 'Ionesco: A Collection of Critical Essays (20th Century Views)' and 'The Two Faces of Ionesco'

Other Rosette Lamont books that may be of interest:

Garner, Stanton B Jr. 'Bodied Spaces: Phenomenology and Performance in Contemporary Drama', published in 1994 by Cornell University Press, in paperback, 260pp, ISBN 0801482186/9780801482182. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon
1994. Cornell University Press
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About the Book: In a venturesome study of corporeality and perception in contemporary drama, Stanton B. Garner, Jr. turns this awareness of the spectator's gaze back upon itself. His book takes up two of drama's most essential and elusive elements: spatiality, through which plays establish fields of visual and environmental relationship; and the human body, through which these fields are articulated. Within the spatial terms of theater, this book puts the body and its perceptual worlds back into performance theory. Garner's approach is phenomenological, emphasizing perception and experience in the theatrical environment. His discussion of the work of playwrights after 1950-including Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Peter Weiss, Harold Pinter, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Edward Bond, Maria Irene Fornes, Caryl Churchill, and Ntozake Shange-explores the body's modes of presence in contemporary drama. Drawing on work in areas as diverse as scenographic theory, medical phenomenology, contemporary linguistics, and feminist theories of the body, Garner addresses topics such as theatrical image, stage objects, dramatic language, the suffering body, and the staging of gender, all with a view toward developing a phenomenology of mise en scène

About the author: At the time of publication Stanton B. Garner Jr. was Associate Professor of English at the University of Tennessee and was also author of The Absent Voice: Narrative Comprehension in the Theater

Chapters:
Acknowledgements; Introduction: Occupations

Chapter 1. Phenomenology and Performance
Beckett, Merleau-Ponty, and the Phenomenological Body
Staging the Body: Toward a Phenomenology of Mise-en-scène

Chapter 2. (Dis)figuring Space:
Visual Field in Beckett's Late Plays
Modernist Scenography and the Theater of Form
Light, Darkness, and the Image in Flight
Movement; Depthless Space; Ex-centricity
"...still living flesh."

Chapter 3. Object, Objectivity and the Phenomenal
Staging "Things": Realism and the Theatrical Object
Function and Physiology: Shepard's Props
(Dis)placing the Body: The Chairs and Happy Days
Phenomenal Fields: The Caretaker

Chapter 4. The Performing "I": Language and the Histrionics of Place
Re-embodying the Word: Struck Dumb
Deixis and the Site of Utterance: Breaking the Silence, American Buffalo, Not I
Language as Mise-en-scène
Scenic Negotiation: No Man's Land
The Discourse of Theater: Offending the Audience

Chapter 5. Post-Brechtian Anatomies: The Politics of Embodiment
Brecht, Verfremdung, and the Suffering Body
The Body and Beyond: Trotsky in Exile and Marat/Sade
Violence and the Trauma of Representation: Lear

Chapter 6. Female Landscapes: Phenomenology and Gender
(En)gendering Pain: The Conduct of Life
Movement, Body, Space: Vinegar Tom, A Mouthful of Birds, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Pregnancy and Embodiment: Gestation, Spell #7

Afterword. Traces: The Dragon's Trilogy

Bibliography; Index

1994, hardback

1994, paperback

Phenomenology Books on Amazon:
Frost, David L. 'The Selected Plays of Thomas Middleton', published in 1978 in Great Britain by Cambridge University Press, in paperback, 415pp, ISBN 0521292360. Condition: Very good, but a little faded in places on the cover; the spine has been sunned (but only mildly). Price: £5.00, not including post and packing, which is Amazon UK's standard charge (currently £2.80 for UK buyers, more for overseas customers)
1978, Cambridge University Press, pbk
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Find this book at Biblio.com!

  • The Selected Plays of Thomas Middleton [top]
    Includes: A Mad World, My Masters; A Chaste Maid in Cheapside; Women Beware Women; and The Changeling (with William Rowley)
    Edited by David L. Frost; series editor: Graham Storey
    Published in 1978 in Great Britain by Cambridge University Press, in paperback, 415pp, ISBN 0521292360 as part of their 'Plays By Renaissance and Restoration Dramatists' series

    Cover illustration: engraving of Thomas Middleton, frontispiece is Arthur Henry Bullen's edition of 'The Works of Thomas Middleton', 1885
  • About the Editor: At the time of publication (1978), David L. Frost was Professor of English, University of Newcastle, New South Wales

About the series: This series was published to provide the best plays (and in some cases, the complete plays) of the major English Renaissance and Restoration dramatists, in fully-annotated, modern spelling texts, soundly edited by scholars in the field. Although the first three volumes are devoted to Renaissance dramatists, future volumes present the work of such Restoration playwrights as Etherege and Wycherley.

The introductory matter in each volume is factual and historical rather than critical: it includes, where appropriate, a brief biography of the playwright, a list of his works with dates of plays' first performances, the reasons for the volume editor's choice of plays, a short critical bibliography and a note on the texts used. An introductory note to each play then gives the source material, a short stage-history, and details of the individual editions of that play. Facsimiles of the original or early title-pages are given.

Annotation is of three types. Short notes at the foot of the page are designed to gloss the text or enlarge on its literary, historical or social allusions. At the end of the volume, in two separate appendices, editors have added more substantial explanatory notes and have commented on textual variants. The volumes are intended for anyone interested in English drama in two of its richest periods, but they will prove especially useful to students at all levels who want to enjoy and explore the best work of all these dramatists

T. S. Eliot said of the Jacobean dramatist Thomas Middleton (1580-1627) that 'he wrote one tragedy which more than any other play except those of Shakespeare has a profound and permanent moral value and horror': Middleton has increasingly been recognized as one of the most important, if not the most important, Jacobean dramatist after Shakespeare himself. This volume contains 'The Changeling' (of which Eliot gave so high an estimate), together with Middleton's other surviving tragedy 'Women Beware Women', his best comedy 'A Chaste Maid in Cheapside', and a more light-hearted early play, 'A Mad World, My Masters'. Though Middleton is typical of many University-trained writers of the period who eked out a living in popular entertainment, his work has a cold, satiric stance, a grimly determinist flavour and a savage economy which make it unique. He wrote plays for the boys' companies in the early 1600s and later for Shakespeare's own company, The King's Men, but seems never to have established himself as more than a jobbing dramatist. The City of London gave him regular employment as a writer of civic entertainments and eventually made him City Chronologer, an office in which he died. Nevertheless, The Changeling was highly popular in its own day, and a political allegory, A Game at Chess, had the longest continuous run of any pre-Restoration play. Both 'A Mad World, My Masters' and 'The Changeling' were revived at the restoration, the latter with outstanding success.

Similar success has accompanied the many modern revivals of 'A Chaste Maid', 'Women Beware Women', and 'The Changeling' by amateur and professional companies. The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has twice presented 'Women Beware Women', and BBC Television gave 'The Changeling' a brilliant production as 'Play of the Month', in 1974

This volume builds on much recent scholarly work on Middleton's plays, and offers a text adapted to the needs of students and of actors. Each play has been edited from the early quartos, with full collation of all modern editions. Annotation (much of it new) is presented at the foot of each page: the editor has also included the items of prefatory material to the volume and to each play and the textual and additional notes which are standard features of the series



Other Thomas Middleton Books

 



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