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David Mamet in Conversation

Overview


Contemporary playwright David Mamet's thought-provoking plays and screenplays such as Wag the Dog, Glengarry Glen Ross (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize), and Oleanna have enjoyed popular and critical success in the past two decades. Among the most prolific and provocative of writers, Mamet frequently draws emotional responses from both audiences and critics. Mamet in Conversation collects interviews with the playwright that offer readers insight into his life in the theater, his artistic vision, and the ...
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Overview


Contemporary playwright David Mamet's thought-provoking plays and screenplays such as Wag the Dog, Glengarry Glen Ross (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize), and Oleanna have enjoyed popular and critical success in the past two decades. Among the most prolific and provocative of writers, Mamet frequently draws emotional responses from both audiences and critics. Mamet in Conversation collects interviews with the playwright that offer readers insight into his life in the theater, his artistic vision, and the evolution of his craft. The interviews help followers of his work better understand the sensibilities that have informed his work in drama, film, and prose over a twenty-five-year career.

The conversations collected here--several of which appear in print for the first time--allow a glimpse inside Mamet's creative process, and to the recurring motifs that drive his work. The range of topics is impressive and includes the celebratory purpose of theater, the responsibility of the playwright, writing for Hollywood, the seduction of fame, the search for truth and the merchandising of it, and the decay of culture. The interviews shed light on the personal as well: Mamet's return to Judaism, his appreciation of Midwestern virtues, his love of rural Vermont, the problems of embattled virtue, and the challenge of aging. The book includes transcripts of Mamet's engagingly candid broadcast interviews with Jim Lehrer and Charlie Rose of PBS, published here for the first time.

Leslie Kane is Professor of English, Westfield State College. She is the author of three previous books and is President of the David Mamet Society of the Modern Language Association.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472067640
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 7/13/2001
  • Series: Theater: Theory/Text/Performance Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,392,634
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Chronology
Introduction 1
David Mamet: Remember That Name 9
Solace of a Playwright's Ideals 16
Buffalo on Broadway 22
A Man of Few Words Moves On to Sentences 27
I Just Kept Writing 31
The Postman's Words 39
Something Out of Nothing 46
A Matter of Perception 54
Celebrating the Capacity for Self-Knowledge 60
Comics like Me Always Want to Be Tragedians 72
Pulitzer-Power Playwright Takes on Screen Challenge 82
A Community of Moviegoers 86
Things Change for Mamet 91
A Mamet Metamorphosis? 96
Hard and Fast 100
Dream Sequence 105
David Mamet: The Art of Theatre XI 109
Working the Con 123
"The South Bank Show" 143
Someone Named Jack 157
On Theater, Politics, and Tragedy 163
A Great Longing to Belong 182
Mountebanks and Misfits 192
"Face to Face" 211
Games Mamet Plays 226
Mamet with Manners 230
Works by Mamet 235
Index 239
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