Dramatic Vision of August Wilson

Overview

In The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson, Sandra Shannon follows the playwright's path through each decade. From the outset, she considers how he uses poetry, the blues, Romare Bearden's art, and other cultural artifacts to lead him to imagined sites of pain and resignation, healing and renewal in the collective memory of black America. It is in these places of defeat and victory, Shannon demonstrates, that Wilson creates drama, as he excavates, examines, and reclaims the past. Although Wilson diverts attention ...
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Overview

In The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson, Sandra Shannon follows the playwright's path through each decade. From the outset, she considers how he uses poetry, the blues, Romare Bearden's art, and other cultural artifacts to lead him to imagined sites of pain and resignation, healing and renewal in the collective memory of black America. It is in these places of defeat and victory, Shannon demonstrates, that Wilson creates drama, as he excavates, examines, and reclaims the past. Although Wilson diverts attention away from factual details and focuses on the human costs of family dislocation, chronic unemployment, or cultural alienation, Shannon illustrates how fully the plays are grounded in credible historical contexts - from slavery and Emancipation to the aftermath of World War II, the 1960s, and the Vietnam War. Moreover, she identifies and analyzes the themes that recur in some plays and branch off in new directions in others - including the dislocations that attended black migration to the North and communication gaps between black men and women. As she examines each of the plays in Wilson's dramatic history of the African American experience, Shannon conveys the broad range of his dramatic vision.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Shannon (African American literature, Howard U.) considers how African American historical playwright Wilson uses poetry, the blues, Romare Bearden's art, and other cultural artifacts in his series of plays dramatizing moments in African American history since 1900. She identifies and analyzes recurring themes in the plays, such as black migration to the north and communication gaps between men and women, and interviews the playwright on his dramatic vision. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882580708
  • Publisher: Howard University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Series: Classic Editions
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Chronology
Introduction 3
1 In Search of a Voice 25
2 Pittsburgh on His Mind: Jitney! 53
3 The Blues on Broadway: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom 65
4 Developing Character: Fences 89
5 Finding One's Song: Joe Turner's Come and Gone 119
6 August Wilson as Teacher: The Piano Lesson 143
7 Going Back to Pick up the Ball: Two Trains Running 165
Conclusion 193
Appendix: August Wilson Explains His Dramatic Vision: An Interview 201
Notes 237
Selected Biblography 241
Index 249
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