The Theatrical Critic as Cultural Agent: Constructing Pinter, Orton and Stoppard as Absurdist Playwrights

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Approaching theater history from a socio-cultural perspective as expressed by Pierre Bourdieu, Zarhy-Levo (literature and theater history, Tel-Aviv U.) looks at the three British playwrights, tracing the progress of their acceptance and establishment within the local context of the British theater, and the larger context of the group of European playwrights also associated with the label Theater of the Absurd.

Annotation © Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Absurd as Cultural Phenomenon 1
Ch. 1 Absurd Beginnings 9
Esslin's Contribution: Constructing and Promoting the Theatre of the Absurd 9
The Initial London Reception of Beckett's and Ionesco's Plays 16
Ch. 2 Usages of the Absurd Construct: The Pinteresque 21
Pinter's Acceptance Process 21
The Pinter Package of Attributes 32
Ch. 3 Introducing Orton 43
Orton's Acceptance Process 43
The Orton Myth 62
Orton and the "Absurd" 63
Ch. 4 Stoppard, The Story of Canonization 67
Stoppard's Acceptance Process 67
Stoppard and the "Absurd," a Culminating "Episode" 86
Ch. 5 Critical Strategies: Theoretical Conclusions 95
Comparison 97
Forecasting 99
Name-giving 100
Formation of the Attributes Package 101
Construction of a Group 104
Minor Strategies 104
Ch. 6 Reconstructing Theatre History, The Case of the British Absurd: Historical Conclusion 107
History as Construct 107
Reconstructing Theatre History 113
A Concluding Note 119
Bibliography 121
Notes 135
Index 153
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