The Theatrical Critic as Cultural Agent: Constructing Pinter, Orton and Stoppard as Absurdist Playwrightsby Yael Zarhy-Levo
Pub. Date: 11/01/2001
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
The Theatrical Critic as Cultural Agent reconstructs the story of three British playwrights: Harold Pinter, Joe Orton and Tom Stoppard. It traces the process of their acceptance and establishment within the local context of the British theatre, as well as within the larger context of the group of European playwrights associated with the label/i>… See more details below
The Theatrical Critic as Cultural Agent reconstructs the story of three British playwrights: Harold Pinter, Joe Orton and Tom Stoppard. It traces the process of their acceptance and establishment within the local context of the British theatre, as well as within the larger context of the group of European playwrights associated with the label «Theatre of the Absurd». This book focuses on an overlooked link - theatre criticism and reviewing - thereby presenting criticism’s role in the process of the formation of a theatrical «school».
Through an investigation of the practice of criticism in the various cases, this book discloses the mechanisms involved in the process of a new playwright’s acceptance - the objectives sought, the repertoire of strategies employed, the subsequent impact on the progress of the playwright’s career, and his historical standing in the theatrical canon.
Recognizing critical consensus as a driving force in the process that determines a playwright’s acceptance into the theatrical canon, this book advances the view that critical acceptance itself determines how history is reconstructed.
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|
|Formation of the Attributes Package||101|
|Construction of a Group||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|
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