The Years of O'Casey, 1921-1926: A Documentary History

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More About This Textbook


This documentary history covers a period of Irish political and dramatic climax that had an impact not only on the nation, but on the world as well. During these years both Ireland and its major theater attained a position, however precarious, of stability. De Valera and the Republicans laid down their arms and entered politics, while, by a state subsidy, the Abbey was formally recognized as the Irish National Theatre. The importance of these years goes far beyond Ireland itself because the Irish masterpieces of Sean O'Casey - The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, and The Plough and the Stars - made an impact upon world drama nearly as profound as that of Luigi Pirandello or of Eugene O'Neill. As this book is a documentary history, the story is told primarily through the words of the writers, actors, producers, critics, and members of the audience who themselves lived and created the story. However, these contemporary accounts are frequently amplified and put into modern perspective, particularly at crucial moments such as a major production, a final production, or a death. The authors have particularly done so with writers of some importance such as Edward Martyn, William Boyle, or T. C. Murray. Since the theater of these years was especially influenced by the state of the country, the authors give considerable space to the disruptive political events of the times. Always, however, this is done from the particular vantage point of the theater and its workers, for the Irish theater vigorously reacted to and quickly assimilated the turbulent political events of the day: the raids, the reprisals, the burnings, and the murders. These 1,800 days really break into two periods. The first comprises the violence of the Black and Tan War, the exhaustion that led to the treaty, and the bitterness occasioned by the treaty that led to the culminating ferocity of the civil war. The second is politically and theatrically a time of consolidation and assimilation. The
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874134216
  • Publisher: University of Delaware Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1992
  • Pages: 440

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