Joan of Arc on the Stage and Her Sisters in Sublime Sanctity

Joan of Arc on the Stage and Her Sisters in Sublime Sanctity

by John Pendergast

Hardcover(1st ed. 2019)

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This book examines the figure of Joan of Arc as depicted in stage works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially those based on or related to Schiller’s 1801 romantic tragedy, Die Jungfrau von Orleans (The Maid of Orleans). The author elucidates Schiller’s appropriation of themes from Euripides’s Iphigenia plays, chiefly the quality of “sublime sanctity,” which transforms Joan’s image from a victim of fate to a warrior-prophet who changes history through sheer force of will. Finding the best-known works of his time about her – Voltaire’s La pucelle d’Orléans and Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part I – utterly dissatisfying, Schiller set out to replace them. Die Jungfrau von Orleans was a smashing success and inspired various subsequent treatments, including Verdi’s opera Giovanna d’Arco and a translation by the father of Russian Romanticism, Vasily Zhukovsky, on which Tchaikovsky based his opera Orleanskaya deva (The Maid of Orleans). In turn, the book’s final chapter examines Shaw’s Saint Joan and finds that the Irish playwright’s vociferous complaints about Schiller’s “romantic flapdoodle” belie a surprising affinity for Schiller’s approach.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030278885
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 11/09/2019
Series: Bernard Shaw and His Contemporaries
Edition description: 1st ed. 2019
Pages: 281
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

John Pendergast is an Assistant Professor of Russian at West Point. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in Comparative Literature from the City University of New York, a master’s degree in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in Music from Birmingham-Southern College. A graduate of the Russian program at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, his research focuses on music and letters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russia and Germany.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Palimpsest of Euripides, Shakespeare, and Voltaire

Part I. Euripides and Iphigenia
Part II. Shakespeare and Joan
Part III. Voltaire and Jeanne
Chapter 2. Sublime Sanctity: Schiller’s New Tragic Joan
Chapter 3. Lacuna and Enigma: Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco in Light of Schiller’s Play
Chapter 4. Patriotic Elegy and Epic Illusion: Schiller’s Johanna in Russia
Part I. Zhukovsky’s Orleanskaya deva (“Maid of Orleans”)
Part II. The Genesis of Tchaikovsky’s Orleanskaya deva
Chapter 5. The Skeptic Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks: Shaw’s Saint Joan. Concluding Thoughts on Joan in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries
Appendix 1. Table Comparing the Spelling of Names
Appendix 2. Translations of Johanna’s Speech and Joan’s Letter to Henry VI
Appendix 3. Translations of Texts Cited in Chapter 4
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
End Notes
Chapter 1 Notes
Chapter 2 Notes
Chapter 3 Notes
Chapter 4 Notes
Chapter 5 Notes

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This well-researched study is a clear and compelling exercise in Comparative Joan of Arc and the subtleties of influence. Pendergast posits a dramatic lineage that begins with Schiller’s appropriation of Euripides’ Iphigeneia plays and extends via dramas and operas to George Bernard Shaw. His scholarly prose is highly readable, and I strongly recommend this useful and informative book.” (Gail Hart, Professor of German, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine)

“Elegantly interweaving the myriad tales, legends, plays, and operas about Joan of Arc, Pendergast shows his mythic heroine the greatest affection—all the while lamenting the absence of accurate details about her real life and deeds. The book explores both essence (Joan of Arc as embodying “sublime sanctity”) and context to explain how the heroine’s image morphed to reflect changes in the political and social status of women in 18th and 19th century European society. In Tchaikovsky’s opera on the subject, which Pendergast greatly illuminates, Joan of Arc becomes the ideal image of the liberated Russian woman at the expense of the superfluous man. A book of rich ideas, richly presented.” (Simon Morrison, Professor of Music and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University)

Joan of Arc on the Stage is a model of how philological rigour and critical imagination can shed new light not just on Schiller’s play, but on its sources and adaptations. Traversing an impressive range of languages, its amplifies our understanding of European drama, makes a compelling case for the centrality of Russia to the burgeoning field of world literature, and lays the foundations for a long overdue reassessment of Tchaikovsky’s opera, The Maid of Orleans.” (Philip Ross Bullock, Professor of Russian Literature and Music, University of Oxford)

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