This book asserts the extraordinary quality of mid-twentieth century playwright Terence Rattigan’s dramatic art and its basis in his use of subtext, implication, and understatement. By discussing every play in chronological order, the book also articulates the trajectory of Rattigan’s darkening vision of the human potential for happiness from his earlier comedies through his final plays in which death appears as a longed for peace. New here is the exploration through close analysis of Rattigan’s style of writing dialogue and speeches, and how that style expresses Rattigan’s sense of life. Likewise, the book newly examines how Rattigan draws on sources in Greek and Roman history, literature, and myth, as well as how he invites comparison with the work of other playwrights, especially Bernard Shaw and Shakespeare. It will appeal broadly to college and university students studying dramatic literature, but also and especially to actors and directors, and the play-going, play-reading public.
About the Author
John A. Bertolini teaches Dramatic Literature, Shakespeare and Film at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA. He holds the Ellis Chair in English and the Liberal Arts. He has written The Playwrighting Self of Bernard Shaw, edited Shaw and Other Playwrights, introduced and annotated two volumes of Shaw’s plays for Barnes & Noble, as well as written articles on Hitchcock, Renaissance Drama, and American Drama.
Table of ContentsPreface.- Introduction. Terence Rattigan’s Art of Understatement and Implication.- Chapter 1. French Without Tears.- Chapter 2. After the Dance.- Chapter 3. Flare Path.- Chapter 4. The Winslow Boy.- Chapter 5. The Comedies.- Chapter 6. The Browning Version.- Chapter 7. Adventure Story.- Chapter 8. The Deep Blue Sea.- Chapter 9. Separate Tables.- Chapter 10. Ross and Man and Boy.- Chapter 11. Bequest to the Nation.- Chapter 12. In Praise of Love.- Chapter 13. Cause Célèbre.
What People are Saying About This
“Terence Rattigan was among the most successful British playwrights of the modern era – a master of comedy as well as tragedy. He is so incredibly good it should come as no surprise that a significant revival has been underway for some time. In fact, Rattigan has been slowly achieving a permanent place of esteem in the essential repertoire of twentieth century dramatists. And that place will be bolstered by this brilliant comprehensive study of the playwright’s art by John A. Bertolini. His book is a pleasure to read: elegantly written, persistently intelligent, and lucid, and it does exactly what it promises: makes a case for Rattigan.” (Jay Parini, D.E.Axinn Professor of English, Middlebury College, USA)