Download American Drama: The Bastard Art by Susan Harris Smith PDF

By Susan Harris Smith

During this e-book, Susan Harris Smith seems to be on the many usually conflicting cultural and educational purposes for the overlook and dismissal of yank drama as a valid literary shape. overlaying a variety of issues similar to theatrical functionality, the increase of nationalist feeling, the production of educational disciplines, and the advance of sociology, Smith's learn is a contentious and revisionist historic inquiry into the cultural and canonical prestige of yankee drama, either as a literary style and as a replicate of yankee society.

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Extra resources for American Drama: The Bastard Art

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Detailing the extent to which the American drama adapted the native novel, Paul Wilstach in "The American Library and the Drama" (1898) documented the phenomenon from its beginning with a production of Rip Van Winkle in 1822 through more than fifty plays. Wilstach observed that the life of the novel often was extended by the practice and that some novels such as Pudd'nhead Wilson, "on account of the prohibitive price put upon it as a book," were better known as plays (137). Charles Warner's complaint was echoed in a similar one brought by Henry Davies in 1903, that the dramatization of novels confused literary forms and usurped the drama's independent creation of literature.

New Literary History, founded in 1969, published a performance issue in Spring 1971 and has published articles on Beckett and medieval and Renaissance drama, but otherwise it gives priority to prose and poetry. Since its inception in 1974, Critical Inquiry, despite an interest in film and detective fiction as well as poetry and prose, has never dealt with American drama. Despite the announced intention of guest editor Donald Pease to explore the new interventionist, revisionist, and counterhegemonic moves against the American canon in boundary 2 (Spring 1990), the "concrete fantasy" of the field-imaginary remains undisturbed by the reality of American dramatic literature.

Vivian Mercier pronounces American drama to be "moribund" because the "force of Realism" renders it "mechanical" (375). Mary McCarthy, too, finds that the dramatists "pledged to verisimilitude" (26) strive against the constraints of realism and write pretentiously and hollowly; as a consequence, such writers are "cursed with inarticulateness" (30). Whatever the merits of the charge that modern American drama lacks "literary" language, it is certainly true that much contemporary drama increasingly has moved away from a purely literary text and toward performance values.

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