"This book has no rivals. Richard Gilman's account of this fascinating subject is written with love, measure, and authority." —Susan Sontag
"Richard Gilman's book on the genesis and development of contemporary drama is acute, beautifully accomplished, and, I think, important." —Donald Barthelme
Richard Gilman's critical history of modern drama is perhaps the best study ever undertaken of this subject. Beginning with Büchner and Ibsen, the antipodal landmarks that guide playwrighting into the 20th century, Gilman devotes chapters to Strindberg, Chekhov, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, and Handke — the major figures who have shaped the modern theater. As always, Gilman writes elegantly, bitingly, persuasively. With a new introduction that assesses developments of recent years, this history accomplishes the ambitious program outlined in his original foreword: "My assumptions in this book are that drama ought to matter to us as a source of consciousness, that great plays can be as revelatory of human existence as novels or poems, that such plays aren't discrete objects to vvhich we 'go' but analogues of our lives vvhich we encounter, and that an account of how some of them came into being in the modern period against heavy obstacles and on unpromising ground, can be an instructive — I hope fascinating — chapter of imaginative history."
New introduction by the author
A Da Capo Paperback 1987. Pehmeäkantinen. Englanninkielinen.
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