THE FLOWER AND THE CASTLE by Maurice Valency

THE FLOWER AND THE CASTLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Report repeated from page 911 when scheduled for fall publication as follows: ""A book as ambitious and almost as authoritative as Francis Fergusson's The Idea of a Theatre. In it Maurice Valency surveys the definitive dramas of Ibsen and Strindberg, the two pivotal forces of naturalism and symbolism which since the urn of the century have structured and inspired all stagecraft. Revolutions in taste come and go, whether they be avant-garde catcalls or arriere-garde cliches, but asentially, says the professor, nothing's altered: modern playwrights are still the progeny of the Norwegian and Swede. Both were psychologically poles apart, yet both were agonizingly aware of the other's creative adventures; both sought to resurrect the bases of tragedy and both were, in varying ways, nonconformists: Ibsen the heroic rationalist, Strindberg the hurly-burly hysteric. Each lived in the castle of the imagination; for Ibsen, greatness was measured by the height of the castle tower from which the artist falls; for Strindberg, the 'castle grows as the spirit impels it', until at last it bursts and blooms like a flower. Valency's prose is chaste and full of conviction, his conceptual scheme cunning. An impressive performance indeed.

Publisher: Macmillan