THEATER IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY by Robert W.- Ed. Corrigan

THEATER IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Report repeated from page 750 of the August 1st bulletin, when scheduled for fall publication, as follows ""From Ibsen's social realism to Tonesco's 'Theater of the Absurd' twentieth century drama has travelled an almost incomprehensible road; and no one, least of all the playwrights, is able to agree about its destination. The twenty essays in this compendium of theatrical opinion, dogma, and criticism reveal the polyglot interests of contemporary dramatists and critics. The subjects are as controversial as the authors themselves: Arthur Miller, Brecht, and Sartre discuss theater as a vehicle for social enlightenment of the bourgeoisie, while Ugo Betti, Tonesco, and Durrenmatt present their own personal artistic manifestos. The current polemic about tragedy and comedy enters the debate, the consensus judging that only tragicomedy, not true tragedy, is possible in our atomicsplintered world. As seasoning for this already well-spiced fare are essays on technique (Stanlslavski's 'Method and How It Grew'); critical evaluations of O'Neill (by Von Hofmannsthal), of Garcia Lorda (by Pedro Salinas); and even a selection from Freud to complete the diagnostic roster. At least one conclusion emerges; drama has left the shelter of traditional aesthetics (Aristotelian and otherwise) to feud for itself in an uncertain, but always experimental, modernity. This collection may not eliminate the bewilderment engendered by this experimentation, but it does help to clarify the nature of the confusion for those interested in trying to make sense of the current theatrical epoch.

Publisher: Grove