TRAGEDY by William G. McCollom


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A serious and somewhat heavy handed attempt to define exactly what tragedy is and evaluate the main practitioners of this art through the ages. A glance at the chapter headings suffices to show how the author has delineated his subject:- The World of Tragedy; Tragedy as Moral Action; The Hero and His Fate; Tragedy and Society. Unfortunately, while the author is deeply appreciative of the classic writers of tragedy, he brings no new illumination to bear on the subject. It is only in the last chapter, where he takes up present day writers (O'Neill, T.S. Eliot, Anouilh, Auden) that the book comes to life. Here he shows himself as a sensitive critic of modern writing and by bringing together the works of these less well-known men and submitting them to the classical canons of tragedy, he brings out their significance to literature as a whole and presents strongly his thesis that modern life is not antithetical to the writing of great tragedy. Definitely limited to scholars, students of drama, university library shelves. It has no popular appeal. One might define it as a valiant rather than a successful attempt. The author is the Associate Professor of Dramatic Art at Western Reserve.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1957
Publisher: Macmillan