domingo, 30 de noviembre de 2014

Evolutionary criticism

Two Facebook groups:

Evolutionary Narratology
https://www.facebook.com/groups/115505095152536/

 Narratología evolucionista / Evolutionary Narratology
https://www.facebook.com/narratologiaevolucionista


A website: Joseph Carroll's Publications on Literary Darwinism:
http://www.umsl.edu/~carrolljc/




And some people:
        
  Joseph C. Carroll jcarroll@umsl.edu
        Adam Miklosei miklosa@ludens.elte.hu ,
        Alice Andrews aandrews@hvc.rr.com ,
        Ana Sobral Ana.Sobral@uni-konstanz.de ,
        Andy Thomson jat4m@eservices.virginia.edu ,
        Anja Mueller-Wood 'wood@uni-mainz.de' ,
        Apurva Narechania narechan@gmail.com ,
        Kevin S Baldwin KBALDWIN@monm.edu ,
        Barbara Lewis barbara.lewis@waitrose.com ,
        Bill Zimmerman wfzimmerman@amherst.edu ,
        "biopoet@yahoogroups.com" biopoet@yahoogroups.com ,
        Blakey Vermeule vermeule@stanford.edu ,
        Bob Storey rfstorey@gmail.com ,
        Bret Rappaport BRappaport@hardtstern.com ,
        Brett Cooke brett-cooke@tamu.edu ,
        Brian Boyd b.boyd@auckland.ac.nz ,
        Candace Alcorta candace.alcorta@uconn.edu ,
        Carl Degler degler@stanford.edu ,
        Carsten Koenneker Koenneker@spektrum.com ,
        Charles Duncan duncanguitar@hotmail.com ,
        Cheryle Jaworski chery2@umbc.edu ,
        Clinton Machann c-machann@tamu.edu ,
        Dan Kruger djk2012@gmail.com ,
        Daniel Barratt d.barratt@yahoo.co.uk ,
        Daniel Nettle daniel.nettle@ncl.ac.uk ,
        Daniel Tanaka djtanaka1@gmail.com ,
        Dave Evans evanspl@sio.midco.net ,
        David Barash dpbarash@u.washington.edu ,
        David Buss dbuss@psyvax.psy.utexas.edu ,
        David Livingstone Smith dsmith06@maine.rr.com ,
        David Miall David.Miall@ualberta.ca ,
        David Michelson dmichel1@binghamton.edu ,
        David Sloan Wilson dwilson@binghamton.edu ,
        Denis Dutton constant.force@netaccess.co.nz ,
        Dirk Vanderbeke vanderbeke@t-online.de ,
        D. L. DiSalvo dldisalvo@yahoo.com ,
        Don Brown deb1934@cox.net ,
        Don Mahan don.mahan@yahoo.com ,
        Michael Shermer DrMichaelShermer@aol.com ,
        Dylan Evans evansd66@googlemail.com ,
        Edward Slingerland slinger@interchange.ubc.ca ,
        Eileen A. Joy ejoy@siue.edu ,
        Ellen Dissanayake edissana@seanet.com ,
        Ervin Nieves Ervin_Nieves@hotmail.com ,
        Fotis Jannidis jannidis@linglit.tu-darmstadt.de ,
        Frances Widdowson franceswiddowson@yahoo.ca ,
        Francis F. Steen steen@commstds.ucla.edu ,
        Frank Miele FMieleX@aol.com ,
        Frank Salter FSSalter@aol.com ,
        Gad Saad GadSaad@jmsb.concordia.ca ,
        Geoffrey Harpham gharpham@nationalhumanitiescenter.org ,
        Gerhard Lauer gerhard.lauer@phil.uni-goettingen.de ,
        Glen Love rglove@uoregon.edu ,
        Gordon M. Burghardt gburghar@utk.edu ,
        Griet Vandermassen Griet.Vandermassen@UGent.be ,
        Hans Foerstl Hans.Foerstl@lrz.tu-muenchen.de ,
        Harold Fromm hfromm@earthlink.net ,
        "Horvathon@aol.com" Horvathon@aol.com ,
        Ian Duncan iduncan@berkeley.edu ,
        Jay R. Feierman jfeierman@comcast.net ,
        "jefoy@notes.cc.sunysb.edu" jefoy@notes.cc.stonybrook.edu ,
        Jeremy Hsu jmichael.hsu@gmail.com ,
        jerry hoeg jhoeg1@yahoo.com ,
        Jessica Drew jdrew1@binghamton.edu ,
        John Johnson j5j@psu.edu ,
        John Knapp jknapp@niu.edu ,
        John Tooby tooby@anth.ucsb.edu ,
        John van Wyhe jmv21@cam.ac.uk ,
        John Whitfield ja_whitfield@btinternet.com ,
        Jon Hodgson gladfish@worldonline.co.za ,
        Jose Garcia Landa garciala@unizar.es ,
        Joseph Anderson josepha@conwaycorp.net ,
        Judith Saunders Judith.Saunders@marist.edu ,
        Karl Eibl Karl.Eibl@gmx.net ,
        Karl Sigmund karl.sigmund@univie.ac.at ,
        Kathryn Coe KCoe@azcc.arizona.edu ,
        Katja Mellmann katja.mellmann@germanistik.uni-muenchen.de ,
        Ken Womack kaw16@psu.edu ,
        Kevin Baldeosingh kbaldeosingh@hotmail.com ,
        Kevin Cullen kpcullen@gmail.com ,
        L. Eslinger eslinger@ucalgary.ca ,
        Larry Arnhart TI0LEA1@wpo.cso.niu.edu ,
        Lauri Jang laurij@interchange.ubc.ca ,
        Leslie Heywood heywood@binghamton.edu ,
        Linda Carroll lincar@tulane.edu ,
        Lionel Tiger lionel.tiger@worldnet.att.net ,
        M. S. Smith M.S.Smith@kent.ac.uk ,
        Marcus Nordlund marcus.nordlund@eng.gu.se ,
        Maria Bachman mbachman@coastal.edu ,
        Martin Bruene martin.bruene@ruhr-uni-bochum.de ,
        Mathias F. Clasen mathias@tellerup.dk ,
        Max Oelschlaeger Oelsch@prodigy.net ,
        Maya Lessov mayalessov@yahoo.com ,
        Michael Austin austinm@newmanu.edu ,
        Michelle Scalise Sugiyama michelle_scalise@hotmail.com ,
        Miguel Conde miguel.conde@oglobo.com.br ,
        Mike Fonte mike.fonte@gmail.com ,
        Mogens Olesen olesen@hum.ku.dk ,
        Nadia Zaboura zaboura@mfg.de ,
        Nancy Aiken aikennancy@yahoo.com ,
        Nancy Easterlin neasterl@uno.edu ,
        Gaspar Nemes nemesgaspar@catv-sonar.hu ,
        Nicholas F. Pici nickpici@gmail.com ,
        Nick Cavallo npcavallo@yahoo.com ,
        Nick Gillespie gillespie@reason.com ,
        P.M. Hejl hejl@mefo.uni-siegen.de ,
        Craig T. Palmer palmerct@missouri.edu ,
        Priyanka Pathak P.Pathak@Palgrave.com ,
        Pauline Uchmanowicz uchmanop@newpaltz.edu ,
        Pete Swirski pswirski@netvigator.com ,
        Peter Bikoulis peterbikoulis@trentu.ca ,
        Robert Funk rnfunk@mgc.edu ,
        Robert Perchan chorea_97@yahoo.com ,
        robin dunbar rimd@liverpool.ac.uk ,
        Robin Fox rfox@rci.rutgers.edu ,
        Robin Headlam Wells R.Headlam_Wells@roehampton.ac.uk ,
        Rudiger Vaas euw@wissenschaft.de ,
        Ruth Berger ruth.berger@em.uni-frankfurt.de ,
        Catherine Salmon Catherine_Salmon@redlands.edu ,
        Priya Shetty priya4876@gmail.com ,
        Simone Winko simone.winko@phil.uni-goettingen.de ,
        Stephen Davies sj.davies@auckland.ac.nz ,
        Steven Brown stebro@sfu.ca,
        Steven Pinker  pinker@wjh.harvard.edu,
        Tamas Bereczkei  btamas@btk.pte.hu,
        Todd Williams  williams@kutztown.edu,
        Tom Dolack  dolack_thomas@wheatoncollege.edu,
        Torben Grodal  grodal@hum.ku.dk,
        Ursula Goodenough  ursula@biology2.wustl.edu,
        Wayne Hall  HALLWE@ucmail.uc.edu,
        William Irons  w-irons@northwestern.edu,
        Wulf Schiefenhoevel  schiefen@orn.mpg.de



Isla de Ons

Isla de Ons

Cita con la Historia - La Falange



Instructivo programa, si bien pasa de puntillas, de modo bastante tendencioso, por un momento crucial de la historia de la Falange: cuando se convierte en una fuerza criminal para organizar asesinatos masivos de personas asociadas al bando republicano, especialmente durante los primeros meses de la guerra civil. Pequeño detalle, con miles y miles de muertos que no constan en el currículum de los falangistas, porque se aplicó allí la desmemoria interesada hasta extremos épicos. Y sigue aplicándose, como se ve.

Aquí la segunda parte—la Falange bajo el franquismo.

Mi periódico de hoy

Nothing Like the Sun

Voy recopilando las referencias de trabajos académicos que me citan, a veces siguiendo los enlaces de Google Scholar. Al menos cuando me consta que en efecto me citan, porque a veces parece que sólo ponga esas referencias para alegrarme la vida, y luego no me encuentro en ellas. O son de pago, con lo cual siguen veladas en el misterio—porque no será el año que viene, sino quizá el siguiente, cuando pague yo por ver qué dicen de mí. En fin, en tiempo siempre las pagamos, estas aficiones. Hoy, al margen de algunas citas en revistas religiosas y teológicas, y sitios paranormales, he encontrado esta referencia de un colega que cita un estudio mío sobre Enrique V de Shakespeare.





Título: Nothing like the Sun: Shakespeare in Spain Today
Autor/es: González Fernández de Sevilla, José Manuel
Grupo/s de investigación o GITE: Shakespeare y el Siglo de Oro Español
Centro, Departamento o Servicio: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Palabras clave: Shakespeare, William | Spain | Translations | Criticism | Productions
Área/s de conocimiento: Filología Inglesa
Fecha de publicación: 28-dic-2012
Editor: Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Cita bibliográfica: GONZÁLEZ, José Manuel. “Nothing like the Sun: Shakespeare in Spain Today”. Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance. Vol. 9, No. 24 (2012). ISSN 2083-8530, pp. 34-52
Resumen: Today Shakespeare is more present in Spain than ever as a result of the critical interest and spectacular growth of his popularity among Spaniards who recognise him as the embodiment of cultural and literary values. Since the celebration of the Seventh World Shakespeare Congress in Valencia in April 2001, Shakespearean scholarship in Spain has provided new ways of understanding the playwright. It has opened up debates on issues which have made possible new scholarly studies, translations and performances that have proved more active and vigorous than ever, and whose effects can be seen in different facets of Spanish culture and life.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/33144
ISSN: 2083-8530
DOI: 10.2478/v10224-011-0014-5
Idioma: eng
Tipo: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Derechos: Copyright © 2012 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Revisión científica: si
Versión del editor: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/v10224-011-0014-5
Aparece en las colecciones:INV - SSO - Artículos de Revistas




sábado, 29 de noviembre de 2014

Lune (5)

Barco que va a un puerto

Barco que va a un puerto

Bibliografía de crítica sobre Samuel Beckett


Procedente de mi bibliografía de crítica literaria, y subida por un alma caritativa (o quizá pirata, vaya usted a saber) a SlideShare:





Por cierto, que nada más este listado ya tiene más de 7.000 visitas que supongo habría que sumar a las de mi bibliografía. Por eso me gusta pensar que, aunque la página principal de la bibliografía tenga menos visitas que antes y rara vez llegan a cincuenta diarias, en realidad recibe una cantidad innumerable de visitas. Literalmente innumerable, o incalculable, si se prefiere—pues está desperdigada en centenares o miles de documentos que o bien tienen su propio contador independiente, como es el caso aquí, o sencillamente no tienen contador.


viernes, 28 de noviembre de 2014

Casas de Galicia 2

Casas de Galicia 2

TWELFTH NIGHT or What You Will


Twelfth Night
from the Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:

Twelfth Night, or What You Will, a comedy by *Shakespeare probably written 1601. John *Manningham saw a performance of it in the Middle Temple in February 1602; it was frist printed in the *Folio of 1623. Shakespeare's immediate source for the main plot was 'The History of Apolonius and Silla' in Barnabe *Rich's Riche His Farewell to Militarie Profession (1581). This is derived from Belleforest's version, which by way of *Bandello can be traced back to a Sienese comedy Gl'Ingannati (The Deceived), written and performed 1531.
Sebastian and Viola, twin brother and sister and closely resembling one another, are separated in a shipwreck off the coast of Illyria. Viola, brought to shore in a boat, disguises herself a youth, Cesario, and takes service as page with Duke Orsino, who is in love with the lady Olivia. She rejects the duke's suit and will not meet him. Orsino makes a confidant of Cesario and sends her to press his suit on Olivia, much to the distress of Cesario, who has fallen in love with Orsino. Olivia in turn falls in love with Cesario. Sebastian and Antonio, captain of the ship that had rescued Sebastian, now arrive in Illyria. Cesario, challenged to a duel by Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a rejected suitor of Olivia, is rescued from her predicament by Antonio, who takes her for Sebastian. Antonio, being arrested at that moment for an old offence, claims from Cesario a purse that he had entrusted to Sebastian, is denied it, and hauled off to prison. Olivia coming upon the true Sebastian, takes him for Cesario, invites him to her house, and marries him out of hand. Orsino comes to visit Olivia. Antonio, brought before him, claims Cesario as the youth he has rescued from the sea; while Olivia claims Cesario as her husband. The duke, deeply wounded, is bidding farewell to Olivia and the 'dissembling cub' Cesario, when the arrival of the true Sebastian clears up the confusion. The duke, having lost Olivia, and becoming conscious of the love that Viola has betrayed, turns his affection to her, and they are married.
Much of the play's comedy comes from the sub-plot dealing with the members of Olivia's household: Sir Toby Belch, her uncle, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, his friend, Malvolio, her pompous steward, Maria, her waiting-gentlewoman, and her clown Feste. Exasperated by Malvolio's officiousness, the other members of the house make him believe that Olivia is in love with him and that he must return her affection. In courting her he behaves so outrageously that he is imprisoned as a madman. Olivia has him released and the joke against him is explained, but he is not amused by it, threatening, 'I'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of you.'
The play's gentle melancholy and lyrical atmosphere is captured in two of Feste's beautiful songs, 'Come away, come away, death' and 'When that I was and a little tiny boy, / With hey, ho, the wind and the rain'.



Twelfth Night (1996 film version, dir. Trevor Nunn): 


Twelfth Night, dir. Kenneth Branagh:









 

Wilde (1997)





Y un documental de la BBC  sobre Oscar Wilde:


Henry V Prologue [1944 Olivier Film]

miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2014

KEPLER 186F - Alien planets revealed

En mi área

También aparece mi bibliografía entre los recursos de mi área de conocimiento —en mi propia universidad. Para que luego digan que uno no es profeta en su tierra, si es que ésta es mi tierra. Que también soy yo un poco noman of noland.

BMM

Y oigan, no estoy en mala compañía—con la Cambridge History of English and American Literature, con la bibliografía de la MLA. Ésta, por cierto, acumuló entre 1926 y 1962 menos registros que mi bibliografía. Ahora es un poquito más voluminosa—pero no la ponen de acceso libre, miren cómo son.




martes, 25 de noviembre de 2014

Becoming Human Documentary

Isaac Newton: The Last Magician



Isaac Newton: The Last magician at IMDb

and at BBC2: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rwgmw

& the BBC media centre: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/15/newton-pi

Secret Life of Isaac Newton (HD) - New Full Documentary

Estoy en Philology

Figuro citado desde hace años, creo que como única fuente española, en el artículo "Philology" de la Wikipedia. Bueno, también remiten a una asociación de filólogos de la Complutense. Pero quiero decir que no está mal, aunque sea la Wikipedia. Cualquier día me dedican un artículo monográfico.

Ahora he encontrado ese artículo en Scribd, y me permito reinsertarlo aquí...

Vaya, va el dueño y lo borra. Pues saco pantallazo del artículo de la Wikipedia, sección enlaces externos.






lunes, 24 de noviembre de 2014

Surfacing to the sun

Surfacing to the sun

Drama from the beginning of the eighteenth century

British drama c. 1700-1950—from the first edition of David Daiches' Critical History of English Literature:


As we have seen in Chapter 1, the Restoration dramatic works persisted for some time after the political and social conditions that bred it had disappeared before gradually giving way to a more moral and more sentimental kind of drama. The charting of the course of eighteenth-century drama is a tedious business, for, with a few exceptions, it is a drama of very little literary interest or quality. Indeed, this can be said for the great bulk of English drama between Congreve and Shaw. The drama was never to recover the central position it held in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. The rise of the novel was partly responsible for this, as was the growing power of the theatrical manager, who decided what plays were to be accepted and, by putting on only what he thought could be relied on to appeal to popular taste, put the hack entertainer above the man of letters, thus eventually creating a damaging divorce between the theater and the creative literary minds of the age. Theatrical history after the seventeenth century has no necessary connection with literary history. True, the eighteenth century was an age of great actors and actresses, but their very acting skill had a blighting effect on the drama as literature, for they depended more and more on their virtuosity and less and less on the material with which they were provided, exploiting their abilities and personalities rather than the potentialities of the plays: it was the beginning, in a sense of the star system, which has done so much harm in our own time. Several paradoxes resulted from this situation. Shakespeare was regularly performed and was immensely popular, but the Shakespearean repertoire of the eighteenth century was a theatrical rag-bag of patched and "improved"plays and parts of plays which would horrify a modern producer. The reaction among serious critics was to lead them to see the true Shakespeare as a writer of closet plays, and the ignoring of Shakespeare's theatrical skills by men of letter went on through much of the nineteenth century. The dominance of the theater in the eighteenth century and the ignoring of the theatrical tradition in literary dramatic criticism in the nineteenth were equally harmful. It was all part of the divorce between art and entertainment which has been such a disturbing feature of modern culture. The dominance of the manager was part cause and part effect of the dominance of the audience; the audience dominated because a playwright was now dependent on the audience, rather than on aristocratic or royal patronage, for his success. The same can be said of the public for novels and other literature, but the effects here were not harmful in the same way, partly because the audience for literature was wide and more varied and at its best more intelligent than the audience for acted drama. There was a real drop in the intelligence of theater audiences in the eighteenth century, for reasons which are complex and not easily formulated.

Jeremy Collier's Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698) was effective as an attack on the immorality of the drama because it coincided with a rising tide of bourgeois opinion. Restoration drama was written for a homogeneous audience of court wits who looked with equal contempt on London merchants and country squires. But the homogeneity of theatrical audiences was rapidly giving way to something much more mixed; the rising middle classes, who have featured so often in the preceding chapters, were buying their way into the squirearchy and the aristocracy, and the same situation which led Addison and Steele to write essays to provide a cultural surface for Londoners seeking to move with some assurance in society led to the theaters being filled by people who did not quite know whether to be titillated or shocked by the Restoration ethos. The drama reflected this uncertainty. Instead of the witty play between the sexes in which the conflicting claims of security, reputation, and sensual appetite were balanced against each other in a fundamentally amoral manner, we find indecency and innuendo in the first four acts being replaced by repentance and moral sententiousness in the fifth, which was a way of having one's cake and eating it. This transitional and hybrid kind of comedy soon gave way to a kind more thoroughly sentimental and moral. These terms can be variously defined, but in this context "sentimental" implies the mixing and even interrupting of action with frequent displays and expressions of pity and other emotions indicating a tender mind and a heart easily moved, while "moral" means the equally frequent expression of edifying generalization, sometimes self-congratulatory, sometimes reproving, as well as a plot calculated to show virtue rewarded and vice frustrated. It is easy to be condescending about the influence of bourgeois morality on the drama, but we must remember that all great literature has a true moral pattern and the amorality of Restoration comedy, however brilliantly it might show, was based on a shallow and cruel view of life on which no truly great art coul be founded. Our condescension is inevitable, however, because the morality in so many early eighteenth-century plays is laid on so crudely and thickly and is not adequately realized in the texture of the work as a whole. Richard Steele, who made a genuine and praiseworthy effort to replace the hollow moral world of Restoration drama by something with more humanity and decency, produced four comedies (including The Tender Husband, 1705, and The Conscious Lovers, 1722) which are of interest because of the determined belief in the essential goodness of the human heart which they display, and the manner in which he manipulates the action to illustrate this belief, but though there are moments of tremulous emotion and intense pathos, as well as some lively dialogue and comic incidents, the plays are not true comedy in any acceptable sense of the term; they have not the wit of Congreve, the power of Ben Jonson, or the golden combination of humor and wonder we find in Shakespeare's "middle comedies"; they are of interest as indications of a trend rather than as fully realized works of dramatic art.

How strong the trend was, how deep-seated the popularity of sentimental drama in the eighteenth century, and to what an extent a strong moral and sentimental coloring with a plot contrived to reward the virtuous and punish the wicked would compensate in the eyes of contemporaries for literary quality, can be seen in the plays of Richard Cumberland, whose sentimental comedy The West Indian (1771) was immensely popular and is still mentioned respectfully by literary historians. The one good quality this play does have is speed of action: events bowl along at a great pace. But the dialogue, the situations, the characters, the plot, are all preposterous, all simply slick manipulations of what had by long become stock dramatic properties. The hero, a young man from the West indies of good heart but impulsive temperament (rather like Tom Jones) behaves with exaggerated and flamboyant generosity, gets himself involved in ridiculous misunderstandings with the other characters, who are either all equally goodhearted or else thorough villains, and in the end is proclaimed the long-concealed son of the goodhearted merchant in whose house the play opens. The following extract from Act V must serve as a sample of the dialogue:


Belcourt: Keep me no longer in suspense; my heart is softened for the affecting discovery, and nature fits me to receive his blessing.
Stockwell: I am your father.
Belcourt: My father! Do I live?
Stockwell:  I am your father.
Belcourt: It is too much; my happiness o'erpowers me; to gain a friend and find a father is too much; I blush to think how little I deserve you. (They embrace).
Dudley: See, children, how many new relations spring from this night's unforeseen events, to endear us to each other.

Writers of this kind of comedy never achieved a proper kind of stylization. Their plays were set in contemporary society, but the dialogue employed neither the stylized wit of the Restoration dramatists nor a language that was able to sustain any colloquial tone beyond a few intermittent sentences. As soon as the characters got under way they began expressing themselves in long, sententious speeches which are not artificial enough for a purely formal style and not natural enough for the illusion of realism. And the dramatists' horror of what was "low" closed to them a major source of robustness and vigor. It is only after reading many plays of this kind that one can appreciate the comic iconoclasm of Goldsmith and Sheridan in comedies which, though they may appear sentimental enough to modern eyes, were in fact directed against the sentimental gentility in the drama of the time. They had been anticipated in this by occasional satirical comedies—George Colman's Polly Honeycombe (1760) for example—but Goldsmith's The Good Natured Man (1766) strikes more directly at some of the most popular desires of the contemporary dramatists, even though he has his own moments of high sentimentality and he never really mastered the problem of stylization: his dialogue is often as cumbersome as Cumberland's.
she stoopsIn She Stoops to Conquer (1773), Goldsmith did very much better. Trivial though the plot is, and mechanical though the devices are which Goldsmith uses in order to project the humor (a young man thinks he is at an inn when he is really at a private house, and behaves accordingly, to the astonishment and indignation of his host), there is a rollicking ease about the play which had not been seen in English comedy for a long time. It is perhaps an indication of the poverty of eighteenth-century drama that this simple-minded comedy should enjoy the reputation it does, but it does possess genuine comic life. This is even truer of the comedies of Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816). In The Rivals (1775) we can see Sheridan working toward his comic ideal, and trace the Restoration and Jonsonian elements he drew on; it is a spirited play with some lively Jonsonian humors and real comedy of character. Lydia Languish, the girl who is so soaked in romantic fiction that she will not marry unless she can elope under difficulties according to the best novels, is in the same ironic vein as Mark Twain's picture of Tom Sawyer's efforts to romanticize the escape of Jim in Huckleberry Finn; it is simpler and cruder, but it is dramatically achieved. And Mrs. Malaprop, though again a simple satiric conception, looks back, however faintly, to Shakespeare's middle comedies as well as forward to Dickens. The School for Scandal (1777) is Sheridan's masterpiece. It has a strong satirical note which is almost (but never quite) reminiscent of Jonson; but the wit is real, the character drawing vigorous and unsparing, the air of knowing the world as it is (something quite lacking in most eighteenth-century comiedies) genuine and refreshing. And Sheridan has learned how to handle dialogue that has both naturalness and order. The brief "afterpiece," The Critic (1779), intended to be put on after a full-length play, is admirable satire of the vanities and fashions of playwrights and critics and tells us much about the run-of-the-mill eighteenth-century tragedy which nobody now reads.

It is by the parodies of it that eighteenth-century tragedy can be best looked at from the perspective of the twentieth century, for the parodies are at least readable, and in some cases extremely funny. Henry Fielding's Tom Thumb the Great (1730) is hilarious. By the time Fielding wrote, the moralizing, blank verse tragedy, generally conforming to the neoclassic "unities," on a theme from ancient or English history had become so standardized in manner and matter that it was clearly doomed as a dramatic form. Addison's Cato (1714) was the earliest successful play of this kind, a tragedy in end-stopped blank verse (mostly with "feminine" endings) with a minimum of action and a greta deal of complacent speeches about his own virtue by Cato, and a perfunctory love interest hitched on to a play whose real motive is (in Johnson's well-known description) to provide "a succession of just sentiments in elegant language rather than a representation of natural affections, or of any state possible or probable in human life." The whole thing is utterly lifeless, and the blank verse adds no poetic dimension of any kind to the total pattern of meaning. This is how Cato talks:



Then let us rise, my friends, and strive to fill
This little interval, this pause of life
(While yet our liberty and fates are doubtful)
With revolution, friendship, Roman bravery,
And all the virtues we can crowd into it;
That Heaven may say, it ought to be prolonged.
Fathers, farewell—the young Numidian prince
Comes forward, and expects to know our counsels.

When Juba, the "young Numidian prince," comes forward and hears Cato's resolution, he replies:



The resolution fits a Roman senate.
But, Cato, lend me for a while thy patience,
And condescend to hear a young man speak.
My father, when, some days before his death,
He ordered me to march for Utica
(Alas! I thought not then his death so near!)
Wept o'er me, pressed me in his aged arms. . . .

This is a fair sample of the wooden verse in which this lifeless play is written. One need not pursue this kind of tragedy through James Thomson's Sophonisba (1730) to Dr. Johnson's Irene (1749). The wonder is that the mode survived as long as it did.

Another kind of eighteenth-century tragedy aimed at pathos rather than at moralizing dignity. Nicholas Rowe's The Fair Penitent, 1703 (derived from Massinger's The Fatal Dowry), was a fountainhead here; his other tragedies (Jane Shore, 1714, Lady Jane Grey, 1715) wring pathetic scenes out of the predicaments of historical heroines. The verse is the same sort of emasculated Fletcher we saw in Cato:

No, though the royal Edward has undone me,
He was my king, my gracious master still,
He loved me too, though 'twas a guilty flame,
And fatal to my peace, yet still he loved me;
With fondness and with tenderness he dote
Dwelt in my eyes, and lived but in my smiles.

But Rowe's plays have a real emotional pattern, and the pathos, if only pathos, is achieved. The eighteenth-century domestic tragedy, developing a similar kind of pathos from the misfortunes of middle-class characters, is closely related to the kind of play written in Rowe, but the shift in class interest is of the first importance for the future of the drama, for it set the pattern fro more than a century and a half of tragedy. This is the tribulations of ordinary people displayed in a prose drama in which the morality is emphasized by a simple division of characters into black and white and a perpetual uttering of moral platitudes by the good. George Lillo's The London Merchant, or the History of George Barnwell (1731) tells the story of a good apprentice seduced by a wicked woman into, first, robbery of his master, and then, murder of his uncle. The merchant is the epitome of virtue and integrity, as are his daughter Maria (who loves the hapless George Barnwell) and his other apprentice Trueman—indeed, as is Barnwell himself, who is dominated and led astray by Millwood, the thoroughly wicked and cunning she-devil. Barnwell goes to the gallows repentant and sure of grace, after having vainly tried to turn his gallows-mate Millwood to God. His last words are: "Since peace and comfort are denied her here, may she find mercy where she least expects it, and this be all her hell"! Thorowgood, the good merchant, can only let justice take its course, advising his errant apprentice: "Bear a little longer the pains that attend this transitory life, and cease from pain for ever." His normal diction is more orotund, as is his reproof to Barnwell for not turning up one evening (he was in fact in Millwood's clutches): "Without a cause assigned, or notice given, to absent yourself last night was a fault, young man, and I came to chide you for it, but hope I am prevented. This modest blush, this confusion so visible in your face, speak grief and shame. When we have offended Heaven, it requires no more; and shall man, who needs himself to be forgiven, be harder to appease? If my pardon or love be of moment to your peace, look up secure of both." The real interest of the play lies in Barnwell's remorse and repentance. It is a sign of the general wretchedness of English tragedy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that The London Merchant is still discussed with respect by historians of the drama.

The eighteenth century was also the great age of pantomime and of spectacular shows depending on ingenious and abundant use of stage "machinery." The pantomime—developing as a result of converging strains from masque, mime, commedia dell' arte, and dance—was often performed as an afterpiece, but eventually became a full-blown and established form of its own; in the nineteenth century it became a peculiarly English institution. Italian opera was also opopular in England in the early eighteenth century, and it was as a patriotic reaction against it that the ballad-opera developed, set to native airs and written in English. The first and greatest of the ballad-operas is John Gay's The Beggars Opera (1728), discussed in Chapter 2. There were many imitations of Gay's successful ballad-opera produced in the first half of the century; it eventually gave way to the comic opera, where the music is specially composed instead of being taken from traditional airs. There were successful comic operas in the 1760's, and Sheridan's The Duenna (1775), a prose comedy with incidental songs composed by Thomas Linley, enjoyed enormous success. Love and intrigue form the main interest of late-eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century comic opera; it was left to Gilbert and Sullivan to rejuvenate a by then much jaded form by turning it to satiric purposes.

The literary currents of the late eighteenth century affected the drama in various ways, but again the divorce between literature and the theater kept most serious "Romantic" drama off the stage, and again the lack of mutual influence between literature and the theater was harmful to both. Blank verse tragedy on high classical themes gave way as the eighteenth century progressed to a tragedy differing little in technique and moral sententiousness, but using more exotic themes and, like the domestic tragedy, stressing the pathetic. John Home's Douglas (1756) took its subject from the Scottish ballad "Gil Morrice," and Robert Jephson's The Count of Narbonne (1781) is derived from Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto. Stress on the sensational and the pathetic, and the ability to arouse tears as the principal criterion of dramatic excellence ("the ladies in the audience were distinguished by their virtuous distress," one critic remarked), were not conducive to the development of a serious tragedy. Various kinds of rhetorical plays, some with Shakespearean or would-be Shakespearean echoes, and all endeavoring to exploit the emotional moment, were produced at the turn of the century, but few had any success on the stage.

What kept the theater going were melodrama and farce, the former (in the earlier part of the nineteenth century) often with Gothic trimmings and atmosphere. Distressed virtue, hardhearted villainy frustrating innocent love, the manipulation of the action so as to expose and punish the villain, often with the revelation of a concealed crime, and to bring hero and heroine together, all done in a standardized rhetorical speech, became a regular formula for melodrama, which soon moved from the Gothic to the domestic, so that the tradition of Lillo's London Merchant can still be traced. Early nineteenth-century farce is a crude stuff, of no literary interest. Burlesque and extravaganza sometimes had rather more to offer; the latter, as developed by J. R. Planché, Robert Brough, and H. J. Byron, constituted the tradition taken over by W. S. Gilbert in the comic operas he wrote with Arthur Sullivan as composer. The tradition was to combine the supernatural, the gorgeous, and the satirical, to include burlesque and parody on the one hand and light fantasy on the other, while making lavish use of spectacle.

In the comedies of T. W. Robertson (Society, 1865, Caste, 1867, and others) there is a somewhat faint attempt to escape from the mechanical formulations and standardized sentimentalities of earlier nineteenth-century drama and cast an ironic eye on the social life of the time. But Robertson never really escaped from the conventions of his day: his ironies never cut deep, and they are compatible with an acceptance of all the Victorian moral and social commonplaces, but he did look at some contemporary social problems that other Victorian dramatists had wholly ignored. Put beside the domestic melodrama of Tom Taylor (Still Waters Run Deep, 1855), Robertson's plays represent an advance toward a more responsible and serious comedy. But there was no immediate response. The cloying sentimentalities of James Albery's Two Roses (1870) and the combination of melodrama and prettiness in the plays of Sydney Grundy as late as the 1890's show how strong the older tradition was.

With Henry Arthur Jones (1851-1929) and Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), Victorian drama becomes more sophisticated, more technically accomplished, and concerned with moral problems more delicate and more contemporary than those dealt with in nineteenth-century melodrama. Both began in the older style, and worked their way out of it. Jones's The Silver King (1882) is in the sentimental melodramatic manner, brilliantly done in its way, almost the apotheosis of its kind; but Breaking a Butterfly (an adaptation of Ibsen's  A Doll's House), Saints and Sinners (both produced in 1884), The Crusaders (1893), and The Case of Rebellious Susan (1894) are "problem plays" dealing with some of the moral dilemmas of middle-class life. The Case of Rebellious Susan was prefaced by an admonitory letter to Mrs. Grundy. Neatly constructed, with brisk dialogue and an air of knowingness, Jones's plays did not wholly escape from conventions of the melodramatic tradition, which are intermittently recognizable. Pinero's later plays concentrate on problems arising from the relations between the sexes in modern society: The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (1893) is his most serious effort, and the most "modern": it deals with the emerging dilemma of a "woman with a past," and forces the implications of attitudes to women's behavior in a man's world to a disturbing conclusion. But neither Jones nor Pinero were more than skillful theatrical practitioners who grew impatient with the mechanical patterns of drama as they found it and tried to provide novelty and depth by discussing problems of contemporary morality. They had the wit neither of Wilde nor of Shaw, nor did they have the literary imagination or the depth of moral and psychological understanding to be able to present a social problem as a tragic one.

The satirical wit, verbal dexterity, and keen eye for what was vulnerable in contemporary literary fashion, gave the comic operas of W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) a brilliance and a vitality like nothing else on the Victorian stage. H. M. S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance,
(1880), Patience (1881), The Mikado (1885), and others are often thought of as delightful musical fantasies suitable for children, but in fact there is a comprehensiveness and a cruelty in Gilbert's destruction of the conventional romantic world by artful ridicule that strike at the heart of Victorian civilization. This may sound like a pretentious remark to make about a writer who was after all essentially an entertainer and who is generally regarded only as such; but a close look at his work reveals that behind the playfulness, the comic exaggeration, the absurd overemphasis of popular convention, there lies an almost nihilistic sense of the ridiculousness of human emotions and human dignity. It is unlikely that he was really aware of the implications he allowed into his own work, and there can be do doubt that Arthur Sullivan thought of his colleague's plays as nor more than gay and amusing parodies with moments of lyrical feeling to be set in appropriate tuneful music. Sullivan's music, admirably tuneful though it is, and sometimes most amusingly parodying Italian opera, lacks a dimension we find in Gilbert's words.

patience

The plays of Oscar Wilde have more surface brilliance and less genuine satiric undertone. Wilde belonged to the fin de siècle esthetic movement which believed in art less an escape from that as a substitute for life: he acted out his estheticism in his own career, even to the extent of allowing his life to fall into a tragic pattern which he might easily have escaped, because he wanted to be hero in a trial scene and felt impelled to carry the play of his own life to its melodramatic conclusion. Wilde's estheticism was not essentially in conflict with Victorian melodrama; he wanted to subtilize it, just as he wanted to make sensationalism witty. The poets of the nineties who drank themselves to death or otherwise wore out their lives in suicidal poses were, like Wilde, acting out their esthetics. Though Gilbert, in satirizing the movement in Patience, was running together a number of different strains, including the Pre-Raphaelite, he was in essence right in presenting the behavior of the poet Bunthorne as a deliberate pose to shock and impress:


Though the Philistines may jostle, you will rank as an
      apostle in the high aesthetic band,
If you walk down Piccadilly with a poppy or a lily
      in your mediaeval hand.

That was in 1881; it was in the 1890's that the esthetic movement flourished most vigorously. Its members were out to shock, but also to demonstrate a way of life and a way of art (which were identical). The Yellow Book, which ran from 1894 to 1897, was in some degree the organ of these sophisticated and intelligent young men, though it contained a great deal more dull realistic fiction and conventional work of one kind or another than is generally realized and contained nothing by Wilde.

Wilde's plays were not the direct product of those views of arts and life which he expressed in his symbolic story
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) or in his carefully wrought fairy tales. In his comedies he wrote for the theater and for success. He thus took formulae from Victorian farce and melodrama, but treated the dialogue with a polished wit which really removed the whole action into a never-never land of ultrasophisticated stylization. The stylization is the very raison d'être of Wilde's plays. The plots are ridiculous, sometimes degenerating into cheap farce. But the dialogue imposes the order of an ideal wit on the society it portrays. He achieves this most perfectly in The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), a play wrought entirely out of the studied wit of the dialogue, which projects the society of upper-class leisure as an English world so emptied of earthiness and genuine emotional, moral, or physical reality, that it is pure style, a world where action exists in order to make possible the appropriate conversation and where the appropriate conversation is a ballet-like exchange of epigrams. It is not a profound art, if an extremely clever one, and it is not an art that could have any real influence. The tradition of wit which Wilde bequeathed to the modern comedy of manners proved too tenuous as well as too self-sufficient to be usable by others.

Meanwhile, the influence of Henrik Ibsen had been making itself felt in English drama. The propagandizing and translating by William Archer and the enthusiasm of George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) helped to spread the influence but also conditioned the way Ibsen was understood in England. Shaw's study of Ibsen, The Quintessence of Ibsenism (1891), presented the Norwegian dramatist as the exponent of a reforming naturalism with the emphasis on the prose "social plays," such as A Doll's House and Ghosts, and paying much less attention to the more poetic and symbolic plays. Suh a view suited Shaw's own ideas of the function of the drama. Shaw saw the drama as a vehicle for presenting in entertaining and provocative form for his views of the abuses and contradictions of the social order and his suggestions of the true way in which to view human experience and its institutions. His object was to satirize, no the invented characters in the plays, but the audience. "I must warn my readers that my attacks are directed against themselves, not against my stage figures." In his desire to shock rather than to lull, to provoke rather than to amuse, Shaw put into his characters' mouths discussions in which his characteristic wit and love of paradox were given full play. A favorite device of his was to stand the popular view on its head, thus both outraging and titillating his audience. Yet in many respects Shaw took over the idea of the "well-made" play from his predecessors. He had been a dramatic critic for years before he became a dramatist, and his experience in the theater had familiarized him with all the popular tricks of the trade, which he adopted and exploited with considerable virtuosity. Ibsen's great contribution, as Shaw saw it, had been twofold: the presentation on the stage of life as it is really lived in contemporary society, and the introduction of the discussion into drama. His own plays incorporated both features.

Shaw regarded himself as primarily an antiromantic. The romantic view, he claimed, got in the way of people's seeing what really went on in the world, with the result that it made them accept the most appalling horrors in the name of edifying slogans and under the guarantee of social approval. The Swiss soldier in Arms and the Man (1894) behaved as Shaw maintained a soldier actually does behave, not as the conventions of Victorian melodrama would have a soldier behave: the play exhibited what Shaw called "natural morality" as against the "romantic morality" of those who objected to it. But Shaw was too clever to present his natural morality directly. He took the accepted pattern of Victorian melodrama or farce or drawing-room comedy and, at the most effective moment, inverted it, as it were, transposing the parts of the conventional hero and the conventional villain; and then, having done that and having led his audience to believe that this is a revolutionary or an iconoclastic play, he inverts it again, and shows that the conventional hero is, after all, a hero—but in a new sense. This double investion is an immensely successful dramatic device, but it is more than that: it is part of Shaw's technique for making his audience look again and again at the particular situation he is presenting, until they have shed all illusions bred by either convention or by facile anticonventionality. The revolutionary hero of Man and Superman (1903) is built up into a conventional rebellious figure, then laughed at, then restored, in a different way, to his revolutionary status. The theme of this play is the way in which the Life Force works itself out in human affairs in order to improve the race—Shaw was a Lamarckian evolutionist influenced by Samuel Butler, believing that the Life Force cooperated with the individual will to achieve the further development of the human race. But he is least successful as a dramatist when dealing directly with such large themes. Back to Methuselah (1921), which he considered his masterpiece, is pretentious and dull, showing a most undramatic desire to reduce all human life to disembodied speculation.

In his Preface to Plays Pleasant(1898), Shaw wrote: "I can no longer be satisfied with fictitious morals and fictitious good conduct shedding fictitious glory on robbery, starvation, disease, crime, drink, war, cruelty, cupidity, and all the other commonplaces of civilisation which drive men to the theatre to make foolish pretences that such things are progress, science, morals, religion, patriotism, imperial supremacy, national greatness and all the other names the newspapers call them. On the other hand, I see plenty of good in the world working itself out as fast as the idealists will allow it; and if they would only let it alone and learn to respect reality, which would include the beneficial exercise of respecting themselves, and incidentally, respecting me, we should all get along much better and faster." In the same preface, Shaw pleaded for a "genuinely scientific natural history." That is what Shaw considered his plays to present. In the Preface to Major Barbara, he called himself a "professor of natural psychology."
shaw In other words, like so many great innovators in English literature, his cry was "back to nature"—and he used the word "nature" in Pope's and Dr. Johnson's sense of human nature rather than in Wordsworth's sense. Thus there were no conventional heroes and villains in his plays; but neither is there any of the worried pity that we get in Galsworthy's humanitarian plays. Shaw was not concerned with the pity of it: he was concerned to diagnose sham and release vitality. All Shaw's heroes and heroines—Lady Cicely in Captain Brassbound's Conversion, Valentine in You Never Can Tell, Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra, Candida, Major Barbara—stand in their own way for vitality. And often the real villain is not a character in the play, but the audience. For the audience, the average playgoer, represents that thoughtless, complacent, sentimental society which, for Shaw, was responsible for so much distortion of vision and so much evil and suffering. readers of detetive stories have sometimes wondered whether a detective story could ever be written where the murderer turns out to be the reader; Shaw comes near to that in making his audience the true villain of his drama.

This kind of plan succeeds best when it deals with a social problem or situation familiar to the audience or at least recognizable to them as the kind of situation which, in however modified a form, might well arise in their own society. For Shaw, like the great eighteenth-century moralists, believed that generalizations about the society you know best, your own contemporary society, are valid for men at all times, and thus he cheerfully assumed that he understood Caesar or Saint Joan on the basis of modern analogies. But he did not understand them, for he lacked historical imagination; and these characters become in his hands modern Shavian heroes rather than convincing historical characters.

Shwa had his own sentimentalisms and theatricalities, as the character of Eugene Marchbanks in Candida (1895) clearly shows. Further, though he brought a new kind of intelligence to the drama, he did not create—or attempt to create—a new dramatic idiom in which the total dramatic meaning could be fully expressed. His long and detailed stage directions, in which not only the actions of his characters but their states of mind, emotions, tones of voice, and intentions are fully described as though in a novel, confirm by what is suggested by his criticism of Shakespeare—that Shaw had no conception of the drama as a literary art form in which the total pattern of meaning is achieved cumulatively and completely by the language put into the mouths of the characters as they talk to and interact with each other. Detailed psychological stage directions put the burden of conveying meaning onto the actor and producer and help to perpetuate that very dominance of the drama by the theater that Shaw as a dramatic critic had so deplored. Shaw, by challenging the censorship, bringing ideas back to drama, and using plays as a vehicle for intellectual stimulation and provocation, rendered an immense service to English theater. But his plays were not as new as drama as those early twentieth-century critics who talked about the "new drama" considered it to be. The Dutch-born drama critic Jacob thomas Grein founded the Independent Theatre in 1891, and it was the Independent Theatre Society that first presented Shaw to the theater-going public, full of exuberance about the "new drama." This movement was much influenced by Ibsen and sought to make the drama a vehicle for responsible discussion
of modern problems. This is not in itself a dramatic objective. Neither Shaw nor any other Ibsenite worked out an essentially new way of exploring reality dramatically. Shaw's comedy of ideas is full of life and fun; comedies like Major Barbara (1905), Androcles and the Lion (1913) and Pygmalion (1913) are entertaining as well as critical and stimulating; but all this comes from the sparkle of Shaw's mind, not from a fully realized dramatic projection of a complex vision of life. Saint Joan (1923) is in many ways a brilliant play; it is not a tragedy, but a comedy with one tragic scene, and the comedy lies in the way in which Shaw interprets his historical characters in the light of his own modern understanding and preoccupations. He never really comes to terms with the miraculous in this play: he uses it for comic effect and to implement his view that sainthood is mrely inspired common sense, but, though this is amusing and even at first sight convincing, it begs too many questions to be ultimately satisfactory. Hens who have long ceased laying eggs aand suddenly start to lay when Joan appears provide a splendid comic opening to the play; but if miracles are simply natural events presented in such a way as to inspire faith (as Shaw argues), then how does he explain the eggs, or the miraculous change of wind? A miracle cannot be at the same time both a funny stage trick and a profound religious fact. The fact is that Shaw remained an entertainer and a master of all the tricks of the entertainment trade, and his wit and intellectual brilliance was never fully absorbed into a dramatic form of appropriate depth and scope. This is not to say that Shaw was a great writer whose plays do not fit into any accepted category, but rather that he was a dramatist of immense talent and prodigious wit whose limited view of the nature of literary art prevented him from seeing the limitations of his own artistic imagination and so from seeking a dramatic form which could contain all he had to say about man absorbed wholly into the dramatic texture. This is perhaps as much as to say that the greatest drama must be poetic, for it needs the extra dimension of expression if it is to achieve its complex pattern of meaning without expository or discursive glosses by the author.

Shaw's stature is most easily seen if we set his plays beside those by his contemporaries. St. John E. C. Hankin (1860-1909) attempted to deal seriously with the problems of contemporary society, but his plays lack both wit and the sense of life. A more accomplished dramatist was Harley Granville-Barker (1877-1946), whose sensitive and perceptive work as a critic and producer would seem to promise the subtlest kind of art in his own plays; but though a careful intelligence and a fine artistic sense are at work in The Voysey Inheritance (1905) and The Madras House (1910), they are too obviously contrived and lack the air of dramatic spontaneity.

How far technical theatrical skill could combine with a truly cunning exploitation of the sentimental tradition to achieve popularity in the age of Shaw is shown by James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937). Barrie was quite out of touch with the new literary movements of his time, but exploited with determination and professional assurance the emotions, whimsies, and sentimentalities implicit in the Scottish kailyard tradition and in so much Victorian and Edwardian middle-class feeling. He knew what he was doing; he wrought from the outside; as Edwin Muir has remarked, "his softness was really a kind of toughness, and the most deplorable fault of his work is not sensibility run to seed, but obduracy."
The Admirable Crichton (1902), What Every Woman Knows (1908), Dear Brutus (1917) and Mary Rose (1920) are masterpieces of theatrical journalism. They are quite different in intention from John Galsworthy's (1867-1933) humanitarian fables of social and moral worry; such plays as Justice (1910), The Skin Game (1920), and Loyalties (1922) command respect and sympathy for their technical competence and humane feeling, but these two qualities are not enough to make a great dramatist.

For the most part, the mixture of drawing-room comedy and morality play hs continued to provide the ordinary fare of the British theatre-goer. After Wilde and Shaw some degree of wit and some degree of serious concern with the problems of modern social life have become de rigueur, except, of course, for pure knockabout farce or detective plays. Intelligent and skillful dramatists who artfully tailor their stories to the requirements of the theatre have not been lacking in the twentieth century: the tone can vary from sardonic irony to moral concern, the technique from straightforward use of realistically set scenes proceeding in chronological order to the use of flash blacks, single symbolic settings, or even a bare stage. Formulas once accepted are repeated again and again with minor variations.

By far the most interesting development in dramatic literature in the twentieth century has been the revival of poetic drama in the plays of W. B. Yeats (1865-1939) and T. S. Eliot (born 1888). Yeats began by writing dreamy plays on Irish mythological themes, but from the beginning he showed a symbolic power in both action and imagery which suggested levels of meaning that drama had not sought after for a long time. The Countess Cathleen (1892), the story of the Irish countess who sold her soul to save her people, but reached Heaven after all, is languid in movement and has an oddly mixed vocabulary, but its meaning came across clearly enough for it to cause riots among Dublin audiences. Yeats's treatment of the Deirdre story (Deirdre, 1907), concentrates (unlike Synge's in Deirdre of the Sorrows) on  the final moments with a heroic dignity which was part of his view of tragedy. His later plays are based on neo-Platonic and other mystic notions and symbols, and are highly stylized in a manner reminiscent of the Japanese no plays, by which Yeats was considerably influenced. Calvary (1929), The Resurrection (1931), Purgatory (1949), and The Death of Cuchulain (1939) are strangely impressive symbolic plays for the full understanding of which some knowledge of Yeats's symbolic system is necessary but which even without this have a haunting suggestiveness that leads not to mere dreaminess but to ironic contemplation of human psychology and history. The language combines the colloquial and the ritualistic, and it is out of the way the two work together that the irony is distilled. His prose play The Words upon the Window-Pane (1934) stands alone in both theme and treatment; it is a powerful evocation of a few key scenes in the life of Swift.

Yeats's dramatic career transcended the Irish literary movement out of which it grew in the same way as his career as a poet transcended its Irish context. But the Irish background, the Abbey Thatre, the national consciousness, and the view of Irish and Anglo-Irish history are all important for an understanding of how Yeats came to be the kind of dramatist he was. The irish dramatic movement produced a number of humorous or sentimental quasi-realistic plays of modern Irish life. But it also produced, beside Yeats (whose later plays were not intended for the public theatres), the plays of John Millington Synge (1871-1909), including Riders to the Sea (1904), The Playboy of the Western World (1907), and Deirdre of the Sorrows (1910). Synge turned to the speech and imagination of Irish country people to restore vitality to English drmaa. "On the stage," he wrote in his preface to the Playboy, "one must have a reality, and one must have joy: and that is why the intellectual modern drama has failed, and people have grown sick of the false joy of the musical comedy, that has been given them in place of the rich joy found only in what is superb and wild in reality. In a good play every speech should be as fully flavoured as a nut or an apple, and such speeches cannot be written by anyone who works among people who have shut their lips on poetry. In Ireland, for a few years more, we have a popular imagination that is fiery and magnificent, and tender; so that those of us who wish to write start with a chance that is not given to writers in places where the springtime of the local life has been forgotten, and the harvest is a memory only, and the straw has been turned into bricks." Synge deplored the debilitation of urban speech, and sought a vocabulary both poetic and real, both rich and natural. His own plays are not always successful in achieving this combination effectively, though the Playboy succeeds triumphantly as a comedy which is also a profound "criticism of life," while Riders to the Sea is a remarkable dramatic presentation of an elegiac situation redeemed from false pathos by the elemental dignity achieved by the language, and Deirdre of the Sorrows, in spite of its monotony of tone, is an experiment in a new kind of stylized, almost ritualistic, tragedy, that Yeats was to make much of.

Synge's poetic prose based on the speech rhythm of the Irish peasantry provided him with some of the resources of poetic drama. The other significant dramatist of the Irish revival was a purely prose artist. Sean O'Casey (born 1884) used Irish material as Lady Gregory and Lennox Robinson and the other Irish national playwrights did, but in his best plays he used it with a sense of tragic irony, a violent species of humor, and a rich and hightly flavored language that gave his work real dramatic stature. His best play is Juno and the Paycock (1925), which successfully welds tragic melodrama (based in part on the real violence of the civil war), humor of character, and irony of circumstance into an original and impressive unity. The Plough and the Stars (1926) is a symbolic documentary play, tragic in tone, presenting the pattern of Ireland's tragedy. In his later plays O'Casey's own passions and prejudices tend to come between him and the dramatic work he is trying to create, and when in addition he turns to expressionist techniques suggested by German dramatists and by the American Eugene O'Neill the result is generally unsuccessful. The verbal vitality and vivid humor of his earlier plays gave way in his later to conventionally "colorful" language and a rather mechanical verbal symbolism.

T. S. Eliot's poetic dramas represent an attempt to restore ritual to drama in quite a different way from Yeats'.
Murder in the Cathedral (1935) remains the most successful of his plays because the ritualistic element is implicit in the situation; the chorus of women of Canterbury are the archbishop's congregation and the archbishop's central speech takes ita place naturally as a sermon in an ecclesiastical context. But when Eliot moved away from the obviously ritualistic and tried to achieve overtones of myth and ritual in realistic plays of modern upper-class life, the clash of levels is dramatically disturbing. The Family Reunion (1939) is a most interesting attempt to render the theme of the Furies of Greek mythology and drama in contemporary terms.tseliot Eliot modulates the colloquial into the ritualistic and back again with impressive skill; the accents of conversation mingle or alternate with more formal kinds of utterance, choric or incantatory or stylized in one way or another, and the result is to build up a suggestive complex of meaning behind the overt action. But the attempt to deal with a religious-mythological theme in terms of the problems posed by family relationships in a modern country house is not altogether successful. Levels of meaning tend to get in each other's way instead of reinforcing or subtilizing each other. The hero's departure to expiate (in some unnamed way) his guilt is marked by his saying to his mother: "My address, mother, will be care of the bank of London until you hear from me," and this trivial precision about a detail of contemporary financial life tears the symbolic fabric of the action. In The Cocktail Party (1954) Eliot makes an even more strenuous attempt to combine the socially amusing with an underlying Christian-cum-classical symbolism, but the two levels never really come together, or, when they do, the result is likely to be embarrassing, as in the behavior of Sir Herny Harcourt Reilly in The Cocktail Party. The verse in these plays is so chastened and filed away that it is hardly recognizable as verse at all in the theater; it shows how far verse can be brought toward conversational prose without actually falling over the edge—a remarkable balancing feat.

In spite of movements toward new social responsibility and of every kind of technical experimentation in the theatre since the end of the nineteenth century, and in spite of a moderately successful attempt to bring poetry back to the acted drama., it cannot be said that the first half of the twentieth century pointed the way to any real resolution of the problem posed by the gap between art and entertainment which has been growing ever since the Jacobean period. The fragmentation of the audience, which has split the public for all the arts into highbrows, lowbrows, and middlebrows, and which is such a feature of modern civilization, has had more immediate and obvious effect on the theater than anywhere else. True, Eliot's later plays were box office successes, but his attempt to bring together drawing-room comedy and religious symbolism has not, as we have observed, wholly succeeded. The dramatist of the middle twentieth century has also got radio and television to contend with; whether these inventions will prove to be his salvation or his damnation depends on too many factors—social, economic, and educational among others—to invite prophecy.






—oOo—


Estoy en la Biblioteca Universitaria de Sevilla

Estoy en la Biblioteca Universitaria de Sevilla

domingo, 23 de noviembre de 2014

Handel: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato



El oratorio de Haendel "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato" (HWV 55),basado en dos poemas de Milton y otro (terciando) de un imitador.

Aquí una interpretación dirigida por Paul McCreesh:




Y otra versión, de John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir:






Aquí en las Seychelles

Aquí en las Seychelles

En portada en el Philosophy of Science eJournal

Aquí estamos en portada con una nota sobre Stephen Hawking, en la revista electrónica sobre Filosofía de la Ciencia de la Red de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales (SSRN, Philosophy Network).  Y pronto en sus pantallas un artículo sobre El Gran Diseño de Hawking y Mlodinow.

SSRN-POS

Aquí puede bajarse mi artículo sobre "El principio del tiempo" de Hawking.





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Händel: Coronation anthems | Harry Christophers

Gotye - Bronte - official video

Notes on Metafiction - 88p.

Iñigo Ongay, La unidad de España frente a los secesionismos




sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2014

My ORCID QR code

My Orcid QR code



My ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7029-2174

Iñigo Ongay sobre la libertad de expresión



"El fuero interno viene del fuero externo, y no cabe entenderlo de otra manera." Cierto hasta cierto punto—y sin embargo los discursos e instituciones sociales, que vienen "de fuera", se combinan "dentro" a veces de maneras imprevisibles e incalculables, en un sujeto situado en una encrucijada particular de situaciones, instituciones y discuross. Lo cual es en sentido débil si se quiere una generación interna de contenidos. Y por allí se puede justificar esta idea metafísica como "no metafísica", y puede matizarse la tesis un tanto maximalista de esta conferencia—tan maxismalista a su manera como la posición que pretende refutar. Y conste que la he disfrutado mucho, si me sirve de eximente por la crítica.

Wish You Were Here...


Wish You Were Here from Jose Angel García Landa on Vimeo.

viernes, 21 de noviembre de 2014

La política espectacular de JULIO CÉSAR

Unos escritos sobre la tragedia de Shakespeare, ahora en un par de eJournals de la SSRN:


La política espectacular de 'Julio César'


Analizamos la convergencia de espectáculo teatral y política espectacular en la tragedia de Shakespeare Julio César, reseñando la contextualización política en la era isabelina descrita por James Shapiro, y atendiendo a la estética metateatral y reflexiva de Shakespeare. Aparece Julio César a la vez como una reflexión sobre la teatralidad en la política y sobre las posibilidades dramáticas que proporciona para una intensificación de la experiencia teatral.

English Abstract: Spectacular Politics in 'Julius Caesar':

 This paper provides an analysis of the convergence between theatrical spectacle and spectacular politics in Shakespeare's tragedy Julius Caesar. Starting from a review of James Shapiro's contextualization of the play in contemporary Elizabethan politics, the metatheatrical and reflexive aspects of the play are stressed. Julius Caesar is revealed as a reflection both on the theatricality of politics, and on the dramatic possibilities it provides for an intensification of the theatrical experience.


eJournal Classifications : Date posted: November 14, 2014  
CSN Subject Matter eJournals
    
        
            
LIT Subject Matter eJournals
    
        


PRN Subject Matter eJournals
    

        


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Femme qui s'en va

Femme qui s'en va

Mi fotoblog

Mi fotoblog
se puede ver haciendo clic en la foto ésta de Termineitor. Y hay más enlaces a cosas mías al pie de esta página.