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Remembering Patrick White

Contemporary Critical Essays


Edited by Elizabeth McMahon and Brigitta Olubas

Remembering Patrick White presents the first major study of the full range of White’s work in over twenty-five years, and aims to bring this important author up to date for new generations of readers and scholars. Patrick White is a writer of moods and perspectives and the essays collected here range in their focus over his public presentations, his formal challenges, his spiritual leanings and dramatic gestures. They examine the breadth and significance of White’s intellectual contribution and consider the ongoing legacy of his thought and his art within national and international frames. As a collection, they focus our attention on what Patrick White means at the juncture of the present, reading his work through contemporary critical perspectives that further underscore the dynamism and substance of his writing.
Contributors: Bill Ashcroft; Veronica Brady; Bernadette Brennan; Lorraine Burdett; Greg Graham-Smith; John McCallum; Lyn McCredden; Elizabeth McMahon; Brigitta Olubas; Brigid Rooney; Jennifer Rutherford; Anthony Uhlmann.

Say It

The Performative Voice in the Dramatic Works of Samuel Beckett


Sarah West

Central to Samuel Beckett’s literature is a wilful voice which insists on speaking and being heard. Beckett described it as “a truly exterior voice”, and in the plays he separates voice from the body and turns it into an audible character. Previous critical studies have explored the enigma of this voice, its identity, source and location, but little attention has been given to the voice as protagonist. This volume traces the genesis of the performative voice in the early prose and charts its trajectory throughout the dramatic oeuvre in a readable narrative which generates fresh insights into some of Beckett’s most remarkable and impenetrable plays. It examines the use of embodied and acousmatic – ‘out of body’ – voices in the different media of theatre, radio and television; the treatment of voice in relation to music, image and movement; and the ‘shifting threshold’ between the written and spoken word. The analysis comprises a detailed study of dramatic speech and technical aspects of sound reproduction, making it relevant for all scholars and students with an interest in textual and performance issues in Beckett’s drama.

Solo Performances

Staging the Early Modern Self in England


Edited by Ute Berns

In this volume an international cast of scholars explores conceptions of the self in the literature and culture of the Early Modern England. Drawing on theories of performativity and performance, some contributors revisit monological speech and the soliloquy - that quintessential solo performance - on the stage of Marlowe, Shakespeare and Jonson. Other authors move beyond the theatre as they investigate solo performances in different cultural locations, from the public stage of the pillory to the mental stage of the writing self. All contributors analyse corporeality, speech, writing and even silence as interrelated modes of self-enactment, whether they read solo performances as a way of inventing, authorizing or even pathologizing the self, or as a mode of fashioning sovereignty. The contributions trace how the performers appropriate specific discourses, whether religious, medical or political, and how they negotiate hierarchies of gender, rank or cultural difference. The articles cut across a variety of genres including plays and masques, religious tracts, diaries and journals, poems and even signatures. The collection links research on the inward and self-reflexive dimension of solo-performances with studies foregrounding the public and interactive dimension of performative self-fashioning. The articles collected here offer new perspectives on Early Modern subjectivity and will be of interest to all scholars and students of the Early Modern period.


Theo Malekin

Strindberg and the Quest for Sacred Theatre brings a fresh perspective to the study of Sweden’s great playwright. August Strindberg (1849-1912) anticipated most of the major developments in European theatre over the last century. As such he is well-placed to provide perspectives on the current burgeoning interest in sacred theatre. The religious crises of the 19th Century provoked in Strindberg both sharp scepticism about claims to religious authority and a visionary search for truth. Against the backdrop of a major change in European culture this book traces the emergence in some of Strindberg’s late plays of a proto-sacred-theatre. It argues that Strindberg faced the alternatives of a contentless transcendent abyss, threatening the extinction of his ego, or a retreat into conservative theism, reducing him to slavish submission to the commandments and rule of an external father-God. Weaving together theatrical, aesthetic, and theological voices, this book investigates the relationship of the sacred to subjectivity and its implications for Strindberg’s dramaturgy. In doing so it always keeps in view the sense both of loss and opportunity engendered by a turning point in the western experience of the sacred.


Edited by Erik Tonning, Matthew Feldman, Matthijs Engelberts and Dirk Van Hulle

Conrad's Victory

The Play and Reviews


Edited by Richard J. Hand

Basil Macdonald Hastings’s dramatization of Joseph Conrad’s Victory enjoyed a run of over eighty performances at London’s Globe Theatre in 1919 with actor-producer Marie Löhr in the role of Lena. It remains the most successful stage adaptation of Conrad’s fiction and Conrad himself was closely involved in the development of the script.
This generously illustrated volume presents the complete script of Macdonald Hastings’s play, the collected theatre reviews of the production, and the stage censor’s confidential report on the script. The volume also features a substantial introduction placing the original novel and its subsequent dramatization in a stimulating critical and cultural context.

El loco en el espejo

Locura y melancolía en la España de Lope de Vega


Belén Atienza

En el Siglo de Oro, una época marcada por la omnipresencia de la locura (de los reyes locos a sus bufones, de los internos de manicomios a los locos de la baraja del tarot), Belén Atienza ha descubierto que el fascinante y complejísimo debate en torno a la enfermedad mental estaba íntimamente ligado a cuestiones políticas y teológicas. Este ensayo, radicalmente innovador, es el primero dedicado a la locura y la melancolía en el teatro de Lope de Vega. Conocedor de la medicina de su tiempo, los manicomios y las “locuras” de reyes y validos, Lope dramatiza la tragedia de los enfermos mentales con compasión, pero también críticamente. Obsesos sexuales, locas de amor, víctimas de injusticias, tiranos enloquecidos, cortesanos melancólicos ... los personajes de Lope están parcialmente inspirados en su escandalosa vida amorosa y en figuras históricas (Juana La loca, Felipe II, el príncipe Carlos, el duque de Lerma). Una profunda reflexión sobre las relaciones entre locura y política, entre el gobierno de uno mismo y el gobierno de la nación. Marcadamente multidisciplinar, el volumen es de interés para estudiosos de la literatura, el teatro, la historia de España, la psicología, la medicina, la teología y las artes visuales.

Global Changes – Local Stages

How Theatre Functions in Smaller European Countries


Edited by Hans van Maanen, Andreas Kotte and Anneli Saro

Global Changes - Local Stages investigates the relationships between what happened the last twenty years on the ‘world stage’ and how theatre life developed on the local level.
The subject has been approached from three different angles, each covered by one part of the book: “The Effects of Social Changes on Theatre Fields”, “Values in Theatre Politics” and “Localization of Theatrical Values”. The group of authors tries to find the links between these three areas.
The book profits from the fact that the authors come from two sides of the former ‘Wall’. Twenty years after its fall, the transitional processes in countries of the former ‘Eastern Bloc’ can be compared, not only mutually, but also with the changes in the Western part of Europe.
With its 537 pages Global Changes - Local Stages is the most extensive research of the possible relationships between cultural change, theatre politics and theatre life in smaller European countries.


Edited by Mary F. Brewer

This collection of essays focuses on one of Harold Pinter’s most popular and challenging plays, The Dumb Waiter, while addressing also a range of significant issues current in Pinter studies and which are applicable beyond this play. The interesting and provocative dialogues between established and emerging scholars featured here provide close readings of The Dumb Waiter, within relevant cultural and historical contexts and from a range of theoretical perspectives. The essays range over issues of autobiography and theater, genre studies, and the impact of Pinter’s political activism on his dramatic production, among others. The collection is also concerned with the meaning of the play when assessed against other example’s of Pinter’s work, both dramatic and non-dramatic writing.
Each contributor shows a gift for presenting a complex argument in an accessible style, making this book an important resource for a wide range of readers, from undergraduates to postgraduates and specialist researchers. The collection offers essays that approach The Dumb Waiter, from an interdisciplinary perspective and as both a literary and dramatic text. Thus, the book should be of equal significance to those encountering Pinter within the context of English Studies, drama, and performance.

La Littérature face à elle-même

L’Écriture spéculaire de Samuel Beckett


Éric Wessler

Quelles fonctions l’homme occidental assigne-t-il à la littérature ? Quelle légitimité pour la littérature et la fiction dans notre monde ? Pour le découvrir, il fallait la radicalité de Samuel Beckett, dont l’œuvre constitue une mise à nu patiente et progressive des fondements de la littérature.
À travers l’étude de l’autoréférence, de l’autoréflexivité, et de tout ce qui fait de l’écriture de Beckett une écriture au miroir, La Littérature face à elle-même montre que l’auteur de Fin de partie remet à l’ordre du jour une question que déjà posaient Dante, Cervantès et les romantiques allemands, entre autres. La littérature n’a cessé de se mirer, de s’admirer, de se critiquer depuis qu’elle s’est constituée en système. Mais l’autonomie du champ littéraire est un leurre, et l’examen de l’œuvre beckettienne, pourtant si centrée sur elle-même, permet de définir ce qui est exprimé, ce qui est montré dans l’écriture spéculaire : si ce n’est pas le monde, c’est toutefois quelque chose de bien réel…