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Arnold Wesker revisited

Author: Reade W Dornan
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1994.
Series: Twayne's English authors series, TEAS 506.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this penetrating reexamination of one of Britain's preeminent "Angry Young Men," Reade W. Dornan looks at Wesker's plays (particularly those written since 1970) from a 1990s perspective, seeking to restore balance to the critical consensus on Wesker and to underscore the important role he has played in the development of English theater. Illuminating the areas of discord between Wesker and theater circles and
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Dornan, Reade W.
Arnold Wesker revisited.
New York : Twayne Publishers ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c1994
(OCoLC)624465899
Named Person: Arnold Wesker; Arnold Wesker
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Reade W Dornan
ISBN: 0805770313 9780805770315
OCLC Number: 29844920
Description: xvii, 168 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Contents: Ch. 1. Discovery as an Angry Young Man --
Ch. 2. Debts to the Court --
Ch. 3. Theatre, Why? --
Ch. 4. Distinctions, Intimidations, and Hysteria --
Ch. 5. Two Roots of Judaism --
Ch. 6. The Women in Wesker's Writing --
Ch. 7. A Sense of What Should Follow.
Series Title: Twayne's English authors series, TEAS 506.
Responsibility: Reade W. Dornan.

Abstract:

In this penetrating reexamination of one of Britain's preeminent "Angry Young Men," Reade W. Dornan looks at Wesker's plays (particularly those written since 1970) from a 1990s perspective, seeking to restore balance to the critical consensus on Wesker and to underscore the important role he has played in the development of English theater. Illuminating the areas of discord between Wesker and theater circles and critics - from the internal politics of the ill-fated Centre 42, a cooperative enterprise for working-class artists, to the actors' mutiny of the 1971 Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Journalists - Dornan judiciously mixes Wesker's responses to such biases with critical commentary on the plays themselves, from characterization to the broader social issues Wesker addresses.

Chronicling the influence of his Jewish background on his writing, Dornan observes that Wesker has evolved into what she calls a melancholy humanist - a shift in perspective for which a broad segment of the left-leaning literary establishment has never forgiven him. Dornan argues that Wesker has found his voice as a humanist, as a champion of individual rights and human values, while defending the causes of the dispossessed, and that it is not his political alignment so much as a Jewish humanist philosophy that shapes his thoughts. Dornan ultimately observes that, as the playwright himself has said, Wesker's plays come out of his own experience, establishing him as a thoughtful writer who has stubbornly defied being pigeonholed - be it as heir to Osborne's existential worldview or as a "socialist playwright" - to carve out his own place in the British theater.

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