04. AmLitDrama[1] - MODERNISM IN AMERICAN DRAMA EUGENE...

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MODERNISM IN AMERICAN DRAMA EUGENE O’NEILL SUSAN GLASPELL THE BLACK PLAYWRIGHTS
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2 Modernist Drama in Europe Two trends in modernist drama: The first: - demonstrative, declarative, expressive, - ironical, occasionally absurdist - to see with a clear vision, to define the problems - to break free of convention - to proclaim in their own often very idiosyncratic way the truth
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3 Types of Modernist Drama Late-naturalist drama of Germany Shaw’s plays in England Early absurdists in France Italian and Russian Futurism Expressionist drama at large Much of Dada and Surrealism Individual elements in Brecht
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4 American examples The Provincetown Players founded in 1915 by George Cram Cook, Susan Glaspell’s husband To provide a venue for a specifically American drama in a concomitant relation with the American people The structure, dialogue, and staging could exhibit various degrees of “making it new”, but the art of Provincetown Players remained connected with life
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5 George Cram Cook /1883-1924/
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6 The Provincetown Players “One thing we’re in need of is the freedom to deal with life in literature as frankly as Aristophanes. We need a public like his, which has the habit of thinking and talking frankly of life. We need the sympathy of such a public, the fundamental oneness with the public” (George Cram Cook in a letter to Susan Glaspell quoted in her biography The Road to the Temple , 1927).
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7 The Provincetown Players The prewar works represented an early form of modernism “A cultural transformation of everyday life” through thematic and technical breaks with the past
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8 Types of Modernist Drama The second type: - oriented more towards things structural and technical and linguistic - the intimate, the oblique, the implied, the elusive, the subdued, the symbolic Maeterlinck, Hofmannsthal Chekov Yeats Lorca
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9 Expressionist Drama A hybrid form Attempted to reject representation of surface reality in favor of a depiction of inner, subjective states of emotion and experience Visual and emotional qualities often featured an element of distortion, exaggeration, or suggestive symbolism A dream-like or nightmarish quality to the action
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10 Expressionist Drama The effects of mechanization and urbanization resounded in the complex syntax and telescopic dialogue of the characters Characters, with the exception of the central character, often appeared as abstracted types or caricatures
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11 Expressionist Drama Music and sound effects helped communicate the varying emotional states of the play’s focal characters; used as substitutes for words and action Tended to reject a linear, sustained exposition of story in favour of a rapidly changing sequence of short scenes dissolving one into the other in cinematic fashion Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal
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Eugene O’Neill /1888-1953/ Eugene O’Neill /1888-1953/ 12
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13 O’Neill’s Contribution Eugene O’Neill
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2011 for the course LITERATURE 105 taught by Professor Stevens during the Winter '11 term at Mitchell Community College.

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04. AmLitDrama[1] - MODERNISM IN AMERICAN DRAMA EUGENE...

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