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Man and Superman
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140437886, Paperback)How tantalizing to hear Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler's List) but not be able to see him! And hear him one does in his role as Jack Tanner, the antihero of Shaw's 1905 classic drama Man and Superman. Fiennes is a veritable mouthpiece--and a frequently sarcastic one at that--for the burning issues on Shaw's philosophical and social laundry list: the state of the English working class, the arms race, women's rights, unwed mothers, the evils of industry and capitalism, and English morality in general. The seriousness of the discussions is tempered by delightful Shavian wit ("There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it."), which prevents the dialogue from collapsing under its own weight, although it does teeter at times. The four-act play, directed by the esteemed Peter Hall for BBC Radio, begins in the English countryside and ends in the mountains of Spain after a curious detour to Hell, where, in act 3, the famous dream sequence unfolds and the main characters take on such roles as Don Juan and the Devil to further hash out the meaning of existence, the definition of life force, and the power of the female sex. This is a spirited production of Shaw's imperfect but intellectually challenging work. (Running time: 225 min; four cassettes)
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:44:25 -0500)
"John Tanner is horrified to discover that he is the object of Ann Whitefield's ambitions in her search for a satisfactory husband. For Tanner, political pamphleteer and independent mind, escape is the only option. But Ann is grimly resigned to society's expectations and ready for the chase." "In this caustic satire on romantic conventions, Shaw casts his net wide across European culture to draw on works by Mozart, Nietzsche and Conan Doyle for his re-telling of the Don Juan myth. As Stanley Weintraub comments, it was Shaw's ability to combine popular comedy with intellectual seriousness that made Man and Superman 'the first great twentieth-century English play', and one that remains a classic expose of the eternal struggle between the sexes."--BOOK JACKET.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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