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Modern Irish Drama [Norton Critical Edition]…
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Modern Irish Drama [Norton Critical Edition]

by John P. Harrington

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Toted this on our Ireland adventure, as usual other entertainments intervened so all my reading was at home. It must be said that I am in the camp that believes drama fully belongs to the stage, and can never measure up as pure literary pleasure. The flow just isn’t there. I'll return to this, but for now I've sampled a few: (1)Two, short, one-act plays by Lady Gregory - "Spreading the News" and "The Rising of the Moon". Enjoyed the latter the most, with its interesting twist. Author was co-founder of the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin, collaborator of W.B Yeats; (2) "The Playboy of the Western World" by J.M Synge, not so grand as the title implies. Village folk are oddly attracted to a stranger's murderous claim. Becomes a bit madcap but I can imagine it caused a stir when first performed; (3) "The Quare Fellow" by Brendan Behan, set in an Irish prison in which gossip and emotions run high in anticipation of a hanging. The theme that strikes me is one of man's phenomenal capacity for both cruelty and compassion at once. Fairly engaging, had me imagining the mixed reception upon its 1954 debut.
This volume also includes well known works by Bernard Shaw and Brian Friel, both of which I'll read. One real bonus to this book is the "Backgrounds and Criticisms" at the back, with numerous period reviews and other writing about each author and their works. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Jun 12, 2018 |
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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