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The Life of the Drama by Eric Bentley
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The Life of the Drama

by Eric Bentley

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This is a nice change from many of the craft books out there, most of which want to give you a set of rules, and often come off as a finger-wagging listen-to-me sort of book. This one is nothing of the sort. It's a philosophical look at the art of theatre, ranging through the history of drama from the ancient Greeks to the modern world (modern in this case being 50 years ago, but what the heck?). The book is a bit dated in the constant use of Freud, but I just kept repeating to myself, at least it's not Jung, and plunged ahead. The author brings up many excellent points, and even when his ideas are questionable, they provide food for thought and allow you to look at theatre in new ways you hadn't thought of before. Some minor bumps in the road from the casual, rather oblivious sexism that characterized the time in which he was writing, but mostly good, solid commentary that asks questions much more than it answers them. Loses a little for the author's determination that we need more melodrama. That seems a doubtful premise, even by his somewhat broader than usual definition of melodrama. ( )
  Devil_llama | Mar 13, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689700113, Paperback)

(Applause Books). "Eric Bentley's radical new look at the grammar of theatre...is a work of exceptional virtue... The book justifies its title by being precisely about the ways in which life manifests itself in the theatre...This is a book to be read again and again." Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -0400)

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