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The Death of Character : Perspectives on Theater after Modernism - Elinor Fuchs

The Death of Character

Perspectives on Theater after Modernism

Paperback Published: 1st June 1996
ISBN: 9780253210081
Number Of Pages: 240
For Ages: 22+ years old

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"Extremely well written, and exceedingly well informed, this is a work that opens a variety of important questions in sophisticated and theoretically nuanced ways. It is hard to imagine a better tour guide than Fuchs for a trip through the last thirty years of, as she puts it, what we used to call the 'avant-garde.'" -- Essays in Theatre

..". an insightful set of theoretical 'takes' on how to think about theatre before and theatre after modernism." -- Theatre Journal

"In short, for those who never experienced a 'postmodern swoon, ' Elinor Fuchs is an excellent informant." -- Performing Arts Journal

..". a thoughtful, highly readable contribution to the evolving literature on theatre and postmodernism." -- Modern Drama

"A work of bold theoretical ambition and exceptional critical intelligence.... Fuchs combines mastery of contemporary cultural theory with a long and full participation in American theater culture: the result is a long-needed, long-awaited elaboration of a new theatrical paradigm." -- Una Chaudhuri, New York University

"What makes this book exceptional is Fuchs' acute rehearsal of the stranger unnerving events of the last generation that have -- in the cross-reflections of theory -- determined our thinking about theater. She seems to have seen and absorbed them all." -- Herbert Blau, Center for Twentieth Century Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

"Surveying the extraordinary scene of the postmodern American theater, Fuchs boldly frames key issues of subjectivity and performance with the keenest of critical eyes for the compelling image and the telling gesture." -- Joseph Roach, Tulane University

..". Fuchs makes an exceptionally lucid and eloquent case for the value and contradictions in postmodern theater." -- Alice Rayner, Stanford University

"Arguably the most accessible yet learned road map to what remains for many impenetrable territoryan obligatory addition to all academic libraries serving upper-division undertgraduates and above." -- Choice

"A systematic, comprehensive and historically-minded assessment of what, precisely, 'post-modern theatre' is, anyway." -- American Theatre

In this engrossing study, Elinor Fuchs explores the multiple worlds of theater after modernism. While The Death of Character engages contemporary cultural and aesthetic theory, Elinor Fuchs always speaks as an active theater critic. Nine of her Village Voice and American Theatre essays conclude the volume. They give an immediate, vivid account of contemporary theater and theatrical culture written from the front of rapid cultural change.

Industry Reviews

Treating theater as a crucial mediating term between the heterogeneous fullness of life and the clarifying abstractions of theory and as a grounding principle in a period of conflicting or dissolving truths, Fuchs (Yale and Columbia) demonstrates in this sage and sane examination of postmodern theater (especially in the US) why she is one of the most astute observers of the contemporary scene. As a critic she brings to this perceptive, dense study not only insights of sheer brilliance but historical perspective (including samplings of her own reviews and articles, 1979-93) and contextual overview rare in contemporary critical writing. Although clearly supportive of trends challenging more traditional approaches in theater, she remains objective and balanced throughout. She provides illuminating analyses of work by such artists as Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Reza Abdoh, Elizabeth LeCompte, and Suzan-Lori Parks, among others, and such influential theorists as Jacques Derrida. Arguably the most accessible yet learned road map to what remains for many impenetrable territory, Fuchs' book, heavily theoretical but constantly anchored to specific performances, is an obligatory addition to all academic libraries serving upper-division undergraduates and abovD. B. Wilmeth, Brown University, Choice, December 1996

Introduction
Modern Retrospect
Character: Its Rise and Fall
The Mysterium and the Re-Allegorization of Modern Drama
Reading Against the Grain
Theater After Modernism
Signalling Through the Signs: Thinking Theater After Derrida
Play as Landscape: Another Version of Pastoral
Staging the Obscene Body
Theater as Shopping
Postmodernism and the ÆSceneô of Theater
Reviews and Articles 1979É1993: Accounts of an Emerging Aesthetic
1979 Des McAnuffòs Leave it to Beaver is DeadRichard Schechneròs The Balcony
1982 Andrei Serbanòs The Marriage of Figaro
1983 The Death of Character
1985 Peter Sellarsòs The Count of Monte Cristo
1986 Robert Wilsonòs Alcestis
1988 Elizabeth LeCompte and The Wooster Groupòs Frank Dellòs The Temptation of Saint Antony
1989 Misunderstanding Postmodernism: Joanne Akalaitisòs Cymbeline
1993 The AIDS Quilt and The Performance of Mourning
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253210081
ISBN-10: 0253210089
Series: Drama and Performance Studies
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st June 1996
Publisher: INDIANA UNIV PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.39

Earn 87 Qantas Points
on this Book