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Books > Language & Literature > Literature: history & criticism > Plays & playwrights > General

Georg Buchner's Woyzeck (Paperback): Karoline Gritzner Georg Buchner's Woyzeck (Paperback)
Karoline Gritzner
R168 Discovery Miles 1 680 Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

'Everyone's an abyss. You get dizzy if you look down.' -- Woyzeck Georg Buchner's Woyzeck was left unfinished at the time of its author's death in 1837, but the play is now widely recognised as the first `modern' drama in the history of European theatre. Its fragmentary form and critical socio-political content have had a lasting influence on artists, readers and audiences to this day. The abuse, exploitation, and disenfranchisement that Woyzeck's titular protagonist endures find their mirror in his own murderous outburst. But beyond that, they also echo in the flux and confusion of the various drafts and versions in which the play has been presented since its emergence. In this fresh engagement with a modern classic, Gritzner examines the revolutionary dimensions of Buchner's political and creative practice, as well as modern approaches to the play in performance.

The Elizabethan Dumb Show - The History of a Dramatic Convention (Paperback): Dieter Mehl The Elizabethan Dumb Show - The History of a Dramatic Convention (Paperback)
Dieter Mehl
R789 Discovery Miles 7 890 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

First published in English in 1965, this book discusses the roots and development of the dumb show as a device in Elizabethan drama. The work provides not only a useful manual for those who wish to check the ocurrence of dumb shows and the uses to which they are put; it also makes a real contribution to a better understanding of the progress of Elizabethan drama, and sheds new light on some of the lesser known plays of the period.

The Dutch Courtesan (Paperback): Karen Britland The Dutch Courtesan (Paperback)
Karen Britland; John Marston 1
R290 Discovery Miles 2 900 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The Dutch Courtesan is a riotous tragicomedy that explores the delights and perils afforded by Jacobean London. While Freevill, an educated young Englishman and the play's nominal hero, frolics in the city's streets, taverns and brothels, Franceschina, his cast-off mistress and the Dutch courtesan of the play's title,laments his betrayal and plots revenge. Juxtaposing Franceschina's vulnerable financial position against the unappealing marital prospects available to gentry women, the play undermines the language of romance, revealing it to be rooted in the commerce and commodification. Marston's commentary on financial insecurity and the hypocritical repudiation of foreignness makes The Dutch Courtesan truly a document for our time.

Build a Rocket (Paperback): Christopher York Build a Rocket (Paperback)
Christopher York
R267 Discovery Miles 2 670 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

"This isn't the story of Icarus and Daedalus. It's Yasmin and Jack. And we won't fly too close to the sun. We'll fly through the f***er." Yasmin is young and feisty and lives on the edge. A young mum, her Scarborough isn't sandcastles, arcades and donkey rides. She's been dealt a rough hand and has to decide whether to give in or get smart. But can the thing which threatens to ruin her life be the one thing which saves her? Can she still be the architect of her own destiny? An explosive and passionate portrait of a young heroine of our times.

Alfred Jarry - A Pataphysical Life (Paperback): Alastair Brotchie Alfred Jarry - A Pataphysical Life (Paperback)
Alastair Brotchie
R579 R456 Discovery Miles 4 560 Save R123 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

This long-awaited biography of Alfred Jarry reconstructs a life both "ubuesque" and pataphysical. When Alfred Jarry died in 1907 at the age of thirty-four, he was a legendary figure in Paris-but this had more to do with his bohemian lifestyle and scandalous behavior than his literary achievements. A century later, Jarry is firmly established as one of the leading figures of the artistic avant-garde. Even so, most people today tend to think of Alfred Jarry only as the author of the play Ubu Roi, and of his life as a string of outlandish "ubuesque" anecdotes, often recounted with wild inaccuracy. In this first full-length critical biography of Jarry in English, Alastair Brotchie reconstructs the life of a man intent on inventing (and destroying) himself, not to mention his world, and the "philosophy" that defined their relation. Brotchie alternates chapters of biographical narrative with chapters that connect themes, obsessions, and undercurrents that relate to the life. The anecdotes remain, and are even augmented: Jarry's assumption of the "ubuesque," his inversions of everyday behavior (such as eating backward, from cheese to soup), his exploits with gun and bicycle, and his herculean feats of drinking. But Brotchie distinguishes between Jarry's purposely playing the fool and deeper nonconformities that appear essential to his writing and his thought, both of which remain a vital subterranean influence to this day.

Equus (Paperback, 1st New edition): Peter Shaffer, Roy Blatchford, Adrian Burke Equus (Paperback, 1st New edition)
Peter Shaffer, Roy Blatchford, Adrian Burke
R203 R179 Discovery Miles 1 790 Save R24 (12%) Shipped within 4 - 9 working days

Teenager Alan, fought over by a religious mother and an atheist father, finds release in horses, until he is driven to blind them with a spike. Why? While treating the boy, a psychiatrist discovers his own life is paradoxically in the witness box.

Brecht, Turkish Theater, and Turkish-German Literature - Reception, Adaptation, and Innovation after 1960 (Hardcover): Ela E.... Brecht, Turkish Theater, and Turkish-German Literature - Reception, Adaptation, and Innovation after 1960 (Hardcover)
Ela E. Gezen
R1,445 R1,158 Discovery Miles 11 580 Save R287 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Bertolt Brecht died in 1956, but his theory and practice has continued to shape debates about the politics of culture - not only in Germany, but in Turkey as well, where a new generation of intellectuals emerged during a period of liberalization in the 1960s and sought to link culture to politics, art to life, theater to revolutionary practice. Ever since, Brecht has connected two cultures that have become ever more intertwined. Drawing upon archival research and close textual analysis, this study reconstructs how Brecht's thought was first interpreted by theater practitioners in Turkey and then by Turkish writers living in Germany. Gezen first focuses on Turkey in the 1960s, reconstructing theater programming and critical debates in literary journals in order to explore how Brechtian stage productions thematized issues in Turkish politics and cultural affairs. She then traces the significance of Brechtian theater practice and aesthetics for Aras OEren (1939-) and Emine Sevgi OEzdamar (1946-), two important writers, actors, and dramatists who emigrated to Germany. By shedding light on their theatrical involvement in Turkey and East and West Germany, this study not only introduces a new context for comprehending individual works, but also enhances our understanding of the intellectual interchanges that shaped the emergence of Turkish-German literature. Ela E. Gezen is Associate Professor of German at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Translations: York Notes Advanced (Paperback, 2): John Brannigan Translations: York Notes Advanced (Paperback, 2)
John Brannigan
R183 R149 Discovery Miles 1 490 Save R34 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Key Features: Study methods Introduction to the text Summaries with critical notes Themes and techniques Textual analysis of key passages Author biography Historical and literary background Modern and historical critical approaches Chronology Glossary of literary terms

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Paperback): Bertolt Brecht The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Paperback)
Bertolt Brecht; Edited by Non Worrall; Translated by Ralph Manheim
R242 Discovery Miles 2 420 Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

This Student Edition of Brecht's classic satire on the rise of Hitler features an extensive introduction and commentary that includes a plot summary, discussion of the context, themes, characters, style and language as well as questions for further study and notes on words and phrases in the text. It is the perfect edition for students of theatre and literature.Described by Brecht as 'a gangster play that would recall certain events familiar to us all', Arturo Ui is a witty and savage satire of the rise of Hitler -- recast by Brecht into a small-time Chicago gangster's takeover of the city's greengrocery trade. Using a wide range of parody and pastiche - from Al Capone to Shakespeare's Richard III and Goethe's Faust - Brecht's compelling parable continues to have relevance wherever totalitarianism appears today. Written during the Second World War in 1941, the play was one of the Berliner Ensemble's most outstanding box-office successes in 1959, and has continued to attract a succession of major actors, including Leonard Rossiter, Christopher Plummer, Antony Sher and Al Pacino.

Little Echoes (Paperback): Tom Powell Little Echoes (Paperback)
Tom Powell
R246 Discovery Miles 2 460 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

He looked the same as anyone else. Any of the other ones who come in. White boys. So I didn't clock anything different, cos there wasn't anything different. How was I meant to know? Shajenthran's brother has had acid thrown in his face and Shaj is out for revenge. Danielle's teenage crush on a pop idol develops into an illicit relationship, `professional mentoring' becoming something much darker. June has spent twenty years serving the private needs of the super wealthy, but her new assignments confront her with the questions she's spent a lifetime running from. When their paths cross it is not something any of them will forget. Filled with love, coercion, loneliness and obsession, Little Echoes takes you through the city as you've never seen it before. A city of deep shadows, darker intentions, and where anything can change in the night...

Death by Drama and Other Medieval Urban Legends (Paperback, New edition): Jody Enders Death by Drama and Other Medieval Urban Legends (Paperback, New edition)
Jody Enders
R742 Discovery Miles 7 420 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Part of every legend is true. Or so argues Jody Enders in this fascinating look at early French drama and the way it compels us to consider where the stage ends and where real life begins. This ambitious and bracing study explores fourteen tales of the theater that are at turns dark and dangerous, sexy and scandalous, humorous and frightening--stories that are nurtured by the confusion between truth and fiction, and imitation and enactment, until it becomes impossible to tell whether life is imitating art, or art is imitating life.
Was a convicted criminal executed on stage during a beheading scene? Was an unfortunate actor driven insane while playing a madman? Did a theatrical enactment of a crucifixion result in a real one? Did an androgynous young man seduce a priest when portraying a female saint? Enders answers these and other questions while presenting a treasure trove of tales that have long seemed true but are actually medieval urban legends. On topics ranging through politics, religion, marriage, class, and law, these tales, Enders argues, do the cultural work of all urban legends: they disclose the hopes, fears, and anxieties of their tellers. Each one represents a medieval meditation created or dramatized by the theater with its power to blur the line between fiction and reality, engaging anyone who watches, performs, or is represented by it. Each one also raises pressing questions about the medieval and modern world on the eve of the Reformation, when Europe had never engaged more anxiously and fervently in the great debate about what was real, what was pretend, and what was pretense.
Written with elegance and flair, and meticulously researched, "Death by Drama andOther Medieval Urban Legends" will interest scholars of medieval and Renaissance literature, history, theater, performance studies, and anyone curious about urban legends.

Pity (Paperback): Rory Mullarkey Pity (Paperback)
Rory Mullarkey
R238 Discovery Miles 2 380 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Two bombs in one day is a foul coincidence Don't forget the lightning strike A normal day. A person stands in the market square watching the world go by. What happens next verges on the ridiculous. There's ice cream. Sunshine. Shops. Some dogs. A wedding. Bombs. Candles. Blood. Lightning. Sandwiches. Snipers. Looting. Gunshots. Babies. Actors. Azaleas. Famine. Fountains. Statues. Atrocities. And tanks. (Probably). Rory Mullarkey's new play asks whether things really are getting worse. And if we care.

Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Paperback): Michael Y Bennett Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Paperback)
Michael Y Bennett
R164 Discovery Miles 1 640 Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? shocked audiences and critics alike with its assault on decorum. At base though, the play is simply a love story: an examination of a long-wedded life, filled with the hopes, dreams, disappointments, and pain that accompany the passing of many years together. While the ethos of the play is tragicomic, it is the anachronistic, melodramatic secret object-the nonexistent "son"-that upends the audience's sense of theatrical normalcy. The mean and vulgar bile spewed among the characters hides these elements, making it feel like something entirely "new." As Michael Y. Bennett reveals, the play is the same emperor, just wearing new clothes. In short, it is straight out of the grand tradition of living room drama: Ibsen, Chekhov, Glaspell, Hellmann, O'Neill, Wilder, Miller, Williams, and Albee.

The Jew of Malta (Paperback, 3rd New edition): Christopher Marlowe The Jew of Malta (Paperback, 3rd New edition)
Christopher Marlowe; Edited by James R Siemon
R254 R222 Discovery Miles 2 220 Save R32 (13%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Tell me worldlings, underneath the sun, If greater falsehood ever has been done'

"The Jew of Malta," written around 1590, can present a
challenge for modern audiences. Hugely popular in its day, the play
swings wildly and rapidly in genre, from pointed satire, to bloody
revenge tragedy, to melodrmatic intrigue, to dark farce and grotesque
comedy. Although set in the Mediterranean island of Malta, the play
evokes contemporary Elizabethan social tensions, especially the highly
charged issue of London's much-resented community of resident merchant
foreigners. Barabas, the enormously wealthy Jew of the play's title,
appears initially victimized by Malta's Christian Governor, who quotes
scripture to support the demand that Jews cede their wealth to pay
Malta's tribute to the Turks. When he protests, Barabas is deprived of
his wealth, his means of livelihood, and his house, which is converted
to a nunnery. In response to this hypocritical extortion, Barabas
launches a horrific (and sometimes hilarious) course of violence that
goes well beyond revenge, using murderous tactics that include
everything from deadly soup to poisoned flowers. The play's sometimes
complex treatment of anti-Semitism and its relationship to
Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice "remain matters of continuing scholarly reflection.

This student edition contains a lengthy Introduction with background
on the author, date and sources, theme, critical interpretation and
stage history, as well as a fully annotated version of the playtext in
modern spelling.

James R. Siemon is Professor of English at Boston University.

Home Before Night (Paperback, New edition): Hugh Leonard Home Before Night (Paperback, New edition)
Hugh Leonard 2
R207 R164 Discovery Miles 1 640 Save R43 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Our dog, Jack, was anti-clerical ...but my father clung to the theory that the dog simply detested the colour black...' Hugh Leonard's delightful autobiographical evocation of his Dublin childhood in the thirties and forties is like an Irish 'Cider with Rosie' - crammed with people and conversations, rich in poetry, full of love, laughter and rare pleasures.This title captures the poetry and drama of a child's experience of Dublin in the 1930s and 1940s and presents recollections recounted with humour and insight.

Fracked! - Or: Please Don't Use the F-Word (Paperback): Alistair Beaton Fracked! - Or: Please Don't Use the F-Word (Paperback)
Alistair Beaton
R244 Discovery Miles 2 440 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

How would you feel about sitting in front of that nice old village pub on a sunny afternoon while convoys of 40-ton tankers roll past six feet away? Deerland Energy's plans to drill for shale gas in the pretty village of Fenstock are going well. The company is looking at big profits. They can count on the support of distinguished scientists working in university departments funded by the energy companies while at local level, Councillor Pilbeam, Chair of the Planning Committee, seems to be open to lucrative offers. The only slight snag is a ragged band of protesters, reluctantly led by retired academic Elizabeth Blackwood. Surely she's just another 'mad old biddy', as she's characterised by ruthless PR guru Joe Selby. This new razor-sharp black comedy by Alistair Beaton takes a timely look at the conflicted core of planetary energy and earthly power. Fracked! received its world premiere at the Chichester's Minerva Theatre on 8 July 2016.

The Memory of Water (Paperback, Revised): Shelagh Stephenson The Memory of Water (Paperback, Revised)
Shelagh Stephenson; Edited by Steve Lewis
R242 Discovery Miles 2 420 Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

This was all right Stephenson's first play and opened in London in 1996, winning the "Olivier Award for Best Comedy" that year.""

Three sisters meet on the eve of their mother's funeral; as the conflicts of the past converge, everyday lies and tensions reveal the particular patterns and strains of family relationships. Teresa is seemingly content with her second marriage and health food business though she is an obsessive organizer to the point of extremes. Mary is a vaguely discontented successful doctor with an equally successful lover Mike, who is, alas, married. Catherine is the youngest and most immature and binges on shopping for inappropriate clothes, go-nowhere love affairs, and drugs. There's also the about to be buried mother who returns to haunt her three daughters in order to ensure everything is alright with the three of them before she is laid to rest.

Stephenson's story is a tragedy, peppered with laughter, about mothers and daughters who fail to successfully navigate the troubling shores of love and antagonism and also tend to fail in establishing healthy and enduring connections with sisters and lovers.

This Student Edition features the full text of the play and an introduction that includes a plot summary and a discussion of the themes, characters, structure, language, style and production history of the play. Notes on words and phrases in the text, questions for further study and a bibliography provide students with everything they need to study and appreciate this award-winning play.

Nation, Community, Self - Female Voices in Scottish Theatre from the Seventies to the Present (Paperback): Gioia Angeletti Nation, Community, Self - Female Voices in Scottish Theatre from the Seventies to the Present (Paperback)
Gioia Angeletti
R416 R359 Discovery Miles 3 590 Save R57 (14%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days
Boots (Paperback): Jessica Butcher, Sacha Voit Boots (Paperback)
Jessica Butcher, Sacha Voit
R246 Discovery Miles 2 460 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

I always wanted to be a pharmacist because I thought it would give me the chance to do patient care, but in reality I spend more time counting out pills than I do talking to people. I never thought it would be this... Alone. When Willow is not providing 'excellent customer service' she talks to Liz, a customer who has a habit of leaving her husband in the utility room. They are from different backgrounds, different generations and seemingly entirely different worlds. But they find something in common: their love of trees... and their loneliness. As the roots of their past entwine, they realise that the time for silence is over. A funny, heartbreaking adventure through forests, friendship and Femfresh that reveals the loneliness of age and the power of Mother Nature. Boots is a new play about inter-generational friendship and finding your voice among the most unusual of company. Bring your advantage card. This edition was published to coincide with the 2019 run at The Bunker Theatre, London.

Signifying God - Social Relation and Symbolic Act in the York Corpus Christi Plays (Paperback): Sarah Beckwith Signifying God - Social Relation and Symbolic Act in the York Corpus Christi Plays (Paperback)
Sarah Beckwith
R602 Discovery Miles 6 020 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

In "Signifying God" Sarah Beckwith explores the most lavish, long-lasting, and complex form of collective theatrical enterprise in English history: the York Corpus Christi plays. First staged as early as 1376, the plays were performed annually until the late 1500s and involved as much as a tenth of the city in multiple performances at a dozen or more locations. Introducing a radical new understanding of these plays as "sacramental theater," Beckwith shows how organizing the plays served as a political mechanism for regulating labor, and how theater and sacrament combined in them to do important theological work. She argues, for instance, that the theology of Corpus Christi in the resurrection plays can only be understood as a theatrical exploration of eucharistic absence and presence. Beckwith frames her study with discussions of twentieth-century manifestations of sacramental theater in Barry Unsworth's novel "Morality Play" and Denys Arcand's film "Jesus of Montreal", and the connections between contemporary revivals of the York Corpus Christi plays and England's heritage culture.

Karagula (Paperback): Philip Ridley Karagula (Paperback)
Philip Ridley
R292 Discovery Miles 2 920 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

A doorway to a new future is ready to open. We are the hinge of that moment. We will let the door swing wide. On a beautiful spring evening - when both moons are full - two teenagers vow eternal love. It is a moment that will have cataclysmic consequences. Not just for them, but for the world on which they live. A world where Prom Night is a matter of life or death, where weapons are grown and trained like pets, and where a chosen few are hearing a voice. A voice that speaks of ... Karagula. Philip Ridley's extraordinary, form-shattering Karagula is a play of epic proportions. Written in a fractured timescale, it explores our constant need to find meaning. To believe we're here for a reason. To have faith in something. Faith in ... anything. Karagula received its world premiere on 10 June 2016 at a secret London location in one of the largest productions ever staged in the Off-West End.

Butler Plays 2 - Airbag; I'll Be the Devil; Faces in the Crowd; Juicy Fruits; 69; Do It! (Paperback): Leo Butler Butler Plays 2 - Airbag; I'll Be the Devil; Faces in the Crowd; Juicy Fruits; 69; Do It! (Paperback)
Leo Butler
R414 R392 Discovery Miles 3 920 Save R22 (5%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Butler Plays: Two brings together a selection of Leo Butler's work, currently both published and previously unpublished, covering the years 2007 to 2013. It showcases his incredible variety in style and tone, and brings together some of his best-loved works alongside some of his lesser known pieces. Airbag (Royal Court, Rough Cuts, 2007) an old woman is lying on her death bed, imagining that she is being terrorised by gorillas. Butler's play is an exploration of death and the dying. I'll Be The Devil (RSC/Tricycle Theatre, 2008): With a poetic fearlessness, Leo Butler looks at what happens when a brutal foreign power is in intimate and callous contact with the primitive heart of an ancient society. Faces in the Crowd (Royal Court Theatre, 2008): Faces in the Crowd is a darkly comic play that offers a unique insight into twenty-first century London and the debts we accrue in the wake of seeking out our ambitions. Juicy Fruits (Paines Plough and Oran Mor, 2011): a one-act comedy set in a coffee shop in which two old friends from university meet again after many years. 69 (Natural Shocks Theatre Company; Pleasance, 2012): a series of 69 short vignettes, all on the subject of sex, offering a glimpse on a whole range of issues surrounding sexuality. Do It! (Royal Court, Open Court Season, 2013) is an unsettling journey through the secrets and innermost thoughts of a group of pedestrians, unwittingly watched over by a violent force. The volume includes an introduction by the playwright.

Sarah Kane's "Blasted" (Paperback, Annotated edition): Helen Iball Sarah Kane's "Blasted" (Paperback, Annotated edition)
Helen Iball
R345 Discovery Miles 3 450 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

"Blasted" has been labelled as one of the landmark plays of post-war British theatre, achieving its iconic status and, indeed, its notoriety, very quickly. Sarah Kane's suicide in 1999 consolidated a process of singling-out that had begun four years earlier with the 'national outrage' initiated by the media's scandalised response to the premiere of "Blasted". The brutal content of the play resulted in much-quoted hostility from the critics. Academic attention to the play has begun a process of re-evaluation, debating the production and reception of the play and key issues including its status as a classic example of 'in-yer-face' drama.This guide provides a comprehensive critical introduction to "Blasted", giving students an overview of the play's significance, a brief biography of Sarah Kane and a guide to socio-political background; a detailed analysis of the play's structure, style and characters; an analysis of key production issues and choices; an overview of key productions from the 1995 Royal Court premiere to today; and a chapter exploring possibilities and exercises for practical work on the play. An annotated guide to further reading highlights key secondary material including useful websites.These guides provide accessible, informative critical introductions to modern plays for students in both Theatre/Performance Studies and English. Offering up-to-date coverage of a broad range of key plays throughout modern drama, the guides include accounts of performance history, production analysis, screen adaptations and summaries of important critical approaches and debates.

Eighteenth-Century Authorship and the Play of Fiction - Novels and the Theater, Haywood to Austen (Hardcover): Emily Hodgson... Eighteenth-Century Authorship and the Play of Fiction - Novels and the Theater, Haywood to Austen (Hardcover)
Emily Hodgson Anderson
R2,537 Discovery Miles 25 370 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

This study looks at developments in eighteenth-century drama that influenced the rise of the novel; it begins by asking why women writers of this period experimented so frequently with both novels and plays. Here, Eliza Haywood, Frances Burney, Elizabeth Inchbald, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen explore theatrical frames--from the playhouse, to the social conventions of masquerade, to the fictional frame of the novel itself that encourage audiences to dismiss what they contain as feigned. Yet such frames also, as a result, create a safe space for self-expression. These authors explore such payoffs both within their work through descriptions of heroines who disguise themselves to express themselves and through it. Reading the act of authorship as itself a form of performance, Anderson contextualizes the convention of fictionality that accompanied the development of the novel; she notes that as the novel, like the theater of the earlier eighteenth century, came to highlight its fabricated nature, authors could use it as a covert yet cathartic space. Fiction for these authors, like theatrical performance for the actor, thus functions as an act of both disclosure and disguise or finally presents self-expression as the ability to oscillate between the two, in "the play of fiction."

God & the Gothic - Religion, Romance, & Reality in the English Literary Tradition (Hardcover): Alison Milbank God & the Gothic - Religion, Romance, & Reality in the English Literary Tradition (Hardcover)
Alison Milbank
R1,622 Discovery Miles 16 220 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

God and the Gothic: Romance and Reality in the English Literary Tradition provides a complete reimagining of the Gothic literary canon to examine its engagement with theological ideas, tracing its origins to the apocalyptic critique of the Reformation female martyrs, and to the Dissolution of the monasteries, now seen as usurping authorities. A double gesture of repudiation and regret is evident in the consequent search for political, aesthetic, and religious mediation, which characterizes the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and Whig Providential discourse. Part one interprets eighteenth-century Gothic novels in terms of this Whig debate about the true heir, culminating in Ann Radcliffe's melancholic theology which uses distance and loss to enable a new mediation. Part two traces the origins of the doppelganger in Calvinist anthropology and establishes that its employment by a range of Scottish writers offers a productive mode of subjectivity, necessary in a culture equally concerned with historical continuity. In part three, Irish Gothic is shown to be seeking ways to mediate between Catholic and Protestant identities through models of sacrifice and ecumenism, while in part four nineteenth-century Gothic is read as increasingly theological, responding to materialism by a project of re-enchantment. Ghost story writers assert the metaphysical priority of the supernatural to establish the material world. Arthur Machen and other Order of the Golden Dawn members explore the double and other Gothic tropes as modes of mystical ascent, while raising the physical to the spiritual through magical control, and the M. R. James circle restore the sacramental and psychical efficacy of objects.

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