Mimetic Disillusion: Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and U.S. Dramatic Realism

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9780817308384: Mimetic Disillusion: Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and U.S. Dramatic Realism

Mimetic Disillusion reevaluates the history of modern U.S. drama, showing that at mid-century it turned in the direction of a poststructuralist "disillusionment with mimesis" or mimicry.


This volume focuses on two major writers of the 1930s and 1940s--Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams--one whose writing career was just ending and the other whose career was just beginning. In new readings of their major works from this period, Long Day's Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh, The Glass Menagerie, and A Streetcar Named Desire, Fleche develops connections to the writings of Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, and Michel Foucault, among others, and discusses poststructuralism in the light of modern writers such as Bertolt Brecht, Antonin Artaud, and Walter Benjamin. Fleche also extends this discussion to the work of two contemporary playwrights, Adrienne Kennedy and Tony Kushner. The aim of Mimetic Disillusion is not to reject "mimetic" and "realistic" readings but to explore the rich complexities of these two ideas and the fruit of their ongoing relevance to U.S. theatre.
 

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From the Back Cover:

Mimetic Disillusion reevaluates the history of modern U.S. drama in general and the dramatic art of O'Neill and Williams specifically, showing how at mid-century drama in America shifted away from representational theatre, toward a poststructuralist "disillusionment" with mimesis. The book focuses on two major writers of the 1930s and 1940s - Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams - one whose writing career was just ending and the other whose career was just beginning. In new readings of their major works of this period, Long Day's Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh, The Glass Menagerie, and A Streetcar Named Desire, Fleche develops connections to the writings of Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, and Michel Foucault, among others, and discusses poststructuralism in the light of such modern writers as Bertolt Brecht, Antonin Artaud, and Walter Benjamin.

About the Author:

Anne Fleche is Assistant Professor of English at Boston College.

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