Special characters [electronic resource] : genre and materiality on the modern stage / Sarah Balkin.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan : University of Michigan Press, 
1 online resource (178 pages)
- Drama -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
Ibsen, Henrik, 1828-1906 -- Characters.
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 -- Characters.
Strindberg, August, 1849-1912 -- Characters.
- Electronic books.
- Theater's materiality and reliance on human actors has traditionally put it at odds with modernist principles of aesthetic autonomy and depersonalization. Spectral Characters argues that modern dramatists in fact emphasized the extent to which humans are fictional, made and changed by costumes, settings, props, and spoken dialogue. Examining work by Ibsen, Wilde, Strindberg, Genet, Kopit, and Beckett, the book takes up the apparent deadness of characters whose selves are made of other people, whose thoughts become exteriorized communication technologies, and whose bodies merge with walls and furniture. The ghostly, vampiric, and telepathic qualities of these characters, Sarah Balkin argues, mark a new relationship between the material and the imaginary in modern theater. By considering characters whose bodies respond to language, whose attempts to realize their individuality collapse into inanimacy, and who sometimes don't appear at all, the book posits a new genealogy of modernist drama that emphasizes its continuities with nineteenth-century melodrama and realism.
- Chapter 1: The spectral individual: Ibsen's dead realism
Chapter 2: Imaginary characters: Wilde's unrealized personalities
Chapter 3: Language and materiality: Strindberg's vampiric narrators
Chapter 4: Old new materialisms: Monist dramatury in Strindberg's The Black Glove
Chapter 5: Modernist afterlives: Genet, Kopit, Beckett.
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 158-177) and index.
Description based on information from the publisher.
- Michigan Publishing (University of Michigan), issuing body.
- Publisher Number:
- 10.3998/mpub.10152084 doi
- Access Restriction:
- Restricted for use by site license.
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