Missing Persons

Essays on Character and Characterization in Modern Drama

Title Details

Pages: 240

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 04/01/2011

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3852-1

List Price: $27.95

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Missing Persons

Essays on Character and Characterization in Modern Drama

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  • Description
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In the hands of the twentieth century’s most innovative dramatists, characters have revealed their identities on stage in a variety of unconventional ways: they speak with electronic voices or engage in solipsistic monologues; they are lost in self-conscious third-person forms of communicating; or they are expressed simply as movement, sound, and decor. Missing Persons is a study of character and its representations on the modern stage. Within broad literary contexts, William E. Gruber addresses specific questions about the dramatis personae of the playwrights Gordon Craig, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Berhard, and Maria Fornes. Gruber attempts to restore “character” to the current discourse by developing a vocabulary for discussing it in plays in which conventional terms seem insufficient or irrelevant.

At a time when notions of the unified self have become increasingly untenable, a book that purports to ‘restore [the study of] character to dramatic criticism’ is likely to encounter difficulties. But inasmuch as Gruber focuses on character in modern drama as the definition or redefinition of ‘subjectivity, identity, [and] selfhood’ on the stage, readers may feel that he sets out to ‘restore’ to dramatic criticism a central component of its discourse.

Comparative Drama

About the Author/Editor

WILLIAM E. GRUBER is a professor of English and adjunct professor of theater studies at Emory University. He is the author of Comic Theaters: Studies in Performance and Audience Response (Georgia), Offstage Space, Narrative, and the Theatre of the Imagination, and On All Sides Nowhere: Building a Life in Rural Idaho.