A Study of the Modern Drama: A Handbook for the Study and Appreciation of the Best Plays, European, English and American, of the Last Half Century

A Study of the Modern Drama: A Handbook for the Study and Appreciation of the Best Plays, European, English and American, of the Last Half Century

A Study of the Modern Drama: A Handbook for the Study and Appreciation of the Best Plays, European, English and American, of the Last Half Century

A Study of the Modern Drama: A Handbook for the Study and Appreciation of the Best Plays, European, English and American, of the Last Half Century

Excerpt

A Study of the Modern Drama is a handbook for use in connection with the reading of a representative group of the most important plays of the outstanding dramatists of modern times. The period covered comprises, roughly speaking, the epoch dating from the days of Ibsen's activity to the present time.

The book is a guide and to a certain extent a history of a movement extending over all Europe and America which, so far as we are now able to determine, is destined to be regarded as one of the most fruitful and interesting in the entire history of the drama. To classify each type of play and to trace every stream that contributes to the vast ocean of modern drama would not only be an unwise attempt, but an impossibility. It is my aim simply to set before the reader a summary of the lives and achievement of some sixty of the dramatists who have shaped the modern drama form.

These particular dramatists are selected because of the significance of their contributions to the art of the theater. Plays are written to be acted, and if our study of these plays is based on the assumption that they are read and not witnessed in a theater, it is only because most of them are no longer produced. But most plays -- many critics to the contrary notwithstanding -- lose little or nothing in the reading, and some are more effective between the covers of a book than they are behind the footlights.

A Study of the Modern Drama is a handbook of inductive study. Each play is considered as an independent work of art, and such problems and questions of art or technique as are suggested by it are treated as they arise. There are many books . . .

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