Understanding David Mamet

Understanding David Mamet

Understanding David Mamet

Understanding David Mamet

Synopsis

Understanding David Mamet analyzes the broad range of David Mamet's plays and places them in the context of his career as a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction prose as well as drama.
In addition to playwriting and directing for the theater, Mamet also writes, directs, and produces for film and television, and he writes essays, fiction, poetry, and even children's books. The author remains best known for depicting men in gritty, competitive work environments and for his vernacular dialogue (known in the theater as "Mametspeak"), which has raised the expletive to an art form. In this insightful survey of Mamet's body of work, Brenda Murphy explores the broad range of his writing for the theater and introduces readers to Mamet's major writing in other literary genres as well as some of his neglected pieces.
Murphy centers her discussion around Mamet's most significant plays--Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow, The Cryptogram, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Edmond, The Woods, Lakeboat, Boston Marriage, and The Duck Variations--as well as his three novels--The Village, The Old Religion, and Wilson. A chapter on his numerous essays, including his most anthologized piece of writing, the autobiographical essay "The Rake," reflects Mamet's controversial and evolving ideas about the theater, film, politics, religion, and masculinity. Throughout her study Murphy incorporates references to Mamet's popular films as useful waypoints for contextualizing his literary works and understanding his continuing evolution as a writer for multiple mediums.

Excerpt

The volumes of Understanding Contemporary American Literature have been planned as guides or companions for students as well as good nonacademic readers. The editors and publisher perceive a need for these books because much influential contemporary literature makes special demands. Literature relies on conventions, but conventions keep evolving; new writers form their own conventions—which in time may become familiar.

The word understanding in the titles was chosen deliberately. Many willing readers lack an adequate understanding of how contemporary literature works; that is, of what the author is attempting to express. Although the criticism and analysis in the series have been aimed at a level of general accessibility, these introductory volumes are meant to be applied in conjunction with the works they cover.

Matthew J. Bruccoli, Founding Editor

A decade into the twenty-first century, Professor Bruccoli’s prescience gives us an avenue to publish expert critiques of significant contemporary American writing. The series continues to map the literary landscape and to provide both instruction and enjoyment.

Linda Wagner-Martin, Series Editor . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.