The Flower and the Castle: An Introduction to Modern Drama

By Maurice Valency | Go to book overview

The Flower and the Castle

AS we look back over the history of the drama in the last half-century, Ibsen and Strindberg seem at the same time surprisingly far away and disconcertingly near, like figures within reach of the hand, seen through the wrong end of a glass. It is astonishing to consider that out of two great wars, a long series of social and political cataclysms, and the unexampled widening of the horizons of knowledge, so much new subject matter has come into being, and, insofar as the drama is concerned, so few ideas.

Four trends, it was suggested in the beginning, have principally affected the course of modern drama: naturalism, impressionism, symbolism, expressionism. These words are not only embarrassingly imprecise, but, beyond a certain point, their associations are meaningless. In terms of those who principally expressed these tendencies: Zola, Ibsen, Maeterlinck, and Strindberg--to say nothing of Dumas and Sardou--our view of modern drama may be brought into a sharper focus, but one cannot be certain that had these authors not written, the drama of our day would have presented a

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The Flower and the Castle: An Introduction to Modern Drama
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Tragedy and Comedy 11
  • The New Drama 58
  • Realism 91
  • Ibsen 118
  • Strindberg 238
  • The Flower and the Castle 363
  • Notes 405
  • A Selected Bibliography 429
  • Index 445
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