Staging Difference: Cultural Pluralism in American Theatre and Drama

By Marc Maufort | Go to book overview
the most recent examples is the demand by a Yale-based feminist group that the Capretz method, an innocuous French language-learning method, be banned from the curriculum on the ground that it reflects the "macho view of women as presented in French literature" ( Schneck12). Apparently, some pressure groups would like to make theirs the autodafés of Inquisition. The problem with political correctness is that it suffers no contradiction, hence that its sincerity can sometimes be put into question for, as a critic puts it, "the halls of ivy are now patrolled [...] by the guardians of political correctness, and [...] semi-literate students [...] who deploy a brilliant array of blackmail tactics to con a grade" ( Mufson111-13). Oleanna is not a great play, but it was a necessary one. In it Mamet felt the urge to expose what he thought could very well become the Big Brother of the 1990s. Unless, of course, his being a white male playwright automatically disqualifies him from expressing a valid opinion, an ad hominem argument often read in the columns of the proponents of political correctness, which in turn leads to an insidious form of reverse-discrimination, which David Mamet would never allow. Hence the urgency of Oleanna.
Works Cited
Almansi Guido. "David Mamet, a Virtuoso of Invective." In Marc Chénetier, ed. Critical Angles: European Views of Contemporary American Literature. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1986. 191-207.
Barnes Clive. "Buffalo Returns with Al Pacino's Riding Herd." The New York Post 5 June 1981.
Bigsby C. W.E. A Critical Introduction to Twentieth-Century American Drama. Volume III: Beyond Broadway. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985.
_____. David Mamet. London and New York: Methuen, 1985.
Bruster Douglas. "David Mamet and Ben Jonson: City Comedy Past and Present." Modern Drama 33. 3 ( September 1990): 333-346.
Cohn Ruby. New American Dramatists, 1960-1990. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.
Dean Anne. David Mamet: Language as Dramatic Action. London: Associated University Presses, 1990.
Ditzky John. "He Lets You See the Thought There: The Theatre of David Mamet." Kansas Quarterly 12. 4 ( 1980): 25-34.
Freedman Samuel G. The New York Times Magazine 21 April 1985: VI, 32-40.
Gill Brendan, "No News from Lake Michigan." The New Yorker 28 February 1977: 54.
Gussow Mel. The New York Times 19 October 1979: III, 3.
Kroll Jack. "The Muzak Man." Newsweek 28 February 1977: 79.

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