Cover image for SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, Vol. 14: Shaw and the Last Hundred Years Edited by Bernard  F. Dukore

SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, Vol. 14

Shaw and the Last Hundred Years

Edited by Bernard F. Dukore

BUY

346 pages
6" × 9"
1994

SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, Vol. 14

Shaw and the Last Hundred Years

Edited by Bernard F. Dukore

In 1892 the first production of Bernard Shaw's first play, Widowers' Houses, heralded the birth of modern drama in the English language. One hundred years later a group of Shavians gathered to examine the significance and influence of Shaw's drama in the English-speaking world. The conference, sponsored by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, brought together theater scholars, critics, and artists from Canada, England, Ireland, and the United States. The conference also featured productions of The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet, The Man of Destiny, and Farfetched Tales, each followed by a symposium.

 

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In 1892 the first production of Bernard Shaw's first play, Widowers' Houses, heralded the birth of modern drama in the English language. One hundred years later a group of Shavians gathered to examine the significance and influence of Shaw's drama in the English-speaking world. The conference, sponsored by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, brought together theater scholars, critics, and artists from Canada, England, Ireland, and the United States. The conference also featured productions of The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet, The Man of Destiny, and Farfetched Tales, each followed by a symposium.

The centennial conference not only marked the importance of the event but also stimulated new ways of regarding that historic moment, reexaminations of the significance of Shaw's plays, and explorations of their consequences. Some speakers reevaluated the genesis of the first production of Widowers' Houses and its social, cultural, and theatrical context. Some brought to bear on the subject of Shavian drama recent critical perspectives, such as feminism, deconstructionism, and the type of close textual and intertextual scrutiny seldom accorded Shaw. Others explored his impact in England, America, Ireland, and the Antipodes. Still others examined the relationship of comedy and ideas, subtext, and how this Victorian dramatist remains pertinent today. The conference concluded with a symposium that aimed to assess what might lie ahead for Shaw on page and stage in the next hundred years. This volume records the proceedings of the conference as well as reviews and the continuing checklist of Shaviana.

Contributors are Peter Barnes, Charles A. Berst, Montgomery Davis, Bernard F. Dukore, Martin Esslin, Joanne E. Gates, Nicholas Grene, Christopher Innes, Katherine E. Kelly, Frederick P. W. McDowell, Rhoda Nathan, Christopher Newton, Michael O'Hara, Jean Reynolds, Irving Wardle, Stanley Weintraub, and J. L. Wisenthal.

Bernard F. Dukore is University Distinguished Professor of Theater Arts and Humanities at Virginia Tech. He is the author of several books and editor, most recently, of The Drama Observed by Bernard Shaw (Penn State, 1993).

CONTENTS

NOTICES vii

PREFACE: THE 1992 CONFERENCE: SHAW AND THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS

Bernard F. Dukore 3

PART I: IN THE BEGINNING

1. SHAW DECIDES TO BECOME A PLAYWRIGHT: JULY-DECEMBER 1892

Stanley Weintraub 9

2. THE 9TH OF DECEMBER 1892: GOING TO THE THEATER IN THE NINETIES—A FANTASIA IN THE

MANNER OF SACHEVERELL SITWELL 25

Christopher Newton

3. THE THEATRICAL POLITICS OF ELIZABETH ROBINS

AND BERNARD SHAW 43

Joanne E. Gates

PART II: THE GOSPEL OF BROTHER BERNARD

4. FROM SYMPOSIUM: THE SHEWING-UP OF BLANCO

POSNET AND THE MAN OF DESTINY 57

5. SHAW ON WOMAN SUFFRAGE: A MINOR PLAYER

ON THE PETTICOAT PLATFORM 67

Katherine E. Kelly

6. FROM SYMPOSIUM: FARFETCHED FABLES 83

Jay Tunney

PART III: THE THING THAT HAPPENS

7. THE SHAW FACTOR: RETROSPECTIVE MODERNISM AND BRITISH THEATER 95

Christopher Innes

8. AS KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE: THE SAINTS AND

POETICS OF SHAW AND T. S. ELIOT 105

Charles A. Berst

9. SHAW AND AMERICAN DRAMA 127

Bernard F. Dukore

10. ARMS AND THE MAN AND THE FEDERAL THEATER:

LOVE AND WAR IN TROUBLED TIMES 145

Michael O'Hara

11. SHAW IN THE IRISH THEATER: AN UNACKNOWLEDGED PRESENCE 153

Nicholas Grene

12. A FABIAN DOWN UNDER: SHAW'S PLAYS IN THE ANTIPODES 167

Rhoda Nathan

13. TRIBUTE TO DAN H. LAURENCE 177

PART IV: COMEDIES OF A GENTLEMAN WHO BECAME ELDERLY

14. HAW AT PLAY 191

Peter Barnes

15. TEXT AND SUBTEXT IN SHAVIAN DRAMA 199

Martin Esslin

16. DECONSTRUCTING HENRY HIGGINS, OR ELIZA

AS DERRIDEAN “TEXT” 209

Jean Reynolds

17. SHAW, OUR CONTEMPORARY?—THE CROOKED ROAD TO GENIUS 219

J.L. Wisenthal

18. WIDOWERS' HOUSES: A PLAY FOR THE 1890s AND THE 1990s 231

Frederick P. W. McDowell

19. SHAW: OFF THE ROCKS 241

Irving Wardle

20. SHAW'S THEATER IN OUR NINETIES: BACK TO THE FUTURE? 255

Montgomery Davis

PART V: AS FAR AS THOUGHT DARE REACH

21. FROM SYMPOSIUM: WHAT MAY LIE AHEAD FOR SHAW

AFTER THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS? 265

REVIEWS AND CHECKLIST

REVIEWS

THE PREFATORY SHAW (The Complete Prefaces, Vol. 1: 1889-1913, ed. Dan H. Laurence and Daniel J. Leary) 279

Richard Nickson

THE STAGE'S GENIAL SCOURGE (Bernard Shaw,

The Drama Observed, ed. Bernard R. Dukore) 283

Alfred Turco, Jr.

HOLROYD HUMORIZED (Bernard Shaw: The Last Laugh, by Michael Holroyd) 291

John A. Bertolini

TWO STRIKES AND A HOMER (Transformations and Texts, by Steven Joyce)

Dan H. Laurence

AN INTERNATIONAL VIEW OF SHAW (Bernard Shaw: On Stage, ed. L.W. Conolly and Ellen M. Pearson) 296

R.F. Dietrich

PEN PORTRAIT OF A RUTHLESS REVEALER (Studies in Bernard Shaw, by Jean-Claude Amalric) 301

Michel W. Pharand

A CONTINUING CHECKLIST OF SHAVIANA 305

John R. Pfeiffer

CONTRIBUTORS 327

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