In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews CHARLES A. CARPENTER. Modern Drama Scholarship and Criticism 1966-1980: An International Bibliography. Toronto: University ofToronto Press 1986. pp. xxxv. 587. $80.00. Because of the absence of an authoritative modem drama bibliography. many of us have had to spend (too) much time examining annual issues of numerous bibliographies and indexes, all of which have shortcomings. Obviously. Modern Drama Scholarship and Criticism fills a need, at least for a fifteen-year period. In MDS&C, CharJes A. Carpenter, the house bibliographer of Modern Drama since 1974, makes our search shorter and easier by - well, divide by fifteen, divide again by the number of works one would ordinarily have to consult for this period, then subtract (however you can) the material they do not record. The hours thus saved measure less than our total indebtedness to him. In a general Table of Contents, MDS&C lists entries by national or linguistic groups and gives each a Table of Contents, with (using American Drama as example) such subdivisions as To the 1930s, The 19305and World War 11. and Afro-American Drama and Theatre. The arrangement is sensible and clear. Also judicious is the solution to listing Garcia Lorca under G or L. GranvilIe Barker under G or B: he cross-references both. Using Ibsen as a logical starting point, Carpenter indicates that he has screened "over 1,600 journals, many thousands of books, and countless reference works." The result is 27,295 entries. The Germanic dominates (over 5,000), followed by French, Eastern Europe. and British-Irish (almost 4,000 each); next, American and Hispanic (almost 3,000 each). Asia has few entries (381), probably as Carpenter notes because its theatre is more perfonnance-oriented than literary-oriented. For practical reasons, he limits MDS&C to materials in Roman-alphabet languages. For quick reference, he prints an Index to Playwrights, with the most frequently studied dramatists in boldface. Apart from showing the emphases of the fifteen-year 588 Book Reviews period (one wonders whether the next fifteen years will have Saraka and Hochhuth, say, in boldface), this device also shows who has been neglected. One envisions the emergence of dissertations, articles, and books on such unboldfaced dramatists as Crommelynck, Hankin, Rice, Stein, and Zangwill (who coined the term "The Melting Pot" in his play of that title about immigrants in America), as wen as on unfamiliar writers in boldface (for example, Cankar, none of whose entries is in English). But perhaps my imagination is too vivid: the immediately premodern Ostrovsky has yet to make a major critical or theatrical impact in the English-speaking world. MDS&C chiefly chronicles drama, not theatre, though depending on relevance to a play Carpenter is flexible enough to include material on the latter, and he is permissive for major dramatists. He defines dramatist as a writer of at least one stageable play (Hemingway qualifies) but not of TV or radio plays unless the author is important (Beckett and Pinter, for instance). Others may quarrel with his motto "When in doubt, include"; I don't. Nor do I dispute such entries as John Simon's article in Hudson Review (1975) on Shaffer's Equus, a play I loathe, since Simon's piece is more an analysis than a review. I've picked only a few nits. Grotowsky, who is not a dramatist, is included; but Randolph Goodman's From Script to Stage (1971), which has useful interviews with Peggy Ashcroft on Hedda Gabler and Mary Morris on Desire Under the Elms, is not. Since oversights are inevitable and since MDS&C is computerized, Carpenter promises to supplement significant omissions (as he does his annual MD Bibliography) by incorporating them in future compilations. Write to him at SUNY-Binghamton. In brief, this Bibliography is indispensable for any library with pretensions to decency. Since the price, as hardback books go these days, is relatively inexpensive, individual scholars too might consider the investment worthwhile. BERNARD F. DUKORE, VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE & STATE UNIVERSITY ALAN WARREN FRIEDMAN , CHARLES ROSSMAN and DINA SHERZER, eds, Beckett Translating/Translating Beckett. University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press 1987. Pp. 245, illustrated. $24.95. RUBY COHN, ed. Beckett: Waiting for Godot. Casebook Series. London: Macmillan 1987. Pp. 216. £20; £6.95(PB). There is...


Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.