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

ELT: Volume 33:4 1990 From evocative shots of the Irish peasantry and the stark Irish countryside , to a snapshot of Rilke looking very precious in a goatee and brandishing his pince-nez at Rodin's villa, to a high angle long shot of two anonymous young men having a conversation—while seated on a window sill—in Genoa, 1933, Shaw's photographs are unfailingly interesting both in themselves and for the reflections they provide of Shaw's imagination, or in the editors' words, for what we "see with Shaw's eyes." The two audiences will find themselves joined in the best piece collected here, Shaw's appreciation of the photographer, Frederick H. Evans, whom Shaw portrays as an eccentric bookshop proprietor "lurking in the darkest corner at the back," having "acquired the habits and aspect of an aziola . . . watching for his prey." Shaw's imaginary meeting between Evans and the Dean of an English Cathedral, "a dignitary compared to whom the President of the United States is the merest worm," is a characteristically delightful comic scene. In one of the articles reprinted here, Shaw says that the "decisive quality in a photographer is the faculty of seeing certain things and being tempted by them." Shaw was tempted strongly by photography itself for a good twenty years, and Bernard Shaw on Photography provides a good record of his temptation, fall, and redemption thence, courtesy of its editors Bill Jay and Margaret Moore. One final note: the editors indicate that one of the twenty boxes of Shaw's photos held at the London School of Economics contains pictures from stage productions of Shaw's plays (!)—"probably not by Shaw," they opine. The history of Shaw's first stage productions might be added to immeasurably by this box, and one hopes that theater historians and Shavians will be able to get at it—and find out which pictures of his productions if any were taken by Shaw himself. John Bertolini Middlebury College The Neglected Plays of G.B.S. Alfred Turco, Jr., ed. Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. The Neglected Plays, 7. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1987. vii + 368 pp. $25.00 MOST AUTHORS PUBLISHED IN THIS VOLUME have a great advantage over us: their attention is devoted mainly to the plays— sometimes obscure—they write about. To make an honest evaluation, 480 Book Reviews readers and reviewers must acquaint themselves with the whole lot. In this situation, too, the term "neglected" seems to need redefining. To be at all useful, "neglected" must imply that the plays undeservedly lack appropriate attention. Many of the essays in this volume quote Shaw himself as—wrongheadedly—deprecating some of these plays' value. In fact, one of the pieces in this volume is Jonathan Kalb's interesting collection of otherwise fairly inaccessible Shaw comments, "Shaw on Shaw's Neglected Plays: Fanny's First Play, On the Rocks, Geneva." KaIb, however, does not reject G.B.S.'s opinions of G.B.S., as do many of these writers. Their low opinion of Shaw's self-knowledge notwithstanding, Shaw seems a better judge of his own work; in most cases the plays he himself disparaged are plays that posterity has consigned to limbo, works that seem not undeservedly "neglected." Some of the other plays dealt with here certainly have not lacked critical or theatrical attention, hence the term "neglected" fails to apply. But let us set aside the debatable term "neglected," for reappraisals are always in order—new views are needed for new times— and this collection offers some new and interesting vistas by both wellknown Shaw critics and promising newcomers to the critical scene. Charles A. Berst writes "The Man of Destiny: Shaw, Napoleon, and the Theater of Life." Shaw wrote the play for Richard Mansfield, who refused it, with Ellen Terry in mind for the major female role. Shaw called it "hardly more than a bravura piece to display the virtuosity of the two principal performers." Berst dismisses these facts by a confusion he then clears up. He confuses the notion of writing a part for a particular performer with the notion of modelling a character upon that performer. Shaw described...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 480-487
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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.