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Book Reviews Hampton has taken great pains with various problems of production . He provides detailed description (with illustrations) of how the stage should appear, and his stage directions address technical matters which are important to an effective production, such as the manipulation of the Shakespeare bust in A Dressing Room Secret. At the end of the play, there are explanations showing actors how to perform the strait jacket escape and other tricks necessary for the Houdini scene, and there she also provides thumbnail descriptions of the chief characters of the play which, in combination with illustrations of them, can help the actors and actresses who will tackle the roles. Such help is necessary, for this play presents something of a challenge to a cast. The thirty-eight speaking roles fall to a cast of eight: the elder Shaw, the younger Shaw, three actors, and three actresses. Thus, six people divide thirty-six roles among themselves. Actor Two, for example, plays three different medical doctors, a clerk in Townshend's land office, G. K. Chesterton, Henry George, Sidney Webb, Conan Doyle, Beerbohm Tree, and Albert Einstein. The actresses have fewer roles (one plays a maid, Annie Besant, Charlotte PayneTownshend , and Mrs. Pat, while another plays only Beatrice Webb and Ellen Terry), but these characters have many lines and long speeches that demand much memorizing. However, since the play provides an opportunity for diversely talented actors and actresses to display their range, one would think that they would appreciate a vehicle worthy of their efforts. Hampton's GBS & Company is truly "A Biographical Celebration ." The multifaceted personality of GBS, the liberal samplings of his wit, and the engaging byplay between him and his contemporaries (and his younger self) make for a very enjoyable experience in the theater. I for one look forward to seeing the play on the stage. Fred D. Crawford Central Michigan University Conrad's Avatars and Self Reflexive Urges Joseph Dobrinski. The Artist in Conrad's Fiction: A Psychocritical Study. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989. 178 pp. $39.95 DOBRINSKI VIEWS CONRAD'S Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo, "The Secret Sharer," Under Western Eyes and Victory from an unorthodox Freudian angle. He starts from the assumption that 363 ELT: Volume 33:3 1990 Conrad was struggling with "an accursed inheritance to be subdued at the cost of profound anguish and excessive toil" (Dobrinski quoting Conrad, Heart of Darkness)—an inheritance of guilt at having left an oppressed Poland and of warring allegiances to his father, Apollo Korzeniowski, the ardent revolutionary and messianic idealist, and to his uncle Thaddeus Bobrowski, an advocate of restraint and pragmatism . Dobrinski, not very originally, sees the shades of these two men as prompting Conrad's moral and intellectual dichotomies—and, more originally and more venturesomely, as inspiring a subconscious or preconscious internal dialogue on the aesthetic necessities of novelwriting . In his argument onomastics—sometimes tenuous, sometimes felicitously employed—play a not inconsiderable part. His claims, unlike others in his camp, are modest. In his postface he pleads "to having used Freud's hypotheses in nonimperialistic, nonesoteric, undogmatic ways, and to having sought to avoid a reductiveness incompatible with the critical treatment of highly imaginative, elaborate literary productions." Dobrinski's statements on Conrad's aesthetic self-reflexion are always anchored in speculations on the Korzeniowski-Bobrowski heritage. These, therefore, may be commented on first to highlight the main course of the argument. In his chapter on Heart of Darkness, Dobrinski contends that in shaping Kurtz Conrad subconsciously (preconsciously?) reshaped his grievances against the avatar Korzeniowski. In Dobrinski's vision Conrad equates Kurtz with Apollo, the negro tribes with the Polish lower classes, and the Intended with his mother, Evelina. The Harlequin is the boy Conrad, and Marlow is "a maturer double" of the young Russian. The shallow pragmatism of Bobrowski is reflected in the attitudes of the Chief Accountant ("an unmistakable" identification ), the accountant on the Nellie, the brickmaker, the Brussels lawyer and the Brussels journalist. In the avataristic tug of war it is the Korzeniowski avatar that achieves a Pyrrhic victory. In Lord Jim Dobrinski finds Stein another version of Apollo (with an admixture of Bobrowski rationalism), a version diametrically opposed to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 363-369
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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