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

212 BOOK REVIEWS Ibsen slavishly. At one point, asking Archer's pardon for what he was afraid Archer would take as a sneering reference to Ibsen, he writes: "It would not, of course, matter a row of pins [pun on his surname?] if I did sneer at Ibsen and all his works, but I would rather not be suspected of being capable of doing so" (p. 164). At another point, he criticizes The Master Builder as a shadowy and unconvincing play, saying, "Ibsen may be as symbolic as he pleases but he ought to make me feel the truth of the signs" (p. 148). In declining to review Little Eyolf for Fortnightly Review he confesses inability to "approach a dissection of that drama" with cordiality, fearing that thus his criticism "might appear not only unappreciative but, to some people's minds, quite ungenerous" (p. 165). It seems evident that what respect he had for Ibsen's works was based on the early realistic plays and not the later more symbolic ones. One letter to Archer happily corrects an error of fact or implication in earlier books. Several writers have assumed, on the slight basis of audience reaction to The "Mind the Paint" Girl, that Pinero's reputation declined sharply around 1912. But the playwright himself explains that a booing, hissing claque had been planted in the opening night audience by a rival manager who thought the play an attack on one of his actresses (p. 239). Mr. Wearing has verified this detail in an interview with Marie Lohr, actress in the original performance. Although it is disappointing not to find certain hoped-for crucially illuminating letters - for instance, explaining Pinero's decision to turn from acting to playwriting, or accounting for the change in his art in the four or five years between The Profligate and The Second Mrs. Tanqueray - the omission is not Mr. Wearing's. (It is also slightly disappointing not to find an illustrative sample of Pinero's handwriting.) His undertaking to collect the letters in the first place and his careful editing represent a distinct service to those who wish to know more about a great period in the history of the English theatre. wALTER LAZENBY Eastern Illinois University ENSAYOS SOBRE EL TEATRO MODERNO, by Jose Ramon Cortina. Madrid: Editorial Gredos, S.A., 1973. 142 pp. 100 pesetas. The present publication is a collection of essays on modern theatre. The volume is divided into three sections. The first contains a general discussion of the dramatic theories of Gordon Craig, Jacques Copeau and Bertolt Brecht; the second is a study of Perez Galdos' theatrical adaptations of some of his famous novels and a controversial and inconclusive attempt by Cortina to resolve the case of Edward Sheldon's suspected plagiarism of one of Galdos' plays, La loca de la casa. The third section gives a descriptive account of Max Reinhardt's activities , his production of Sumurun in New York and the impact of the Abbey Theatre and some professional companies on the American stage. It also contains twelve pages on the life of actor and director, Orson Welles. The author seldom goes beyond informative synthesis; the exception is perhaps his study of Galdos' theatre in Chapter 2. This same study, however, invites questions as to whether it is appropriate to dedicate 35 pages to Perez BOOK REVIEWS 213 Gald6s (great as a novelist, but unimpressive as a playwright) in contrast to only a skimpy treatment of such major theatrical figures as Strindberg, Brecht and O'Neill (only 30 pages for the three together). Unconvincing is the word for the comparison Cortina makes between Edward "Ned" Sheldon's The Boss (presented in Detroit in 1911) and Gald6s' drama, La loea de la easa (Madrid, 1892). Cortina recognises that Sheldon followed closely the structure, plot and characters of the Spanish play. He acknowledges that "la sospecha de plagio puede surgir, debido al extremo paralelismo" and goes on to prove this "extreme parallel"; however, his conclusion is somewhat contradictory: on one hand he contends that it is difficult or impossible to prove that "The Boss es un arreglo 0 adaptaci6n de la obra escrita por Gald6s"; on the other hand he...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5286
Print ISSN
0026-7694
Pages
pp. 212-213
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
No
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.