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Reviews 285 this sets up a rich series of such dualities throughout the text which can be understood only with some knowledge of European art and thought. Beckett’s emptinesses are crammed with content. To see the metaphor­ ically rich encounters of Solness and Hilde in Ibsen’s T he M a ster B uilder which, from the very names of this couple on, similarly create and sustain a great wealth of cultural reference as somehow initiating an evasive pattern of verbal games between the characters that, Kennedy proposes, peters out in the mannerist clichés of Pinter’s N o M an ’s L an d, is drasti­ cally to misunderstand how Ibsen’s duologues function within his dramas. One simply cannot set aside the intellectual universe of a major writer if one is to offer an account of his work! It is obvious that I hold to such a different idea as to the nature of dramatic art than does Mr. Kennedy, that it is impossible for me to be impartial about his book: but the issue our quarrel raises is of funda­ mental importance for dramatic interpretation. For those of his cast of m ind (and they probably are in the majority) his study will provide much entertainment and pleasure. His style is clear and unpretentious; he intrepidly carves his duologues out of the most heterogenous texts (he even gives himself the thankless task of trying to extract significant duologues from Hamlet and the obstinately unresponsive Horatio!) and his lack of ideological interests at least frees him from ideological bias. His book is destined to be considered as the definitive account of “the duologue of personal encounter” because few others will be as convinced as himself of the importance of this approach to the intricate art of drama. BRIAN JOHNSTON B eiru t U niversity C ollege Dennis Bartholomeusz. T h e W in ter’s T ale in P erform an ce in E n gland a n d A m erica, 1611-1976. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Pp. xv + 279. 55 illus. $44.50. Book length performance histories of individual Shakespeare plays are now no longer uncommon, and include among their number Joseph Price on A ll’s W ell th at E n ds W ell, Marvin Rosenberg on the great tragedies, Dennis Bartholomeusz on M acbeth , John Ripley on Julius C aesar and soon C oriolanus, and Margaret Lamb on A n to n y an d C leo­ patra, as well as several notable doctoral dissertations awaiting revision and publication. Professor Bartholomeusz’s present volume on T h e W in­ ter’s Tale is a welcome addition to this list. All writers who accept the challenge of writing performance histories must balance their rival obligations to historical reportage and to the interpretation of the play in question. This balance is by no means an easy one to strike. Rosenberg, for one, has abandoned the chronology of T h e M asks o f O th ello altogether, in favor of the encyclopedic analytical format of his studies of K in g Lear, M acbeth , the forthcoming book on H am let, and his promised revision of the O th ello book. The balance in Bartholomeusz’s treatment of T h e W in ter’s Tale is close to ideal. The performance history of the play in England and America is sparse enough that virtually every professional production can be treated as a major 286 Comparative Drama one. And the play itself generates such profound challenges of perform­ ance in its treatment of dramatic time and place, development of theme, and peculiarities of character psychology and motivation, that every production presents a de facto interpretation, even those which date from the centuries before the director began to assume the role of licensed interpreter. Bartholomeusz first presents a stage-centered reading of the play in the context of its original stagecraft; he then lets many of the interpretive issues emerge as they will through a survey of the major chapters in the play’s performance history, from the pastoral condensa­ tions of Morgan and Garrick in the eighteenth century, through the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 285-287
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-11
Open Access
No
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