The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theater after Modernism (Drama and Performance Studies)

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9780253210081: The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theater after Modernism (Drama and Performance Studies)
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Extremely well written, and exceedingly well informed, this is a work that opens a variety of important questions in sophisticated and theoretically nuanced ways. It is hard to imagine a better tour guide than Fuchs for a trip through the last thirty years of, as she puts it, what we used to call the ‘avant-garde.’" ―Essays in Theatre

... an insightful set of theoretical ‘takes’ on how to think about theatre before and theatre after modernism." ―Theatre Journal

In short, for those who never experienced a ‘postmodern swoon,’ Elinor Fuchs is an excellent informant." ―Performing Arts Journal

... a thoughtful, highly readable contribution to the evolving literature on theatre and postmodernism." ―Modern Drama

A work of bold theoretical ambition and exceptional critical intelligence.... Fuchs combines mastery of contemporary cultural theory with a long and full participation in American theater culture: the result is a long-needed, long-awaited elaboration of a new theatrical paradigm." ―Una Chaudhuri, New York University

What makes this book exceptional is Fuchs’ acute rehearsal of the stranger unnerving events of the last generation that have―in the cross-reflections of theory―determined our thinking about theater. She seems to have seen and absorbed them all." ―Herbert Blau, Center for Twentieth Century Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Surveying the extraordinary scene of the postmodern American theater, Fuchs boldly frames key issues of subjectivity and performance with the keenest of critical eyes for the compelling image and the telling gesture." ―Joseph Roach, Tulane University

... Fuchs makes an exceptionally lucid and eloquent case for the value and contradictions in postmodern theater." ―Alice Rayner, Stanford University

Arguably the most accessible yet learned road map to what remains for many impenetrable territory...an obligatory addition to all academic libraries serving upper-division undertgradua

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Review:

Treating theater as a crucial mediating term between the heterogeneous fullness of life and the clarifying abstractions of theory and as a grounding principle in a period of conflicting or dissolving truths, Fuchs (Yale and Columbia) demonstrates in this sage and sane examination of postmodern theater (especially in the US) why she is one of the most astute observers of the contemporary scene. As a critic she brings to this perceptive, dense study not only insights of sheer brilliance but historical perspective (including samplings of her own reviews and articles, 1979 93) and contextual overview rare in contemporary critical writing. Although clearly supportive of trends challenging more traditional approaches in theater, she remains objective and balanced throughout. She provides illuminating analyses of work by such artists as Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Reza Abdoh, Elizabeth LeCompte, and Suzan-Lori Parks, among others, and such influential theorists as Jacques Derrida. Arguably the most accessible yet learned road map to what remains for many impenetrable territory, Fuchs' book, heavily theoretical but constantly anchored to specific performances, is an obligatory addition to all academic libraries serving upper-division undergraduates and abovD. B. Wilmeth, Brown University, Choice, December 1996"

Treating theater as a crucial mediating term between the heterogeneous fullness of life and the clarifying abstractions of theory and as a grounding principle in a period of conflicting or dissolving truths, Fuchs (Yale and Columbia) demonstrates in this sage and sane examination of postmodern theater (especially in the US) why she is one of the most astute observers of the contemporary scene. As a critic she brings to this perceptive, dense study not only insights of sheer brilliance but historical perspective (including samplings of her own reviews and articles, 1979-93) and contextual overview rare in contemporary critical writing. Although clearly supportive of trends challenging more traditional approaches in theater, she remains objective and balanced throughout. She provides illuminating analyses of work by such artists as Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, Meredith Monk, Reza Abdoh, Elizabeth LeCompte, and Suzan-Lori Parks, among others, and such influential theorists as Jacques Derrida. Arguably the most accessible yet learned road map to what remains for many impenetrable territory, Fuchs' book, heavily theoretical but constantly anchored to specific performances, is an obligatory addition to all academic libraries serving upper-division undergraduates and abovD. B. Wilmeth, Brown University, Choice, December 1996

From the Publisher:

Winner George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, 1997
The Committee's citation for Elinor Fuchs Nathan Award reads: "Elinor Fuchs' THE DEATH OF CHARACTER, published by Indiana University Press, stands out for its range and boldness in reappraising twentieth-century drama from the perspective of the avant-garde theater. Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, and Brecht are thus re-evaluated through the achievements of Beckett, Robert Wilson, the Wooster Group, Richard Foreman, and performance artists such as Annie Sprinkle and Laurie Anderson. The result is provocative, controversial, and solidly based on recent theater practices."

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9780253330383: The Death of Character: Perspectives on Theater After Modernism (Drama & Performance Studies)

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ISBN 10:  0253330386 ISBN 13:  9780253330383
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, 1996
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