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Title:Gertrude Stein's Theatre of the Absolute
Author(s):Ryan, Betsy Alayne
Department / Program:Theatre
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This critical study establishes the playwriting aesthetic of Gertrude Stein as a serious attempt to deal with the twentieth century, and reveals the techniques whereby she realized that aesthetic in her seventy-seven plays.
Chapter One deals with the general aesthetic Stein evolved through writing in response to the changing landscape of the twentieth century as she experienced it. It establishes the nature of Stein's present as the touchstone of her work, describes Stein's position in relation to the artist's depiction of his world, and presents the ramifications of that position for the artwork.
Chapter Two presents Stein's playwriting aesthetic as she wrote about it, shows how she believed it to operate in her plays, and treats the aesthetic for the theatre as it emerged in plays of the three periods Stein and her critics have promulgated. Finally, it considers the adequacy of the distinct periods as the means of critically examining Stein's plays and suggests that a better way might be found: a detailed view of play traits, which transcends the notion of periods and provides a new, cohesive view of her theatre art.
Chapter Three gives detailed attention to the techniques exhibited by all seventy-seven plays. By approaching the plays without preconceptions--thereby passing over a generically irrelevant examination of the plays in terms of what traditional techniques they ignore--it allows a consideration of Stein's influence upon the contemporary avant-garde theatre, where Steinian techniques abound, in Chapter Four.
The study concludes with four Appendices: Appendix A, a chronological listing of Stein's plays by date of composition with references to play volumes; Appendix B, the tabulated results of the play analysis; Appendix C, a chronological list of Stein's play productions together with basic program information; and Appendix D, a bibliography of play reviews connected with those productions.
Issue Date:1980
Description:320 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8026584
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1980

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