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Staging Authorship: Pinter's No Man's Land and Shepard's True West

Staging Authorship: Pinter's No Man's Land and Shepard's True West STAGING AUTHORSHIP: PINTER'S NO MAN'S LAND AND SHEPARD'S TRUE WEST Nicholas Crawford Modern dramatists have long questioned whether language use is a manifestation of agency and individuality or a capitulation to preexisting cultural capital, a surrender to the great homogenizer, the marker of the way we are all alike. Speech can either inure to presence or mark an absence of selfhood. This issue is taken up as early as August Strindberg's 77ie Stronger (1890), where the action suggests that Miss. Y. is stronger than Mrs. X. even though Mrs. X. speaks incessantly and Miss Y. says not a word. Similarly, the mechanical predictability of characters' speech in Elmer Rice's expressionist play The Adding Machine (1923) reveals the language of social intercourse to be little more than a reproducible cookie-cutter artifact like any other from the assembly-line age. Language in absurdist plays also often signals a lack of selfhood, as in the parodies of Ionesco, where speech is much like a conditioned involuntary reflex, a force of Rhinoceros-like power. Far more recently, Maria Irene Fornes's play The Danube (1984) imagines a post-apocalyptic world in which survivors take comfort in the stock phrases of a lost civilization. Here the conventionality http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Staging Authorship: Pinter's No Man's Land and Shepard's True West

The Comparatist , Volume 27 (1) – Oct 3, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

STAGING AUTHORSHIP: PINTER'S NO MAN'S LAND AND SHEPARD'S TRUE WEST Nicholas Crawford Modern dramatists have long questioned whether language use is a manifestation of agency and individuality or a capitulation to preexisting cultural capital, a surrender to the great homogenizer, the marker of the way we are all alike. Speech can either inure to presence or mark an absence of selfhood. This issue is taken up as early as August Strindberg's 77ie Stronger (1890), where the action suggests that Miss. Y. is stronger than Mrs. X. even though Mrs. X. speaks incessantly and Miss Y. says not a word. Similarly, the mechanical predictability of characters' speech in Elmer Rice's expressionist play The Adding Machine (1923) reveals the language of social intercourse to be little more than a reproducible cookie-cutter artifact like any other from the assembly-line age. Language in absurdist plays also often signals a lack of selfhood, as in the parodies of Ionesco, where speech is much like a conditioned involuntary reflex, a force of Rhinoceros-like power. Far more recently, Maria Irene Fornes's play The Danube (1984) imagines a post-apocalyptic world in which survivors take comfort in the stock phrases of a lost civilization. Here the conventionality

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 3, 2003

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