The Devil is a Travelling Man: Two Plays

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Oxford University Press, 2009 - Drama - 200 pages
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W.O. Mitchell jokingly called himself the great re-run king, but his retellings of age-old conflicts between humanity and the Devil strikingly display his versatile adaptive talents.
The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon is a whimsical take on the Faust legend with a distinctly Canadian flavor. Filled with wry humor and set against the backdrop of a timeless small-town dynamic, the story of Wullie MacCrimmon's curling duel with the Devil combines the edginess of Marlowe's classic tale with the down-to-earth wry Canadian humor of "Corner Gas.".
The Devil's Instrument depicts a Hutterite teenager struggling with conformity in a puritan society. Mitchell's devil in this play is a figure of sympathy, but lines such as "Happy? I am free!" invite the ambiguity of whether it is better to indulge in what seems natural, or strive for the divine. Introduced by Ormond Mitchell and Barbara Mitchell and including original production photography, this collection provides humor, sobriety, and wonderful storytelling with a dash of the infernal. An essential, whimsical part of Oxford's new Outlooks on Canadian Literature series.

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About the author (2009)


W. O. Mitchell was a famed Canadian author and dramatist whose works drew heavily from his Albertan homeland. He is best known for his classic novel Who Has Seen the Wind, as well as his considerable talent for framing his stories in a number of different forms. Mitchell adapted his work into a radio, television, and stage. He wrote several novels, and was the recipient of a number of honorary degrees. In 1973 Mitchell was made a member of the Order of Canada.

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