A Laboratory of Impure Forms: The Plays of Tadeusz Różewicz
This is the first comprehensive examination of the works of contemporary Polish playwright Tadeusz Rozewicz. Halina Filipowicz applies a theoretical perspective to more than a dozen plays and situates the important postwar dramatist on the borders of modernism and postmodernism, arguing that in his laboratory of impure forms he reworks the conventions and dramatic ideas of the past into a theatrical language responsive to our times. Filipowicz makes use of biographical and historical information, comparative frameworks, the lessons of deconstruction, and feminist inquiry to assess the writer's passionate and complex reactions to modern civilization. Written over a thirty-year period, Rozewicz's oeuvre includes thirteen plays, nine minidramas, and four works that transgress established categories of drama. Rozewicz's plays, such as "The Card Index" and "White Marriage," have been staged in the United States and many are available in English. This six-chapter volume, which also contains a chronology of the writer's life and work and a calendar of premieres, draws on personal interviews with Rozewicz as well as on unpublished or forgotten plays.
The first chapter presents an overview of Rozewicz's innovative dramaturgy in terms of both context and method and discovers a dramatist whose only consistency is his refusal to be faithful to any one of the temporary formulae of a playwright's craft. The following five chapters group the plays thematically and offer critical approaches to interpreting and understanding them. This groundbreaking study will be relevant to students and scholars in Slavic literatures, theatre and drama, comparative drama, comparative literature, and dramatic theory and criticism.
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