Modern Irish Drama
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Modern Irish Drama

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The texts are fully annotated with explanatory notes on Anglo-Irish usage, place names, historical figures, and literary allusions. "Backgrounds and Criticism" contains almost fifty texts relevant to the twelve plays represented. Included are prefaces by the authors, reports by spectators on original productions, memoirs concerning playwrights and performances, and recent...more
Paperback, 577 pages
Published March 17th 1991 by W. W. Norton & Company
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I didn't read the entire book. Our book group is reading plays this month. I chose W.B. Yeat's "Cathleen Ni Houlihan." It is a political melodrama set in Western Ireland in 1798. Cathleen, an old woman, is the personification of Ireland. Her four green fields have been stolen from her and she wants the strangers out of her land. The play is very short and very nationalistic. The book gave information on the beginnings of the Celtic school of dramatic literature. Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Edward M...more
Contains some of the most "important" plays written by Irish men and women about Ireland in some form (history, culture, revolution, humanity).

While some of these plays feel more important than they are relevant to our own day and age, they are still interesting reads. And then there are the plays that are always relevant: funny, touching, fantastic, depressing, life-affirming, etc.

This collection is particularly interesting for anyone interested in Ireland, theater history, or just being more i...more
As a collection of Modern Irish plays this is pretty good (although I will never understand why Yeats dabbled in drama...why, why, why?) and the articles provide interesting context. The footnotes are not very good, though - if you know anything about Irish history they are a waste of ink, and they don't tell you anything but the most basic information on any other topics. Usually Norton editions very good footnotes, so it's weird that these are so minimal.
Ok, so I didn't technically read ALL of it, but I worked off the majority of the edition in my modern Irish literature class. Much of Irish literature and drama is quite dark (probably something to do with being oppressed for 100s of years) but they have a real knack for showing humanity both at its worst and best. Browse through some of the plays here; I would recommend (in order) Translations, Juno and the Paycock, and Playboy of the Western World.
I only read this partly.
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