cover of book

The Playwright as Thinker: A Study of Drama in Modern Times, Fourth Edition
by Eric Bentley
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
Paper: 978-0-8166-7295-0
Library of Congress Classification PN1851.B4 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.2

First published in 1946, The Playwright as Thinker is a classic work of drama criticism that helped create the intellectual environment in which serious American theater would thrive in the second half of the twentieth century. At the time of publishing, most drama critics believed dramatic art deserved no intellectual status; Eric Bentley set out to prove them wrong. Focusing on the canonic playwrights Strindberg, Ibsen, Pirandello, Sartre, and Brecht, Bentley viewed the playwright as thinker, and his survey of over 150 years of dramatic art provided, in essence, an intellectual history of Europe. This edition not only contains the original, long-suppressed foreword, in which Bentley lambastes the climate of Broadway at the time, but also the author's 1987 afterword.

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