"A fascinating book [and] a sympathetic look at the man who glued General Motors together and in the process made Flint one of the great industrial centers of America."
---Detroit Free Press
"It is refreshing to report that Billy Durant is one of the best researched books dealing with an automotive giant."
"Billy Durant fills in a masterly way the only important void remaining concerning the work of the motorcar pioneers."
---Richard Crabb, author of Birth of a Giant: The Men and Incidents That Gave America the Motorcar
What explains Billy Durant's powerful influence on the auto industry during its early days? And why, given Durant's impact, has he been nearly forgotten for decades?
In search of answers to these questions, Lawrence Gustin interviewed Durant's widow, who provided a wealth of previously unpublished autobiographical notes, letters, and personal papers. Gustin also interviewed two of Durant's personal secretaries and others who had known and worked with the man who created General Motors. The result is the amazing account of the mastermind behind what would become, as the twentieth century progressed, the world's largest company.
The Ghosts of the Avant-Garde(s) offers a strikingly new perspective on key controversies and debates within avant-garde studies, arguing for the importance of reopening pivotal controversies and debates in avant-garde studies and challenging pronouncements of the “death of the avant-garde” that tend to obscure the diversity and plurality of avant-garde gesture and expression.
James M. Harding revisits iconic sites of early 20th-century performance to examine how European avant-gardists attempted—unsuccessfully—to employ that discourse as a strategy for enforcing uniformity among a politically and culturally diverse group of artists. He then takes aim at historical and aesthetic categories that have promoted a restrictive history and theory of the avant-garde and narrow readings of avant-garde performance. Harding reveals the Eurocentric undercurrents that underlie these categories and urges a consideration of the global political dimensions of avant-garde gestures. His book will interest scholars of theater and performance, art history, and literary studies, as well as those interested in the relation of art to politics in various historical periods and cultures.
At a time when most serious drama being written and produced for the American stage aspires only to mainstream acceptance and high-toned mediocrity, an innovative new generation of playwrights based in New York City has emerged, crafting works that challenge and undermine the conventional structure, language, and characterization of commercial theater while rejecting outdated notions of the avant-garde. New Downtown Now brings together ten new works that exemplify the playfulness, excitement, and possibilities of the theater. Characterized by fragmenting structure, hypnotic rhythms, kaleido-scopic imagery, unpredictable characters, and lyrical language, these plays resemble puzzles from which the writers are teasing revelations. Though disparate in subject matter and style, with characters ranging from a sushi chef to a soldier and settings from a taxicab to a live television broadcast, these highly original plays share a commitment to formal experimentation that places them beyond the psychological clichés of the majority and the cold condescension of postmodernism. The anthology includes Interim by Barbara Cassidy; Tragedy: a tragedy by Will Eno; Nine Come by Elana Greenfield; Shufu-Sachiko and Enoshima Island by Madelyn Kent; The Appeal by Young Jean Lee; The Vomit Talk of Ghosts by Kevin Oakes; Ajax (por nobody) by Alice Tuan; Apparition, an uneasy play of the underknown by Anne Washburn; Demon Baby by Erin Courtney.Mac Wellman is the author of numerous plays and the recipient of three Obie awards, most recently in 2003 for lifetime achievement. He is professor of playwriting at Brooklyn College. Young Jean Lee is a playwright and director, and member of the Obie award-winning company 13P. Jeffrey M. Jones is a playwright and curator of the Obie award-winning Little Theater at Tonic in New York.
Almost without exception, studies of the avant-garde take for granted the premise that the influential experimental practices associated with the avant-garde began primarily as a European phenomenon that in turn spread around the world. These ten original essays, especially commissioned for Not the Other Avant-Garde, forge a radically new conception of the avant-garde by demonstrating the many ways in which the first- and second-wave avant-gardes were always already a transnational phenomenon, an amalgam of often contradictory performance traditions and practices developed in various cultural locations around the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Mexico, Argentina, India, and Japan. Essays from leading scholars and critics-including Marvin Carlson, Sudipto Chatterjee, John Conteh-Morgan, Peter Eckersall, Harry J. Elam Jr., Joachim Fiebach, David G. Goodman, Jean Graham-Jones, Hannah Higgins, and Adam Versényi-suggest collectively that the very concept of the avant-garde is possible only if conceptualized beyond the limitations of Eurocentric paradigms.
Not the Other Avant-Garde is groundbreaking in both avant-garde studies and performance studies and will be a valuable contribution to the fields of theater studies, modernist studies, art history, literature, and music history.
"Joins the growing field of critical and transnational theories on the arts. . . its grounding in live performance and its foregrounding of the performative human body presents a new theoretical paradigm that is pathbreaking."
--Haiping Yan, University of California, Los Angeles
James M. Harding is Associate Professor of English at Mary Washington University. He is author of Adorno and "A Writing of the Ruins": Essays on Modern Aesthetics and Anglo-American Literature and Culture and editor of Contours of the Theatrical Avant-Garde: Performance and Textuality.
John Rouse is Associate Professor of Theater at the University of California, San Diego. He is author of Brecht and the West German Theatre.
Speaking in Tongues presents a unique account of how language has been employed in the theatre, not simply as a means of communication but also as a stylistic and formal device, and for a number of cultural and political operations. The use of multiple languages in the contemporary theatre is in part a reflection of a more globalized culture, but it also calls attention to how the mixing of language has always been an important part of the functioning of theatre.
The book begins by investigating various "levels" of language-high and low style, prose and poetry-and the ways in which these have been used historically to mark social positions and relationships. It next considers some of the political and historical implications of dialogue theatre, as well as theatre that literally employs several languages, from classical Greek examples to the postmodern era. Carlson treats with special attention the theatre of the postcolonial world, and especially the triangulation of the local language, the national language, and the colonial language, drawing on examples of theatre in the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Finally, Carlson considers the layering of languages in the theatre, such as the use of supertitles or simultaneous signing.
Speaking in Tongues draws important social and political conclusions about the role of language in cultural power, making a vital contribution to the fields of theatre and performance.
Marvin Carlson is Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center. He is author of Performance: A Critical Introduction; Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present; and The Haunted Stage: The Theatre as Memory Machine, among many other books.