Terence Rattigan: The Playwright as Battlefield

Terence Rattigan: The Playwright as Battlefield

by Peter Wolfe

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The theatrical world Terence Rattigan built is vital but disturbing and uniquely constructed. His sentences are not impacted or fractured, and his plots usually obey a linear time sequence. Yet his realism isn't all that real. Though sentence by sentence, his dialogue sounds natural, the creative pulse behind it is idiosyncratic and self-lacerating. As a gay man writing at a time when homosexuality was a felony in the UK, Rattigan wrote at a skewed angle to his culture, making his plays at times easy to follow but hard to fathom. Terence Rattigan: The Playwright as Battlefield examines the ways in which Rattigan’s works turn their audiences into participants, encouraging intellectual independence and freeing them to make decisions for themselves as to the deeper meanings of the works. The playwright’s omission of outright explanations deepens the audience’s emotional commitment to the outcomes of the performance, and walks a fine line between restraint and invention. His works convey subtly and deceptively the cold obstinacy that thwarts our everyday actions in a way which that is felt viscerally by the audience. This book engages works from throughout Rattigan’s early and late career to examine the unique methods by which the playwright conveys meaning to various audiences within an ever-changing sociocultural context.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498598743
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 07/08/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 164
File size: 866 KB

About the Author

Peter Wolfe is curators’ professor of English emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Hiding in Plain Sight

Chapter Two: Queering the Queer World

Chapter Three: Some English Families at Home

Chapter Four: Homes Away from Home

Chapter Five: Reaching out While Pulling Back




About the Author

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