Rooms in Dramatic Realism  book cover
1st Edition

Rooms in Dramatic Realism

ISBN 9781138953642
Published December 8, 2015 by Routledge
126 Pages

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Book Description

Dramatic Realism, since its birth in the hectic late years of the nineteenth century, gave theatrical and thematic energy to the interaction between a play’s text and the way that it looked on the stage. Characters began to find themselves in rooms and settings that played an active and changing role in the drama, and their dialogue and reactions evolved in time with these changes. As life itself became more elaborate during the 20th Century, so these rooms were invaded and then defined by the outside world.

Fred Miller Robinson’s enjoyable and stimulating essays on this enduring genre tackle the dreams and anxieties of the middles classes of the Industrial Revolution – dreams of domestic comfort and refuge, and anxieties about how entrapping that comfort could be.

Moving from Ibsen to Chekhov and onwards into later plays in which the reality of ‘Realism’ comes under scrutiny, this is a book to dip into before a performance or to study during a class.

Table of Contents

Preface  Part 1: Rooms: An Introduction  1. Box Sets  2. Caste and Caste  3. The Addiction to Dwelling  4. The Lapsed and the Lost: The Pillars of Society  5. Inside and Outside A Doll’s House  6. Notes on Nora’s Experience of the Room  7. Close Quarters: The Phenomenal Room  8. Lavender, Dried Roses and Death: Hedda Gabler  9. The Back Room: The Wild Duck  10.Making Room: The Master Builder  11. A Note on Ibsen’s Radicalism  12. The Shelf Life of Dramatic Realism  13. Realism and Scenic Space  14. The Structure of Meaning in Dramatic Realism  Part 2: Specimens  15. Suburban House: Candida  16. Living Room: A Raisin in the Sun  17. What’s Right: Two Trains Running  18. Standing for Something: A Long Day’s Journey into Night  19. Long Night’s Journey into Day: A Delicate Balance  20. The Dump: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  21. Domus Lugubris: Translations  22. Darker In than Out: The Room  23. Keeping House: The Birthday Party  24. Dungheap: Curse of the Starving Class  25. No Refuge: The Lower Depths  26. Speed Therapy: The Iceman Cometh  27. Upstairs: The Dumb Waiter  28. The Something Else: Miss Julie  29. Economic Betterment: Oleanna  30. The Good Life: ‘night, Mother  31. Natural Habitat: The Slave  Part 3: Variations  32. Ghost Rooms: The Cherry Orchard  33. Sleepers Awake: Heartbreak House  34. The Big House: Summer  35. Eviction: The Three Sisters  36. Settling: Fifth of July  37. Their Master’s Voice: Aristocrats  38. Outside Inside: Dancing at Lughnasa  39. The Usual Darkness: All My Sons  40. The Office: Uncle Vanya  41. Gardens: Mrs. Warren’s Profession  42. Control Booth: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom  Part 4: Interventions  43. Mom’s House: True West  44. Ghosts: The Piano Lesson  45. Recumbency: Plenty  46. Out of Bounds: A Streetcar Named Desire  47. It All Happens: Old Times  48. Out Back: Buried Child  49. The Inside of his Head: Philadelphia, Here I Come!  50. Diamonds in the Dark: Death of a Salesman  51. Sitting in the Dark: Fefu and her Friends  52. Visitors: "Heart’s Desire"  53. Exit through the Window: The Swan  Addendum: Amour  Works Cited

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Fred Miller Robinson is professor of English and affiliated professor of graduate theater at the University of San Diego, USA.