CFP: English, Scottish, Welsh Theatre 1860-1940 (9/1/03; encyclopedia)

full name / name of organization: 
Kerry Moore
contact email: 
kerlmoore@sbcglobal.net

An Invitation to Students and Scholars of the British Theatre

from Kerry Moore, Editorial Advisor

Grolier is planning the publication of the Encyclopedia of Modern Drama,
edited by Gabrielle H. Cody and Evert Sprinchorn of Vassar College. This
four-volume set will offer a total of one million words on a variety of
topics ranging from Ibsen to the present, and the target audience consists
of college students, high school students and general readers. Following
is an elaboration from the general editors:

International, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary in scope, the
encyclopedia will be structured as a compendium of substantive articles,
and will differ conceptually from previous and existing works of reference
by positioning crucial playwrights directly into political, cultural, and
philosophical contexts. Experts in the fields of theater history, dramatic
literature and criticism, and theater studies will engage conventional as
well as experimental, established as well as emerging, authors. Much
emphasis will be placed on the multiplicity of aesthetic genres,
viewpoints, and voices that animate the modern and contemporary dramatic
landscape.

As a member of the Advisory Board, I have responsibility for the section
on the drama of England, Scotland, and Wales from 1860 to 1940. Most of
the essays for this section will be either biographical profiles of
playwrights or brief analyses of selected plays.

I seek scholars to write contributions ranging in length from 500 to 8,500
words. Each entry will bear the author's name, and contributors will be
compensated at the rate of twelve cents per word, so a 500-word essay
would pay $60. Each contributor may commit to as many or as few essays as
s/he wishes and each topic is available until I assign it to someone.

For further information, please see the list of topics and study the
sample essays that the general editors have provided. You may also consult
the guidelines for sending submissions.

If you would like to contribute, please contact me via E-mail at
kerlmoore_at_sbcglobal.net and let me know which topics interest you. Please
do not submit finished essays until I have confirmed your assignments.

Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2003

 
Headwords
 
Admirable Crichton
Words: 500

Ascent of F6

500

Auden, W.H.

500

Barrie, J.W.

500

Blithe Spirit

500

Bridie, James

500

Caste

500

Cavalcade

500

Charley's Aunt

500

The Circle

500

Constant Wife

500

Corn is Green

500

Coward, Noel

500

Dangerous Corner

500

Daphne Laureola

500

Dear Brutus

500

Design for Living

500

England Survey 1860 - 1940

500

Ervine, St. John

500

Galsworthy, John

500

Gilbert, W.S.

500

Granville-Barker, H.

500

Guy Domville

500

Hay Fever

500

Hindle Wakes

500

Hobson's Choice

500

Houghton, Stanley

500

Inspector Calls

500

Isherwood, C.

500

James, Henry

500

John Ferguson

500

Jones, Henry Arthur

500

Journey's End

500

Lawrence, D.H.

500

Loyalties

500

The Magistrate

500

Maugham, Somerset

500

Mid-Channel

500

Milne, A.A.

500

Outward Bound

500

Peter Pan

500

Pinero, A.

500

Priestley, J.B.

500

Private Lives

500

Return of the Prodigal

500

Robertson, Tom

500

Rutherford and Son

500

Scotland Survey 1860 - 2000

500

Second Mrs. Tanqueray

500

Sheppey (Maugham)

500

Sheriff, R.

500

Song at Twilight (Coward)

500

Sowerby, Githa

500

Strife

500

Thomas, Brandon

500

Truth about Blaydes

500

Voysey Inheritance

500

Waste

500

Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd

500

 

Encyclopedia of Modern Drama

Gabrielle H. Cody and Evert Sprinchorn, general editors

published by Grolier

Scope Descriptions

I. BIOGRAPHICAL ENTRIES OF PLAYWRIGHTS. (Range: 500-6000 words)

Biographical entries will cover the important dates and events in the
author’s life, with particular attention given to the cultural and
philosophical influences. For the longer entries, (example: Eugene
O’Neill) all important plays (e.g., Marco Millions) and their
circumstances should be mentioned with the understanding that certain
plays (e.g., Long Day’s Journey Into Night) will receive special attention
in the form of play entries (see headword list.) These entries should be
written in a lively prose for the general reader and need not be
chronologically organized. Generally, biographies should include two or
more references; biographical entries should also be prefaced by a quote
that boldly reflects the author’s philosophy or worldview. (Example:
Ibsen: “People want only special revolutions, in externals, in politics,
and so on. But that’s just tinkering. What really is called for is a
revolution of the human mind . . . ” Letter to Brandes, 1871. See “Author
Entry” example.)

II. PLAY ENTRIES. (Range: 500-1000 words)

Play entries are intended to provide the general reader with a
well-informed sense of each play’s significance and critical reception. An
entry must include a brief, engaging outline of the story and characters,
and it may include a discussion of the political background, cultural
history, or technical novelty of the particular work. Play entries should
include two or more references. Play entries are determined by the
headword list and prefaced by an illustrative quote from the text.
(Example: “The old beauty is no longer beautiful, and the new truth is no
longer new,” Julian, The Emperor and Galilean.) See “Play Entry” sample.

III. CULTURAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS. (Range 1000-5000 words)

Cultural and Geographical Surveys are intended to provide the general
reader with an overview of the dramatic traditions in a particular culture
or geographical location. Of crucial importance are the formative
historical events that shaped the cultural and political energy of modern
drama in that country. (Example: South Africa and the regime of
Apartheid.) As many specific authors and plays should be mentioned as
possible, especially those figures that do not appear in the headword
list. (Examples: Andre Breton, or George Cohan.) Particular attention
should be paid to the more established playwrights, but also to their
emerging counterpoints. Two or more references should follow the article.

IV. DRAMATIC CRITICISM/AESTHETIC MOVEMENTS.

The guidelines and word count for the entries in this section will be
determined by the General Editors and the Advisors. This material will be
broken down into two main units covering 1850-1940 (60,000 words) and 1940
to the present (40,000 words) and will cover criticism, dramatic theory,
movements and genres. Contributors are encouraged to preface their entries
with quotes from critics and major theorists. (Example: “What I lack is
words that correspond to each minute of my state of mind.” Antonin Artaud,
The Nerve Meter, 1925.)

V. PRACTICE AND PRACTIONERS.

These articles will total 20,000 words and cover acting, directing, and
cultural venues, important theatrical organizations and international
literary awards.

 

Examples of Entries

 

PLAY ENTRY - 506 words

Days Without End - by Eugene O’Neill

“Thou hast conquered, Lord.”

Written 1932-33, staged in New York in 1934 and published in 1934, Days
Without End proved to be one of O’Neill’s most controversial plays.
Critics were sharply divided over the religious content of the work. The
Catholic journal Commonweal declared that O’Neill has “at last written the
play which in its spiritual content, some of us dared to hope would emerge
from the deep conflicts within his poet’s soul.” In contrast, Gilbert W.
Gabriel called the play “a religious tract clumsily tied to unpicturesque
claptrap and most threadbare working.” Some of the critics were clearly
shocked by what they took to be O’Neill’s return to the Catholicism of his
childhood. O’Neill himself called the work “a modern miracle play,” and
the hero is a man who works his way through atheism, socialism, communism,
anarchism in a search for a faith that might replace Christianity, and
ends at the foot of the cross. Days without End was intended to be the
second play in a trilogy devoted to this search, the first play being
Dynamo (q.v.). The third play was never written.

O’Neill went about his search for a viable faith in a materialistic age
rather methodically, asking himself what was the essence of a belief that
could provide comfort for the human soul. In this play he finds this
essence in the affirmation of love. O’Neill expresses the division within
the hero John Loving by having him portrayed by two actors, one
representing Loving, the cynical, atheistic aspect, and John, the more
simple, good-hearted soul. At the beginning Loving is dominant and, bored
by John’s quaint, old-fashioned attachment to his wife, sees to it that
John Loving gets involved in an adulterous affair with the wife of his
best friend. John hopes to redeem himself by writing an autobiographical
novel about the affair, giving it a happy ending. Loving sneers at the
idea, saying that honesty requires him to end the novel tragically.

To prove that he is right, John decides to relate the story to his wife,
Elsa. However, she has heard the same story from a friend and quickly
comes to the realization that John Loving has in fact been an unfaithful
husband. Distraught, she dashes out into a storm, comes down with
pneumonia, and is on the point of death.

In despair, John returns to the church of his youth, where the final
struggle between John and Loving takes place. Loving tells him god and
love are illusions; there is only hatred and death. John overcomes him,
asserting his belief in the lord of love and prostrates himself before the
figure of Christ on the cross, while Loving yields: “Thou hast conquered,
Lord.” Thereupon comes the news that Elsa will live.

O’Neill in 1934 was disappointed that no one saw the play as “a
psychological study” which “beyond its particular Catholic foreground is a
drama of spiritual faith and love.” In 1946, however, he expressed his
dissatisfaction with the ending of the play.

AUTHOR ENTRY - 555 words

HAMSUN, Knut (1859-1952).

“And when we put together Bjornson and Ibsen [. . .] and we go through the
main contents of their collected works, the total impression one has is
that they are intended more for the less developed people than for the
better developed.”

Norwegian writer, awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920. Although
Hamsun’s reputation rests almost entirely on his novels, he was the author
of six plays, all written before 1911. As a young man, the self-educated
Hamsun lived in the United States for several years in the 1880s, making a
living as a peddler, clerk, and streetcar conductor. His life as a
wanderer became the basis for his early novels, notably Hunger (1890),
Mysteries (1892), and Pan (1894), which portray the world as a series of
fleeting impressions in the mind of the narrator. These works, which are
precursors of the novels of the “Beat” generation sixty years later,
struck a new note, and represented a sharp break with the dominant school
of psychological realism.

Hamsun made his intentions clear in three public lectures delivered in
1891, with Ibsen, now world-famous, sitting in the front row. Ibsen and
the realistic writers of his generation were declared not only passe but
uninteresting. Hamsun remarked that when one “goes through the main
contents of their collected works, the total impression one has is that
they are intended more for the less developed people than for the better
developed.” It may not be a coincidence that the next play Ibsen wrote was
The Master Builder, the first of his late symbolic works. Ironically,
Hamsun’s own plays seem to derive from late Ibsen and are not
characterized by the experimentation of his early novels.

The Kareno trilogy, pictures three stages in the life of the hero. In the
first play. At the Gates of the Kingdom (Ved Rikets Port, 1895), the young
idealist, Ivar Kareno is writing on a treatise exposing the weaknesses of
democracy. He is so occupied with this work that he loses his wife to a
political rival and his property to his creditors. In the second play, The
Game of Life (Livets Spil, 1896), Kareno is supporting himself as a tutor
and living in a glass cupola, an ivory tower for himself but, as he sees
it, a lighthouse for the rest of the world. He falls in love with his
patron’s daughter, and after that one catastrophe succeeds another. The
daughter is accidentally slain (by a demented man known locally as
“Justice”); fire destroys not only Kareno’s manuscripts, but it also burns
to death the two boys he was tutoring. In the final play. The Evening Sky
(Aftenr0de, 1898), Kareno’s wife, now wealthy, returns to him, and he
abandons his old ideals and joins the democratic government. In the last
scene Kareno is seen telling his daughter a fairy tale about a proud young
man who was true to his ideals and remained unbowed.

The best, dramatically, of Hamsun’s plays is his last. In the Grip of Life
(1910) (q.v.), which, like his early novels, renders what he called “the
subjective logic of the blood,” the impulses and desires that undermine
rational behavior.

In Hamsun’s own case, this subjective logic drew him to admire Hitler and
the Nazis. When the Germans invaded Norway in 1940, he gave them his
support. After the war, he was tried and found guilty of treason. But the
sentence imposed on him was less severe than it might have been, the
ameliorating circumstance being his mental incompetence, although he was
still writing brilliant prose.

Encyclopedia of Modern Drama

to be published by Grolier

general editors, Gabrielle H. Cody and Evert Sprinchorn

section on the drama of England, Scotland and Wales 1860-1940

advisor: Kerry L. Moore

1. Please submit all finished articles via E-mail. Simply send a cover
message and include each essay as an attachment, NOT within the body of
the message.

2. Please save each essay for Microsoft Word, either Macintosh or Windows.

 

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Received on Tue Apr 15 2003 - 22:16:10 EDT

cfp categories: 
twentieth_century_and_beyond