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Performance, Modernity and the Plays of J. M. Synge


  • Date Published: November 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108738088

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About the Authors
  • Irish Revivalist playwright J. M. Synge is often regarded as a realist. Yet what happens when his work is analysed through wider performance studies and situated alongside less familiar historical contexts? By addressing this question, Hélène Lecossois offers new and valuable perspectives on Synge's plays while at the same time engaging with the complexity of his treatment of a range of performance practices – from keening at rural funerals to the performances of 'native villagers' in the entertainment section of International Exhibitions. What emerges from her study is a dramatist acutely aware of the ability of theatre in performance to counteract relentless forward-moving narratives of modernity. Through detailed, contextualized case studies, the book simultaneously makes meaningful contributions to performance studies and opens up theoretical questions of performance relating to the status of the object on stage, the body on stage and theatrical time.

    • Highlights the performativity of Irish Revivalist dramatist J. M. Synge's plays in the context of fin-de-siècle capitalist modernity
    • Places well-known plays by Synge alongside less familiar historical contexts to offer new perspectives on the corpus of his work
    • Combines performance theory and detailed, contextualized case studies to highlight aspects of performativity and modernity
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Lecossois's fresh perspective is extremely relevant to performance studies and Irish studies … recommended.' W. S. Brockman, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108738088
    • length: 235 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.357kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Staging authenticity
    2. The spectacle of modernity
    3. Performing the repertoire
    4. 'Queer bodies': counter-modern modes of embodiment
    5. Unresolved temporalities
    6. Creative failures.

  • Author

    Hélène Lecossois, Université de Lille
    Hélène Lecossois is Professor of Irish Literary Studies at Université de Lille, France. Specialising in Irish theatre and performance, Hélène is the author of Endgame de Samuel Beckett (2009), and of various essays in Beckett Today, Études irlandaises, Sillages critiques and the 2014 edited collection Ireland, Memory and Performing the Historical Imagination. She was 2014 recipient of the Moore Institute Fellowship (NUI Galway).

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