Alan Bennett: A Critical Introduction: A Casebook (Studies in Modern Drama) Hardcover – 11 Oct 2001
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From the Back Cover
Alan Bennett is one of England's best-loved playwrights. He is perhaps best known there for the BBC production of his Talking Heads TV plays, while the rest of the world may recognize him for the film adaptation of his play The Madness of King George. Over the last thirty years, Bennett has written ten stage plays, three screenplays, eight television documentaries, and over thirty plays for television. Yet Bennett's work has resisted "serious" reviews in academic publications, as his reputation as a comedic player during the early '60s has saddled him with the label "lovable". Joseph O'Mealy demonstrates that Bennett is a social critic strongly influenced by Beckett and Swift, interested in depicting and analyzing the role playing of everyday life. After providing a general introduction to Bennett as multifaceted playwright and actor, O'Mealy looks in depth at Bennett's oeuvre, starting with A Visit from Miss Prothero and concluding with his most recent production, Waiting for the Telegram.
About the Author
Joseph H. O'Mealy is Associate Professor of English at the University of Hawaii and Acting Associate Dean of the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature.
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As an American, O'Mealy takes a correctively tough line to Bennett and refuses to sentimentalise him. He thus catches the poetry in Bennett's work.
His readings of, in particular, Kafka's Dick and the Insurance Man and of Lady in the Van are masterly.
He pays due attention to Daphne Turner's Alan Bennett: in a manner of speaking first published in 1997, but in many ways his book is fuller. It is indispensable for anyone with a serious interest in this creative and intellectual writer.