The Paris Review: Playwrights

The Paris Review: Playwrights by George Plimpton
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Other Titles by George Plimpton

In this, the third volume of the Paris Review Writers at Work series, some of the century's greatest playwrights talk about their craft. In doing so they prove that reports of the death of the theatre have been greatly exaggerated. From the experiences that inspire their work – Harold Pinter on growing up in the East End, Arthur Miller on McCarthyism – to their experiences of their work – Edward Albee on ignoring and attacking the critics, Tom Stoppard on fame and money – these discussions assert a profound belief in the power and necessity of theatre.
Miller comments "Everything influences a playwright… he's the litmus paper of the arts". And so it proves: read together the interviews form a commentary on their own and each other's work, on their vital influences. None, perhaps, is more crucial than Beckett, remembered here, still searching the limits of expressible truth and dramatic potential as hopefully and pessimistically as ever, at 74, in an insightful essay by Lawrence Stainberg.
The Paris Review was founded by Peter Matthiessen and Harold Humes in Paris in the summer of 1953. George Plimpton was invited to take up the position of editor, which he still holds. William Styron, one of the advisory editors of the magazine, stated that "The Paris Review should welcome …the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters and non-axegrinders. So long as they're good." In addition to the focus on original creative work, the Review's editors found an alternative to criticism – letting the authors talk about their work themselves. These became the acclaimed "Writers at Work" interviews, many of which are classics in their own right
Publication Date:
27 / 09 / 2000

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