This lively collection of essays gives a non-technical, but profound analysis of the essential relationship between politics and literature. Bernard Crick shows how 'political theatre' is often both bad theatre and simplistic politics, but how good producers can bring out political messages in such seemingly 'unpolitical' dramas as Twelfth Night. The essays begin with general themes, including a vigorous critique of RSC and NT producers' views of the political, and a denial of the myth that the far left dominated 1930s writing. They then move on to an analysis of George Orwell and finally to celebrate specific occasions and events in modern British theatre. With his refreshing disrespect for over-ornate and overly scholastic Marxist and academic writers, Professor Crick's book will be of interest to all those concerned with the arts and the theatre, as well as political philosophers and English literature students.
The late Sir Bernard Crick (died 19 Dec 2008) was Emeritus Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College; Honorary Fellow in Politics, University of Edinburgh. He taught politics at Harvard, McGill, Berkeley, LSE, was the Professor of Politics at Sheffield and Birkbeck. He was former adviser on citizenship education to the DfES and on citizenship and integration for the Home Office. He published widely on politics and literature, was an international adviser and media commentator
Literature and politics; the political in Britain's two national theatres; young writers of the thirties; Koestler's Koestler; Hannah Arendt - hedgehog or fox?; Beatrice Webb as English diarist; words; my LSE; reading "The Observer" as a complex text; on the difficulties of writing biography and of Orwell's in particular; reading "Nineteen Eighty-Four" as satire; "Animal Farm" for schools; Orwell and English socialism; on the Orwell trail; Wedekind's "Spring Awakening" Horvath's "Tales From the Vienna Woods"; Pinter's "No Man's Land"; Polly by gaslight; Edgar Catches Jenkins' ear at the Barbican; Barrault at the Barbican.