Approaching the Millennium Essays on Angels in America

ISBN-10: 0472066234

ISBN-13: 9780472066230

Edition: N/A

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Description: Tony Kushner's complex and demanding play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes has been the most talked about, analyzed, and celebrated play of the decade. The critic Harold Bloom has included Kushner's play in his "Western canon" alongside Shakespeare and the Bible, and drama scholar John M. Clum has termed it "a turning point in the history of gay drama, the history of American drama, and of American literary culture." While we might be somewhat wary of the instant canonization that such critical assessments confer, clearly Kushner's play is an important work, honored by the Pulitzer Prize, thought worthy of recognition on "purely aesthetic" grounds at the same time that it has been embraced--and occasionally rejected--for its politics. Kushner's play explicitly positions itself in the current American conflict over identity politics, yet also situates that debate in a broader historical context: the American history of McCarthyism, of immigration and the "melting pot," of westward expansion, and of racist exploitation. Furthermore, the play enters into the politically volatile struggles of the AIDS crisis, struggles themselves interconnected with the politics of sexuality, gender, race, and class. The original essays in Approaching the Millennium explore the complexities of the play and situate it in its particular, conflicted historical moment. The contributors help us understand and appreciate the play as a literary work, as theatrical text, as popular cultural phenomenon, and as political reflection and intervention. Specific topics include how the play thematizes gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity; the postmodern incarnation of the Brechtian epic; AIDS and the landscape of American politics. The range of different international productions of Angels in America provides a rich basis for discussion of its production history, including the linguistic and cultural shifts required in its "translation" from one stage to the next. The last section of Approaching the Millennium includes interviews with Tony Kushner and other key creators and players involved in the original productions of Angels. The interviews explore issues raised earlier in the volume and dialogues between the creative artists who have shaped the play and the critics and "theatricians" engaged in responding to it. Contributors to this volume are Arnold Aronson, Art Borreca, Gregory W. Bredbeck, Michael Cadden, Nicholas de Jongh, Allen J. Frantzen, Stanton B. Garner, Deborah R. Geis, Martin Harries, Steven F. Kruger, James Miller, Framji Minwalla, Donald Pease, Janelle Reinelt, David Romaacute;n, David Savran, Ron Scapp, and Alisa Solomon. Deborah Geis is Associate Professor of English, Queens College, City University of New York. Steven F. Kruger is Professor and Chair of the Department of English, Queens College, City University of New York.

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 11/20/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

Introduction
Ambivalence, Utopia, and a Queer Sort of Materialism: How Angels in America Reconstructs the Nation
November 1, 1992: AIDS/Angels in America
Heavenquake: Queer Anagogies in Kushner's America
Strange Angel: The Pinklisting of Roy Cohn
The Vehicle of Democracy: Fantasies toward a (Queer) Nation
When Girls Collide: Considering Race in Angels in America
Wrestling with Angels: A Jewish Fantasia
Prior to the Normans: The Anglo-Saxons in Angels in America
Identity and Conversion in Angels in America
Angels in America: The Millennium and Postmodern Memory
Flying the Angel of History
"The Delicate Ecology of Your Delusions": Insanity, Theatricality, and the Thresholds of Revelation in Kushner's Angels in America
Design for Angels in America: Envisioning the Millennium
On Filming Angels: An Interview
Notes on Angels in America as American Epic Theater
"Dramaturging" the Dialectic: Brecht, Benjamin, and Declan Donnellan's Production of Angels in America
Representing Sex on the British Stage: The Importance of Angels in America
"Free[ing] the Erotic Angels": Performing Liberation in the 1970s and 1990s
Contributors
Index
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