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American Drama and the Postmodern: Fragmenting the Realistic Stage By David K. Sauer ...

Chapter 1:  Theorizing Contemporary American Drama
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American Drama and the Postmodern:

Chapter 1

Theorizing Contemporary American Drama

Fractured Plots, Fragmented in Time, in Space

I was drawn to write this book because of my experience from writing an annotated bibliography of David Mamet that was published in 2003. Reading and analyzing 1,500 reviews of Mamet’s plays and 250 scholarly articles made one discovery quite clear to me. Disagreements among scholars and critics about Mamet’s work most often revolve around what kind of response the works try to elicit. If the plays are taken as realistic depictions of real world issues, one set of responses results; but if they are not seen as realistic, then there is more often a view of his plays as satire rather than realism. The most vociferous split occurs in some feminist readings; a large number of interpreters see Mamet as a rabid sexist; others defend him as satirizing the sexism some see not in his characters but in the writer himself. The division, in part, is created by the