Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Reviewing Utopia

The latest issue of the journal Shaw is now out, and it includes a book review I wrote of Siân Adiseshiah's new book Utopian Drama: In Search of a Genre.

Adiseshiah's full-length study of how dramatists have staged utopia naturally has a chapter on Bernard Shaw, whose Back to Methuselah is a classic work of utopian literature. She also delves into some other plays by the writer, however, including The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles and Farfetched Fables.

I enjoyed the rest of the book, as well, which includes studies of Aristophanes and other writers of Old Comedy, as well as the early modern author Margaret Cavendish. British dramatist Howard Brenton also gets his own chapter. Though he isn't produced much today, I'll be talking about his play Bloody Poetry in January when I deliver a paper on Lord Byron's impact on modern drama at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association.

The journal has full-length articles by Bernard Dukore (whom I met this summer at a Shaw conference at the College of William and Mary), Michel Pharand, Brigitte Bogar, Kay Li, and others. It looks like editor Christopher Wixson has put together a wonderful issue. I'm looking forward to reading it!