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August Wilson (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom

By Harold Bloom

In 1987 August Wilson was once presented the Pulitzer prize for his play Fences. research this play besides Ma Rainey's Black backside, Joe Turner's Come and long past, and Trains working. This sequence is edited via Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the arts, Yale college; Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Professor of English, long island collage Graduate university; preeminent literary critic of our time. Titles current crucial 20th-century feedback on significant works from The Odyssey via smooth literature reflecting a number of colleges of feedback. Texts additionally comprise serious biographies, notes at the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's existence, and an index, and an introductory essay through Bloom.

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As may be deduced by the play’s Pulitzer Prizewinning status and the widespread popularity of the domestic drama in both theaters and anthologies, audiences as well as readers connect with the characters and see themselves in the process. Moreover, the numerous universal emotions evoked in Fences make it a play that crosses boundaries of time, age, race, gender, and culture. The major story line does not limit itself to a symbolic African landscape. Instead, it involves a garbage collector’s war waged against himself, his coworkers, and his family for missing his dream of playing major league baseball.

Neither can I recall any artist directly responding to such an honest though artistically intrusive query. Frankly, had Wilson answered this woman’s question as forthrightly as she had posed it, he would have likely offended her. In effect, what she wanted to know was how could a white woman sit through a theatrical performance of Joe Turner, sharing the same space as African American spectators, and totally miss that the people on stage were Africans? What she revealed instead was that she—like other spectators of various races and cultural backgrounds who share her struggle—had not grasped the manifestations of the Africa that Wilson’s plays embrace in performance.

Washington Times critic Hap Erstein concurred: “It [the performance] certainly doesn’t need an added symbolic character that Mr. ”34 Interestingly, while Erstein’s review of the play may have mirrored some of the audience’s sentiments, his argument is significantly weakened by his failure to stipulate his meaning of “obvious” within the context of this performance. Moreover, his reasoning does not extend to the next logical step: a clear explanation of what the African dancer does convey. As is often the tendency of culturally uninformed critics, words can become smoke and mirrors, behind which there is frequently little substance.

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