Modern French Literature Criticism: French Theater - Essay

David Bradby (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Bradby, David. “Introduction: The Inter-War Years.” In Modern French Drama: 1940-1980, pp. 1-15. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

[In the following introduction to Modern French Drama: 1940-1980, Bradby presents a brief overview of the state of French theater following World War I.]

When the second war broke out in Europe, the French theatre had come to the end of an era. The inter-war period had witnessed the triumph of literary drama and poetic production style; Jouvet, Dullin and other outstanding directors had achieved world-wide fame with glittering productions of plays by a new school of playwrights led by Giraudoux,...

(The entire section is 8163 words.)

David Bradby (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Bradby, David. “Playwrights of the Seventies.” In Modern French Drama: 1940-1980, pp. 224-49. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

[In the following essay, Bradby discusses major French dramatists and directors of the 1970s, focusing on both playwriting and staging issues.]

In the course of the seventies, major changes have taken place in French playwriting which are still difficult to assess. In the excitement of the création collective experiments, during the early years of the decade, the traditional role of the playwright almost seemed to have disappeared: instead of starting with a text, theatre companies started from an idea,...

(The entire section is 13360 words.)

Jeanyves Guérin (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Guérin, Jeanyves. “Is There Something Rotten in the State of French Theater?” In Myths and Realities of Contemporary French Theater: Comparative Views, edited by Patricia M. Hopkins and Wendell A. Aycock, pp. 13-35. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech Press, 1984.

[In the following essay, Guérin traces the development of French theater from the 1930s to the 1960s, noting that the non-establishment authors of the 1960s are now part of the established French literary scene and as such are focusing on experimentation that is based in realism and the use of traditional imagery.]

During the nineteenth century, the French theater went through a long period of decline....

(The entire section is 9333 words.)

Bettina L. Knapp (essay date 1985)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Knapp, Bettina L. Introduction to French Theater: 1918-1939, pp. 1-14. London: Macmillan, 1985.

[In the following essay, Knapp provides a brief history of French playwrights and directors during the years between the two world wars.]

11 November 1918. The Armistice. The end of World War I. A spirit of intense joy swept over France. Jazz bands howled out their brash sounds and rhythmic beats; dancing became popular once again; parades filled the streets. Theatre flourished. Entertainment and excitement were the rule of the day. A counterpoise, certainly, to the harsh facts of war: one and a half million Frenchmen had died; countless had suffered in the trenches;...

(The entire section is 3663 words.)