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Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama

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Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama Cover

ISBN13: 9780375704239
ISBN10: 037570423x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? With bracing directness and aphoristic grace, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross delivers a thrillingly original treatise on his art.

To David Mamet, human beings are drama-creating animals who impose narrative structures on everything from today's weather to next year's elections. Mamet distinguishes true drama from its false variants, unravels the infamous "Second-Act Problem," amd considers the mysterious persistence of the soliloquy. Three Uses of the Knife is an inspired guide for any playwright or theatergoer that doubles as a trenchant work of moral and aesthetic philosophy.

Review:

"[Mamet] brings his usual passion and provocation to his treatise on what makes good drama." Vanity Fair

Review:

"No modern playwright has been bolder or more brilliant." The New Yorker

Review:

"Pinter, Albee, Miller. They're all looking over Mamet's shoulder." New York

Review:

"David Mamet adds yet another segment to a body of work that puts him among the great writers of this, or any other, time." Joe Mantegna

Synopsis:

The purpose of theater, like magic like religion…ids to inspire cleansing awe. With bracing directness and aphoristic authority, one of our greatest living playwrights addresses the questions: What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? David Mamet believes that the tendency to dramatize is essential to human nature, that we create drama out of everything from today’s weather to next year’s elections. But the highest expression of this drive remains the theater.

         With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants. He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright’s art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy. 

About the Author

David Mamet has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

the macguffin, January 3, 2008 (view all comments by the macguffin)
I first bought this in its lovely hardcover edition upon its first publication. It is one of those books I keep having to find again and again. I lend it to people with no intention of getting it back - besides, so much of it rings true in my blood. It is simple, inspiring and a gift.

What is the protagonists journey is the artists journey.

The usual Mamet common sense is used throughout. It is in many cases truly sublime. If you miss this, you may be chomping through this too quickly. Chew it slow. It's all there.

As you read, perhaps highlighting passages as I did, look for statement which concludes "In goats, it is leaping. In humans, it is art."

As a theater artist, in the now and then wariness of this starving life and calling, it is a work to return to. I remember the nobility of what we do and why we do it.

A slim, beautiful work.
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(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375704239
Author:
Mamet, David
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
American
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - Play/Scriptwriting
Subject:
Drama
Subject:
Technique
Subject:
Drama -- Technique.
Subject:
General Drama
Subject:
Reference/Writing
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20000631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x .25 in .1875 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » American Anthology
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » General
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Production » General
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Plays
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Shakespeare » Works
Reference » Writing » General

Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 96 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375704239 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[Mamet] brings his usual passion and provocation to his treatise on what makes good drama."
"Review" by , "No modern playwright has been bolder or more brilliant."
"Review" by , "Pinter, Albee, Miller. They're all looking over Mamet's shoulder."
"Review" by , "David Mamet adds yet another segment to a body of work that puts him among the great writers of this, or any other, time."
"Synopsis" by , The purpose of theater, like magic like religion…ids to inspire cleansing awe. With bracing directness and aphoristic authority, one of our greatest living playwrights addresses the questions: What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? David Mamet believes that the tendency to dramatize is essential to human nature, that we create drama out of everything from today’s weather to next year’s elections. But the highest expression of this drive remains the theater.

         With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants. He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright’s art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy. 

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