Synopses & Reviews
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.
"[Mamet] brings his usual passion and provocation to his treatise on what makes good drama." Vanity Fair
"No modern playwright has been bolder or more brilliant." The New Yorker
"Pinter, Albee, Miller. They're all looking over Mamet's shoulder." New York
"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
The purpose of theater, like magic, like religion . . . is to inspire cleansing awe. What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? David Mamet, one of our greatest living playwrights, tackles these questions with bracing directness and aphoristic authority. He 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 Salesmanand 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 was born in Chicago in 1947. He studied at Goddard College in Vermont and at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York. He has taught at Goddard College, the Yale Drama School, and New York University, and lectures at the Atlantic Theater Company, of which he is a founding member. He is the author of the acclaimed plays The Cryptogram
, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo,
and Sexual Perversity in Chicago
. He has also written screenplays for such films as House of Games
and the Oscar-nominated The Verdict
, as well as The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy,
and Wag the Dog
. His plays have won the Pulitzer Prize and the Obie Award.