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Acting Naturally 9780813922690

Acting Naturally

Victorian Theatricality and Authenticity

ISBN-10: 0813922690
ISBN-13: 9780813922690
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: University Press of Virginia
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: In 'Acting Naturally' Lynn Voskuil argues that Victorian Britons saw themselves as authentically performative, a paradoxical belief that focused their sense of vocation as individuals, as a public, and as a nation. Rather than confirming the customary view of Victorian England as fundamentally anti-theatrical, Voskuil shows instead how the Victorians' fabled commitment to the culture of sincerity was often authorized, rather than invariably threatened, by their equally powerful fascination with acting and performance. She explores a diverse range of materials: plays, novels, drama and theater criticism, newspaper reviews and columns, theatrical memoirs, private diaries and letters, cartoons, political pamphlets, and satires. their late-Victorian transformations in a variety of cultural practices and controversies, among them the conduct of audiences at sensation theater in the 1860s, political debates over the Eastern Question in the 1870s, and the cult of personality that shaped the popularity of stage actors Henry Irving and Ellen Terry in the late 1880s. By demonstrating that Britons were perceived or enjoined to act naturally in such cases, this book not only offers an innovative interpretation of Victorian culture but also challenges what has become a theoretical commonplace: the unreflective use of postmodern theatricality to explain earlier cultures and literatures. Precisely by analysing central issues in the historical context of the 19th century, 'Acting Naturall'y reconceives widely used theoretical models that have influenced literary, performance, and cultural studies more broadly in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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PUBLICATION DATE:
PAGES: 232
CATEGORY: History, Literary Criticism, Performing Arts, Social Science
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