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Performance: A Critical Introduction Paperback – Oct 16 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (Dec 9 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415299276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415299275
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #468,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


This is vintage Carlson - erudite, concise, precise and engaging..
–Maria Shevstova, Theatre Quarterly

About the Author

Marvin Carlson is the Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has received the ATHE Career Achievement Award, the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the Calloway Prize and the ASTR Distinguished Scholarship Award. He has published widely in theatre history and theory, performance studies and dramatic literature.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xb271a3b4) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb3d0fd38) out of 5 stars Pretty much the only coherent overview of "Performance Art" Nov. 30 2008
By Mike - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I was taking a modern drama class. The course readings were baffling and the plays were fashionable nonsense in a fashion I didn't understand.

This book tells you what the relevant ideas are for understanding (inasmuch as inscrutable irrationalist art can be understood, at least) "performance" succinctly. It identifies the theorists associated with various performance styles, and relates major events in the history of "performance art".

The style is reminiscent of Russell's History of Western Philosophy. It's mildly informal (but richly informed), fairly dry, very succinct, and ultimately so compact as to be almost bullet-point like. A true rarity in a field filled with obscurantism. This guy is a knowledgable and phenomenal writer to essentialize an entire field full of baffling primary sources so well and transform it into a textbook.

An absolute must buy if you have to take a modern drama or performance class.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb21f4234) out of 5 stars Superb--and comprehensive Aug. 23 2013
By William Grange - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carlson has organized the book with a mind to setting forth the historical precedents for what has come to be known as "performance studies." There is a wealth of information here, but there are also cultural contexts which reveal the various strands of sociology, psychology, and political philosophy which form and support the idea of "performance." Superbly well written and brilliantly researched.
HASH(0xb21f41c8) out of 5 stars use english; topic is too important to be left to the 3 academics who like words like hegemony Feb. 20 2016
By Rachael Lamkin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
written in that academic language that assures that no one will actually be able to read it.
HASH(0xb21f4450) out of 5 stars Five Stars March 10 2015
By bindi kang - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marvin is the best!