SHAKESPEARE'S GAME

What the world doesn't need: another set of jargon phrases to use in diagramming the life out of Shakespeare's plays. Gibson (Two for the Seesaw, The Miracle Worker) fashioned his particular vocabulary for a graduate seminar in play-wrighting, and perhaps in that context there was some educational benefit in describing Shakespearean scenes and overall dramatic structure in terms of "levels," "moves," "submoves," "objects," "barriers," "master premises," "surrogates," "third-act pivots," or "plunges" (the last two really just new tags for what every high-schooler learns as "climax" and "denouement"). For the general reader, however, as Gibson dips in and out of Hamlet, Lear, Othello, The Tempest, and many others, the effect is unoriginal at best—parallels between Lear and Gloucester, what keeps Hamlet from killing Claudius, etc.—and often infuriatingly cloddish, as with Midsummer's Night Dream: "The ass is 'translated' from the third level, where the move is the artisans' and its object is on the first. . . . On the fourth level, Oberon is the move and Titania the object." Only one sequence, in which Gibson uses his system in a comparison of the 1603 and 1604 version of Hamlet, offers anything remotely fresh and illuminating to scholar or playgoer. For the rest, we'll have to applaud playwright Gibson's assurance that this is his "first and last book as a critic.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689705735

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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