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The Failure of Theory; or, Oleanna on Stage and Screen
Ira Bruce Nadel format: audio
length: 0:20:45
Date Added: 01/20/2006


Oleanna works on the stage because it concentrates conflict within a theatre to create a threatening space from which there is no escape. But on the screen, this dissipates as conflict becomes pathos at the same time it tempts viewers with visual escape, although there is no place to go (in his other work, escape and action seem to substitute for language: re Heist or Spartan ). Carol can claim that she wants action not words from John but neither he, nor Mamet, delivers.

About the Author

Ira Nadel, Professor of English at the University of British Columbia and UBC Distinguished University Scholar, is the author of biographies of Leonard Cohen, Tom Stoppard and, most recently, Ezra Pound. He has also published critical studies on Joyce and the subject of biography, and edited collections on Gertrude Stein, George Orwell and Pound. He is currently working on a life of the playwright David Mamet.

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