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About the Author
Theoharis C. Theoharis teaches at Harvard University and is Editor of "The Boston Book Review."
About the Book
Ibsen's Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy argues that in his late plays, Ibsen struggled with and finally repudiated the Aristotelian ideas of reality and change that held sway over the earlier part of his career, and more generally over nineteenth century drama and culture. The first chapter analyzes Aristotle's Poetics, which centers on the classical relation of catharsis, rational agency, and intelligible change in human affairs. The second chapter presents Nietzsche's transformation of those topics into a modernist poetics and a modernist agenda for living. The rest of the book analyzes Ghosts, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder and relates Ibsen's formal, intellectual, and cultural innovations in these plays to Nietzsche's assault on the Aristotelian humanism that Victorian Europe valued so highly.
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