United Kingdom Drama and Fiction

United Kingdom Drama and Fiction

Europe

THE RESUMPTION OF THE DRAMA

The really new and important phenomenon of the second post-war period is finally represented by the amazing resumption of the drama. With Look Back in Anger (1956; Remember with anger) by J. Osborne (1929-94), a period not only of salutary social rebellion, but of dramatic wealth erupted in Britain. In the plays of Osborne and Beckett, by H. Pinter (b.1930), J. Arden (b.1930) and A. Wesker (n.1932) different forms of modern drama have been created – the social drama and that of existential protest, the domestic drama of silence and absence – united by intense vitality, great technical mastery, mastery of language and theatrical effectiveness. Although the authors cited have not been able to express themselves later on at the levels of their first works, other playwrights have brought new energy and new ideas to the still very lively British theater. First of all we remember E. Bond (b.1934), with plays centered on the relationship between artist and society, between intellectual and power, and then D. Hare (b.1947), H. Brenton (b.1942), Snoo Wilson (b.1948), exited from the Portable Theater, who played a decisive role in the renewal of the English theater. The same interest is found in the theater of David Edgar (b.1948) and John McGrath (b.1935).

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

Thatcherism, which dominated English life in all its aspects at the end of the 1970s, had, in a sense, trapped the world of British culture in a grip of disinterest; However, the resignation of Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and the assumption of the office of premier by her successor John Major did not represent a significant turning point: Major has in fact expressed every intention to prolong the climate of neo-Victorianism created in the previous decade, even if the actual value of this proposal has certainly decreased with the multiplication of scandals that have tarnished the public image of the Tories. A group of progressive intellectuals, committed to issues such as civil rights, nuclear power and environmental protection, have hurled themselves against the leaden atmosphere that has fallen on British literary circles. Among them we can mention I. McEwan (b. 1948), an anti-Hatcherian of sublime irony; M. Amis (b. 1949), brilliant and irreverent; J. Barnes (b.1946), ironic and elegant representative of what he himself defined as post-British narrative, aimed at the destruction of all clichés. Of note for the great political commitment during the Eighties: Graham Swift, Jeannette Winterson, Kate Pullinger, Marek Illis and Leslie Dick, interested in the issues of marginalization and new poverty. According to Aristmarketing, English literature of the late nineties of the century. XX is characterized by a plurality of writings and voices. The most significant trend continues to be represented by the current of the so-called “writers from elsewhere”, or “fiction of the emigrants”, of those writers from geographically different countries and cultures and united only by the use of the English language. In fact, no narrative strand or formal project unites and distinguishes this crowd of authors, made up of personalities already known and internationally established such as the Anglo-Indians S. Rushdie (b.1947) and V. Seth (b.1953), the Anglo-Pakistani H. Kureishi (b.1954), the Japanese Kazuo Ishiguro (b. first time in the literary world. This is the case of the Anglo-Jamaican Zadie Smith (b.1975) with her first novel White Teeth (1999; White Teeth), which met with great success with audiences and critics: Smith tackles with amusing, ironic and confident the problem of integration between cultures and races, describing the life of two generations of two families, one from Bangladesh and the other from Jamaica. From another angle the same problem is addressed in the work of the young Anglo-Chinese writer Timothy Mo (b.1958), Renegade or Halo? (1999; Renegade or saint?), Who prefers to outline the difficulties and dramatic aspects of integration in a foreign land with dark and dark hues. The “popular” exponent of the English middle class can be identified in N. Hornby (b. 1957), a fervent author of humor and emotion, who hides behind the habits, rituals and passions of his characters the attempt not to sink in existential problems. Behind an amused language and sometimes carefree plots, there is a deep knowledge of the social and psychological reality of youth. The presence of women was significant in this period, which, negatively marked by the death of A. Carter (1940-92), a visionary and neo-baroque talent, saw active, in addition to P. Fitzgerald (1916-2000) and M. Spark (b.1918), the writers AS Byatt (b.1936) and M. Drabble (b.1939). The Scotsman Iain M. Banks (b.1954), distinguished for his fantastic-sci-fi genre (Inversions, 1998, Capovolgimenti) and his gothic-apocalyptic settings (A Song of Stone, 1997, Canto di pietra), was joined by the Englishman A. Garland (b. 1970), who examines and scrutinizes the universe of youth, confirming his ability as a storyteller. In opera, Andrew Motion (b.1952), John Burnside (b.1955), Simon Armitage (b.1963), Jeremy Reed (b.1951), Paul Muldoon (b.1951) have been noted. JK Rowling (b. 1965) is the most authoritative representative of children’s literature: the adventures of little Harry Potter, which began in 1997, continue to fascinate an ever wider audience.

United Kingdom Drama and Fiction