Simon Gray Unbound

The Journey of a Dramatist


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About the Book

The work of English playwright Simon Gray (1936–2008) has always resisted ideological and stylistic labels. His artistic independence has also had an unwelcome side effect: It cost him the critical attention garnered by his peers. This book, the first monograph on Gray, examines his oeuvre from the early plays, which hack away at the formalism and humanism of traditional English satire, to the later ones, in which he explores English professionals and their problems connecting with each other. If Gray remains the least known major English dramatist of his day, he’s also one of the boldest and best.

About the Author(s)

Peter Wolfe is a curators’ professor of English at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The author of more than 20 books, he has also taught in Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan, Russia, Poland and Australia.

Bibliographic Details

Peter Wolfe
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 257
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6299-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8530-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Abbreviations      viii

Preface      1

1. Up from Bundling      3

2. Bundling Alchemized      24

3. The Labors of the Thrice- Born      42

4. Exit Wounds      58

5. Nodes on a Grid      105

6. The Death of Education      136

7. Coercive Connections      170

Conclusion: Stranded      208

Bibliography      239

Index      245

Book Reviews & Awards

“Wolfe’s well-executed, uncommonly astute, eminently readable critical study charts the journey of the conflicted Englishman’s distinctive dramatic art. Highly recommended”—Choice; “Simon Gray is the best British playwright whose work too many Americans are not familiar enough with. Happily, Peter Wolfe brings him and his astonishing body of work to our attention and keeps it there throughout this probing, exhaustive and thoroughly readable study of the man and his plays. You will want to know all Simon Gray’s plays after reading Mr. Wolfe’s book and you will be very glad you did.”—Terrence McNally, Playwright.