Sixty Years of the Theater; An Old Critic's Memories

Sixty Years of the Theater; An Old Critic's Memories

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1916 edition. Excerpt: ...the unsophisticated British country squire, vainly aping fashionable manners, whom Sheridan sketched. He was delectable, infinitely amusing, utterly unreal--Joseph Jefferson in delicious masquerade. Wherein then--if he was not a creator and could not or did not play great parts, and, therefore, was not, in the true sense, a great actor--is to be found the secret of Jefferson's popularity and fame? The answer is easy. In his consummate artistry and his personal fascination. Whether or not he was conscious of the comparatively narrow boundaries of his dramatic powers does not much matter. It is sufficient to know that he made no serious effort to cross them. He was content, throughout the greater part of his long and active life, to play the characters which, in a very special sense, he had made peculiarly his own. In effecting these personifications he employed a technical skill which was as nearly perfect as anything in this imperfect world can be. His most intricate and delicate mechanism worked with flawless accuracy, precision, and smoothness. Everything that he said or did upon the stage appeared to proceed from the impulse of the moment, to be entirely spontaneous. It cost him long years of hard and varied stage work, in his youth, to acquire this mechanical proficiency, but the investment of time and labor brought him an exceedingly rich reward. He earned it and deserved it, but that is no reason why he should be accredited with a genius he did not possess. In scribbling these desultory and discursive reminiscences I have tried only to touch upon those outstanding features in a vast mass of theatrical matter which may be of some present significance and interest. There has been no attempt at a complete record. The great majority of the...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 96 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 5mm | 186g
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236668022
  • 9781236668028