From the Twilight to the Ecstasy: The Death and Life ...

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Title From the Twilight to the Ecstasy: The Death and Life of 'Rita Joe'
Author(s) Gregory K. Doran
Date 1999
Publisher University of New Brunswick, 1998
Place published Ottawa, National Library of Canada = Bibliotheque nationale du Canada, [1999]
Abstract From the Twilight to the Ecstasy: The Death and Life of Rita Joe' is a scholarly edition of George Ryga's play 'The Ecstasy of Rita Joe '. It combines and employs the editorial practices of D. H. Reiman and Jerome J. McGann in order both to explore the play's creation and to present clearly the disorderly history of this text. The manuscripts of the play are divided into two sections: the manuscript [MS] versions, which represent the early drafts, and the performance [PF] versions, which are the production drafts. Reiman's theory of textual versioning is deployed to represent the four MS versions of the play. Each discrete version is presented with supplementary notes. For the NIS versions, my editorial methodology privileges authorial intent. However, McGann's theory of the socialized text guides the presentation of the PF versions, in which a more communal authorial process develops. This version is eclectic, using a single copytext supplemented with variants from the PF versions. The annotated texts of the play are accompanied by three essays. The textual essay describes and addresses the peculiar textual problems involved with the project, and introduces and contextualizes the rationale behind the editorial methodologies chosen. The biocritical essay examines areas of Ryga's life relevant to a deeper understanding of the play's genesis. The critical essay introduces a new reading of the play as an example of Canadian agitprop. This project is intended to provide Ryga scholars with access to the information in the manuscripts. As well, a reader of this dissertation will be able to follow the play's creative path. Critics will benefit from the clear presentation of the variants; dramaturges will appreciate the theatrical contextualization of the canonical piece. Uninitiated readers may be surprised at how the play changed under the single influence of Ryga compared with the collaborative influence of the rehearsal hall.

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