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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Heap, Brian S.
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Philip Sherlock Centre for the Performing Arts
Paper/Section Title
Interrogating the Absent Text: The Critical Tradition and West Indian Drama
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Proceedings Title
Twenty-third Annual Conference on West Indian Literature
Date of Meeting
March 8-11, 2004
Place of Meeting
St. George’s University, Grenada
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Abstract
Of all genres of West Indian Literature, it is dramatic literature which is most woefully under-represented in the critical tradition of the region. Whatever dramatic criticism exists tends to be focused on a limited number of playwrights, namely, Derek Walcott, Trevor Rhone and Dennis Scott together with a handful of others. The problems facing researchers and critics of West Indian Drama, stem largely from the absence of published dramatic texts, a situation underscored in Judy Stone’s study Theatre, where many of the West Indian drama texts cited are available only in manuscript form. There remain huge gaps even in the published works of the three major West Indian playwrights mentioned above. Taking the Jamaican National Pantomime tradition as a case in point, the author explores some of the challenges facing researchers of West Indian Drama with regard to the sourcing of scripts, editing texts, multiple versions of texts, authorized and unauthorized texts, the use of audio and video technology in the reconstruction of scripts, issues of liveness, problems of didascalia, notions of the dramatic text/performance text, as well as alternatives to hard copy publication for facilitating further research in this area.....
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