In Sean O’Casey’s Golden Days (1965)
Despite increased respect for Sean O’Casey’s work, he is still mainly remembered for Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars. The reason for this curious fact, I think, may be traced to the nature of dramatic criticism, an area of human speculation eminently averse to original thought. From its beginning, it has proceeded by the reiterated cliché. For centuries drama critics rephrased in garbled fashion a few dictums of Aristotle and debated such vital issues as how many choruses could dance on the head of a paean. The rare original critic Sam Johnson had to spend most of his time defending the excellences of King Lear from the host of academic cliché experts who preferred the correctness of Gorboduc. That situation remains unchanged. The modern repertoire is still formed by the promulgation of clichés which it is sacrilegious to question and which may still be the dernier cri of criticism in the year 2500.
KeywordsDust Agar Smoke Kelly Defend
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