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The Social Significance of Modern Dramma [Anglais] [Broché]

Emma Goldman


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17 août 2013
The Social Significance of the Modern Drama is a 1914 treatise by Emma Goldman on political implications of significant playwrights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Goldman, who had done significant work with Modernist dramatists (managing tours, hosting, publicizing, and lecturing), here published her analyses of the political implications of modern drama. The book featured analyses of the political -- even radical -- implications of the work of playwrights including Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Hermann Sudermann, Gerhart Hauptmann, Frank Wedekind, Maurice Maeterlinck, Edmond Rostand, Brieux, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, Stanley Houghton, Githa Sowerby, William Butler Yeats, Lennox Robinson, T. G. Murray, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Tchekhof (more familiar in English as "Anton Chekhov"), Maxim Gorki, and Leonid Andreyev. Goldman published the book as she set out on a tour, hoping to acquaint radicals and ordinary citizens alike to the radical potential of modern drama. The book was first published in 1914, Richard G. Badger, The Gorham Press, in Boston, and in Toronto, the Copp Clark Co., Ltd. The book was not a commercial success, and was quickly out of print.

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Emma Goldman (June 27 1869 – May 14, 1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing, and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Kovno in the Russian Empire (present-day Kaunas, Lithuania), Goldman emigrated to the U.S. in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she joined the burgeoning anarchist movement in 1889. Attracted to anarchism after the Haymarket affair, Goldman became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, attracting crowds of thousands. She and anarchist writer Alexander Berkman, her lover and lifelong friend, planned to assassinate industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick as an act of propaganda of the deed. Frick survived the attempt on his life, Berkman was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison. Goldman was imprisoned several times in the years that followed, for "inciting to riot" and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. In 1917, Goldman and Berkman were sentenced to two years in jail for conspiring to "induce persons not to register" for the newly instated draft. After their release from prison, they were arrested and deported to Russia. Initially supportive of that country's Bolshevik revolution, Goldman quickly voiced her opposition to the Soviet use of violence and the repression of independent voices. In 1923, she wrote My Disillusionment in Russia about her experiences. While living in England, Canada, and France, she wrote an autobiography called Living My Life. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, she traveled to Spain to support the anarchist revolution there. She died in Toronto on May 14, 1940, aged 70. During her life, Goldman was lionized as a free-thinking "rebel woman" by admirers, and denounced by critics as an advocate of politically motivated murder and violent revolution. Her writing and lectures spanned a wide variety of issues, including prisons, atheism, freedom of speech, militarism, capitalism, marriage, and homosexuality. Although she distanced herself from first-wave feminism and its efforts toward women's suffrage, she developed new ways of incorporating gender politics into anarchism. After decades of obscurity, Goldman's iconic status was revived in the 1970s, when feminist and anarchist scholars rekindled popular interest in her life.

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