Quintessence of Ibsenism cover

Quintessence of Ibsenism

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

1. Author's Prefaces (1913 & 1889)
2. I. The Two Pioneers
3. II. Ideals and Idealists
4. III. The Womanly Woman
5. IV. The Autobiographical Anti-Idealist Extravaganzas, Pt. 1 (Brand, Peer Gynt)
6. IV. The Autobiographical Anti-Idealist Extravaganzas, Pt. 2 (Emperor & Galilean)
7. V. The Objective Anti-Idealist Plays, Pt. 1 (League of Youth, Pillars of Society, Doll's House)
8. V. The Objective Anti-Idealist Plays, Pt. 2 (Ghosts, Enemy of the People)
9. V. The Objective Anti-Idealist Plays, Pt. 3 (Wild Duck, Rosmersholm)
10. V. The Objective Anti-Idealist Plays, Pt. 4 (Lady from the Sea, Hedda Gabler)
11. VI. Down Among the Dead Men: The Last Four Plays, Pt. 1 (Master Builder)
12. VI. Down Among the Dead Men: The Last Four Plays, Pt. 2 (Little Eyolf)
13. VI. Down Among the Dead Men: The Last Four Plays, Pt. 3 (John Gabriel Borkman)
14. VI. Down Among the Dead Men: The Last Four Plays, Pt. 4 (When We Dead Awaken)
15. VII. The Lesson of the Plays
16. VIII. What is the New Element in the Norwegian School?
17. IX. The Technical Novelty in Ibsen's Plays, Pt. 1
18. IX. The Technical Novelty in Ibsen's Plays, Pt. 2
19. X. Needed: An Ibsen Theatre

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Summary

George Bernard Shaw, a playwright with a few bones to pick of his own, undertakes a surgical analysis of the social philosophies underlying the work of Henrik Ibsen. Focusing his analysis on Ibsen's challenge to the conventional "ideals" which both Ibsen and Shaw consider the greatest evils in human society, Shaw summarizes and exposits sixteen of Ibsen's plays, seizing the opportunity to elucidate some of the principles dearest to himself. Some of the most striking passages reveal Shaw's radical feminist perspectives, some of which resonate as if a half-century ahead of their time. A fascinating revelation of the minds of two great and revolutionary writers (it's not always obvious whose voice is exactly whose), this always-timely book exposes hypocrisies still poisoning Society in the twenty-first century.

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