|About the Book|
Contrary to the current attribution here, the two plays in this volume were written in collaboration by W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood.In both these plays, Auden and Isherwood seem to be feeling their way forward in darkness to some thought-to-be-gleaming light around a few corners ahead: in England of the 1930s, they were looking for a new dramatic form to suit the times. They had lots of ideas, including the interleaving of verse and prose, the mixing of quasi-realistic with symbolic and typological characters, and the occasional reliance on Marxism and Freudianism as standpoints from which to craft events and traits. But either they were not the men for the job or, more likely, the job they set out to do couldnt be done with the tools they chose. Consequently, the mountain-climbing drama of The Ascent of F6 and the socio-political drama of On the Frontier seem now just about as closet-worthy--that is, not stage-worthy--as some of the poetic tragedies produced by British writers in the 19th century.