Theater of Essence

Cloth Text – $49.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-0664-2

Paper Text – $24.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-0665-9
Publication Date
April 1986
Page Count
218 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Theater of Essence

Jan Kott

The sixteen essays collected in The Theater of Essence define the point of view of one of the most influential theater critics of our time. Jan Kott's subjects extend from Tadeusz Borowski, Ibsen, Ionesco, and Gogol to Bunraku theater in Japan, Yiddish theater in New York, and Grotowski's theater in Poland.

About the Author

Jan Kott was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1914. In 1964, he co-signed "The Letter of the Thirty-Four" protesting Polish censorship, and in 1969 he was official dismissed from the University of Warsaw where he was Professor of Polish Literature. Leaving Poland, he came to the United States and has taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1969 to the present.
"Kott is the best guide I know to the theatrical innovators of our time. Even the erudite scholarship is illuminated in the end by his own historical destiny as an exiled intellectual; if he looks backward to read Ibsen anew, or examines the perverse heart of Kabuki, his discoveries are still filtered through the consciousness and experience of Kott our contemporary." --Philip Roth
"Criticism these days in usually dull, dehydrated, and pompous. But not Jan Kott's criticism. It is startling, juicy, informal, jazzy. Even those who think Jan a little mad will concede that there is no methodology in the madness." --Eric Bentley