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Instant Depths

Michael Wood, 7 July 1994

The Cryptogram 
by David Mamet.
The Ambassador's Theatre
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A Whore’s Profession: Notes and Essays 
by David Mamet.
Faber, 412 pp., £12.99, June 1994, 0 571 17076 5
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... The earlier plays of David Mamet seemed to spring from a meeting between Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter, as if the characters from The Caretaker or The Homecoming had caught the American anxieties of Death of a Salesman. Pinter is also never far from the later plays, and he directed Oleanna in London; but other, more oblique influences now hover in the air ...

Magician behind Bars

Michael Rogin: David Mamet in a Cul de Sac, 2 July 1998

The Old Religion 
by David Mamet.
Faber, 194 pp., £9.99, May 1998, 0 571 19260 2
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... black boxer in Body and Soul who (in a reversal of the Leo Frank case) has died to save the Jew. David Mamet, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 22 plays and 14 screenplays (and director of five films), has written a novel about Leo Frank. Although The Old Religion credits some of the sources from which I have taken the above account, it keeps both ...

Which is the hero?

David Edgar, 20 March 1997

Henrik Ibsen 
by Robert Ferguson.
Cohen, 466 pp., £25, November 1996, 1 86066 078 9
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... to address about intense human dilemmas, demonstrate that he was not a Shavian but a Mametian. For David Mamet, drama poses questions the conscious mind cannot answer, questions whose complexity and depth render them insusceptible to rational examination. For Ferguson, Nora Helming’s escape from the Doll’s House is both psychologically implausible and ...

Making faces

Philip Horne, 9 May 1991

The Grimace 
by Nicholas Salaman.
Grafton, 256 pp., £13.99, February 1991, 0 246 13770 3
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Playing the game 
by Ian Buruma.
Cape, 234 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 224 02758 1
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The Music of Chance 
by Paul Auster.
Faber, 217 pp., £13.99, March 1991, 9780571161577
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... and outer chaos is such that one occasionally imagines it could be easily made into a movie (by David Mamet, perhaps, another connoisseur of the disturbing set-up), but then come such wonderful moments as the following, when Nashe and the gambler Pozzi arrive for the big game:Nashe put the car into neutral, applied the emergency brake, and climbed out ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2012, 3 January 2013

... dog, has written a play, premiering at Quahog, which ‘all the playwrights’ (i.e. Yasmina Reza, David Mamet and me) duly go and see – and rubbish. They had first of all asked if they could use me as a cartoon character to which I graciously agreed (not saying that I felt it was the highlight of my career). It was then they asked if I would voice ...

American Manscapes

Richard Poirier, 12 October 1989

Manhood and the American Renaissance 
by David Leverenz.
Cornell, 372 pp., $35.75, April 1989, 0 8014 2281 7
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... of infamous goodies. Meanwhile, FDA criticism will probably earn a few more adherents thanks to David Leverenz’s Manhood and the American Renaissance. It is better than most such books because, for one thing, he is at times a competent if constricted close reader, while being at heart resentful that he is required to be one at all by certain of the works ...

Benefits of Diaspora

Eric Hobsbawm: The Jewish Emancipation, 20 October 2005

... perhaps global – meanings of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, we barely notice, as David Mamet has reminded us, how recognisably Jewish is the experience on which it is based. In the visual arts, one or two distinguished figures who happened to be Jews (Liebermann, Pissarro) gave way to a cosmopolitan 20th-century diaspora in which Jews ...

The centre fights back

Lynn Hunt, 22 July 1993

Politics by Other Means: Higher Education and Group Thinking 
by David Bromwich.
Yale, 296 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 300 05702 4
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Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts can Revitalise American Education 
by Gerald Graff.
Norton, 224 pp., £13.95, March 1993, 0 393 03424 0
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... Thanks to David Mamet’s new play Oleanna, the distracted, bumbling and self-regarding male professor has now become the archetypal victim of political correctness. Mamet’s John is victimised by Carol, the ultimate female intellectual mediocrity who gets her revenge on his patronising didacticism by turning him in to the university tenure committee on grounds of sexual impropriety ...

Nothing Natural

Jenny Turner: SurrogacyTM, 23 January 2020

Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism against Family 
by Sophie Lewis.
Verso, 216 pp., £14.99, May 2019, 978 1 78663 729 1
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Making Kin Not Population 
edited by Adele Clarke and Donna Haraway.
Prickly Paradigm, 120 pp., £10, July 2018, 978 0 9966355 6 1
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... a demand for babies produced in places where life is cheaper. Google Baby introduced us to Doron Mamet-Meged, an Israeli entrepreneur who paid $140,000 for an American surrogate to carry his daughter. In IT, he knew, costs were being cut by sending everything possible to India, so he got into the surrogacy business. The film shows Doron driving to the ...

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