Take a look at Theatre Conversation and Superfluities and then read this:
I noted to MattJ that questions such as these, I felt, were impractical and ultimately not going to bring him to much of an end. What I note there is that instead of worry about the broad terminology and vocabulary of art, it's better to focus on one's own preferences and aethetics and choices.
George stopped in to offer what appears to be encouragement and defense for MattJ.
We all butter our bread differently, gentlemen. But I can honestly say that when I am sitting at my "typewriter" (what a romantic notion) I do not consider the effects of the postwar period on what comes out of my fingertips.
The more consciously you consider your influences and the theory behind your work, I suppose, I feel the more self-consciously those influences will appear and less intuitive your own work will be. I love to watch Beckett because he kicks me in the gut and makes me insanely jealous and makes me laugh and feel hopeless and human all at once.
I think that we often find comfort in the idea that Beckett was a "product" of his time and his influences. That makes it easier for us to feel as if there is not something elusive and unreachable about being a great artist: that his or her work comes from a tradition, and if we follow that tradition or "figure it out" we, too, can have access to that greatness.
If that was true, of course, there would be nothing noteworthy about the acheivements of the true geniuses of art. Modern, post-modern or otherwise.
No amount of reading about art will make anyone a great artist.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.