The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America [EPUB]
17 February 2018, 15:37
2018 | EPUB | 4.93MB
The oral history of Angels in America, as told by the artists who created it and the audiences forever changed by it--a moving account of the AIDS era, essential queer history, and an exuberant backstage tale.
When Tony Kushner's Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, launched a score of major careers, and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture. Mike Nichols's 2003 HBO adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, and Mary-Louise Parker was itself a tour de force, winning Golden Globes and eleven Emmys, and introducing the play to an even wider public. This generation-defining classic continues to shock, move, and inspire viewers worldwide.
Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois offer the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, the vibrant conversation and debate of actors (including Streep, Parker, Nathan Lane, and Jeffrey Wright), directors, producers, crew, and Kushner himself. Their intimate storytelling reveals the on- and offstage turmoil of the play's birth--a hard-won miracle beset by artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative. And historians and critics help to situate the play in the arc of American culture, from the staunch activism of the AIDS crisis through civil rights triumphs to our current era, whose politics are a dark echo of the Reagan '80s.
Expanded from a popular Slate cover story and built from nearly 250 interviews, The World Only Spins Forward is both a rollicking theater saga and an uplifting testament to one of the great works of American art of the past century, from its gritty San Francisco premiere to its starry, much-anticipated Broadway revival in 2018.
Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar [EPUB]
16 February 2018, 12:26
2017 | EPUB | 1.65MB
David Crystal explains grammar's rules and irregularities, shows how to navigate its snares and pitfalls, and explores its history and varieties. He gives practical guidance on how grammar may be used for different purposes and in different settings. He provides a series of insights into the stages by which children acquire grammar and shows how this can be used to guide its early instruction. He casts a mordant eye on what learned people have said about English grammar over the centuries and what they continue to say now. People have always been uneasy about points of grammar and worried that what they say may not always be what they mean. Grammar is complex but, Professor Crystal shows, it need not be daunting: the more we understand it, he argues, the more sense we shall make.
Making Sense is as entertaining as it is instructive. David Crystal unites investigations of its nature, variations, history, learning, and teaching with a host of practical advice. Like its three companion volumes it will appeal to everyone interested in the English language and how to use it.
The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention [EPUB]
12 February 2018, 15:52
2006 | EPUB | 6.79MB
Language is mankind's greatest invention-except, of course, that it was never invented." So begins linguist Guy Deutscher's enthralling investigation into the genesis and evolution of language. If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of "man throw spear," how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced degrees of meaning?
Drawing on recent groundbreaking discoveries in modern linguistics, Deutscher exposes the elusive forces of creation at work in human communication, giving us fresh insight into how language emerges, evolves, and decays. He traces the evolution of linguistic complexity from an early "Me Tarzan" stage to such elaborate single-word constructions as the Turkish sehirlilestiremediklerimizdensiniz ("you are one of those whom we couldn't turn into a town dweller"). Arguing that destruction and creation in language are intimately entwined, Deutscher shows how these processes are continuously in operation, generating new words, new structures, and new meanings.
As entertaining as it is erudite, The Unfolding of Language moves nimbly from ancient Babylonian to American idiom, from the central role of metaphor to the staggering triumph of design that is the Semitic verb, to tell the dramatic story and explain the genius behind a uniquely human faculty.