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Old Challenges and New Horizons in English and American Studies


Edited By Anna Walczuk and Wladyslaw Witalisz

The volume is a collection of essays representative of the wide focus of research encouraged and coordinated by the Polish Association for the Study of English (member of ESSE). Articles selected for the volume deal with works of poetry, drama and prose written in English and invite the reader to view them in the context of intercultural and intertextual discourse. Authors discussed in the articles include: John Redford, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, James Macpherson, John Clare, Anna Radcliffe, Horace Walpole, George Gordon Byron, Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, T.F. Powys, Patrick White, Brian Friel, Brendan Behan, Philip Roth, Alice Walker, Chaim Potok, Ian McEwan, Kiran Desai, and Sarah Kane. In many of the essays the reader will notice a meta-discursive argument on the interplay between tradition and innovation in English studies.
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Cleansing the Readings: A Study of Egoism and Derangement in Sarah Kane’s Cleansed


Maciej Wieczorek

Uniwersytet Łódzki

The 1990s in British drama, also known as the “nasty nineties,” have witnessed a proliferation of young, talented playwrights whose work proves to be particularly captivating in that the majority of the plays written during the decade explore, renegotiate and recycle a number of themes and problems included in the established literary canon, often doing it in a blatantly transgressive way. The end of what Lyotard labels as “Grand Narratives,” the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the abolition of theatre censorship in Britain in 1968 and the growing sense of tedium associated with state-of-the-nation plays and psychological drama have all contributed to the birth of the in-yer-face theatre. Michał Lachman observes that the dramatic works written during the 90s “try to determine what happened to the enclaves of direct, unbiased feeling and perception” (2007: 26).1 Thus, it is hardly surprising that the plays by authors like Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Martin McDonagh, Anthony Neilson or Patrick Marber frequently touch upon thorny issues such as drug abuse, violence, rape, adultery, incest, human sexuality, or simply try to evaluate the position of an individual within the modern world.

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