Marbles: A Play In Three Acts by Joseph BrodskyMarbles: A Play In Three Acts by Joseph Brodsky

Marbles: A Play In Three Acts

byJoseph BrodskyTranslated byAlan Myers

Paperback | January 1, 1990

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A Platonic dialogue in the form of a double anachronism--the action takes place two centuries after our era--Joseph Brodsky's only play, Marbles, is set in a prison cell that alone provides for the three unities of classic drama: those of time, place, and action. A nightmare rather than a utopia, this play proceeds according to the immanent logic of mental aggravation as its two characters, the inmates Publius and Tullius, examine the tautology of their psychological, historical, and purely physical confines. The fusion of its dour, somewhat terrifying vision with the macabre hilarity of its verbal texture allows Marbles to take its audience beyond the farthest reaches of the theatre of the absurd, into territory more suitable for modernist imagination than for human experience.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-96) came to the United States in 1972, an involuntary exile from the Soviet Union. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and served as Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991 and 1992.
Title:Marbles: A Play In Three ActsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.23 inPublished:January 1, 1990Publisher:Farrar, Straus And Giroux

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374521166

ISBN - 13:9780374521165


Editorial Reviews

"'Prison is a shortage of space compensated by a surplus of time' is one of numerous references to time and space in this literary expression of Einstein's relativity theory by Nobel Prize-winner Brodsky. A play in classic form, it consists of a dialogue between Publius and Tullius, two Romans incarcerated in a one-mile high steel tower, and takes place at once in ancient Rome and a future supermechanized society. The discourse also concerns timelessness (marble, literature) versus transience (technology, ideology) and reality versus illusion, interspersed with arguments about mundane things. The only dramatic event, Tullius's escape and return, is downplayed. Thus, the play demands much of its audience, especially since allusions to classical literature, history, science, and philosophy abound in the very compact text." -Library Journal