Three Uses of the Knife: On The Nature And Purpose Of Drama by David MametThree Uses of the Knife: On The Nature And Purpose Of Drama by David Mamet

Three Uses of the Knife: On The Nature And Purpose Of Drama

byDavid Mamet

Paperback | June 15, 2000

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The purpose of theater, like magic, like religion . . . is to inspire cleansing awe. What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? David Mamet, one of our greatest living playwrights, tackles these questions with bracing directness and aphoristic authority. He believes that the tendency to dramatize is essential to human nature, that we create drama out of everything from today’s weather to next year’s elections. But the highest expression of this drive remains the theater.
         With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants. He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright’s art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy. 

David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, as well as a director, novelist, poet, and essayist. He has written the screenplays for more than twenty films, including Heist, Spartan, House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy, Wag the Dog, and the Oscar-nominated The Verdict...
Title:Three Uses of the Knife: On The Nature And Purpose Of DramaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 7.99 × 5.2 × 0.28 inPublished:June 15, 2000Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:037570423X

ISBN - 13:9780375704239


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential and Short Between Three Uses of the Knife and Aristotle's Poetics you can learn everything you could possibly want to know about drama in under 150 pages. While short and extremely entertaining, this book can (and probably should for the aspiring writer) be read beside an open notebook being filled with the wisdom it has to impart. There are plenty of writing books out there, most of them are longer, less entertaining, and quite useless. In any other book paragraphs would be dedicated to the mysteries of the creative process, or the magic potion to turn your story into a runaway hit. Mamet needs only a sentance to leave this kind of thinking in ruins. No book can turn you into a great writer, but at least this one will get you thinking like one might.
Date published: 2006-05-31

From Our Editors

Despite the advancements in technology, the theatre remains a popular source of entertainment. One of the greatest contemporary playwrights is David Mamet. He presents a treatise on his art in Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purposes of Drama. Mamet examines the second-act problem, the necessity of the soliloquy and what makes up true drama. Anyone with a love for the theatre will enjoy this book from Mamet, the author of Glengarry Glen Ross and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. 

Editorial Reviews

"[Mamet] brings his usual passion and provocation to his treatise on what makes good drama." --Vanity Fair

"No modern playwright has been bolder or more brilliant." --The New Yorker

"Pinter, Albee, Miller. They're all looking over Mamet's shoulder." --New York

"David Mamet adds yet another segment to a body of work that puts him among the great writers of this, or any other, time." --Joe Mantegna