Arnold Wesker

Fragments and Visions

Edited by Anne Etienne and Graham Saunders

Arnold Wesker

Edited by Anne Etienne and Graham Saunders

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

254 pages | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2
Cloth $106.50 ISBN: 9781789383645 Published August 2021 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
After his death, Arnold Wesker (1932–2016) was hailed as one of the great overlooked figures of British drama. Despite his engagement in British cultural politics of the 1960s and an international career, only a fraction of Wesker’s dramatic output has been thoroughly studied. 

Edited by leading scholars in the field and with contributions from important scholars of postwar theater, this volume considers, for the first time, the whole body of Wesker’s work. It includes chapters on Wesker’s reception in Europe, his representation of and attitude towards women, his relationship to his Jewish origins and identity, and his attitude toward politics and community. Building on existing scholarship, drawing extensively from the Arnold Wesker archive at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and introducing new insights and perspectives, this important new essay collection remedies the recent critical neglect of the dramatist.


Anne Etienne and Graham Saunders

Prologue: ‘It Matters’ 

Edward Bond


1. Radical Chic? Centre 42, the Roundhouse and How Culture Countered Wesker in the 1960s 

Lawrence Black

2. Introducing Mr Harold Wesker 

Graham Saunders

3. Roots: A Political Poem 

James Macdonald

4. The Enigma That Is Pip: A Character under Construction in Wesker’s Chips with Everything 

John Bull

5. Wesker’s Flawed Diamond: Their Very Own and Golden City 

Chris Megson


6. ‘Let Battle Commence!’: The Wesker Controversies 

Harry Derbyshire

7. Representing Jewishness and Antisemitism in Arnold Wesker’s Work: Shylock, Badenheim 1939 and Blood Libel

Sue Vice


8. Wesker’s French Connections 

Anne Etienne

9. Wesker the Visual Artist – ‘Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life!’ 

Pamela Howard

10. A Charming Rogue: Wesker’s Relationship with Women – and with Himself 

Michael Fry

11. The Idea of Community in the Plays of Arnold Wesker from The Kitchen to Beorhtel’s Hill 

Robert Wilcher

Notes on Contributors 


Review Quotes
Stephen Lacey, University of South Wales
Arnold Wesker will add significantly to the body of scholarship on this important and sometimes neglected dramatist.”
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