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Remembering Arnold Wesker: Loose Connections from Left Field

  • Simon Trussler

Abstract

Arnold Wesker, who died in April 2016, denied having been an ‘angry young man’ and, though the cliché clung, he declared, ‘But I am an angry old man.’ In this memoir, Simon Trussler, while reflecting on causes for the anger, does not attempt an analysis of the life and works, but recollects the times when their shared interests and intentions brought them into contact, and explores some of the reasons why the youthful climb to a peak of success was followed by a slow decline not in output or activity but in the critical response to a writer perceived as having gone out of fashion. NTQ's former co-editor, the late Clive Barker, was closely involved with Wesker in the early Centre Forty-Two project and its aim to open wider access to the arts, while Trussler helped to initiate Wesker's later involvement in the International Theatre Institute. Other ‘loose connections’ with Wesker's life and career here flesh out the facts and received opinions of the formal obituaries. Simon Trussler was one of the founding editors of the old Theatre Quarterly , as later of New Theatre Quarterly. He conducted two major interviews with Wesker in the original TQ, both later reprinted in book form, and with Glenda Leeming co-authored the first full-length study of Wesker's plays (Gollancz, 1981). Among many other publications, he is author of the award-winning Cambridge Illustrated History of British Theatre (1994).

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Remembering Arnold Wesker: Loose Connections from Left Field

  • Simon Trussler

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