Dramatist and critic George Hunka’s first book, Word Made Flesh, is an intimate and personal treatise on the intersection of eros, philosophy and drama. Drawing from ancient texts, and contemporary philosophers and playwrights, Word Made Flesh “is not a manifesto nor a theory,” the author says in his preface. “This is neither an academic treatise nor a textbook. What destruction is sought is a destruction of received consciousness, not a bomb thrown into a building or a classroom. They describe a theatre that does not exist, that may never exist except as an imaginative possibility in the mind of the dreamer.”
In “After Words,” his epilogue to the book, Prof. David Ian Rabey writes, “George Hunka’s skills and experience as a dramatist and director are manifested, refracted, in Word Made Flesh, one of the most memorable, haunting and artful performances over which he has presided. … Here we encounter Hunka’s notated performance of the evolution of himself, man and artist, through proposition, interrogation, digression, impatience, righteous anger and a sensual delectation in thought and language. His focus is a theatre which does not seek to reproduce or represent life; but to re-present life, and the possibilities of the self in the world.”
Word Made Flesh was published by Eyecorner Press in March 2011. Cover image: Heart of the Matter, Paul Cava. Cover design: Denise Avayou, Avayou Design. List price $19.00 (US); 173 pages; ISBN 978-87-92633-08-8.
Listen to a “New Books in Theatre” interview with the author by Matt Freeman
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George Hunka is a dramatist and theatre writer whose work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Theater (Yale University), the Guardian, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and The New York Times. He lives in New York.
“Gripping, really rather ravishing …”
“I’ve often been tempted to talk about leftfield theatre, meaning the kind of drama that goes way beyond the ordinary bog-standard naturalism of contemporary British new writing. But I have rarely investigated what really makes this kind of work (Beckett, Rudkin, Barker, Kane) pulse with life. Now I’m in the middle of reading George Hunka’s precise, philosophical and provocative new book, Word Made Flesh. Fans of his blog will find much that is familiar: deep, passionate and intellectual engagement with the tradition of modernist art, especially as this touches theatre and performance. His brilliantly illuminating account of the complex relationships between the tragic, the erotic and the body is superbly lucid and thoughtful. Often I have disagreed with his statements, but that is the book’s central strength: in a world where easy listening, easy writing and easy theatre hold sway, it’s great to come face to face with the difficult, the obscure and the splendidly disagreeable. George always brings an avant-garde dramatist and director’s sensibility to his questioning of current theatre practice and his elucidation of the work of great theatrical innovators. The result is a real thrill.”
Read the prefaces from Word Made Flesh
Read “After Words,” the epilogue by David Ian Rabey