Paul Green This Body The Earth

ISBN 13: 9781553954088

This Body The Earth

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This Body the Earth captures a period in American southern life about which little is written, notwithstanding Calder, Faulkner, and others. This book is about tenant farming families and their struggles for survival during late Reconstruction years.

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About the Author:

Paul Green grew up on a cotton farm in rural Harnett County, N.C., learning the value of hard physical labor as well as the importance and beauty of literature and music. He read books in the fields as he followed a mule-drawn plow.

    After graduation from Buies Creek Academy, Green taught school and played semi-professional baseball until he could earn enough money to go to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, but his college education was interrupted by World War I. After he returned to the University, he was a key figure in the early days of the Carolina Playmakers. Among his Playmaker friends were author Thomas Wolfe, and Green's future wife, Elizabeth Lay. Green taught philosophy and drama at Chapel Hill until 1944, when he retired to devote his time to writing.

    In addition to receiving the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Green formulated and propagated a new dramatic form, the symphonic drama, an historical play, usually set on the very site depicted in the action, and embodying music, dance, pantomime and poetic dialogue. Following his first, The Lost Colony (1937), about Sir Walter Raleigh's doomed colony on Roanoke Island, N.C., Green wrote sixteen more. It has been said that America has contributed two important new dramatic forms, one being the musical and the other being the symphonic drama, of which over fifty are now in production.     Paul Green's total literary output included not only symphonic dramas, but also other plays of various types, several novels, essays, books of North Carolina folklore, and cinema scripts for such prominent stars of the 1930s as Will Rogers, Bette Davis, and Janet Gaynor.

    In addition to his early Pulitzer Prize, his awards include two Guggenheim Fellowships, the National Theatre Conference Award, and nine honorary degrees. He was posthumously inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in New York in 1993, and the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 1996. During his life Green was active in the cultural life of North Carolina, being one of the founders of the North Carolina Symphony, the School of the Arts, and the Institute of Outdoor Drama, which serves the large nationwide community of symphonic dramas that sprang up after the model of Green's original Lost Colony. His relentless battle against the death penalty in North Carolina has found successors in other states.

    Paul Green's historical significance stems from his influence not only on the art of the drama but also on the social values of the South during a period when he stood almost alone in preaching the equality of the races.

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Paul Green
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