Search - List of Books by Jan Kott

Jan Kott (October 27, 1914 - December 23, 2001) was a well-known Polish critic and theoretician of the theatre.

Born in Warsaw in 1914, Kott moved to the United States in 1966 and lectured at Yale and Berkeley. A poet, translator, and critic, he was also one of the finest essayists of the Polish school. He died in Santa Monica, California after a heart attack in 2001. Jan Kott Dies; Helped Recast Shakespeare | Article from The Washington Post | HighBeam Research

Kott became well-known after World War II, initially as the chief editor of literary magazine Kuznica and as Poland's leading theorist of Socialist Realism. He promoted a flavor of Socialist Realism colored by Polish culture and history that he termed Grand Realism. At the heart of his criticism was the desire to see the literature of a "New Poland" modelled on Charles Dickens, Honoré de Balzac, Stendhal and Leo Tolstoy. However, as the communist authorities tightened their control over all aspects of life in Poland, Kott found himself pushed to the margins of political life. He renounced his membership in the communist party in 1957.

A long-time theatrical reviewer, Kott won fame for his readings of the classics, and above all of Shakespeare. His book, Shakespeare, Our Contemporary (1964), became the most widely read work of criticism by any Polish author. The book interpreted Shakespeare in the light of the philosophical, existential and political experience of the 20th century, with generous helpings of insight from Kott's own personal experiences. This autobiographical accent became a hallmark of his criticism. Kott sought to juxtapose Shakespeare with Eugène Ionesco and Samuel Beckett, but his greatest insight came from the juxtaposition of Shakespeare with the everyday experiences of citizens living under totalitarianism. He took a similar approach to his reading of Greek tragedy in The Eating of the Gods.

Peter Brook's film of King Lear and Roman Polanski's Macbeth (both made in 1971) are heavily influenced by Kott's view of Shakespearean high tragedy as adumbrations of the 20th-century "nightmare of history".

Kott wrote more than 30 books and countless articles in such leading American journals as The New Republic, Partisan Review and The New York Review of Books. Aside from Shakespeare and Greek tragedy, he also wrote about Japanese theatre, Tadeusz Kantor and Jerzy Grotowski. He translated extensively into Polish and English, including works by Jean-Paul Sartre, Denis Diderot, Eugène Ionesco and Molière.

This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jan Kott", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0
Total Books: 36
Shakespeare Our Contemporary
2014 - Shakespeare Our Contemporary (Audio CD)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781483039626
ISBN-10: 1483039625
Genres: Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction
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Roar of the Canon
2002 - Roar of the Canon (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9781557834744
ISBN-10: 1557834741
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Still Alive  An Autobiographical Essay
1994 - Still Alive an Autobiographical Essay (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780300052763
ISBN-10: 0300052766
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History
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The Gender of Rosalind Interpretations Shakespeare Buchner and Gautier
The Memory of the Body Essays on Theater and Death
1992 - The Memory of the Body Essays on Theater and Death (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780810110434
ISBN-10: 0810110431
Genre: Literature & Fiction
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The Gender of Rosalind Interpretations Shakespeare Buchner Gautier
1992 - The Gender of Rosalind Interpretations Shakespeare Buchner Gautier (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780810110137
ISBN-10: 081011013X
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Memory of the Body Essays on Theater and Death
1992 - Memory of the Body Essays on Theater and Death (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780810110199
ISBN-10: 0810110199
Genre: Literature & Fiction
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Doctor Faustus
1988 - Doctor Faustus [Longman Study Texts] (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover, Audio Cassette
ISBN-13: 9780582353909
ISBN-10: 0582353904
Genre: Literature & Fiction
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The Bottom Translation Marlowe and Shakespeare and the Carnival Tradition
Eating of the Gods
1987 - Eating of the Gods (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780810107458
ISBN-10: 0810107457
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment
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The Theater of Essence
1986 - The Theater of Essence (Paperback)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780810106659
ISBN-10: 0810106655
Genre: Arts & Photography
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Theater of Essence
1984 - Theater of Essence (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780810106642
ISBN-10: 0810106647
Genres: Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment
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The eating of the gods An interpretation of Greek tragedy
The Eating of the Gods an Interpretation of Greek Tragedy (Hardcover)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780394481197
ISBN-10: 0394481194
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Theatre Notebook 1947-67
Theatre Notebook 1947-67 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780416041804
ISBN-10: 0416041809
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Kamienny Potok Eseje
Kamienny Potok Eseje (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780906601280
ISBN-10: 0906601282
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Przyczynek do biografii
Przyczynek Do Biografii (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780906601754
ISBN-10: 0906601754
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Shakespeare Notre Contemporain
Shakespeare Notre Contemporain [French Edition] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9782228334402
ISBN-10: 2228334405
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La vie en sursis Esquisses pour une biographie
La VIe En Sursis Esquisses Pour Une Biographie (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9782853760973
ISBN-10: 2853760979
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Shakespeare heute
Shakespeare Heute (Other)
ISBN-13: 9783923854462
ISBN-10: 3923854463
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Nowy Jonasz I Inne Szkice [Polish Edition] (Other)
Pisma wybrane
Pisma Wybrane [Polish Edition] (Other)
ISBN-13: 9788385199106
ISBN-10: 8385199101
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Kadysz [Polish Edition] (Other)