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Dutchman and The Slave: Two Plays Paperback – January 1, 1971


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 87 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 20th printing edition (January 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688210848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688210847
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dutchman is designed to shock--its basic idea, its language and its murderous rage." -- --The New York Times

"A man of shattering fury." -- --New York Post

About the Author

Amiri Baraka, born Leroi Jones in 1934, is a poet, playwright, novelist, critic, and politcal activist. Best known for his highly acclaimed, award-winning play "Dutchman," as well as "The Slave, The Toliet," and numerous poetry collections. He lives in Newark, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This slim omnibus volume combines the two major plays of one of America's most significant living poets. Critics make much about the racial import of these plays, but they are more damning than that: both say that American society is based inherently on inevitable divisions and gaps. The difference between these two is that only one has stood the test of time as a theatrical experience.

LeRoi Jones, now called Amiri Baraka, was one of the original Beats, though his name is often unjustly left off that roster. He was instrumental to the Black Mountain Poets and has remained innovative for decades, long after other poets have settled into comforting conventionality. These plays are more like poems than dramatic presentations in their finger-popping, jazzy argot. You don't so much follow a narrative as drink in the gestalt the characters' language creates.

"Dutchman" takes place on a New York subway car. Lula, an oversexed white woman, sees young black Clay, with his necktie and unread magazine, as a... well, what DOES she see him as? Students and scholars argue this. But her aggressive forwardness progresses from mere provocation to overt race baiting, cracking the hard shell Clay has carefully built himself. The action of the play constantly ascends, culminating in a tiny race riot of language and power.

This play is mythical in overtones as the characters push back on each other. The title implies that this subway is the Flying Dutchman, doomed never to make port, suggesting this conflict will go on eternally. Gaps of age, sex, and class join forces with race to show how these two people can never be reconciled.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Silva VINE VOICE on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
LeRoi Jones, now known as Amiri Baraka, wrote Dutchman in 1964, but its themes of racism and fear still resonate today. A must for anyone studying African American literature and contemporary drama -- it is a seminal work. The Slave is less successful -- its message is muddled and the dialogue stilted -- yet it is worth reading to get a complete view of Baraka's work.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ryan S. Peterson on September 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Very rarely does a play have this kind of impact on me; I don't think a play has ever affected me so much before I saw it done. I can honestly say that "Dutchman", along with "King Lear" and "Waiting for Godot", is one of the most brilliant, powerful pieces I've ever been lucky enough to read.
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By ambie on May 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking exploring the Black Arts and Black Aesthetics, then LeRoi Jones is a writer you should consider reading!
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By uly46 on November 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These plays are must reads and viewings (if possible; there is at least one film I know of for Dutchman. Baraka speaks what most white Americans have little to no knowledge of and black Americans know all too well but rarely say in mixed company. Read this book and be educated.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By uni aum Entertainment on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Would have preferred to have the OPTION of being able to purchase HARD Cover versions of DUTCHMAN and The Slave & a DVD of DUTCHMAN film.
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By Vinny Wolf on January 4, 2015
Format: Paperback
This is artistic genius, what i consider true art. They're alive, real, and poetry that's visual
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