Considering Aaron Sorkin: Essays on the Politics, Poetics and Sleight of Hand in the Films and Television Series
Aaron Sorkin is one of the most notable voices in Hollywood, attracting millions of weekly viewers with his television series The West Wing and scoring box office success with films like A Few Good Men and The American President. With a musician's sense of rhythm and writing skills honed in the theater, Sorkin crafts dialogue that brings characters to life. His crisp, tight language is both exciting to listen to and poetic in its beauty and power--but what lies behind the slick, sophisticated exchanges between Sorkin's characters? Does Sorkin's ability to captivate viewers with rapid-fire, humorous dialogue lull them into overlooking an inherent political agenda, a sense of elitism, and gender bias prominent throughout his work? Aaron Sorkin's skill as a writer garners him accolades, even from his critics: complex, nuanced, sometimes subtle but often forceful, Sorkin's work is best understood when viewed from a variety of perspectives. This collection of essays on the work of Aaron Sorkin affords greater insight into the complexities of his writing, drawing connections between the film and television output of today's most prominent and influential screenwriter. Scholars from various fields--film, literature, art history, political science, and more--examine the thematic content and rhetorical strategy of Sorkin's writing. Eleven essayists explore the subtle, pervasive and often contradictory messages woven throughout Sorkin's work, from politics to portrayals of women, and consider his impact on film, television and culture. An interview with Aaron Sorkin precedes the essays, each of which has notes and a bibliography. An appendix covering film and television credits is included. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
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