Infinity (Stage)

Spencer Golub
A moving and genre-defying text, written after a great loss, that blurs the boundaries between writing and performance


Infinity (Stage) is both a highly original study and a poetic meditation on the themes of death, memory, identity, and representation in theater, film, and literature. His work inspired in part by the death of his father, Spencer Golub, in this scholarly entertainment, employs imaginative wordplay, subtle humor, and textual layering to talk about the impossibility of being real. Infinity (Stage) is a masterful piece of performative writing. A quasi-memoir of a mind staging and screening its inner life, this powerful work embodies a theory of the nature of art and existence.

Spencer Golub is Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, Brown University. His books include The Recurrence of Fate: Theatre and Memory in Twentieth-Century Russia, which won the prestigious Joe Callaway Award for Best Book on Drama and Theatre.

Praise / Awards

  • "This book will change the way we think about theatre/film studies and their relation not only to ideology, politics, cultural studies, but to something far more demanding than enunciated and passing power relationships--to life."
    —Michal Kobialka, University of Minnesota
  • "His right brain fully engaged, Golub has produced a volume that is simultaneously deeply personal, vibrantly brilliant, and intellectually challenging. Although the book may exasperate linear thinkers, imaginative readers will revel in the incredible departures the author makes from conventional criticism to a post-modern approach that pushes criticism to unimagined extremes. Knowledgeable in art, theater, film, literary theory, aesthetics, psychology, and philosophy, Golub moves resolutely toward creating a new aesthetic. . . . Golub's focus on the (un)real, the (un)conscious, and the (un)living invites readers to re-evaluate their most tenaciously held beliefs and follow him down uncharted but intriguing mind paths."
    —R. B. Shuman, emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Choice, May 2000
  • "The ghosts Golub catches in the theatre pass easily through walls dividing genres, sending up an undertow (if the mixed metaphor of room and ocean is pardonable) that topples whatever balance Golub . . . hopes to hold against the tide. Golub catches references that cite film, fiction, philosophy, and most provocatively his own (family) plot. Similarly, ghosts (cross-references, recycling) from film, fiction, theory, and his own private life appear quite liberally on theatre stages."
    Modern Drama
  • ". . . a profoundly thought-provoking work, which contributes to a developing field of meditative performance scholarship and asks its readers to examine the ways in which death, disappearance, and performance are understood. Golub's work is beautifully lyric; the interactive journey through which it guides each reader will be extremely personal and will provide each reader with many fascinating directions in which to take her or his own work. It is a work worth reading for the new paradigm of performative writing that it attempts to establish and the places that the writing will take the reader. Although after Derrida all authors may be dead, this work enables us to trace the workings of a mind that is very much alive: the confrontations with death produce an intensely vibrant encounter."
    —Joshua Abrams, City University of New York, Graduate Center, Theatre Journal, Volume 52 (2000)

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 288pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1999
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11036-0

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2001
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08845-4

Add to Cart
  • $33.95 U.S.