This chapter discusses butō dance as an example of improvisation that challenges not only the extant philosophical definitions of improvisation, but also some fundamental presumptions about self-government and agency that are current in action theory. In the first part of the chapter, I identify the main features of butō improvisation, with regard to the nature of its basic movement, and the kind of subjectivity implicated in its generation. I then raise some questions regarding the philosophical characterization of this form of (...) dance, and in the second part of the paper, I argue that butō improvisation undermines the intuitive distinctions between “ordinary” and “specialized action”, thereby eluding both the philosophical rationalistic theories of action as mediated by intentions, and the theories of arational action as expressive of individual subjectivity. My claim is that butō can be better interpreted as a shared action which is neither mediated by intentions nor expressive of the individual self, meant to generate a community by sharing the experience of the living body. This characterization has the advantage that it helps to put in the right perspective the puzzle about the normative standards of improvised action, which is addressed in the third part of the chapter. According to Nelson Goodman, improvisation as such undermines the very idea of a normative paradigm against which to evaluate possible solutions. In the case of butō, the absence of normative standards of action (e.g., success, correctness, or rightness) may be also connected to the absence of a subject in charge of his action. This is because butō improvisation does not count on the dancer as a pre-defined subject existing prior to and independently of her performance. In contrast to these interpretations, I hold that there are normative criteria for butō improvisation, which govern its explorative and generative functions by a training based on unselfing. This model turns away from the rhetoric of spontaneous free movements and the search for individual authenticity. It advocates for a model of intentional agency that it is not mediated by (individual or joint) intentions, but aspires to generate a community by sharing the experience of a living emotional body. (shrink)
Waiting for Godot’s many commentators have emphasized the absurdity of hope in the play, but there has not been an account of how the play reprises hope’s historical transformation and weakening in modernity. This essay provides that account, arguing that Beckett’s Waiting for Godot sponsors a form of hope appropriate to the predicaments of modern societies. Godot stages the blockage of hope by reflecting the obsolescence and fragmentation of the religious and progressive legitimations for the concept that used to be (...) broadly convincing. Despite this blockage, however, Godot does not give in to nihilism. It, rather, models a form of responsible, self-aware hope appropriate to an historical situation where hope does not admit of rational justification. To develop this interpretation of the play and to defend its minimalist conception of hope, the essay draws on Theodor W. Adorno’s Negative Dialectics and aesthetics. (shrink)
Two Socratic dialogues often considered “comic”—Ion and Hippias Major—have also been contested as to their Platonic authenticity. Plato’s dialogues; while certainly engaging, can also seem grim in their philosophical intensity: At least one author has contended that the dialogue more firmly established as genuinely by Plato, Symposium; has some comic elements: This article goes a step further in suggesting that this dialogue does not merely have comic elements but is in fact a comedy. It draws on several texts in the (...) literature on Greek comedy over the past century and suggests that; although the dialogue sets itself serious philosophical challenges, its structure; style; and method are deeply steeped in comedic modes from around Plato’s day. This is not to presume whether Plato was deliberately writing a comedy. In general, writers are often strongly influenced by literary fashions of the day, so it would not be far stretching the matter to understand the work as comedic. Thereby, the article offers, via textual analysis, an argument for how the dialogue is a comedy along withcounter-arguments against such a notion. In the end, indeed, acknowledging it is a comedy promises to open up new angles on interpreting that dialogue. (shrink)
In what sense can aesthetic experience be considered an opportunity for the development of personal identity, cognitive abilities, and emotions? Theatre proves to be an important field of investigation to approach this question. During a theatrical experience, the connection between fiction and reality can take the form of active cooperation between author, actor, and spectator. A better understanding of this point can be drawn by pointing out three kinds of spectator: we can distinguish a critical spectator, an emotional spectator, and (...) an instinctual spectator, who respectively represent: the imaginative and hermeneutic attitude; empathy and fictional emotions; the unconscious satisfaction of drives. So far, a parallel can be established between literature and theatre. However, these two aesthetic experiences are profoundly different: the type of immersion provided by the theatrical experience differs from reading, because the presence of the characters is physical and actual. The pragmatic theatrical framework is the same as that which underlies childhood games. This means that the public too is to some extent called to play, i.e. to act. To appreciate the implications of this thesis, a preliminary analysis of the performance Reality (Deflorian and Tagliarini 2012) is offered, examining how its experience contributes to the development of the spectating subject. (shrink)
Schiller’s essays on tragedy attempt to argue that tragic experience is ethically valuable by forging a connection with Kant’s conception of autonomy. Standard interpretations hold that the connection lies in the fact that tragedies depict characters (primarily the hero) exercising autonomy. This paper argues that Schiller also views the experience prompted by tragedy as itself involving autonomy. Drawing on Kant’s discussion of aesthetic “symbols”, Schiller holds that the audience members’ experience at the tragedy is isomorphic with the autonomous exercise of (...) practical reason. Only in this way, I argue, can we make sense of Schiller’s contention that tragedy actively cultivates freedom in its viewers. Additionally, the interpretation shows how Schiller can hold that tragedy yields a kind of cognition of transcendental freedom while maintaining Kantian strictures on noumenal knowledge. (shrink)
In this chapter I invite the reader to consider the philosophical assumptions which underpin the early career aims and objectives of Barrie Kosky. A focus will be his “language” of opera, and the processes by which the audience is prompted to interpret it. The result will be to see how Kosky creates mystery and meaning while avoiding fantasy and escapism; and can express psychological truth while stimulating subjective interpretations. The point will be to show that Kosky’s oeuvre demonstrates a central (...) concept in the Kantian tradition of aesthetic theory regarding the key process in creative expression, and that is the evocation/communication of “aesthetic ideas”. (shrink)
The Problems of Viewing Performance challenges long-held assumptions by considering the ways in which knowledge is received by more than a single audience member, and breaks new ground by, counterintuitively, claiming that viewing performance is not a shared experience. Given that viewers come to each performance with differing amounts and types of knowledge, they each make different assumptions as to how the performance will unfold. Often modified by other viewers and often after the performance event, knowledge of performance is made (...) more accurate by superimposing the experiences and justified beliefs of multiple viewers. These differences in the viewing experience make knowledge surrounding a performance intersubjective. Ultimately, this book explains the how and the why audience members have different viewing experiences. -/- The Problems of Viewing Performance is important reading for theatre and performance students, scholars and practitioners, as it unpacks the dynamics of spectatorship and explores how audiences work. -/- . (shrink)
David Friedell has recently discussed the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic properties of art, specifically in music. Friedell claims that normative social rules dictate who can change the intrinsic or extrinsic properties of a piece of music. I claim that in text-based theater—as a particular art form—the dividing line between intrinsic and extrinsic properties of a play is sometimes tenuous. This tenuousness is due to a play's bifurcated existence as a dramatic text and as many theatrical performances.
Theater—i.e., traditional text-based theater—is often considered the art form that most closely resembles lived life: real bodies in space play out a story through the passage of time. Because of this, theater (or theatre) has long been a laboratory of, and for, philosophical thought and reflection. The study of philosophy and theater has a history that dates back to, and flourished in, ancient Greece and Rome. While philosophers over the centuries have revisited the study of theater, the past four decades (...) in particular have seen a noted and substantial increase of scholarship investigating this intersection between philosophy and theater. “Philosophy of theater” is, on one hand, a “field” that is just starting to take shape and is barely over a decade old; on another hand, it is a recognized subfield both of aesthetics and of theater and performance studies. And finally, it is also an amorphous concept, either not yet fleshed out, or intentionally amorphous and proudly organic. Philosophy of theater is also sometimes referred to—or is argued to be subsumed, more broadly, in—“performance philosophy,” which also refers to a network of academics and practitioners that publishes a book series and a journal of the same name. Regardless of what it is called or how it is classified, scholarship has coalesced around some fundamental preoccupations, which are not too dissimilar to questions that arise in other philosophies of. . . (e.g., art, film, dance, etc.). The debates in philosophy of theater mostly fall into three of the main branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. The major metaphysical debates center on an ontological question: What is theater? Epistemological studies tend to focus on audience reception and/or how meaning is made and/or transmitted. Finally, studies in aesthetics focus on two main questions: (1) What is theater as an art form? (2) What is the relationship between dramatic text and theatrical performance? This article is intentionally narrow in its scope, focusing on philosophy and theater traditions that came out of Greek theater and philosophy, in order to ensure a sufficient amount of depth, not (merely) breadth. (shrink)
Biswas's book is a panoramic treatment of contemporary world theatre. The book under review will help both the neophyte, as also a scholar to negotiate ancient dramaturgy and more recent theatre. Biswas's eye for details is also remarked in this review. The review shows how Biswas, as it were, has written a manifesto of protest in this book.
En 1967, el francés Guy Debord escribía un resonante texto, La sociedad del espectáculo, en el que nos ofrece una penetrante y aguda reflexión sobre la sociedad de consumo —cuya experiencia directa vive en la Francia de la posguerra—, donde florece la economía de la abundancia, la industria del ocio, la generalización de los medios de comunicación audiovisual y la propagación del llamado american way of life. Anclado fuertemente en las ideas de Marx sobre la alienación y el fetichismo mercantil, (...) Debord analiza la sociedad en que vive como un perenne espectáculo, entendido este, en lo fundamental, como falseamiento de la naturaleza esencial de un sistema. En muchos sentidos, La sociedad del espectáculo parece más haber sido escrita por estos días que hace más de 50 años. Desde la denuncia de la conversión de la política en un show business, pasando por la espectacularización vacía del arte y de la cultura en general, la prensa del escándalo y el sensacionalismo como gancho para subir el rating, hasta los reality shows que, desprovistos ya de todo pudor, asumen descarnadamente su función de hacer espectáculo por espectáculo, sin importar qué se meta adentro, todo ello, parece haber sido retratado ya en el libro de Debord como una consecuencia inevitable de esta nueva etapa de la enajenación humana, abarcadora de toda la espiritualidad y en la que terminan por perderse las fronteras entre show y vida. (shrink)
Against the tendency to regard Müller as a tragedian and his Hamletmaschine as a tragedy, I will read his play as an experiment on the possibility of comedic theater after Brecht. Hamletmaschine can thus be understood as an attempt to affirm the possibilities of theater and its own forms of estrangement without abstracting from tragedy, alienation, and negativity. The play contains three such models internally connecting alienation and affirmation: while “Hamlet” in his commitment to the negativity of a lost tragedy (...) can only affirm it by resigning himself to it, “Ophelia” affirms and enhances negativity to the point of her self-extinction. Finally, the “Scherzo” refers back to these two models and finds a way to celebrate a form of affirmation that proves capable of transforming alienation and tragedy, without leaving them behind. (shrink)
Using William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the play-within-the play, The Murder of Gonzago, as a case study, this essay argues that theatrical utterances constitute a special case of language usage not previously elucidated: the utterance of a statement with propositional content in theatre functions as an event. In short, the propositional content of a particular p (e.g. p1, p2, p3 …), whether or not it is true, is only understood—and understood to be true—if p1 is uttered in a particular time, place, (...) and situation (i.e. during a theatrical event); otherwise, the propositional content in those theatrical utterances can either be false or contingently true. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that Søren Kierkegaard’s oeuvre can be seen as a theater of ideas. This argument is developed in three steps. First, I will briefly introduce a theoretical framework for addressing the theatrical dimension of Kierkegaard’s works. This framework is based on a distinction between“performative writing strategies” and “categories of performativity.” As a second step, I will focus on Repetition: A Venture in Experimenting Psychology, by Constantin Constantius, one of the best examples of Kierkegaard’s innovative way of (...) doing philosophy. This strange and elusive book introduces the difficult and counter-intuitive notion of repetition. Repetition is a category of performativity that aims to activate the subjectivity of the reader. This performative effect is achieved by confronting the reader with an “unresolved”existential problem that is not yet drawn into clarity but is staged in all its confusions and contradictions. Kierkegaard’s pseudonym Constantius relies here on a performative writing strategy that is animated by a dialectic of advance and withdrawal. In the last and third step, I will analyze Constantius’s own reflection on the performative dimension of his text. Constantius has left several clues behind, each of which suggests that he deliberately developed a performative writing strategy. (shrink)
Entgegen der Tendenz, Heiner Müller als Tragiker und seine Hamletmaschine als Tragödie zu deuten, will ich diese im Folgenden als eine spezifische Form von Komödie lesen – eine Komödie, die dabei gleichzeitig eine bestimmte Gegenwart der Tragödie in sich enthält.
Theatrical characters’ dual existence on stage and in text presents a unique, challenging case for the analytical philosopher. -/- Analytic Philosophy and the World of the Play re-examines the ontological status of theatre and its fictional objects through the "possible worlds" thesis, arguing that theatre is not a mirror of our world, but a re-creation of it. Taking a fresh look at theatre’s key elements, including the hotly contested relationships between character and actor; onstage and offstage "worlds"; and the play-text (...) and performance, Michael Y. Bennett presents a radical new way of understanding the world of the play. (shrink)
The analysis of the sceneries of the main events reported by Augustine in his Confessiones (the garden, the city, the villa and the church) allows to label this work as a theatrical piece, being such sceneries the ideal settings for its aloud reading by small groups of devotees.
Este libro inaugura la serie Homenaje de la Colección La Fuente. Con él se busca reconocer, de manera particular, al pensador, dramaturgo y director brasileño Augusto Boal (1931-2009), creador del teatro y la estética del oprimido, genuina aportación cultural latinoamericana que mucho tiene que ver con ese particular lugar de enunciación que es Nuestra América y sus siempre actuales expectativas emancipadoras. El libro fue precedido y nutrido por un Coloquio que en mayo de 2014 reunió a importantes especialistas y seguidores (...) del legado teórico-práctico de Boal y que tuvo como tema principal el del rescate y la continuación de su obra. Incluye los más importantes trabajos allí presentados, junto a un estudio biográfico, una contribución enviada por su hijo, una entrevista a su esposa y dos obras del propio Boal que (una parcialmente y la otra de manera completa) se publican por primera vez. (shrink)
El texto sirve como capítulo introductorio y de presentación del libro Teatro y Estética del Oprimido. Homenaje a Augusto Boal. Se reflexiona y evalúa críticamente sobre los diferentes "usos" que se hacen del legado teórico-práctico de Augusto Boal, lo que se hace y lo que, ajuicio de los autores, se debe hacer con él. Se describe además las fuentes y el contenido capitular del libro en cuestión.
This collection of essays offers a panoramic plethora of responses to Shakespeare by both Western and Eastern critics, indicating that the Bard crosses all nationalities and deserves to be defined as a global writer, which is why he is easily appreciated, manipulated, translated, adapted, and interpreted by everyone everywhere. Divided into three parts, this volume deals with a wide range of issues on culture and multiculturalism, and hammers home the idea that the works of Shakespeare can be not only universally (...) understood, but also fully integrated into other cultures. (shrink)
In Kierkegaard and the Staging of Desire: Rhetoric and Performance in a Theology of Eros Carl S. Hughes develops an original approach to Søren Kierkegaard’s religious writings. As is well known, Kierkegaard published these religious writings under his own name. Some interpreters take this to mean that he no longer relies on the poetics of indirect communication that underlies his pseudonymous works. According to them, the religious writings ﬁnally formulate Kierkegaard’s true views in a direct and unambiguous way. Others have (...) suggested that these religious writings are just as indirect as all the others. Hughes belongs to the second camp. In his illuminating book, he convincingly shows that the indirect method of writing is not undermining the religious content of Kierkegaard’s works, as is feared by many interpreters from the ﬁrst camp, but is essential for sustaining it. That is why Hughes believes that Kierkegaard’s indirect mode of writing is of vital importance for contemporary theology as a discipline. (shrink)
This article focuses primarily on improvisation in the arts as discussed in philosophical aesthetics, supplemented with accounts of improvisational practice by arts theorists and educators. It begins with an overview of the term improvisation, first as it is used in general and then as it is used to describe particular products and practices in the individual arts. From here, questions and challenges that improvisation raises for the traditional work-of-art concept, the type-token distinction, and the appreciation and evaluation of the arts (...) will be explored. This article concludes with the suggestion that further research and discussion on improvisation in the arts is needed, particularly in the areas of non-jazz improvisation. (shrink)
Recent work at the intersection of philosophy of action and aesthetics has unearthed rich territory. We are deepening our appreciation for and understanding of the role of pretense, imagination, and narrative (to name a few) in human action and moral psychology. Tzachi Zamir’s book investigates a relatively unexplored locus of overlap between philosophy of action and aesthetics via a multifaceted and conceptually rich study of the art, ethics, and moral psychology of acting — topics that have received scant philosophical attention...
Kierkegaard’s life-long interest in the theater is well documented and reflects the deep impact of Golden Age Denmark’s vibrant theatrical culture on his thinking. Kierkegaard has extensive and excellent criticism of performances and dramatic characters both famous and obscure. Additionally, Kierkegaard has the rare distinction among philosophers of having had aspects of his life and work continually put upon the stage. The key areas of his philosophical project that are considered here alongside his theatrical aesthetic are: repetition, reflection and recollection (...) as they bear upon the aesthetics of time, the dialectical relationship between theatrics and religious life, the pseudonymous authorship in theatrical frame, and the ethical imitation of prototype. In text, Kierkegaard works out dramaturgically the limits of the communication of inwardness. Hence by examining the deep engagement between Kierkegaard and the theater, one can entertain the notion that theatricality is aesthetically necessary for his project as a whole. (shrink)
The relationship between “character” and an “actor” appears to be quite straightforward: an actor acts as/plays character [x]. But let us be more specific and reword this formulation: actor [y] acts as/plays Hamlet. Or – for the time of the play – actor [y] is Hamlet. And it is this last statement that is paradoxically utterly true and utterly false. It is in the name of a theatrical character that the tension between actor and character arises. Asking, for example, who (...) is Hamlet? yields an answer where both actor and character have legitimate exclusive rights to being “Hamlet.” In short, to whom/what does the name of a theatrical character refer? By first arguing that theatre works as a reverse-“beetle” language-game, whereby I posit that theatre allows for private rule-making, I am able to turn to the idea of reference. It is by examining the name of theatrical characters and what these names refer to that I suggest that – following Hegel – theatrical names refer dialectically. Understanding theatrical characters as such, interpretation hinges not only on the output of theatre (i.e., the meaning), but also the input (i.e., the truth value). (shrink)
«El naixement de la tragèdia» és el primer llibre de Friedrich Nietzsche i constitueix una de les contribucions més importants a l’estudi de l’art tràgica. L’admiració de l’autor per Schopenhauer i Wagner impregna la seva crítica a la concepció imperant sobre els grecs, considerats fins aleshores un poble alegre i serè. Segons el filòsof, però, els grecs necessitaven la tragèdia per a superar el pessimisme i el nihilisme en què estaven sumits. En aquestes pàgines, la tragèdia neix entre l’ebrietat primigènia (...) de Dionís i l’harmonia sublim d’Apol·lo, i mor amb Sòcrates i l’intel·lectualisme científic, en espera de renéixer amb la música de Wagner. -/- Cedres Vermells en presenta la versió de 1886, que inclou un «assaig d’autocrítica» amb el qual l’autor es retractà dels excessos de la primera edició de 1872, així com de la dedicatòria a Richard Wagner. Un pròleg de Mosè Cometta encapçala el volum i el situa en el context contemporani. El recull de correspondència amb Nietzsche, comentat per Joan Ferrarons i Llagostera, completa la publicació, bo i reflectint la recepció que tingué l’any 1872. (shrink)
A consideration of the differences between Shakespearean comedy and tragedy in light of the historically particular inflection of dramatic irony in the English Reformation. The essay compares classical and humanist understandings of literary response and then proposes that we consider that response as a function of knowledge with respect to (and hence feelings about) a protagonist and his plight. The essay compares the structures of suspense in Sophocles’ and Seneca’s Oedipus plays, and then goes on to examine the ways in (...) which two early modern versions of Seneca’s play demonstrate different manners of crafting an audience’s affective relation based on epistemological advantage. The author argues that the peculiarities of these repsonses, and their difference from Shakespeare’s handling of dramatic irony, can be illuminated by the English response to Calvin’s understanding of predestination as a matter of being known about. The analysis concludes with examples from Much Ado About Nothing and Othello that demonstrate the different affective charge of privileged information. (shrink)
Lopes (2010) offers an account of computer art, which he argues is a new art form. Part of what makes computer art distinctive, according to Lopes, is its interactivity, a quality found in few non-computer artworks. Given the rise in prominence of such artworks, most notably videogames, they are surely worthy of philosophical inquiry. I believe their ontology and properties are particularly worthy of study, as an understanding of these will prove crucial to critical understanding and evaluation of the works (...) themselves. Lopes’ account of interactive art is novel and important, but flawed, and in this essay I will discuss its flaws and suggest a better account of the properties of interactive art that builds on his work, providing a partial account of the ontology of interactive art. In Section 1, I discuss Lopes’ definition and ontology of interactive art; in Section 2, I argue that he only accounts for the properties of displays, neglecting the properties of interactive artworks themselves. In Section 3, I discuss several possible solutions for Lopes and why they are inadequate before Section 4 presents my view, that interactive artworks possess all of the properties of their varying displays because each possible display is part of the artwork. This is compatible with Lopes’ definition of interactive art, and so much of his account can be preserved, but with a refined account of the properties of interactive artworks. What I present is by no means a complete ontological study of interactive art, but hopefully lays the groundwork for future work on this ontology. (shrink)
I develop a paradox regarding the emotional experiences of theatrical actors, which I call the ‘paradox of onstage emotion’. Many actors tell us that they experience genuine emotions while performing fictional plays: they grow angry, sad, joyful, etc., as befits their characters’ circumstances. Yet, they are not their characters and are not actually in those characters’ circumstances. Intuitively, it would seem those actors cannot have emotions befitting their characters’ circumstances rather than their own. Thus, we face a paradox. After setting (...) up the paradox, I consider potential solutions to it. I consider four different available solutions, two of which I argue must be rejected. The two remaining solutions, I argue, are more promising, though which of these one accepts may be determined by one’s commitments regarding emotion theory in general. One stems from make-believe theory, the other from situationism. (shrink)
One kind of government-supported censorship of the arts targets not the expressive content of any particular artwork but instead seeks to suppress the activity of a group of people based on some feature of the group’s human identity such as race, gender or class. Using examples from the history of the development of black music in the United States that followed from the legal oppression of slavery and from evidence of changes in the Punjabi theatre in Pakistan following state-sanctioned suppressions (...) of women this paper demonstrates that human-identity-related arts censorship not only harms but can actually serve to spur and enhance, rather than suppress, artistic innovation. (shrink)
One feature that classical apocalyptic writings commonly share is their eschatological dimension, their "sense of an ending"1—the end of the world, of time, of humanity. But whereas traditional apocalyptic texts were for the most part utopian, their tales of destruction followed by narratives of redemption, modern secular apocalyptic literature is largely dystopian, ending in pure devastation. According to some scholars, the very arrival of modernity, beginning with Cartesian philosophy and its inherent doubt, was apocalyptic in nature. In the twentieth century, (...) as Thomas Altizer has argued, no central literary work—from Rilke to Kafka and from Joyce to Beckett—managed to eschew the apocalyptic.2 Today, at the .. (shrink)
This paper has three objectives. First, I argue that apprehending an installation artwork is similar to apprehending an artwork for performance: in each case, audiences must recognize a relationship between the performance or display one encounters and the parameters expressed in the underlying work. Second, I consider whether realizations are also artworks in their own right. I argue that, in both installation art and performance, a particular realization is sometimes an artwork in its own right (even as it realizes another (...) work). I offer criteria for determining when this is the case. Application of the criteria yields the verdict that performances are sometimes artworks in their own right, while displays of installation artworks rarely are. This difference, though, is merely contingent on the conventions of the respective art forms. Third, I address ontological concerns about entities that are both abstract and temporal, as many artworks are on my analysis. (shrink)
The relationship between philosophy and theatre is a central theme in the writings of Plato and Aristotle and of dramatists from Aristophanes to Stoppard. Where Plato argued that playwrights and actors should be banished from the ideal city for their suspect imitations of reality, Aristotle argued that theatre, particularly tragedy, was vital for stimulating our emotions and helping us to understanding ourselves. Despite this rich history the study of philosophy and theatre has been largely overlooked in contemporary philosophy. This is (...) the first book to introduce philosophy and theatre. It covers key topics and debates, presenting the contributions of major figures in the history of philosophy, including: what is theatre? How does theatre compare with other arts? theatre as imitation, including Plato on mimesis truth and illusion in the theatre, including Nietzsche on tragedy theatre as history theatre and morality, including Rousseau’s criticisms of theatre audience and emotion, including Aristotle on catharsis theatre and politics, including Brecht’s Epic Theatre. Including annotated further reading and summaries at the end of each chapter, Philosophy and Theatre is an ideal starting point for those studying philosophy, theatre studies and related subjects in the arts and humanities. (shrink)
Theatre translation is usually seen as a more elaborate dimension of literary translation because the text being translated is considered to be just one of the elements of theatre discourse. When translating a play, the translator should always adapt for performance the text he or she is recreating and be aware that a performer will deliver the lines. The translator, then, must take into account both the pragmatic and the semantic expressiveness of the word and remember that they are always (...) at work simultaneously. I will take examples both from my personal experience and from remarkable cases in point of how a good translation may affect an audience reception of a foreign play and I will show that it is primarily through a pragmatic approach that it is possible to obtain an awareness of what is the most appropriate way of rendering the original text. (shrink)
This article seeks to explore the different strategies the Bard uses in order to evoke sympathy in the reader for Macbeth who is so persistent in the path of evil. What strategy does Shakespeare use in order to provoke such a deep emotional response from his readers? By using paradoxes in the play, the Bard creates a world of illusion, fear and wild imagination. The paradoxical world in Macbeth startles us into marvel and fear, challenges our commonly held opinions, and (...) reshapes our thought in the process (Platt 8). As the text involves the reader in the formation of illusion and the simultaneous formation of the means whereby the illusion is punctured, “reading reflects the process by which we gain experience. Once the reader is entangled, his own preconceptions are continually overtaken so that the text becomes his present while his own ideas fade into the past. As soon as it happens, he is open to the immediate experience of the text” (Iser, The Implied Reader 290). Mesmerised by Macbeth’s powerful imagination and poetic language, the reader engages in a dialogical interaction with the play and eventually finds light in the murky world of the text. Regardless of Macbeth’s diabolical world, the reader ventures into it, shares it with him and ultimately wakes up from its dizzying stupor. In reading Macbeth, the reader leaves behind the familiar world of his experience in order to participate in the adventure the text offers him. The edifying effect of the tragedy in the end is the reward the reader reaps after eventually waking up from the nightmarish dream of the text. (shrink)
In this unique study, Michael Y. Bennett re-reads four influential modern plays alongside their contemporary debates between rationalism and empiricism to show how these monumental achievements were thoroughly a product of their time, but also universal in their epistemological quest to understand the world through a rational and/or empirical model. Bennett contends that these plays directly engage in their contemporary epistemological debates rather than through the lens of a specific philosophy. Besides producing new, insightful readings of heavily-studied plays, the interdisciplinary (...) (historical, philosophical, dramatic, theatrical, and literary) frame Bennett constructs allows him to investigate one of the most fundamental questions of the theatre - how does meaning get made? Bennett suggests that the key to unlocking theatrical meaning is exploring the tension between empirical and rational modes of understanding. The book concludes with an interview with performance artist Coco Fusco. (shrink)