Thoughts towards a theory on the ‘language’ of theatre…

This is a quote from a book about Maurice Blanchot…take the word “text” and switch it for the word “play” and I think we have a start towards a different way of determining what a “Play” is and how it acts upon us:
“Likewise, when we identify the text (play) with the life of the author who has written it, are we not also trying to make it less alien and strange, for is not the author a human bei

ng like us who has the same worries and desires, but merely has the talent to express in words (staging) what we confusedly feel? In each case, whether we reduce the literary (dramatic) text to the inner life of the reader (spectator), who identifies with the characters or situations of the novel (play), or to that of the writer, as though the very same characters or situations were only the external manifestation of his or her inner life, we forget that what is central to the experience of reading (playgoing) is a language that precisely distances us from life. The text (play), in the very manner of its presentation, opens a space between it and the world. It is this space that is closed down when we say, for example, that Samuel Beckett’s novels (plays) are merely about the emptiness and absurdity of modern life. For such an interpretation overlooks that what is essential to literature (theatre) is the estrangement of its language from ordinary usage.”
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Posted on September 9, 2012, in Artaud and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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