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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33820

Title: The Theatrical Pendulum: Paths of Innovation in the European Stage
Authors: Perez-Simon, Andres
Advisor: Ambros, Veronika
Department: Comparative Literature
Keywords: European theatre
Modernism
Garcia Lorca, Federico
Bontempelli, Massimo
Capek, Karel
Capek, Josef
Evreinov, Nikolai
Issue Date: 5-Dec-2012
Abstract: This dissertation examines the renovation of the modernist stage, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the late 1930s, via a retrieval of three artistic forms that had marginal importance in the commercial theatre of the nineteenth century. These three paths are the tradition of the commedia dell’arte, puppetry and marionettes, and, finally, what I denominate mysterium, following Elinor Fuch’s terminology in The Death of Character. This dissertation covers the temporal span of the first three decades of the twentieth century and, at the same time, analyzes modernist theatre in connection with the history of Western drama since the consolidation of the bourgeois institution of theatre around the late eighteenth century. The Theatrical Pendulum: Paths of Innovation in the Modernist Stage studies the renovation of the bourgeois institution of theatre by means of the rediscovery of artistic forms previously relegated to a peripheral status in the capitalist system of artistic production and distribution. In their dramatic works, Nikolai Evreinov, Josef and Karel Čapek, Massimo Bontempelli, and Federico García Lorca present fictional actors, playwrights and directors who resist the fact that their work be evaluated as just another commodity. These dramatists collaborate with the commercial stage of their time, instead of adopting the radical stance that characterized avant-garde movements such as Italian futurism and Dadaism. Yet they also question the illusionist fourth wall separating stage and audience in order to denounce the subjection of the modernist artist to the expectations of bourgeois spectators. Jan Mukařovský’s concept of practical function in art is central to understanding the didactic nature of the dramatic texts studied in this dissertation. By claiming the importance of Mukařovský’s phenomenological structuralism, I propose a new reading of the theoretical legacy of the Prague School in conjunction with recent contributions in the field of theatre studies by Elinor Fuchs, Martin Puchner and other scholars whose work will be discussed here.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33820
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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