Le Jeu de l'ambiguïté et du mot

Ambiguïté intentionnelle et Jeu de mots chez Apollinaire, Prévert, Tournier et Beckett


Nicolaas van der Toorn

Malgré leur apparente disparité, Apollinaire, Prévert, Tournier et Beckett partagent leur prédilection pour l’ambiguïté en général et leur goût pour le jeu de mots en particulier. La fonctionnalité littéraire qu’ils confèrent aux doubles sens et au jeu de mots ne se limite pas à la plaisanterie ou au divertissement cérébral. Bien au contraire, elle est souvent à l’origine d’évocations sérieuses et d’implications tragiques. Qui plus est, l’ambiguïté intentionnelle et le jeu de mots peuvent être à la base de la genèse et de la structuration de leurs œuvres.

Despite their apparent disparity, Apollinaire, Prévert, Tournier and Beckett share their predilection for ambiguity in general and for puns in particular. The literary function they confer to double meanings and puns is not limited to humor or entertainment. On the contrary, it often generates serious reflections and tragic plots. Moreover, intentional ambiguity and puns can be the basis for the genesis and structuring of their works.

Klabund: Sämtliche Werke, Band III: Dramen, Dritter Teil

Cromwell, Johann Fust, Der Fächer (Libretto)


Edited by Hans-Gert Roloff

This text edition is the third part on drama in the Klabund - Complete Works series. The series deals with the works of German author Klabund (1890, Poland -1928, Switzerland). This volume, focuses on Cromwell, Johann Fust, and Der Fächer (Libretto). It forms an indispensable basis for any further involvement with the author and his plays.

Miguel Venegas and the Earliest Jesuit Theater

Choruses for Tragedies in Sixteenth-Century Europe


Margarida Miranda

In Miguel Venegas and the Earliest Jesuit Theater, Margarida Miranda takes a fresh look at the origins of Jesuit theater and provides a detailed account of the life and work of Miguel Venegas (1529–after 1588) within the Iberian tradition. The book details Venegas’s role as the founder of Jesuit theater in Portugal and the creator of a new musical genre, choruses for tragedies, which was gradually codified and emulated by successive generations of Jesuits. Venegas’s Latin tragedies in turn provided the model for regular dramatic activities in the global network of Jesuit schools, including, significantly, the first tragedies to be staged in Rome: Saul Gelboeus and Achabus, both of which had originally been performed in Coimbra in the mid-sixteenth century.

Conrad’s Drama

Contemporary Reviews and Observations


Edited by John G. Peters

Conrad’s Drama: Contemporary Reviews and Observations collects both book reviews and performance reviews of Conrad’s three plays: The Secret Agent, One Day More, and Laughing Anne. These reviews and observations show how Conrad’s plays were received by his contemporaries. More than this, however, Conrad’s Drama reveals the larger conversations surrounding his plays: the state of British drama in the early 20th century, the role the drama critic has in a play’s reception, and the difficulty most fiction writers experience in trying to write for the stage. No other reference work exists for those studying Conrad’s plays, and this volume should prove to be an indispensable reference work for those working on this topic.

Philosophizing Brecht

Critical Readings on Art, Consciousness, Social Theory and Performance


Edited by Norman Roessler and Anthony Squiers

This anthology unites scholars from varied backgrounds with the notion that the theories and artistic productions of Bertolt Brecht are key missing links in bridging diverse discourses in social philosophy, theatre, consciousness studies, and aesthetics. It offers readers interdisciplinary perspectives that create unique dialogues between Brecht and important thinkers such as Althusser, Anders, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Godard, Marx, and Plato. While exploring salient topics such as consciousness, courage, ethics, political aesthetics, and representations of race and the body, it penetrates the philosophical Brecht seeing in him the never-ending dialectic—the idea, the theory, the narrative, the character that is never foreclosed. This book is an essential read for all those interested in Brecht as a socio-cultural theorist and for theatre practitioners.

Contributors: Kevin S. Amidon, José María Durán, Felix J. Fuch, Philip Glahn, Jim Grilli, Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Norman Roessler, Jeremy Spencer, Anthony Squiers, Peter Zazzali.

Music, Narrative and the Moving Image

Varieties of Plurimedial Interrelations


Edited by Walter Bernhart and David Francis Urrows


Jeremy Spencer


This intended paper will address the dialogue between Brecht’s theory and method and the authors associated with the development of so-called “Screen Theory” of the British film magazine Screen between 1971 and 1979. Authors such as Stephen Heath did not read Brecht to appeal to the authority of a person but to articulate a “truly dialectical practice” in a new situation, namely, the reflection on cinema and the intervention of the practice of film in ideology. Heath was concerned with how Brecht’s theory and practice could be used to understand film as an “ideological intervention” and therefore the “possible actuality” of Brecht’s dialectical work. This paper explores the actuality of Brecht’s ideas—his “critical lessons”—in the context of Screen, as part of the magazine’s defence of political modernism or the “politics of form,” how they were mobilised in relation to political cinema, semiotic theory, and psychoanalysis.


José María Durán


This essay explores the claim made by the so-called dialogical aesthetics that the emphasis of today’s socially engaged art lies on a modality of engagement and theatricality that follows the footsteps of the historical avant-garde. It asks if the framework of dialogism is an adequate one for the analysis of today’s socially engaged art practices that claim to be transformative. In searching for an answer, it examines the intersection of thinkers such as Brecht, Althusser, Voloshinov and Medvedev in the context of contemporary art practices.


Philip Glahn


This essay discusses Brecht’s “technics of aesthetics,” his attitude toward class struggle as the active engagement with the tools of intellectual-as-material production, as articulated through the playwright’s disdain for the passive politicking and complicit posturing of his contemporaries in the face of capitalist exploitation and fascist violence. Accusing the “Tuis” or “Tellekt-uell-ins,” including Thomas Mann, Andre Gide, Georg Lukacs, and the “Frankfurtists,” of wanting to save Geist and Kultur rather than addressing questions of ownership and power, Brecht instead sought a proletarian understanding of art as active contest over the mechanisms of representation and imagination, the devices that link the perception of the given to inscribed as well as latent histories and thus multiple, potential futures. Brecht’s attempt at determining a “useful” position of artistic agency and solidarity is traced through his writings on popular culture and communication apparatuses, his poetry, letters and plans to pen a “Tui-novel.”


Peter Zazzali


In describing Charles Laughton’s agreement to play the title role in Galileo, Brecht observed that the actor wanted to make a “contribution” to society through the “dissemination [of] ideas…about how people really lived together.” Performed in Los Angeles in 1947 during the aftermath of the Second World War and on the cusp of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s so-called “Red Scare,” Laughton’s Galileo was apt for the politics of its time, insofar as the play jointly addressed institutional dogmatism, government corruption, and the fearful ignorance of the body politic. Laughton’s performance exemplified Brecht’s gestic approach to acting by defamiliarizing himself from the role in favor of underscoring the drama’s sociopolitical messages. As such, his approach was in stark contrast to the widely practiced Stanislavskian method in which actors were expected to “find themselves” in a role towards creating a character that “truthfully” represented human behavior. What was Laughton’s self-awareness or consciousness of his performance? Whereas the Stanislavskian actor uses himself to subconsciously gel with a character, Brecht’s theory is the opposite: “the actor should refrain from living himself into the part…” These two varying approaches raise questions about the acknowledgement and function of the “self” in an actor’s work, thereby offering an intriguing point of analysis for Brechtian performance. This article will examine the Brechtian actor’s aesthetic through the lens of consciousness. Thus, it will account for the actor’s praxis relative to the sociopolitical implications of Brecht’s epic theatre.