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Embodied Texts

Symbolist Playwright-Dancer Collaborations.

Series:

Mary Fleischer

Embodied Texts: Symbolist Playwright-Dancer Collaborations explores the dynamic relationship between Symbolist theatre and early modern dance across Europe from the 1890s through the 1930s. Gabriele D’Annunzio’s projects with Ida Rubinstein; Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s pantomimes for Grete Wiesenthal; W. B. Yeats’s work with Michio Ito and Ninette de Valois; and Paul Claudel’s collaborations with Jean Börlin and the Ballets Suédois are studied in depth to shed new light on an evolving dance-theatre form within Symbolist culture. Buoyed by the era’s heightened interest in the expressive qualities of the body, these playwrights were highly invested in the authority of language, yet were drawn to the capacity of dance to evoke spiritual or psychological states which words could not completely capture. In its belief of fundamental correspondences among the arts, Symbolism encouraged experimentation across disciplines, and this study traces interconnections among many of its significant figures including Max Reinhardt, Claude Debussy, Gertrud Eysoldt, Edward Gordon Craig, Bronislava Nijinksa, Isadora Duncan, Jaques Dalcroze, Darius Milhaud, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Mariano Fortuny, Terence Gray, George Antheil, Eleonora Duse, and Michel Fokine.

Waking the Face That No One Is

A Study in the Musical Context of Symbolist Poetics

Series:

Louis Marvick

Poetry and music have seldom been more closely associated than at the end of the nineteenth century, and the texts in which Baudelaire and Wagner, Mallarmé and Scriabin, Maeterlinck and Debussy evoked the reader’s and the listener’s states of mind are unusually rich in suggestion. Can poetry combine, as music seems to do, the transcendent satisfaction of an all-inclusive viewpoint with the excitement and uncertainty of an unfolding narrative? Can it partake of music’s power in order to give a face to the idea, and substitute, without disappointing, a definite variation for the ineffable theme? Symbolist writers intent on achieving musical effects in words looked for ways to overcome the hard division of subjects at the foundation of language, and the strategies they invented, while not always successful, show their supreme expectations concerning the receptive capability of their audience and an unqualified belief in the transforming power of their art.
Students of aesthetics, of French and comparative literature should find something of interest in this provocative and original book. For ease of reference, a detailed abstract of the contents is provided, along with English translations of all quotations in other languages.

Odún

Discourses, Strategies, and Power in the Yorùbá Play of Transformation

Series:

Cristina Boscolo

A poetic ‘voice’ scans the rhythm of academic research, telling of the encounter with odún; then the voice falls silent. What is then raised is the dust of a forgotten academic debate on the nature of theatre and drama, and the following divergent standpoints of critical discourses bent on empowering their own vision, and defining themselves, rather, as counterdiscourses. This, the first part of the book: a metacritical discourse, on the geopolitics (the inherent power imbalances) of academic writing and its effects on odún, the performances dedicated to the gods, ancestors, and heroes of Yorùbá history.
But odún: where is it? and what is it? And the ‘voice’? The many critical discourses have not really answered these questions. In effect, odún is many things. To enable the reader to see these, the study proceeds with an ‘intermezzo’: a frame of reference that sets odún, the festival, in its own historico-cultural ecoenvironment, identifying the strategies that inform the performance and constitute its aesthetic. It is a ‘classical’ yet, for odún, an innovative procedure. This interdisciplinary background equips the reader with the knowledge necessary to watch the performance, to witness its beauty, and to understand the ‘half words’ odún utters.
And now the performance can begin. The ‘voice’ emerges one last time, to introduce the second section, which presents two case studies. The reader is led, day by day, through the celebrations – odún edì, Morèmi’s story, and its realization in performance; then confrontation by the masks of the ancestors duing odún egúngún (particularly as held in Ibadan). The meaning of odún becomes clearer and clearer.
Odún is poetry, dances, masks, food, prayer. It is play ( eré) and belief ( ìgbàgbó). It is interaction between the players (both performers and spectators). It is also politics and power. It contains secrets and sacrifices. It is a reality with its own dimension and, above all, as the quintessential site of knowledge, it possesses the power to transform. In short, it is a challenge – a challenge that the present book and its voices take up.

Series:

Edited by Annette W. Balkema and Henk Slager

In the current debate on art, thought on time has commanded a prominent position. Do we live in a posthistorical time? Has objective art historical time and belief in a continual progress shifted to a more subjective experience of the ephemeral? Has (art) history fallen away and, if so, what does this mean for the future of art? How does a visual archive relate to artistic memory?
This volume investigates positions, arguments and comments regarding the stated theme. Philosophers and theorists explore the subject matter theoretically. Curators articulate the practice of art. The participants are: Hans Belting, Jan Bor, Peter Bürger, Bart Cassiman, Leontine Coelewij, Hubert Damisch, Arthur C. Danto, Bart De Baere, Okwui Enwezor, Kasper König, Sven Lütticken, Manifesta (Barbara VanderLinden), Hans Ulrich Obrist, Donald Preziosi, Survival of the Past Project (Herman Parret, Lex Ter Braak, Camiel Van Winkel), Ernst Van Alphen, Kirk Varnedoe, Gianni Vattimo, and Kees Vuyk.

Evolution and Human Culture

Texts and Contexts

Series:

Gregory F. Tague

Evolution and Human Culture argues that values, beliefs, and practices are expressions of individual and shared moral sentiments. Much of our cultural production stems from what in early hominins was a caring tendency, both the care to share and a self-care to challenge others. Topics cover prehistory, mind, biology, morality, comparative primatology, art, and aesthetics. The book is valuable to students and scholars in the arts, including moral philosophers, who would benefit from reading about scientific developments that impact their fields. For biologists and social scientists the book provides a window into how scientific research contributes to understanding the arts and humanities. The take-home point is that culture does not transcend nature; rather, culture is an evolved moral behavior.

Disrupted Patterns

On Chaos and Order in the Enlightenment

Series:

Edited by Theodore E.D. Braun and John A. McCarthy

This collection of essays explores the significance of modern chaos theory as a new paradigm in literary studies and argues for the usefulness of borrowings from one discipline to another. Its thesis is that external reality is real and is not merely a social construct. On the other hand, this volume reflects the belief that literature, as a social and cultural construct, is not unrelated to that external reality. The authors represented here furthermore believe that learning to communicate across disciplinary divides is worth the risk of looking silly to purists and dogmatists. In applying a contemporary scientific grid to a by-gone era, the authors play out Steven Weinberg's exhortation to mind the clues to the past that cannot be obtained in any other way. It is of course necessary to get the science right, yet the essays in this collection do not seek to do science, but rather to suggest that science and literature often share common assumptions and realities. Thus there is no attempt to legitimize literary study through the adoption of a scientific approach. Interaction between the disciplines requires mutual respect and a willingness to investigate the broader implications of scientific research. Consequently, this volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the long eighteenth century whether the focus is on England (Locke, Milton, Radcliffe, Lewis), France (Crébillion, Diderot, Marivaux, Montesquieu) or Germany (Kant, Moritz, Goethe, Fr. Schlegel). Moreover, given its multiple thrust in employing mythological, philosophical, and scientific notions of chaos, this volume will appeal to historians and philosophers of the European Enlightenment as well as to literary historians. The volume ultimately aspires to promote communication across centuries and across disciplines.

Series:

Eamonn Wall

“Digging into the west: Tim Robinson’s Deep Landscapes” is a detailed exploration of Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage with the purpose of describing Robinson’s response to Aran Islands landscape and his efforts to map Inishmore, the largest of the islands. Robinson begins by drawing a traditional map though, when he finds such maps lacking in scope, he moves on to create a deep-map — one that includes the history, languages, folklore, and religious beliefs of the island and its people. His prose work is compared and contrasted to Synge’s The Aran Islands, the most famous modern work that examines the islands, and it is shown the degree to which Robinson has sought to revise Synge’s interpretation. This essay is underlined by the works of other writers and scholars who have written influential works on landscape — Declan Kiberd and William Least Heat-Moon, in particular.

Neo-Baroques

From Latin America to the Hollywood Blockbuster

Series:

Edited by Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis and Peter Krieger

The Baroque is back in contemporary culture. The ten essays authored by international scholars, and three interventions by artists, examine the return of the baroque as Neo-Baroque through interdisciplinary perspectives. Understanding the Neo-Baroque as transcultural (between different cultures) and transhistorical (between historical moments) the contributors to this volume offer diverse perspectives that suggest the slipperiness of the Neo-Baroque may best be served by the term ‘Neo-Baroques’. Case studies analysed reflect this plurality and include: the productions of Belgian theatre company Abattoir Fermé; Claire Denis’ French New Extremist film Trouble Every Day; the novel Lujuria tropical by exiled El Salvadorian Quijada Urias; the science fiction blockbuster spectacles The Matrix and eXistenZ; and the spectacular grandeur of early Hollywood movie palaces and the contemporary Las Vegas Strip.

Contributors: Jens Baumgarten, Marjan Colletti, Bolívar Echeverría, Rita Eder, Hugh Hazelton, Monika Kaup, Peter Krieger, Patrick Mahon, Walter Moser, Angela Ndalianis, Richard Reddaway, Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Saige Walton.