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Image et spectacle

Actes du XXXIIe Colloque International d’Etudes Humanistes du Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance (Tours, 29 juin–8 juillet 1989)

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Edited by Pierre Béhar

Spectacle, Rhetoric and Power

The Triumphal Entry of Prince Philip of Spain into Antwerp

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Stijn Bussels

In 1549, Prince Philip of Spain made his entry into Antwerp together with his father, Emperor Charles V. For this occasion the rich city of commerce was transformed into a large theatrical space with triumphal arches and tableaux vivants as stage settings. The citizens and the princes acted as actors in a splendid parade, a battle array of four thousand participants, impressive tournaments and a huge firework display. This resulted in one of the most expensive and impressive festivities of the early modern period. The organizing municipality drew on various theatrical genres in an effort to bring about a renewal in the existing power relations between the Habsburg rulers and themselves, as well as the relations of the rulers with the population. Exactly how the city and the monarch were depicted was illustrative of the precious balance of power between the Habsburgs and the city fathers and of both parties toward their respective subjects. How these power relations were precisely staged in Antwerp is studied in this book.

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Laurence Marie

L’article analyse la place prise par le spectacle au sein des traductions françaises, anglaises et allemandes de Plaute et de Térence parues au XVIIIe siècle. Après les traductions de la Française Mme Dacier (1688) et du Britannique Laurence Echard (1694), les deux dramaturges latins font l’objet d’un regain d’intérêt dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle, au moment même où la comédie est prise comme modèle par les théoriciens favorables à un théâtre plus visuel. Au commentaire philologique centré sur la langue se substitue peu à peu un commentaire dramaturgique adoptant le point de vue de la réception. En creux, se dessine une réforme du théâtre qui revalorise la part accordée à la représentation et privilégie l’effet produit par rapport au respect des règles. La traduction n’apparaît pas seulement comme la caisse de résonance des débats théoriques en cours, mais aussi comme le lieu d’une expérimentation sur la théâtralité.

In Words and Deeds

The Spectacle of Incest in English Renaissance Tragedy

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Zenón Luis-Martínez

Departing from earlier studies which regarded incest as a literary topos or dramatic metaphor foregrounding political, social, or legal issues, Words and Deeds: The Spectacle of Incest in English Renaissance Tragedy argues that the presence of incest on the Renaissance stage is a strategy for the enactment of the spectator’s tragic experience. Incest is explored neither as a sin nor as a crime, but as an “unspeakable” experience filtered through dramatic words and deeds. The incitement of desire, visual pleasure, and unconscious fantasy, as well as traumatic rejection, pain, and horror, are all aspects of this paradoxical and uncanny experience. Aristotelian theory of tragedy, Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Michel Foucault’s notions of the deployment of sexuality and alliance, concur in the analysis of plays where incest is a central or a secondary motif – Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Beaumont and Fletcher’s Cupid’s Revenge, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi – and others where incest is an effect of language and mise-en-scène – Sackville and Norton’s Gorboduc, Shakespeare’s King Lear. The variety of topics and the combination of critical perspectives makes In Words and Deeds an attractive book for students and teachers of Renaissance drama, as well as for those with a special interest in psychoanalytic and other new theoretical approaches to the literary text.

Philologie et théâtre

Traduire, commenter, interpréter le théâtre antique en Europe (XVe – XVIIIe siècle)

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Edited by Véronique Lochert and Zoé Schweitzer

Après avoir été longtemps réduites à des recueils de sentences morales ou à des modèles rhétoriques, les pièces des grands dramaturges grecs et latins reconquièrent, à la fin du XVe siècle, une part importante de leur théâtralité. Le travail des traducteurs, situé au carrefour de l’explication philologique et de l’appropriation culturelle, est un élément essentiel de ce renouveau.
Le théâtre occupe une place centrale parmi les œuvres antiques éditées et commentées par les Renaissants, et dans leurs réflexions sur l’Antiquité, mais pose de nombreux problèmes d’interprétation. Comment lire ces textes destinés à la scène et dont une pleine compréhension engage le ressaisissement d’un monde révolu?
Les contributions réunies dans ce volume explorent la diversité des pratiques européennes du XVe au XVIIIe siècle afin de mieux mettre en valeur le rôle joué par la traduction dans le nouveau statut du texte dramatique. Elles éclairent la dimension herméneutique de la traduction, son apport à la réflexion théorique sur le théâtre et la place du spectacle antique dans la Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes.

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Lise Michel

Dans la préface et le commentaire qu’il propose en 1692 à sa traduction de l’Œdipe de Sophocle, Dacier revendique, conformément aux positions des Anciens, une grande précision philologique et une exacte fidélité historique. Par contraste, on est frappé par l’importance du commentaire d’ordre scénique, qui peut sembler « moderne » dans sa manière. En réalité ces deux types de considérations ne doivent pas être pensés en opposition. L’interprétation des effets proprement spectaculaires procède en effet d’une volonté de restituer le plus fidèlement possible le spectacle original. Elle vise corrélativement à convaincre le lecteur de la supériorité de ce spectacle, et du texte qui le détermine. Dans ses présupposés critiques, dans sa démarche et dans ses résultats, le commentaire scénique se révèle donc ici lui aussi être l’un des moyens privilégiés du combat mené en faveur des Anciens.

Body Show/s

Australian viewings of live performance

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Edited by Peta Tait

Body Show/s: Australian Viewings of Live Performance asks: in what ways do physical bodies in live performance present vital and compelling expressions of ideas?
This collection contains critical analyses of cultural spectacle and social identity by eighteen major Australian scholars and practitioners. It discusses and describes bodies in contemporary performance, theatre, visual art and dance; in circus and ethnographic shows; in performance training, butoh and wrestling; at gay and lesbian dance parties; and in relation to digital images. It explores historical and theoretical issues of gender and postcoloniality, technology, and the location of bodies in architectural, social and virtual spaces.
Artistes and groups discussed include Sydney Front, Open City, The Performance Space, Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre, Chrissie Parrott, the Bell Shakespeare Company, Tess De Quincey, Yumi Umiumare, Gilgul Theatre, Lyndal Jones, Stelarc, Death Defying Theatre, colonial circus, ethnographic displays, the horse as performer, and wrestling legends Gorgeous George and Ravishing Ricky Rude.

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Charlène Deharbe

Tout semble opposer le théâtre au récit de soi. Le premier se rattache aux arts du spectacle, tandis que le second relève de l’intime. Genre littéraire emblématique du XVIIIe siècle, le roman-mémoires invite à dépasser cette opposition. S’il place l’expérience vécue au cœur de son écriture, il s’approprie également le langage de la scène comique ou tragique au profit d’une fiction de l’intériorité. Ce livre montre ce que le roman-mémoires doit au théâtre, en étudiant comment son écriture s’élabore à partir de différents emprunts et procédés caractéristiques de la scène. En s’inventant au sein d’une culture dominée par le goût du spectacle, ce genre lègue ainsi à la littérature à venir les éléments constitutifs d’un langage de l’intime.

Theatre and fictional memoir are supposedly opposites: the former has to do with the performing arts, while the latter focuses on the intimate side of life. A literary genre emblematic of the eighteenth century, fictional memoir invites readers to move beyond this assumption. Although lived experience is at the heart of the memoir, such fiction also appropriates the language of comedy or tragedy for the benefit of a novel of interiority. This book highlights fictional memoir’s debt to the theatre, while examining how its writing developed based on various borrowings and processes characteristic of the stage. By self-inventing within a culture dominated by enthusiasm for stage performance, this genre thereby endowed future literature with the constitutive elements of a language of the intimate.

The Theater of Transformation

Postmodernism in American Drama

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Kerstin Schmidt

The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama offers a fresh and innovative reading of the contemporary experimental American theater scene and navigates through the contested and contentious relationship between postmodernism and contemporary drama. This book addresses gender and class as well as racial issues in the context of a theoretical discussion of dramatic texts, textuality, and performance. Transformation is contemporary drama's answer to the questions of postmodernism and a major technique in the development of a postmodern language for the stage. In order to demonstrate the multi-faceted nature of the postmodern theater of transformation, this study draws on a wide range of plays: from early experimental plays of the 1960s by Jean-Claude van Itallie through feminist plays by Megan Terry and Rochelle Owens to more recent drama by the African-American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.
The Theater of Transformation: Postmodernism in American Drama is written for anyone interested in contemporary American drama and theater as well as in postmodernism and contemporary literary theory. It appeals even more broadly to a readership intrigued by the ubiquitous aspects of popular culture, by feminism and ethnicity, and by issues pertaining to the so-called 'society of spectacle' and the study of contemporary media.

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Edited by George W.M. Harrison

Until the Renaissance the centrality of Roman tragedy in Western society and culture was unchallenged. Studies on Roman Republican tragedy and on Imperial Roman tragedy by the contributors have been directing the gaze of scholarship back to Roman tragedy. This volume has two goals: first, to demonstrate that Republican tragedy had a far more central role in shaping Imperial tragedy than is currently thought, and quite possibly more important than Classical Greek tragedy. Second, the influence of other Roman literary genres on Roman tragedy is greater than has formerly been credited. Studies on von Kleist and Shelley, Eliot and Claus help reconstruct the ancient Roman stage by showing how moderns had thought to change it for contemporary aesthetics.