Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre

by Patrick McGuinness

Oxford University Press | January 6, 2000 | Hardcover |

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This is a study of one of theatre''s quietest but most radical innovators. The playwright, poet, and essayist Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) has been called the prodigal father of the Theatre of the Absurd. Admired by writers as diverse as Mallarme and Yeats, Artaud and Strindberg, Chekhov and Jarry, Maeterlinck was the most celebrated avant-garde playwright of his day. By 1900 he had given theatre a new set of bearings: ''static theatre'', ''the theatre of the unexpressed'', and ''the tragic of the everyday''. He had, according to Rilke, relocated theatre''s centre of gravity, replacing action with inaction, events with the eventless, and dialogue with a semantics of silence as expressive as any of Symbolism''s most sophisticated poetic constructions. The author of the supreme Symbolist play, Pelleas and Melisande, and of haunting, minimalist dramas of waiting (L''Intruse, Les Aveugles, Interieur), Maeterlinck laid the foundations for the most revolutionary theatre of the twentieth century. Opening with a chapter on Maeterlinck''s Symbolist and decadent beginnings, and proceeding by way of comparative readings of Maeterlinck and contemporary Symbolist dramatic theory (with particular attention to Mallarme), Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre provides close readings of the one-act plays, and his seminal theories of static theatre and the theatre of waiting.

Format: Hardcover

Published: January 6, 2000

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0198159773

ISBN - 13: 9780198159773

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Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre

Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre

by Patrick McGuinness

Format: Hardcover

Published: January 6, 2000

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0198159773

ISBN - 13: 9780198159773

About the Book

Maurice Maeterlinck has been called the 'prodigal father' of modern theatre. As Rilke put it, he shifted theatre's center of gravity, replacing action with inaction, events with the eventless, and dialogue with an expressive semantics of silence. This study, the first in over a decade, traces< br> the development of Maeterlinck's dramatic vision of extraordinary originality and depth.

Table of Contents

Introduction Symbolist Beginnings La Princesse Maleine and Symbolist Theatre Maeterlinck, Mallarme, and Symbolist Dramatic Theory Theatre and the Invisible Principle: Pelleas and Melisande Using the Stage: the One-act Plays The Fecund Interval: ''Le Tragique quotidien'' Conclusion Bibliography Index

From the Publisher

This is a study of one of theatre''s quietest but most radical innovators. The playwright, poet, and essayist Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) has been called the prodigal father of the Theatre of the Absurd. Admired by writers as diverse as Mallarme and Yeats, Artaud and Strindberg, Chekhov and Jarry, Maeterlinck was the most celebrated avant-garde playwright of his day. By 1900 he had given theatre a new set of bearings: ''static theatre'', ''the theatre of the unexpressed'', and ''the tragic of the everyday''. He had, according to Rilke, relocated theatre''s centre of gravity, replacing action with inaction, events with the eventless, and dialogue with a semantics of silence as expressive as any of Symbolism''s most sophisticated poetic constructions. The author of the supreme Symbolist play, Pelleas and Melisande, and of haunting, minimalist dramas of waiting (L''Intruse, Les Aveugles, Interieur), Maeterlinck laid the foundations for the most revolutionary theatre of the twentieth century. Opening with a chapter on Maeterlinck''s Symbolist and decadent beginnings, and proceeding by way of comparative readings of Maeterlinck and contemporary Symbolist dramatic theory (with particular attention to Mallarme), Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre provides close readings of the one-act plays, and his seminal theories of static theatre and the theatre of waiting.

About the Author

Patrick McGuinness is at St Anne''s College, Oxford.

Editorial Reviews

`McGuiness''s discussion ... is rich and comprehensive ... a penetrating analysis.'' D.A. Collins, Choice, July/Aug. 00.
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