Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre

Hardcover | January 6, 2000

byPatrick Mcguinness

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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 andJarry, 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 actionwith 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 anddecadent 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 statictheatre and the theatre of waiting.

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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 andJarry, Maeterlinck was the most celebrated ...

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

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Format:HardcoverPublished:January 6, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198159773

ISBN - 13:9780198159773

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Table of Contents

IntroductionSymbolist BeginningsLa Princesse Maleine and Symbolist TheatreMaeterlinck, Mallarme, and Symbolist Dramatic TheoryTheatre and the Invisible Principle: Pelleas and MelisandeUsing the Stage: the One-act PlaysThe Fecund Interval: 'Le Tragique quotidien'ConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

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