In Praise of Theatre by Alain Badiou

By Alain Badiou

In compliment of Theatre is Alain Badiou’s most up-to-date paintings at the ‘most whole of the arts,’ the theatrical level. This e-book, sure to be of significant curiosity to students and theatre practitioners alike, elaborates the speculation of the theatre built by means of Badiou in works corresponding to Rhapsody for the Theatre and the ‘Theses on Theatre’ and enquires into the prestige of a theatre that might be enough to our ‘contemporary, market-oriented chaos.’

In a departure from his traditional emphasis upon canonical figures of the degree resembling Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett, Badiou devotes In compliment of Theatre mostly to a attention of latest practitioners, together with Jan Fabre, Brigitte Jacques and Romeo Castellucci. additionally, the booklet positive factors an incisive research of the precarious prestige of the theatre this present day, during which Badiou describes not just the present threats to the theatre from the perfect, however the way more insidious chance from the left.

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Must one moralistically condemn laughter, relaxation, amusement? " It by no means designates laughter, joy, farce. 1 am myself a principally comic writer, and 1 agree with Hegel when he designates comedy as the superior form of the theatre. 14 By "entertainment," one should here understand that which makes use of the visible means of the theatre (the performance, the set, the actors, the "one-liners" ... ) to reinforce the opinions of the spectators, which are predictably enough the dominant opinions.

Sophocles was applauded, but Socrates was condemned to death, just after Aristophanes savagely mocked him on stage in his play Clouds. 1 In his distrust of the theatre, Plato naturally enough noted that it had often used its initial advantage against philosophers. In short, there is an aspect of rivalry between theatre and philosophy concerning the conquest of minds. But the core of the issue lies elsewhere: the means used by the theatre and the means offered by philosophy are virtually opposite.

Admittedly, the Latin origin of the word divertere, which signifies the action of' turning or looking away /rom something, would encourage one toward the position of Pascal, who built upon this etymology a moral: people avoid the great existential questions through gambling, love, war. But isn 't it necessary to entertain oneself. Must one moralistically condemn laughter, relaxation, amusement? " It by no means designates laughter, joy, farce. 1 am myself a principally comic writer, and 1 agree with Hegel when he designates comedy as the superior form of the theatre.

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