Historical Dictionary of French Theater (Historical by Edward Forman

By Edward Forman

The time period "French theater" conjures up such a lot instantly the glories of the classical interval and the peculiarities of the Theater of the Absurd. It has given us the works of Corneille, Racine, and Moliere. within the Romantic period there has been Alexander Dumas and surrealist works of Alfred Jarry, after which the Theater of the Absurd erupted in rationalistic France with Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and Jean-Paul Sartre.The ancient Dictionary of French Theater relates the background of the French theater via a chronology, advent, bibliography, and over four hundred cross-referenced dictionary entries on authors, developments, genres, innovations, and literary and old advancements that performed a valuable position within the evolution of French theater.

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Vite, ouvrons. Bonjour, beau cavalier [“Can that be him already? Steps on the hidden Staircase anyway! Quick, open up. Goodday, gentle knight”] where the splitting up of the phrases into irregular groups (further interrupted in practice by knocks on the door and stage action) conceals the underlying rhythmic pattern. ALEXIS, PAUL (1847–1901). Journalist and dramatist in the Naturalist school. His works were initially rejected by Paul Porel, director of the Odéon, but were taken up by André Antoine and performed at his Théâtre-Libre, notably Mademoiselle Pomme (1887) and La Fin de Lucie Pellegrin (The Demise of Lucie Pellegrin, 1888 dramatization of his 1880 novel), which caused a scandal by its treatment of lesbianism.

Artaud was influenced in this direction by the ritualistic violence and expressive gestures of oriental, particularly Balinese, theater, as well as by the incantatory abstract language of Symbolism. Apart from a short text, Jet de sang (Spurt of Blood), scheduled for performance at the Théâtre Alfred Jarry in 1926, but not performed until 1964, Artaud’s only play, Les Cenci (1935), based on a drama by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) and a short story by Stendhal, was not a success, although its innovative use of theater in the round, and of mechanical devices to generate a visible and audible frenzy, was influential on later directors, including Jean-Louis Barrault and Peter Brook.

A modern adaptation of the Jeu de la feuillée was presented by the Comédie-Française at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in 2003. ADAMOV, ARTHUR (1908–1970). French dramatist of Armenian origin. His early life was disrupted by World War I, when he was exiled in Germany, and this experience, allied to the influence of Franz Kafka (1883–1924), Carl Jung (1875–1961) and early Surrealism, led to a strong sense of personal alienation. His involvement in theatrical activity, initially triggered by Antonin Artaud’s productions of August Strindberg (1849–1912) and later influenced by Marxism, embraced allegorical parables, didactic plays in the style of Bertolt Brecht’s theater of commitment, and Absurd dramas.

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