Dionysus in Paris: A Guide to Contemporary French Theater

Dionysus in Paris: A Guide to Contemporary French Theater

Dionysus in Paris: A Guide to Contemporary French Theater

Dionysus in Paris: A Guide to Contemporary French Theater

Excerpt

I have referred to too many plays and too many playwrights in the course of this relatively brief study. And yet many other plays and playwrights have been omitted, on various grounds, sometimes other than those of the mere exigencies of space. I have not discussed the light type of play, that of Roussin and Achard, for example, because my principal concern has been the evolution of the serious play--that approaching a form of tragedy in our day. A certain number of successful playwrights, Jules Romains and Salacrou among others, are neglected because the "literary" qualities of their craft seem less striking than the art of those playwrights I have selected. Michel de Ghelderode, a gifted and prolific playwright, I have omitted on the grounds that his tradition is more Flemish than French.

In the past, the greatest dramatists have been the greatest poets: Sophocles, Shakespeare, Racine. The modern theater in every country will inevitably be measured by theirs. This is especially true in France, where the playwright learns that in his tradition the poet is interested not in the exploits of the hero but in his sufferings. During the past thirty years, a new literary theater has been created in France where the combined themes of . . .

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