Dramatic Traditions of the Dark Ages

Dramatic Traditions of the Dark Ages

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Dramatic Traditions of the Dark Ages

Dramatic Traditions of the Dark Ages

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Excerpt

The author of this book sincerely hopes that it will not be taken as a history of the drama in the Dark Ages. He does not assert more than a sporadic cultivation of what would now be called the legitimate theater at any part of the period between Constantine and Otto III. He has merely attempted to hold a brief for one of the parties to a controversy which, in his opinion, has either been ignored or decided incorrectly, for nearly three-quarters of a millennium. This controversy must be brought to a final decision before the literary history of Europe can be written correctly. As was recently said in The Nation (Vol. LXXXII, No. 2128, p. 307, col. 2): "The immense value to mediaeval Europe of the influence coming from the Eastern Empire is only in part recognized as yet;" and, if this be true in the domain of art, it is equally true in nearly every other department of human activity.

Under the circumstances, it was natural that the author of this book should occasionally, perhaps frequently, overdo his part. He may have expanded the definition of the word "drama" unduly. On the other hand, he asks critics to consider the point whether or not, in this age of . . .

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