The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre

The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre

The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre

The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre

Excerpt

This study was originally twice its present length. The author once believed that he could clarify and simplify his concepts if he documented them at every step and developed them fully. He had hoped by this means to express the essence of his thought, but in the course of his investigation he soon found that essence inexpressible--at least in this fashion. Moreover, he was gradually compelled to realize that one cannot entice a companion, however amiable and indulgent, to pursue an unfamiliar path for reasons unknown to him in advance, if--by continually reminding him of the main traveled road and its familiar aspects --one turns his glances, and perhaps his steps as well, away from the new and unknown route.

In every sphere of life documentation is a study that is accomplished while standing still. It is a preparation for the voluntary act of departure. The legs of Rodin "Man Walking" were "documented"; that is why they were ready to begin walking. A tourist stops to consult his map; then he folds it up, and starts out along the route which he feels he now understands.

The author has spent many years consulting others and questioning himself. Irresistibly drawn toward an unknown which he sensed to be marvelous, he wished nonetheless to safeguard himself in every way before committing himself to the quest. He realized that when he did commit himself it would be final; his first vague presentiment of that gradually became a conviction: to turn back would be impossible, and yet he had to begin the journey.

Accordingly he did begin it. Behind him were broken, one by one, the precious links binding him to a past which he had thought he would never need to, still less be able to, abandon.

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