The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre

By Adolphe Appia; Barnard Hewitt et al. | Go to book overview

ADOLPHE APPIA'S
"MAN IS THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS"
(Protagoras)

A Preface to a New Work[1] translated by Barnard Hewitt

This title is the motto of my latest book: "The Work of Living Art." It expresses all my thought and distills the principles which have guided my labor.

An astronomer knows very well that his calculations concern his eyes and not the stars. When he announces the discovery of a new star, he can only state the day and the hour when his eyes were able to observe it: the star itself is unaffected by his mathematical discovery.

The philosopher is aware that his systems only brush the surface of something which remains forever unknown to him.

The applied scientist makes use of electricity, for example, forever ignorant of what it is that serves him.

The engineer can construct the most colossal machine, the most complicated mechanism; all his knowledge, whatever it may be, is gauged by his ambition and by our needs.

So it appears that in every human endeavor, Protagoras' axiom is the expression applicable to human effort.

However, one main area of our culture, and of by far its most elevated activity, would like to escape that axiom. That is the area of Art.

The artist deals above all with an Unknown, whose

____________________
1
[We do not know what Appia meant by his sub-title. If he contemplated another book on "living art," he did not write it.]

-123-

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The Work of Living Art: A Theory of the Theatre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Books of the Theatre Series iii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Adolphe Appia and "The Work of Living Art" xi
  • Preface 1
  • 1. the Elements 3
  • 2. Living Time 19
  • 3. Living Space 25
  • 4. Living Color 31
  • 5. Organic Unity 38
  • 6. Collaboration 59
  • 7. the Great Unknown and the Experience of Beauty 68
  • 8. Bearers of the Flame 79
  • Designs 83
  • Adolphe Appia's "Man is the Measure of All Things" (protagoras) 123
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