Empty Figure on an Empty Stage

Empty Figure on an Empty Stage

The Theatre of Samuel Beckett and His Generation
Essif, Les
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/22/2001
Format: Hardback 18 b&w photos, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-33847-1
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Description

Empty Figure on an Empty Stage
The Theatre of Samuel Beckett and His Generation

Les Essif

An original and exciting approach to the theatre of the absurd.

This study considers the ways playwrights draw meaning from emptiness. With reference to actual performances of dramatic works, Les Essif examines drama associated with nonrealistic movement known as theatre of the absurd, focusing on the ways dramatists create an impression of emptiness not only on the stage but also in the body and mind of the central character. Essif makes a case for the meta-dramatic fusion of stage and character.

Empty Figure on an Empty Stage begins with a discussion of philosophical, socio-cultural, and theatrical implications of emptiness. Bringing together pioneers in theatre phenomenology Bert O. States and Stanton B. Garner, Jr., with theatrical thinkers Antonin Artaud and Gordon Craig, and socio-aesthetic thinkers Mikhail Bakhtin and Theodore Adorno, Essif formulates a fresh approach to drama and performance and presents an overview of the evolution of "empty" characters and "empty" space in Western drama. After examining Samuel Beckett’s drama and performance, Essif studies works of other dramatists of this generation, primarily from France (Ionesco, Vian, Dubillard, Obaldia), but also from other Western national cultures (Bernhard, Pinter, Stoppard, Handke, Shepard). He supports his thesis with photographs of works of art as well as scenes from theatrical performances of the plays in question.

Les Essif is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Drama and Performance Studies—Timothy Wiles, general editor

July 2001
272 pages, 18 b&w photos, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4, index, append.
cloth 0-253-33847-6 $39.95 s / £30.50

Author Bio

Les Essif is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Emptiness: Ontological, Theatrical, Theatro-psychic
2. Surrealist Inner Space: Theatre of the (Empty) Mind
3. Beckett’s Pursuit of Emptiness: The Concentrated (Empty) Image Behind the Fragmented Story In the Late Plays
4. Avatars of the Hypersubjective Dramatic Character
5. The Hypersubject Avatar Manqué
6. TheHypersubjective Marionette-like Legacy of Pierrot: From the Social Space of the Commedia to the Empty Space of Nouveau Théâtre

Conclusion
Works Cited