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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 65 | volume XII | March-April, 2009



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 65March-April, 2009
Essays

The Specific Features and Alienation of the Dramatic/Theatre Memory

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Jelena Lužina

In the beginning, a series of questions

What is the past to the theatre, so that it must deal so intensely with it?
    Can the theatre adequately remember the past, creatively recycle it and, in general, efficiently deal with it? Has the theatre, over the past 25 centuries of its tempestuous history, managed to develop adequate techniques and mechanisms with the help of which it was able to successfully re-semanticize the past in order to be able to transform it permanently into the famed “permanent present”, that which it has obliged itself to always display on its stages? Is the theatre bothered by the past in the process of the stage presentation of its “permanent present” which, as Aristotle puts it, should imitate reality through action “here and now”?
    Can the theatre efficiently cope with the memorabilia of any kind, which it must (nevertheless) constantly tackle as opposed to its declarative commitment to the “permanent present” to which it has programmatically sworn? Can memory (the famed historicism on which, in principle, all arts thrive) and action/doing, undoubtedly a “momentary” category which inevitably happens when we, the present and living spectators testify to it and consume it without any reservations, successfully co-exist (of all places!) in the theatre itself? Can the specific features of the complex theatrical/stage mechanism be the subject to any kind of historicism, since it does not allow “things” to be evoked or narrated, but must, instead, be immediately/directly/actively shown?
    Is the theatre, perhaps, trying to think of some little tricks that would help it slip somehow through the hands of history and historicism? Can the theatre, after all, leave the dangerous “shadow” of these “bogeymen of the past” in order to promote and develop certain quite specific – quite new and original – forms of memory: forms which are visual, emotional and cognitive?
    What is, for instance, the differentia specifica of the famed emotional memory – one of the basic categories of the renowned theatrical system of Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky – that makes this type/kind of memory essentially different from its other types/kinds?
    How should we, in fact, treat theatre today: as one of the media relevant to our recent culture (including the culture of entertainment) or as one of the respectable sites of memory which, among other things, is indicative of the maturity of a certain environment (nation, culture, etc.), of its ability to enter into a dialogue with itself, to preserve






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