Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Big F'in Puppets

The uber-marionette is a descendant of the
stone images of the old temples... a rather degenerate form of a god... the last echo of some noble and beautiful art... it will not compete with life - it will go beyond it.

Craig sounds rather pompous and melodramatic here - but everyone was writing like that in 1907. His rejection of the 'emotionalism' of actors suggests that, unlike Wordsworth, who said something about art being the recollection of emotion in tranquility, Craig was not interested in art that reflected on the human, but a spiritual art that transcends the physical.

Unsurprisingly, he dedicated his collection of writings to Blake. He was a romantic, but one who flew on the wings of imagination to invent metaphysical entities. 

Craig would claim that he wasn't literally trying to replace actors with bits of wood, and that he was describing a method of performance - a return to an abstract theatre that refuses to get bogged down in the reality of the actors' experiences on stage, but rejects the trappings of ornamentation for a theatre that pointed to deeper truths.

Yeah, then Brecht said the same sort of thing - all that 'fourth wall' and revealing the mechanics of performance. He used to do puppet shows when he was a kid, too. 

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