Wednesday, 4 April 2018

I Hate Science

Let me be clear: theatrical naturalism is nothing more than a painting of a Dog Shit with Wings that pretends to be a Living Nightingale. It is a delusion, a deceit that doubles down on its dishonesty by claiming its affinity with 'the real'. When Zola states his faith in the 'scientific spirit' he does not notice the idiocy of a belief in reason. Reason itself can only be trusted, it cannot claim any absolute meaning. To believe in reason is to substitute faith for analysis (especially when Zola expects his statement to be accepted without qualification).

Of course, it is possible to modify that faith, to seek reason through it in the manner of the Jesuit. But this is not the way of the naturalist. Rather, they have the enthusiasm of the fundamentalism, protected by simplicity and buoyed by the material successes of technology. In this case, it is applied science, not the methodology or some spurious spirit that is being invoked. Zola has seen the factory, has seen the locomotive. Therefore, science achieves. Therefore, it will save theatre. 

I can hear the echo of Plato's chuckle, as he reveals the punchline to The Republic. My rational city, with all its functions defined by thought and reasoning, will be based on a myth. Do you get it? Eh? Eh?

In the adaptation of Zola' Nana (1881), Arnold Mortier reported that 'the young Georges Hugon... shakes a cardboard tree from which real apples fall.'The wry wit of the scenographer explains something that Zola does not understand.

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