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In Praise of Theatre von Badiou, Alain (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 12.10.2015
  • Verlag: Polity
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In Praise of Theatre

In Praise of Theatre is Alain Badiou's latest work on the 'most complete of the arts,' the theatrical stage. This book, certain to be of great interest to scholars and theatre practitioners alike, elaborates the theory of the theatre developed by Badiou in works such as Rhapsody for the Theatre and the 'Theses on Theatre' and enquires into the status of a theatre that would be adequate to our 'contemporary, market-oriented chaos.' In a departure from his usual emphasis upon canonical figures of the stage such as Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett, Badiou devotes In Praise of Theatre largely to a consideration of contemporary practitioners, including Jan Fabre, Brigitte Jacques and Romeo Castellucci. In addition, the book features an incisive analysis of the precarious status of the theatre today, in which Badiou describes not only the current threats to the theatre from the right, but the far more insidious threat from the left. Alain Badiou is a writer, philosopher and an Emeritus Professor at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris Nicolas Truong is a writer and journalist and a regular contributor to Le Monde Author 1 Alain Badiou is a writer, philosopher and an Emeritus Professor at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris Author 2 Nicolas Truong is a writer and journalist and a regular contributor to Le Monde


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 90
    Erscheinungsdatum: 12.10.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9780745687001
    Verlag: Polity
    Größe: 146 kBytes
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In Praise of Theatre

Alain Badiou and the Untimely Stage: Translator's Introduction

The appearance of In Praise of Theatre in English translation represents the most recent in a steady succession of publication and performance events related to the theatre of French militant philosopher Alain Badiou. Taken together with the worldwide release of The Incident at Antioch in a bilingual edition, the English publication of Ahmed the Philosopher recently made two of Badiou's plays available to anglophone audiences for the first time - three, if one takes his Plato's Republic as a dramatic work, for which there already exists a precedent: during the 2013-14 theatrical season, Badiou's "hypertranslation" of this foundational philosophical text was performed to considerable acclaim on the stage of the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, and plans have long been under way to bring the work to the screen in a film version titled The Life of Plato . 1 During the 2014-15 theatrical season, Ahmed the Philosopher will receive a new production at the Théâtre de la Commune d'Aubervilliers, where Badiou is an artistic associate, and to which his annual seminar, previously held at the École normale supérieure in Rue d'Ulm, was recently relocated. Appropriately, Badiou took the occasion of the seminar's first meeting in its updated venue as an opportunity to announce the completion of a new play, a comedy titled Le second procès de Socrate [ The Second Trial of Socrates ]. 2

This surge of activity surrounding Badiou's work as a dramatist has been complemented by a growing interest in his theoretical writings on the stage, which, like his plays, have only recently been introduced to the English-speaking world. In 2014, Badiou's masterwork of theatre theory, Rhapsody for the Theatre , was released in a new French edition with a fresh preface by the author. 3 This second edition followed hard upon the book's appearance in English translation as part of an edited volume which also brings together several of Badiou's occasional writings on the theatre. 4 In the essay "Theatre and Philosophy," included in this indispensable collection, Badiou reflects upon his choice of "a short philosophical treatise" as the subtitle for Rhapsody . Such a choice, he writes, "presupposes that, cutting diagonally across many centuries, there exists a singular relation between the artifices of the spectacle and the severity of philosophical argumentation." 5 Expanding upon the theory of the theatre established in Rhapsody , and in his Handbook of Inaesthetics, In Praise of Theatre solidifies the centrality of the stage for Badiou's thought. 6 In doing so, it makes clear the degree to which the theatre serves - from the early Theory of the Subject , to the in-progress The Immanence of Truths - as the diagonal for Badiou's philosophical project, sweeping across its systematic armature like the clinamen of the ancient atomists, and animating its subjective possibilities. In the book's opening pages, we find the following statement on the significance for Badiou of the relationship between theatre and philosophy in his project:
The theatre satisfies that part of myself for which thought takes the form of an emotion, of a pivotal moment, of a kind of engagement with what is given immediately to see and to hear. But I had - I still have - a need of a completely different order: that thought take the form of irresistible argumentation, of the submission to a logical and conceptual power which concedes nothing when it comes to the universality of its question. Plato had the same problem: he was also persuaded that mathematics proposed an unrivaled model of fully realized thought. But, great rival of the theatre that he was, he also wanted for thought to be found in the intensity of a moment, for it to be a hazardous yet triumphant path. He resolved h

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