Gordon Craig's Self-Contradictions

Les Contradictions de Gordon Craig

Patrick Le Boeuf About the author

ABSTRACT

The seeming contradictions in Edward Gordon Craig's theatrical thought can be solved if they are approached as a pragmatic construct that takes the form of a concentric system that revolves around mystic contemplation, and each layer of which is a more or less remote surrogate of such contemplation. By detailing each of these layers in its relation to the core of that concentric system, the paper eventually proposes an overall synthesis of the aesthetics of Craig's experimentations.

Keywords:
Edward Gordon Craig; Aesthetics; Mysticism; Theater and Religious Thought; Philosophical Aspects of Theatrical Thought

RÉSUMÉ

Les apparentes contradictions de la pensée théâtrale d'Edward Gordon Craig peuvent être résolues si on les approche comme une construction pragmatique qui prend la forme d'un système concentrique tournant autour de la contemplation mystique, et dont chaque couche constitue un succédané plus ou moins lointain de cette contemplation. En détaillant chacune de ces couches dans le rapport qu'elle entretient avec le cœur de ce système concentrique, l'article propose, au bout du compte, une synthèse globale de l'esthétique des expérimentations de Craig.

Mots-clés:
Edward Gordon Craig; Esthétique; Mysticisme; Théâtre et Pensée Religieuse; Aspects Philosophiques de la Pensée Théâtrale

RESUMO

As aparentes contradições no pensamento teatral de Gordon Craig podem ser solucionadas se forem abordadas como um constructo pragmático que assume a forma de um sistema concêntrico que gira em torno da contemplação mística, sendo que cada camada constitui um sucedâneo mais ou menos remoto dessa contemplação. Ao detalhar cada uma dessas camadas em sua relação com o âmago desse sistema concêntrico, o artigo propõe, por fim, uma síntese global da estética dos experimentos de Gordon Craig.

Palavras-chave:
Edward Gordon Craig; Estética; Misticismo; Teatro e Pensamento Religioso; Aspectos Filosóficos do Pensamento Teatral

Full text available only in PDF format.

References

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  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon (Britannicus). Art and the Nation. The Mask, v. 5, n. 1, p. 6-15, 1912.
  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon. Books and Theatres. London/Toronto: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1925.
  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon. Catalogue of Etchings Being Designs for Motions. Florence: Stabilimento Aldino, 1908.
  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon. An Easy Book on the Theatre. Unpublished manuscript. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1922. (Craig Collection, EGC-Ms-A-57.)
  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon. {Memoirs}. Unpublished manuscript. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France , 1950. (Craig Collection, EGC-Ms-B-34.)
  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon; CHAMBERLAIN, Franc (Ed.). On the Art of the Theatre. London/New York: Routledge, 2009.
  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon; CHÉNETIER-ALEV, Marion; DUVILLIER, Marc; PLASSARD, Didier (Ed.). The Drama for Fools. Charleville-Mézières/Montpellier: Institut International de la Marionnette/L'Entretemps, 2012.
  • CRAIG, Edward Gordon. The Theatre - Advancing. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1919.
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  • 1
    In the manuscript this text is followed by the word Tiger within brackets. One of Craig's favorite items in his collection of puppets was a Burmese tiger marionette; in the last two sentences of this soliloquy, Craig pretends that the marionette who is speaking here is precisely that Burmese tiger, and that it is talking about its tail. But a tiger marionette can scarcely be said to have two hands and two feet, and Craig's very reluctance (which must not be mentioned), the question mark after the word tail, and his use of Italian words (certain topics always are easier to tackle in a foreign language...) make it quite clear that he actually had another unruly member in mind. Throughout his life, Craig remained very much something of a prudish Victorian... which makes it all the more difficult to acknowledge the symbolic and religious value of phallism in his work and thought.
  • 2
    Undated Craig's note on the back of first cover page.
  • 3
    Also in an unpublished letter from Craig to Cooper, 23 April 2010.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Dec 2014

History

  • Received
    07 Mar 2014
  • Accepted
    29 May 2014
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