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By John Glavin

John Glavin bargains either a performative interpreting of Dickens the novelist and an exploration of the opportunity of adaptive functionality of the novels themselves. via shut research of textual content and context Glavin uncovers a richly ambivalent, frequently abruptly opposed, courting among Dickens and the theater and theatricality of his personal time, and indicates how Dickens' novels will be visible as a kind of counter functionality. but Glavin additionally explores the performative strength in Dickens' fiction, and describes new how you can degree that fiction in emotionally robust, severely acute diversifications.

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Extra resources for After Dickens: Reading, Adaptation and Performance

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And I look for every chance to use comedy to counter Grotowski’s (not to mention Dickens’s) celebration of pain. In effect, I adapt by adapting Grotowski. Nevertheless, I retain, indeed blazon, my loyalty to Poor Theatre. I do so because of the way in which Grotowski heroically preserves that adherence to the individual that seems to me basic to all theatre: unique player connecting powerfully to singular spectator. This connection relies on two cardinal features of Grotowski’s method. He trains actors to make themselves malleable rorschachs within which each spectator uncovers whatever he or she specifically needs – or refuses needing – from that performance.

And he is also deeply susceptible to the mythic, drawn by the appeal of historical change, to the illuminating narrative of cause and effect which the novel can only condescendingly  Set up dismiss as the Lodestone Rock. Finally, he is theoretical, no surprise in a teacher, that is someone who insists on yielding himself up to Law, in this case, both English and French law, someone who must permit himself to be identified, classified, imprisoned and condemned by ineradicable marks of class and manner (the Frenchman, the aristocrat).

Of course, nineteenth-century theatre aimed to move its audience, but it always kept its audience moving more or less in place, passively stimulated, unchanged, indeed unchallenged, in feeling or belief. A theatre of the churn. But self-consciously modern theatre set out to make things not only new but different, to make something happen, in the audience even more than on the stage. And that is where Brecht and Grotowski part company. Both passionate advocates of transformation, they nevertheless mean by transformation radically different sorts of change.

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