Studies in the Commedia Dell'arte

Studies in the Commedia Dell'arte $99.99

David J. George & Christopher J. Gossip - eds

Published by University of Wales

The original commedia dell'arte was performed by travelling players in late sixteenth-century Italy, who improvised their plays around a basic plot or scenario. The best known commedia characters were the comic servants like Harlequin and Pierrot who have become almost household names. The commedia dell'arte players soon moved to other European countries, and the genre was transformed in the process, particularly in France. Over the centuries the commedia has been adapted to suit the needs of successive cultural movements, and has become a symbolic theme not only in drama, but also in other branches of literature, as well as in art and music.

The book examines manifestations of the commedia dell'arte from Shakespeare to Dario Fo. The emphasis is on the variety and richness of the commedia, and includes discussion of music and poetry as well as drama, popular culture as well as the avant garde. Another feature of the book is its comprehensive and integrated coverage of the cross-cultural nature of the commedia: it draws together a collection of experts in major European Languages and literatures (including Latin American literature) and provides a new angle for discussion of a phenomenon until now covered mainly from the viewpoint of the drama historian.

Contents: Introduction - David George; The clowning zanies: Shakespeare and the actors of the commedia dell'arte - Andrew Grewar; Performing omnivores in Germany c. 1700 - Tom Cheesman; Stage and audience in the commedia dell'arte and in Molière's early plays - John Trethewey; Sunset: from commedia dell'arte to comédie italienne - Bruce Griffiths; Lesage and D'Orneval's théâtre de la foire: The commedia dell'arte and power - George Evans; The servant as master: disguise, role reversal and social comment in the three plays of Marivaux - Derek Connon; Ernest Dowson's "Full Pierrot" - Glyn Pursglove; Commedia dell'arte in Rubén Darío and Leopoldo Lugones - David George; Commedia dell'arte: Blok and Meyerhold 1905-1917 - Gareth Jones; From Symbolism to Modernism: Apollinaire's Harlequin- acrobat - Susan Harrow; The commedia dell'arte in early twentieth- century music: Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Busoni and Les Six - Gabriel Jacobs; Dario Fo and the commedia dell'arte - Christopher Cairns.

Editors: David George is lecturer in Spanish, University College of Swansea. Chris Gossip is Professor of French at the University of New England, NSW, Australia.

pp x278 1993 hardback - ISBN 0-7083-1201-2

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