By Dian Henderson
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Extra resources for Alternative Shakespears 3 (New Accents)
Worsley, formed part of a rich texture of “pointless reiteration, stubborn taciturnity, cowlike vacuity” (Worsley 1959). 1 For the most part, however, the terms of reference were naturalistic rather than absurdist: reviewing the 1964 RSC season, John Russell Brown recorded that the eradication of “the glossy tones and meaningless pomposities” of traditional Stratford verse speaking, and the labour of emulating “ordinary speech” involved “a would-be impressive slowness”, as “Long speeches are broken with pauses and far too frequently short speeches are prepared for with silent business, or followed by some such intervention” (1965: 151).
Worthen points out, tracing the new conventions of drama publication that both coincided with and facilitated Pinter’s emergence as a major playwright, his attention to, and careful differentiation between the pause, the long pause and the silence, is “one of the features most characteristic of Pinter’s dramatic writing, of his use of language”; and in order to be prepared to render them theatrically active, we have to be prepared “to read Pinter as poetry, New Critical fashion, to attribute ‘the density of texture of true poetry’ to his page”, which means “reading the ‘empty patches’ as texture, the white spaces, and the Pauses that they hold, as significant, signifying, not merely as irrelevancies intruding into the dramatic dialogue” (2003a: 221).
5 Le Roi Lear is a single-reel entry in his first experiment with the serial form, a series titled Scènes de la vie telle qu’elle est (“scenes from life as it is”; 1911–13). At first glance, this scène de la vie seems to have little to do with the fantastical stories that made Feuillade famous. The film assimilates the Lear story to two, not entirely congruent impulses. Emphasizing natural light and location shooting, Feuillade aims, as he puts it, to “eschew all fantasy and represent people and things as they are and not as they should be,” and give “the impression of a previously unrecognized truth” (Abel 1988: 54); yet this realist aesthetic combines with a stripped-down but intimate mode of film melodrama to offer a decidedly pessimistic take on contemporary bourgeois fears of downward mobility.
Alternative Shakespears 3 (New Accents) by Dian Henderson