Rehearsal for A Play in Two Acts (2020)

Panagiota "Betty" Nigianni

About this exposition

Play in the format of the philosophical dialogue, 2019 Drama is pretense. But, unlike fiction, a theatrical play is not a pretended representation of a state of affairs; rather it is the pretended state itself, in which the actors pretend to be the characters doing the pretending in the actual performance of the theatrical play. The actor is in this way irrealised in the character. Aside from writing the play, which consists largely in pseudo assertions, the playwright gives the actors directions on how to pretend to make assertions and to perform actions. Therefore, the playwright is writing a recipe for pretense. Instead of pretending to write assertions, the playwright gives directions to the actors on how to enact a pretense. The philosophical dialogue has been an established, although uncommon, method of philosophical writing, which usually deploys fictional characters to present a discussion between several divergent viewpoints on a topic of ordinary or philosophical interest. The juxtaposition and debating of opinions in ordinary uses of language, without prioritizing any opinion, endows the dialogue with open-endedness instead of conclusiveness. As McKeon (in Prince, 1996: 3) argues: "Dialogue is statement and counterstatement, based on ordinary ways of life and ordinary uses of language, with no possible appeal to a reality beyond opposed opinions except through opinions about reality. Truth is perceived in perspective, and perspectives can be compared, but there is no overarching inclusive perspective." In this exposition, I exploit the dialogic format to expose the views of Jean-Paul Sartre, a well known philosopher and father of the existentialist philosophical and literary movement, and Maurice Blanchot, a rather obscure philosopher of literature and literary critic. Notably, both Sartre and Blanchot were active in the post second world war period, which significantly shaped their philosophical insights; specifically on modes of writing, including fictional prose, about a variety of topics, from politics, to ethics and aesthetics. Because referencing is rarely used in philosophical dialogues, here I employ full bibliographical referencing in the end. The dialogue presents an advantage for reaching a wider readership, beyond the confines of those with strictly philosophical and academic interests. Prince, Michael, "Philosophical Dialogue in the British Enlightenment: Theology, Aesthetics and the Novel", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsexistential philosophy, performing arts, Literature
last modified05/02/2020
share statuspublic
copyrightBetty Nigianni
licenseCC BY-NC-ND
published inResearch Catalogue

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comments: 2 (last entry by Panagiota "Betty" Nigianni - 12/05/2020 at 11:54)
Panagiota "Betty" Nigianni 05/02/2020 at 18:27

The comment was deleted by Panagiota "Betty" Nigianni on 05/02/2020 at 22:03.
Panagiota "Betty" Nigianni 12/05/2020 at 11:54

Quote unquote:


"First some anthropologists adapted textual methods from literary criticism in order to reformulate culture as text; then some literary critics adapted ethnographic methods in order to reformulate texts as cultures writ small. And these exchanges have accounted for much interdisciplinary work in the recent past. But there are two problems with this theatre of projections and reflections, the first methodological, the second ethical. If both textual and ethnographic turns depended on a single discourse, how truly interdisciplinary can the results be? If cultural studies and new historicism often smuggle in an ethnographic model (when not a sociological one), might it be "the common theoretical ideology that silently inhabits the 'consciousness' of all these sepcialists... oscillating between a vague spiritualism and a technocratic positivism"?"


Hal Foster, The Return of the Real, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, p. 183.

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