-And what sigeth Woodin Warneung thereof?   Leave a comment

(3.3.503.28-3.3.513.36)

– They were simple scandlemongers

(3.3.514.1-3.3.521.38)

I’m not proud of this section of my readings. This seance thing has been going on for pages and I’m not really good at accents, especially as I rarely have a clue who is speaking here. Sometimes I think, oh this feels like a judge in a trial. Or, perhaps this is HCE now? But, often I just don’t have a clue. And these random voices have been going on for days.

To cheer myself up, I took myself off the the Théâtre Saint-Gervais tonight to listen to André Steiger’s talk, “C’est à pleurer de rire: de la farce au vaudeville et de la caricature à la critique sociale.” (You could laugh till you cried: from Farce to vaudeville… from caricatures to social critique).

In one sense it was a bit of a sweaty arm pits experience, as barring Molière, I don’t know much about French theatre prior to Genet/Camus/Ionesco/Giraudoux. But, tonight I found out that Eugène Labiche was a writer of Vaudeville. And that this was originally a French satirical form, which aquired greater prominence during the French revolution, which André Steiger suggests is due to the subversive, vengeful qualities of laughter.

Steiger also proposes a wider definition of parody (that very important Joycean rhetorical devise): to be against or next to the thing in question, which can be life, or how people exist.

And a definition of Vaudeville, which contains musical numbers, but no original music, rather tunes rehashed with new words: a type of comic theatre deriving from a standpoint of sincerity and naivety.

Of course my knee-jerk is to want to cut and paste all this onto FW right now, and follow up with the comment, “and of course Joyce inspired Beckett: think of the slapstick clowning in Waiting for Godot“. To nurture the hope that pretending I’m doing a Vaudeville FW will make it easier to read tomorrow.

But instead, holding onto Steiger’s citation of Wilde: “Imitators imitate. It is the critical spirit that creates.” I will now sleep on it. And see if my reading is still tragic in the morning.

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