-And what sigeth Woodin Warneung thereof?   Leave a comment


– They were simple scandlemongers


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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