A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text by Susan Melrose

By Susan Melrose

Is "theatre semiology" now background? Melrose's ebook argues that theatre perform keeps to use either a posh net of "spontaneous semiologies" (Bourdieu), and the "arts de faire" (or arts of constructing do) defined by way of Michel de Certeau. In drawing on either the habitus and the "practices of daily life", Melrose makes an attempt to track among tested theoretical fields and fields of perform, a discursive direction which would enable a renewed semiotic method of dramatic theatre's diversified economics. Susan Melrose is the writer of "Eating Out".

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More recently still it has undergone the reappraisal centred both in feminist discourses and in the delicately troubled discourse of a critical ethnography (Clifford and Marcus, 1986), which is concerned with Theatre and Language 47 how the outsider (the other) 'understands', talks about, 'documents' and analyses another culture. There are obvious resonances here for our enquiry into the ways in which the spectatorsemiotician and the semiotician as critic and analyst, talks about, documents or writes about theatre.

17-18) For Pavis the postmodern is much more cynical and disenchanted" (p. 18) than is a principled modernism concentrated on effecting social change. But what we might ask is whether his way of seeing is not terminally bound in to the leftist perspective which peaked in France in the late 1960s, and hence, 'purely' of historical interest, or whether instead it is a vital position for the analysis of dramatic theatre. As collective and social practice perhaps theatre 'should' (axiology at work) be 'political' and 'historical' in Pavis' understanding of the terms.

We might do better explicitly to analyse the ways in which we discursively represent our own subjectivity, as this is or is not accessed by performance, than to claim that this implicit analysis is indeed 'theatre semiology'. It is clear that we can note a precise number of performance indices which lead us to infer and name (to 'translate') what we perceive as 'actorly' in one instant, and 'characterly' in anotherafter all, Brechtian tradition demands that we separate out these two semiotics. e.

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