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More thoughts on Playwriting: Thornton Wilder, 1941

August 28, 2013

–from his essay “Some thoughts on Playwriting” published in “The Intent of the Artist” edited by Augusto Centeno, Princeton University Press 1941–from III. THE THEATRE IS A WORLD OF PRETENSE–

“When the play [Romeo and Juliet] is staged as Shakespeare intended it, the bareness of the stage releases the events from the particular and the experience of Juliet partakes of that of all girls in love, in every time, place, and language.

“The stage continually strains to tell this generalized truth and it is the element of pretense that enforces it. Out of the lie, the pretense, of the theatre proceeds a truth more compelling than the novel can attain, for the novel by its own laws is compelled to tell of us of an action that happened ‘once upon a time.’”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 29, 2013 12:47 pm

    Out of the lie of the stage…….. Said Thorton Wilder, paraphrasing Shakespeare & Calderon de la Barca: LIfe is but a dream within a dream. And I say only truth is the written word.

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