Philosophers and thespians : thinking performance /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Rokem, Freddie, 1945-
Imprint:Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, ©2010.
Description:1 online resource (xii, 227 pages) : illustrations
Series:Cultural memory in the present
Cultural memory in the present.
Subject:Theater and philosophy.
Drama -- Technique.
PERFORMING ARTS -- Theater -- History & Criticism.
Drama -- Technique.
Theater and philosophy.
Electronic books.
Electronic books.
Format: E-Resource Book
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Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Print version record.
Summary:This book investigates the discursive practices of philosophy and theater/performance on the basis of actual encounters between representatives of these two fields.
Other form:Print version: Rokem, Freddie, 1945- Philosophers and thespians. Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, ©2010 9780804763493
Review by Choice Review

In this adventurous study, Rokem (theater arts, Tel Aviv Univ., Israel) explores "the wide range of possibilities for the mobility of and even oscillation between the discursive practices of philosophy and theatre/performance" with hopes of revealing "an interesting border landscape, a liminal discursive space situated somewhere 'between' the discursive practices of both fields." The author opens part 1, "Encounters," by ruminating on the origins of Western philosophy: how Socrates, as represented in Plato's Symposium, employs encounters of dialogue "to create a form of philosophizing that integrates the theatrical." He then probes the "carefully crafted dialectic" that Shakespeare authors in Hamlet, a text that "frequently 'performs philosophy' and 'philosophizes performance'" through its self-reflexive central character. Correspondence between Nietzsche and August Strindberg prompts meditation on epistolary stagings of self, conceived in acts of intimate writing. Rokem plays out interaction between Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin as theatricalized philosophical thinking. The volume's second part, "Constellations," ponders "performative agendas" embedded in narratives, wistful imaginings in which constellations of dramatic form take shape from points of thought. Though Rokem's fascinating musings will prompt reflection, they do not engage with actual performance models; drama functions as metaphor, allusions to theater practice are conceptual. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. P. D. Nelsen Marlboro College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review