Philosophers and thespians : thinking performance /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Rokem, Freddie, 1945-
Imprint:Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, c2010.
Description:xii, 227 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Series:Cultural memory in the present
Cultural memory in the present.
Subject:Theater and philosophy.
Drama -- Technique.
Drama -- Technique.
Theater and philosophy.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Varying Form of Title:Philsophers & thespians
ISBN:9780804763493 (cloth : alk. paper)
0804763496 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780804763509 (pbk. : alk. paper)
080476350X (pbk. : alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
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