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Rousseau's Theatre for the Parisians: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the 18th Century French Stage
  • Bandtyp: Häftad
  • Språk: Engelska
  • Utgiven: 201803
  • Antal sidor: 448
  • Vikt i gram: 594
  • ISBN10:1977764347
  • ISBN13:9781977764348

Rousseau's Theatre for the Parisians: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the 18th Century French Stage

(Häftad)
Beskrivning:

This exciting new book tells the remarkable story of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his life in the theatre. Based primarily on his Letter to d'Alembert, a devastating critique of the French stage, he is often considered anti-theatrical. But far from an enemy of the stage, Rousseau was in fact a passionate lover of all forms of theatre. Unlike Diderot and other theatre reformers of his time, Rousseau's aims were far more radical. He not only argued, as did Diderot, against theatrical conventions but-as this book shows and few are aware-Rousseau created a new kind of theatre for the Parisians. Although his theatrical works appear on the surface to be conventional-a common rebuke by his critics-they are not. In all of Rousseau's theatre one finds-not flawed and peculiar divergences from the accepted forms-but works Rousseau deliberately created for the morally jaded Parisians. For example, his one-act opera THE VILLAGE SOOTHSAYER (Le Devin du village) was meant not only as court entertainment but as a model for French opera composed in the Italian style. Moreover, what is often missed is that, imbedded in the work, is the more subversive aim of reforming the world-weary audience witnessing the opera at Fontainebleau by inspiring in them, through its story and music, a yearning for the simple and virtuous life of the countryside. As this book argues, Rousseau's aim to reform the theatre was also part of his much wider program to reform society as a whole. To further his career Rousseau forced himself to attend the famous salons of Paris frequented by eminent men of letters and music, such as the composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, the playwright Pierre de Marivaux, the philosopher Denis Diderot, and even Voltaire. Also in attendance were powerful men such as the Duke de Richelieu. Many were charmed, intrigued and eager to assist the ambitious young man from Geneva. These intellectual gatherings hosted by formidable salonni res offered their guests a lavish spread and complex rules of discourse meant to smooth ruffled feathers and sooth immense egos. If Rousseau felt alienated and tongue-tied in them, nevertheless, all of the above notables-some skeptical, some captivated-aided him in his quest for fame. Play by play and opera by opera, the Parisians absorbed, often without being fully aware of it, Rousseau's subtle theatrics. Covertly breaking the rules of biens ance, his theatrical works mostly employ the ruse of placing the author inside his story disguised as its troubled hero. In so doing, Rousseau revealed his private and imperfect soul. Beginning in 1743 with his opera The Amorous Muses (Les Muses galantes) and ending in 1762 with his Pygmalion, theatregoers with finely tuned ears heard sub-rosa the author's confessional voice-a voice that would be sacred to the Romantics.

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