The Mask 1
- magazine : The Mask
- numero : 1 - 1908
- date : 01 mars 1908
- catégorie : Culture & arts
Chapter from the book on architecture
First of all I shall treat of the scenes and the theatres of our time, and it will be rather difficult to understand where we must place the line of sight, mine being a different method from former ones.
To madame Eleonora Duse
No, not an actress, but something more; not an artist, but something less; a personality; and then something far more than all these three.
A note on masks
Almost all the things had to do with the Theatre of the ancients have so degenerated to tine ludicrous that it Is Impossible to speak of these tilings of the ancient Theatre without evoking laughter...
The philosophy of actors
It is the blissful illusion of all great actors that the historical person represented by them really felt as they do during their performance; but in this they are greatly mistaken Their power of imitation and divination which they are desirous of representing as clear sighted faculty, only penetrates far enough to explain gestures, accents, and looks in short, the exterior; that is, they grasp the phantom soul of a great hero, statesman, warrior, of an ambitious, jealous, desperate person; they come pretty near the soul, but fail to arrive at the spirit of their objects.
The real drama in Spain
The Art of the Theatre, the drama that of old was so racy of the soil in Spain, springing up everywhere in the strangest blossoms, the Autos of Lope de Vega, of Calderon, of many an unknown poet, might seem in any hurried visit to that poor but virile and beautiful country almost to have passed away. And yet we may still discover it, if we have eyes to see, in many a humble booth or cafe in Castile or Andalusia, even yet instinct with life; based as all Spanish art has been on reality, that spiritual passion of the Spanish people; expressing itself no longer in the work of Morales, of Velasquez, of Murillo, in the lucid and perfect syllables of Calderon, the pathos and humour of Cervantes, the eloquence of Lope de Vega, the life of S. Teresa, but in the perfect and almost terrible gestures of the dance, the beauty and pathos of the folk song, born there before your eyes in some dim cafe of the people.
The artists of the theatre of the future
They say that second thoughts are best. They also say it is good to make the best of a bad job, and it is merely making the best of a bad job that I am forced to alter my first and more optimistic dedication to my second. Therefore the second thoughts are best. What a pity and what a pain to me that we should be obliged to admit it! No such race of athletic workers in the Theatre of today exists; degeneration, both physical and mental, is round us. How could it be otherwise? Perhaps no surer sign of it can be pointed to than that all those whose work lies in the Theatre are to be continually heard announcing that all is well and that the Theatre is today at its highest point of development