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(Re)thinking the (anti)drama.

“Plato long ago


recognized the
undramatic quality
of the most
excellent man, the
sage”(303-304)
Walter Benjamin
My thesis works in two differences levels: The first it is a
dialogue with the critical tradition, over an epistemology
level, One can say. The second level it is about the
application on an aesthetic object of the theoretical
framework that becomes from the dialogue whit criticism.
The main objective, the aesthetic object that I will use, it
is a corpus integrated by classics dramatics plays such as
Shakespeare’s The Marchant of Venice or The Eumenides by
Aeschylus and so on, so on.
There are two things really important in the first slide:
the Image at the left side it is a fragment of the work of
the german intellectual Abby Warburg called “Mnemosyne:
Bilderatlas”. I will come later to this. On the other hand
there is a quote of another german intellectual: Walter
Benjamin. This quote it is so important to me, because all
my thesis investigation come from it. There are a huge
different between the english version of the quote and the
german, french or Spanish version of the quote. The word
“Undramatic“ it is not the same expression in english or
another language. The reason it is that the concept does not
deny the drama as a whole thing. It describe a part of the
dramatic play the non-emotional part. So I think that it
would be better and more accurate speak about the “Anti-
drama”
Reflexions on the theoretical framework.
All the reflexions on this investigations comes from the
work of Walter Benjamin, a german intellectual.
The trouble whit the reading of Benjamin it is that theres
not a lineal reading of his work. I will explain this now.
And I will use the Image of the first slide to do it so.
Walter Benjamin’s method compels me to read in a different way
all the texts that integrated my thesis corpus. I can think not
longer that the history of theater it is a lineal succession of
dramatic plays. It is more likely that all dramatic productions
describe a constellation, an anti-dramatic constellation.

Objective
Be able to expose an itinerancy of the concept of the Anti-
drama that reveals itself as unconscious (at least until
contemporaneity), but constant within the dramatic production.
So, now I return to the quote in the first slide: “Plato long
ago recognized the undramatic quality of the most excellent
man, the sage”(Benjamin 303-304). If ones applies the
fragmentary, allegorical, constellation read on this quote you
can think that theres a special place designated to the reason.
Why? Because, the name of Plato sends us to a philosophical
spectrum, and what it is the representation of the philosophy?
the reason.
So what I understand of this quote it is that Benjamin suggests
that all the theater, from the greeks onwards(Plato was greek
and the way that he used to write his reflexions, the dialogue,
it is a very theatrical way of representation), has in its
estructure a fee of reason against the drama, the emotional
fragment of the play.
Hypotesis
In the dramatic creation there is an element that is the anti-
drama. The anti-drama as the rational aspect, the tragic part in
detriment of the dramatic, which is the emotional, pro-cathartic
part. This element of creation exists as such, before receiving
its own name. It is intrinsic to the dramatic creation and only
with modern production from Brecht onwards, the effect is sought
rationally.
The anti-dramatic is a moment in the work, not a sustained
constant. Operates on three levels in the ethical, aesthetic and
political.