Baffling Dramaturgy: Between the Obvious and the Obtuse

Twitchin, Mischa. 2023. Baffling Dramaturgy: Between the Obvious and the Obtuse. In: Harry Robert Wilson and Will Daddario, eds. Rethinking Roland Barthes Through Performance: A Desire for Neutral Dramaturgy. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 157-170. ISBN 9781350330849 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In thinking about dramaturgy, the question of a dynamic oscillation between the obvious and the obtuse is not only posed by Barthes, but also applies to the reading of him. Barthes’ evocation of a contemporary dramaturgy – albeit still presented with a vocabulary drawn from Greek – goes by way of painting rather than drama. He highlights gesture in composition, exploring the manifold implications of a ‘left-handed’ poetics in a cultural economy oriented by and for the ‘right-handed’. Nonetheless, the potential of and for the neutral means to avoid simply defining one term by another within the conventions of their opposition, but rather to keep open a field of the ‘between’ – as it offers a ‘third meaning’ (or, indeed, a dramaturgy) of its own. This chapter explores the resonances of a ‘staged reading’, as it were, of Barthes’ writing on Cy Twombly as indicative of this potential.

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Book Section

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Theatre and Performance (TAP)


15 June 2023Published

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Date Deposited:

05 Jun 2023 08:52

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2023 02:26


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