A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text by Susan Melrose

By Susan Melrose

Is "theatre semiology" now historical past? Melrose's publication argues that theatre perform maintains to use either a posh net of "spontaneous semiologies" (Bourdieu), and the "arts de faire" (or arts of creating do) defined by means of Michel de Certeau. In drawing on either the habitus and the "practices of daily life", Melrose makes an attempt to track among confirmed theoretical fields and fields of perform, a discursive course which would let a renewed semiotic method of dramatic theatre's various economics. Susan Melrose is the writer of "Eating Out".

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This does not for an instant mean either that another spectator would similarly codify; Theatre and Language 41 or that, in similarly codifying, another spectator would experience 'the same effects/ affects'. On the evening of 4 May 1991 (L'Oreste: Les Choephores) the performers took a minimum of eight 'curtain calls', on each occasion performing quite differently to an audience reluctant, despite/because of actorly exhaustion, to release the performers from the spell. To the 'politicised' in a conventional sense, what the spectators demanded and received might smack of a humanism wholly unable to change the orders of the established social.

But this does not mean that theatre is not systemic, and it does not mean that in its event, it does not transmit. What it does mean is that our semiotics must take note of one fact of theatricality: what in part makes theatre work is its capacity for creating those events which enable us to experience the blur where one system insinuates itself into 28 A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text another, with which it might be logically at odds; the blur where two options - and not one - from a given system, are simultaneously made available, to confound the notion of systemic choice itself, as an explanation of modes of cultural practice.

They could then be handled as questions of knowledge, or of justice and of morality, or of taste. Scientific discourse, theories of morality, jurisprudence, and the production and criticism of art could in tum be institutionalized.... There 38 A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text appear the structures of cognitive-instrumental, of moralpractical and of aesthetic-expressive rationality, each of these under the control of specialists who seem more adept at being logical in these particular ways than other people are.

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