The Exemplary Theatre (Classic Reprint)by Harley Granville-Barker
The history of a book's writing has an interest of its author, when (the worst over) he is able to recall it, that he can hardly expect its readers to share. But in the origin and development of the ideas which I have tried to express in "The Exemplary Theatre" I do seem to find a significance sufficiently impersonal for their
Excerpt from The Exemplary Theatre
The history of a book's writing has an interest of its author, when (the worst over) he is able to recall it, that he can hardly expect its readers to share. But in the origin and development of the ideas which I have tried to express in "The Exemplary Theatre" I do seem to find a significance sufficiently impersonal for their recording, perhaps, to be pardonable.
The history begins, then, about twenty years ago at a meeting held in some drawing-room in the further West End of London. My memory is not more precise; nor does it distinguish who was present. But the meeting's object the object at least that emerged - was to consider what steps could be taken towards the foundation of a national theatre, and its result the appointment of a committee to draw up a scheme. From this point my memory grows clearer. The committee consisted of Gilbert Murray, A. C. Bradley, Spenser Wilkinson, William Archer, Hamilton Fyfe, and - longo intervallo - my humble self. It met several times at Spenser Wilkinson's house and discussed at some length and, as was to be expected, with great learning the principles that should govern the establishment and conduct of national theatres in general. Spenser Wilkinson, I remember, was most apt to turn for a solution of our difficulties to the practice of the ancient Greeks. I trust I sat silent. I was impatient - the scheme seemed likely to be long in coming to birth. I am sure I looked forward to a national theatre in being within the next year or so. I have since thought, as the sequel will show, that our theorizing need not have been wasted.
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