The Drama of Ideas: Platonic Provocations in Theater and Philosophy

Overview


Most philosophy has rejected the theater, denouncing it as a place of illusion or moral decay; the theater in turn has rejected philosophy, insisting that drama deals in actions, not ideas. Challenging both views, The Drama of Ideas shows that theater and philosophy have been crucially intertwined from the start.

Plato is the presiding genius of this alternative history. The Drama of Ideas presents Plato not only as a theorist of drama, but also as a dramatist himself, one who ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $17.56   
  • New (6) from $17.56   
  • Used (1) from $21.94   
Sending request ...

Overview


Most philosophy has rejected the theater, denouncing it as a place of illusion or moral decay; the theater in turn has rejected philosophy, insisting that drama deals in actions, not ideas. Challenging both views, The Drama of Ideas shows that theater and philosophy have been crucially intertwined from the start.

Plato is the presiding genius of this alternative history. The Drama of Ideas presents Plato not only as a theorist of drama, but also as a dramatist himself, one who developed a dialogue-based dramaturgy that differs markedly from the standard, Aristotelian view of theater. Puchner discovers scores of dramatic adaptations of Platonic dialogues, the most immediate proof of Plato's hitherto unrecognized influence on theater history. Drawing on these adaptations, Puchner shows that Plato was central to modern drama as well, with figures such as Wilde, Shaw, Pirandello, Brecht, and Stoppard using Plato to create a new drama of ideas. Puchner then considers complementary developments in philosophy, offering a theatrical history of philosophy that includes Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Burke, Sartre, Camus, and Deleuze. These philosophers proceed with constant reference to theater, using theatrical terms, concepts, and even dramatic techniques in their writings.

The Drama of Ideas mobilizes this double history of philosophical theater and theatrical philosophy to subject current habits of thought to critical scrutiny. In dialogue with contemporary thinkers such as Martha Nussbaum, Iris Murdoch, and Alain Badiou, Puchner formulates the contours of a "dramatic Platonism." This new Platonism does not seek to return to an idealist theory of forms, but it does point beyond the reigning philosophies of the body, of materialism and of cultural relativism.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Drama of Ideas contains a tightly woven and persuasive argument for rescuing a Platonic tradition of interactions between two disciplines: theatre and philosophy. When this unique form of writing is examined within a theatrical context, as drama, a highly innovative form of writing emerges where abstract ideas, on the one hand, and the concreteness of character and scene, on the other, are viewed in a constantly emerging, dynamic and creative interaction with each other. Puchner has produced an ambitious and innovative project."-Freddie Rokem, author of Philosophers and Thespians: Thinking Performance

"Martin Puchner productively challenges a core assumption of Western theatre scholarship: that the theatrical and literary theatre tradition derives in large part from Aristotle; and also its corollary: that from Aristotle's rival, Plato, comes a continuing tradition of anti-theatrical prejudice. The Drama of Ideas offers important new insights into the theory and practice of not only modern drama, but modern philosophy as well."-Marvin Carlson, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

"The Drama of Ideas argues for a radical re-imagining of modern drama, through a revised understanding of Plato's influence in the modern world. This is a wide-ranging, provocative, smart and well-written book, which will be of great interest to modern drama scholars, philosophers and classicists alike."-Emily Wilson, University of Pennsylvania

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199351961
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/1/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 999,735
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Puchner holds the H. Gordon Garbedian Chair in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of Stage Fright and Poetry of the Revolution, which was awarded the MLA's James Russell Lowell Prize. He is also the co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Drama.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

I. The Poetics of the Platonic Dialogue
1. Plato, Dramatist
2. Tragedy, Comedy, Satyr Play
3. Plato's Dramaturgy

II. A Brief History of the Socrates Play
1. Socrates on Stage
2. The Death of Socrates
3. The Comic Stage Philosopher

III. The Drama of Ideas
1. August Strindberg and Georg Kaiser
2. Oscar Wilde
3. George Bernard Shaw
4. Luigi Pirandello
5. Bertolt Brecht
6. Tom Stoppard

IV. Dramatic Philosophy
1. Søren Kierkegaard
2. Friedrich Nietzsche
3. Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus
4. Kenneth Burke
5. Gilles Deleuze

V. The New Platonists
1. Iris Murdoch
2. Martha Nussbaum
3. Alain Badiou

Epilogue: Dramatic Platonism
Appendix 1: Socrates Titles
Appendix 2: Charting the Socrates Play
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)