Post Page Advertisement [Top]

By his desire to improve the lot of the needy, Bertold Brecht tried to turn literary art into an effective means to awaken the critical conscience of a society numbed in material well-being. This is opposed by the tendency of the spectators to identify with the theatrical characters, escape from daily worries and turn the theatrical activity into a mere pastime . To avoid this, Brecht cultivated the "distancing effect", in order that the spectators distance themselves from the plot incidents of the works and adopt a critical attitude towards the events contemplated (1).

Some of the resources mobilized by Brecht and his followers to achieve such distancing provoked a real aesthetic distancing from theatrical works due to lack of the necessary commitment to what happens in them. In this way, literary works were converted into means for other purposes and ceased to arouse the peculiar relationship of encounter with the reader or spectator. 

This meeting relationship requires an attitude of commitment our part. Can we commit ourselves to a work without falling into the extremes of merging with it or moving away? If we merge, making the destiny of the characters -suffering from their adverse luck, celebrating their fortunate luck-, we evade daily life and we are unconcerned about their deepest problems. If we move away, we do not give aesthetic life to the work, which arises when we rise from level 1 to level 2, and transfigure our way of seeing reality in such a way that, for example, we do not see in the Antigone Sophocles a conflict between two individual people - Cronet and Antigone -, but between two scopes of reality and behavior: the scope of fraternal piety and the scope of the law that prohibits burying those who betray their country. Our commitment is in level 2, in the fields, in which we act with a basic attitude of respect, esteem, and collaboration. If we respect ourselves, we do not merge; we grant ourselves the space we need to unfold our areas of life. I estimate your creative capacity and I collaborate with it, offering you possibilities to exercise your powers. In reciprocity, you actively assume the possibilities that I give you. 

This exchange of possibilities creates between us a common playing field, in which the split between the interior and the exterior, the inside, and the outside, is overcome. By moving in that field, we gain an elevated mode of unity, which is way above all merging. We treat ourselves and we know at a distance of perspective, as we do to actively contemplate a painting and live it from within, genetically as if we were brewing it. 

In short, to commit ourselves to a plot without falling into the extremes of merging with it or moving away, we must combine a certain form of immediacy with a certain form of distance, in order to enter into a relation of presence , as can be seen from the analysis of the hermeneutical triangles (2). We are close to what happens in the work and from the beginning, we made contact with the characters and their avatars, but we do it as they are open realities - fields - that appeal to us for collaboration. Any appeal or call creates a certain distance between the person appealing and the person being appealed. Respect leads us to treat ourselves as people, as you able to hear and respond, to be invited and to accept or reject the invitation. That distancing in itself does not take us away; invites us to strengthen the deal and increase friendship. If we do, we can capture the profound message we convey through the words. 

Similarly, if we participate in a play, we must do so in principle with the prescriptive attitude of "aesthetic disinterest," which leads us to consider the work itself, in all its expressive power. If the work does not only offer actions and superficial conversations -problems of level 1-, before it immerses us in areas and lots of areas, with the corresponding exchange of creative possibilities, we commit ourselves to the theme of the work, which enlivens our reflective capacity and our power to take creative initiatives. Submerging ourselves in the mere argument with the desire to lose ourselves in it and merge, alienate us as people and diminish our creative capacity. Take charge of the subjectand to assume it creatively allows us to penetrate into the background of the argument - its "intrahistory", in the words of Miguel de Unamuno - and gain in human maturity. 

In this way, a literary experience can be, at the same time, an authentic aesthetic activity and awaken in us the critical awareness of our social duties. The work achieves, thus, all its reach and we gain our full maturity of people open to cultural life. At this time, the literary activity exhibits all its formative power. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

| Designed by Colorlib