The Third Crisis – Meeting Edward Bond

One year, three months, fourteen days ago, in Vitry, a commune of southeastern suburbs of Paris – described somewhat enthusiastically by TimeOut as “a suburban hub of contemporary art and modern theatre” – I was attending the productions of two plays of British playwright Martin Crimp, in the presence of the author and his wife and daughter. It was a cosy event in chalet-like studio theatre of Vitry. I had read a few pages of Martin Crimp’s play ‘Attempts of her life’, and had been required to learn a few lines for an artistic event at my own drama school. I knew fuck-all about British theatre, and next to nothing of the art of drama. But there I was eating spreadable meat paste and pickles with an author on my school syllabus. I heard him tell one of the lads next to me, with tongue in cheek, that ‘Playhouse’ was his “happy play”. I was sitting next to him and his family during the second play ‘The City’, which has a scene portraying a daughter from hell, covered in blood, dressed in leather and almost Frankenstein-like result of a surgical experiment. And I could not help thinking of the author at his writing table, being disturbed by his own young child and investing some of his anxieties and frustrations as characterisation material for his play. Even more I was unashamed of indulging in this rapport between the author, his life and his work. Something which I had always regarded as vulgar so far, and that I probably still frown upon.

Anyway, a few months later I found myself in similar situation. Getting another live first-hand account of drama by a major contemporary playwright, whose work I had totally preserved myself of. And it was mental. I will not speak of what it meant to find ourselves sitting in as audience members in the parterre of Salle Richelieu at 10am on a Monday, in what Edward Bond reminded us to be the “house of Molière”. Being greeted by Éric Ruf, the institution chief administrator. As ground-sounding as I make it, none of our excitement had to do with our nonetheless thriving narcissisms. We were itching to hear real makers in the drama realm have a go at their own elaborations about theatre. The closest thing to what I and two of my mates had been doing for the past few months, trying to put words on our acting/playing. And God, we had a ball. 

Once his introduction speech made Éric Ruf retreated, and we were left with Edward Bond and Jérôme Hankins, the French translator of his plays, sitting almost too closely on two conference folding chairs, and a third chair on stage at some distance which would remain desperately empty during the whole address. That combined to the unique concord of the two men, the alert kindness of Jérôme Hankins, and cheeky, jokey attitude of Bond had us already enthralled. The latter went straight to the point, telling us that theatre had known three crises and that we were living the third one. Of course there had been million of crises, all in all, but for the sake of his argument there had really been three: we were witnessing and/or taking part of Third Crisis. Too much was said then to be recensed in this post. I would rather come back on many of the points addressed by the dramatist in future posts. I guess at this stage I wanted to stress on how puzzling it actually was for me to get to see the author talk, move, joke, unravel his thoughts, act i.e. perform on stage his actual understanding of what is a situation, what is – although he did not use the word – an event. Beforehand, as someone who had never read anything from Bond, I was almost sure that the violence, the appetite for destruction which I perceived through my comrade’s choices of scenes and monologues, had little to do with my cup of drama, and was sure to leave me unimpressed. The moment the 81-year-old Londoner started to talk I was won over. He was not talking about the Greeks – OK he was – nor about the Blitz, but he was talking from Athens, and certainly the young teenage boy of 1945 is never too far. 

Pensadas brueissalhièras

Se l’art no serviá de res, seriá permés.

Lo particular e l’universal se cèrcan brega coma amoroses que s’entrebaian.

Las mespresas lo fan, 
lo mesprètz lo desfa.
Amor que s'entend
Tanlèu part al vent.
Parla-en-chimpa
encontrèt
Fa-la-chincha.

Parla-en-chimpa
chimpèt.

Fa-la-Chincha
chinchèt.

E chimpa que chimparà,
chincha que chincharà,

Parla-en-chimpa s'enchipra,
Fa-la-chincha s'enchincha.

Sempre vira l’imposicion cultural a una cultura de l’impostura, a una cultura de l’engana e del clichat. Pontife e ponciu se fan la ronda coma lo lop e lo rainal. Qual n’es la lèbre?

L’imposicion son acordalhas que li mancan pas d’esposaires.

Приспособление | L’Adaptacion

– Знаете ли, за что вы ему аплодировали?

Sabes perqué l’as aplaudit?

-‘ спросил Аркадий Николаевич и тут же ответил: 

demandèt (Arkady Nikolayevich) Tortsov, e respondèt de seguida:

– За то, что он нашел хорошее приспособление и удачно выполнил его.

pel fach qu’a trobat una bona adaptacion, e l’a realisada amb succès.

Этим словом – приспособление – мы впредь будем называть как внутренние, так и внешние ухищрения, с помощью которых люди применяются друг к другу при общении и помогают воздействию на объект.

D’ara endavant utilizarem aqueste mot per designar l’engenh, a l’encòp intèrn e extèrn, que las personas aplican per ajustar lor comunicacion un amb l’autre, e aital influénciar lor objècte. 

– Что значит: “применяются”?

Qué vòl dire: “ajustar”?

чтоб уйти с урока раньше времени, он применился с помощью ухищрения,- объяснил Торцов.

[Vòl dire çò que ven de far Vanya.] A aplicat son engenh per daissar la liçon abans ora. Expliquèt Tortsov.

– По-моему, он просто разыграл нас! – возразил кто-то.

Segon ieu, s’es trufat de nautres! objectèt quauqu’un.

Tèxt de Konstantin Stanislavski,  Lo Trabalh de l’actor, L’actor se prepara, mercés http://k-stanislavski.ru/prisposoblenie.html

Lo coratge creatiu

“Ai tractat dins los darrèrs paragrafs d’aquels que lor coratge creatiu los rend capables d’exprimir lo desespèr existencial. Pas plan mond son creatius. Mas i a una actitud existencialista apelada cinisme. Un cinic uèi es pas la meteissa persona que los Grècs apelàvan d’aquel tèrme. Pels Grècs lo cinic èra un critic de la cultura contemporanèa sus la basa de la rason e de la lei naturala. Aquel èra un racionalista revolucionari, un seguidor de Socrates. Los cinics modèrnes son pas dispausats a seguir qual que siá. An pas cap cresença en la rason, cap critèri de fe, cap valors, cap responsa a la question del sens. Ensajan d’aflaquir quina nòrma que siá. Lor coratge s’exprimís pas d’un biais creatiu mas a travèrs lor fòrma de vida. Regetan quina solucion que lor privarián de lor libertat de regetar çò que vòlan regetar. Los cinics son solitaris encara qu’ajan besonh de companhiá per tal de mostrar lor solitud. Lor mancan a l’encòp significacions preliminaras e una significacion ultima, e per consequéncia son predas facilas de l’ànsia neurotica. Una afirmacion de se plan compulsiva e un abandon de se plan fanatic son expressions del coratge noncreatiu d’èsser se.” – Paul TILLICH, Lo Coratge d’èsser

TILLICH Paul, The Courage to be, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1980, 197p. Traduccion p. 150-151

La gleba

Tant coma lo mot “lac”, lo mot “gleba” sembla venir dirèctament del latin amb matisses tan leugièrs qu’òm pòt dobtar qu’aquels matisses siagan pas tan latin coma carcinòls. Gleba dins nòstra renvèrs sembla servir per se referir a una mata d’èrba, mas Laus lo dòna en occitan referencial (grafiat gleva) per significar tanben una “motte de terre”, tan coma en latin. Qué ne pensatz?

Lo lac

Mai d’un liuraire s’es esmarrit pel causse en quista d’un lac qu’imaginava coma lo de Vacivièra o, qué te sabi, la laca d’Arcaishon. Figuratz-vos que quand los vesins disián a aquel paure liuraire de prendre a man esquèrra après lo lac, se tractava ben d’un lac, d’un laquet o d’un lacarèl, e non pas d’un lac coma z’entendon en francés. Lo parlar caussatièr utliza “lac” coma lo latin e lo grèc ancian (λάκκος) l’utilizan, per se referir a çò que lo francés apèla “une mare”. Avèm mai d’un mot que s’utilza parièr coma en latin. Un autre còp parlarem de la gleba.

Bon Sant Jordi a tothom

As is customary on Saint George’s day in Catalunya, I wanted to share with you an excerpt from an Occitan author, Joan-Maria Pieyre. I am reading the section called “Dàvid las ecobilhas” from Rai la mòrt. This collection of short narratives, first published by Trabucaire in Perpinyà is nos unfortunately out of print. All the same I would recommend you try your luck and ask the excellent services of l’Espaci Occitan dels Alps in Gap.

It is also customary on this day to offer a rose. Our old garden roses do not usually flourish until early June and Mother’s Day here in Versalha, but on my way to the neighbouring hamlet, I had this beautiful field of poppies to keep me company. So please be so kind as to consider I fulfilled both my Sant Jordi’s obligations.