Social Actors/Stage Actors: Jean Genet and the Sociology of Theatre

Maria Shevtsova

Abstract


Contemporary writers on poetics-structuralists, semioticians, genre theorists-assume, on tqe whole, that the study of the 'laws' of composition necessarily excludes sociological and historical analyses of the very structures, sign-systems or forms which define their domain. Two hypotheses underpin modern formalism. The first is that 'laws' of composition cannot be explained concurrently with socio-historical 'laws' because the former are self-generated, while the latter constitute an independent set. The second is based on another dichotomy which separates composition into two classes: one generally known as realism (composition about the world) and the other, its opposite, which is named according to species but which can be generally described as self-denotation (composi-tion about composition).

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