Theatre, Drama & Cinema

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The Fictional Arts

An Inter-Art Journey from Theatre Theory to the Arts

Eli Rozik is Ph.D. and professor emeritus of theatre studies. He was twice head of the Department of Theatre Studies and Dean of the Faculty of the Arts at Tel Aviv University. He specializes in theatre theory, particularly in non-verbal communication in performance analysis; and has published numerous articles in international leading journals in Europe and the US. His books include The Language of Theatre (1992), The Roots of Theatre – Rethinking Ritual and Other Theories of Origin (2002), Metaphoric Thinking (2008), Generating Theatre Meaning (2008) and most recently Fictional Thinking (2009).

This book is a comprehensive introduction to the analysis of fictional worlds in a set of fifteen arts, including theatre, opera, figurative ballet, mime, audio drama, figurative drawing/painting, figurative sculpture, strip cartoon, animation, puppet theatre, still photography, photo-novel, silent movie, cinema and TV drama.

Due to their extreme differences, the combination of different arts in the description of a single fictional world, and the translation from one medium to another, are considered problematic. While such differences do not concern fictional creativity, which applies the same poetic and rhetoric rules whatever the medium, it is widely accepted that the problem lies in the extreme differences between the mediums of description. In contrast, this study explores their common grounds. These arts are iconic in nature, and if “iconicity” is re-defined in terms of imprinting images on matter and mediation of language, and as reflecting the common roots of these mediums in a preverbal mode of imagistic thinking, therein is an explanation of their possible combination and translation from one medium to another without impairing the receivers’ reading, interpreting and experiencing capacities.

Eli Rozik analyzes numerous fictional worlds in all these arts, produced during the last 2,500 years of artistic creativity, especially in theatre, art and cinema. The Fictional Arts presupposes that principles underlying the generation of descriptions of fictional worlds by the theatre medium, as proposed in two earlier works (Generating Theatre Meaning and Fictional Thinking), also apply to all the iconic/fictional arts.

The text-book format of the volume has been purposefully designed to address the needs of undergraduate and postgraduate students, suiting the structure of university courses and providing all necessary information to access the images/artistic works discussed in the volume via the web and Google. This inter-art journey from theatre theory to the arts is compelling reading for all those involved and engaged in artistic creativity.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-425-3
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $74.95
Release Date: March 2011
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-426-0
Paperback Price: £18.95 / $37.95
Release Date: March 2011
Page Extent / Format: 04 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Introduction – From Theatre to the Iconic/Fictional Arts
Fictional thinking
Semiotic substratum
Structure of the book
Methodological considerations

Part I –Poetic and Rhetoric Structures
Chapter 1 The Nature of Fictional Thinking
Principles of fictional thinking
Structure and thematic specification
Archetypal and absurdist structures
The Binding of Isaac
The Passion of Christ
The Bacchae

Chapter 2 Deep and Surface Structures
A model of deep structure
Additional poetic rules
Basic surface structures
Possible fallacies

Chapter 3 Structure of Character
Layered structure
Unity of character
Citizen Kane
Modern Times
Characterization in the pictorial arts
Archetypal characterization
Change and development
Deus ex machina
Kinds of characters
A broad notion of ‘character’

Chapter 4 Complex Fictional Actions
Hegel’s notion of ‘conflict’
Hegel and Aristotle
Alexander Nevsky
The Seventh Seal
Conflict in the pictorial arts
The conflict fallacy

Chapter 5 Fictional Time and Place
Descriptive vs. fictional time and place
Dramatic time and place
Function of the interval
Pictorial time and place
Place in audio drama
Thematic function of time and place

Chapter 6 Intertextual Relations
Creative vs. hermeneutic interpretation
Mechanism of creative interpretation
Departures from source-texts
Jesus of Montreal
Legitimacy and plagiarism

Chapter 7 Fictional Experience as Metaphor
The metaphoric principle
Fictional expression
Metaphoric experience
Les Troyennes
Alexander Nevsky
Mechanism of fictional metaphor
Wild Strawberries
Poetic Implications

Chapter 8 Fictional Allegory
Elements of allegory
The Blind Leading the Blind
The Seventh Seal
Ecclesia and Synagoga
Allegoric figures
Mixing praxical and allegoric characters
Fable and parable
Animal Farm
Allegorizing interpretation

Chapter 9 Rhetoric Structure
Pragmatic interaction
Macro-speech act/action
Structural equivalence
Rhetoric structure
Rhetoric vs. ritual experience
Quem Quaeritis
The White Crucifixion
The quest for truth
Talk to Her
Dancing at Lughnasa
The Seventh Seal
Luncheon of the Boat Party
Poetic implications

Part II Semiotic Substratum
Chapter 10 The Imagistic Nature of Iconicity
Imagistic thinking
Imprinting and language mediation
Specific differentiae of iconic media
Dramatic, pictorial and recording/reproducing media

Chapter 11 Basic Iconic Units
Segmentation of real interaction
Typical iconic and units
Typical iconic objects
Macbeth and the witches
The Annunciation
Real objects in iconic texts

Chapter 12 Iconic Metaphor
Verbal metaphor
Iconic metaphor
Surface structures
Iconic speech act metaphor

Chapter 13 Iconic Symbol
Symbol formation
Symbolic interpretation
Metaphoric and metonymic symbols
Iconic motif
Citizen Kane
The Broken Column
Functions of symbol

Chapter 14 Iconic Convention
Reading and interpretation
Departures from similarity
Limitations and functions
Medium conventions
Systemic conventions
Ironic functions
Fellini’s 8 ½

Chapter 15 Iconic/Fictional Reference
Deflected vs. direct reference
Reference through attributes
The Art of Painting
Reference and self-reference
‘Performer’, ‘text’ and ‘character’

Chapter 16 Body Language
Basic analogy
Channels of nonverbal indication
Iconic body language
Dramatic body language: Macbeth
Pictorial body language
Silent theatre: A Passing Shadow
Modern Times
Iconic body-language metaphor

Chapter 17 Illusion and Textuality
The notion of ‘illusion’
Illusion in art
Illusion in theatre
Illusion in cinema

Chapter 18 Inter-medial Relations
Inter-medial translation
Romeo and Juliet
Inter-medial combination
Recording and reproduction

Chapter 19 The Receiver’s Vital Role
Real vs. implied receiver
Implied receiver’s contribution
Implied receiver’s limitations
Dialogue between author and receiver

Part III Theoretical Implications
Chapter 20 - The Archaic Roots of Iconic/Fictional Thinking
Fictional mode of thinking
Imagistic mode of representation
A possible development
Exposure to iconic/fictional texts

Chapter 21 The Notion of ‘Art’
The problem of the term ‘art’
Possible common denominators
The aesthetic option
Biological roots of the aesthetic
Objective properties vs. subjective experience
Range of the aesthetic
Specific difference of ‘art’
Function of the aesthetic experience
A tentative definition of ‘art’

List of Cited Works
List of Analyzed Works

Review Quotes to Follow

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