Theatre, Drama & Cinema

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Dream Projects in Theatre, Novels and Films

The Works of Paul Claudel, Jean Genet, and Federico Fellini

Yehuda (Jean-Bernard) Moraly is professor emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His fields of research are mainly French theatre and film: Jean Genet, la vie écrite (Editions de la Différence, 1988); Claudel metteur en scène (Presses Universitaires de Franche Comté, 1998); Le Maître fou, Genet théoricien du théâtre, Nizet, 2009). His Revolution in Paradise: Veiled Representations of Jewish Characters in the Cinema of Occupied France (2019) is published by SAP. He is also a play- wright and his plays are published and produced in France and Israel.

Every artist has a “dream project” — an enterprise that he or she has continuously taken up but never completed. Via archived notes and drafts, a retrospective reconstitution of such projects can serve as a key for better understanding the author's artistic corpus. The present study reaches out to the authorship of Paul Claudel, Jean Genet, and Federico Fellini.

Claudel deferred and never completed the fourth segment of his Trilogie des Coufontaine. The only indication of the existence of this prospective fourth part of the theatre sequence is a brief entry in his Journal. In 1949, he began writing a third version of his first great work Tête d’Or. Like the unfinished fourth section that was to be added to the trilogy, the draft of the third version of Tête d'Or reveals a dialogue between the Old and New Testaments — a theme that appears to be central to Claudel’s entire corpus.

Genet labored over La Mort for many years. At the conclusion of Saint Genet, comédien et martyr (1952), Sartre mentions this final work of Genet. Genet discussed his progress on La Mort in correspondence and even published “Fragments” of La Mort in the literary magazine Les Temps Modernes. While the project never came to fruition, it nevertheless remains an important means through which to understand Genet’s work.

The aborted production of Fellini’s Voyage de G. Mastorna has become a legend. After and Giulietta degli spiriti, Fellini wrote a screenplay that he began to film but subsequently abandoned, much to the chagrin of producer Dino de Laurentiis who had already invested in sets and costumes. Fellini would often revisit this project, but never completed it.

This book also examines additional “dream projects” taken from different art forms: poetry (Mallarmé’s Le Livre); literature (Vigny’s Daphné); painting (Monet’s Nymphéas); music (Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron); and various films (Clouzot’s L’Enfer, Visconti’s La Recherche, Kubrick’s Napoleon, etc.).

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-036-1
Hardback Price: £65.00 / $74.95
Release Date: September 2020
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. 229 x 152 m
Illustrated: No


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