This article explores points of contact between Stanislavsky's detailed 1898 mise en scène for the Moscow Art Theatre's production of Chekhov's The Seagull, on the one hand, and discursive practices – specifically X-ray photography and hypnosis – striving to map the vaguely perceptible interior spaces of bodies upon their visible surfaces, on the other. For each of these discourses, this act of mapping was dependant upon the work of an interpreting authority – the stage director, master hypnotist, or clinician – who penetrated, arrested, and forcefully re-articulated the meanings of the body's interior. The bodies of The Seagull's actors thus vividly conveyed not their own psychic material but that belonging to Stanislavsky, the intervening master interpreter. In this, they joined hypnotized hysterics and X-rayed patients in presenting a referential psychosomatic palimpsest, displaying at once a perceptible surface and a safely reordered and coercively reinscribed interior.


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pp. 369-388
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