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Reviews393 religious and secular versions of a song; it is a technique, not a strategy. In the chapters discussing liturgy, many readers will feel the lack of adequate quotation and close analysis for the relevant Gallican and Hispanic texts. The book needs to show why and how the liturgical lections embodied the dramatic properties Dunn claims for them. The intractable difficulty confronting Dunn's book is the silence of the historical record she so capably reviews. There is, in fact, no direct evidence to connect the reading of the saints' lives with dramatic performance . The Gallican liturgical books offer nothing truly equivalent to the stage directions preserved in the tenth-century Regularis Concordia for the quern queritis trope sung and performed at Easter Matins: "these things are done in imitation of the angel sitting in the monument." In the Spanish examples of liturgical dancing, there is mention of dancing at saints' festivals but no record of dancing saints' lives. As Dunn notes, the public reading of the lives is well documented, but "the accompaniment of the hagiographical lection by formal dramatic action is less clear" (p. 102). Dunn offers an argument, "partly deductive" as she says, that brings the pieces of the record into relation: the mime tradition continued from antiquity; narrative saints' lives flourished; therefore, the lives could have been performed in a combination of recitative and mime. No one will be completely satisfied with the shape of this argument or with its inevitable shifting between historical sources and analogies. And Dunn makes something of a leap in the final pages from Gallo-Roman ritual to the saint's play of the twelfth century. What her book does provide, however, is an enriched sense of the multiple contexts that bear on cultural production in the early Middle Ages. ROBERT R. EDWARDS The Pennsylvania State University Sharon Marie Carnicke. The Theatrical Instinct: Nikolai Evreinov and the Russian Theatre of the Early Twentieth Century. American University Studies: Ser. 26, Theater Arts, 2. New York: Peter Lang, 1989. Pp. xii + 247. $45.00. The plays of Nikolai Evreinov, though produced in the 1920's by directors like Pirandello, Copeau, and Dullin, have not in fact persisted in repertory, East or West. Though he worked in theater and theater theory (mostly in Paris) for twenty-five years after correctly deducing he had no place in Soviet Russia, his most creative and productive period was before the Russian Revolution changed all the odds. What Sharon Carnicke attempts to do in The Theatrical Instinct: Nikolai Evreinov and the Russian Theatre of the Early Twentieth Century is to show that the particulars of Evreinov's challenge to realistic and avant garde theater of his time anticipate "major artistic movements in the twentieth century in the West: metatheatrical plays, theatricalist and symbolist staging and current studies of performance through anthropology and ritual" (p. 10). Her focus is especially on his conception of teatral'nosf, which she says goes well beyond our usual understanding of the word 'theatricality' to become for Evreinov a human "instinct." This instinct is that which 394Comparative Drama "compels human beings to transform themselves and their world" (p. 49). The actor is all, and performance is the only "reality necessary to drama" (p. 56). Carnicke links this conception with current views in human psychology, sociology, and anthropology to which present day theater theoreticians also turn. Distinct from Stanislavsky's method of finding keys to a character within oneself, Evreinov sees acting as the putting on of masks, behaving differently, transforming the self. While The Main Thing and A Merry Death, Evreinov's most successful plays, have some dimension beyond the theatrical theories they mean to demonstrate , the question remains whether that dimension is sufficient to keep them viable theater. The value of this study is its contribution to the history of that richly innovative time in Russian theater before the Revolution . Defining Evreinov's contribution illuminates the period and emphasizes his interest in theory as more lasting than his plays. Carnicke argues that it was Evreinov's protean image, his responsiveness to every new idea, that allowed his eclipse when other Russian directors of the period (Meierhold, Tairov, Vakhtangov) have continued to engage the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 393-396
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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