Abstract

Abstract:

In his roles as playwright and dramatic theorist, Denis Diderot is best known for emphasizing visual techniques such as pantomime and tableaux that move the audience through the eyes alone. This article argues that sound and hearing play an equally central, if less obvious, part in Diderot’s dramaturgy, particularly with respect to matters of audience attention, sympathy with suffering characters, and the bond among spectators in the theater. Thinking about Diderot’s ideal spectator as a listening as well as a gazing body shifts the focus from the individual, subjective experience of a play to the intersubjective, sympathetic, and communal aspects of theatergoing, and therefore clarifies the stakes of the philosopher’s proposals to renovate theatrical culture.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 437-452
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-28
Open Access
No
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