Armand Gatti and political trends in French theater under de Gaulle (1958-1978)

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Armand Gatti and political trends in French theater under de Gaulle (1958-1978)
Pytlinski, Bonnie Laurie, 1943-
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Politics and government -- France -- 1958- ( lcsh )
Romance Languages and Literatures thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Romance Languages and Literatures -- UF ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1982.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 207-213).
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by Bonnie Laurie Pytlinski.

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Copyright 1982 By Bonnie Laurie Pytlinski


To my husband Jerzy Teodor Pytlinski


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The guidance, advice and foresight of Dr. Raymond Gay-Crosier of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures in the orientation of the subject presented were of paramount importance and made this dissertation possible. The interest and thoughtful remarks of Dr. Wayne Connor of the same Department and of Dr. Otto Johnston of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Liter atures were of great assistance throughout the writing pro cess. Finally, the review of the dissertation by Dr. Hal Rennert of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures is greatly appreciated. iv


TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I ACKNOWLEDG:MENTS iv ABSTRA.CT. . . . . . vii INTRODUCTION. . . . . . 1 BRECHT: THE LINK BETWEEN RUSSIAN AND GERMAN THEATER IN THE 1920s-1930s AND FRENCH THEATER IN THE 1960s ................................ 7 II BRECHT IN FRA.NCE... . . . . . . . . . . 23 Brecht versus Theater of the Absura .... 28 Shakespeare and Brecht as Models 36 Brecht and the Actor 42 III POLITICAL THOUGHT 46 Cultural Revolution 46 The New Left. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Class Struggle, Structure, Ideology .... 60 IV POLITICAL AND CULTURAL ACTION IN FRANCE UNDER DE GAULLE . . 7 7 De Gaulle................................ 77 Political Parties and Groups ih France 1958-1968................................ 80 Malraux and Gaullist Cultural Policies 88 Cultural Action ...... 90 V POPULAR THEATER. . . . . . 9 6 Theater Decentralization 96 Peripheral Theaters ................. 101 Theater Activities During May 1968 109 VI ARMAND GATTI: FRENCH PLAYWRIGHT OF THE 1960s........................................ 113 V




Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ARMAND GATTI AND POLITICAL TRENDS IN FRENCH THEATER UNDER DE GAULLE (1958-1978) By Bonnie Laurie Pytlinski December 1982 Chairman: Dr. Raymond Gay-Crosier Major Department: Romance Languages and Literatures The playwright Armand Gatti was an innovator in the French theater during the period 1958-1968. In this study four of his plays produced in the 1960s are discussed: La Vie imaginaire de l'eboueur Auguste G., Chant public devant deux chaises electriques, V comme Vietnam, and Les Treize Soleils de la rue Saint-Blaise. These four major plays illustrate a theater which sought to be more responp sive to events and problems in French society. They are studied within the framework of developments in popular theater, the influence of Brecht, the emergence of a new left and other political groups, and Gaullist cultural policies. It is shown that the ideas of the Marxist philosophers Henri Lefebvre (the possibilities of the individual, urban vii


revolution, a critique of bourgeois society) and those of Louis Althusser (class struggle, cultural revolution, and nondialectic history) appear transposed as themes in Gatti's plays. Examples of Gatti's techniques of "distancing" by interruptions in the structural organization of the text are interpreted to provide, as in the case of Brecht, a means of encouraging the spectator to participate in the play by crit ically judging what is presented. Through the discussion of Brecht and the new left a connection is made between the political and literary trends in Germany and Russia in the 1920s-1930s and the political trends in French theater of the 1960s. Theimpact of political ideas on the themes of Gatti's plays is used to elucidate the controversy which arose concerning the interaction of culture and politics, and the role of intellectuals and ideologies. The conclusion describes what occurred in the French popular theater in the 1970s. With his increased emphasis on actor and spectator participation, Gatti is shown to be one of the most radical practitioners of the current return to a more spontaneous, political theatricality.


INTRODUCTION From de Gaulle's establishment of the Fifth Republic in September 1958 to the demonstrations of May 1968, political and literary thought in France stimulated experi ments in the theater. The subject matter chosen for plays, the form in which they were written, and the techniques and devices used in staging them were affected. The theater became a political issue during this period because of the unusual interaction between politics, literature, and theater. Attention was turned toward the voter, the reader, and the spectator. The decade began with the organization of a "popular" theater in Villeurbanne, the working-class suburb of Lyon, by the theater director Roger Planchon. By the mid-1960s, however, the critic Bernard Dort questioned whether popular theater was possible in a French society where workers, in fact, did not attend the theater. Culture became not only the preoccupation of persons interested in the theater but also that of politicians. Such notions as culture, cultural action and, in some cases, cultural revolution were used by political parties and radical groups to support ideological points of view. Armand Gatti was an innovator in the theater during this period. His participation in the popular theater 1


2 movement included writing plays, reading them to union groups, directing productions of his plays, forming a close knit theater troupe, interacting with the theater public, and making statements about the purpose of the theater. His plays, by their subject matter and form, reflect political and social themes of the period and thus represent a theater which sought to be more responsive to events and problems in the society. As a young man Gatti lived through the occupation, the resistance, and the liberation of France during the Second World War. In the 1950s as a journalist, and in the 1960s and 1970s as a playwright, he was acutely aware of social injustice in France and in the Third World. Interested in history and its relation to present-day events in the world, Gatti wrote books about Russia, China, and Churchill, and articles about dictators in Central America. In 1962 he directed the film El Otro Cristopher (The Other Chri'stopher) in Cuba before starting to direct the staging of his own plays in France. His global view whether expressed in books, articles, films or plays always deals with social problems. Two important characteristics of Gatti's style in his works are naivety and optimism. In an interview with Denis Bablet in 1971 Gatti explained that the theater is a means for him to try to recapture the wonderful possibility of invention he felt as a child and the feelings he experi enced when he joined the Maquis. Concerning the latter he recalled:


\ 3 C'etait un trou, dans une foret, par un froid a peler. Je suis entre dans ce trou sous la terre. Et dans ce trou, au debut, il n'y avait rien, pas d'arrnes, on se cherchait. J'ai commence a rever le monde, a rever l'Europe, a rever tout ce qu'on devait faire, les rapports a changer, mais a la mesure d'un gosse de seize ans, qui se sent homme et qui ne l'est pas encore. Je crois que faire 1 du the&tre c 'est pour moi retourner dans ce trou. In many of Gatti's plays this apparent child's view conveys the optimism that the possibility to create a just society does exist. Momentary defeats such as the Commune of Paris (1871) are to be viewed as a necessary part of future vic tories. His characters are uncomplicated and simple. They often lack the ability to analyze their situation, and their emotional and behavioral characteristics are directly related to their social milieu. It is the spectator who critically analyzes the themes presented in the plays. Workers and guerrilla fighters who seek to make society more humane are represented as good, while owners of big businesses, government officials, and those who serve them or their own self-interest, are regarded as evil and satirized. Jean Vilar, desiring to promote young playwrights, first drew attention to Gatti by staging his play LeCrapaud Buffle (Oct. 1959) to inaugurate the Recamier, the small experimental theater associated with the Theatre National 1 Denis Bablet, "Entretien avec Armand Gatti," Travail The&tral, 3 (1971), p. 19.


I. 4 Populaire (TNP). The play received unfavorable reviews. It was not until Roger Planchon's troupe of the Theatre de la Cite at Villeurbanne staged Gatti's La Vie imaginaire de l'eboueur Auguste G. (1962) that Gatti was regarded as a successful playwright. Throughout the 1960s Armand Gatti and Roger Planchon were considered to be the two theater people the most likely to succeed in creating a French pop ular theater. Although Gatti .was greatly influenced by working with Planchon's troupe in 1962, and even used many of Planchon's actors for the TNP production of his Chant public devant deux chaises electriques (1966), Planchon's troupe never staged another play of Gatti's after the pre sentation of Auguste G. Instead, the Grenier Theatre at Toulouse, under the direction of Maurice Sarrazin, was particularly willing to stage Gatti's plays. The TNP, under the direction of Georges Wilson, staged Gatti's Chant public and rehearsed his La Passion du general Franco which was banned in December 1968 just before it was scheduled to open. Gatti's difficulties regarding the French government's cultural policy arose because of the disagreement between critics,_ government officials, and theater directors concerrr ing the concept of popular theater, and because of the polit ical themes in his plays. After the events of May 1968 Gatti continued to work with the troupe of actors known as Gatti's "Tribu," dedicated to furthering their conception of popular theater which included the active participation


5 of spectators. Gatti's themes and basic idea of popular theater did not change in the 1970s. Yet critics who mis understood his notion of popular theater equally misunder stood Gatti himself. Thus after being regarded as the most promising playwright in connection with the popular theater movement in the 1960s Gatti was subsequently ignored as a French playwright when the political climate in France changed after 1968. For a French critic such as Alfred Simon, popular theater meant theater for the majority. For Gatti and other theater activists and critics influenced by Brecht, popular theater meant a political theater that expressed solidarity with the underprivileged in French society and the Third World. It was theater for the masses, not for the "majority." In his 1971 interview with Bablet, Gatti stated he did not want to continue writing for the traditional theater. In reference to his play Rosa which was then being staged in Kassel, Germany, he explained: 2 Rosa est en train d'~tre mont~e a Kassel. Elle ne peut pas toucher les gens a qui je voudrais m'adresser parce qu'ils n'appartiennent tout simplement pas a ceux qui pourront la voir. Elle devient un objet culturel, et avec elle j'occupe une position privil~gi~e par rapport aux travailleurs. Quoi que je fasse, je suis du cet~ des privileges .... Je suis au service d'une cult~re pens~e par une classe qui en exploite une autre. Bablet, p. 11.


6 At the time of the interview Gatti had written about twenty seven plays of which nineteen had been published. The facts about Gatti' s activities during the 1960s are well known, yet no study has been made of his themes and techniques in relation to the political and intellectual context of the period. This I propose to do, limiting my attention to La Vie imaginaire de l'~boueur Auguste G., Chant public devant deux chaises ~lectriques, V comme Vietnam, and Les Treize Soleils de la rue Saint-Blaise. These four major plays were seen by large audiences and best illustrate his themes and techniques. They provide excellent examples of the close relationship between popular theater and the political and intellectual trends in France. Before considering these plays in detail, however, I shall first review the political and cultural background of the de Gaulle years and discuss the development of popular theater in France, especially with reference to the influ ence of Brecht.


CHAPTER I BRECHT: THE LINK BETWEEN RUSSIAN AND GERMAN THEATER IN THE 1920s-1930s AND FRENCH THEATER IN THE 1960s Armand Gatti's theater activities in the 1960s can be viewed in relation to ideas in the theater in the 1920s and 1930s in Russia'and Germany. Such concerns as social con sciousness, popular theater, interest in the participation of the spectator, and a critical view of society recur in a different context in the 1960s. Nevertheless, the transla tions in the 1960s of works by Brecht, Piscator, and Meyerhold point toward such a comparison. It is therefore helpful to think of Brecht as a link to theater in the 1920s and 1930s in Russia and Germany for French popular theater of the 1960s. The 1920s and 1930s were years of crisis and social change in Germany and Russia. Brecht was aware of trends in the theater and in the formalist literary circles in Russia. Although a thorough study has not been made of the Russian influence in Brecht's works, it is known that Brecht, through his friend Sergei Tretiakov, knew about the activities of Shklovsky, Meyerhold, and Mayakovsky. Tretiakov, a theore tician of socialist art, attempted to create theater capable of "operating" in society by creating a socialist public. His "production" play Tch will ein Kind ha:ben {T Want to 7


8 have a Child) is viewed as a social experiment on the stage where love and sex are examined. 1 The protagonist Milda embodies the problem of a new organization of sex and instinct. Concerned about the "production" of intelligent children, Milda wants to have a child without being emotion ally involved with the father. Her behavior is contrasted with the jealous behavior of the more human Lipa, whose husband Milda uses for her personal goal. Milda's behavior in the play is presented as a social problem that the spec tators are called upon to consider. After nurseries are built, a project of Milda, the Mildas will disappear. And, the Lipas will evolve into a new form of woman of which the spectator is not yet aware, but which will be the result of his participation in social changes in the society. Brecht adopted Tretiakov's play about Milda for the German stage and Meyerhold, although he was unable to stage the play because it was banned, rehearsed it from 1927 to 1930. Tretiakov, a poet, playwright and journalist, worked with Meyerhold as a dramatist and with Shklovsky as an editor of the review Lef. Brecht discussed the literary term priem ostraneniga(making strange) with Tretiakov in connection with the acting technique of the Chinese actor Mei-Lang-Fang, who gave a demonstration of his technique in 1 Fritz Mierau, Erfindung und Korrektur: Tretjakow, Aesthetik der Operativitat (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1976), p. 17.


9 2 Moscow during Brecht's visit there. Later Brecht developed his own acting method of Verfremdungseffekte (alienation effects). The purpose of Brecht's v-effects is to permit the spectator to develop a critical distance toward what is presented. Therefore the word distanciation rather than alienation describes better his application in the theater of the literary theory related to the term priem ostraneni;a. For both Tretiakov and Brecht this practical applica tion of distanciation in the theater involved a socio political purpose. Walter Benjamin discussed this aspect of Tretiakov's and Brecht's works in his lecture given in Paris in 1934 entitled "Der Autor alsProduzent" ("The Author as Producer"). He stated that the political intent of a literary work can only be justified if it is fully integrated into the literary quality of the work and, in fact, constitutes this literary quality. 3 Furthermore, a functional dependency exists between the right political intent and the advanced literary techniques of a period. According to Benjamin, the technical forms of litera ture have to be transformed in order for political criti cism to be effective. 4 For example, in Brecht's didactic 2 Marjorie L. Hoover, Meyerhold: The Art of 'Conscious Theater {Amherst: Univ. of Mass. Press, 1974), p. 264. 3 Walter Benjamin, "Der Autor als Produzent," in Versuche fiber Brecht, ed. Rolf Tiedemann (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1967), p. 96. 4 Benjamin, pp. 108-12.


10 play Die Massnahme (The Measures Taken), Brecht and Eisler transformed the concert form by changing the use of estab lished musical and literary techniques. In addition, the form of Brecht's epic theater causes the spectator to take part in producing the play. Brecht consciously controls the theater techniques he uses; he uses songs and montage to "distance" the spectator.from the play. These means of interruption in the structure of the play permit the spec tator to discover relationships. Benjamin believes that Brecht changed the relationship between the stage and the audience, the text and the presentation, and the director and the actor by creating an epic theater which presents situations instead of developing plots. Benjamin also raises the problem of the role of the intellectual in changing society. 5 In 1934 he sees the dif ference between the author and the public begin to disap pear in the Soviet press; the reader is ready to become the writer in what Benjamin calls the "literization" of living relations. He believes the establishment of the author as a producer would have to begin by the use of the press. How ever, since the bourgeois educational system gives writers a means of production which makes them a part of that class, it is difficult for intellectuals to become proletarian. Therefore, if the press remains in the hands of the 5 Benjamin, pp. 100; 115.


11 bourgeoisie, revolutionary statements could be assimilated without actually threatening the class in power. Tretiakov also believes in the 1930s that the workers and farmers who write articles or letters published in newspapers act to "push" the worker into literature and thus create a new relationship between the writer and the 6 reader. The profession of the writer is changed from a contemplative role to one of carrying out an operation. All work, including writing, is viewed as a political and eco nomic act which is part of the class struggle. The class enemy is not simply embodied as evil, but rather as that part in every man which appears as outdated ideas or habit ual behavior in need of being changed. In his own literary work Tretiakov examines facts in terms of their general social interest and changes them into an argument leading to practical conclusions. His theater, which includes montage of attractions, documentaries, melo dramas, agitation guignol, dramatization of newspaper arti cles, and production plays, is an attempt to illustrate the application of literary contributions to the practice of social change in the actual society. Even though Tretiakov did not believe in developing a personal style or in professional writing, Benjamin cited him, along with Brecht, 6 Mierau, pp. 23-24.


12 as a writer whose works contain both political purpose and literary quality. 7 In the 1920s the Lef group and the sociological for malists moved from Shklovsky's formalist theory of the lit erary device to consider its application in the proletarian 1 8 revo ution. Such formalists attempted to inscribe their practice within the concept of cultural revolution. For them the transformation of existing relations of production and productive forces for the transition to communism also implied the transformation of existing ideological relations. The final aim of "production" art was the dissolution of art into life by breaking down the distinction between artistic work and productive labor and by giving the ordi nary worker the distant and controlled relation to his work that was characteristic of the laid bare device. Alienation-effects are for Brecht, as they were for the formalists, autonomous technical devices of art, not avatars of the alienation of man under capitalism. 9 Brecht's most important theoretical work on the theater is his Short Organum for the Theater, written in 1948 with appendices added later. Parts of this work were first 7 Benjamin, p. 98. 8 Ben Brewster, "From Shklovsky to Brecht: A Reply," Screen, 15, 2 (Summer 1974), 88-89, 91. 9 Brewster, p. 94.


13 published in France in the review Theatre Populaire in 1955. Brecht transforms devices of art in order to present a critical view of society. In the prologue to the Short Organum he states: The battle was for a theatre fit for the scientific age, and where its planners found it too hard to borrow or steal from the armoury of aesthetic con cepts enough weapons to defend themselves against the aesthetics of the Press they simply threatened to transform the meay 5 of enjoyment into an instru ment of instruction. A new type of theater was needed because new forms of organization and a new vision of life had evolved .. In this scientific age man could adopt familiar objects about him t h 11 t h h o serve im. Bu, t e new approac to nature was not applied to society. It was not in the interest of the evolving bourgeois class to apply this new way of thinking and feeling to the relations which people h~ve to one another during the exploiting and dominating process. Indeed, the role of the bourgeois class would then come to an end. Brecht therefore concludes that the productive attitude to be taken up toward nature and society enter tainingly in the theater is a critical one, and states: lO Bertolt Brecht, "Short Organum for the Theater," in Brecht on Theater: The Development of an Aesthetic, ed. and trans. John Willet (New York: Hill and Wang, 1964), p. 179. 11 Brecht, pp. 184-85.


14 It [theater] constructs its workable representations of society, which are then in a position to influence society, wholly and entirely as a game: for those who are constructing society it sets out society's expe riences, past and present alike, in such a manner that the audience can ;, appreciate" the feelings, insights and impulses which are distilled by the wisest, most passionate among us from the events of the day or the century. They must be entertained with the wisdom that comes from the solution of problems, with the anger that is a practical expression of sympathy with the underdog, with the respect due to those who respect humanity, or rather whatever is kind to humanity, in short, with wha 1 ever delights those who are producing something. 2 Brecht's theoretical ideas about the theater imply changes in acting and staging. The kind of acting which was tried out at the Schiffbauerdamm Theater in Berlin between the First and Second World Wars was based on the effect of distancing. For Brecht a representation that alienates is one which.allows the spectator to recognize its subject while making it appear unfamiliar. The V-effects are intended to free socially-conditioned phenomena from a famil iarity which protects them from being understood. In the Short Organum he states: 12 This technique [distanciation] allows the theater to make use of its representations of the new social scientific method known as dialectical materialism. In order to unearth society's laws of motion this method treats social situations as processes, and traces out all their inconsistencies. It regards nothing as existing except in as far as it changes, in other words is in disharmony with itself. This Brecht, p. 186.


15 also goes for those human feelings, opinions and attitudes through which at any time the form of men's life together finds its expression. 13 In order to produce V-effects the actor has to work against whatever means he has learned to get the audience to identify with the characters he plays. This does not mean, however, that the actor will or should succeed in inhibiting this identification completely. Brecht clarifies this point in the following appendix, to the original Short Organum. a) However dogmatic it may seem to insist that self identification with the character should be avoided in the performance, our generation can listen to this warning with advantage. However determinedly they obey it they can hardly carry it out to the letter, so the most likely result is that truly rendering contradiction between experience and portrayal, empathy and demonstra tion, justification and criticism, which is aimed at. b) The contradiction between acting (demonstration) and experience (empathy) often leads the unin structed to suppose that only one or the other can be manifest in the work of the actor (as if the Short Organum concentrated entirely on acting and the old tradition entirely on experience). In reality it is a matter of two mutually hostile processes which fuse in the actor's work; his per formance is not just composed of a bit of one and a bit of the other. His particular effectiveness comes from the tussle and the tension of the two opposites, and also from their depth. The style in which the s.o. is written is partly to blame for this. 14 13 Brecht, p. 193. 14 Brecht, p. 277.


16 It is true that the style of the Short Organum, which is more expository than theoretical, has caused some con fusion about Brecht's theories. Brecht did discard the label of epic theater, although he never renounced the con cept of progress toward conscious experience which he felt th t k 'bl 15 epic ea er ma es possi e. For Brecht the techniques of distanciation CV-effects) are the key to the theater's com bative character. The application of such techniques assumes that society considers its condition to be historic and capable of improvement. Most French dramatists and theater directors in the 1960s seemed to overlook the importance of distanciation as an integral part of Brecht's theater. Jean-Paul Sartre during his lecture entitled "The~tre epique et th~&tre drarnatique" given in 1959 at the Sorbonne for the ATEP (an association of Parisian theater students headed by Ariane Mnouchkine at the time) summarized Brecht's theater as follows: 15 Vous savez ce qu'est le th~atre ~pique de Brecht, vous connaissez sa recherche principale qui est de montrer, d'expliquer et de faire juger plut6t que de faire participer. Il veut montrer a la fois l'acte individuel, et ce qu'il appelle la gestus sociale qui conditionne cet acte, il veut montrer les contradic tions qu'il ya dans toute conduite et en m~me temps Brecht, p. 273.


17 le systeme social qui engendre ces contradictions, tout ceci a l'interieur d'une representation.16 Finding both the dramatic genre and the epic genre to be insufficient, Sartre goes on to suggest creating a theater which includes a subjective view along with a critical view of society. He thinks Brecht's V-effects work against creating such a theater because in his opinion: Quand on ne partage pas les fins d'un group social qu'on definit, on peut, en effet, creer une sorte de distanciation et, par consequent, montrer les gens du dehors et m@me quelquefois rendre par un chant ce qu'ils pensent: mais quand on est dans une societe dont on partage les principes, 9a devient beaucoup plus difficile Nous avons affaire ace moment-la a un autre theatre, theatre qui essaie de comprendre, et c'est precisement, a mon avis, la difference entre l'epique et le dramatique; dans le dramatique, on peut essayer de comprendre, mais dans l'epique, tel qu'on nous le presente a! 7 uelle ment, on explique ce qu'on ne comprend pas. Sartre's criticism of Brecht's techniques of distancia tion can best be understood in relation to the debate among some Marxists regarding how to include a subjective view in the Marxist objective view of society. Sartre thought exis tentialism, which he considered to be a humanism, could introduce tpis dimension. Marxists, however, did not follow 16 Jean-Paul Sartre, "The~tre epique et theatre drama tique," in Un The~tre de situation, eds. Michel Contat and Michel Rybalka (Paris: Gallimard, 1973), pp. 104-05. 17 Sartre, p. 149.


18 Sartre's line of reasoning. Sartre's own plays, which illustrate his existentialist philosophy, emphasize the subjective view of characters and use traditional theater techniques. Sartre does, however, express opinions about the intellectual's position in society which are similar to those of Walter Benjamin, an advocate of Brecht. Sartre perceives a contradiction within the ideological and political framework in which an intellectual uses his know18 ledge. The intellectual receives a general education in a particular society which has an interest in perpetuating an ideology of classes. This bourgeois ideology instills in an intellectual from childhood on a racist attitude and a humanism it presents as being universal. But the profession of the intellectual as a writer entails exposing the truth, the facts, and the contradictions in society. Therefore a conflict exists between the bourgeois ideology and the role of the intellectual. To free himself from this contradic tion the intellectual must take a radical position on issues. If the intellectual lives this contradiction without questioning it, Sartre believes he is actually defending the ideology and is not an intellectual. However the writer who sees the contradiction and takes steps to combat it is an intellectual. 18 Jean-Paul Sartre, "Intellektuelle und Revolution," Neues Forum, 211-212 (June-July 1971), p. 34.


19 During the late 1960s and the 1970s other French critics debated the role of the intellectual. Although the exact relationship between the influence of intellectuals and that of ideologies could not be defined, critics recog nized the important roles of both in elaborating images which guide different social classes. According to Claude Prevost, "les hommes se servent de l'ideologie mais, tout autant et meme davantage, sont egalement produits et mis en movement par l'ideologie, par ce qui fonctionne comme un veritable inconscient culturel. 1119 Prevost also speaks of the importance of techniques in relation to a critique of ideologies. He states that Brecht, conscious of the tech niques he used, created new meaning by using traditional literary forms: La pratique meme de Brecht revele son effort constant pour emprunter partout des techniques et meme "formes fixes"; en apparence figees par la tradition (la ballade, le sonnet et jusqu'au verset biblique) et qui transporte Dieu sait quelles ideologies ... Siles techniques;-moyens et precedes ne sont pas neutres, Brecht pense qu'ils peuvent etre neutralises pour, reemployes dans un autre contexte, @tre investis de significations nouvelles. 20 Moreover, Edward Said directs attention to the rela tion between ideologies and the profession of a literary 19 Claude Prevost, "Litterature et ideologie," Nouvelle Critique, 57 (Oct. 1972), p. 17. 20 22 Prevost, p.


20 critic. 21 Within a text, as well as a text of literary criticism, he perceives evidence of a continual process of struggle between the dominant and the dominated going on. Criticism adopts the mode of commentary on and evaluation of art, yet matters more as a necessarily incomplete process toward judgement and evaluation. The critical essay begins to create the values by which art is judged. Said believes criticism has above all the responsibility to oppose a mono centrism which denies plurality and recognizes one idea as the only idea possible, rather than acknowledge that an idea in history is always one among many. Said's view of criticism as being worldly, i.e. the critic's role being to judge his historical situation, con tinues the trend of developing a critical attitude toward literature, culture, ideology and society as expressed by Brecht, Benjamin, Sartre, and Prevost. This trend to see the text in relation to history and actual events is, according to Fredric Jameson, a natural evolution of f 1 . d 22 orma ist i eas. He states that Russian Formalism began during the First World War and disappeared in 1929. After 21 Edward w. Said, "The Text, the World, the Critic," in Textual Strategies: Perspectives in Post-Structuralist Criticism, ed. Jose v. Harari (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press, 1979), pp. 187-88. 22 Fredric Jameson, The Prison House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1972), preface pp. ix-x.


21 that date many formalists developed into literary historians, .mainly in the historical novel and in the movies. Their image of literary history as mutation proved to be unsatis factory as philosophy and yet stimulating for the imagin ation. Jameson dates the structuralist movement from the publication of Claude Levi-Strauss' Tristes tropiques (1955} to its high point in 1966-1967 when Jacques Lacan published his Ecrits and Jacques Derrida published his first major texts. Structuralists like Levi-Strauss reawakened thought on the origins of culture and changed our perception of history. Jameson summarizes the influence of formalist and structuralist thought on history as follows: To say, in short, that synchronic systems cannot deal in any adequate conceptual way with temporal phenomena is not to say that we do not emerge from them with a heightened sense of the mystery of diachrony itself. We have tended to take temporality for granted; where everything is historical, the idea ofhistory itself has seemed to empty of content. Perhaps that is, indeed, the ultimate propedeutic value of the linguistic mo2): to renew our fascination with the seeds of time. In the theater both in the 1920s-30s and in the 1960s a critical view of the relationship between dramatic art and the real, historical world became a major concern for some dramatists. During both historical periods., in Russia and Germany (1920s-30s) and then in France (1960s), the changes in the existing society paralleled socio political activities in the theater. Although Brecht wrote 23 Jameson, preface p. x.


22 his greatest plays while in exile during the Second World War, his ideas about the theater, particularly his V-effects, were influenced by formalist thought and activities in the Russian theater of the 1920s-30s. Beginning in the mid-1950s with the Berliner Ensemble's performances in Paris and the publication of Brecht's Short Organum, Brecht's ideas about theater inspired many experiments in the French theater. During the same period, structuralist thought in France reawakened a critical view of culture, ideology, and history. To fully understand the trend toward socio-political drama influenced by Brecht in the 1960s in France, it is necessary to review the debate in the theater between advocates of the theater of the absurd and those of Brech tian theater, the renewed interest in Shakespearean plays viewed as being popular and political, the intellectual trends which contributed to the development of political thought in the French theater, the political policies of de Gaulle in relation to the decentralization of theaters in France, and the popular theater movement.


CHAPTER II BRECHT IN FRANCE In the 1960s French playwrights and critics with knowledge of Brecht's epic theater brought into being a new movement in the French theater which made possible an enthu siastic reception of Gatti's plays. Gatti's experimentation in the theater concerning the structure of his plays, and the techniques and devices used to stage them,would not have been possible without the decentralization of the theater in Frai:ice, the notion of popular theater connected with it, and an interest in the plays and theoretical works of Bertolt Brecht. Brecht became the cited example of a number of theater directors and critics. Jean Vilar, who had produced Mere Courage at the TNP as early as 1951, was impressed by Brecht's remarks for the staging of his plays, although he disregarded Brecht's theories on dramatic art. Roger Planchon, who met with Brecht in the summer of 1955, took Brecht's style of direction and theater interpretation as a model. The interest in Brecht and popular theater promp ted the founding of the review Th~~tre Populaire by the pub lisher Arche. Contributors to this review were the most enthusiastic defenders of Brecht's epic theater. Jean Duvignaud, Jean Paris, Bernard Dort, Roland Barthes, 23


24 Arthur Adamov, and Andre Gisselbrecht presented their views about Brecht's plays and theoretical works in articles in this review. For them popular theater meant a critical theater which should activate the spectator, that is political theater. In the early 1950s in France, with the exception of the plays of Camus and Sartre, no political theaterexisted. 1 Yet the political situation in France demanded such drama in a form more directly appealing than the plays of Camus and Sartre where the characters illustrate existential philosophical beliefs. 2 Both playwrights present uncommon experiences that occur in the uncommon lives of heroes: Sartre's include a Greek prince, a South American deserter, a Communist party leader, a general of peasant wars, a prince of German industry; those of Camus are a Roman Emperor, a Tchekoslovakian emigrant, a Russian poet-assassin, and a Sp~nish hero. Both writers attempted to forge myths of rebels who seek clarity despite the absurdity of bei~g in-the-world. Whereas Sartre called upon heroes to take action to make history, Camus believed one could not act without first having certain values--mainly a solidarity with other men. 1 Agnes Hiifner, Brecht in Frankreich 1930-1963: Ver breitung, Aufnahme, Wirkung (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlerischer, 1968), p. 47. 2 Ruby Cohn, Currents in Contemporarz Drama (Blooming itOn!; Indiana Univ. Press, 1969), pp. 246.


25 The actual political events in France and Brecht's theater contributed toward establishing political drama in France. Brecht viewed the theater as having an ideological purpose; its function was to transform society by showing the spectator that he could intervene in the historical process. Brecht experts writing articles for the review Theatre Populaire judged the French staging of a Brecht play negatively if it varied from the Berliner Ensemble model, or if it presented the political content in a banal commonplace way. The bourgeois critic Jean-Jacques Gautier, on the other hand, praised the type of staging which showed a tendency toward generalizing the political theme. 3 Whereas Vilar believed the function of the theater was to integrate the individual into the community, Gatti, more in line with the critics of Theatre Populaire, felt that the theater's purpose was to form critical spectators. As a playwright he, like Brecht, sought to "divide" the audience and did not believe a theater performance could create a unity which did not actually exist in the society. Through the efforts of the review Theatre Populaire (published from 1953 to 1964) Brecht's plays and theoretical works were discussed. The concept of epic theater as a system and method, and the idea that a social conflict is inseparable from its historical context, were established. 3 Hiifner, p. 115.


26 The critic Bernard Dort was mainly concerned with the social and historical approach as the style principle for the structure of Brecht's drama. 4 In his Lecture de Brecht (1960) he explored the structure of Brecht's work and sys tem and emphasized his conception of the world and man as realities which are changeable. He saw this as the newness of Brecht's drama in contrast to classical theater in which the world and man are shown as unchangeable. Oort's interest in the epic realism of Brecht's work was also a sign of an increasing interest in realism in French theater in the 1960s. Roland Barthes regarded Brecht's theater as Marxist theater constructed on the basis of dialectic and historical materialism. 5 Andre Gisselbrecht believed it illustrated that the class struggle prevented goodness by showing the connection and dependence of morals on the capitalistic economic system. He also thought Brecht pointed toward the reasoning that the only way out for the spectator is a revolutionary struggle founded on the know ledge of the laws of the society. In 1957 Roger Planchon was the first director to stage Arthur Adamov's Paolo Paoli 1 a social critical drama dealing with the First World War and the economic relationship 4 Hiifner, p. 57 cites Dort The~tre Populaire 11, 1955, p. 29. 5 Hiifner, pp. 134; 136-38.


27 between the individual and the society. In the same year he was the first director to stage Michael Vinaver's play Les Coreens; some critics considered this play to be the first attempt to create a French epic theater. Planchon was the only French director who was using the style of the Berliner Ensemble and the theories of Brecht as models for staging plays. 6 One of the first performances characterized by the Brecht supporters as being Brechtian was Planchon's Henry IV (1957); George Dandin and La Seconde Surprise de l'amour followed (1958-1959). For Planchon, realistic drama such as Shakespeare's, Calderon's or Moliere's required a Brechtian staging, that is one which rendered the social aspects of the drama prominent. In 1960 Planchon felt that one could not stage a play by Brecht without engaging oneself both politically and esthetically. In order to produce Brecht's plays, a certain degree of political engagement is necessary. It is for this reason that Brecht's plays were staged only at the TNP or in regional theaters. Whether the concept of popular theater was understood as political theater, as it was by Roger Planchon, Andre Gisselbrecht, Roland Barthes and Bernard Dort, or as "the&tre pour le peuple" which was not bourgeois theater, by Jean Daste, Jean Vilar and Alfred Simon, what was decisive for the success of Brecht in France was the 6 Hiifner, pp. 125; 192.


28 political view Brecht afforded and the readiness of some French critics, directors, and actors to follow his example. After 1961, however, Planchon did not include any more Brecht plays in his repertory. By the beginning of the 1960s the situation had changed concerning some French critics' attitudes toward Brecht. For the right, the polit ical engagement of Brecht no longer seemed so dangerous since his death in 1955. Some critics on the left, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Alfred Simon, and Michael Vinaver, reacted against copying Brecht. 7 Without denying Brecht's significance in their development, many playwrights wanted to establish their own criteria. Armand Gatti and Gabriel Cousin brought out their first plays at this time. Realism and politics are the main concepts which such new playwrights had in common with Brecht's theater. Brecht versus Theater of the Absurd Another aspect of Brecht's influence on the French theater which needs to be dealt with is the controversy between Brechtian theater and the theater of the absurd. There were a number of free-lance directors, working in Paris or for theater festivals in the provinces, who were staging plays by well-known, so-called absurd playwrights. Nicolas Bataille launched the theater of the absurd with his 7 Hiifner, p. 153.


29 production of Ionesco's La Cantatrice chauve (1950}. Subse quently Jacques Mauclair, with Victimes du deVoir (1953} and Les Chaises (1956}, helped to establish Ionesco in the theater. Jean-Marie Serreau staged Amedee ou conrrnent s 'en debarrasser (1954) and La et la faim (1966) of Ionesco. Roger Blin began his career with Artaud, then formed an association with Samuel Beckett. He produced Beckett's En attendant Godot (1953), Fin de partie (1957), La Derniere Bande (1960} for the TNP (Recarnier), and -Oh Les beau jours (1963} for Madeleine Renaud at the Theatre de France. He also produced Jean Genet's Les Negres in 1959. Absurd plays continued to be frequently staged during the 1960s particularly in private theaters and at the The&tre de France directed by Jean-Louis Barrault. During the 1960s innovative European theater was domina ted by two contending influences: the Brechtian (or epic) and the absurd. Ionesco, who called the Brechtians propa gandists distorting the truth in the interest of their poli ical cause, was pitted against Kenneth Tynan, Sartre, Adarnov, and the collaborators of the review Theater Popu laire. Left-wing playwrights and critics who were enthu siasts of Brecht attacked the works of Beckett and Ionesco, stating they neglected social issues. Martin Esslin believes this was a false controversy because, for him, drama is concerned with recreating human states of emotion that permit audiences to experience


30 emotions that would otherwise be denied to them. 8 He sees similarly powerful poetic metaphors of human emotion in Brecht's plays and in Beckett's plays. Mother Courage pulling her cart is a poetic image of human resilience and tenderness just as the barren tree with the waiting figures in Waiting for Godot is a poetic image of the emptiness of human existence. According to Esslin the politically and socially oriented playwrights simply concentrate their inten tions on external reality (political conditions, social problems) while the introspective poetic playwrights such as Beckett and Ionesco tend to favor an inner truth. The plays of Beckett and Ionesco are dreams which Esslin believes are as real to them and to the audience as external realities are to the Brechtians. Esslin thinks the two types of theater are really heading toward some sort of fusion. It is true that both Brechtian and absurd theater have brought a number of dramatic techniques into contemporary recognition and use. Andrew Fitch cites as authors working with elements which can be identified as epic or absurd Jean Genet (Les Paravents) Peter Weiss (Marat/Sade) and 9 Armand Gatti (particularly Auguste G.). Although there 8 Martin Esslin, An Anatomy of Drama (New York: Hill and Wang), 1977), pp. 116-18. 9 Andrew Fitch, "A Fusion Avant-Gard?" Drama Survey, 5,1 (Spring 1966), 55; 57-58.


31 is a mixture of elements from both styles in the plays cited, these elements are presented in conflict, as opposite sides of a debate or confrontation. For example in Les Paravents, political satire exists mainly as a backdrop and counterpoint to the themes of death, illusion, and the outcast's story. In Marat/Sade the only element of the absurd is the lunatic world against which takes place the debate between the individual and the collective. In Gatti's play, the death of the protagonist and the social conflict which causes it are not in apparent conflict. For this reason Fitch believes the play, like others by Gatti, may be the closest approximation of the absurd and the epic. Yet, when Gatti does use absurd techniques (music hall clowning, exaggeration, dream language) to explore the meaningfulness of human experience, he wants them to serve as episodic counterpoint to point up the essential political and histor ical nature of the play. Fitch concludes, therefore, that the combination of absurd and epic elements in the three plays discussed occurs in the form of tension, that is a counterpoint construction which actually points up an incongruity between the elements. According to him, no playwright can adhere to both absurd and epic theater, since they pose a fundamental choice on the philosophical and existential levels and illustrate irreconcilable differences.


32 Norman Holland also states there is a basic difference b t b d d h 10 e ween a sur an epic t eater. He maRes a distinction between the effect on the audience of both types of plays. To do so he differentiates the style of the 1930s from the one after the Second World War. He refers to the 1930s style as "modernique" and the postwar style as "postmodernique. 11 As defined by Holland, the 1930s style is characterized by traditional beliefs which were held with passion and convic tion, such as those aroused by the SP?.Lnish Civil War. The postwar style includes mass murders, sick comedians, abstract expression, politics concerning non-Western peoples, the UN and NATO, a decline in ideology in favor of a confrontation of specific crises such as the Korean war, the H-bomb, an unwillingness to commit oneself to any belief, and a quest for certitude in terms of internal states while confronting the incomprehensibility of the external world. Having established the difference between these two styles, Holland states that a playwright such as Ionesco in a meta-play (Holland's term) creates in us a deep sense of personal uncertainity about ourselves, an unclear relation of self to object (audience to the work); he then offers intellection as a self-defeating way of dealing with the lO Norman N. Holland, "Recent Drama Criticism: Bathtubs in the Nose," The Hudson Review, 17, 4 (Winter 1964), 622-23; 625-26.


33 miniature psychosis the play has caused. Brecht's style, according to Holland, is between the postwar style and the 1930s style of theater. Believing the right attitude toward any real, important phenomenon is a casual, contemp tuous one, since it is the only one which permits concen tration and alertness, Brecht calls for an attitude of criticism and demands acting that will enable the audience to draw abstract conclusions. In this way he is "post modernique." Yet to the exterit that he is a Marxist, his plays have both a social concern and a placing of events in historical space and time that does not occur in meta theater. Consequently his style can also be considered "modernique." Holland concludes that Brecht has taken the best of both the "modernique" style and the "postrnodernique" style by writing plays which are richer and more humane than Ionesco's. His plays involve a belief, and although Brecht confuses his audiences in a "postrnodernique" way, he offers belief as a solution to the conflicts of the play. Fitch bases his analysis of epic and absurd theater on structural elements in plays; Holland bases his on the reac tion of the spectator. Both critics recognize a social purpose in epic theater which is not present in absurd theater. In January 1968, however, Renee Saurel voiced discouragement concerning the fils de Brecht and the social purpose of popular theater when reviewing four plays being presented in suburban Parisian theaters: Adarnov's La Poli tique des restes (Theatre Gerard-Philipe at Saint-Denis);


34 Brecht's Les Visions de Simon Marchard (Theatre de la Commune at Aubervilliers) ;and La Neige au milieu de l 'ete and Le Voleur de femmes by Kuan-Han-Ching (Theatre de S t 11 ) d. t d b h,. 11 ar rouv1 e 1rec e y Patrice C ereau. One production denounced racism, one gave a cruel image of France under the Occupation, and the third showed man trapped in an iniquitous social order. Yet Saurel questioned how effective popular theater was when stating: On voudrait ~tre sfir que ce the&tre critique, historique, ne se limite pas au temps de la representation donnee au nom d'une "culture" en train de passer au stade industriel et, helas, aux mains des affairistes, qu'il en reste un ferment actif, un levain qui modifie le specta teur, si peu que ce soit, pour que celui-la a l'occasion, accepte le combat direct. Mais qui peut affirmer que tous ces mythes, ces fables, ce repertoire epique, didactique, que ce travail effectue par des hommes qui croient ace qu'ils font c'est le cas de Garran, de Valverde, de Chereau ne demeure lettre morte .12 Since in Gaullist France one was staging plays by Brecht, Gatti, and Adamov in state-supported theaters, it appeared to Saurel that the popular theater offered the government the opportunity to recuperate any contestation while giving the impression of being a very liberal admin istration. In the same article she concluded: 11 Renee Saurel, "Les Fils de Brecht et les fils d'Artaud," Les Temps Modernes, 260 (Jan. 1968), p. 1308. 12 Saurel, ~Les. Fils de Brecht," p. 1316.


35 Qu'on le nonune theatre populaire, ou politique, ou engage, ou de contestation, peu importe, ce qui apparait c'est que ce the8tre se debat entre les mailles d'un filet et que les hornrnes de bonne foi qui le pratiquent s'epuisent, et nous avec eux, a 13 ressasser les terrnes d'une tragique contradiction. The contradiction being that playwrights were attacking in their plays the very government which was financing their protests. Saurel judged that young directors such as Lavelli, Garcia, and Savary, who staged an irrational, magic kind of theater of ceremony or celebration in the line of Artaud and opposed to Brecht's conception of theater, were not experiencing a feeling of contradiction and powerless ness, as were directors such asChereau, Valverde, or Garran. It is not the purpose of this study to establish that one kind of theater in the 1960s was necessarily better than other kinds. In fact it was the variety of theater experi mentation in France, including "happenings" and controver sial interpretations of French classics, which made the decade exciting. A freedom of expression was common to many projects. In her book Off-Stage Voices, Bettina Knapp chooses a cross section of contemporary dramatists active in the 1960s and classifies them under the following headings: dramatists of the theater of the absurd (Robert Pinget, Fernando Arrabal, Jacques Borel); poetic and imagistic theater (Jean vauthier, Marguerite Duras, Roland Dubillard, 13 Saurel, ~Led~Fils de Brecht," p. 1318. /


36 Romain Weingarten, Nathalie Saurraute, Jean-Claude Carriere, Fran9ois Billetdoux, Liliane Atlan); socially-oriented dra matists (Armand Gatti, Georges Michel, Gabriel Cousin); humorous and farcical theater (Jeanine Worms, Rene de Obaldi, ) 14 Rezvan1. In addition, an interest in freely adapting Shakespeare's plays coincided with the attempt to create political theater in France. Brecht served as an example for such projects, since he freely adapted Shakespeare's Coriolanus and spoke of Elizabethan theater and Shakespeare in his theoretical works. Shakespeare and Brecht as Models Bernard Dort noted that Brecht simultaneously exalted Shakespeare and turned him into derision. 15 For Brecht Shakespeare was at the same time the most qualified, and therefore the most harmful, representative of what he called "old" theater. He was also the precursor of the new theater in which Brecht in the 1950s saw the necessary result of the epic form. While Brecht rejected the ideology of Shakespeare's tragic vision of the universe, he did accept the forms of 14 Bettina Knapp, Off-Stage Voices: Interviews with Modern French Dramatists, ed. Alba Arnoie (Troy, N.Y.: Whitson, 1975), p. 7. 15 Bernard Dort, "Brecht devant Shakespeare," Revue d'Histoire de The~tre, 1 (1965), pp. 73-74.


37 the Elizabethan theater which appeared to him to be an antic ipation of epic theater. 16 According to Dort, everything that was at hand could be included in Shakespeare's tragedy: everyday events, tales of crime, history, legends, politics and philosophy. Brecht also liked the fact that Shakespeare's plays were not only adaptations of earlier works, but they even contained in them whole fragments of former works. To Brecht they appeared to be constructed according to the basic technique of montage which permits including the heterogeneous elements present in epic literature. Brecht was also intrigued by Shakespeare's theater because it could be considered to be a product of collective work, a work which was never definitive since it was always open to revisions. Furthermore, Brecht noted in Shakespeare's plays V-effects: roles of women were played by men and the countryside was not imitated by decor but instead described by the poet in the middle of the action. In an article appearing in 1959 in Cite Panorama, a review published by the Theatre de la Cite at Villeurbanne, the reasons why Planchon's troupe found it particularly appropriate to stage Shakespeare's Henry IV were stated as follows: 16 Paree que le "temps dangereux" ou vecut Shakespeare n'est pas sans ressembler au notre. Dort, p. 70.


38 Paree que le theatre shakespearien., theatre de l'homme, sans distinction de race, de nation, de classe ou de culture, semble etre l'instrument ideal d'une experience de theatre populaire Paree que les "caracteres" n'y sont jamais traites pour eux-memes, mais toujours a travers de grandes collisions historiques, et que les destins indivi duels y sont toujours indissolublement lies au destin collectif. Paree que, ecrit pour un public populaire, compris par lui en son temps, le theatre shakespearien est 17 reste accessible au public populaire d'aujourd'hui. But Jean Jacquot in his article entitled "Vers un theatre du peuple" criticizes Planchon's interpretation of this play of Shakespeare by stating: Il parait ressortir de tout ceci qu'un animateur qui voudrait faire du the&tre un instrument de culture populaire, en montrant des pi~ces qui donnerit a pens er, qui approfondissent la conscience et developpent le sens des responsabilites, n'aurait qu'a laisser parler Shakespeare, et permettre a son oeuvre de s'organi~er sur la sc~ne selon la loi qui lui est propre. 1 Jacquot believes such plays contain self-evident universal values which do not need to be explained in a theater pro duction. Jacquot proceeds to state exactly which elements he does not like in Planchon's production. These innovations resemble Brechtian techniques. For example as a means to 17 "Pourquoi Henri IV?" Cite-Panorama, 4 (Apr. -May 1959) cited by Jean Jacquot in "Vers un theatre du peuple," Etudes Anglaises, 2 (Apr.-June 1969), p. 233. 18 Jacquot, p. 234.


39 break up and counteract the poetic effect of the text during a long monologue, Planchon has Henry IV stuff himself with food. He adds silent scenes which show the suffering, brutality, and humiliation endured by the soldiers and the masses. Jacquot finds the mute scenes acceptable, but he does not like the staging of the combat scene between prince Henry and Hotspurs where the partisans of the prince are shown to attack and kill Hotspurs. Nor does he like the scene showing the prince accomplishing "curious gymnastics" at the foot of a large crucifix in an inn, while expressing repentence at a place in the text which Jacquot believes 19 does not suggest such repentence. He also dislikes the idea of Falstaff being a spokesman for the people, the pro jection of commentaries on a screen during the changing of scenes, and the music used in fragments, superimposed or mixed with other noise, to characterize institutions and social groups. Brecht, however, encouraged such experimen tation as witnessed by his notes on Coriolanus. The English director Peter Brook who staged plays in France during the 1960s believes there is a need to find one's way "forward" to Shakespeare in the post-Brecht 20 theater. Since Shakespeare's theater allowed the playwright to move from the world of action to the world of 19 Jacquot, p. 235. 20 Peter Brook, The Empty Space (New York: Avon, 1969), p. 33.


40 inner impressions, Brook sees both Brecht and Beckett con tained in Shakespeare unreconciled. The spectator identi fies emotionally, subjectively--and yet can evaluate polit ically, objectively in relation to the society. In a state ment about the structural elements of Shakespeare's plays Brook concludes: Because the profound reaches past the everyday, a heightened language and a ritualistic use of rhythm brings us to those very aspects of life which the surface hides: and yet because the poet and the visionary do not seem like ordinary people, because the epic state is not one on which we normally dwell, it is equally possible for Shakespeare with a break in his rhythm, a twist into prose, a shift into slangy conversation or else a direct word from the audience to remind us in plain common senseof where we are and to return 2 ys to the familiar rough world of spades as spades. The element of "roughness" which Brook finds in Shake speare is also the theater which Brook characterizes as popular, a source which he believes continually revives the genre. Through the ages popular theater has taken many forms and the factor which they have in common is roughness. It is a theater close to the people which uses such elements as satire and grotesque caricature, asides, placards, topical references, local jokes, songs, dances, contrasts, exaggeration, false noses, stock types, and slapstick. 22 Brook sees this quality of roughness in the Elizabethan 21 Brook p 8 0 22 Brook, pp. 59-64.


41 theater and in the present-day English theater. He strongly believes that along with serious,cornmitted work there must be irresponsibility. He views the gaiety on which this theater feeds as the same energy that produces rebellion and opposition. The wish to change society and to get it to confront eternal hypocrises can be dealt with through such characters as Falstaff and Tartuffe, who-provide the author with a means to attack and criticize through laughter. In the early 1960s Roger Planchon's troupe pieced together a play which they entitled Les Trois Mousquetaires in the "rough" spirit that Brook defined in 1969. Dumas' novel was simply used as a framework. The authors and directors of that era, Brecht, Claudel, Vilar, Barrault and Planchon himself (particularly their styles of directing), were pitted against one another in a satiric manner. Fol lowing May 1968, Planchon's troupe staged "La Contestion et la Mise en Pieces de la plus illustre des tragedies fran9aises Le Cid de Pierre Corneille, suivie d'une "cruelle" mise a mort de l'Auteur dramatique et d'une distribution gracieuse de diverses conserves culturelles." In this collective work inspired by Planchon the problems of con temporary theater are parodied (Hair as well as Arrabal, Grotowski, and maisons de la culture). May 1968 is com memorated by a ballet with large black flags and red flags, and graffiti .. Renee Saurel commenting on the play describes


42 it as "la joyeuse mise au tombeau d'une epoque et la fin d'une grande illusion. 1123 The productions of Ariane Mnouchkine's Theatre du Soleil took a similar direction in the 1970s. In some respects, however, their research in popular theater seems to lack the vitality of opposition which Brook defines as "roughness." The troupe is not actually playing to a popular audience and their experimentation emphasizes a critical examination of the theater as theater more than a gaiety aimed at producing rebellion or effective social criticism. Brecht and the Actor One more aspect that should be discussed in relation to Brecht is the importance of the profession of acting in the 1960s and the 1970s. The new attention directed toward the actor in France is evidenced by Jean Duvignaud's L'Acteur: Esquisse d'une sociologie du comedien (1965}, and Odette Aslan' s L'Acteur au xx siecle: Evolution de la tech nique I probleme d I ethique ( 19 7 4) Duvignaud thinks the actor represents all the possibil ities of an era and of a society. 24 According to him, the 23 Renee Saurel, "Avec Gignoux, Planchon et Retore." Les Temps Modernes, 282 (Jan. 1970}, p. 1120. 24 Jean Duvignaud, L'Acteur: Esquisse d'une sociologie du comedien (Paris: Gallimard, 1974), p. 169.


43 actor in our times has a new social role. He has been elevated to the level of a creator, since he is not only an interpretor but also an inventor who creates the forms of live participation. This trend is associated with the liberation of the theater through new techniques and the appearance of new audiences. An actor in the theater or in films is often a metteur scene, and his being an actor has an influence on how dramatic works will be interpreted. Although he is seldom an author, he sometimes participates in collective writing and does assume most of the other activities involved in the practice of theater. In the comtemporary society the actor has also taken on the symbols of politics and engagement. Odette Aslan, basing most of her remarks on Brecht's theoretical works Schriften zurn Theater (Writings on Theater), defines a committed and politically engaged actor as a Brechtian actor who is part of a theater group having l 1 b" t 25 h f d" 11th a poi ica o Jee ive. He t ere ore stu ies a e aspects of the proposed situation in a play by interrogating himself and formulating his objections. To create the dis tanciation needed to discover the various aspects of a role., roles are not distributed in function of the physical aspects of the actors, during rehearsals actors exchange roles, and sometimes roles are ridiculed by comic actors. This 25 Odette Aslan, L'Acteur au XX siecle: Evolutioh de la technique, probleme d'~thique (Paris: Seghers, 1974), p. 162.


44 distanciation is related to the actor's intention to make society better by inciting the spectator to take part in the struggle to stop the inequality of different classes. The actor wants to show the spectator the alternatives which are open to the character. Besides what one decides to do, there also exists what one has decided not to do. Referring to the techniques used by actors to struc ture a play's staging, Aslan states that each scene exists in itself, although the actor indicates at all times a relationship with the final scene. 26 The insertion of pro jections on screens, the intrusion of music, and bright lights work to break up the continuity of the acting. The actor passes from prose to verse and from speaking to sing ing, with the songs being a part of the antiillusionist interruptions in the spectacle. Gestures are selected which express the global attitude of the social character istic illustrated in the play. This gestus is the mimed expression of the social relationships which are establisred between men of a certain period. The spoken text of the actor is broken down in function of the gestus. Beyond the sense of each phrase, the actor works to put into light the fundamental gestus. These. gestures can be brusk, syncopated or contradictory. The d~cor, costumes, accessories, and everything which constitutes the mise en scene should work to facilitate the actor's actions. 26 Aslan, pp. 171; 299.


45 Aslan considers Roger Planchon and Giogio Strehler to be directors influenced by Brecht's idea of distancia tion and a desire to politicize the spectacle by establish ing a link between what is happening on the stage and what is taking place in the actual world. It should be remem bered, however, that Aslan summarizes Brecht's theories abcut acting; in practice various directors and theater groups interpret Brecht's theories in different ways.


CHAPTER III POLITICAL THOUGHT Cultural Revolution As early as 1916 ideas such as cogestion, workers' councils, and cultural revolution were being discussed in Italy. Antonio Gramsci, a revolutionary socialist, defined then what many theater activists and Brechtian critics in France in the 1960s advocated as the purpose of culture in relation to popular theater. For Gramsci culture has noth1 ing to do with a university degree. Rather than formalized education, it is a disciplining of one's inner self to come to terms with one's own personality. Culture is the attainment of a higher awareness with which one succeeds in understanding one's own historical value, function in life, rights and obligations. According to Gramsci, however, it is only by degrees that humanity acquires this consciousness of its own value, and wins for itself the right to throw off the patterns of organization imposed on it by minorities at previous periods in history. This consciousness is formed 1 Antonio Gramsci, "Socialism and Culture," Il Grido del Popolo, 29 January 1916, in Antonio Gramsci: Selections from Political Writings 1910-1929, trans. John Mathews (New ~ork: International Publisher, 1977), pp. 12-13. 46


47 as a result of intelligent reflection.,.._ at first by just a few people and later by a whole class -on why certain con ditions exist and how best to convert the facts of oppres sion into rebellion and social change. This means that every revolution is preceded by an intense period of criticism, and the diffusion of culture and ideas among masses of men. Gramsci cites as an example the French Revolution. The Enlightenment (the preceding cultural period) was a revolution in itself. It gave Europe a unified bourgeois consciousness, one which was sensitive to the misfortunes of the common people and which prepared the way for the revolt that followed in France. Napoleon's armies found their road already prepared by books and pam phlets that had come out of Paris in the first half of the eighteenth century. After the French events had created a unified consciousness, a demonstration in Paris was enough to provoke similar disturbances in Milan, Vienna, and smaller cities in France, Germany, and Italy. Gramsci saw the same phenomenon occurring in 1916 in the case of socialism. It was through a critical view of capitalist civilization that the unified consciousness of the proletariat was being formed. This critical view implied Grarnsci's definition of culture, that is a consciousness of a self which is opposed to others, which is differentiated, and which can judge facts and events in so far as they tend to drive history forward or backward in terms of social


48 progress. Thus, Gramsci's view of the purpose of culture connotes political involvement. In 1922 in Russia, new literary groups sprang up propa gating ideas in manifestos and pamphlets which proclaimed freedom from the previous culture. 2 Such groups as the agit prop (agitation and propaganda), the Proletcult (proletarian culture), the Constructivists, the peasant writers, and the Formalists prepared the way for a critical view of the existing society. The Russian Futurists established them selves in the Commissariat for Popular Education and suc ceeded for a time in controlling cultural life. Mayakovsky traveled throughout the country reading poetry in factories. His Mystery-Bouffe (1918) written for popular festivals is a mixture of heroic deeds and aggressive buffoonery. It was staged by Meyerhold on the first anniversary of the Revo lution. Written just ten years after the Revolution, Mayakovsky's last works express hatred of the new class of Communist elite. His satires The Bedbug (1928) and The Bath (1929) illustrate a Stalinist bureaucracy. Toward the end of the 1920s the favorable conditions which had made possible the creative development of art in the Soviet Union were wiped out. Mayakovsky committed sui cide in 1930. In 1932 all artists'. groups formed during the 2 Jurgen Ruhle, Literature and Revolu.ti'on: A Critical Study of the Writer and Communism in the Twentieth century, trans. Jean Steinberg (.New York: Frederick A. Prager, 1969), pp. 3; 5; 14; 18.


49 Revolution were disbanded and reformed into a single league of Soviet writers. In the transition from the revolutionary to the totalitarian phase in Soviet cultural policy men like Meyerhold were murdered. Under Stalin, socialist realism became the guiding principle of Soviet cultural policy. The term "socialist realism" was first used by Maxim Gorky who had in mind a vague combination of realism and 1 t . 3 socia is romanticism. Using Gorky's name, Zhdanov, Stalin's cultural ideologist, speaking at the First Writers' Congress decreed that socialist realism was to become the official art doctrine. The concept remained unclear although bureaucrats and ideologists see it as a combination of a few basic principles such as "party-mindedness," "folkminded ness,~ optimism, and positive heroes. Socialist realism is actually a political category growing out of a totalitarian system. It is primarily used as an instrument of mass per suasion and psychological intimidation. Although the power of persuasion inherent in art makes the Communists want to control culture, a socialist realism which seeks to repre sent reality not as it is but as it ought to be destroys the power of art. The totalitarian attempt to control art is not derived from Marxist theory. According to the Marxist concept of art as superstructure, the economic base (which includes the geographic base, social milieu, and race) does not influence 3 Ruhle, pp. 78-79.


50 ideology-particularly more remote spheres like art and literature--directly or deterministically, but instead through a variety of factors. 4 Tradition, individuality, and social change play some part. Ideology in turn influ ences the economic base and helps shape economic and his torical processes. Art stands in an extremely complicated and contradictory relationship to the social base and to politics and can never be completely understood sociolog ically or determined. Moreover every work of art contains personal and aesthetic aspects which have nothing to do with social history. In their fight for the liberation of art, Communist writers such as Kolakowski, Lukacs, and Garaudy take refuge in Marx. In doing so they contradict the Leninist social concept which is totalitarian and con tinues to serve as the guideline in the the Soviet Union. In Germany after the First World War it became apparent that Expressionism was not merely a revolt against existing art forms. The destruction of existing forms indicated the destruction of the existing social order. 5 The intellec tual revolution preceded the political revolution. Expres sionists such as Kurt Eisner, Ernst Toller,WalterHasenclever andBertoltBrecht were also members of the Independent Social Democratic Party. They helped set up revolutionary 4 Ruhle, pp. 131-32; 135-38. 5 Ruhle, pp. 147-49.


51 governments and sat on workers' councils. With the decline of the revolutionary wave, the Independent Social Democratic Party disbanded; its left wing went over to the Communist Party in 1920 and its right wing returned to the Social Dem ocratic Party in 1922. In 1923 a new trend evolved called "New Objectivism." It included topical novels and journal istic reportage, epic and documentary plays, reviews,popu lar songs, and jazz. Its aim was to have literature look at the world objectively and realistically, in order to form a critical view of the world. In 1942 Mao Tse-tung, a founding member of the Commun ist Party in China, summoned the left~wing writers to a conference in Communist-held Yenan Province and proposed Lu Hsin as a model to follow. 6 Mao asked writers to break with the classical literary tradition by writing in the language of the workers, peasants, and soldiers. Hu Feng, a Communist since the 1920s and a close friend of Lu Hsin, was regarded as China's leading Marxist literary critic. Like Lu Hsin, he was involved in constant arguments with the Party bureaucrats. After Stalin's death he launched an attack on Communist cultural policy which demanded that a revolutionary writer adhere to Communist ideology, develop an understanding of the lives of workers, peasants and soldiers, follow the Party line, and confine himself to 6 Ruhle, pp. 410; 420; 431.


52 officially approved themes. In July 1954 Hu Feng submitted his program for liberalization directly to the Central Committee. In the spring of the following year, all the cul tural groups of the Chinese People's Republic passed reso lutions denouncing Hu Feng's heresy. He subsequently was arrested and tried. Between 1966 and 1968 took place the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which dominated events in China for a decade. It was Mao's third purge of intellectuals and its stated goal was the eradication of the four evils: old ideas, old culture, old morality, and old customs. When Mao perceived a_ growing hierarchization of administrative and political structures threatening to reintroduce forms of privilege and discrimination which had been associated with capitalism, he used the concept of cultural revolution to engage the Chinese people in a political struggle to combat this hierarchization. The Cultural Revolution in China stressed the importance of ideas and of understanding every activity in terms of the class struggle. An essential prin ciple was to combat the division between mental and manual labor to enable the masses to participate directly in the ideological str~ggle. The excesses of the Cultural Revolu tion in China turned the campaign into a personality cult around Mao. In France during the 1960s it was the linking of the importance of the personal struggle, particularly in the ideological field, with a commitment to the Third World that.


53 made Maoism an appropriate form for the expression of hatred of the consumer society with links to underdeveloped countries and markets. 7 Jean-Luc Godard was attracted to Maoism because it did not dictate in advance the form of films that must be made. It insisted that this was an open question which, as in other areas of ideological struggle, must be solved by a combination of practical experiment and theoretical reflection. Godard's commitment to Maoism was to wane after 1972 but between 1967 and 1972 he worked on films with Maoist students. He first came in contact with them while filming La Chinoise (1967). He collaborated with Jean-Pierre Gorin, a young French Maoist, on the last four Dziga-Vertov films: Vent d'est (1970), Lotte in Italia (1970), Valdimir et Rosa (1970), and the unfinished Jusqu 'a. la vic toire (1970), as well as on the films Tout va bien (1972) and Letter to Jane (1972). 8 The New Left The new left in the West in the 1960s introduced a new era moved by new impulses and ideas. The Bolsheviks had 7 Colin Maccabe, Godard: Images, Sounds, Politics (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1980), p. 58. 8 The Vertov group was named after the Soviet film maker Dziga Vertov. In the 1920s he insisted that the main concern then was the current state of the class struggle. He also emphasized the importance of montage before shooting films. Godard formed the Vertov Group with French Maoist students in the late 1960s.


54 failed to grasp the necessity for the revolutionary process to be accompanied by a "reform of consciousness," such as the young Marx and subsequently Gramsci had called for, by which the proletariat would become intellectually and emo9 tionally emancipated from the existing system. The struggle against political and economic power carried on by radi cal minorities only becomes revolutionary when accompanied by a struggle for a reform of consciousness within the masses. Herein lies the relevance of the cultural Marxists of the 1920s and 1930s for the new left in the 1960s. The former most clearly understood the necessity of overcoming the dichotomy between the personal and the political. According to these cultural revolutionaries the critical economic consciousness of Marxism --its grasp of the dynamics of social and historical life-had to be fused with a comprehension of the factors underlying everyday life and the forces conditioning the psychic development of the individual personality. Such a broadened perspective would restore the problems of the individual to a central position alongside those of the collectivity, and would facilitate the control of individuals over their everyday lives without external constraints. 9 Bruce Brown, Marx, Freud, and the Critique of Every day Life: Toward a Permanent cultural Revolution (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1973), pp. 15-16, 22-29.


55 In France between the two World Wars the surrealists sought a method of cultural revolution based on a new con ception of human possibilities and aimed at unlocking physical and psychological barriers between the conscious and the unconscious, the inner world and the outer world, so as to create a sur-realite in which the real and the imag inary would fuse and dominate life. The existing social, scientific, and philosophical values were to be radically transformed through the liberation of the unconscious. In Central Europe, Wilhelm Reich was investigating a new cul tural revolution project based on the idea that forms of class domination imposed on the masses by repressive society were related to a parallel process of psychological and sexual repression imposed on individuals during socializa tion within the patriarchal family. What both Reich and the surrealists were attempting to do in their reformulations of revolutionary thought, Reich through a synthesis of Freud and Marx and the surrealists through a less systematic unification of politics, psycho logy, and art, was to develop a new definition of radical politics which would overcome the insufficiency of Marxism. They were among the first to recognize the revolutionary potential contained within the crisis of everyday life as it was beginning to be revealed in the 1920s by the breakdown of the patriarchal family, of traditional sexual morality, and of old cultural patterns. The emergence of struggles on


.. 56 the part of women and youth for greater independence and in search of new life-styles evidenced this change. After having been neglected for decades, the original cultural revolutionary project emerged throughout the indus trial West during the 1960s as a "new" left. From the per spective of the new left it appears that the antiauthori tarian student movement, the youth culture, the revolts of minorities within the industrial countries, and the move ment for female and sexual liberation constitute potentially revolutionary responses to capitalist exploitation and oppression. Of fundamental importance to the new leftists are the claims of the individual against the power of a bureaucratic administrative apparatus which has fragmented all social activity. To the socio-economic critique of capitalism begun by Marx, Freud's psychoanalysis added an attack on the tradi tional values of bourgeois society and its institutions and the realities of socio-economic and psycho-sexual repression. It offered a means of liberation to attack inherited ideals, myths, and moral patterns, and provided the basis for a new practice of individual self-enlightenment and creation. Not until around 1955 did the links between psychoanalysis and Marxism become once again explicit and the discussion of the original Freudian Marxist themes of theorists like Reich, Fromm, and Horkheimer take place in the works of Herbert Marcuse and younger writers such as Jurgen Habermas and Reimut Reiche.


.. 57 The perspective of Wilhelm Reich and others found its most important postwar voice in the French review Socialisme ou Barbarie. The new left's interest in the ideas of the 1930s updated to our time includes the impact of automation and cybernation, which transform the relations between worker and machine and the nature of administration and knowledge of production; the growth of cities and the urban ization of the countryside; the disappearance of the peasant or the independent farmer class in the industrial countries; and the radicalization of the peasantry in the Third World. Along with these processes accompanying the transition from competitive capitalism into state capitalism there is a second revolution in the sphere of everyday life. 1 Charac teristics of this transformation are the dissolution of the patriarchal family, the emancipation of youth and women, the liberation of sexuality, increased leisure, consumption, and the education of the proletarian masses. An important element for the new left in this trans formation of society is the idea of a fragmented struggle. Reich formulated in the 1930s that class contradiction f 1 1 1 d' tl 11 expresses itsel in actua c ass strugg e in irec y. Revolutionary struggle is diffuse as well as specifically directed. It is expressed throughout the various cultural spheres and institutional contexts in specific conflicts 10 Brown, pp. 149-50; 178-79. 11 Brown, pp. 135-36; 143.


58 and transformations of individuals rather than in a direct opposition of capital and labor. Therefore, the struggle of the proletarians to liberate themselves effectively from class domination requires not only an assault on the power of capital but also a concept and practice of cultural rev olution and psychological self-liberation. Political work is seen as necessarily going beyond propagandistic criti cism of existing society to take on a constructive aspect. It is sought to cause a coming-to-consciousness within different groups through a process of confronting different concrete problems in the interests of a struggle for the self-organization of different aspects of daily life. According to the new leftists, in the face of world wide organization of repression, the reemergence of opposi tion has had to begin with a return to the basic reassertion of differentiation -~that is, the contestation launched out side of the established "apparatus" and conducted in the name of racial, cultural, linguistic, and sexual particu larism.12 Therefore the developmentsof revolutionary move ments, both in the Third World and among the colonized minorities of the metropolitan countries, are fought in the name of national independence and ethnic solidarity, and not proletarian internationalism. The politicization of youth and women and blacks in the industrial West has taken 12 Brown, pp. 192; 196-97.


59 place through a process of refusing pseudouniversal ideol ogies in the name of revolutionary particularism. From the new leftists' point of view we no longer have a generalized conception of a civilization capable of inspiring a unified individual to revolt. Instead, we have a many-sided revolu tionary praxis, carried on simultaneously at every level and consisting of a multiplicity of projects, each creating new institutions, new identities, and new organs of direct democracy. What was called cultural revolution in the 1960s was the reinvigoration of the endeavors launched by past gener ations of revolutionaries. New problems posed by the con temporary world crisis were taken up by the struggles asso ciated with the idea of a new left and posed by it on a level which was largely limited to the aesthetic or imag inary realm. These included reappropriating the integrity of our individual and social dimensions through the release of suppressed creative needs and passions by the liberation of language, and the reassertion of the modes of communica tion which have been suppressed. At the height of the new left movement's initial burst of enthusiasm during the late 1960s, it had seemed that cultural and political radicalism could be united in the same effort. In the aftermath of repression and disappointed hope, however, disillusionment set in and this unity was broken~ leaving the political radicals with their ideo logical slog~ns and organizations, and the cultural


60 revolutionaries convinced that organized work was a waste of time. The disagreement and disappointment concerning the relationship between culture and politics were particu larly visible in what happened to the popular theater move ment in France. Class Struggle, Structure, Ideology In the French context Louis Althusser, a member of the Communist Party, renewed interest in Marx by applying a structuralist approach to Marxist theories and to literary criticism. Among other works he published "Comment lire 'Le Capital'" (1965}, Pour Marx (1966}, and Lenine et la philosophie (1969} in the 1960s. Althusser considers The Capital (Marx' critique of capitalist economy and the basis for scientific socialism published in 1867} to still be relevant, since it illu strates the mechanism of bourgeois exploitation of the pro letariat through increases in the hours of work, intensifi cation of productivity and the cadence of work, decreases 13 in salary, and unemployment. He believes The Capital makes it possible for workers, salaried employees, managers, and some intellectual "workers" such as teachers, research ers, engineers, technicians, doctors, architects, and 13 Louis Althusser, "Comment lire 'Le Capital'," in Positions (1964-1975} (Paris: Editions Sociales, 1975}, p. 158.


61 students to understand the mechanisms of capitalist society in order to orient themselves in the class struggle. Updating Marx' ideas, Althusser states that capitalism functions without massacres in metropolitan countries, but in practice its methods of massacres and robbing is trans ferred to the Third World: Latin America, Africa, Asiawith a most recent example being seen in the massacres by Americans in Vietnam. 14 He considers the case in Vietnam to mark a different phase, however, since people have learned to organize and defend themselves. Althusser, as a Western Marxist, developed the ideas of Mao Tse-tung by theorizing about the importance of cultural struggle. In an essay entitled "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" (1971) he states that it is not a ques tion of opposing truth to ideology, but rather a question of analyzing particular ideological struggles; that is, the function of any particular system of representations. 15 These systems of representations are not simply a matter of ideas; they are systems of particular practices which produce them. These practices are organized on a political basis that has to be recognized and struggled against. In the analysis of classical Marxist-Leninist theory, it was traditional to consider that the state possessed 14 Althusser, "Comment lire,'' pp. 50; 55; 58. 15 Maccabe, p. 65.


62 a number of repressive apparatuses (the police, the army) to maintain the control of the dominant class. Althusser's originality was to postulate that ideological state appara tuses maintained the dominance of the ruling class through noncoercive means by producing subjects willing to repro duce the relations of production. He considered the two most important state apparatuses in the cultural struggle to be education and the family. Viewed by Althusser, the Marxist totality is a complex unity of separate and specific levels which may be relatively autonomous of each other within a given historical social formation. The essential point is that the Marxist totality is not to be understood as a simple dialectic of essence (the economic base) versus the phenomena (the super structure) where the latter is reducible to the former, but as a complex internally structured totality of various layers and levels interrelated in all sorts of relations of d . 16 eterm1nat1on. The totality is asymmetrical and may be dominated by one of its elements. Althusser's interpretation of history illustrates well his concept of the Marxist totality. According to him, history can be given content only by defining historical time as a specific form of existence of a social totality with structural levels of different temporalities in 16 Miriam Glucksmann, Structuralist Analysis in Contem porary Social Thought: A -Comparison of the Theories of Claude L~vi-Strauss and Louis Althusser (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul), 1974), p. 107.


63 relations of correspondence and noncorrespondence. 17 Different levels of the totality are considered to have their own time-scale related to their relative autonomy. These levels may be related to each other in different ways at different moments. The relationship between one social for mation and the one that follows it is to be understood in terms of displacement rather than as the gradual unfolding of an innate development. Each element has its own history and time-scale and the resultant structure must be viewed as a more or less conjunctural unity of different and separate histories. There is no general time base or general concep tion of time which can comprehend this structural history. Althusser thus introduces a flexible analysis of the social formation which conceives of different types of internal relationships between its elements. From a Marxist point of view he continues Lenin and Gramsci's critique of academicism and determinism, and elaborates an understanding of the relationship between theoretical and political practice. Althusser believes that theory is pa~t of the struc ture of forces that men can use politically to change the world in a revolutionary way. This relationship between theoretical and political practice can be illustrated by discussing his.article on materialist theater which includes a structuralist analysis of Brecht's use of distancing 17 Glucksmann, p. 109.


64 18 effects. In this article Althusser speaks of a latent asymmetrical-critical structure in Brecht's plays Mother Courage and Galileo. The dynamic force of this latent structure, which consists of the coexistence without any explicit relation of a dialectical temporality and a non dialectical temporality, is the basis for a critique of the illusions of consciousness. In Mother Courage, the war is opposed to the personal tragedies of her blindness; in Galileo, history is slower than consc~ousness impatient for the truth. The silent confrontation of a consciousness with a reality which is indifferent makes possible a critique of the illusions of consciousness. According to Althusser, it is not the dialogue of the play which produces this critique, but the internal balances and imbalances of forces between the elements of the play's structure. Althusser thinks consciousness does not accede to reality through its own internal development, but through the discovery of what is other than itself. 19 For this reason be believes Brecht overcame a problematic aspect of the classical theater when he excluded any pretentions to self-recovery and self-representation in the consciousness of self in a hero. Classical theater was inclined to 18 Louis Althusser, "Le Piccolo Bertolazzi et Brecht: notes sur un theatre materialiste," in Pour Marx (Paris: Maspero, 1965}, p. 142, 145-48. 19 Althusser, Pour Marx, p. 144.


65 represent itself and recognize itself in an uncritical theater whose ideological material presupposed the formal conditions for an aesthetic of the consciousness of self as an identification with the hero. The themes of the classi cal theater (politics, morality, religion, honor, glory, passion) are ideological themes. This uncriticized ideology is, in fact, the myths in which a society can recognize itself, and the mirror it must break if it is to know itself. Brecht's principal aim is to produce a critique of the t d 1 wh1. ch men 11. ve 2 O Th d f spon aneous 1. eo ogy 1.n e ynam1.c orce of the latent structure in Brecht's plays results from the relationship existing between the consciousness of self alienated in spontaneous ideology (mother Courage and her sons) and the real conditions of their existence (war, society). This relationship can only be acted and repre sented as characters, with their gestures, acts, and story working as structural elements in a play. According to Althusser, the distance achieved by the structure of Brecht's great plays .is simply an active and living critique. 21 The play is actually the development and the production of a new consciousness in the spectator, who after the end of the performance starts to act and complete the play in real life. 20 Althusser, Pour Marx, p. 145. 21 Althusser, Pour Marx, p. 151.


66 In the 1960s the rise of structuralism was the distin guishing feature in philosophy and methodology. "Struc turalism" does not designate a philosophical thesis, but points to the use of the notion of a structure as a tool, a method, or an explanatory category. The term "structure" was taken from linguistics and mathematics. The important impact of linguistics on philosophy occurred in conjunction with the rise in structuralism. Attention was directed toward language as a structure and as the production of knowledge. Jacques Lacan, who bases his work on a reinterpretation of Freud, first published some of his famous seminars in a large volume entitled Ecrits. (1966). Lacan thinks the uncon scious is structured and its structures manifest themselves in its "language" (dreams, slips of the tongue, jokes). These structures, he believes, must be interpreted according to the techniques of modern linguistics. A quotation from his lecture "De la jouissance" illustrates how he relates the structure of language and the expression of sex. Tout ce qui s'est articule de l'etre suppose qu'on puisse se refuser au predicat et dire l'homme est par exemple sans dire quoi. Ce qu'il en est de l'etre est etroitement relie a cette section du predicat. Des lors, rien ne peut en etre dit sinon par des detours en impasse, des demonstrations d'impossi bilite logique, par ou aucun predicat ne suffit. Ce qui est de l'~tre, d'un ~tre qui se poserait comme absolu, n'est jamais que la fracture, la cassure,


67 l'interruption de la formule ~tre sexue en tant que l'~tre sexue est interesse dansla Jouissance.22 Claude Levi-Strauss uses linguistics and its structural method to account for various systems of marriage and kin ship; he asserts there is a close analogy between language structures and kinship relations. In his Le Cruet le cuit (1964), his sequence on mythologies, he researches the structure of myths. Believing in the invariability of mental structure, he concentrates on synchronic descriptions and explanations. Opposition to the structuralists has come from Marxists like Henri Lefebvre who stress the importance of the indivi dual in a diachronic, linear view of history. During the 1960s Lefebvre analyzed the concept of ideologies and how they function in relation to culture. In his Le Langage et la societe (1966) he gives the following definition of an ideology: Une ideologie comprend toujours que son agent d'elaboration ou d'utilisation soit un groupe, une classe ou une nation plusieurs aspects: repre sentation de soi pour soi, representation de soi pour les autres. Plusieurs images s'entrecroisent: image du monde, image de la societe, image de l'homme. Et cela travers ~uelque chose de partiel (qui se veut total) et de partiel (que se dit vrai): l'id~ol ogie. Avec une tendance la coh~rence, et m~me 22 Jacques Lacan, Le S'eminaire de Jacques Lacan, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller (Paris: Seuil, 1975), p. 16.


68 la systematisation, ce qui n'exclut n~s les con tradictions, voire les incoherences. 2 From the viewpoint of sociology, Lefebvre believes ideolo gies are essential elements of cultures and civilizations. Yet, in his L'Ideologie structuraliste (1971), he views structuralist ideology as being the harmful ideology of those in power between 1960 and 1970. 24 In his opinion the approach of the structuralists neglected real processes and real problems in the society. Although the intelligentsia in France are on the left, it is often the right which filters the ideas of the left to adopt them to the existing social relations. In the case of structuralist thought Lefebvre views the retreat of intel lectual thought towards the archeology of social sciences, that is the return to primitive cultures, as a means of escaping the present by finding the actual time in the archaic. By doing this, intellectuals indirectly disavowed the aspirations of the Third World. Lefebvre also thinks the attempts to try and "structure" the modern society by such means as the coupure epistemologique and other mental concepts worked to conserve the established order. Concern ing many structuralists preoccupations with language 23 f b Henri Lee vre, Le Lar~gag,e et la Societe (Paris: Gallimard, 1966), p. 321. 24 Henri Lefebvre, L'Tdeoiogie structuraliste (Paris: Anthropos, 1971, pp. 10-11.


69 Lefebvre notes: Effectivement, des que nous y pensons, le fait d'etre pris dans un systeme a la fois opaque et translucide, le langage, et de ne pas pouvoir en sortir, n'est-il pas angoissant? Il ya un system~,ou le Systeme. Sous le langage, un abime, une beance. La-dessus l'horizon desert. Le langage n'a pas de referentiel. Il ne renvoie a rien d'autre, ni au reel, ni a l'homme, ni a l'oeuvre ou a telle o 2 ~vre, ni au quotidien ou bien au non-quotidien. He also does not like the premise of proposing a model, a mental construction, be it methodological or epistemological, which is supposed to eliminate from the actual world many illusions and appearances as well as the individual, the subject as discourse. Such action affirms the identity of that which is real and intelligible to be in the system. From a mental concept one jumps to a social reality and to a normalization of this reality. In his Au-dela du structuralism (1971) Lefebvre gives a long, excellent description of his interpretation of the evolution of the bourgeois class in relation to its ideol ogy.26 Leftist writers in France view bourgeois ideology as the dominant ideology in French society. Since much of the contestation of the left is directed against the bourgeois class and the idea leftists have of bourgeois ideology, it 25 Lefebvre, L'Ideologie structuraliste, pp. 71-72. 26 Henri Lefebvre, Au-dela du structuralism (Paris: Anthropos, 1971, pp. 170-92.


70 is important to summarize some of Lefebvre's main conclu sions. According to him, the old style of the bourgeoisie which created its own world within the home and the family no longer exists. The bourgeoisie was forced to enlarge its horizons to the whole world in order to reaffirm its position. society. In doing so, it imposed its own norms on French The moral tradition of the bourgeoisie continues to propose the family as the norm and model of social life. The family is the source of virtues, values, regular behav ior and regulating behavior. But in order to adapt to modern conditions, the bourgeoisie accommodated itself with immorality. Crimes, adulterous love, and homosexuality were reduced to aberrations of bourgeois moral attitudes. In this way the bourgeoisie succeeded in gaining a large segment of the society to accept its ideology. Conse quently its moral tradition could be used as an ideological instrument. The bourgeoisie's fear began in 1918, and continued in 1936 (The Popular Front), in 1945 (the Liberation), and in 1958. Each time the bourgeoisie succeeded, in the name of morals and esthetics, in neutralizing and capturing the surge of revolutionary ideas, and in adapting to the new era. The bourgeoisie continually installed and imposed its moral order after each revolutionary period. The con cept of this moral order is both ethical and political. Through the moral order, the political power imposes a social order which suits it. It permits various moral


71 attitudes to exist on the condition that they do not serve the opposition. This moral order contains in it the nega tion of morality under the guise of official public morals. In this way an ideology in which no one believes evolved into official virtues which emphasize the "values" of inte.:.. gration and adaptation, and regulate behavior on a global scale in the society. This ideology, which presents modes and patterns of behavior rather than symbolic images 1 is described by Lefebvre in the following way: Cette ideologie comporte une part d'utopie, mais une utopie tres particuliere: la conservation de l'existant et de la stabilite consideree comme indefiniment possible et comme infiniment sou haitable Il enveloppe une apologie du normal et du sain, par opposition au malsain et a ranormal, avec des techniques et recettes pour obtenir la moralite sociale et individuelle. On l'obtient par l'adaptation et l'integration, par l'adoption de conduites regulatrices, par l'acception des "modeles" et patterns. Plusieurs mythes consacrent les conditions de la stabilite: comme dans l'Etat existant, plenitude de la personnalite des chefs, serenite des responsables~ aptitude des competents1 souverainete des experts. 7 Lefebvre changes around the structuralists' idea of the end of history and gives it a different meaning. 28 For him the end of history as appearance and as a philosophy which justifies the legitimacy of the appearance of the bourgeoisie 27 Lefebvre, Au ... dela du structuralisme,p. 175. 28 Andre Vachet,"De-la fin de l'histoire a l'analyse differentielle La Revolution urbaine (les derniers ouv rages d'Henri Lefebvre)," Dialogue, 11, 3 (Sept. 1972), 403.


72 permits the revelation of "being." In this instance imagination, chance, and the unforeseen are restored as an opening toward the unlimited possibilities of man to act upon himself and nature. Lefebvre means here especially the interpretation of history as a cultural or political (ideological) system. The problem of "getting out" of history, or the domi nant ideology's idea of history, and of inverting the con stituted system should be dealt with by an urban revolution. It is the urban section which will perhaps make it possible for a new humanism to succeed the death of man achieved by the industrial society and its bureaucratic society of con29 sumers. As defined by Lefebvre, the urban revolution implies a reversing or transforming of all social structures and relations in the society, and the destruction of power. The urban revolution will destroy obstacles which reduce differences to particularities and which mask the different ways of living in an urban society. In many respects Lefebvre's ideas coincide with those of the new left. According to him the idea of liberal pluralism focuses attention on particularities, not dif ferences. In this way it reflects them as being unimportant in relation to the homogenity, should such particularities present a menace to the continuation of the order, 29 vachet, pp. 414-18.


73 politics, and values of the established system. 30 Thus the idea of pluralism can take the form of repression and impe-rialism. The principle of difference, however, is a means of choosing resistance as an alternative. It intro duces the unlimited aspect of what is possible and makes possible the reversal of the established order. For this reason differential thought, as opposed to pluralistic, is naturally revolutionary. Politically this means auto-gestion, beginning from production, and the disappearance of the state. This auto-gestion signifies that ultimately the urban revolution and concrete democracy develop at the same time. It also entails a radical critique of ideologies, specialized sciences, and specialized politics. To fill the gap between intellectual theory and social praxis Lefebvre introduces the term transduction. 31 Trans duction means the elaboration of a theoretical object, a possible object, from information about reality and the problem posed by this reality. The result is an experimen tal utopia, that is the exploration of the human possibility with the aid of the imagination accompanied by an incessant critique and continual reference to a given problem in reality. Lefebvre believes in this. way philosophy will be 30 Vachet, p. 410. 31 Vachet, p. 419.


74 able to regain its modernism and play an essential role in an urban revolution which attempts to achieve the realiza tion of man. In the 1970s a group of young intellectuals known as the nouveaux philosophes attacked Marxism as an obsolete ideology that inevitably leads to totalitarianism. 32 One of the best known of the new philosophers is Bernard-Henri Levy, an editor at the Paris publishing house Grasset. He attacks the promises of Marxism as being empty and the rev olution as being a myth because the Soviet Union instead of withering away grew into a reactionary machine. Andre Glucksmann, another new philosopher, believes ideology itself is inherently evil and that all the philosophical systems of the 19th century are outdated because in the modern world politics do not revolve around visions of utopia, but rather around specific issues such as colonial crimes, life in prisons, the drug problem, and the threat of nuclear plants. Jean-Marie Benoit likewise believes politics in the future will be more fluid, a world of small cells of people coalescing on issues that affect them such as problem-oriented groups related to women's liberation and human rights movements. The ideas of the new philosophers appear to be a critical response to many ideas of the new 32 "The New Philosophers," Time, 12 Sept. 1977, p. 29, cols. 1-3; p. 30, cols. 1-3.


75 left. As a result of the events of .May 1968 they have a more pessimistic view of the possibilities of political action. Right-wing thinkers also challenged the ideas of the new left. The "new" right elitist philosophy of the 1970s is a rejection of Rousseauist egalitarianism and the demo cratic ideals that follow from it. 33 New rightists look to pagan and Inda-European cultures for alternative social models. The philosopher Alain de Benoist, a founder of the new rightist movement, believes that individuals and races are divided by barriers of hereditary inequality. He there fore calls for a "meritocratic" society in which the ablest and most intelligent would rule. As a reaction to the events of May 1968, Benoist and a number of rightists organized a counterrevolutionary society called Research and Study Group on European Civilization (GRECE}. In 1974 GRECE member Yvan Blot, with fellow students at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, formed the Club de l'Horloge (Clock Club}, a lobby group that promotes such rightist issues as racism, eugenics, and Nietzschean ethics. Blot is a high-ranking official in the neo-Gaullist party, the Rassemblement pour la Republique, The new rightist journal~ ist Louis Pauwels edits the weekend supplement to the 33 "A New Right raises its Voice: Science and Paganism at the service of a Reactionary Doctrine," Time, 13 August 1979, p. 31, cols. 1-3.


76 Parisian daily Le Figaro. He appointed Benoist the maga zine's culture editor. Obviously the cultural movement of the new right is a form of political activism.


CHAPTER IV POLITICAL AND CULTURAL ACTION IN FRANCE UNDER DE GAULLE De Gaulle The disintegration of civilian authority in Algiers was the cause of the return of General de Gaulle to power in France. By May 1958, after more than three years of fight ing, the supporters of the Algerian war had lost their majority in parliament. Pierre Pflimlin, the Christian Dem ocrat nominated for the premiership, was known to oppose an escalation of the war by an invasion of Tunisia and was suspected of favoring an attempt to negotiate with the nationals. In an effort to frighten parliament out of nom inating Pflimlin, the Algiers settlers rioted, took over the Government House with help from the army, and persuaded General Massu to set up a Committee of Public Safety. Thirty-six hours later, GeneralSalanin Algeria launched a public appeal to de Gaulle which received an immediate res ponse. On 15 May 1958 de Gaulle announced his readiness to take over the government authority. On 24 May 1958 a small group of parachutists seized Corsica for the Gaullists without encountering any resis tance from the authorities or the population. After private negotiations between Pflimlin and de Gaulle, the premier 77


78 resigned on May 28th. De Gaulle obtained temporary powers from parliament to govern and legislate when on 1 June 1958 he was elected by a majority of a hundred, with the Commun ists, half the Socialists, and others such as Pierre Mendes-France and Frangois Mitt~rrant in the minority. In September 1958 a new constitution was approved which greatly strengthened the president's power. The president in France is elected by universal suffrage for seven years, he chooses the prime minister, he alone can dissolve the national assem bly and submit laws passed by the parliament to a referendum; he has the right to pardon, to negotiate and ratify treaties, to conclude military agreements which do not require parlia mentary ratification, and in exceptional circumstances he can assume all powers. The terrorism of the OAS (Organisation de l'Arm~e :; Secr~te began in Algiers in September 1958, and soon devel oped into indiscriminate attacks on Moslems and a scorched earth policy. Terrorism spread to Paris with bomb attacks on the homes and offices of Gaullists or left-wing supporters of the FLN (Force de Lib~ration Nationale). Frenchmen demon strating against OAS terrorism and the Algerian war met with police hostility. A turning point in public opinion occur red when eight Communist demonstrators were killed by police action at the Charonne subway station on 8 February 1962 during a demonstration against the OAS which had been organ ized by labor unions, The obsequies of the victimes became one of the largest left-wing demonstrations in Paris since


79 the Second World War, with 500,000 people marching to protest against the war and the police. On 19 March 1962 an agreement was signed with the FNL at Evian. Having ended the Algerian war with the signing of the Evian treaty in 1962, de Gaulle turned his attention to international politics. 1 He was able to initiate political action because the October 1962 referendum changed the elec tion of the president to universal suffrage, thereby strength ening the president's position, and because as a result of the 1962 parliamentary elections in November, a coherent absolute majority to back Gaullist policies had been elected. This situation permitted de Gaulle to begin his politique de la grandeur in 1963. He opposed England's candidature for the Common Market, believing the English would serve American interests in Europe. He opposed the multilateral nuclear force proposed by the Americans for Europe and, instead, signed a Franco-German alliance and worked for closer ties with the U.S.S.R . De Gaulle sought to gain for France an important place in world politics as a peace maker between the two superpowers; Gaullist foreign policy worked to stimulate local nationalisms against the super powers. For this reason de Gaulle sided with the Arabs in the Middle East War of June 1967 and spoke out for a: Quebec libre in July 1967. 1 Pierre Viansson-Ponte, Histoir-e de la Republique Ga:ul lienne (_Paris: Fayard, 1971) pp. 75; 77.


80 Yet on the French domestic scene there was political unrest the same year de Gaulle started his politique de a grandeur. The year 196 3 was marked by the miners' union strike which became total. Railroad workers, electricians, and gas employees observed work stoppages in solidarity. The miners marched on Paris and the sympathy of the church authority and other categories of workers caused the govern ment to back down and grant employees of the SNCF (Societe Nationalede Chemins de Fer) and the EDF (Electricite de France) pay raises. Political Parties and Groups in France 1958-"1968 France in the 1960s was still a fairly nonegalitarian society in which class divisions were rigid though often 2 taken for granted. More even than the family, the schools and universities adhered to a formal, nonparticipatory authority structure. The educational system remained a bar rier to greater equality and social mobility. Consequently, it is not surprising that the explosion of 1968 began in the universities and spread rapidly to many high schools. Furthermore, in the 1960s political parties were not serving as an effective means forvoicing opposition to government policies. The political parties were deeply 2 Philip M. Williams and Martin Harrison, Politics and Society in De Gaulle 1 s Republic (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1973), pp. 23-27.


81 discredited by the failure of the Fourth Republic and under 3 de Gaulle even the Gaullist party had only a marginal role. The lessening of the ideological conflict, however, and the relative disaffection from the parties did not necessarily constitute depoliticization. Several of the older parties survived. Political interest seems to have been diverted rather than diminished. Energies and ideas which before might have found an outlet through political clubs or inter est groups appeared outside the conventional political organizations, the giant demonstrations in 1962 against ter rorism of the OAS, the direct action by groups like farmers, shopkeepers and craftsmen, and the manifestations and gen eral strike of 1968 being examples. The weak organization in political parties was also found in the trade unions and was due in part to a fear of central direction. 4 The unions in France are divided among five central organizations. Half the total member ship is split between the CGC (Confederation generale des cadres white collar and supervisory staffs' union), the socialist-leaning FO (Force-Ouvriere the trade union federation, mainly in public sector, which split from CGT in 1947), the CFDT (Confederation fran9aise democratique du travail trade union federation formed in 1964 from CFTC) 3 Williams and Harrison, p. 374. 4 Philip M. Williams, David Goldey, and Martin Harrison, French Pbl'iticia:n:s and Election:s -1"96 9 (Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1970), p. 288.


82 Catholic-leaning and the most militant of all the centrals, and the CFTC (Confederation fran9aise des travailleurs chretiens majority changed name to CFDT in 1964) which remains Catholic and conservative. The other half is the CGT (Confederation generale du travail, largest trade union federation Communist dominated since 1945). The CGT retains its original confederate structure and part of its anarcho-syndicalist tradition as do also the FO and CFDT. This anarcho-syndicalist tradition is reflected in some of Gatti's plays, particularly Auguste G. and Chant public. Gatti at times rented a hall and read first versions of his plays to CGT groups during the 1960s. Of all the major Western Communist parties, the PCF (Parti Communiste Fran9ais) suffered most from the problems of destalinization which began after the Twentieth Communist Congress in 1956. The tensions in the pa~ty between Italian and Chinese alternatives were felt most acutely among intellectuals and students of the Union des Etudiants Com. munistes (UEC), which had also been penetrated by Trotsky ites. In order to destroy the base of the Italian faction the pa.rty decided to disband the UEC; the largest faction reformed under the leadership of Alain Krivine in the Trot skyite Jeunesse Communiste Revolutionnaire (JCR}. The party in this way cut itself off from the students, as it had pre viously alienated many intellectuals. Released from the discipline of the party by the disbanding of the UEC, its student members joined the JCR and FER (Federation des


83 Etudiants Revolutionnaires) another smaller Trotskyite organization and various Maoist groups. The most important of the latter was the Jeunesse Communiste Marxiste Leniniste (JCML). The history of European Maoism was relatively short lived and ceased to have much meaning by 1974 when La Gauche Proletarienne, a French Maoist group, dissolved itself. 5 Its political significance disappeared with the failure of the revolutionary movements in the late 1960s in France and in Italy. When the split between Russia and China occur red in the early 1960s almost all other Communist parties split into a pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese faction. In Europe the pro-Chinese factions left or were expelled and founded new Communist movements. They showed their allegiance to Mao's teaching by adopting the adjective Marxist-Leninist to emphasize their continuity with the original revolution ary politics of the party. The Sino-Soviet split occurred because the Chinese refused to accept the Soviet doctrine of peaceful coexistence. The Chinese viewed this doctrine as a refusal to face the realities of revolutionary struggle. They denounced it as a new form of imperialism, social impe rialism, in which the Russians and Americans split the world into spheres of influence that they controlled. The stress on national independence from the superpowers went together with support for the Third World against the 5 Maccabe, p. 55.


84 developed world whose forms of aid, both Western and Eastern, were viewed as trapping the underdeveloped countries in the position of client states. From this political position it was theorized that the fundamental contradiction in the contemporary world was not that between capital and prole tariat but that between the developed and the underdeveloped countries. In the West, the stress on the importance of personal life-styles in determining the revolutionary potential of a party or country was the most important feature of Maoism. In the Western countries communist militants could express their distrust of bourgeois life-styles by setting upMarxist Leninist parties that would break with bourgeois forms at every level of life. This stress on the daily stru~gle between the bourgeois and proletarian line in one's life subverted the form of the political and included within its sphere every aspect of life. However, it also threatened to reduce all aspects of life to the political which proved to be the main weakness in Leninist politics. Mao drew on two Leninist ideas, self-criticism and cultural revolution. 6 The key Maoist concept was cultural revolution. This concept had been advanced by Lenin towards the end of his life to cope with the problem that the polit ical seizure of the state and the economic reorganization 6 Maccabe, p. 57.


85 of the means of production were not enough to abolish classes or class struggle. Lenin attempted to deal with the problem by talking of the necessity for a cultural revolution which would take ideological power from the bourgeoisie. This idea, however, was never fully developed by him. In the 1960s the historical mission of the working class to revolt in order to liberate all mankind by libera ting itself was transferred to the proletarian countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The fixation on Cuba, Algeria, North Vietnam or China found supporters among lef tist Cahtolics. 7 The missionary tradition of the French Church had sensitized it to the problem of decolonization through its experience in Asia and Africa, and then to the economic and social problems of the underdeveloped countries in South America. Difficulties in some of the women's orders and the revival of the worker priest movement testi fied to this unrest. The Church like the PCF was finding its moral authority questioned from the left by its Ov..'11 mem bers. The rejection of capitalism on grounds of Catholic social theory and interest in the Third World created support for the new left and hostility toward U.S. actions in Vietnam. Several Catholic student militants were among the first to be arrested in May 1968. 7 Williams et al., p. 246.


86 Vietnam in the Thi.rd World provided the Trotskyite and the Chinese factions with an argument against the official Communists. It seemed to show that if the most powerful nation in the world could be beaten by a small but determined people, revolution elsewhere was possible. Vietnam also provided the occasion for confrontation with the university and the police, and sympathy and support from students which the political factions would probably otherwise not have had. For example, the Comites Viet-Nam de Base were set up to collect a billion francs to buy a hospital ship for North Vietnam. Catholics and PSU (Parti Socialiste Unifie left-wing socialist party) members actively participated in various Vietnam solidarity committees which effectively established a network of organization. The campaign against the Vietnam war occurred in con junction with the campaign against the new university campus on the northwestern part of Paris at Nanterre. In May 1968 the spark which touched off the conflict was harsh police action against a student demonstration. A few student revo lutionaries from the Nanterre campus, including Cohn Bendit, were being disciplined by tne Rector of Paris University. More students protested in the court.yard of the Sorbonne. The police were called to expel them, thousands of students gathered to demonstrate and many were arrested. Night after night in May students and riot police fought each other across barricades in the Latin Quarter. Thousands of students were injured or arrested. Outside Paris, students


87 occupied universities and demanded greater autonomy for universities from Parisian control, and greater student participation. The unrest then spread to the workers. By the third week in May over half the industrial labor force was on strike and hundreds of factories were occupied by the workers. After a long silence, de Gaulle's address to the nation on May 24th called for a referendum in June on reform of the universities and participation by workers (co-gestion) in the economy. The public voted against it. Workers had declared a general strike because they shared some of the students' complaints against the system and had grievances of their own. In 1967 the workers were forced to accept an increase in social security contributions to help pay for the farmers brought into it by a previous extension of the system. These increases were imposed by administrative decree without discussion in parliament. The rapid modernization of the country had brought some unemployment in certain sectors and workers suspected that the Budget and the Plan had allowed for more unemployment than necessary so that while holding down inflation and reducing tariff barriers in the Common Market, de Gaulle could accumulate gold and develop the H-Bomb. In the private sector there was unemployment; in the public sector wages were held down as part of the stabilization plan, the mini mum wage varied from region to region and had la

88 Malraux and Gaullist Cultural Policies As students moved from trying to reform their univer sities to attempting to revolutionize society, Andre Malraux explained to a large Gaullist rally at the Porte de Versailles on 21 June 1968 that the May events really represented a crisis of Western civilization. The Gaullist campaign theme was the defense of the Republic and the liberty of its citi zens from anarchy and the Communist danger. Earlier in 1968, Malraux had angered film directors when his Ministry dismissed Henri Langlois, the founder of the Cinematheque Fran9aise. Pierre Barbia, immediately after he was appointed to replace Langlois, fired the Cinematheque's sixty employees. Within hours Godard, Truffaut., Resnais, Marker, Bresson, and Renoir announced that because Langlois was dismissed they would refuse to allow their films to be shown at the Cinematheque. Paris producers, actors, and directors held protest demonstrations which were violently broken up by the police. They also picketed the cinema. With criticism being voiced even among the government's sup porters, Malraux could not justify the action of his Minis try. Consequently he agreed to_ grant the Cinematheque independence from state control on stringent financial terms and to reinstate Langlois. Andre Malraux was the key person in the state appara tus in charge of cultural policy in the 1960s. In 1945 he had been asked to join de Gaulle's circle of supporters


89 to deal with the group's relations with intellectuals, pro8 jects for a political program for culture, and opinion polls. On various occasions he stated his intention to make French~ men aware of the important role he himself assigned to culture. He wanted to oppose culture to what he described as factories of dreams: theater, film, television, the press, and a certain type of literature which he interpreted as playing on the power of instincts such as sex, blood, and death. Once having been appointed Minister of Cultural Affairs by de Gaulle in 1959, Malraux presented his projects to the Senate. Under Malraux's direction important projects were accomplished: the maisons de~ culture, the protection of historical sites, the installation of statues by Maillol in the Tuileries, the cleaning of the facades of Parisian monuments, the organization of huge expositions, and the decentralization of theaters. At the same time Malraux was actively involved in politics. In October 1962 he became a patron of the Association pour la Cinqui~me Republique, a movement which united various Gaullist groups. He defended the diverse Gaullist positions which were taken successively from 1959 to 1962. Until 1962 his speeches concentrated on the problem of Algeria. After i962 he used his energy to defend the government against opposition political parties 8 Janine Mossuz, Andre Malraux et le Gaullisme (Paris: Armand Colin, 1970}, pp. 70, 167; 180; 193; 285.


90 and to build unity within the Gaullist organizations. Furthermore, Malraux was one of the principal authors of the large Gaullist meetings for presidential and legislative campaigns which took place in Paris on 15 December 1965, 21 January 1967, and 20 June 1968 and were known for their spectacular effect and orchestration. In the framework of the Gaullist party, Malraux inter preted the mission of France to be the creation of a Eur africa which would equilibrate the strength of the two superpowers. The role assigned to France was that of an essential player on a global scale where the principal actors were civilizations. Culture and particularly the culture of France was viewed as a motivating force of evolution. The role Malraux assigned to culture gradually became more precise and was eventually formulated as the great unifying myth which would make all the inhabitants of the earth an immense fraternity. Gaullism gave him the sufficient support necessary to present culture as the great force of union which he believed had been hidden until then by ideologies and religions. Cultural Action The political debate about the role of cultures and the role of the intellectuai continued throughout the 1960s. Pierre Gaudibert in his Action culturelle: inte"gration et/ou subversion (1972) reviews the conflict between the anirn.ateurs and the government administrators which arose as a result of


91 differing conceptions of the role of culture in society. According to him, the purported progressive disappearance of ideologies to be replaced by a new and scientific ration alism was a new "ideology-mask-illusion 11 perrni tting some to devote themselves to purely technical problems and actions beyond political and ideological options which, however, remained the key to the system of cultural action. 9 Reactionary citizens in local government used the notion of "need" in dogmatic arguments concerning the inter ests of the populations, which they were supposed to repre sent, to oppose the politics of a maison de la culture or the choice of a director. In this way political and ideol ogical opposition were hidden behind such euphemisms as the possibility of reception of the local population, their need for entertainment, the taste of the public. The spontaneistes, who were against those who did not respect the free creation of subjects, entertained a similar illusion. Cultural demagogy can either claim the cultural needs of the masses, of the majority of the people (which generally means the petty bourgeoisie), or the spontaneity of indivi duals, the mechanism is the same because in both instances a virginity of free subjects who have escaped conditioning is assumed. Marxists and sociological critics worked to demystify these beliefs in order to show that freedom is 9 Pierre Gaudibert, Action culturelle, integration et/ou subversion (Paris: Cas.terman, 1972), pp. 17; 20-21; 27.

PAGE 100

92 illusory and access to cultural places is regulated by real inequalities which are themselves dependent upon the relationship in a given social formation. According to Gaudibert what actually happened in the 1960s is that one envisaged successively la democratisation culturelle, le salut culturel, and la religion culturelle. All these labels were divers idealist variants used to mask a cultural action whose aim was to justify and reenfor~e the cultural practice of integration. During this period the fundamental idea changed from a culture that issued from the experience of the people and their values, to a culture that was distributed to all. In 1945 the slogan had been "rendre la culture au peuple et le peuple a la culture. 1110 It had not been a question of proletarian culture or of revolutionary proletarian culture, but of social progress characterized by the Popular Front. The notion of le peuple still designated the workers and the peasants as a united people and nation. In the 1950s, the idea of cultural diffusion was to raise the cultural level of the working classes, efforts which were in agreement with the action of the union and worker committees in enterprises. In a second phase that began in the 1960s, the concepts of development and cultural action became closely related. The concept of the participation of all citizens in the existing cultural values occurred, and active adherents in the teaching lO Gaudibert, pp. 36-37.

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93 profession .pushed aside the notion of culture and people and distanced themselves from the milieu of workers and peasants. The notion of le peupe, however, conserved the idea of the majority of people. May 1968 permitted discrepancies about the notion of culture to come to light when the ideological apparatus of the family, school system, religion, politics, unions, and information and cultural organizations in the society was deeply shaken. 11 Since 1968 the French Communist Party avoids attempts to define a cultural power which would escape the control of elected members of political or union organizations. Since May, the directors of the Communist Party often repeat it is up to the creators to create and not to substitute politics for culture. They fear the con siderable influence to their left which risks to bring a radical conscience to the ideology of social groups under the direction of the PCF. After May 1968 the Communist Party's liberalism accepted all esthetic and formal research except that with any sort of political expression. It remained silent or reserved towards political theater and films (Gatti, Benedetto, Godard). The idea of cultural revolution dismayed both the Gaullists and the Communists, since it emphasized the ideologic functions of the class of such and such a culture, 11 Gaudibert, pp. 100-06.

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94 and proposed a subversive culture that was able to radical ize a part of the intellectual middle classes. Such action risked to create a situation of rupture in the different fractions of the middle and petty bourgeoisie, instead of reassuring them of a national heritage and prestigious cultural values. According to Gaudibert, the Gaullists wanted to keep the established society and the Communists wanted to inherit the national culture. By their policies and actions it became clear that for both parties, culture is actually a part of a political strategy that aims to win the support of the middle class and neutralize it. The class struggle, however, is evident in the field of culture despite all the efforts to make culture an area of common consensus. Because of the conflicting political elements in France: Gaullists, Communists, militant leftists, it is easy to understand the contradictory situation of a cultural anirnateur with a revolutionary project in the 1960's. Gaudibert summarizes his position as follows: II se heurte a la bourgeoisie traditionnelle, se trouve dans un position d'alibi pocur la bourgeoisie moderniste, devient suspect de gauchisme aux yeux du P.C.F. et rencontre, l'hostilite des groupes gauchistes en tant que complice des institutions culturelf2s, integre au systeme "flic" de la culture. 12 Gaudibert, p. 136

PAGE 103

95 At the end of the 1960s there was a strong trend to integrate culture into daily life and dai:ly life into culture. This trend weakened during the 1970s when politics left the theater for the street. In the 1970s the utopia of the new left began to be countered by the anti-Marxist new philosophers, an elitist new right, and various forms of terrorism.

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CHAPTER V POPULAR THEATER The socialist dream of a Theatre du Peuple, which had existed since the French Revolution, had never been real. d 1 1ze. The efforts of men like Romain Rolland had come to little and the The~tre National Populaire, created by the government for Firmin Germier in 1920, was unsuccessful from the outset because of the conditions under which it was expected to function. It was only in 1951, when Jean Vilar was appointed director of the Th(fatre National Populaire (TNP) by Jeanne Laurent, that a popular theater movement established itself as a vital element in the French theater. The success of the TNP consolidated a movement begun as early as 1945 in the provinces by Jean Dast~. Daste and other producers founded permanent residential companies in various cities, and later obtained the cooperation of muni cipalities. Daste formed his group in Grenoble and then migrated to Saint-Etienne (1957) where the municipality was 1 Dorothy Knowles, "Introduction: Principles of Stag ing," in Forces in Modern French Drama: studies in Varia tions of the Permitted Lie, ed. John Fletcher (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1972), pp. 11-32. 96

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97 prepared to support his work. Shortly after this Toulouse offered help to Maurice Sarrazin, who had founded the Grenier de Toulouse there in 1945. In 1947 more substan tial support was offered by the government, and various theater groups were given the title of Centre Dramatique and a subsidy. The establishment of Troupes Permanentes in individual towns by the government together with local authorities further stimulated the creation of more broadly based audiences. Roger Planchon's The~tre de la Cite in Villeurbanne was the first to obtain this status in 1957. The creation of numerous theater centers in the working-class suburbs of Paris with municipal support began in 1961. In these "peripheral" theaters and the provincial theaters many talented producers were active in Auber villiers Gabriel Garran, in Saint-Denis Jose Valverde, in Sartrouville Patrice Chereau, and at Nanterre Pierre Debauche; in Lyon Marcel-Noel Marechal, in Strasbourg Hubert Gignoux, and in Bourges Gabriel Monnet. In Paris itself Guy Retore was directing the The~tre de l'Est Parisien (TEP), a sort of second TNP in a working-class area. Much of the original work in production methods since the war has been done in these new centers, and so has most of the research in theater design. It was for these theaters that a new repertory was provided by Authur Adamov, Armand Gatti, Roger Planchon, Gabriel Cousin, Michel Vinaver and Pierre Halet; foreign playwrights such as Brecht, O'Casey, John Arden, Peter

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98 Weiss, Max Frisch, and Friedrich Diirrenmatt have frequently been played there. The two main needs of popular theater were subsidiza tion and decentralization. Both of these ideals had strong roots in the Resistance, since llsubsidization" and "decen tralization" were key words in the policies devised by Resistance leaders for the complete postwar restructuring 2 of the French educational, political, and economic systems. Plans for the new theater paralleled larger plans for a new society, and these plans for the future actually repre sented a continuation of the socialistic reform endorsed by the Popular Front of the mid-1930s. The policy of subsidies to the French theater and geographical decentralization also paralleled a program of industrial subsidization after the Second World War. On 9 April 1959 Andre Malraux outlined at a press conference his proposals for the reorganization and revi talization of France's national theaters. On 24 July of that year the Departments of Arts and Letters and of Archi tecture, and the National Archives were transferred from the Ministry of National Education to the new Ministry of Cultural Affairs. At that time Malraux stated his desire to make the works of humanity, and especially of France, accessible to the largest number of Frenchmen. 2 Vera Lee, Quest for a -Public: French PopuTar Theater since 1945 (Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman, 1970), pp. 24-25.

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99 One decade after the Cultural Minister's statement, the French state had two National Popular Theaters (one in Paris and one in Strasbourg); an impressive number of decentralized dramatic centers (in Strasbourg, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse, Rennes, Marseille and Aix, Tourcoing, Villeurbanne, Menilmontant, Carcassonne, Nice, Caen); permanent troupes, and young itinerant companies. These new theaters, sup ported by state and local subsidies, had large, enthusiastic audiences. In the late 1950s and the 1960s there was an increasing effort toward originality in these Centers. Regional audiences were the first to see important produc tions, premieres of new French plays, performances of unknown foreign ones, or radically new interpretations of familiar works. By the spring of 1968 the following maisons de la culture, cultural centers which did not necessarily have a theater, were in operation: Le Havre, Caen, Bourges, TEP in Paris, Nanterre, Amiens, Thonon, Firminy. Cultural centers were under construction in Saint-Etienne, Rennes, Nevers, and Chalan. However, one year after May 1968, the relatively healthy situation of popular theater had changed drastically. By the summer of 1969 five important animateurs were deprived of their theaters: Daste of Saint-Etienne, Monnet of Bourges, Trehard of Caen, Retore of the TEP, and Jauneau of Thonen. Maurice Sarrazin's theater in Toulouse had closed early; Jose Valverde in Saint-Denis was in financial difficulties, Jacques Chereau left Sartrouville

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100 because of debts, and Marcel-Noel Marechal was in severe financial trouble in Lyon. Inspired by the events of May and by criticism from the new left, theater people called together by Roger Planchon formed the Council of Villeurbanne (25 May 1968). 3 This group consisted of most of the cultural house direc tors and popular theater animateurs. In what was a general questioning of the purpose of the cultural houses and the popular troupes, the council members issued a joint mani festo. In it they stated the belief that in order to reach the workers or "nonpublic" (FrancisJeanson's expres sion) they should not simply be distributors of a bourgeois heritage. Instead, they should be centers of an actively creative culture in every field, especially in theater. Moreover, their creativity was to have a greater social and political basis. As the 1960s came to a close~ the talk was less of maisons de la culture than that of maisons eclatees or "splintered" houses. Rather than more buildings of the "cathedral" type, the idea was to establish numerous cells that could more easily penetrate masses of people. There was also more emphasis on participatory projects: studios, workshops, or other devices which would involve the public more actively. 3 Lee, pp. 108-09.

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101 Peripher'al :The:aters Most animateurs of popular theater in the 1960s, like most French intellectuals, were motivated by their political beliefs. 4 In their eyes a truly popular repertory should face people with current reality, provoking them to politi cal action, rather than be entertainment concentrating on acquainting the masses with France's dramatic heritage. Therefore, a conflict between government administrators and directors of dramatic centers and cultural houses was destined to arise in the decentralization of the theater. In an article published in 1969, Raymond Temkine reviewed two books written just prior to May 1968, L'Etat et le theatre by Jack Lang (today's Minister of Culture) and Le Th~&tre hors les murs by Philippe Madral. Temkine relates that Jack Lang thinks the state does not expect any thing from the theater and that it does not have anything to fear from the theater from the ideological point of view. 5 Nevertheless, since the state wants to consider the theater as a public service functioning to legitimate the established culture, Lang concludes: 4 5 Le developpement meme du theatre par les autorites etablie peut avoir une utilite politique: instituer la paix sociale en faisant croire, au prix de quelques concessions et de quelques subventions aux Lee, pp. 122-23. Raymond Temkine, "Le Theatre, service public?" La Pensee, 144 (Apr. 1969)), p.132

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102 animateurs de the&tre, a leur liberalisme politique. Cette apparente generosite, loin d'etre une source de menace pour la securite du pouvoir, ne fait que le renforcer. 6 The title of Philippe Madral's book, Le Theatre hors les murs (The Theater Outside of the Walls), refers to the attitude of the Gaullist government toward theaters in the suburbs of Paris. This attitude reflected a political atti tude, since the state manifested an indifference toward theaters promoted by Communist municipalities. 7 Although Guy Retore, director of the TEP in the twentieth arrondis sement, received some subsidies in the 1960s, none of the communes in the suburbs of Paris received financial aid from the state to erect a theater. It was only in the late 1960s that Gabriel Garran, as an individual director, received a subsidy, and Pierre Debauche was promised a maison de la culture. ----Aspiring to form a conscious cultural policy, the municipalities in Aubervillier?,Nanterre, Villejuif, Saint Denis, and Sartrouville took upon themselves the heavy financial burden of supporting a theater. The directors of these theaters were municipal employees or concessionaires, an arrangement which gave them risks but also a certain amount of freedom. Madral published interviews with the 6 Temkine cites Lang, p. 133. 7 Philippe Madral, Le: The~tre hors les :murs (Paris: Seuil, 1969), pp. 21; 43.

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103 directors of the "pheripheral" theaters in his Le Theatre hors les murs. Most of the interviews were conducted before May 1968, and the independent tone of the directors is apparent. In his interview with Madral, Guy Retore, the director of the Theatre de l'Est Parisien, stated: Amon sens, une entreprise cornrne le T.E.P. a d'ailleurs le devoir de faire oeuvre de contestation. Sans vouloir me risquera donner une definition de la culture; je pense qu'elle est avant tout une reflex ion perrnanente sur l'hornrne et la societe dans laquelle il vit, une remise en questions constante des idees regues. Il nous appartient done de lutter centre tout ce qui provoque les individus a n'~tre qu'une foule irresponsable et inconsciente. Nous avons a chequer notre public, l'inquieter m~me afin qu'il conserve sa vigilance. 8 Retore, like Gatti and Brecht, wants a theater which "divides" the public. Rather than just stage works of the past, he thinks it is important to reveal new works and authors that reflect our era and that treat the problems of our society. Influenced by the Berliner Ensemble, Brecht, Piscator, the review Theatre Populaire, and Roger Planchon, Gabriel Garran, the director of the Theatre de la Commune at Auber villiers, sought to respond to the concerns of the workers. This was in 1962, the year during which the Charonne 8 Madral, p. 45.

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104 incident occurred. 9 Garran found, however, that by limiting the choice of plays the troupe was actually limiting their public to an avant-garde engagee. Consequently, he broad ended his program. In 1964 he produced Shakespeare's Coriolanus and had Gatti read his play Chant public devant deux chaises electriques to a group from an HLM (Habitation a layer modere). His troupe produced such plays as Peter' s 1' Instruction, Gabriel Cousin's L' Opera Noir, and Brecht's Les Visions de Simon Marchard. Like Retore, Garran believes popular theater supposes a social practice. He also seeks to produce unpublished works which have a direct meaning for our era. In the 1968 interview with Madral he states: Nous avons ecarte l'idee d'~tre une courroie de transmission du "patrimoine" culturel, refuse la function digestive du theatre bourgeois et elle, plus mystique et plus mystifiable, de communion ou d'engouement auteur de rf~lisations qui ne remettent rien en question. Familiar with Brecht's theories, Garran and his generation of directors learned to study the "fable" which a particu lar work proposed. The staging of a play preceded in a manner which implied the reading and commentary of the 9 Nine Communist workers were crushed to death in the Charonne subway station in Paris as a result of police action against a demonstration organized by labor groups to protest OAS terrorism. 10 Madral, p. 40.

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105 "fable." Documentation was gathered concerning the history, customs, costumes, and civilization of the period of the work being produced. Many directors in the 1960s and some in the 1970s used this method of work in order to emphasize the social and political relationships in the plays they staged. In the interview with Madral, Garran refers to the actors working collectively at the Theatre de la Cite at Villeurbanne and those working under the direction of Gatti in the staging of his plays as a "spiritual family." Concerning the role of the "family" Garran states: "On pourrait presque dire qu'elle a constitute une troupe fixe a carac tere itinerant. Les transhumants du theatre populaire. 1111 In his March 1968 interview with Madral, Pierre Debouche spoke like a militant and utopian, which is per haps fitting for the director of the theater at Nanterre, the campus where the original student protests began. Debouche mentioned workers creating a new culture and the need for revolution when he said: 11 12 Il ne s'agit pas tant pour nous, de faire acceder les gens a la "culture", que de leur faire construire une autre culture. Bien entendu, une telle idee n'aurait rigoureusement aucun sens, si a nos c6tes des milliers de syndicalistes, d'enseignants et de travailleurs ne militaient pour la m@me chose. C'est-a-dire la Revolution. Madral, p. 57. Madral, p. 83.

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106 Also sounding like a political activist, Jose Valverde, director of the Theatre Gerard-Philipe at Saint-Denis, said in March 1968 that there was a battle being waged in the theater by people like Planchon and Dort against the ten dency of Artaud. He considered theater people who followed the Artaud trend to be participating in the desire of the bourgeoisie to draw the French intelligentsia towards irrat 1 13 i.ona ism. From the point of view of Marxist critique, Valverde believed a theater production should not be judged in iso lation from its historical context, but rather in relation to the two opposing currents (Brecht and Artaud) and the problems posed by the class struggle. He also believed the majority of the society, including the working class, actually lived ideologically on the representation of the world as erected by bourgeois morals. According to him it was significant that the majority of films with a large popular success present an ideology which rendered as natural and unquestionable social phenomena such as the riches of some and the economic exploitation of others. Among other works, Valverde's troupe staged Brecht's Mere Courage (1966}, Adamov's La Politique des restes (1966), and Shakespeare's Romeo et Juliette (May 1969}. 13 Madral, p. 129.

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107 When Jeanne Laurent appointed Jean Vilar the director of the TNP she realized that a theater director would need to have a certain amount of freedom to make decisions, if the concept of popular theater were to succeed. The notion of the director's relative freedom arose again in March 1968 at a national conference entitled "Planchon metteur en scene et auteur contemporain" which was held at the cul tural center at Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne. Planchon inter vened in the discussions and demanded "le pouvoir pour les createurs. 1114 Opposed to the appointment of directors of the maisons de la culture by the government, Planchon believed such positions should be given to creators not administrators. Concerning the choice of a repertory he concluded: Il faut se persuader de cette idee, dans les Maisons de la culture, le pourvoir doit ~tre remis aux createurs. Ce n'est ni a un ministere, ni a un maire, ni a un conseil d'adrninistration de decider des pieces a jouer, car la loi de la majorite n'est pas la loi de l'art.15 In reference to politics in the theater, the March May 1968 issue of Cite Panorama, published by the Theatre de la Cite, presented a survey which listed plays staged 14 "Le Collogue de Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne 'Dans les Maisons de la culture le pouvoir doit ~tre remis aux crea teurs' declare Roger Planchon," nerniere Heure Lyonnaise, 10 March 1968, p. 8, cols. 1-3. 15 Roger Planchon, Derniere Heure Lyonnaise, 10 March 1968, p. 8, col. 1.

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108 during the 1966-1967 theater season. 16 Of 283 plays pro duced in subsidized and well-known private theaters, only twelve were listed under political theater. Other cate gories were classic, vaudeville, dramatic comedies and drama, social, thesis, poetic, satire and parodies, and new theater. Under political plays two by Gatti were listed: Chroniques d'une planete provisoire (Grenier de Toulouse) and V comme Vietnam (Grenier de Toulouse also at the TEP), as well as Brecht's La Mere (Grenier de Toulouse). Gabriel Cousin's l'Opera noir (Theatre de la Commune at Aubervilliers} was listed under social plays as was also Arnold Wesker's La Cuisine (Cirque de Montmartre}. Planchon's Bleus, blancs, rouges ou les libertins (Theatre de la Cite} was listed under dramatic comedies and dramas. Jean-Louis Mingalon, who collected the information for the survey, con cluded that although the troupes of the decentralization sought a "repertoire de contestation, de critique, de prise II 1 h 'd 17 de conscience their concrete resu ts were rat er timi Even if the productions of Shakespeare's plays were con sidered to be political, the fact remained that in the 1966-1967 season little experimentation was being done in this direction. 16 Jean-Louis Mingalon, "Une Saison en France," Cite Panorama, 14 (Mar.-May 1968}, pp. 6-12. 17 1 12 Minga on, p.

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109 In the February-March 1967 issue of the review Partisans, entitled~Th~&tre et Politique," a similar con clusion was drawn about politics and the theater in 1967 by Georges Dupres. 18 He spoke of the selfcensorship taking place in the theater where the personality of the director, the definition of the public, the financial suc cess, the political situation, the critics, and the struc ture of the theater organization worked to reintegrate the theater into the existing social modes. Dupres thought what was happening in 1967 was not a vulgarization of the theater, but a vulgar uniformity, delivering theater to the public without giving spectators any choice, and putting the same importance on everything which was presented on the stage. What he called for instead was a critique of reflection to investigate things, not simply to show things. He also criticized the monopoly of the state on information on radio and television, whose merit Dupres characterized as being that of not contesting or opposing the government. Theater Activities During May 1968 During the manifestations of May people active in popular theater supported the general strike. Meeting in 18 II h~At 1 d d 1 lt II Georges Dupres, Le Tea re ma a e e a cu ure, Partisans, 36 (Feb.-Mar. 1967), pp. 22-24; 27.

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110 the TNP on 18 May 1968 activists voted to support the Comite d'Action Revolutionnaire in the Odeon. 19 This entailed supporting the action of the students and workers in their fight against society and its structures, and the occupation of the Odeon as a means of questioning bourgeois culture. They then organized committees which together with worker and student committees discussed ways in which those working in the theater could cooperate in changing the society. Armand Gatti, working with a group of theater activists, tried to create spontaneous reactions in spectators in the street Mouffetard by performing a montage of events that had taken place during the Paris Commune. The performance was interrupted and dispersed by police action. Gatti received broken arms and other injuries.. Under the direc tion of Ariane Mnouchkine the Th~&tre du Soleil staged Arnold Wesker's La Cuisine, which presented revolutionary traits in everyday life, in factories. The actors and workers at the The&tre Gerard-Philipe in Saint-Denis went on strike. The Theatre de la Commune at Aubervilliers voiced its solidarity with students and workers. The troupe mounted different productions in over fifty factor ies. The director Gabriel Garran invited the Bread and Puppet Theater to perform at Aubervilliers. 19 Werner Hildenbrand, "Theater und Revolution in Frankreich," Theater-Heute, 7 (July 1968), pp. 3-4.

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111 Work committees were organized in different institu tions and more or less revolutionary reform plans were drawn up and discussed. In Villeurbanne, Roger Planchon called together the directors of state-subsidized theaters and cultural houses. Over thirty theater people gathered to discuss reforms. Differences of opinion, however, made it difficult to form a common view about issues. They did agree that efforts were needed to bring the "nonpublic," particularly workers, to their theaters. This, of course, was an admission of the fact that their theater productions had not attracted the masses. In the Odeon workers spoke, often for the first time, before a large group of people. Other theaters also became forums for discussion, although they were not occupied. The events of May made clearly. visible the contra dictions in the government-sponsored popular theater move ment which were apparent even before May 1968. Judith Miller, writing in 1977, confirmed that popular theater was dead. Not only did the maisons de la culture eliminate their inexpensive subscriptions, thus abandoning the policy of attracting working and lower-middle-class audiences to their theatrical productions, but they also began to place more emphasis on sports, safely nonpolitical, than on theater. 20 20 Judith Graves Miller, Theater and Revolution in France since 1968 (Lexington, Kentucky: Frenc? f<:>_r_u:rtl_, 1977) pp. 137-39; 141.

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112 The government's decreasing interest in the goals of popular theater was linked to the politicization of the popular theater movement. In 1972 the TNP moved from Paris to Lyon where Roger Planchon's Theatre de la Cite was transformed into the new Theatre National Populaire. In the spring of 1973 Maurice Druon, the newly appointed Minis ter of Culture, implied that theatrical subsidies would be determined according to the content rather than the over all quality of a troupe's work and that any project deemed subversive would be rejected. He condemned bestiality, perversion, sexuality, violence, vulgarity, anything which countered the theatrical image of France as a source of Western civilization. The "Druon affair" along with the drastic cuts in funding (in March 1973 half of the members of the Commission Consultative d'Aide aux Jeunes Animateurs --the committee which awards money to young theater groups --resigned because of their frustration with the government's hostility and indifference) proved the popular theater and experimental theater would have to be done by unsubsidized or marginally subsidized companies.

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CHAPTER VI AIDA.AND GATTI: FRENCH PLAYWRIGHT OF THE 1960s Since 1969 French theater critics have tended to ignore Armand Gatti's importance as a playwright for understanding French political theater during the 1960s. Denis Bablet in his pictorially exceptional book Les R~volutions sc~ niques du XXe siecle (1975) documents influence of German and Russian theater of the 1920s and 1930s on French theater of the 1960s. The political aspects of the popular theater movement, however, are reduced to generalizations when, for example, he states: Le the~tre d'aujourd'hui ne rompt pas avec le passe, m~me s'il le conteste. Il lui arrive plus souvent au contraire de la prolonger, souvent de faire entrer dans le concret ce qui n'etait qu'idee entre vue ou r@ve utopique, et cela gr~ce au progres des moyens techniques. On retrouve dans maints spec tacles modernes l'influence--ou simple presence implicite--de princfpes chers aux renovateurs du debut de ce siecle. Bablet does not discuss the spirit in which theater activists initiated experimentation with new techniques in popular theater. He indirectly mentions Gatti only once when he 1 Denis Bablet, Les Revolutions scenique du XXe siecle (Paris: Societe internationale d'art XXe siecle, 1975), p. 286. 113

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114 cites H. Monloup's stage design for Gatti's play Chant public devant deux chaises electriques (Paris TNP, 1966) and remarks that it "fait eclater l'espace selon les volontes de l'auteur. 112 Furthermore Bablet only devotes a few pages to Brecht in his work. Another striking example of avoiding a direct refer ence to political theater in France is the series of works written by the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) theater group under the direction of Jean Jacquot. Beginning in 1966 these writers researched the relationship between the ecriture dramatique (written text) and the mise en scene (scenic presentation). After selecting a number of principal stage productions since 1945, they gathered documents on scenic presentations. The first two volumes appeared in 1971 as Les Voies de la creation the.trale, .!_ and II. So far six volumes have appeared and not one of them contains material on a play by Gatti. Just as Bablet spoke of political events in Russia and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s rather than of those in France in the 1960s, Jacquot's group preferred to document political plays of German and American playwrights in the 1960s rather than those of French playwrights. Simone Benmussa, while recognizing the important trends documented by the series, describes the CNRS work 2 Bablet, Les~R~volutions, p. 259.

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115 as follows: La sornme de ces travaux permit d'elaborer un theorie de la mise en scene et des rapports sc~ne-sall~ en ce qui concerne la nouvelle architecture de l'espace scenique et la participation des spectateurs Pour qui suit le the~tre d'un peu pres, ces etudes n'apprennent rien qu'il ne sache deja car elles ne representent pas une reflexion critique mais ~lles sont un maillon pour une histoire du the8tre. It is true that Bablet's book and the series by Jacquot's group provide excellent source material for infor mation on set designs and the scenic presentation of some plays. Their works also document important trends in set designs, in the role of the director, in theater techniques, and in methods of production, which included in some cases collective writing and the participation of spectators. Nevertheless questions related to Gatti's political plays in France in the 1960s need to be documented. Those who have written about Gatti's plays since May 1968 are critics motivated by political commitment such as Gerard Gozlan and Jean-Louis Pays or students researching a specific aspect of theater. 4 Jurgen Klein's dissertation 3 Simone Benmussa, "Le Theatre des metteurs en scene," Cahiers Renaud-Barrault, 74 (1972), p. 4 4 Gerard Gozlan and Jean-Louis Pays, Gatti Aujourd'hui (Paris: Seuil, 1970). Peter-Jurgen Klein, Theater fur den Zuschauer Theater mit dem zuschauer: Die Dramen Armand Gattis als Mittel zur Initierung humanen Verhaltens (Wies baden: Athenaion, 1975). Margaret Ellen Ward, Peter Weiss, Rolf Hochhuth, Armand Gatti: The Interaction between Intent, Content, and Form in Contemporary Political Drama (Diss. Indiana Univ., 1974). Annick Jourdan Duryee, Armand Gatti:

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116 on the participation of the spectator in Gatti's plays, Margaret Ellen Ward's dissertation on documentary theater, and Annick Jourdan Duryce's dissertation on a new theater for a new audience successfully establish the facts concern ing Gatti's background and theatrical activities during the 1960s. Yet the relationship between his works and the period in which they were produced has not been investigated. Since many French critics during the 1960s regarded Gatti to be the French playwright the most likely to create a new popular theater, their subsequent silence about his plays after 1968 needs to be explained. Further more the subjects of Gatti's plays, the structure of his plays, and the techniques used to stage them are important as indications of the changing trends in the political movement in the French theater in the 1960s. Armand Gatti was born in Monaco on 24 January 1924. His father, who was a streetcleaner, died as a result of injuries sustained during a strike. His mother, an extremely religious woman, was a cleaning woman. His par ents had immigrated to Monaco from Piedmont, Italy. At the age of sixteen Gatti left Monaco to join the French Resis tance in the region of Correze. He was arrested and depor ted to a work camp in Germany. After escaping from Germany he went to London and enlisted as a parachutist with un the&tre nouveau pour un public nouveau (Diss. Columbia, N.Y., 1971).

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117 de Gaulle's forces. After the war he worked as a journalist for the daily Le Parisien Libere and later on did reporting for France-Soir, Paris-Match, L'Observateur, L'Express, and Liberation. In 1954 he received the Prix Albert Londres for a report entitled "Envoye special dans la cage aux fauves." The same year he went to Guatemala during the height of its revolution and traveled in Central America and the United States. Two years later he went to Korea, China and Siberia. In 1958 Gatti published his first play Le Poisson noir, which was awarded the Prix F~n~on for literature. Jean Vilar staged Gatti's Le Crapaud-Buffle in 1959. The ori ginal subtitle of the play "Une Histoire de France pour Adultes" was dropped during rehearsals when word reached the troupe that the play was about to be banned. Gatti maxes free use of the factual material picked up during his extensive travels in Central America as a journalist. In the play the principal character Don Tiburcio is the dic tator of a fictitious country. His works and acts are in part borrowed from Trujillo, Armas of Guatemala, Martinez of San Salvador and Somoza of Nicaragua. Don Tiburcio is in close touch with the great figures of his country's past and can at will become possessed of the spirit of a defunct hero who might serve his political purpose. Although the play did not receive favorable press reviews from French critics, Gordon Merrick praised Gatti's techniques and dismissed any parallels between the

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118 character Don Tibur.cio and de Gaulle as being inconsequen tial when he stated: Gatti is no polemicist, but a poet who has passed beyond the most advanced guard of the "new" theater where character is subordinate to an intensely per sonal search for identity and human reality, and where a conventional concept of time and place has no meaning at all. For an unproduced playwright, Gatti has an astonishing command of theatrical short hand. He has made of the mechanics of moving actors around the stage and establishing a setting an extra dramatic dimension, an active value, rather than a deadening pause.S Gatti's vision distinguished him from his avant-garde con temporaries because it went beyond despair. Writing in 1960 Merrick thought Gatti would restore universal human values to a theater that had become increasingly self absorbed in the hermetic. Gatti's first success as a playwright came in 1962 when his play La Vie imaginaire de l'eboueur Auguste G. was produced. Auguste G., which contains images of Gatti's childhood and father, relates the existence of a man who at the moment of his death tries to reconstruct and maKe sense out of the events of his life. Roger Planchon became interested in the play and included it in his pro gram at the Theatre de la Cite at Villeurbanne in 1962. At the same time Auguste G. was being produced at Villeur banne, the Theatre des Celestins was rehearsing Gatti's 5 Gordon Merrick, "The Toad in the Ointment," The New Republic, 142, 7 (Feb. 1960), 20.

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119 play La Deuxieme Existence du camp de Tatenberg in Lyon, a theater in Marseille presented his Le Voyage du grand Tchou, and the first volume of his theater was published in West Germany. After participating in the production of his play Auguste G. in 1962, Gatti traveled to Cuba where he filmed El Otro Cristobal (The other Christopher). During the year of filming in Cuba he wrote the play Chant public devant deux chaises electriques. In Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Gatti found the same kind of guerrilla fighter he had known during the French Resistance and had met later in Guatemala. Such men fought with the instruments of every day life against an ennemy whose power seemed limitless. He compared the American ships stationed off Cuba and armed with nuclear missiles to the poorly armed Cubans patrolling the shores. After the experience of directing a film in Cuba, Gatti returned to France to direct his play Chroniques d'une planete provisoire at the Grenier de Toulouse. He then directed a second play there, his Le Poisson noir. Gatti was very active in the state dramatic centers where he continued to rehearse, discuss, and read his plays to audiences, and write and rewrite plays. In 1966 he directed the production of his play Chant public at the TNP. In 1967 the Grenier de Toulouse asked Gatti to direct a new version of his play Chroniques d'une planete provi soire. During the rehearsals a union group (Collectif

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.. 120 Intersyndical Universitaire de l'Enseignement Superieur et la Recherche Scientifique) asked Gatti to write a play about Vietnam. Gatti accepted and wrote in one month the play V cornme Vietnam. The Grenier de Toulouse proposed to coproduce the play and replaced the scheduled Shakespearean play La Nuit des Rois by Gatti's play, which they presented as "La Nuit des Reis de Shakespeare, interpretee par les comediens du Grenier de Toulouse face aux evenements du Sud-Est asiatique --V ccmme Vietnam d 'Armand Gatti," The play ran for about one month at Toulouse. Then it toured about fifty cities in France including Paris. With the play V comme Vietnam Gatti for the first time treated a then-current subject. During the same year he carried on an experiment at the The~tre d'Est Parisien (TEP). Spectators were asked to collaborate on a play by discussing with Gatti their concerns and problems, and the kinds of subjects they thought should be presented in plays. This play, Les Treize Soleils de la rue Saint-Blaise was staged at the TEP in 1968. Guy Retore, who had initiated the project, directed the play. Gatti's four plays to be discussed: La Vie imagina:ire de 1 eboueur Auguste G., Chant public devant deux chaises electriques, V comme Vietnam, and Les Treize S'oleils de la rue Saint-Blaise, can be divided into two periods: 1962-1966 and 1966-1968. The plays staged during the former period emphasize the past and those of the latter period

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121 place the action in a contemporary context. The two periods also coincide with changes in the political situa tion in relation to the theater in France.

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CHAPTER VII 1962-1966: LA VIE IMAGINAIRE DE L'EBOUEUR AUGUSTE G. AND CHANT PUBLIC DEVANT DEUX CHAISES ELECTRIQUES La Vie imaginaire de l'eboueur Auguste G. was produced for the first time by Roger Planchon's Theater de la Cite. The work of Planchon's troupe coincided with Gatti's inter est in a working-class audience, in new staging techniques, and in new methods of production. Planchon's theater was located in Villeurbanne, a working-class area outside Lyon. Before putting on a play the actors, the director, the scenic designer, all those connected with the production would visit whatever aspect of society the play dealt with: factories, homes, schools. They would then discuss what they had learned from the visits. After the play had been staged they would discuss it once more. Auguste G. was staged on 16 February 1962. Claude Leehy composed the music; Rene Allio designed the set; and Jacques Rosner directed the play. Because of its successful staging, Gatti was recognized for the first time as a promising French dramatist. The plot of Auguste G. is relatively simple. A street cleaner injured by the police during a strike lies dying on a hospital bed. In his delirium he reconstructs the impor tant events of his life in an effort to understand it. 122

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123 After he dies the police dump his body in the gutter to make it appear as though he died as a result of a drunken brawl. Although the plot is simple, the structure of the play and the staging techniques used are necessarily complex to communicate the confused mental effort of the protagonist. Auguste G. is divided into four parts designated as I, II, III, and IV. Out of the fragments of information given in brief flashbacks, flashpresents and flashforwards, sometimes contradictory, the audience is obliged to construct the story of the life of Auguste G . After the opening scene in which the police intervene to break up a stike at the sani tation department, the forty-six-year-old Auguste lies injured on a cot in a special infirmary where he is visible throughout the rest of the play. His delirious comments counterpoint the events of his life as staged by other actors. These scenes of his life are enacted or narrated by four other Augustes played by different actors: Auguste at nine years old in the slums of Marseille; Auguste as a soldier at twenty-one in the First World War; Auguste at thirty married to Laurence and involved in labor struggles which lead to his death; and Auguste in old-age happily retired and living on a pension from the state. Through Gatti's use of nonlinear theater the spectator experiences or at least becomes aware of the complex life of a simple streetcleaner.

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124 Gatti's episodes and character relationships knit the action together; however, the spectator must piece frag ments of information together from different scenes. From Auguste's imagined life the spectator learns that Pauline, Auguste's first love, left the working-class district called La Vierge after winning a marathon dance contest. Laurence, Auguste's wife, has had a love affair with (or at least is loved by) Gamache, the apolitical foreman of the street cleaners who got Auguste his job with the sanitation depart ment. Other'important relationships for Auguste are his friend Roger Estribot, who also loved Pauline; other workers at the sanitation department, who show cruelty toward one another as do the neighbors in La Vierge; and Auguste's son Christian. In Auguste's delirium Chri.:stian represents a successful film director who portrays him as a worker who furthered the cause of the revolution. Also important are the Black Baron and the White Baron because they provide episodes which relate Auguste's private life to his work situation. The Black Baron represents societal taboos whereas the White Baron, who appears'in episodes of Augustes later life, symbolizes the repressive boss. Thus, the spectator follows Auguste's emotional life: his feelings of guilt when he and Pauline were discovered by the local madman, the Black Baron, as they began to discover each other sexually in a field, his despair at Pauline's disap pearance and death in a fire (the circumstances of which are diversely described by his various selves), his

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125 suspicions about his wife's relationship with Gamache, his humiliation at using his thumb print to sign a new contract won by the workers, and his hopes in his son whom he imag ines will make a film about his life. 1 Fantastic and realistic elements are intermingled in the remembered or imagined occurrences of Auguste's inner life. In the marathon dance episodes normal people dance with animals (bear, horse), with objects (a wheelbarrow with a flower pot in it, a machine), with persons of the same sex, or with persons of the opposite sex who create strange couples (a pimp and an innocent girl, a nun and an irate father). The orchestra playing for the marathon dance is composed of members of the CRS (Compagnie republicaine de securite) police force. This mixture of real events (the marathon dance) and fantasy (animals and machines as dance partners) permits Gatti to present in humorous, exag gerated action a critical view of a repressive society where the White Baron and CRS are in charge. The spectator views the events on stage from a critical distance at the same time as he experiences the inner life of Auguste. This technique of distanciation is an important structural element in all of Gatti's plays. Another techn~que Gatti uses to create distanciation is theatrical simultaneity which he explains in relation 1 Peter Gelbard, "Theater in Paris," Drama survey, 4, 1 (Spring 1965), 66.

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126 to Auguste G. in the following way: To add drama and depth to this life, I use theatrical simultaneity. The stage then becomes a series of phases in Auguste G.' s life. We see him at nine years of age, at twenty, at thirty -people emerge from his past and his present. These people, con stantly transformed, age-wise, fade in and out and into one another on stage. Time and place are for ever shifting throughout the drama. 2 Furthermor~,the playwright feels that Auguste G., because of its structure, requires an entirely new concept of mise en scene: I say new because scenic or stage time is non existent in my play. The usual theatrical time, that is, clocktime, has been completely abolished. The only time which exists in my play is flash time. In other words, what audiences see are concrete images: a series of flashes which last perhaps some times but twelve seconds This flash or simul taneous time requires new structural theatrical organization which differs from the one we know. We call this type of theatrical conception non-linear theater In the theatre, these events and scenes as I have conceived them must flow in rapid succession so that the rhythmic effects created by them are not lost and excitement is added to the spectacle as a whole.3 Gatti frequently uses a simultaneous staging of events in various space locations and at different time periods in his plays. Dorothy Knowles has traced the history of theatrical experiments in simultaneity from the late 1920s to Gatti's 2 Knapp, p. 209. 3 Knapp, p. 210.

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127 4 Auguste G. Attempts to enlarge the acting area by architects, scenographers, and producers in many countries paral leled attempts to enlarge the cinema screen in the late 1920s. The Polish scenographer Szymon Syrkus translated the principle of simultaneity into practical terms by his crea tion of a "simultaneous theater" in Zoliberg (1927} and then in Warsaw (1932}. In neither experiment was a particular acting area or stage assigned to the actors; Syrkus believed the theater was or should be a single space providing for immediate contact between actor and audience. In France, a model of a "spatial theater" inspired by Syrkus's simultaneous theater was exhibited by Edouard Autant-Lara in 1938 after a visit to Poland. In April1962 Yaacov Agam and the architect Claude Parent exhibited a model of a "theatre a scenes multiples en ;contrepoint. 115 Three months later Michel Parent tested the conception of the theater embodied in this model by producing a play. Parent's play Gilda Appelle Mae West presents the drama enacted in the conscience of the American airman who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. The briefing for the raid on Hiroshima parallels a briefing of gangsters, one of whom is the expilot John. Moreover, these two sequences are played simultaneously. Dramatic progression and suspense at least 4 Dorothy Knowles, "Michel Parent and Theatrical Experiments in Simultaneity," Theater Research, 11, 1 (1971}, 26. 5 Knowles, '~~chel Parent," p. 30.

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128 as they are conventionally known are discarded as Parent makes use of past-present-future counterpoint and synthesis. He compared this procedure to that of Robbe-Grillet's film Last Year in Marienbad in which a fusion of past and present, of dreams, desires, and reality creates a purely mental time and space. Parent's play Gilda was produced a few months after Auguste G. and the techniques Knowles mentions in relation to Parent's play are similar to those present in Gatti's Auguste G.: it is very composed; it proceeds by the juxta position and superimposition of scenes lived at widely dif ferent intervals; the idea of counterpoint, which is applied both to the visual images and the dialogue. Speaking about the overall effect of Parent's play Knowles states: Through the presentation an effect of distance in the manner of Brecht is established inviting reflection on the hero's action and not identification with him, though the presentation, in Brecht, is of course successive, and not simultaneous as with Parent. Parent claims that an even completer "distancing" than Brecht's could be attained, seeing that Brecht's "distancing" applies only to the theatrical event, and not to the historical fact that is related to the theatrical event.6 The techniques of simultaneity also distance the audi ence from Auguste's life so that they may take a critical view of the events presented: the poverty of workers in La Vierge; the crass conditions and violence; the lack of 6 Knowles, '':!-'T...ichel Parent," p. 32.

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129 unity among striking workers because of personal disagree ments; and the police repression serving the interest of big business. This "distancing" is increased by setting the action in a working-class district between the First and Second World Wars, by using episodes which are sometimes contradictory and nonchronological, by including elements of fantasy, and by exaggerating actions and characters. In this nonlinear theater such motifs as fire, virginity, and route 115, which leads away from poverty to the city "like a dagger," are repeated in various forms and often combined in the same scene. A government official comes from town on route 115 to take part in. a funeral procession for fourty-eight victims of a fire which destroyed three fourths of La Vierge. Pauline, who is born during that fire, later leaves on route 115 after winning the marathon dance and losing her virginity to the White Baron who sponsored the dance. During the First World War she dies during a fire in a whorehouse. Her words are instructive: Je suis nee de l'incendie, Auguste-mais ce n'est pas pour cela que je suis partie. Le moment qui vous a vu naitre, on le retrouve partout dans sa vie. Il met tout auteur de vous un nombre croissant de jalons, si bien qu'il finit par vous enfermer. Si je suis partie c'est que j'en avais assez de toute cette crasse. Je savais qu'au bout de la departementale il y avait des bas fins, des chaus sures fourrees et des hommes qui sentaient bon. Je voulais etre au chaud. 7 7 Armand Gatti, La Vie imaginaire de l'eboueur Auguste G., in Theatre III (Paris: Seuil, 1962), p. 23. All

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130 Gatti's technique of weaving together the different motifs of fire, the virgin, the route, and the marathon dance inter laces the action and permits him to jump from one idea to another, as well as to contradict information given. Pauline later adds: "Au fond, ce n'est pas vrai que je vou lais etre au chaud -s'il n'y avait pas eu le marathon danse, je serais revenue" (p. 23). In the framework of Auguste's delirium the spectator becomes accustomed to the presentation of the action in a nonlinear mode. The fragments of infor mation are either enacted or narrated by the characters. The themes of love, sex, and the exploitation of workers are interwoven effectively so the spectator sees how they are interrelated in actual life. Shamed by the scandal of Pauline's departure her father Julian symbolically establishes his friend Victor Estribot as his son-in-law by "giving" him Pauline who has left. After Victor Estribot ends up hanging himself off stage on electric wires Auguste G. states: Deux mois (jour pour jour) apres le depart de Pauline, Victor Estribot montait sur un pyl6ne et s'accrochait aux fils a haute tension. Ila fallu quotations in the text are from this edition. The unusual use of punctuation by Gatti is explained in the preface of his Theatre III where he states: "un tiret marque une rup ture de pensee; un changement de vitesse vers l'exteriorisa tion; un crochet marque un changement de vitesse vers l'in teriorisation. C'est en quelque sorte une ecriture a trois tons ou les differentes hauteurs ne sont pas donnees une fois pour toutes mais s'etablissent continuellement les unes par rapport aux autres" (pp. 10-11).

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131 la voiture des pompiers pour le decrocher. C'etait un samedi (Le quartier, cette nuit-la, n'a veille qu'au vin rouge). Chacun disait que c'etait a cause de Pauline sauf Roger. Il accusait la Chamelle, sa belle-mere. Celle-ci [pendant ce temps] crepait le chignon avec Fatime [Pauline's mother] qu'elle traitait de maquerelle Un vrai carnaval. (p. 25) The honor of a daughter and the honor of a father are exag gerated here so that the spectator realizes how false some bourgeois morals are in the actual situation of a worker in the slums. Moral codes and a religion which resembles super stition work to keep the workers ignorant and oppressed. Gatti never states this directly. Instead he establishes a correlation between the idea of Pauline' s father being unable to protect his daughter's virginity and his honor against the power of the White Baron, and the money spent by power less men on alcohol and by oppressed women on fortunetellers. The spectator who is distanced from the action by Gatti's techniques perceives this correlation and can look at the misery of these men and women and yet laugh because of the humorous remarks of the characters and the fantastic,exag. gerated settings in which the action occurs. In short, a casual contemptuous view of the events, as advocated by Brecht, allows the spectator to form a critical view of society. To keep the spectator's attention, a constant theme is often presented in a variety of ways. The theme of virgin ity can serve as an example. The Black Baron surprised Pauline and Auguste in a field when Auguste was nine years

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132 old. This episode is first alluded to on page 27 of the text. It is not until page 94 that a complete version of what happened is related. Until that point the spectator only knows that Auguste feels g_u'ilty about the incident and that he is fearful of the Black Baron who states: Vous ~tes tous victimes de la plus grand mysti fication de l'histoire, une femme qui pour cacher une crapuleuse grossesse s'est proclamfe Vierge. C'etait tellement enorme que la terre entiere l'a cru (Ne perdez pas confiance, les Ecritures~ se realiseront). (p. 27) The Baron's statement demystifies religion, but it also presents sexual relationships as evil and shameful. The theme of sexual relationships is continually con nected with the work situation in the play. The disagree ment between Gamache and Auguste in their private lives con cerning Laurence, Auguste's wife, parallels their differ ent opinions about politics. Gamache supports the White Baron and thinks Auguste should take better care of Laurence by not getting involved in politics. The link between sex ual repression, Auguste's guilt, and socio-political repres sion is suggested concretely when the Black Baron is buried in a coffin the very day that Auguste is employed by the sa~itation department. The White Baron seems to Auguste to be the same as the Black Baron except that he looks a little more prosperous. Songs, as a Brechtian technique, also play a part in the structure of Gatti's plays. For example, Angelina, an

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133 older woman, sings a song that is later sung by Laurence. Tne first singing raises the spectator's curiosity, but by the second time it is sung the spectator understands it better because other themes have been introduced. Laurence sings: Jene suis qu'une moinelle, brodee sur un drap de mariee si le drap se dechire pour preuve que la moinelle peut voler, vous offiriras-je son cri? Vous l'offrirais-je? (p. 65) Rather and puzzling the song connotes the idea of a violent loss of virginity, a central theme of the play. It also suggests the impossible love of Auguste and Pauline, Auguste's feelings of guilt concerning what happened to Pauline, and the sexual exploitation by the White Baron. All of which is inferred later when Pauline and Roger, com pletely drunk, finish the song after Pauline's father has been dragged out of the marathon dance. Pauline and Roger sing: Et quand le cri s'eteindra Moi qui n'ai vecu que pour lui Moi, voila que je tomberai. (p. 66) After this scene the White Baron takes Pauline away, Roger Estribot is put in jail, and Auguste G., standing on his bed, cries, "avec la revolution, on balayera tout c;a" (p. 67). Thus the themes of virginity, sexual exp~oitation, the exploitation of the workers, and revolution are interwoven.

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134 Gatti uses interruptions in the play, such as Auguste yelling from his bed, to keep the spectator from being dis tracted by false sentiments. Interruptions are also used as a part of the whole structure of the play to call atten tion to the text of the play to illustrate that theater is not real life. Unconvinced by Auguste's rhetoric about the revolution, Christian as a film director cries, "stop" (p. 67). Auguste G. falls back down on his bed as Christian states: "Cette revolution ne vaut rien Personne n 'y croira" (p. 67). This interruption serves to break the illusion of the play and to point toward the fact that like a film a play is a constructed text put together from a certain point of view. While Christian describes the action, the actors follow his indications as though he were directing them in a film. Throughout the play the theme of the revolution and the role of the intellectual are presented in relation to Christian's production of a film. The role of the intellectual is introduced as a theme when the White Baron states: (La revolution vue par les artistes!) Ces gens-la sont aussi necessaires qu'une soupape. Il faut les entretenir Les monteurs d'illusions aident a la vidange du plus grand nombre. Je les en remercie, mais qu'ils n'outrepassent point leurs fonctions. (p. 69) The White Baron bans Christian's film and sends him to prison. While Christian is in prison1 the White Baron asks him to sign a contract and tells him that leftist

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135 intellectuals are actually in the service of the state and that the dominant bourgeois society's injustice towards the poor is an unconscious reflex for judges who come from the bourgeois class. To vary the action, speed up the tempo, and add to the complexity of the play Gatti utilizes group movements of group choruses. In Part III when the funeral of Auguste's young wife is related, all the Augustes speak in chorus: "Ce matin-la, le courage me manqua/ Je regardais auteur de moi sans comprendre/ Laurence etait morte a ving-neuf ans." (p. 82). Other characters besides the Augustes also res pond simultaneously during this sequence. Changing the groupings of characters on stage often intensifies the visual presentation. The set designs in Auguste G. are an intrinsic part of the text. In Part IV characters appear in a large "empty" screen. Like a giant roll of film it is indented along the side and separated into frames. This setting once again distances the action from the spectator. In addition it recalls the theme of the revolution in Christian's film. The film version presents a contrast with Auguste's actual death. A large armed hand appears in one of the frames and a shot is heard. The Black Baron falls down, as if dead, and then the White Baron falls down. The film stops as alarms and sirens create a "noise" interruption in the play. Then Auguste states:

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136 (Je serais bien incapable d'aller quelque part.) La departementale 115, ce n'est plus pour moi. Ces routes-la, c'est bon quand on est enfant. Lorsqu'on devient balayeur, il n'en reste plus beaucoup. Alors, on invente des histoires vieilles comme le monde (Laurence Pauline) je m'en suis tellement raconte la-dessus que je ne sais plus tres bien ce qu'elles ont ete (Les femmes, c'est en dormant qu'on en a le plus) Chris? (tu seras quelqu'un toi pas comme moi) Lorsque plus tard tu feras des films, je sais que tune m'oubli eras pas. Tu me feras mourir dans la revolution, n'est-ce pas, Chris? Avec un bel enterrement et des drapeaux rouges et tousles camarades de l'Assainissement qui m'accompagneront jusqu'a la departementale 115, Dis, Chris? tu n'oublieras pas? Jusqu'a la departementale 115 (p. 106) Instead of the Barons being shot or Auguste being considered as a revolutionary hero, Auguste's body is unceremoniously dumped in the gutter by the police. Empty "frames" keep moving on the giant stage screen to indicate the true story of Auguste's death will not be told. In general critics favorably reviewed the play and the staging techniques. Bernard Poirot-Delpech stated: Le flou apporte par Gatti a la peinture d'Auguste etait indispensable pour la rendre ressemblant en profondeur. Du desordre des visions et de la folie des mots nait peu a peu l'impression verti gineuse de partager la realite apparemment simple mais finalement incommunicable qu'est la songerie d'un eboueur revolutionnaire mourant de coups de crosse il ya trente ans et se demandant pourquoi. 8 8 Bertrand Poirot-Delpech, "'La Vie imaginaire de l'~boueur Auguste Geai' d'Armand Gatti," in Au soir le soir: The.ter 1960-1970 (Paris: Mercure de France, 1969), p. 133.

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137 Jacques Lacarriere said the blending of past, present, and future was necessary since a man when dying reviews his life as imaginary events mixed with real ones rather than as a chronological film. 9 Peter Gelbard very enthusias tically praised Gatti's techniques by stating: Energy and emotion, restlessness, singlemindedness, an absolute command of technique are used to serve an idea, and not to fiddle with the form for form's sake . 6 Gatti will be France's answer to Brecht. 1 According to Jean Wagner, Gatti'stechniques attacked the structures of the theater. 11 By multiplying the playing areas on the stage, the stage became a factor of creation as it became the support for the joint imagination of the author and the spectator. Besides the time and place of the stage, Gatti further multiplied the number of areas available by the addition of cinema screens which also sup port the idea of the real, the memory, or the dream. Wagner believes Gatti's use of screens differs from that of Brecht, who used them as a means of comment, and that of Piscator, who used them to enlarge the action to historical dimensions. Moreover, Wagner believes the esthetic intent 9 Jacques Lacarri~re, "'La Vie imaginaire de l'~boueur Auguste Geai' d'Armand Gatti m.e.s. Jacques Rosner, avec le Theatre de la Cite," The&tre Populaire, 54 (1964}, p. 89. 10 Gelbard, p. 70. 11 Jean Wagner, "Notes sur le theatre d'Armand Gatti," Nouvelle Critique, 175 (1966), p. 43.

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138 of each of Gatti's plays is to explode the traditional structures of the theater in order to reveal a universe where the class struggle is the motor of all actions. As Wagner states: Or la dynamique, le moteur meme de !'action est directement liee a la situation sociale du heros: le monde de Gatti est, en effet, un monde essentie.1lement gouverne par la lutte des classes. La psycho logie n'entre pour aucune part dans le comportement des heros: le passe qui revit dans chacun de leurs gestes est un passe d'homme socialement situe, le present est a la fois la somme de toutes les humilia tions et de toutes les conquetes, le future, une fidelite au passe. Les idees qui animent les per so~n~ges r~nt celles d'hommes de classes tres precises. The theme of class struggle is also evident in Gatti's play Chant public devant deux chaises electriques per formed at the TNP in 1966. In addition to the obviously political subject matter -the Sacco-Vanzetti case Gatti again uses structural techniques to draw attention to socio-political conditions. By breaking up the elements of time and space, Gatti questions the notion of theater representation and forces the spectator to actively parti cipate in contributing to the creation of the play. As has been pointed out in the discussion of Auguste G., Gatti uses the idea of a film being made to interrupt the play in in order to call attention to the spectacle, and to dis sipate its cohesive illusion. In Chant publique the actual 12 Wagner, p. 48.

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139 play about Sacco and Vanzetti does not even exist on stage. Instead, five groups of spectators -in Boston, Hamburg: Turin, Lyon, and New Orleans -relive the long death wait of Nicole Sacco and Bartholomew Vanzetti, two anarchists accused of murder. 13 The playwright concentrates on the importance of the role of the "supposed" spectators. For it is their reac tions on stage which are the subject of the play. Through their comments about the nonexistent play, these supposed spectators express opinions which reflect their social backgrounds. Being spectators, they are to some degree the doubles of those in the actual audience. Therefore, through the reactions of the supposed spectators, the real spectators realize it is their own social, economic, and political circumstances which dictate their own reactions. In this way Gatti directs attention toward the social and political conditions in the actual lives of the audience. The framework of Chan.t public includes activities associated with a theater such as getting tickets, inter mission, and actors preparing to go on stage. By jumping from one supposed theater audience to another Gatti creates a more complex play. Each city presents spectators in different political situations. 13 After seven years in prison they were executed in 1927 at Charlestown, Massachusetts.

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140 For example in Hamburg, Vorortzug states: "Cette histoire d'anarchistes italiens condamnes et attendant pen dant sept ans leur mise mort, me terrorise. 1114 Informa tion about the Sacco-Vanzetti case is given in relation to' s personal life. He wants to see the play and yet is terrified by the execution of the two innocent anar chists because his own son is in jail for political activi ties. Vorortzug's lawyer Muller, who has accompanied him to the play, provides a link between past history and the present events. Muller sees a parallel between the injus tice of the Sacco and Vanzetti case and the injustice of the Nuremburg trials. According to him the Nazis, like Sacco and Vanzetti, wanted to change society and were wrongly condemned. Muller states: "Qu'est-ce que l'affaire Sacco-Vanzetti? De fausse accusations lancees pour obtenir la mort de gens qui voulaient bouleverser le mondeC'~tait deja un avant-goftt du proces Nuremberg. [Une repe tition generale parrni tant d'autres]" (p. 27). Gatti uses such a character to illustrate the problem of conflicting attitudes in present-day society. Muller's attitude demon strates how individual reactions to a play differ. The spectator in the actual audience perceives that either the Right or the Left can distort an event to make it reflect 14 Armand Gatti, Chant public devant electriques (Paris: Seuil, 1964), p. 24. the text are from this edition. deux chaises All quotations in

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141 their own particular political views, however exaggerated those views may be. In Turin, Italy, the supposed spectators are more directly political; they include an anarchist, a union leader, and a journalist. The journalist Boschetto says to the anarchist Venturelli: "Vous ne representez plus qu 'une survivance [un parti croupion] l' anarchie est morte avec la guerre d'Espagne" (p. 28). To this Venturelli replies: N' ayez crainte ,,__ la simple existence de gens comme vous 1 'obliger a touj ours a se tenir en vie. Vous connaissez l'affaire des pendus de Chicago? Celle qui a donne naissance a la f~te du Premier Mai? Dans le monde entier [malgre vos actes de deces] on celebre cette f@te M@me si des gens comme vous font semblant d 'ignorer a qui elle est due avons nous un seul jour (dans notre maniere de vivre ou de penser) cesse de temoigner pour ou contre les anarchistes de Chicago, et les idees pour lesquelles ils ont ete pendus? (p. 29) In Chant public, the hanging of the five anarchists in Chicago is referred to several times as is also the execu tion of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. These references in various forms knit the play together as they point toward a common history of inj ustices in the past to which the spectator can add present-day examples. By setting the play in the past, however, Gatti creates a distance which allows the spectator to take a critical view of injustice in society. In the play it is the supposed spectators who execute Sacco and Vanzetti. They, like the real audience, are the ones who allow it to happen and do

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142 nothing to stop it. Gatti's aim is to point up injustices so that each member of the audience in his or her own daily life will take action against such injustices. In Lyon cr-atti has actors, acting as actors, incarnate the characters Webster Thayer the judge, Fuller the gover nor, and Stewart the police Commissioner, since spectators would not identify with those who directly caused the deaths of the innocent anarchists. 15 During the supposed intermission on stage Derlinski ., the theater director in Lyon, plays a recording of the song Chant sur la Colline aux Cerises. Supposedly, Sacco sang this song as a greet ing when Vanzetti was brought to death row in the Charles town prison. Since they were not allowed to see or talk to each other, Vanzetti understood Sacco's. greeting and joined in the singing. Other props like the recording of the song are impor tant in this play. In the beginning of the second half of the play huge portraits of Sacco and Vanzetti are lowered from the flies to represent the symbolic presence of the two anarchists. At the end of the play, two large por traits of Sacco and Vanzetti are again lowered from the flies. Then a recorded voice representing Vanzetti states his last words before being executed: "Notre condamnation est devenue notre carriere. Elle sera notre reussite. 15 Gatti, Chant public, preface, p. 15.

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143 Nous n'aurions jamais pu accomplir en faveur de la tolerance, de la justice, de la comprehension entre les hornmes, ce que nous avons pu faire du fond de ce couloir" (p. 171). A huge prop is also used to represent President Coolidge; only his striped pants are visible. In one episode Judge Thayer's voice is a taped response to the pleas of Vanzetti's sister who requests clemency for her brother. The device contrasts the human emotions of Vanzetti's sister with the cold attitude of the judge who states he is acting to save civilization. Gatti thus uses the same device, a mechanical recording or. a huge prop representing a person, to communicate different types of information and to create different kinds of reactions in real spectators. A particularly striking prop is used to criticize big business. A soldier agonizing on a cross is lowered from the flies. A neon sign then introduces the theme of big business by flashing "OFFERT PAR L'AMERICAN FUNERAIRIA CO." followed by "EMBAUMER EST UN DEVOIR NATIONAL'' {p. 51) These phrases in the style of modern advertising fade out as the soldier reappears. In fact, Gatti's elaborate stage directions in the text illustrate the skill with which he visualizes a scene. These visual images are at times even more important than the text. Perhaps this is natural since Gatti has directed films and uses some film techniques in his theater such as fading and jumping from one location to another. During the soldier episode,

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.. ,. 144 the anarchist Venturelli, acting as a reporter, interviews the unknown soldier, a marine who has served for several years in Mexico, Haiti, and Cuba. The soldier states he sup ports the National City Bank, the Interest Banking House, and the United Fruit Company. The soldier uses the slogan, "bon pour le business, bon pour le pays" (p. 54) to explain the reason for military intervention in Nicaragua, the Domin ican Republic, and Honduras. The style of commercials and publicity in this episode contrasts with the figure of the soldier agonizing on the cross in mid-air, and it is obvious that Gatti is criticizing American military intervention on behalf of business interests. In addition, in another episode Gatti associates the civil ceremony of laying flowers at the grave of the unknown soldier with the beginning of "la semaine de rire, 11 the period of white terror in the 1920s during which a repression of labor groups by soldiers and police forces occurred in the United States. This ceremony in the tone of advertising acts as a counterpoint to the serious and sad parades of the workers' unions on May 1st to commemorate the deaths of union workers. In Chant public Gatti uses the theater setting in Lyon to develop the theme of the participation of the spectator. He uses the term selrnaires to identify parallel creations to a given reality, in this instance the play. In fact the technique is simply an extension of Gatti's practice of including the spectator's point of view in his plays. The

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145 theater director Derlinski states: "Stop. -Excusez ce court arr~t. Nous allons vous demander comment, partir de 1~, chacun de vous voit la suite de la pi~ce -Vous, monsieur" (p. 48). The worker-spectator Vastadour responds: "Mai? Je mettrais l' accent sur Sacco et Vanzetti, savoir quels etaient leurs paroles, leurs gestes, leur fa9on de vivre En un mot je voudrais faire leur connaissance" (p. 48). Consequently, the second part of the play does show the personal lives of Sacco and Vanzetti, but only through the "supposed" spectators viewing the action who "imagineJI Sacco and Vanzetti's last hours and who actually incarnate those taking part in the events. Gatti describes this action of selmaires in the preface to his play in the following way: Dans ce "Chant public", il signifie une creation parallele que fait le spectateur suppose, en cor respondance avec le spectacle qu'il est en train de voir (ici celui de la scene imaginaire). Souvent le spectateur invente, traduit, ou reinvente ce qu'il voit: cette invention, traduction ou reinven tion est un Selmaire. (preface, p. 15) A general selmaire occurs, for example, when the "supposed" spectators who sympathize with Sacco (Boschetto, Cervi, Venturelli, Ehrman-Klose, Derlinski, and Farley) and Vanzetti (Kurlanski, Bonnetade, Little Ned, Coleone, Vastadour, and Anne) stand and sing the "Ballade de l'Inter hational Working World [sic]" together. The first stanza tells about Tom Mooney who organized the strikes of tramway workers. He was not convicted

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146 and sent to jail because false witnesses who were not paid enough recanted. After some dialogue which permits the spectator to grasp more easily the significance of the words of the ballade, the second stanza relates another example of workers who tried to strike. Because this stanza is sung by the "supposed" spectators who identify with Sacco and Vanzetti, it serves to connect the specta tors' fate with that of past examples of men trying to obtain better working conditions. They sing: Etranges fruits pendus/aux arbres de l'Ohio/ fouettes jusqu'au sang/et qui se plaignent/ et qui expirent/ Etranges fruits/pendus par grappes/aux arbres de Tulsa/ Kasprovitz hirsute/ Clean les yeux en sang/ Diaz la machoire fendue/ Fitz avec un regard/de bete aux abois/ Miller recroqueville/ dans un s:ouri'reV qui ne trouve plus/ abri en ce monde/ Etranges fruits/ les ouvriers du petrole/ pendus par grappes/ aux arbres de Tulsa. (pp. 76-77) The song sung by a group permits Gatti to relate gory details which allow the spectator to acknowledge suffering without becoming emotionally involved in it. Such examples also add to the significance of the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti because they build up a complex web of similar examples. In 'the play three "supposed" spectators assume the identities of the characters on the imaginary stage: Cervi, a worker at the Fiat plant in Turin, becomes Sacco; Vastadour, a worker and theater spectator in Lyon, becomes Vanzetti; and Vorortzug, whose son is in jail for political

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147 reasons in Hamburg, becomes Madeiros. Madeiros was the young robber who told the police it was the Morelle brothers who killed the cashiers Sacco and Vanzetti were accused of murdering. The authorities did not accept his testimony and executed him along with Sacco and Vanzetti. In Auguste G. Gatti depicts the cruelty and violence in a working-class district, in Chant public he shows the dignity and heroism of workers. Vastadour-Vanzetti states: J'ai beaucoup parle de moi, et j'en ai presque oublie Sacco. Lui aussi est un ouvrier qui a tout sacrifie a la cause; son argent, ses ambitions, sa femme, ses enfants, sa vie. [Ni lui, ni moi], n'avons jamais mange, de notre enfance ace jour, un morceau de pain que la sueur de notre front n'ait gagrie--jamais. (p. 132) Motivated by his personal experience of being raised in a slum, Gatti has become informed about anarchists, union movements, revolutionary movements, and historical periods related to such actions. Also because of his background, Gatti was not conditioned by the traditional French culture other playwrights of the 1960s experienced, and thus he brings a different point of view to the theater. Similari ties do exist, however, between Gatti and Jean Genet. Because of their personal experiences (Genet spent many years in jail as a criminal), they view society from the outside, and both playwrights are critical of the French society in which they function. Genet's plays deal indi rectly with the themes of culture (LesNegres) in conflict with images of oneself, and the class struggle

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., 148 (Les Paravents), and revolution (Le Halcon). Genet pre sents a particular view of the mechanism of appearances in society. Moreover, his anarchistic Said in Les Paravents illustrates that he, to some degree, sides with the underdog. In Chant public Gatti portrays simple, uneducated workers as heros. His plays represent an attempt to open up a new way of looking at French society in order to recognize that different points of view exist, and to pro vide a critical view of the ideas imposed by a dominant class whose values (for example,justice) are often contra dicted by the real social, political and economic situation. Gatti's rewriting of history to show a different viewpoint is evidence of the general trend toward recognizing a pluralistic society which occurred during the 1960s and which still continues today. It may be validly argued that Gatti is not objective, but this argument is merely a recognition of the fact that it is impossible to be objective in our era. Someone is always interpreting facts and history is always being written by someone with a par ticular perspective. Moreover, to view problems properly and to try and solve them, the first step is to acknow ledge that different points of view do exist. In Auguste G. workers find it difficult to take a unified action because of different opinions and personal considerations. While Sacco, Vanzetti and Madeiros are on death row, Gatti expands the structure of the play to

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149 include actions which are taking place outside the prison to try and save their lives. Reports are made from dif ferent parts of the United States. Kurlanski, as a union metallurgist, relates: Les hommes. capables de declencher un mouvement gene ral se sont vendus au patronat. Les syndicats sus ceptibles de prendre la direction d'une greve gene rale ont ete ecrases, liquides dans le sang. Souviens-toi de Chicago. (p. 138) Little Ned, a black reporting from a miners' union in Colo rado, states: "L'ecrasement et la faim. Vous n'avez qu'~ lire les j ournaux. Nous n' avons que deux issues ou fermer notre gueule, ou ~tre des espions russes" (p. 140). In this episode Gatti blames the unions for permitting their members to be assassinated. Union members who take no action are as guilty as the judges and religious hypo c:tites who do the "dirty" work for those in power are as bad or worse than those they serve. In an interview Gatti expresses this opinion in relation to the Second World War: After the Liberation of Paris someone said to me: "There are people who were put in prison unjustlywho did nothing, 1 ''. I say, those are the people who should go to jail those who did nothing to remedy the situation. The person who tried to please both hangman and victim is the bi 6 gest coward of all. Worse than the SS men were.l In the play Gatti suggests the real spectators are respon sible for causing the deaths of Sacco and Vanzetti. 16 Knapp, p. 278.

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150 Vastadour-Vanzetti says to the Presse-Commutateur who places the electrodes on his legs: S'il y avait un Dieu, il ne pourrait avoir pitie des eunuques qui se font les larbins de la mort. Mon seul desir, c'etait de mourir debout au milieu de meS SemblableS et VOila_ a_ quoi j I ai droi t [ a des etres tels que vous]. Le pire, c'est qu'a toutes les epoques vous aurez vos pareils -.Que vos mains ignobles ne me touchent plus [elles sont cou vertes de la crasse des maftres que vous servez]. (p. 164) During the trial scenes earlier in the play the Presse Commutateur(a man) and the Officiante de la Mort (a woman) speak from their seats in the real audience with a pro jector on them. Each time a different false witness is called to testify these two appear, one or the other depend ing upon whether the witness is a man or a woman. The pro jector searches them out on the stage or in the audience since they always testify from a new location. Lighting is also effectively used as a technique in other parts of the play. Boschetto, the spectator journalist in Turin, plays the role of the journalist at the execution. He describes how the lights will dim when all the electric current in the prison will be directed toward the electric chair. After he speaks the lights in the theater are lowered three times in a row. When the execution actually does take place, the lights go out and the journalist, during the interval of darkness, takes a seat in the audience and becomes a spectator like the actual spectators in the theater.

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151 The use of lighting is also used to close the frame work of the play. The theater usher in the play comes in the dark with a flashlight to inspect the chairs of Cervi, Vastadour, and Vorortzug as though they had left something there. Then she turns her flashlight on the audience and keeps it shining on them for several minutes. This ending closes the framework of the play and again links the stage action with the everyday lives of the real spectators. Gatti uses only one set design, a huge neon panel which symbolizes the American framework for the Sacco-Vanzetti case. The panel suggests the theater lights in the Broadway theater district and serves as a lighted display board flashing newspaper headlines. Distance is achieved by the fact that the audience never does see a traditional play about Sacco and Vanzetti. The titles of the ten sections of the play suggest an interrelation between music, a political position, and film techniques: I. Clefs deportee sous forme de spectateurs partisans, II. Bande sonore pour un generique, III. Couplet de la semaine du rire dans le Massachusetts, IV. Antiphon aire de la terreur blanche a Palmer-City, v. Bande temoin pour un long metrage policier, VI. Entracte avec les dix huit orpheons de detresse du Premier mai, VII. South Brain tree Parade, VII. Hymne pour un enfant assassine, VI. Note blanche et noire sur une triple agonie, X. Bel Canto. The use of such titles also makes one think of Brecht's use of titles to summarize the action. As the number of sections

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152 suggests, this play is longer than Auguste G. and includes more episodes. Perhaps this length symbolizes the long death wait of the anarchists in jail. The play opens with "Une mesure pour rien" which summarizes poetically what will happen in the play. Throughout the play songs vary the presentation of information, summarize the action, and sometimes serve to interrupt it as do Brecht's didactic songs in his plays. The critic Bertrand Poirot-Delpech describes Chant public as a play difficult to follow since the concepts of time, space and objectivity are eliminated. Nevertheless he thinks the play opens perspectives worth exploring and he judges: C'est la premiere fois que le th~~tre cherche a approcher, non plus la verite d'un evenement, mais la reali te impalpable de son retem:issement possible hors du temps et de l'espace ou il s'est produit. C'est la premiere fois qu'un drame vecu est exclu sivement restitue par ce qui le continue dans les memoires, les hontes OU les revoltes de ses survivants. 17 Renee Saurel also remarks that the play is confusing at times. 18 Yet she views it as an attempt to create a new 17 Bertrand Poirot-Delpech, "Chant public devant deux chaises electriques," in Au soir le soir (Paris: Mercure de France, 1969}, pp. 187-88. 18 Renee Saurel, "Sur la colline aux cerises, 'Chant public devant deux chaises electriques' d'Armand Gatti au T.N.P., 11 Les Temps Modernes, 238 (1966}, pp. 1671-72.

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.. > .. <. 153 form of theater since it demands an effort on the part of the spectator. She refers to the play as a "jeu de puzzle." The confusion in the play arises partly because the indentifications of the "supposed" spectators with a parti cular character are never simple. Sometimes the first reac tion of a "supposed" spectator is dictated by sentimental reasons and the second one is conditioned by his/her social class, race, past, or fear about the future. In Boston Katz, a Jewish lawyer, is invited to the play by non-Jewish friends. At first he identifies with the attitude of the prosecuting attorney who will be granted social acceptance along with membership in a private club when he has won the convictions of Sacco and Vanzetti. After his friends have left the theater, however, Katz identifies with Vanzetti. In New Orleans Little Ned, a good-natured black who is unemployed, identifies with Vanzetti, while Mann, a weak and nasty man who is also black and an organizer for the Republican Party, sides with the authorities. Mann identi fies with those in power to protect himself. Little Ned identifies with those of a similar socio-political position so that he will not have to fight alone. The two characters mak,e different choices, yet their choices are dictated by the fact they are black. Another cause of confusion in Gatti's plays and a source of weakness in them is Gatti's use of language. Yves Benet attributes this weakness to the fact that Gatti does not have the same cultural heritage as the

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154 generation of Malraux, even though he experienced the same 19 war. Moreover he thinks Gatti's inquietude contemporaine is not experienced by the bourgeoisie or certain other people who have cultural functions or positions. Gatti's plays instead express his anxiety in relation to his own identity, his origins as a worker, and as a fighter in the French Resistance. Gatti's language is different, Benot concludes, because his cultural background is different. He describes the weaknesses in Gatti's language as follows: Ce n'est pas seulement affaire d'idees ou de con cepts, mais aussi et plus encore de langage: ce que le style de Gatti a souvent de deconcertant, cette maniere d'entrechoquer des termes abstraits dont la signification, dans ce contexte, ou bien s'est singu lairement assombrie, ou bien est devenue autre que celle de l'usage habituel, le melange surprenant d'elans lyriques arr~tes a mi-course et d'analyses feintes, tous ces traits revelent que le langage n'est pas, chez lui, un element donne, deja prepare par une certaine culture, ou educ~.tion, qu' il est peniblement recree par l'ecrivain.~ 0 Yet, Gatti's plays are important as experiments in theater techniques and as a means to understand the evolution toward political theater in France in the 1960s. Alain Schifres calls Gatti a revolutionary humanist. 21 He believes Gatti never strays from his dream to free man. 19 Yves Benot, "Le Theatre d 'Armand Gatti et l 'inquie tude contemporaine," La Pensee, 128 (1966), p. 129. 20 Benot, p. 123. 21 Alain Schifres, "Armand Gatti," m~alites, 188 (1966), P 65.

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r. 155 It is true that Gatti wants to show spectators they have many possibilities. Linear theater, according to him, dis dains man because it does not give him any possibilities. Gatti differentiates linear plays in which one or several characters come into focus during a single period of time f h 1 h' h "t' 'b'l' 1122 h rom is pays w 1c use ime possi 1 ity. Int e theater Gatti seeks to replace clocktime with another world which possesses its own logic, its own way of seeing things. In his opinion a man is born with all sorts of possibili ties, but he finds himself limited by his parents, his envi ronment, his education, and his experiences. Slowly he loses some of the many possibilities life has offered him. A person thus is living many lives simultaneously but he is conscious of only one because he becomes chained to one point of view. He can liberate himself, according to Gatti, only when he lives life as an individual and looks at the world in more than one way. When viewed in relation to the idea of "time possibility," Gatti's "different" language represents an attempt to present a conception of French culture which recognizes various groups in French society with differing points of view. 22 Knapp, p. 214.

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), CHAPTER VIII 1966-1968: V COMME VIETNAM AND LES TREIZE SOLEILS DE LA RUE SAINT-BLAISE The two other plays to be discussed, V comrne Vietnam and Les Treize Soleils de la rue Saint-Blaise, illustrate how Gatti changed from taking an event in the past (death of a striker between the two World Wars or the execution of anarchists in 1927) to treating current problems such as the war in Vietnam and the situation of the individual in the French consumer society of the 1960s. Both Auguste G. and Chant public were produced within the time frame 1962-1966, in a period during which there was much enthusiasm for popular theater. De Gaulle's pres tige was rising, at least internationally, as a result of his politique de la grandeur. Beginning in 1965-1966, however, critics started questioning the concept of popular theater and some of de Gaulle's policies. De Gaulle was reelected on the 2nd ballot, not the first, and the Gaul lists failed in municipal elections. In 1966 the Ben Barka scandal occurred when French police were implicated in his disappearance. During the same year de Gaulle pulled French forces out of NATO, visited the U.S.S.R., and continued to attack the dollar and American actions in Asia. De Gaulle's anti-American attitude was paralleled in France by 156

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\157 an increase in public support for the North Vietnamese. Gatti's play V comme Vietnam expresses both anti-Americanism and support for the North Vietnamese. Like de Gaulle, intellectuals of the Left such as Sartre were vociferously critical of the role of the U.S. during the Vietnam War. In an article written in 1970 which summarizes some of his political views, Sartre supports Cuba against the U.S., believing Fidel Castro discovered he was really fighting the power of the United States when h f h I 1 e oug t Batista s army. Sartre, however, does not think the Cuban Revolution can serve as an example for Europe because it occurred in the historical context of South America. He also thinks the revolutionary strategy in China is more suited to the Third World than to Europe. Accord ing to him, the revolution in European society must proceed beyond the dictatorship of the working class to substitute a classless society for what is left of the structure of the former dominant class. In addition he believes that when the Left assumes power it will not oppose its own bourgeoisie but rather American imperialism since the real problem in France is economic dependence on the United States. Consequently the Left must be engaged in inter national conflicts, and the development of French capital ism has to be viewed in the framework of international class struggles. 1 Sartre, "Intellk. und Rev.," pp. 37-38.

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158 Beginning in the 1960s and continuing today French intellectuals of the Left have tended to support Third World revolutionary movements. Gatti, because of his back ground can identify with revolutionary movements and does support such groups in his plays. His point of. view, at least during the 1960s, coincided with that of many young French men and women. At the time Gatti's play V comme Vietnam was produced in 1967, various groups in high schools and universities openly supported the North Vietnamese. It was the Collectif Intersyndical Universitaire d'Action pour la Paix au Vietnam,. grouping together different teacher and student unions, which approached Gatti and commissioned the play about Vietnam. It is not surprising that Gatti was very willing to respond to the request of spectators from a union group. According to him, critics who find his plays too complex and unfit for a popular audience actually misjudge the audience. Such critics rely on cultural references they think are universal, but which are the result of the educa tional system in France. The kind of spectators Gatti wants to attract to the theater are those who are accus tomed to viewing television and films. He believes such spectators naturally understand his use of time. Tel.evi sion, for example, intermixes past, present, and future events on news programs. For this reason Gatti divides speactators into the following two groups:

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159 a) ceux qui viennent a l 'acte cul turel avec un monde de references arr~tees. Ces references jouent ou ne jouent pas. Certains ont m~me pour unique vecu ces references, elles deviennent leur vecu reel. b) ceux qui viennent avec la seule culture qu'ils possedent, celle de leur quotidien. Ils compren nent la piece avec les references de leur quoti dien. Chaque homme doit ~tre en mesure de con struire sa propre culture, de la construire en tant qu'auteur, en tant qu'acteur, de la construire egalement, en tant que spectateur. 2 During the period in which Gatti wrote V comme Vietnam he believed that by giving workers culture, that is the theater, he was giving them a means to fight injustice through an understanding of their own capabilities. He expresses this idea in the following statement: Chaque spectateur apporte avec lui sa culture, ses problemes quotidiens; il apporte son ~tre aliene et comme retreci par les conditions du present; le but du spectacle est de vaincre ces resistances individuelles comme la grande resistance collec tive et de permettre ainsi la realisation de ce que j'appellerai les "possibles" de l'individu. 3 To the degree that theater influences a person's social life Gatti believes it is political in nature. He realizes, however, that it is not easy to turn a passive spectator into a person of action and that the theater is not capable of bringing about a revolution. Nevertheless at the time 2 Armand Gatti, "Un Theatre pour la cite," La Nef, 29 (Jan.-Mar. 1967), p. 72. 3 Armand Gatti, "Notes au spectateur ideal selon Armand Gatti," Les Lettres Fram;aises, 1187 (15-21 June, 1967), p. 22.

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_, 160 he was writing V comme Vietnam he thought the theater was capable of showing the spectator that he has the capacity to act. For him the ideal spectator is the one who accepts both the political and esthetic elements of a play and then takes action in the direction indicated by the play. Gatti, like Benjamin, states that both esthetic and political ele ments are equally important in order for a literary text to be politically effective. In additio.n for Gatti, as for Brecht, the spectator's coming-to-consciousness with regard to his true situation is am important function of theater. Gatti expresses this idea when he states: "Il faut que le theatre perrnette aux classes les plus desheritees de prendre conscience de leurs forces et, en meme temps, de se compter. 114 By becoming aware of his situation, the worker will be able to go beyond his situation as a worker. Gatti's statements about the theater and his plays become more directly political in 1967 which is not surprising considering the general political unrest in France prior to the manifesta tions of May 1968. The Grenier de Toulouse first produced V comme Vietnam in April 1967. The setting of the play is the Pentagon, in particular the room in which the world's largest computer referred to as chatciigne, is kept. For Gatti, the basic issue of the Vietnamese conflict is the opposed conceptions of the world, not in the ideological sense, as much as in 4 Gatti, "No.tes au spectateur," p. 22.

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161 the more general sense of a technological machine-oriented view opposed to a more simple, naturaL view. 5 This con trast is symbolized by the computer and the planche clous (board with nails in it). The planche a clous represents not so much a real weapon as a mentality which is seen as different from that of the Pentagon officials. The North Vietnamese guerrilla force uses what is at hand in their daily lives to resist the striking force of the Americans which uses sophisticated weapons and is directed by govern ment officials who rely on machines. Gatti presents the Vietnamese as being more human and individualized than the officials of the American government whom he satirizes. Props in V comme Vietnam are used to bring out the significance of the play. A TV screen is installed within the huge computer while surrounding it, is a cyclorama con taining maps which light up the four screens. The total effect is that of a command post. On the left side of the stage is a raised platform on which a map of Vietnam is placed. This structure serves as a staging place for dis cussions at the Pentagon as well as for events that take place in Vietnam. Gatti tries to open up the stage. More over, as in Brecht's drama, accessories become active ele ments in his productions in order to bring out the real significanceof the play. For example, in this play Gatti wants to demonstrate that facts and statistics are 5 Ward, pp. 412; 419; 425.

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.. 162 not the only means to arrive at an understanding of polit ical reality. Therefore in the second part of the play he has the computer regurgitate extraneous elements of infor mation, including two coffins containing American soldiers It thus produces concrete images, real individuals, instead of merely numbers and it directly links the Pentagon to Vietnam. In this way the computer acts as an integral ele ment in explaining the significance of the play. The names of U.S. officials in the play are represen tative of people actually working at the Pentagon at the time. The secretary of defense is Quadrature (McNamara), his assistant is Theoreme, the head of the psychological services is called Dr. XXX, and President Johnson is Mega sheriff. Quadrature convenes meetings with government offi cials by having their images appear on television screens on stage. This technique can be considered as a variation of Gatti's use of simultaneity. It also exemplifies the direct involvement of communication methods with their immediate influence on worldwide events. During the Viet nam war President Johnson was able to follow battles and talk to commanders in the field by using modern equipment. In the play the TV screens display the images of Admiral Pointu;Bulldog, general of the marines; Perea Congr~ga tion, the head army chaplain; and Ventriloque, the ambassa dor to Saigon. The action in Vietnam is first linked to that in the Pentagon when the journalist Weil Junior describes for

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163 Pentagon officials a battle he witnessed in Vietnam. The action switches to the raised platform where three Viet namese are watching the same battle the journalist is des cribing. They also notice, as did Weil Junior, an old pea sant who continues to plow his field while the battle rages around him. Unimpressed by the journalist's opinion about the war or the Vietnamese, Quatrature continues to organize the military maneuvers codenamed "Lance d'Argent," which he believes will be the beginning of the United States' entry into "hyperhistory." Quadtature's idea of relying entirely on a striking force led by troops in helicopters would reduce the impor tance of the marines. Therefore, a subplot develops where by Bulldog tries to reduce the success of the maneuvers. The subplot is used to point out the difference of opinion between the military in the combat zone and the cerebral civilians at the Pentagon. As Quadrature states: [General Bulldog], si vous reflechissez quelques instants, vous vous apercevrez que vous ne desirez rien poser. Pour les marines pacifier c'est se m~ler aux gens, leur apporter nos bienfaits de la main a la main (done prendre part a leur realite) et en consequence, etablir des contacts sentimentaux. Etablir ce genre de contact c'est se laisser p~endre par le mecanisme de la guerre revo~utionnaire. Gatti's play about Vietnam is not simply meant to refer to the war in Vietnam, but also to similar wars where force is 6 Armand Gatti, V cornme Vietnam (Paris: Seuil, 1967), p. 13. All quotations in the text are from this edition.

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164 used to oppress a whole population. Gatti also wrote plays about revolutionary movements in China (Un Homme seul, Seuil, 1969} in Guatemala (La Naissance, Seuil, 1967} in Germany (Rosa CoTlective, Seuil, 1973} and in Spain (La Pas sion du general Franco, Seuil, 1968}. Furthermore, in the quotation above Gatti implies the Korean War and the Alger ian War during which some French soldiers sympathized with the causes of the population they were sent to suppress. The play is divided into twenty-nine episodes without titles. This structure permits the fluidity necessary for shifting the action to Vietnam or the Pentagon easily. Gatti also uses these two simultaneous locations to intro duce humorous elements in the play. He contrasts the opinions of Pentagon officials with those of the Vietnamese. For example, Dr. XXX explains that the village Kien Cuong was converted into a hameau strategique to protect villagers and to protect a new air base for nuclear bombs. The Vietnamese villager Tang introduces himself on the platform and speaking directly to the audience expresses his own opinion about the razing of the village to form a hameau strategique: Je suis le paysan Nguyen Huu Tang .. Avant la con version de Kien Cuong en harneau strategique, je fournissais du ravitaillement aux hornrnes poursuivis par Diem. Pourquoi? Paree que du temps du Viet minh on a ramene le taux de fermage a 25% de la recolte reelle. On a aboli la dette usuraire. On a exproprie les terres laissees en friche apparte nant aux collaborateurs. Nous avons considere ce qu'on nous avait donne cornrne etant n6tre. Mais la reforme agraire arnericaine l'a redonne a l'ancien proprietaire, je me suis senti victirne et j'ai

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> -" .. .. 165 aide ceux qui l'etaient. Depuis on nous a demande de quitter nos terres pour nous couper de la guerilla. Nous avons refuse. Le village a ete bombarde et mis derriere les barbeles. Nos terres ont ete passees au bulldozer et sont devenues la base de Kien Cuong. (p. 16) The town Kien Cuong is the focal point of the action which links the Vietnamese directly to the Pentagon. The Viet namese guerrillas are able to attack the air base by infil trating the hameau strategique from which they dig tunnels to attack the military installation. In the play Gatti presents the social, economic, and political issues from the point of view of the Vietnamese. The razing of the town Kien Cuong by American bulldozers destroys part of the history and culture of the villagers. In contrast to the Vietnamese conception of history and their attachment to the land, Dr. XXX states: "Ecrit l'his toire celui qui gagne la guerre" (p. 28). Quadrature replies that when the U.S. will be in "hyperhistory" there will be 200 possible versions of history and the com puter will choose the one most adapted to the circumstances. Here Gatti is humorously criticizing the structuralist models. of history as well as the language chosen by poli ticians to describe events. Humor as well as criticism also occurs when President Johnson as M~gasheriff enters the Pentagon and a coin is put into the computer to create a Texan atmosphere by playing Western music. Other characters on stage sit

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166 down and look at a screen as if they are watching Westerns were very popular films during the 1960s in France. Gatti uses a light parody of the Western to indi rectly criticize de Gaulle's politigue de la grandeur when Dr. XXX states: [Par roulement a travers les epoques] se manifeste toujours dans l'histoire du monde un peuple eluc'est-a-dire un peuple qui martele a sa ressem blance tout le reste de l'Univers. Rien ne lais sait prevoir [a sa naissance] que le Texas serait ce peuple-la. (p. 29) When Megasheriff enters the Pentagon a second time, five Megasheriffs appear on stage: Megasheriff no. 2, is tli.e well-liked one; no. 3, the contractor who builds dams to get votes; no. 4, the "do'.""gooder, 11 who wants to create a great society, resolve the black problem, and abolish poverty; and no. 5, the liar. Using simultaneity Gatti shows the contradictions within Johnson's personality. Whereas Brecht in his plays develops the consequences of contradictions within a character, Gatti uses five actors to concretely symbolize this contradiction. In this way Gatti limits the psychological development of the charac ter and yet shows the contradictions within Johnson's per sonality. Megasheriff and the Pentagon officials view the war in Vietnam like a game. Quadrature concludes that the oper ation "Lance d'Argent" was successful and any possibility of a new Dien Bien Phu is excluded. When he states, "nous

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167 ne voulons plus conquerir, mais frapper," (p. 68) Gatti is indirectly criticizing not only the Americans, but also de Gaulle's policy to develop a nuclear force, a force de frappe. Having witnessed France's defeats in Inda-China and Algeria, Gatti does not believe a revolutionary war can be conquered by a conventional army and navy, nor does he believe nuclear arms should be used. To develop this idea further Gatti introduces the story of the peasant Thu. Tang relates that while Thu was hiding in a tree, the South Vietnamese General Dzuc ordered troops to kill Thu's wife and son to force Thu to show himself. When Thu appears General Dzuc takes him to the communal house. Once inside Thu cries out and the villagers using javelins, picks, and axes kill general Dzuc. Therefore, villagers using instruments in their daily lives are successful against a general in the same way a popular revolutionary army will ultimately overcome the sophisti cated war machines of the superpowers. This episode is related to the theme of the planche a clous. The peasant Dinh sends three packages to the Pentagon addressed to the Secretary of Defense. Each package contains a board nails in it and they symbo lize Dinh's perserverance in protesting against the U.S. bombings in Vietnam. Dinh relates: C'etait ma fac;on de protester. Je n'osais protester davantage parce que j 'avais peur d' attirer les repre sailles sur Yuan ma fille Mais a force d'en foncer les clous, j'ai appris la perseverance.

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168 Juste ce qu'il fallait pour permettre a un reparateur de bicyclettes de rever Cavec ses seuls moyens) a la destruction des bombardiers nucleaires stationnees ici. (p. 76)7 The peasant Phuong adds that the first board with nails was constructed by Trang True who was killed by the French in 1860. Dinh's protest is a continuation of Trang Truc's resistance. Thus Gatti establishes a link between past his tory and present events since for Gatti the past is part of the present. One must understand the past to understand the present. The link between Vietnam and the Pentagon, first sug gested by the packages containing the planche a clous, be comes more direct when a soldier at the Kien Cuong air base being interviewed by Quadrature at the Pentagon via tele communications disappears from the TV screen as the camp is attacked. The guerrilla fighter Tang then emerges from the computer at the Pentagon. The instructor Luyen and the peasant Phuong accompany him. Luyen proceeds to establish a new encyclopedia in an effort to replace the culture forced upon the Vietnamese by foreign invaders. Tang's first contribution to the new encyclopedia is to the letter "C ~." He provides a definition for crapaud, frog. 7 Gatti's play La Cigogne (Seuil, 1971) deals in a poetic style with the slow deaths of Japanese victims of radiation after the Second World War.

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_) 169 On prend un crapaud on lui introduit tine boulette de tabac dans la bouche et on l'attache aux barbeles qui defendent un camp ennemi. Le crapaud tousse. Les sentinelles tirent parce que sa toux est humaine. ~a peut durer longtemps. Des nuits entieres par fois. (p. 86) At the end of the play Tang wants to add to the encyclopedia a definition under the letter "V: ~ He describes a Vietcong as, "un animal aux poils verts_ [comme l 'herbe a l 'elephants[sic]] difficile a capturer et qui lorsqu'il se met debout change la face du monde. A la lettre V [comme Vietnam]" (p. 123). Guerrilla tactics are presented as a necessary element in establishing a new culture. Monkeys are used to carry slogans in the market place and bees are trained to attack the ennemy. Symmetry is used in the structure of the play when guerilla fighters attack the camp at Kien Cuong in the second half of the play. The same government officials reappear on TV screens. This time, instead of discussing military maneuvers, they report on an actual battle raging in Vietnam. The TV screens are used to distance the war, as it is distanced by television announcers. From the battle field in Vietnam the following information is reported: Tirs sur baraquements nous ont fait croire qu'il s'agissait d'une r~volte Avons aneanti l'unite sud-vietnamienne qui nous secondait Aucune trace de Vietcong.

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170 Represailles sur la Vietnam-Nord demandees d 'urgence. (p. 89) With the TV screens Gatti successfully reveals the diffi culties which American soldiers faced. They do not know whom they are fighting and who is fighting for them. Gatti sides with the North Vietnamese., but he also explains why he thinks the Americans can not win if the population supports the guerrilla fighters. The techniques Gatti uses in the structure of the play effectively underscore the action and the purpose of the themes he presents. Another theme that is used in relation to structural techniques is the theater. In contrast to the Americans who use a computer and TV screens, the Vietnamese use live theater to create dramas about current events. Consequently their theater plays an active part in the war. Gatti pre sents this idea in the play by having actors come and lis ten to the "dreams" of soldiers. The term "dream" is used to give distance to the events related. The school teacher Luyen dreams that an elementary school is bombed and the children are too fri_ghtened to go out of the building with out the help of the teacher. In the process of carrying the children from the classroom the teacher is seriously wounded. When he calls to the children to climb out of the window, they are unable to do it because they are too small. The narration of this information contrasts with and recalls the cold statistics related about children wounded by the Americans when Megasheriff asks if American

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JI 171 weapons are effective, earlier in the play: "[Peper vous qui parcourez le pays] pensez-vous que nos armes soient efficaces?." To which Peper, who collects contributions for the church responds: "Mon enqu~te pour !'instant donne les chiffres de 750,000 enfant mutiles ou brftles et 250,000 tues par le napalm et les gaz toxiques" (p. 24). In V c-omme Vietnam Gatti uses verse or songs to pro vide contrast, interruption, variety in the presentation of information, a Brechtian lesson, or a fragment of the puz zle the spectator must put together to understand the mean ing of the text. The s:to_x~y in verse below is related by Stanley after he learns of Sophie's suicide in a military prison on Guam. He had read the story in Vietcong propaganda used to prepare him and Sophie for their roles as subversive agents in the U.S. military maneuvers "Lance D'Argent." The story in verse below appears on page 62 of the text. It is not until page 100 when Luyen's story about the elemen tary school is related that the significance of the verse story becomes clear. Through the story Gatti links the young Americans Sophie and Stanley with the Vietcong cause. A Uan Mai, les enfants mangent des gateaux de lune, font nager les carpes au-dessus de leurs tetes, et surveillent les canards. Du ciel sont arrives des ballons plus brillants que des pamplemousses. Ceux qui les ont ramasses ne savaient pas ce qu'etait un gaz toxique.

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172 Gatti's verse does not have the artistic quality of many of Brecht's songs which are entities even outside of the text of a play. Nevertheless this song does defainLliarize media images of napalm victims to which many viewers and readers have become insensitive. It paradokcally familiarizes and defamiliarizes reality as do all effective metaphors. Gatti creates a contrast between the "dream" characters of the Vietnamese theater and the five Megasheriffs who appear on stage simultaneously: one dressed as a Texan and the others dressed as Shakespearean characters Macbeth, King Lear, Richard III and Henry V. The Americans view pro gress in terms of destruction when they create a hameau strateg:hque cut of the village of Kien Cuong. Gatti expresses this idea when Megasheriff-Richard III states: "C'est cornme l'histoire du touriste de la Georgie, Robert Moore qui telegraphie a sa demi-soeur d'Atlanta 'Chicago brO.le, la ville entiere est en flarnmes! Dieu soit loue'" (p. 121). By using a short anecdote in the style of Johnson, stated by a Shakespearean character, Gatti criti cizes the outdated American policies. The bloody historical acts of a Shakespearean king are seen as comparable to the bloody acts of Johnson. Such an incongruous presentation permits a critical distance. This technique draws atten tion to what is said, by whom, and to what purpose. The spectatorhas to put the meaning together by comparing the Shakespearean Megasheriff with the simple, revolution ary guerrilla fighter who is creating a new culture and a

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.. 173 new history. For Gatti the latter is the contemporary hero and the former is outdated. The four Megasheriff-kings sit on the scattered parts of the computer and reign over a changing society that is breaking apart into fragments. Gatti may be parodying here the 1960s trend in the theater to update Shakespeare, again as a way of drawing attention to the subject of theater as theater. Many French directors and critics renewed their interest in Shakespeare at that time. Jean Duvignaud com pared the upheaval in socLety in our times to the one dur ing Shakespeare's lifetime. 8 Jan Kott saw similarities 9 between Shakespeare's plays and Beckett's. And, as was discussed earlier, Planchon updated Henry IV. After the "dreams" of the soldiers, which will be used in theater productions, Gatti extends the framework of the play to include congratulations to an existing guer rilla group which kidnapped an American general in Venezu ela. In this way the play is seen as an artificial compo sition which has an active counterpart in revolutionary action in the real world. At the end of the play, in order to again emphasize the relation betweenthe action in the play and the external world, the actor portraying 8 d Jean Duvignau, les ombres collectives France, 1965). Sociologie du The.tre: Essai sur (Paris: Presses Universitaires de 9 Jan Kott, Shakespeare our Contemporary, trans. Boleslaw Toborski (Garden City, N.Y., Anchor Books, 1966).

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" 174 Quadrature takes off his mask. Through the TV screens, which are lowered from the flies, he addresses himself to the Pentagon officials. Actually, he is indirectly addres sing the spectators and urging them to take action to stop the bloodshed. His gesture in the play demonstrates the trend of some actors to take a more committed stand regard ing political questions. Les Treize Soleils de la rue Saint-Blaise, the other play to be discussed in this chapter, evolved from an exper imental project initiated by Guy Retore, the director of the Theatre d'Est Parisien (TEP). In 1967 thirty theater spectators representing various groups and professions volunteered to discuss their daily lives and concerns with Gatti. The project was an attempt to write a play about the lives of people living in the working-class district in which the theater is located. It was also an experiment to encourage the active participation of the audience in theater activities, including the process of creation. Nevertheless Gatti's constant themes and techniques reap pear in this play. Seuil published the text of the play in 1968 and it was first performed in France in March 1968 by the troupe La Guilde directed by Guy Retorl: at the Theatre d'Est Parisien. The framework for the structure of the play is a night school course for adults which Christine Blanc teaches. The play is divided into six parts without titles. The

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,,. 175 activities connected with the school course are used to introduce different themes. In the preface to the play Gatti states: "Treize visions du monde plus ou moins anta gonistes-c'est-~-dire treize piices possibles-vent s'affronter le long de cette rue Saint-Blaise qui, dans le XXe arrondissement, va de la Commune a nos jours. 1110 The thirteen different views are those of Martine Doussela salesgirl in a dairy (soleil reflechi), Mireille Berquean employee in the clothing industry (soleil moderel, Roberte Boulise-an unemployed girl formerly working in a flower shop (tournesol), Maurice Profilot ........ an employee at city hall (soleil municipal), Raymond Krasewki-a worker in a furniture factory C-so.leil revendicatif) Pierre Sulvivani-a painter (soleil baroque), Antoine Marpeaux ...... a metallurgist (soleil insatisfait), Yves Paumier-a messenger in a publication house (soleil excentrique) Claudius Rouget ........ a guard at the townhall (soleil comrnemora tif}, Michel Arsenian-a deliverer in the. clothing indus try (soleil subalterne), Max Brousse .... an odd-job man who is a Spaniard with an assumed French name (soleil rnarginal)., Herve le Bihan.,...... a streetcleaner (soleiT noir-Antillais) and the Arab Ali Amrani, who is an unskilled worker (cog). In order to have the students write a composition., the teacher introduces a newspaper article which states: lO Armand Gatti, Les Treize S'oTeiTs de Ta rue Saint Blaise (Paris: Seuil, 1968), p. 7. All quotations in the text are from this edition.

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.. 176 "La Prefecture de Paris vient de decider la destruction de quarante-deux hectares qui, dans le 20e arrondissement, forment le quartier de Charonne, pour y installer des im meubles de grand standing. Au centre de ce quartier, la rue Saint-Blaise (p. 13). A workers' district is to be destroyed in order to build new buildings. The teacher dictates the subject of composition as follows: Une rue, c'est toujours la possibilite d'~tre ailleurs. Celui qui, au lever du jour, a vu la rue Saint-Blaise naftre de son asphalte, au milieu des platanes, a envie d'etre un soleil .. (p. 14} The sttidentsare asked to personify the sun which rises each morning on the street and to imagine what would be its reaction to the change. Would it keep the street as it is or would it approve the new buildings? The suns are created through the imagination of the actual students. All the students are doubled by a sun except Herve, the black streetcleaner, who does not form an idea about the subject of the composition until the end of the play. Gatti uses music to punctuate the statements made by the suns as they come into existence. As the "Mesure pour rien" foreshadows the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in Auguste G., the "Ballade de l'Echelle" in Treize Soleils foreshadows the theme in the play contrasting a worker's mind-numbing work and the possibilities of his imagination.

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177 Ballade de l'Echelle Chaque homme est un soleil. Auteur de lui gravitent ses passions, la marche des annees-lumieres et des annees d'exploitation sur la triste echelle des salaires Sur l'echelle du temps cosmique ou l'echelle a barreaux sur laquelle, a force de grimper, on se casse le dos, Chaque homme est un soleil. (pp. 15-16) Here again, unlike Brecht's songs, Gatti 's verse can not stand alone as poetry. Yet the song does introduce a cosmic dimension attached to the idea of suns and the possibilities of human imagination. Different opinions, based on the type of employment performed by each worker, are expressed by the suns. The municipal sun Maurice Profilot supports the renovation of the street Saint-Blaise, believing that workers will at last have decent housing. Raymond Krasewki, a union leader in a furniture factory, is against the idea. He thinks it is a scheme to force the workers in Menilmontant, the tradi tional communist district, to move to the other working-class districts of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis, which conse quently will become ghettos of the working class. Indivi dual characters are presented as simple people, yet their diverse views bring complexity to the play. The suns are perceived as separate from the students who create them. Claudius Rouget says about his creator: Pour quelqu'un qui est ne dans le vingtieme, tu merites des coups. Le Mur des Federes,

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178 c'est quand meme pas a Melun qu'il se trouve. C'est a deux pas d'ici (au Pere Lachaise). Et Varlin (notre Eugene Varlin de la Commune), il a bien du traverser la rue Saint-Blaise, lorsqu'elle etait insurgee. (p. 21) The student who imagines this sun has just returned a book to the teacher about the Commune. Behind Ali Arnrani, an immigrant worker from Algeria, a rooster appears instead of a sun because a rooster is more appropriate to his thoughts than French culture or French history. Gatti humorously introduces criticism of the consumer society when Mireille Berque (soleil modere) employed in the clothing industry, says about her creator: "Et puis elle a ses manies. Pour elle, un so.leil c 'est de la matiere plastique lavable avec desordorisant, fly-tox, savonnettes.-Je refuse de paraitre dans ces conditions" (p. 28). The anarchistic Spaniard Claret (soleil marginal) disagrees with his student creator to such an extent that he assumes a different name, calling himself Max Brousse. The play presents the idea that workers should be inde pendent and capable of being cocreators, coproducers, codirectors in the society. The suns form committees on rooftops, a natural place for suns, to study man, woman, and the child. To symbolize a scientific approach to urban problems, each committee is equipped with a cybernetic globe to assist them in their work. When the rooster representing the Arab worker is brought to the committee studying the child, Yves Paumier states: "Comment voulez-vous que soit incluque a un volatile

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179 (superbe, certes) la-prise-de-conscience-de-son-etat-de soleil?" (p. 37). This of course is an indirect reference to the idea of the working class becoming aware of its his torical situation. Paumier adds, "Ses preferences sur l'habitat (si toujours il les exprime) risque d'etre tres anarchiques" (p. 38). Gatti means that workers who actually live in government-built houses are not asked their opinion by architects and city planners. The obvious suggestion of the playwright is that they should be asked. Gatti also criticizes sociological studies that com pile statistics about social problems without taking into consideration the human, individual qualities of men and women. The committee studying man uses salaries as the basis for their programmed statistics, thereby classifying men by what they earn. This committee finds that man's virility is represented only by the rugby matches he watches on television and the car he drives, which acts as a sexe de remplacement (p. 43). The committee studying woman uses per forated cards to classify women into the following cate gories: Femme mystifiee, femme dernystifiee, femme liberee, femme colonisee, courrier du coeur, la femme et la pilule, la femme avec la machine a aver et le mixer, and the eter nel feminin (p. 40). In Auguste G., Chant publique, and V comme Vietnam Gatti uses the advertising style to criticize big business. In Treize Soleils he uses this style to criticize a con sumer society made up of individuals preoccupied with a

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180 superficial selfimage, and who are incapable of critical reflection about social issues. The idea of revolution in a consumer society is made to appear frivolous in contrast to the idea of political revolution when Berque talks about "une cuisiniere a hublot panoramique" being described as revolutionary and then adds: "Ce serait bien etonnant que les femmes de la rue Saint-Blaise assent la revolution avec des mitraillettes. (C'est bon pour les pays sous-developpes.} Vous n'avez qu'a voir les journaux" (p. 47}. In contrast to the committees' findings about the consumer society Max Brousse (soleil marginal} calls for the "multiform" that is, the acceptance of all possibilities in a pluralistic society as opposed to one represented by a dominant ideology. His comment introduces the theme of a dominant bourgeois culture as represented by the school teacher Mlle. Blanc. With a whip in hand, Mlle. Blanc strikes out sen tences of the student compositions which she considers unin teresting. At this point the "Ballade de l 'Echelle" is repeated, thus interconnecting social-cultural-ideological domination and economic domination. Mlle. Blanc forces Rouget, who wrote his composition about the Paris Commune, the first workers' revolution, to assume the position of a horse. She then climbs on his back and clacks her whip as he pretends to gallop. Perhaps this concrete image of dom ination does not succeed as a visual image, but the staging reminds one of Genet's Le Baleen and Ionesco's La Legon. Once more Gatti seems to draw attention to the theater as theater.

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181 Mlle. Blanc judges compositions according to her bour geois culture. For this reason Max Brousse criticizes her distribution of grades by stating: Pour moi, vous representez la culture (une certaine culture qui consiste a rechauffer les f~tes mortes de l'esprit), les grandes r~volutions de l'esprit, d~sa morc~es sans le contexte qui leur donnait leur vio lence et leur ins~curit~ les grandes r~volutions enfin confortables, habitables, avec robinets pour eau chaude et eau froide, refrigerateur et air condi tionne. Rien de cette culture balbutiante, colereuse, genereuse, qui vient de la lutte de chaque jour, avec la parcelle de verite transitoire a trouver chaque jour pour reconquerir un peu de chaleur dans l'indifference et la froideur d'un monde qu'on ne connait pas. Rien a partir de la, nous n'aurons jamais rien de commun. (pp. 71-72). The suns reject Mlle. Bane's opinions. From the "poubelles de l'Histoire" (perhaps an indirect contrast to Beckett's jars and garbage cans) to which their compositions have been relegated, they start their resistance in the street Saint Blaise (p. 72). The suns search for a new image of themselves and a new culture. In the process they follow a number of wrong leads. Genet in his play Les Negres, in a completely dif ferent style, suggests how hard it is for a black couple to express their love without using the images dictated by a dominant, colonialist culture. The problem of forming a new identity is related to a critical view of ideology and cul ture. In a similar manner the suns experience many fail ures in their attempts to revolutionize society. Introduc ing the idea of sexual revolution Brousse states: "Krasewki, vous qui avez peut-@tre eu (en son temps) le privilege de

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182 penetrer le corps de Boulise -avait-elle a ce moment-la le sentiment de faire la revolution?" (p. 86). This idea causes a general surprise among the suns. During the 1960s uninhibited naked girls appeared on stage in "happenings." In Treize Soleils Mlle. Blanc is stripped of her clothes as a means of symbolically strip ping her cultural attributes. The allusion to sex by Brousse above creates an interruption in the presentation and implies a relationship between culture or ideology and attitudes toward sex and love. Obviously for Gatti the sex in happenings is pointless. For him a sexual revolu tion would entail consciousness-raising. When he has the students strip Mlle. Blanc or view her with telescopes from their rooftop committee meetings, he is establishing a critical view of Mlle. Blanc as a purveyor of bourgeois culture. At times the play seems to be a helter-skelter review of ideas prevalent in France in student and theater groups just prior to May 1968. Concerning the discussions with the thirty spectators from different groups who were the "cocreators" of Treize Soleils, Gatti states: Ils echangeait leurs impressions sur l'urbanisme, la militance, le tierce, les problemes de la femme, les computers, la resistance, l'insatisfaction ouvri~re, les vacances Tout autour, inlassables comme la mer, venaient battre les evenements du jour, le Vietnam, la guerre israelo-arabe. Pour moi c'etait le vertige. (preface, p. 7)

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183 Even so, the play does reflect Gatti's constant concerns. From his own experience education is an equalizer. His ability to excel in French permitted him to compete with other French students although his family background dif fered from theirs. In V comme Vietnam the instructor has an important role in creating a new encyclopedia. Fur thermore, in Gatti's reportage-fiction Siberie -0 + l'infini (seuil, 1958) a young Siberian returns to her people to teach them about Russian literature, instead of continuing her brilliant career as a student in Moscow. Thus, edu cation represents the hope that after a long history of political struggles the future will be better. The importance of education reappears when Brousse suggests to Doussel that she should become a teacher and conduct her own night-school courses emphasizing problems in everyday life. Similarly, in May 1968 theater acti vists speak of maisons eclatees, spontaneous creation, and the participation of spectators in a play's production. Indeed, some activists view the concept of maisons de la culture as a way to conserve bourgeois culture and a means to prevent experimentation with new forms of theater more atuned to the everyday lives of individual spectators. By rejecting Mlle. Blanc, the suns reject bourgeois culture and try to establish their own. Gatti provides two endings to the play to convey this idea. First Mlle. Blanc is awakened when Herve, the black streetcleaner, knocks on her apartment door to inform her that he has an idea for

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184 his composition. This episode ends Mlle. Blanc's "nightmare" of being attacked by her students. Herv~'s composition topic also reassures her because it reflects the influence of detective stories, an accepted form of cultural diversion. In addition, Herve leaves one sun undefined. Doussel then becomes this sun and therefore succeeds in liberating her self from established, accepted, fixed forms of bourgeois culture. Doussel will start her courses by basing them on the salesgirl in a dairy:whb created her. She concludes: Peut-~tre la seule revolution solaire a laquelle (dans notre etat) nous puissions pretendre c'est de nous inventer une culture (la fabriquer avec ce que nous sommes). "A Eugene Varlin. Les ouvriers relieurs reconnaissants." C'est avec cette inscription de la montre qu'elle a commence. (p. 117) Varlin's watch was taken from his body after he was executed during the period of repression following the Paris Commune in 1871. Supposedly a rich bourgeois wore it and showed it at dinner parties. For Gatti, Varlin remains a syrnbol like Sacco and Vanzetti "hanging in suspense," still alive in the sense that he inspires others to continue the history of workers' struggles. Their history and their point of view has not yet been written. Doussel must begin with what was inscribed by Varlin's coworkers because even Varlin's grue some death is described in history by a bourgeois writer for whom Varlin is a hero merely of past history. For Gatti the past is a living part of the present and the future. Therefore Varlin's struggle must be viewed in terms of con temporary revolutionary struggles.

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185 Critics in general were not favorably impressed by Gatti's Treize Soleils. Gilles Sandier found Gatti's play ineffective as theater: Tout cet onirisme demeure laborieux, hermetique, inutilement compliqu~, et sans grand pouvoir de signification, ni de denonciation. On se perd dans ces limbes confus paves de bonnes intentions, au rythme d'un langage faussement realiste dont pas une phrase ne sonne juste nine parvient a s'etablir sur la scene. 11 Sandier doubts that those spectators who participated in the experiment feel concern for what is presented or consi der the play to be a moral or political prise de conscience. Bertrand Poirot~Delpech points out the misconceptions of some theater activists about spectators and the role of the theater. 12 Leaders of associations and of unions do not know what kind of plays best satisfies their members' needs. An audience goes to the theater for the spectacle, not to formulate what kind of performance it wants to see. And, accordingto Poirot-Delpech, theater directors seem more preoccupied with their own problems than with those of their audience. Even when a writer like Gatti consults spec tators, Poiret-Delpech doubts that an inhabitant of the street Saint-Blaise can recognize himself in the play Treize Soleils. He explains the problem which arises when 11 Gilles Sandier, "Th~Atre populaire?." La Quinzaine Litteraire, 50 (1-15 May 1968), p. 26. 12 Bertrand Poirot-Delpech, "Que dernande le peuple," in Au soir le soir (Paris: Mercure de France, 1969), p. 240.

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186 a theater group subsidized by the state engages in cultural activities with political implications: Paree qu'elle releve a la fois de directives fumeuses et de contingences bassement electorales, la politique culturelle expose ses serviteurs aux pires contradictions. Tantot ils sont libres de vouer a la ruine l'Etat qui les nourrit sans autre mandat que celui de leur conscience. Tantot on les met en va cances sans preavis. Dans tousles cas, pour la gauche comme pour la droite, il font figure de privi legies incontrolables aux raisons d'~tre toujours plus floues.13 In an article written three years earlier than Poiret Delpech's review of Treize Soleils, Bernard Dort also men tions misconceptions concerning the popular theater move ment.14 In his opinion, a theater for the masses can not be realized unless certain changes occur in the educational system because "l'acces des theatres suppose un acquis cul ture! anterieur:: contrairement a ce que croient certains animateurs, le theatre, fftt-il populaire, ne saurait jouer a lui seul un r6le de formation culturelle. 1115 According to Dort workers will not attend the theater until the struc ture of education is changed. Moreover, they must pa~tici pate in the management of their own work situation and a work schedule must be established to permit workers to have more leisure time. 13 Poiret-Delpech, 'fQue demande le peuple," p. 242. 14 Bernard Dort, "Les Nouveaux Theatres a l'heure du choix," Les Temps Modernes, 239 (Apr. 1966), p. 1843. 15 Dort, p. 1844.

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187 Commenting on the political trend in French drama in reviewing the 1967-1968 theater season, Poirot-Delpech states that many of the plays produced were prophetic since characters manifested a desire to move toward action. He interprets this as a sign that intellectuals of the Left were impatient and ready to engage in revolutionary action 1 h f 1 1 16 e sew ere, or examp e in Bo ivia. According to him, Gatti's play Treize Soleils demonstrates a permanent revo lutionary trend in the spirit of the Commune. Moreover, the TNP's production of Brecht's La Mere, adapted from Gorki's novel, and Antoine Vitez's production of Mayakovsky's Les Bains both foreshadow the events in May during which red flags would appear at the Odeon and the bureaucratic sclerosis of de Gaulle's administration would be criticized. In addition, Jack Frisch writing in 1968 notes a 17 general trend in Europe toward political drama. In Gatti's play V comme Vietnam Frisch sees a direct correla tion between the play and the public world. This correla tion does not occur through the author's composition; instead it is present because Gatti is working with some thing which specifically exists outside of the play. Frisch criticizes the overt anti-Americanism expressed in the play since he believes it detracts from Gatti's ideas. 16 Poirot-Delpech, 11 Que demande le peuple," p. 250. 17 Jack E. Frisch, "Public and Private Worlds in Drama," Drama Survey, 7, 1 and 2 (Winter 1968-1969), 151.

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188 Like Frisch, Dominique Nores is also critical of Gatti's overtly political play V comme Vietnam: "Gatti ne semble pas avoir dispose pour l'ecrire d'une information plus riche que celle de n'importe quel lecteur de grande presse. 1118 It is true that Gatti's plays sometimes illus trate a journalistic approach to facts, but he always trans forms this information by using a lyrical or satirical style. Nores describes Gatti's Treize Soleils as "touffue, inca pable de s'ouvrir a aucun debat claire. 1119 She believes these two plays are inferior to Gatti's Chant public because the subjects were presented to Gatti by others. Yet even when other people suggest the subject or participate in the conception of a play or project, Gatti's constant themes and techniques of distanciation are used. This trend con tinues in Gatti's activities of the 1970s. 18 Dominique Nores, "Gatti,une dramaturgie en suspens," Les Lettres Nouvelles, (Sept.-Oct. 1969), p. 183. 19 Nores, p. 181.

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CHAPTER IX POPULAR THEATER AFTER MAY 1968 Writing in 1969, Emile Copfermann stated the popular theater which had done the most to promote Brecht was vacil lating in uncertainty. 1 He noted the tendency to stage Brecht's plays in France by ignoring the political parts, by presenting them as historical. plays from another era. He felt two productions contradicted this trend: one by the Living Theater and one by Jean.,.Pierre Vincent's troupe at Chalon-sur-SaOne. The first one turned away from Brecht and developed an apocalyptic and messianic style through tech niques of aggression upon the spectator; the second one respected the structure and practice of Brecht's didactic play. Copfermann predicted that the spectacular-forain,,, simple, direct, less artistic, would prevail in the theater of the 1970s. It is true that attention in the 1970s was turned toward improvisations, collective works, the specta-,. cular. Also, in some instances, theater groups did inter prete plays by adopting a Brechtian didactic method of staging. The political and social elements in such plays, l Emile Copfermann, "La Resistible Decouverte du theatre de Monsieur Bertolt Brecht en France," Les Lettres Franc;aises, 1276 (26 May 2 Apr. 1969), pp. 14-15. 189

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.. 190 however, rarely expressed the vitality and commitment evi dent in Gatti's plays (Benedetto's plays being perhaps a noteworthy exception). A year after Copferrnann's article appeared, Alfred Simon cited as successful results of improvisations and col lective creations Jean-Louis Barrault's Rabelais, Ariane ~..nouchkine 1 s Les Clowns, and Roger Planchon I s La Mise en pieces du 1 Cid 1 2 In reference to Planchon's play he stated: La mise en pieces du Cid est sortie toute armee du happening de Mai, apotheose en forme de liquidation. Avec une verve inouie, Roger Planchon met la machi nerie du theatre en delire. Celui qui est le plus grand createur du moment et un guide de l'action theatrale salue la fin du theatre dans un vieux monde qui n'en finit pas de finir, celebre le grand desarroi, transforme le ceremonial du neant en kermesse. 3 Simon did not think the class struggle should be made the dynamic force of plays. According to him,dogmatic Brechtism and activism of the Left, even though they influenced a rela tively small portion of the repertory of the popular theater, rendered this type of theater vulnerable to attacks from reactionaries. He instead called for a popular theater for pleasure, not by principle, since a theater without a public makes it impossible for theater to serve any purpose in the 2 Alfred Simon, "The&tre et desastre; qui croit encore au the&tre populaire?" Esprit, 393 (June 1970), pp. 1140-41. 3 Simon, p. 1149.

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191 society. Simon indicated the direction some French theater groups took after 1968. Roger Planchon's troupe is the most important example. Planchon sought to survive in order to have the right to continue practicing theater. His Theatre de la Cite became the TNP in Lyon in 1973. It is also true that the political climate in France had changed and many audiences preferred to see a beautiful, comical spectacle rather than hear social and political rhetoric. During the 1970s, Planchon periodically staged plays he had written in the 1960s, and his adaptions of French Classics or Shakespeare's plays. In 1979 the TNP in Lyon produced Antoine et Cleopatre. 4 The theme of the adaption was to show that Shakespeare can not be accepted literally; his true meaning can only be understood through the art of film, which by definition is completely fabricated and accepted in its falseness. In the play the action was moved to America in the 1930s and a film was built around a Shakespearean scenario. Planchon's work and inspiration during the 1970s were basically derived from his experimentation in the 1960s. Ariane Mnouchkine has been active in the theater since the early 1960s. Her troupe, the Theatre du Soleil, first became well known with its production of Arnold Wesker's 4 Michel Corvin, "Illusions scenique et illusions theatrales sur la mise en scene contemporaine," Stanford French Review, 3, 2 (Fall 1979), 153.

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192 play La Cuisine in 1967. Concentrating their efforts on improvisations and collective writing they produced Les Clowns at the Theatre de la Commune at Aubervilliers. The next year they staged 1879: La Revolution doit s'arr~ter a la perfection du bonheur, Saint_.Just which was followed in 1972 by a second part entitled 1873: La Cite revolutionaire est de ce monde. More recently, in July 1979, the Theatre du Soleil staged a four-hour play about art and power based on an adaption of Klaus Mann's novel Mephisto (1938) about the German actor Gustav Griindgens. According to Michael Kustow, this play presented current dilemmas of the French stage through the prism of Weimar and Nazi Germany. 5 Mnouckine's conception of popular theater can be considered to follow the tradition of Jean Vilar and Roger Planchon. Examples of younger theater companies active in France using social and political themes related to the 1960s are the Theatre Action de Grenoble, the Theatre Populaire de 6 Lorraine, and the Theatre Eclate d'Annecy. In 1979 the Theatre Action de Grenoble produced collectively La Femme aux ciseaux on the specific issues of contraception, abor tion, and woman's condition in society. During the spec tacle several of the woman's previous encounters with 5 Michael Kustow, "French Theatre: Images of Weimar," New Statesman, 98, 2522 (July 20, 1979), p. 103. 6 Fran9oise Kourilsky and Lenora Champagne, "Political Theatre in France since 1968," Drama Review, 19, 2 (June 1975), 45-47.

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193 doctors were reenacted. A huge prop of a woman's opened legs sculptured in wood was the main set design. The Theatre Populaire de Lorraine used elements of contemporary mass media in its parable Le Retour du Graully (1979) about the capitalist-imperialist aid to underdeveloped nations being used to repair damage caused by imperialistic policies in the first place. And, the Theatre Eclate d'Annecy analyzed Brechtian methods in order to use them in the staging of the play Soldats by Carlos Reyes. This play-, staged in 1979, is about banana workers on strike in Columbia in 1928. Since the 1960s Andre Benedetto's troupe has been work ing to create theater for le peuple. His Nouvelle Compagnie d'Avignon tries to include contemporary aspects and pro blems of our society in their productions and calls for popular theater from the people. After 1968 Benedetto's troupe involved spectators in the process of creation and production. After several months of collaboration his troupe and the inhabitants of the city Montauban performed the play Le Siege de Montauban (1974). This play was in the tradition of carnivals and popular fairs, with several per formance areas used simultaneously. Benedetto described his role as that of a public writer, a term Gatti also used to describe himself in the late 1970s. Armand Gatti is unique as a French playwright active in the popular theater movement. Because he has had problems producing his plays in state-subsidized theater in France since 1968< he has redirected his efforts toward other

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194 activities. He has attempted various experiments in what he calls "collective writing" with nontheater people. These projects include the theater and video films, some of which have been aired on French Television. In 1970 Gatti wrote a play which was read to many dif ferent groups around France. The comments of those who listened to the play were incorporated in the second writing of the play entitled Le Chat Sauvage. It has not been pub lished.7 In 1974, Gatti attempted a more radical type of collective writing in the Brabant Wallon, a rural area of Belgium. He and a group of students from the Institut des Arts de Diffusion of Louvain spent several months in villages h 8 int e area. The idea was to establish relations with the local people and then let them express themselves. Com mittees of peasants, of old people, and of teenagers were set up to write and rehearse sketches and musical comedies. All this work culminated in a twenty-eight hour show with 3,000 persons in the area participating in some way in the production. The performance area was composed of 125 vehicles, among them several tractors with platforms, which traveled over twenty-five miresduring the course of the performance. Different sketches were performed simultaneously. 7 Ministere des Relations Exterieures Cellule d'Ani mation Audio-Visuelle, Armand Gatti: une retrospective (Paris: ANALEPH, 1981). An updated bibliography of Gatti's theater and film activities is found on pp. 32-33. 8 Kourilsky and Champagne, p. 44.

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195 They were all part of collective writing and depicted dif ferent ways of seeing the voyage of the peasant Adelin. The people of the Community expressed themselves as did also Gatti's group which built a show around the different reali ties of characters from various villages. Describing Gatti as a journalist of the theater, Jean Duvignaud mentioned the Brabant Wallon project when summar izing Gatti's activities in the following way: Le seul dramaturge peut-etre qui ait aujourd'hui compris les exigences d'une recherche pour laquelle n'existe aucune esthetique (mais les esthetiques viennent generalement apres les createurs) est Armand Gatti: lui seul parait avoir bouleverse assez completement le texte theatral et le travail de groupe au point d 'entreprendre une sorte d 'action/ agitation culturelle permanente. Depuis l'annee 1954 ou il assiste a l'occasion d'un reportage a l'ecrase ment de la revolution du Guatemala par des mercenaires payes par "l 'United Fruit" et qui lui fait ecrire Le Quetzal; jusqu'aux toutes recentes animations de villages en Belgique en 1973, le chemin de Gatti n'est pas celui d'un ecrivain qui mesure lentement ses effets mais d'un journaliste du the~tre qui realise completement le voeu de Barthes d'une analyse critique de la realite. Cette oeuvre de contestation se compose d'annee en annee selon le deroulement des evenements dans le monde, s'emparant ici et la de tout ce qui peut servir a l'efficacite dramatique a 'une dema 9 che qui cherche avant tout a denoncer une situation. During 1975 Gatti worked with high school students in the CES (Classe de l'Enseignement Secondaire) Jean-Lur9at de Ris-Orangis. For a number of weeks he and his troupe 9 Jean Duvignaud etJean Lagoutte, Le The~tre con temporaine: culture cet: centre-culture (Paris: Larousse, 1974), pp. 200-01.

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196 initiated activities related to theater. 10 They set up classes in mask-making, in marionnette construction, and in scenario writing. The purpose of their visit was to create a play with everyone in the school taking part. The participants were encouraged to write plays which corres ponded to their particular age and background. At the school Gatti and his "Tribu" prepared a work in which two journalists, who actually played their own roles, took part in the work Vingt-Quatre Heures de la vie d'un page. The play was later published as Le Joint (Editions IRMMAD, 1977). During the same year Gatti tried using video film in a project. Le Lion, sa cage et ses ailes was filmed on video equipment at Monbeliard-Socaux, the second largest concentration of workers--rnany of them foreigners-in France. 11 Under the direction of Gatti and his group thirty scenarios were created. The lion represented the Peugeot factories, the cage was the working-class district of Monbeliard, and the wings were the minifilms inserted in each film (a film within a film), as a theoretical reflection on the situation lO Cl 11 d h t aire Devarrieux, Nous sornrnes tous es ca s guerilleros, 11 Le Mende, 27 Nov. 1975, p. 15, cols. 1-4. 11 Armand Gatti: un-e retrospective, p. 32. Gatti' s first film l'Enclos (1960) dealt with his concentration experience. Then he filmed El Otro Cristobal (1962) in Cuba in which the theme of the revolution is poetically transposed. The sub ject of his third regular film Ubergang uber den Ebro (Crossing the Ebro), which marked his return to film-making after an eight-year hiatus, relates a tragic incident in the life of an emigrant worker from Spain who is living in the consumer society of West Germany. It was filmed in 1970.

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197 of the emigrant worker and his cultural identity. The video films were made by representatives of different com munities: Poles, Italians, Moroccans. Each film begins by showing the everyday activities in these communities. Gatti's imagination and themes are very evident in the pro ject described above. Yet workers actually do participate in the experience of producing films and writing scenarios. Another video film project was entitled La Premiere Lettre. In 1978 the inhabitants of the city L'Isle d'Abeau, near Lyon, collaborated in making video films about a letter from Roger Rouxel. The letter was written to his girlfriend Mathilde just before he was shot as a French resistance fighter during the Second World War. The purpose of the project was to have present-day inhabitants of the new city relate their lives to Roger's, thus permitting him to "live" again for a short period of time. For example, girls who were being trained to be seamstresses made a huge wedding dress for Mathilde, and pastry chef apprentices pre pared a wedding banquet for the one that never took place. Six television programs were aired in France in July August 1979 as a result of this project. The leftist news paper Liberation ran a series of six interviews with Gatti to coincide with the airing of the six video film programs. 12 As with most of Gatti's projects since May 1968, the 12 Marc Kravetz, "Dialogue avec Armand Gatti," Liberation, July 16-21, 1979.

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198 information about this one appeared in newspaper arti:cles which describe what occurred without providi:ng a critical review of the project. Apparently the people most interested are those who directly take part in the experience. Gatti's video film projects can be viewed as an exten sion of his experimentation in popular theater. The German critic Ernst Wendt noted in 1966 similarities between the techniques Gatti used in his plays and those used' in contem porary films. 13 He thought Gatti, using techniques evolved from Brecht's ideas, was able to render on the stage what films do through picture symbols, jump cuts, fui:xing and montage. Gatti's plays, like films, could show preconceived 'images, constructed images, to ma~e the meaning of the text clear. Wendt also saw similarities between Gattrsplay Auguste G. and Godard's film Le Petit Soldat (1960). The latter dealt with the Algerian war at a personal level and at a political level. Godard called the film a kLnd of autocritique, since it showed his confused state of mind about the rights and wrongs involved' in the war. Whereas Godard tried to understand a political question by using a film, Gatti used a play to present Auguste's confused state of mind concerning his life at the personal level and at the political level. 13 Ernst Wendt, "Was da kommt, was schon ist: Gatti zum Beispiel," Akzente, 3 (June 1966), p. 226.

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199 Other similarities exist between Godard's experiments and themes and Gatti's. Godard uses parallels, juxtaposition, contrasts, counterpoint and films within films to express his themes ---techniques which Gatti also uses. Both authors are concerned with a critical view of and for society, with particular interest focused on the spectator's viewpoint. And, structural elements are used to communicate political themes and intellectual trends. Influenced by Brecht's and Althusser's theories, Godard has chosen to question the existing set of produc tion relations: the financing of films, the methods of pro duction and distribution, and the organization of sounds and images which composes the films themselves. He tries to analyze what relations are at work in the production process in order to question how it is possible to make films polit ically instead of making political films. In the 1970s both Gatti and Godard, wo~~Lng outside the established distribu tion system, made video films which were aired on French television. During the 1970s, a radical critique of society appeared more often in films and film reviews than in French theater. The similarities between Godard's and Gatti's in tentions and experimentation, however, result most likely from the political and intellectual climate discussed pre viously. Godard's experimentation is based on complex theoretical analyses whereas Gatti's expression is largely based on his personal experiences.

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200 During the mid-1970s Gatti did manage to stage a few plays in France. In 1974 La Tribu des Carcanas en guerre centre quoi? (Seuil, 1975) was presented at the Theatre Ouvert at Avignon during the summer festival. In March 1976 Gatti a private theater La Passion du general Franco par les emigres eux-rnemes, an updated version of the play banned in December 1968. And, in 1977 Gatti's play Le Cheval qui se suicide pa:r le feu (1977, Editions IRMMAD) was presented at the Theatre Ouvert at Avignon during the summer festival of 1977. In the projects which Gatti has undertaken since 1970, whether video films or plays, his constant themes and techniques of distanciation are used even though the parti cipation of the spectator is developed further. The "col lective" work of Gatti's "Tribu"with communities, school groups, or workers is definitively guided by Gatti's inspir ation. The methods of work, means of expression, themes developed and techniques used are Gatti's. This apparent contradiction is elucidated by Gatti's definition of collec tive writing. 14 Gatti's idea of collective wr~ting is one plus one plus one, that is different creations of' i:ndividuals who work together because they are motivated by the same purpose. His contribution is to write the texts. Each member contributing individually makes the whole project 14 Marc Kravetz, "Dialogue avec Armand Gatti," Liberation, July 21, 1979, col. 6, p. 13.

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201 possible. Gatti refers to himself as a public writer and says his experiments have nothing to do with animation culturelle. 15 He considers such cultural activities to be paid for and controlled by state officials or other administrators such as mayors who use them to stay in power. I Rather than creating unanimity, his group seeks to point up contradictions within a cornrnuni ty. The ref ore, 'the ideas related to the purpose of the theater and cultural action, which appeared to be silenced in the aftermath of May 1968, subsist in France. Gatti's activities in the 1970s should be viewed as an I extension of the popular theater movement of the 1960s. At the same time, we must realize that the term popular theater is no longer used. In order to understand French cultural I policies and the circumstances of political trends in the i French theater in the 1980s, it is essenta,l to be aware of the theater experimentation in the 1960s, the influence of Brecht, and the plays of Gatti as discussed in this study. In France under de Gaulle limits were put on political debate and attention was diverted to arguments over the arts. Since the normal avenues of politic al action a'nd protest were not functioning and an absence of debates of political parties existed, French intellectuals used verbal criti cism as a substitute for political action. They transferred lS t L'b-' 1 21 1979 '1 6 13 Krave z, 1 eration, Ju y , co. p. I

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202 energies to arguments about culture, particularly theater, since the real political situation in France demanded atten tion to crises and changes in the real world. The serious theater in Paris set the Brechtians against the theater of the absurd. The theater directors Jean Vilar and Roger Planchon because of their participation in the popular theater movement were considered to belong to the Brechtian orbit. Jean-Louis Barrault, at the Theatre de France, came to be the embodiment of Gaullism in the theater. He may have tried to vindicate himself by participation, in 1968, in the occupation of the Odeon for which Malraux fired him. New interpretations of Marx and Freud, supporting or opposing the use of structuralist methodology, emerged as dominant trends in philosophy and literary criticism in the 1960s. The Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser directed attention toward structural elements in Brecht's plays, while the Marxist philosopher Henri Lefebvre influenced by new leftist Freudian ideas called for the liberation of the creative possibilities of the individual in order to permit him to regain a certain control over his daily life. In their works, both philosophers provide critical analyses of the notions of class struggle, cultural or urban revolu tion, history, and ideologies. Their works indirectly influ enced experiments in the popular theater movement in the 1960s in relation to the structures, techniques and themes used. Fragmented struggles in the society were paralleled

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203 by techniques which fragmented the theatrical text and the presentation. Writers connected with the popular theater searched for new theatrical formats and experimented with different styles of presentation. Almost all abandoned the division of plays into acts and scenes, usually preferring tableau sequences. A good deal of their experimentation was purely technical. Staging devices such as films, posters, lumi nous signs, blinking lights, audio-visual devices, press communiques projected on a screen, tape recordings, loud speakers or megaphones were used. These techniques had been used by Brecht and other playwrights in the 1920s and 1930s also for political purposes. The popular theater dramatist Armand Gatti uses modern techniques of stage production, imitation of cinema tech niques and fragmented chronology to project his themes. He writes to try to change the world and his intent is always political. In Gatti's plays distanciation works through exaggeration, antithesis, criticism, and the juxta posing of serious, poetic, grotesque, fantastic or humorous elements. Taken individually such techniques are not new. Gatti's abundant use of such interruptions in the text, however, have worked to change the conventions of language and settings in the theater. His increased emphasis on actor and spectator participation as well as improvisation makes him one of the most radical practitioners of the current return to a more spontaneous, political theatrical ity.

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204 Techniques of distanciation, set designs, and props are successfully integrated into the presentation of Gatti's themes. Theater as theater often appears as a theme which is used to help-:. the spectator form a critical view of what is being presented. Other recurring themes of Gatti are justice for the underdog; politization of women; support for revolutionary struggles for national independence in the Third World; rewriting of history from the viewpoint of workers or guerrilla fighters; criticism of big business, consumer society, and pseudo-universal ideologies; cultural identity; and codirection of all concerned in cultural acti vities and in decisions related to social problems. All these themes are related to current intellectual and polit ical trends in France. In France of the 1980s, the Socialist regime of Frangois Mitterand has launched its own "cultural revolu tion," purportedly to spread culture to the masses to end the image of the arts in France as serving mainly the elite. 16 Paris is to become once again the world cultural capital it was in the 1920s and 1930s when theater and lit erature flourished. Apparently like the critics Bablet and Jacquot, the Minister of Culture Jack Lang prefers to com pare the present-day events in France to the 1920s and 1930s rather than to the events of the 1960s. Yet the 16 AJ;ih~, Mb.SD "French Culture undergoing sweeping Changes," The San Juan Star, 20 April 1982, p. 5, cols. 1-3.

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205 ideas of the 1960s do reappear in the So~ialists' cultural program, and to fully understand the cultural policies one must have knowledge of the political trends discussed in this study in relation to French theater. The new Minister of Culture sent the Comedie Fran9aise to perform 19th century classic plays in the subway. He plans to have the state build cultural palaces to reduce the inequalities of culture by bringing more people to the theaters. A "popular opera" house will be built in Bastille square, the site of the 1789 revolution. An Arab Culture Center, sponsored by fourteen Arab states, will appear in the Latin Quarter. A museum of 1890-1915 art, an important period for Socialists, is being built as is also a science museum and park. The latter is to be built on the periphery of Paris with areas for sports, picture painting, and gar dens to plant things. Paris ready-to-wear designers will be invited to stage fashion shows in the Louvre for world buyers. To revive cultural activities Lang plans to open new art schools staffed by artistic counselors; spend ten times more than usual funds to buy art for French museums; use state money to subsidize artists, publishers of art books and magazines, expositions, and radio-TV art programs; open popular music centers all over France, enlarge music educa tion in schools; open a ballet school in Marseille, a dance conservatory in Lyon, a state dance school in Paris, and revive folk dancing in schools. In addition. Lang

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206 hopes to popularize literature through price controls on books and by opening more public libraries. Any mention of popular theater is conspicuously lacking in the Socialist program. It is very probable, however, that Socialist government officials will run into controversies similar to those experienced by the Gaullists and their cultural policy. Since Gatti's activities and ideas reflect in some respects the Socialist tradition in France, it is not sur prising that the audio-visual section of the Ministry of External Affairs, the new name of the Foreign Ministry, has 17 published a retrospective of Gatti's activities recently. It is reasonable to assume that he may receive more state funds to subsidize some of his projects. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Gatti will become institutionalized by the Socialist regime. Along with Socialist ideas he has always exemplified the strong anarchistic trait present in France since the beginning of this century. He will most likely continue to authentically represent the half of France not usually heard from by treating themes dealing with global problems in terms of political issues on the level of indi viduals in their daily lives. 17 Ministere des Relations Exterieures Cellule d 'Animation Audio-Visuelle. Armand Gatti: une Retrospec tive, 1981.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Brecht, Bertolt. "Short Organum for the Theater." In Brecht on Theater: The Development of an Aesthetic. Ed. and trans. John Willet. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964, pp. 179-205. Gatti, Armand. Chant public devant deux chaises electriques. Paris: Seuil, 1964. ---------"Un The&tre pour la cite." La Nef, 29 (Jan. Mar. 1967), pp. 71-73. ---------Les Treize Soleils de la rue Saint-Blaise. Paris: Seuil, 1968. V comme Vietnam. Pali:is: Seuil, 1967. ---------La Vie imaginaire de l'eboueur Auguste G. In Thi8tre III. Paris: Seuil, 1962. Althusser, Louis. (1964-1975). Secondary Sources "Comment lire 'Le Capital'." In Positions Paris: Ed. Sociales, 1975, pp. 149-160. ---------"Le Piccolo Bertolazzi et Brecht: Notes sur un the&tre materialiste." In Pour Marx. Paris: Maspero, 1965, pp. 131-151. Aslan, Odette. L'Acteur au XXesiecle: Evolution de la tech nique, probleme d'ethique. Paris: Seghers, 1974. Bablet, Denis. "Entretien avec Armand Gatti," Travail The~tral, 3 (Apr.-June 1971), pp. 3-21. ---------Les Revolutions sceniques du xzesiecle. Paris: Societe Inter. d'Art XXe siecle, 1975. Benjamin, Walter. "Der Autor als Produzent." In Versuche Uber Brecht. Ed. Rolf Tiedemann. 2nd ed. Frankfurt/ Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1967. 207

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208 Benmussa, Simone. "Le Theatre des metteurs en scene." Cahiers Renaud-Barrault, 74 (1971), pp. 58-64. Benet, Yves. "Le The~tre d'Armand Gatti et l'inquietude contemporaine." La Pensee, 128 (1966), pp. 119-132. Brewster, Ben. "From Shklovsky to Brecht: A Reply." Screen, 15, 2 (summer 1974), 82-102. Brook, Peter. The Empty Space. New York: Avon, 1969. Brown, Bruce. Marx, Freud, and the Critique of Everyday Life: Toward a Permanent cultural Revolution. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1973. Cohn, Ruby. Currents in Contemporary Drama. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1969. "Le Collogue de Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne 'Dans les maisons de la culture le pouvoir doit ~tre remis aux crea teurs' declare Roger Planchon. '" Derniere Heure Lyonnaise, 19 March 1968, p. 8, cols. 1-3. Copfermann, Emile. "La Resistible Decouverte du theatre de Monsieur Bertolt Brecht en France." Les Lettres Fran9aises, 1276 (26 Mar.-2 Apr., 1969), pp. 14-15. Corvin, Michel. "Illusions scenique et illusions the&trale: Sur la mise en scene contemporaine." Stanford French Review, 3, 2 (fall 1979}, 145-160. Devarrieux, Claire. "Nous somme tous des chats guerilleros." Le Mende, 27 Nov. 1975, p. 15, cols. 1-4. Dort, Bernard. "Brecht devant Shakespeare." Revue d'Histoire de The&tre, 1 (1965}, pp. 69-75. ---------"Les 'Nouveaux The&tres' a l'heure du choix." Les Temps Modernes, 239 (Apr. 1966}, pp. 1826-1855. Dupres, Georges. "Le Theatre malade de la culture." Partisans, 36 (Feb.-Mar. 1967), pp. 22-27. Duryee, Annick Jourdan. Armand Gatti: Un Theatre nouveau pour un public nouveau. Doctoral dissertation Columbia. Uni versity 1971. Duvignaud, Jean. L'Acteur: Esquisse d'une sociologie du comedien. 2nd ed. Paris: Gallimard, 1974. ---------Sociologie du theatre: Essais sur les ombres collectives. 2nd rev. ed. Paris: PUF, 1974.

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209 Duvignaud, Jean and Jean Lagoutte. Le The&tre contemporain: Culture et centre-culture. Paris: Larousse, 1974. Esslin, Martin. An Anatomy of Drama. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977. Fitch, Andrew. "A Fusion Avant-Garde?" Drama Survey. 5, 1 {spring 1966), 53-59. Frisch, Jack E. "Public and private worlds in Drama." Drama Survey, 7, 1 and 2 (winter 1968-69), 149-153. Gaudibert, Pierre. Action culturelle, integration et/ou subversion. Paris: Casterman, 1972. Gelbard, Peter. "Theater in Paris, Spring and Fall, 1964." Drama Survey, 4, 1 (spring 1965), 65-70. Glucksrnann, Miriam. Structuralist Analysis in Contemporary Social Thought: A Comparison of the Theories of Claude L~vi-Strauss and Louis Althusser. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974. Gozlan, Gerard ~nd Jean-Louis Pays. Gatti aujourd'hui. Paris: Seuil, 1970. Gramsci, Antonio. "Socialism and Culture." In Antonio Gramsci: Selections from Political Writings 1910-1929. Trans. John Mathews. New York: International Publisher, 1977, pp. 12-15. Hildenbrand, Werner. "Theater und Revolution in Frankreich." Theater Heute, 7 {July 1968), pp. 3-4. Holland, Norman, N., "Recent Drama Criticism: Bathtubs in the Nose." The Hudson Review, 17, 4 {winter 1964), 619-626. Hoover, Marjorie L. Meyerhold: The Art of Conscious Theater. Amherst: Univ. of Mass. Press, 1974. Hiifner, Agnes. Brecht in Frankreich 1930-1963: Verbreitung, Aufnahme, Wirkung. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlerischer, 1968. Jacquot, Jean. "Vers un th~atre du peuple." Etudes Anglaises, 2 {Apr.-June 1969), pp. 216-247. Jacquot, Jean Ied.]. Les Voies de la cr~ation th~atrale. VI Vols. Paris: E. CNRS, 1971-1980. Jameson, Fredric. The Prison House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism. Princeton,New Jersey: Princeton Univ. Press, 1972.

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210 Klein, Peter-Jilrgen. Theater fur den Zuschauer Theater mit dem Zuschauer: Die Dramen Armand Gattis als Mittel zur Initierung humanen Verhaltens. Wiesbaden: Athenaion, 1975. Knapp, Bettina. "Armand Gatti. 11 In Off-Stage Voices: Interviews with Modern French Dramatists. Ed. Alba Amoie. Troy, N.Y.: Whitson, 1975, pp. 205-213. Knowles, Dorothy. "Introduction: Principles of Staging." In Forces in Modern French Drama: Studies in Variations of the Permitted Lie. Ed. John Fletcher. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1972, pp. 11-32. ---------"Michel Parent and Theatrical Experiments in Simultaneity." Theater Research, 11, 1 (1971), 23-41. Kott, Jan. Shakespeare our Contemporary. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1966. Kourilsky, Francoise and Lenora Champagne. "Political Theatre in France since 1968." Drama Review, 19, 2 (June 1975), pp. 43-52. Kravetz, Marc. "Dialogue avec Armand Gatti," Liberation, July 16-21, 1979. Kustow, Michael. "French Theatre: Images of Weimar." New Statesman, 98, 2522 (July 20, 1979), pp. 103. Lacan, Jacques. "De la jouissance." In Le Seminaire de Jacques Lacan Livre XX: Encore 1972-1973. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975, pp. 9-16. Lacarriere, Jacques. "'La Vie imaginaire de l'eboueur Auguste Geai' d'Armand GattiF m.e.s. Jacques Rosner, avec le Theatre de la Cite." Theatre Populaire, 54 (1954), pp. 87-89. Lee, Vera. Quest for a Public: French Popular Theater since 1945. Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman, 1970. Lefebvre, Henri. Au-dela du structuralisme. Paris: Anthropos, 1971. ---------L'Ideologie structuraliste. 2nd ed. Paris: Ed. Anthropos, 1975. Le Langage et la societe. Paris: Gallimard, 1966.

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211 Maccabe, Colin. Godard: Images, Sounds, Politics. Bloom ington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1980. Madral, Philippe. Le Theatre hors les murs: Six Animateurs et trois elus municipaux nous parlent. Paris: Seuil, 1969. Merrick, Gordon. "The Toad in the Ointment." The New Republic, 142, 7 (15 Feb. 1960), 20. Michaud-Mailland, Jean. "Notes au spectateur ideal selon Armand Gatti." Les Lettres Fran9aise, 1187 (15-21 June 1967) p. 22. Mierau, Fritz. Erfindung und Korrektur: Tretjakow, Aesthe tik der Operativitat. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1976. Miller, Judith Graves. Theater and Revolution in France ~ince 1968. Lexington, Ky.: French Forum, 1977. Mingalon, Jean-Louis. "Une Saison en France," Cit' Panorama, 14 (Mar.-May 1968), pp. 6-12. Ministere des Relations Exterieures Cellule d'Animation Audio-Visuelle. Armand Gatti: Une Retrospective. Paris: ANALEPH, 1981. Mosby, Aline. "French Culture undergoing sweeping Changes." The San Juan Star, 20 April 1982, p. 5, cols. 1-3. Mossuz, Janine. Andre Malraux et le gaullisme. Paris: Armand Colin, 1970. "The New Philosophers." Time, 12 Sept. 1977, pp. 29-30. "A New Right Raises its Voice: Science and Paganism at the Service of a Reactionary Doctrine." Time, 13 August 1979, p. 31. Nores, Dominique. "Gatti, une dramaturgie en suspens." Les Lettres Nouvelles (Sept.-Oct. 1969), pp. 173-183. Poirot-Delpech, Bertrand. "'Chant public devant deux chaises electriques' d'Armand Gatti." In ~u soir le soir: Theatre 1960-1970. Paris: Mercure de France, 1969, pp. 186-189. ---------"Que demande le peuple." In Au soir le soir: The&tre 1960-1970. Paris: Mercure de France, 1969, p. 240. ---------"Que ferez-vous en Mai?" In Au soir le soir: Theatre 1960-1970. Paris: Mercure de France, 1969, pp. 243-246.

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212 ---------"'La Vie imaginaire de 1 1 ,boueur Auguste G d'Armand Gatti." In Au soir le soir: The~tre 1960-1970. Paris: Mercure de France~ 1969, pp. 132-133. Prevost, Claude. "Litterature et ideologie." Nouvelle Critique, 57 (Oct. 1972), pp. 16-23. Rlihle, Jurgen. Literature and Revolution: A Critical Study of the Writer and Communism in the Twentieth Century. Trans. Jean Steinberg of rev. ed. New York: Frederick A. Prager, 1969. Said, Edward w. "The Text, the World, the Critic." In Textual Strategies: Perspectives in Post-Structuralist Criticism. Ed. Jose v. Harari. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press, 1979, pp. 161-188. Sandier, Gilles. "Theatre populaire?" La Quinzaine Lit teraire, 50 (1-15 May 1968), p. 26. Sartre, Jean-Paul. "Intellektuelle und Revolution." Neues Forum, 211 and 212 (June-July 1971), pp. 33-38. ---------The&tre epique et the8tre dramatique." In Un Theatre de situations. Eds. Michel Contat and Micnel Rybalka. Paris: Gallimard, 1973, pp. 105-151. Saurel, Renee. "Les Fils de Brecht et les fils d'Artaud." Les Temps Modernes, 260 (Jan. 1968), pp. 1308-1319. ---------"Avec Gignoux, Planchon et Retore." Les Temps Modernes, 282 (Jan. 1970), pp. 1117-1124. ---------"Sur la colline aux cerises, 'Chant public devant deux chaises electriques' d'Armand Gatti au T.N.P.," Les Temps Modernes, 238 (1966), pp. 1671-1672. Schifres, Alain. "Armand Gatti," Realites, 188 (1966), pp. 65-69. Simon, Alfred. "The&tre et desastre; qui croit encore au the8tre populaire?" Esprit, 39B (June 1970), pp. 1136-1137. Temkine, Raymonde. "Le The.tre, service public?" La Pensee, 144 (Apr. 1969), pp. 131-135. Vachet, Andre. "De la fin de l'histoire a l'analyse dif ferentielle: La Revolution urbaine (les derniers ouvrages d'Henri Lefebvre)." Dialogue, 11, 3 (Sept. 19 72) 400-419.

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213 Viansson-Ponte, Pierre. Histoire de la Republique qaul lienne. Vol. II Le Temps des orphelins: aoO.t 1962 avril 1969. Paris: Fayard, 1971 Wagner, Jean. "Notes sur le the&tre d'Armand Gatti." Nouvelle Critique, 175 (1966), pp. 42-57. Ward, Margaret Ellen. Peter Weiss, Rolf Hochhuth, Armand Gatti: The Interaction between Intent, Content, and Form in Contemporary Political Drama. Doctoral Disser tation Indiana Univ. 1974. Wendt, Ernst. "Was da kommt, was schon ist: Gatti zum Beispiel." Akzente, 3 (June 1966), pp. 222-224. Williams, Philip M. and Martin Harrison. Politics and Society in De Gaulle's Republic. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1973. Williams, Philip M. with David Goldey and Martin Harrison. French Politicians and Elections 1951-1969. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1970.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Bonnie Laurie Pytlinski was born 18 March 1943 in Midland, Michigan. She completed a bachelor's degree in 1965 in German at the University of Michigan after spending her junior year abroad in Munich, Germany. During 1968-1969 she attended courses at the Sorbonne in Paris while enrolled at the University of Illinois. The following year she com pleted a master's degree in French at the University of Illinois. In October 1982 she submitted her dissertation on the subject of "Armand Gatti and Political Trends in French Theater under de Gaulle (1958-1968)" to the University of Florida and she received a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures with German as her minor area of study in Decem ber of the same year. Her teaching experience includes having taught lower division courses in German as an instructor at the Univer sity of South Florida (1971-1973), and numerous under graduate courses in French as a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois (1969-1970), and at the University of Florida (1973-1974; 1981); and, as an instructor at the University of South Florida (1971-1973) and New Mexico State University (1979). Her interests are contemporary German and French liter ature, and theater techniques and interpretation. 214

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. /' '.' ,4At(L~ Raymond Gay-Crosier, Chairman Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. ~pfu~~ /. Wayne Connor Distinguished Service Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. [~ {~J. f',~ Hal H. Rennert Assistant Professor of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Romance Languages and Liter atures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfill ment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philo sophy. December 1982 Dean for Graduate Studies and Research