Nancy Gish wrote:
> My definition of drama is pretty common and not mine. If you mean by
> "drama" a play for the stage, you have a point. But even then it is
> problematic because as you said Sweeney has been staged.
> Aristotle called drame "imitated human action." But since his meaning of
> IMITATION is in doubt, this phrase is not as simple or clear as it seems.
> Professor J. M. Manlysaw three necessary elemants in drama: (1) a story
> (2) told in action (3)by actors who impersonate the CHARACTERS of the
> I use Holman only because it is to hand and a standard, not an individual
> claim. I could also find many such definitions. But Stephen Daedalus in
> Joyce's PORTRAIT, like many others, defines it by point of view. Structure
> is only a kind of drama by definitions I know, not the essence.
I'm not interested in convincing anyone about my understanding. I'm happy
with it and don't want to defend it. But as you've been kind enough to
inquire, I'll try to make sense in my response.
Manlysaw's first element just puts the matter at one level of remove. As I
said in my previous post, modern fiction shares with drama the dramatic
structure, and lacking that, the thing-that-would-be-a-story doesn't achieve
form. It won't be helpful, or interesting to anyone but me, to go through the
matter any more than I did in the previous post.
As for the second element, the dramatic method is to show, not tell, so I
trust Manlysaw wasn't talking about, for instance, having the exposition in
Hedda Gabler spoken while the maid (I think) is running about the stage.
Drama, as you indicate (or quote from Holman?), comes from the Greek for
action. Yes, staying clear of imitation is sensible, since the working out of
Aristotle's meaning is complex.
I haven't, and don't, spoken about staging, since it is the fate of most
plays to be stuck on the page. And not everything that can be successfully
staged is a play that has achieved form, or a play at all.
I'm interested in reading the passage from Joyce's Portrait. My
understanding is that point of view is a technical term for fiction and a
non-technical one elsewhere; one that would mean the same thing applied to a
play as to a human situation. A play happens (staged or not) or fails as a
play. (Or is flawed. Again, Ibsen comes to mind.) I can't remember how Joyce
uses it and would be grateful for a citation or quotation.