Spring 1950 • Vol. XII No. 2 NonfictionApril 1, 1950 |

Jean-Louis Barrault

The phenomenon Barrault is complex, but two evenings in his theatre—the evening when he gives Le Procès and the evening when he gives La Seconde Surprise de l'Amour and Les Fourberies de Scapin—illuminate it considerably. Le Procès is of course Kafka's The Trial adapted to the stage by Barrault and André Gide. One's repugnance to stage adaptations is qualified by respect for the adaptors. It is qualified still further if we are aware that Barrault, like Brecht, has special designs on fiction. Fiction or "epic" is the raw material of drama; it is the root from which the theatre is nourished. The Greek playwrights worked from epic sources; so, often, did Shakespeare. And now that fiction is a more flourishing art than drama it is doubly natural that a man of the theatre should try to renew his art from such a source. His aim—as man of the theatre—is not in the least to give the spectator a duplicate of his experience when reading but either a translation of the book int

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By Eric Bentley

The phenomenon Barrault is complex, but two evenings in his theatre—the evening when he gives Le Procès and the evening when he gives La Seconde Surprise de l'Amour and Les […]

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