référence : http://listes.cru.fr/arc/mascarene/1996-11/msg00026.html
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Re: Origines de la Commedia Ronald W. Tobin



>Bonjour!
>Une question interessante, sur une liste anglophone, me parait etre restee
>sans reponse quant a son objet principal: la Commedia dell'arte
>remonte-t-elle, a traver le Moyen-Age, jusqu'a des sources etrusques ou
>autres? Le fait-elle par un filon unique ou herite-t-elle d'influences
>multiples? Comme j'enseigne actuellement l'esthetique theatrale et que ce
>secteur de l'histoire du theatre n'est pas celui qui m'est le plus
>familier, j'attendais une reponse ou des indices qui ne me semblent pas
>etre venus, sauf en ce qui concerne le lien vers les arlequinades des iles
>britanniques qui a ete expose clairement par Barry Russell. Pour
>celle et ceux d'entre vous qui lisez l'nglais, j'inclus la question
>originale, qui est fort bien formulee. Peut-etre que les specialistes de
>cette periode qui sont inscrits a Queatre pourront aider a elucider ce
>point sombre de notre discours historique.
>Amities, Andre G. Bourassa.
>
>On Sat, 26 Oct 1996, rodger smith wrote:
>
>> Patrick Finelli asked "does anyone have any authentication or do we just
>> assume that the commedia was a Renaissance invention?"  Well....?
>>
>> Scholars such as Wickham, Tydeman, and more recently many of the REED
>> scholars (Records of Early English Drama) look to those theatrical
>> survivors of Rome as the inspiration for the scant information we have on
>> histriones and mimi.  The jump from Rome to commedia is a long one and one
>> without a net; nevertheless, one which has become somewhat easier to make
>> in the light of the medieval scholarship over the last twenty years.
>>
>>         Part of the difficulty lies in a modern instinct to find a single
>> thread to connect Rome and commedia (then of course there is the urge to
>> connect commedia with English pantomime and from their to stretch the
>> thread to line up vaudville and Saturday Night Live).  While such a game
>> is interesting, even fun, it owes its parenting to evolutionary theories
>> of drama which have difficulty holding the variety and differences between
>> periods of time  and forms of improvisational drama.
>>
>>         Recent scholarship suggests the problem is richer in variety and
>> complexity than a single theory can handle.  While I think there can be
>> little doubt as to the survival of the Attelan into the medieval period
>> and their preparing the way for commedia, the proof comes not so much from
>> found instances but from a willingness to suggest theories to account for
>> the historical debris.  For instance a recent article by Terry Gunnell in
>> _Comparative Drama_(Spring '96) notes the presence of foreign performers
>> (histriones and mimi referred to as leikarar) as early as early middle
>> ages.  Gunnell concludes such performers "indulged in slap-stick mimetic
>> comedy, told stories, sang songs, and presented elementary dramatic
>> scenes, mocking satires, and probably also 'shameless representations'
>> (imaginibus inhonestis') like the histriones described by Thomas de Cabham
>> in c.1213."(22)
>>
>>      While the hard evidence remains difficult to use in the construction
>> of a bridge from Attelan to commedia, the circumstantial evidence grows
>> and our ability to conceive of multiple uses for theater and the
>> theatrical impulse increases our potential to construct responsible
>> theories.  It is safe to say commedia did not spring full grown from the
>> head of the Renaissance.  There was certainly similar theatrical activity
>> long before; additionally, there is good evidence to support a
>> performative influence which the medieval period consumed and spat back in
>> a number of forms to satisfy a number of non literary needs.  However, it
>> is questionable that commedia came to us non-stop from Rome.  Far more
>> exciting, at least for me, is the realizatin of the variety of theatrical
>> impulses which must have conspired to define that particular form.  All of
>> which is to say the impulses remain the same but the names are changed to
>> confuse scholars--or some such.
>>
>> rodger w. smith
>> 606 Hardin
>> Columbia, MO 65203
>> (573) 875 1920
>> C596660@showme.missouri.edu
>>
Il se peut que l'on trouve des renseignements utiles dans une veritable
somme de connaissances sur la commedia dell'arte qu'est Arlecchino a Parigi
de Delia Gambelli (Rome: Bulzoni, 1993).  Si Mme Gambelli etudie le sort
d'un personnage specifique de la commedia, Arlequin, elle ne manque pas
d'eclairer maintes dimensions des Italiens en France.

___________________________
Ronald W. Tobin
Editor, French Review, and Professor of French
University of California, Santa Barbara 93106, USA
rwtobin@humanitas.ucsb.edu
805-893-3461