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Durham e-Theses
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The movement from introversion towards commitment in the theatre of Fernando Arrabal, 1952 - 1969

Whitton, David W. (1974) The movement from introversion towards commitment in the theatre of Fernando Arrabal, 1952 - 1969. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The intention of this thesis is to give an account of the evolution from an inward-looking theatre of obsessions to a more outward-looking theatre of commitment, which characterises the theatre of Fernando Arrabal over a period of seventeen years. The study has a tri-partite structure, corresponding to three distinct periods of artistic creativity: 1952-8, 1962-7 and 1967-9- Each part consists of a chapter exposing background material relating to Arrabal's life, personality and intellectual evolution, followed by a chapter devoted to the analysis of selected plays. The plays of the first period, described as introverted in nature and hermetic in structure, are seen as intensely personal dramatic projections of the nightmare labyrinth of the author's memory and obsessions. These plays are frenetic efforts to impose order on internal chaos, or to eradicate neuroses through the exploitation of fantasies. In the second period, when for the first time in his life he discovers a degree of security and self-confidence, Arrabal brings a more lucid introspective approach to bear on the material which provides his inspiration. This is matched by conscious efforts on Arrabal's part to create a more formalised theatrical universe, structured in accordance with the principles of Panique, and an increasing willingness to draw the spectator into the theatrical ceremony, initiating him to the confusion of the author's world. In this period, his heroes are seen to acquire a degree of lucidity and self-determination which was lacking in the earlier heroes, and as the period closes Arrabal is seen to achieve some detachment from his former obsessions. Finally, under the influence of Arrabal's revelatory imprisonment and the catalytic effect of the "évenéments" of May 1968, the Panique theatre is seen to give way to a new type of theatre in which Arrabal seeks to integrate his old obsessions into his new awareness of external reality, and produces plays which are(manifestly committed in intention. Arrabal's commitment is described as an unusually non-ideological and broadly based commitment on behalf of tolerance and freedom from political persecution.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1974
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 10:29

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