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Eisenstein was assigned to design the sets for this complex satire on the wealthy classes of Europe on the eve of the Great War. However, as with many designs during this impoverished period, the production never took place. One such, an unexpected discovery at the Bakhrushin Mu- seum, was a set of costume designs for a show entitled Sher- lock Holmes and Nick Carter, also dating from Lawrence in several letters, essays, and in his memoirs.
Lawrence in Sardinia 6 Desires, And clearly Eisenstein took back to Russia memories which would be activated many years later, as many of his drawings testify. Living irst in Bloomsbury and then at 8 Royal College Street, Camden, the two lovers contin- 14 A letter to Kenneth Macpherson requesting works by and about Lawrence, dated October 13, is quoted in Seton Eisenstein, Beyond the Stars, After a series of bitter arguments Verlaine left London, and their brief reunion in Brussels soon after concluded with Verlaine shooting his young lover in the wrist in a drunken rage.
Behind her in one of these, a scene of debauchery is interrup- ted by the shadow of the approaching queen. In fact, however, it was his Alexander Nevsky, which still lay nearly a decade in the future, that would play its part in linking Britain and Russia, not only when it was widely shown in the early years of the war, but also when it was transformed into a 18 In fact, Eisenstein could have met the Woolfs, through his contact while in London with their Russian-born collaborator Samuel Solo- monovich Koteliansky.
But there is no record of this within the co- pious documentation of Woolf and her circle. But his indirect contribution to the war effort through radio has been largely ignored. Louis MacNeice was already working for the BBC when Bower invited him to write a play based on the ilm, of which there was only one unsubtitled copy in Britain; and we know form the production iles that there was anxiety about the script being ready in time.
But two works stand outside these larger categories, and raise interesting questions, or speculations. One is the extraordinary panorama of characters that exists as a strip nearly a metre long; and the other is a pair of portraits of his mother.
These, surely, would be considered of enormous signiicance from any ilmmakers other than Eisenstein. But are they displaying poverty or hunger? But it is the extraordinary vari- ety of types that impresses us especially when looking at this virtuoso work of miniaturization in close-up. Audiences around the world over ninety years do indeed know who these individuals are, and the fact that we know nothing extraneous about them has made them both poignant and uni- versal.
But of course there are other such bravura displays of typage in mass action. Think of the bourgeoisie attacking the Bolshevik lealeteers in the July Days episode of October, glee- fully stabbing at the fallen demonstrator with their parasols and stamping with their elegant shoes. This has so often been analysed in the terms that Eisenstein proposed, as an ad- aptation of a Japanese composition, that we have perhaps for- gotten it is another queue of diverse individuals, here united in supplication that the Tsar will return from his self-imposed exile.
These are unlike any other drawings by Eisenstein. They have an in- tensity that seems to speak of complex emotions; and of course we know that Eisenstein had mixed feelings, to put it mildly, about his mother. The strongly worked texture of these drawings seems to speak of very differ- ent emotions from those expressed so playfully or scandalously elsewhere.
Whether conined to Moscow or exiled to Alma Ata, he was still inspired by mem- ories of the historic places he had visited a decade earlier dur- ing those three weeks in Britain. But perhaps not surprising after all, for this little boy from Riga who imagined himself as David Copperield and remained a lifelong devotee of detective stories. Eisenstein, Glass House, Introduction, notes et commentaires de F. Mais partout, aussi, on construit des digues : pouvoirs.
Trotsky, , trad. Marx et F. Engels, Le Manifeste communiste , trad. Rubel et L. Engels, Dialectique de la nature , trad. Benjamin, Origine du drame baroque allemand , trad. Muller et A. Hirt, Paris, Flammarion, , pp. Contre, mais dedans. Global, autrement mondialiste. Il existe aussi de nombreuses antho- 7 A. Gorz, Les Chemins du paradis. Paris, Gallimard, , p. Ness dir. Jeanneney et G. Kaufmann dir. Simpson dir. Vidal dir.
Muller, Essais lorentins, Paris, Klincksieck, , pp. Mousnier, Fureurs paysannes. Paris, Gallimard, , passim. Paris, Flammarion, , pas- sim. Touraine, La Parole et le sang. Dellacioppa et C. Weber dir. Amin et F. Hou- tart dir. Petric et M. Ferret, « Des devenirs minoritaires. Il y a des cycles et des latences, des remuements en tout cas. Quand Ted R. Diacon, Paris, Fayard, , passim. Londres-New York, Routledge, , pp.
Karns, New York-Londres, Praeger, , pp. Gurr et F. Moshiri dir. Mais pour penser 25 M. Dobry, Sociologie des crises politiques. Bessin, C. Bidart et M. Grossetti dir. Major, Paris, Stock, , p. Damals war ich Ulrich Gregor Student in Berlin. Ich folgte einer Einladung zur Teilnahme an einem internationalen Jugendfestival in Mos- kau. Man fuhr mit dem Zug von Berlin bis zum Belorussischen Bahnhof. Der Wir trafen uns erst wieder , bei unserem ersten Besuch der Moskauer Filmfestspiele. Und dieser Ort wurde, bedingt durch Naum, zu unserer Heimat in Moskau, wann immer wir dort waren.
Dort haben wir immer wieder Freunde getroffen und neue kennengelernt. Die Smo- lenskaja war der interessanteste Treffpunkt in Moskau. Gregor, E. Es waren immer wieder Entdeckun- gen. Wir glaubten an didaktische Ausstellungen. Dort erfuhren wir die wichtigsten Informationen. Es war ein unver- gesslicher Eindruck. Und wir waren auch dort zu Hause. Nebenan hatte er seine Sammlungen, darunter auch eine Filmsammlung.
Alle Vor- stellungen waren voll. Ich erinnere mich besonders an einen Men- schen aus Saratow. Wir verfolgten und bewunderten nicht nur Naums Arbeit als Museumsleiter, Sammler und Programmierer von Filmzyklen, als Vermittler von Kenntnissen, als Inspirator, sondern auch seine schriftstellerische, wissenschaftliche und editorische Ar- beit im Umgang mit den hinterlassenen Schriften von Sergej Eisenstein.
Es ist erstaunlich und bewundernswert, dass unter schwierigsten Bedingungen diese Publikation bis heute erscheinen konnte und kann. Dass er eine Zentraligur der Filmvermittlung, der Wissenschaft und der Filmkultur ist, dar- an kann kein Zweifel bestehen. Ohne Kompromisse mit den Machthabern. Darin ist er uns ein Vorbild, ist seine Arbeit ein Modell. Und er ist unser Freund, unser Seelenverwandter. Berlin, This is how Osip Brik described the work of the camera. For Walter Benjamin, one of the most perceptive diagnosticians of his time, cinema possessed explosive power due to its way of seeing things in an unusual, estranged manner.
Clearly, it is another nature which speaks to the camera as com- pared to the eye. For some reason it was necessary for Shklovsky to trans- form Tolstoy into a camera, even though cinematography had 1 Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, 4 vols. Para- doxically he associated the machine not with the re-awakening of vision but, on the contrary, with the erasure of all freshness in perception. The machine reproduces and automatizes, and by doing so, the machine goes blind.
It stops seeing. The dis- continuous world is a world of recognition. Human thought has created for itself a new non-intuitive world in its own image and likeness. From this perspective, the motion picture is a tremendous modern phenomenon--in its magnitude, perhaps, not third but irst. What makes ilm discontinuous? As everyone knows, a movie reel consists of a series of mo- mentary shots succeeding one another with such speed that the human eye merges them; a series of immobile elements creates the illusion of motion.
Pure motion, as such, will never be reproduced in cine- matography. Cinematography can only deal with the motion-sign, the semantic motion. It is not just any motion, but motion-action that constitutes the sphere of a motion picture. Levchenko, Drugaia nauka. Russkie formal- isty v poiskakh biograii Moscow: Vysshaia shkola ekonomiki, I will have to leave this interes- ting subject out of the present discussion.
Iampolski - Film Resisting Theory vision and fully belongs to the domain of recognition. In a pe- culiar way, memory, as Bergson constructs it i. Vision belongs to the domain of duration, and duration does not presuppose either isolated objects or separate and consec- utive psychic states. Duration connects percep- tions of the present moment with some elements of the past; those moments that are captured by memory and are therefore heterogeneous in relation to the present moment of perception.
In reality, however, there exists no percep- tion that would not be saturated by remembrance: With the immediate and present data of our senses we mingle a thousand details out of our past experience. He uses this example to demonstrate that our perception of the world consists of two components. As the successive phases of our conscious life, although interpene- trating, correspond individually to an oscillation of the pendulum which occurs at the same time, and as, moreover, these oscilla- tions are sharply distinguished from one another, we get into the habit of setting up the same distinction between the successive moments of our conscious life….
It is a com- plex dephasing relationship between the external existence of divisible and countable elements i. What Bergson describes reminds one of the dephas- ing reduplication as understood by Gilles Simondon, a useful reference for the clariication of the problem. Iampolski - Film Resisting Theory An optic machine like cinematography is not capable of inte- grating the world aesthetically and subjectively.
Such integra- tion needs a duplication of the world that could allow mediation and transformation. Technology differentiates individuates itself from a magical relation to the world and acts as a medi- ator between the human being and the surrounding world. The process of individuation and genesis proceeds through phases. Simondon understands phases not as consecutive stages of de- velopment but, speciically, as bifurcations and reduplications of phenomena.
Any technical or quasi-technical device emerges from dephasing and reduplication of the originally integral relation- ship with the world. Cinematography further complicates and makes more dynamic this relationship of constant dephasing, of uninterrupted translation of the outer into the inner. Cinematog- raphy thus appears to be a technological means of mediating reality by slicing it up into component parts. In this sense, cin- ematography is nothing speciic at all. Speech and, of course, writing are also technologies that articulate reality.
Why, for the formalists, as paradox- ical as it might be, did literature and not ilm and photography demonstrate a closer afinity to vision? Shklovsky wrote: In the world of art, the world of continuity, the world of the continuous word, a line of verse cannot be broken into stresses; it has no stress points: it has a place where the lines of force fracture. The traditional theory of verse emphasizes the violation of con- tinuity by discontinuity.
The continuous world is a world of vi- sion. The discontinuous world is a world of recognition. Shklovsky is trying to resolve the relation between the continuous and the discontin- uous in terms of form and material. These terms are unfortu- 8 Shklovsky. Literature and Cinematography, For Shklovsky, the whole of the outer world together with its char- acters, actions, and motivations was material for the work of the artist, for art to re-distribute and give shape to.
According to Shklovsky, ilm differs from painting and litera- ture by virtue of the fact that the apparatus producing the image deforms it in a manner that can be compared to the production of artistic form. The situation becomes more complicated in the sec- ondary formation of the already-formed technological material in the process of editing.
The material of painting is visible reality, or colored planes. The material of cinematography is not the visible world but the already-articulated world of recognition. As is well known, Shklovsky the theoretician tended to in- terpret artistic form narratologically as a plot. In its essence, cinema is the plot. There is nothing else in a ilm. Moreover, when the continuous material of literature is transposed onto paper, transformed by the plot, and achieves articulatedness, still, the discontinuity thus produced relates to the continuity of the narrative itself and thus appears as pure dephasing.
Nothing like this takes place in the cinema. One simply takes a frag- ment of a previously dismembered series and moves it into a different place. He insists on this many times: In a ilm, those segments which interrupt one another are much shorter; they are truly segments; we usually return to the same moment of the action. One part of a ilm is indispensable, because in it the cameraman shows a view of a city from above; in the next part, a trained monkey performs; the third part of the same ilm contains a ballet performance, and so on.
And we watch all of it with interest. What is a ilm plot? An artful selection of scenes, a successful chronological transpo- sition, and good juxtapositions. It is for this reason that, in spite of all its modernity, cinematography appears to him a modern nightmare from which one can only ind rescue in the literary word.
Shklovsky declares, emotionally: Fundamentally, cinematography is extraneous to art. It grieves me to observe the development of cinematography. I want to be- lieve that its triumph is temporary. Then there will be no motion pictures. Tynianov believed that literary form was dynamic and not static. Between its elements is not the static sign of equality and addition, but the dynamic sign of correlation and integration.
The form of the literary work must be recognized as a dynamic phenomenon. Iampolski - Film Resisting Theory The principle of dynamic deformation producing a particular form can be found in the relation between meter and rhythm in poetry. However, at the same time, there is a radical difference between cinema and verse. And this articulation is mechanical in its essence. Conversely, meter exists in verse on an exclusively virtual basis.
Meter does not exist as such, but is given to us as the never realized expectation of mechanical repetition. In such a case, meter ceases to exist in the shape of a regular system, but it does exist in another way. We have either a coordination of unities which is accomplished progressively , or a subordination which is accomplished regressively.
Thus, a poetic system uses the same dephasing redu- plication in which the mechanical regular is virtual and the non-regular rhythm is actual. Cinema, as the formalists understood it, never pos- sessed any virtual or ideal dimension.
In ilm, everything is giv- en to the gaze. Tynianov insisted that a constructive shift in literature pro- duces a renewed vision and can serve the destruction of recog- nition. But what is it that gets visible apart from the form itself? In principle, nothing. What is visible is to a great extent reduced to the dynamics of the construction that in the inal analysis 17 Ibid.
It is not by accident that later on Jakobson would talk of the becoming-visible of the poetic language itself. This however was not all that Tynianov suggested. He also used the idea of the constructive principle in order to include cultural history in his thinking. According to Tynianov, evolution presupposes system changes not affecting tradition.
But the change of systems also means that evolution itself has a certain inherent constructive principle. One system becomes virtual, like meter, and against its background, the actual system reveals its potential func- tionally comparable with rhythm. To a considerable extent, the evolutionary mechanism follows from the constructive principle that forms the system of the verse.
On the contrary, it emphasizes this distinction. Such is the historical role of poetic parody. Here, he no longer thinks of cinema as the mechanical repro- duction of fragments of reality, but as a dynamic structure simi- lar to poetry. A dynamization of static articulation is the product of historical evolution that neither cinema nor any other medi- 19 Ibid.
Iampolski - Film Resisting Theory um can escape. Thus evolution overcomes the limitations of technology and transforms cinema from a purely mechanical medium of re- cording into a form of art. It introduces a constructive principle into objects that are alien to it. This becomes possible because there is no signiicant difference between the constructive prin- ciple in art and evolution.
Evolution transforms cinema into an art form and simultaneously reverses the relation between tech- nology and form: Furthermore, cinema as art is no longer concerned with innova- tion in and of itself, but only with the technical means that develop its intrinsic potentials and that are selected with its basic devices in mind.
In the interaction of technology and art, the positions of the two have been reversed as compared to the situation that ob- tained at the outset: now it is art that dictates the technical devices, it is art that, in its onward march, selects them, changes their ap- plication and function, and inally discards them — not the reverse.
The art of cinema has found its material. It does not give rise to new 21 Ju. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, , This provides the basis for a completely new interpretation of gesture and movement. Had the shots been three-di- mensional, given in relief, their interpenetration, their simultane- ity, their synchronicity, would have been unconvincing.
Only by taking advantage of this simultaneity is it possible to create a com- position that not only reproduces motion, but is itself based on the principles of that motion. Due to such limitations, the new art transcends the level of reproduction of movement — as metric regularity and abstraction — and acquires a lexible dynamism arising from the principles of dephasing, shift, deformation, and evolution. In this way, cinema becomes similar to literature.
In spite of the modernity of their approach, the formalists failed to overcome a fetishistic attitude towards art. Paradoxi- cally, it is the technological nature of ilm that made it dificult for them to think of cinema outside the framework of aesthetics. The problem lay in the simple fact of the regularity of intervals between photograms. Tynianov was able to integrate the virtual regularity of meter into poetry, but the purely mechanical regu- larity that constitutes the ilm image appeared to resist the idea of art as the formalists cultivated it.
Already at the time of the invention of the movies, the reg- ularity of intervals between photograms created dificulties in 22 Ibid. Iampolski - Film Resisting Theory the measurement and reproduction of movement. In the work of the formalists, cinema developed a new resistance to theo- ry, disrupting theoretical efforts to explain it on artistic princi- ples.
This resistance increased with new attempts to integrate mechanical reproduction into the domain of the artistic. If that was a failure, its history is interesting in itself. I was looking for him in the delegation of Russian ilm artists and scholars visiting Bombay. A man with an intense and meditative expression caught my eye. He wore glasses, was of medium height, with a high forehead, a compact body and gentle manner.
I observed him, unobtrusively I thought, but he had noticed it. We exchanged faint, complicit smiles. He had to be Naum. And so he was! From that point, the thread of word- less understanding runs till today. If I were to mention only one quality of Naum that I ind out- standing, it would be neither his vast erudition, nor his fantastic mind, nor his insatiable curiosity, nor his generosity, nor his joie de vivre, nor his capacity to love and connect with people, but to really listen to them.
His listening is an intense activity — an act of almost Yogic concentration. As he listens to you, your thoughts arrange themselves, like iron ilings aligning along the magnetic lines of force. Naum can draw the unborn, unthought thoughts out of you, with the love, patience and tenderness of a Socratic midwife.
Since getting the books that I needed for my study was dificult in the U. By the time I left Moscow, there was a ninety-kilo hillock of rare books on his table; one day, this enchanted hillock lew into my study in Bombay. I still have the age-yellowed notes of our unending conversa- tions and wonder whether we worked together for ive weeks or ive months!
A picture of Eisenstein began to emerge for me. It was like looking at a mural in a vast Ajanta cave, in the light of a sin- gle luttering candle, with images coming into light, passing into darkness; an image of the compassionate Buddha appear- ing and disappearing. A vague sensation has now grown into a conviction…not just one Archimedean Point, but many. He wrote: The language was very dificult… the hardest thing was un- derstanding the way of thinking … by which Oriental turns of phrases, sentences, word formations and word outlines are con- structed.
Three of the fundamental concepts of his aesthetics emerged out of this study: montage, montage cell, and monistic ensemble. With these, he built a sensuous-conceptual hanami- chi, or Flower Bridge,6 between Japan and his world. Such Flower-paths had also reached the Indian shores7 and Eisenstein was the most revered artist-thinker for us. In the his- tory of colonial India, our inest artworks were nothing more than The Much Maligned Monsters8 to the Europeans.
Eisen- 2 S. Eisenstein, Selected Works. Writings, , ed. It is a long, raised platform left of centre, from the back of the theatre, through the audience, to connect with the main stage. Generally used for entrances and exits and asides of the actors or scenes taking place apart from the main action.
As India and the U. Though Indian culture did not play a major role in his world-view, each one of his references to it is a penetrating insight. He made us look at our culture anew. He had learnt from many non-European civilisations and in each of them, he found an Archimedean Point, to turn some part of the Eurocentric world upside down.
From , he trav- elled to Europe, the US, and Mexico, returning only in This experience provided him the physical and mental space to look within from without. He also met some of his greatest con- temporaries and exchanged ideas with them. All this provided him with many signiicant perspectives on art and the sources and process of creativity.
Eisenstein experienced the grandeur and immensi- ty of the Pre-Columbian landscape architecture and sculpted space. He had used the wide-angle lenses in Strike,10 General contact with the Indian art used to regard the many-headed Indian deities as monsters. It took centuries before these works could be appreciated in their true signiicance and grandeur; though, admittedly, some of the British administrators did a lot for their discoveries and preservation.
London: Thames and Hudson, , Khopkar - The Flower Bridge and The Archimedean Points Line,11 and even in October, to stretch space, but there was a qualitative shift in what he created in the Mexican footage and thereafter in Ivan the Terrible. He used the wide-angle lens- es and pan-focus consistently for the construction of oneiric, even hallucinatory visions not seen before in cinema.
In terms of a kinaesthetic experience of monumentality, Western sculpture does not have much on the scale of Assyr- ian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Pre-Columbian, Buddhist in- cluding the brutishly destroyed Bamiyan Buddhas , Persian Persepolis , Khmer Angkor Wat or the Indian monolithic cave temples of Elephanta and Ellora. Just as Eisenstein took from other civilisations, he gave to them generously. On the same page there are two more examples from Strike.
The great Indian ilmmaker, Ritwik Ghatak was deeply inlu- enced by Eisenstein. He used wide-angle lenses for all his ilms. From ilm to ilm, his lens-angles became wider. He used 9. The monumental com- positions of the 9. In one particular shot, Ghatak framed three heads, the frontal face of a young boy lanked by two proiles of women, evoking the famous three-headed gigantic sculpture of Lord Shiva, in the Elephanta Cave temple near Bombay.
Anne Zouboff, ed. Ted Perry London: Methuen , These heads, … twenty feet high, are smaller than those of the Bayon in Angkor; but colossal in comparison to the igures around them, they ill the cave as Pantocrator ills the Byzantine cathed- rals of Sicily.
Like the Pantocrator, this Shiva stops below the shoulders without becoming a bust. Hence its disturbing aspect of severed head and divine apparition. A full face and two monumental proiles, whose planes …are worthy of the highest work of art…This igure belongs …to the domain of the great symbols, and what this symbol expresses, it alone can express. It dovetails with a much broader framework of music of landscape in Nonindifferent Nature.
Una visione rifratta delle rilessioni sul colore di S. Eisenstein was happily out- side the ambit of the U. Chinese civilisation was also a major inluence of Eisen- stein. Mei had toured the US in and had met Charles Chaplin, who had spoken to Eisenstein about Mei,23 who had a tremendous impact on the avant-garde of the twentieth century.
These books by Min Tian deal with the most important intercultural relationships between the Occidental and Chinese theatre. They help us understand better, not only Eisenstein, but also Brecht, Tretiakov and Meyerhold, four giants of the twentieth century art.
In Kathakali,26 a great Indian dance-drama, the men perform female roles even today, in a stylised gesture language and manage to convey exquisitely the feminine emo- tions and actions, even breastfeeding, in the most reined way without pretending to be women. In Maharashtra, Balgandarva, a male actor playing female roles, set the template for women, from speech, gestures, gait to hair styles in the early decades of the twentieth century. The Indian dance-form, Bharatnatyam, which used to be performed by Devdasis, women attached to temples, is considered one of the most sensuous dance forms.
Its great gurus have been almost exclusively men. Like cinematic mentioned earlier, imagicity is a key concept for Eisenstein, which he never freezes. These two books have excellent essays on the dance-drama. He had begun to feel that it was the source culture from which Japan had learnt a great deal. Along with cinematic and imagicity Eisenstein speaks of polysemie of the Peking Opera, wherein a simple object like a table becomes a staircase, a mountain, to a stool, a bed, etc.
It splits into Yin, the female, and Yang, the male principle. This is a social unity splitting into Yin and Yang. If the division between the sexes were the cause of the irst division of labour, then how come only in Ancient China it became so important?
Shiva, mentioned earlier, in an androgyne. He is symbolically represented in union with his consort Shakti the female force. Their icon is the union of an erect phallus lingam penetrating a vagina yoni. Another form in which they are represented is called Ardhanaarishwar, half-man, half-woman God.
All classical Indian artistic creation in theatre, dance, painting or sculpture,36 oscillates between the feminine aspect, lasya: curvaceous, graceful, gentle and feminine, and tandava: the masculine aspect, virile, powerful, muscular and aggressive. One of the paths that leads to this Lord is called Tantra. Without going into greater detail here, sufice it to say that the highest aim of this path is ecstasy.
But the Indian female principle, Shakti — literally power or energy — also has its terrible and destructive aspect in Kali, the dark Goddess, like the Greek Furies. He deines the aesthetic bliss as the co-uterine, as the ecstatic bliss Brahmananda, the joy of feeling one with the universe. From Yin and Yang, in Pair — Impair 39 we come to their speciic application to numbers — odd impair Yang and even pair Yin. They always reveal something concrete, new and valuable about how a work of art is created and experienced.
Eisenstein explores the relation- ship between the pre-logical and the logical thinking and in the process, discusses magical thinking, animism, sensuous versus logical thought and even histories of philosophy and literature. Features, considered functional at one stage, recur as expressive at another.
Khopkar - The Flower Bridge and The Archimedean Points sphere, where bodily needs are never experienced and gravi- tational force is nonexistent. Ancient China, with its pantheistic world view, was the irst civilisation to devote centuries to the development of landscape painting. The Tao of Painting42 has instructions about painting natural phenomenon from rocks to insects. The Chinese paint- ers organised each element of painting, through the conceptual framework of Yin and Yang and brought astonishing visual uni- ty to their paintings.
These were at once the pictures of nature and expressive rhythmic patterns. Should there be a question as to which has a wider appeal the answer would undoubtedly in favour of calligraphy. In this cultivation and appreciation of pure witchery of line and beauty of composition, therefore, the Chinese have an absolute freedom and entire devotion to pure form as such, as apart from content. A painting has to con- vey an object but a well-written character conveys only its own beauty of line and structure.
In this absolutely free ield, every variety of rhythm has been experimented upon and every type of structure has been explored. Anyone who has gazed at the walls full of calligraphic wonders in Alhambra in Granada, in the great mosques of Persia, Turkey and India, and the manuscripts in the Topkapi, Malik National museum of Iran, the calligraphic scrolls in Peking and Taipei museums will know what man can do without painting igures — he can evoke every conceivable form in the universe through the calligraphic line.
I started my essay with my meeting with Naum in They show us the highest peaks of twentieth-century aesthetics achieved by a visionary who sought the science in art and looked for art in science. I await at least one more volume, Rezhissura, on the art of direction, in the next few years and many more in the springs to come.
Let Naum live a hundred springs and more to fulil what he alone sees now and what we will all wait to see. I had a vague picture of Eisenstein decades back. Now this great gift of Naum and his colleagues, lets the world see the thinker-artist emerging like a colossus out of the waters of his creation.
His passion, compassion, and wisdom overlow the barriers between forms of life, races, cultures, continents, art- forms, ethics and aesthetics. In such times, artists are the antennae of universal conscience. Only love and beauty can save nature and culture. Tagore started painting at sixty- seven, with crossing out words from his poems and joining them with lines in spontaneous forms and shapes.
The ilm is about a taxi-driver and his decrepit taxi, liv- ing in a hill-station in close proximity of the animistic tribe of Oraons. The man and his machine are depicted as a couple deeply in love with each other. Her headlights become her expressive eyes, seen through the mist of the valley. When her owner gives a free ride to a beautiful damsel in distress, the taxi refuses to budge and glares furiously with her headlights.
As this old taxi gives up the ghost, the accompanying death-rattle of the mechanical sounds is full of deep sorrow. A resurrection moment comes when, after selling the taxi as junk, the owner hears the sound of her rubber horn. In the distance, veiled in morning mist, is a smiling child honking the old-fash- ioned rubber horn of the taxi, which sounds like the irst cry of a newborn infant. One generation passeth away, and anoth- er generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
With the damage of Chernobyl still fresh and burning, some members of the audience were wiping their eyes when the ilm ended. This, I think is what attracts people all over the world to Eisenstein. They listen to him for he listened to the voices of their civilisation. His words, inshallah,45 will be reborn, with new lives, on new soils and in new tongues. The words of a dead man Are modiied in the guts of the living.
He was a nobleman and engi- neer corps oficer, born in Ukraine, who fought World War I in the tsarist army and in October sided with the revolution. At that time he was also known as a radical Futurist poet and au- thor of the irst book written in any language about Picasso. After that, Aksenov was basically unemployed and had few friends and no money. The latter circumstance had for a long time not been a concern.
When his family estate and the income from it disappeared in the smoke of the Revolution, irst the army and then government as- signments had provided him a living. From his literary activities he earned, of course, nothing. Ivan Aksenov and Russian Modern- ism, is forthcoming.
A rare photo of Aksenov provided, of course, by Naum He published a few articles but the history he wrote to mark the ifth anniversary of the theater in was banned by the censorship. His lectures on the theory and history of drama were evidently not documented, despite the fact that they were followed attentively by a class of young men and women who would set their stamp on Soviet theater and ilm for decades. K] lectures were mirages and dreams.
Notes were frantically jotted down. Flavours, colours, sounds. A gold haze over everything. A secret within a secret. A veil behind a veil. Despite the extensive research that has been done on the s in recent decades, there are still many doc- uments in the Russian archives waiting to be read and inter- preted. Jane Gary Harris, trans. He was gone for almost six months. When Aksenov returned to Moscow toward the end of he resumed contact with the theatrical world.
But it involved a surprising volte-face. Back in Moscow Ivan Aksenov inally witnessed the appear- ance of the book he had been writing the past few years, and he was even paid a modest fee. Gary Smith Cambridge, Mass. A scan of the title page of the Hamlet book «goblet» the spirit of the restoration and its appropriation of the cultur- al heritage.
Nevertheless, in certain respects the author set his stamp on the new book. Its title, which on the title page was in the form of a typographical baroque goblet, was in its entirety: HAMLET and other essays to assist our Shakespeare scholarship on the subjects of bear baiting, pirate editions, blood vendettas, on Mr.
On the class nature of the dogma of divine predestination, and also on many other remarka- ble and edifying things. The opening essay is a broad introduc- tion to the Elizabethan age that describes the breakthrough of capitalism in English society and theater world and the emer- gence of the individual as the focal point in the new drama be- ing created at the time.
Shakespeare and his environs—from his predecessor Christopher Marlowe through writers Aksenov had translated, including John Webster, Cyril Tourneur and John Ford—are rapidly sketched in a series of colorful portraits. In the essay on Hamlet Aksenov presents a method of his own for analyzing drama that he calls thematic, modeled not on literary theory but on musicology.
As his starting point he takes the fact that the Formalists lacked tools for analyzing the theater. It can only be analyzed in relation to the stage produc- tion. The central notion in theater consists of the situations that are directly or indirectly presented in the text. These situations constitute an overarching theme: By this word we will mean the verbally formulated scenic task that determines the successive actions of the actors over the course of the entire composition the main theme or its individual components derivative and secondary themes.
A theme can both be expressed by the words of the script in the form of a maxim and derived from a series of successively uttered word groups, as what comprises the subject they have in common. This deinition of a theme is not entirely like what musicians are familiar with, and it differs signiicantly from the methods and means by which music combines various dramatic themes. The 7 Aksenov, Gamlet i drugie opyty, Kleberg - Ivan Aksenov, Shakespeare and Ben Jonson basic distinction lies in the fact that different types of dramatic themes tonalities can sound simultaneously a mix of comedy and tragedy without leading to a common tonality.
For a play to be popular it needed to contain three levels: a lyrical-erotic level, one of suspense or adventure, and a third that was coarsely comical. The motley audiences of the time demanded different things from the theater and there had to be something for everyone. Shakespeare was a master at tying all the levels together into a single whole. In Hamlet the opposite situation obtains: the suspense level and the theme of revenge have taken over.
The plot of the tragedy is thoroughly symmetrical. Laertes represents the dying age, Fortin- bras the new; Hamlet is torn between them. As proof he submits that the symmetry is imperfect, which is of course what his argument set out to demonstrate. The critic does not seem to be bothered by the circularity of his reasoning. His answer is that it is meaningless to attempt to rework the content of the tragedy into the triumph of socialism over bourgeois individualism.
The vitality of the play is on a completely different level. What is interesting in Shakespeare is not his ideology but the dynamism of his writing. From him we take the passion of struggle and passion of criticism of the obsolete, the passion of fearless analysis and his relentless inquiry. And it is possible and even easier than it seems to bring this to the contemporary spectator. We must reject the notion that classic works—the legitimate legacy of centuries of efforts of human thought—are some sort of contraband that can only be disseminated in the Soviet Union on the condition that they be charged some sort of special punitive tariff or stamped with a counterfeit trademark.
All the same, it will not be possible to fool precisely those whom such things were intended to fool. Its tone, however, differs from that of his earlier writings. Speak- ing here is no longer the aphoristic critic but a lecturer with informative digressions, references to previous authorities and a moderate measure of entertaining anecdotes and ironic winks to his audience.
His breathing is slower and his style lacks the abrupt breaks or cryptic wording of his earlier works. What Benjamin called the restoration period meant new job opportunities in the cultural ield. One interesting phenomenon typical of the early s was the publishing house Academia spelled with Latin letters.
With its extensively annotated new translations in the Treasury of World Literature series it satis- ied the new political demand for living classics at the same time as it provided employment to highly qualiied philologists and translators from the prerevolutionary period. In something of a Shakespeare boom erupted in the So- viet Union. After all, he was the author of a book on Hamlet and, although critics sensitive to the political climate in had passed it over with indifference, the wind had now shifted.
As so often before, however, Aksenov was in the wrong place. He wanted this perennial runner-up to Shakespeare to inally get redress. Louis: Telos Press, , Ak- senov Moscow—Leningrad: Academia, , A scan of the title page of part 1 of the Ben Jonson edition. All of this is reinforced by a swarm of historical bric-a-brac and glances into interesting events and persons of the time.
He limited himself to a jocular dialogue preceding one of the masques. The author and the architect set designer and director discuss plans for implementing the com- pleted text. Let the audience igure it out. Meyerhold had a pre- decessor more than three hundred years ago. As a contributor to Academia, Aksenov regularly attend- ed meetings of its editorial committee and was allotted special ration cards. The proposal came from Gustav Shpet. Now he had found a refuge with Aca- demia.
The thing is that on the 3rd there will be a public reading and discussion of Shakespeare translations. In the next breath Aksenov mentions a person who was pre- pared to do what he could to prevent him from working on the 15 Ben Dzhonson, Dramaticheskie proizvedeniia, Smirnov was a prominent philologist from Leningrad, actually a specialist in Romance languages and literatures, but also an expert on the Shakespearean age.
There were, in fact, grounds for both disagreement and competition between Aksenov and Smirnov. There was also another, more import- ant reason for the conlict between the two men. Aleksandr Smirnov was an ambitious and pedantic philologist who had staked his entire academic prestige on forcing through his own ideas about how Shakespeare should be read and what modern Russian translations of his works should look like.
Smirnov, Tvorchestvo Shekspira Leningrad: Izd. Kleberg - Ivan Aksenov, Shakespeare and Ben Jonson regarding them as simply suppliers of texts that needed to be constantly checked and corrected. As far as he was concerned, Ivan Aksenov was a savage who lacked a degree—unless one counted the one from the military college—and whose erudi- tion was enormous, but unsystematic and idiosyncratic. For his part, Aksenov must have viewed Smirnov as a bookworm.
During the years of the Shakespeare boom Ivan Aksenov was able to publish a number of articles, which Susanna Mar after his death collected from various journals and had printed in a volume entitled Shakespeare. Essays Shekspir. Recognition as an expert on Shakespeare, however, also meant that his contribution to the history of the Russian avant-garde was eventually erased together with knowledge about the movement in general.
We are sure that this equation with two unknowns will be solved incorrectly. Obituaries emphasized his many-sidedness but devoted al- most all their attention to his contributions to the Shakespeare scholarship that was currently so important. What few people were aware of when Ak- senov died was that the published books were only a minor part of his works.
He left behind a number of completed manuscripts that had languished for years with various publishers or were quite simply rejected. Most of the others had to wait until the major two-volume edition of his works in Portrait of the Artist Sergei Eizenshtein. Po- trtret khudozhnika , published by Naum Kleiman in Moscow in A more well known silhouette by the artist S. Medvedevsky, scan from the original. Every one of his essays contains the idea for a book, every book a suggestion for a series.
His humor incomprehensible. Akse- nov himself, misunderstood. I liked Aksenov very much. For his wicked tongue and his wicked wit, and his disagree- ableness. Aksenov and I were friends. What was beautiful about the Elizabethans was their inequity. Their one-sidedness. Disproportion and asymmetry. In this case his face was, if not a mirror of the soul, then an analogy of thought. He thought disproportionately and asymmetrically. He was one-sided, asymmetrical. And subjective.
This made him programmatically alien. The hero of his ilm had a mission to unite his country against ex- ternal enemies and against internal dissent and conspiracy. At the same time, he had to overcome the self-doubts tormenting him and pay the price extorted by a single-minded devotion to his cause. He moved in the space of tragedy. He had read her book with excitement and illed his copy with underlinings.
He speaks of: i Images of the body as such -connected with the central position of the person in the plays. Moreover: at least one of these senses is of wider signiicance for the art of ilm as Eisenstein had been conceiving it: namely, the third sense, to do with the expression of mental and emotional states.
But it is further connected with the structure of ilm through the construction of what is pre- sented. Both the selection of montage pieces and the rhythms of their succession have direct physiological and emotional ef- fects on the viewer of a ilm. Lary - Tragedic Interconnections and Intersections on the ilm screen, but as a compositional skeleton to hold con- scious and felt relections of the world.
The state is sub- ject to forces of deformation and disintegration. The uniication of the state and the maintenance of unity are never assured. At times the ruler is destroyed by the state or sacriiced for the state. Conversely, the unity and harmony of the state depend on the steadfast will and survival of the ruler. But Ivan continually breaks out of the mold of a chronicle. The chronicle of events is elev- ated to a cluster of dramatic collisions of generalized tragedy.
The scene in Ivan, Part One where the Tsar receives the last rites was likely conceived under the inluence of the deathbed scene towards the end of 2 Henry IV. In both scenes the problems of stability and succession are foremost. In the ilm Ivan lies su- pine, with an enormous Bible opened over his head. The boiars stand around, waiting to resume their divisive plotting. Not one of them moves to swear allegiance to the legitimate heir, the frail infant Dimitri. In the cor- 3 Eizenshtein, Dramaturgiia Kinoformy, His son, Prince Hal, is away hunting; he has given little sign of preparedness for the responsibilities of ruling.
The moment is critical -without an adequate ruler the country risks falling apart. The King sinks into a slumber; Hal comes in, and seeing the crown on the bed, he ponders the bur- den it represents, tries it on and goes out.
Suddenly waking up, the King sees the crown is gone and imagines in a moment of panic that it has been stolen; already the country is being pulled apart. Crude striving for power, it appears, is all that governs men. The analogies with the scene in Ivan are suggestive — ex- cept that Ivan rises from his deathbed in a kind of resurrection. Sickness and death are over- come. Ivan is reborn is a more powerful form —on his way to becoming the Terrible or Fearful Tsar.
It is a form of Dionysian rebirth. For Eisenstein this had become became a major preoc- cupation. Dionysius was a metaphor for the peripeteia of the changing seasons and thus a god of the plant kingdom and of its inevitable change, growth, and decay. Eizenshtein, Izbrannye proizvedeniia v shesti tomakh, 6 vols. Moscow: Iskusstvo, , Lary - Tragedic Interconnections and Intersections ation at the highest point of tension of the drama. Montage was a form of dismember- ment.
An art based on montage depended on the re-assemblage of montage fragments. They were a vestige of the Dionysian myth. His ilm art depended on a continual reenactment of the Dionysian meta- phor of renewal. This suggestion is reinforced by some more particular references.
In lectures delivered to his ilm students in Alma Ata at the very height of his work on Ivan , he talked about images of dismemberment of the state from King Lear: In the tragedy King Lear Shakespeare turned to this theme at the very moment when the dismemberment of England was a pos- sibility From this point of view, Lear is opposed to the division of the state, as is shown by the folly of this division here In Lear there is the theme of disastrous partition In no other tragedy is there so much injury to the body parts and destruction of the human organism as in this piece.
Each tiny detail of the work shows the horror of the various things that are occurring. Which are the image structures there? The images are based on trees. Trees and gardens are shown, symbols of the genealogical tree and of the refusal of one family of trees to be destroyed. The state is susceptible to destruction from within -- through deception, jealousy, betrayal, betrayal by a foster son even Fedor Basmanov in the unilmed Part Three. The ilm is of course incomplete.
A letter to Tynianov written in , concurrently with his work on the ilm, pro- vides one suggestive line for exploration. What regen- eration or renewal would mean following this disintegration is an even broader ield for speculation. It is in their reaching into one another that they transgress their own limitedness and begin to speak. Above all, its dynamism: the very fact that the desired image is not something ready-made but has to arise or be born. For this process, three forces meet: the ilmmakers, the ilm, and the spectators.
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