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Re: [xmca] Vygotsky and Gordon Craig's Hamlet
Vygotsky came to Moscow in 1913
On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 6:09 AM, kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Does anyone happen to know whether Vygotsky personally saw the Gordon
> Craig version of Hamlet in Moscow in 1912? He would have been sixteen, I
> guess, and it was about the time he was starting to write about Hamlet.
> I'm reading a book which attempts to reconstruct the Gordon Craig version
> of Hamlet (directed by Stanislavsky). It has the interesting that the
> production was greater than the sum of its antithetical parts. Craig saw
> the play in intensely psychological terms (Craig believed that only Hamlet
> was a real person, and everybody else in the play has the same status as
> the ghost). Stanislavsky, on the other hand, saw it in equally intense
> sociological terms (Stanislavsky believed that it should be historically
> accurate, and that is why he insisted on a medieval rather than a
> Renaissance setting).
> And so of course it occurs to me that Chapter Eight of Psychology of Art
> is an attempt to square the circle. But on p. 172 he speaks disapprovingly
> of the 1924 revival of the Gordon Craig version by Michael Chekhov, because
> it transforms Hamlet into an action hero, puts Claudius in the role of
> nemesis, and confers extraordinary depth of character on Hamlet.
> Kozulin seems to think that Vygotsky really sided with Craig against
> Stanislavsky, that is, he saw the work as a mystery play and not a bit of
> realism. I am not so sure: The way I read Vygotsky, he really turns Craig
> upside down: Hamlet is the ONLY person in the play who has no real
> character at all.
> I also think that reading Hamlet as a myth or a mystery play makes it
> quite impossible to achieve what Vygostky is really trying to get out of
> the play: a little model of the mind as a sociological backstage and
> a psychological proscenium, with the great midstage occupied by various
> forms of speech.
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> xmca mailing list
Sincerely yours Bella Kotik-Friedgut
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