RE: [xmca] Polymathicus on perezhivanie

From: Michael Glassman <MGlassman who-is-at>
Date: Mon Dec 03 2007 - 11:27:47 PST


This is fascinating. I don't know Russian, but I've read a lot of
Stanislavsky, but maybe more important has long discussions and even
taken some classes with people who lived Stanislavsky. I remember one
old codger in particular - he was teaching a class at a famous, but
rickety old acting school on Bank Street in New York (I can't remember
the name). He was describing his method - that no part is small because
every part is actually a lifetime, the moment is just a part of the
whole. The part he had - in a Broadway play, was simply going on stage
and saying a couple of lines while eating an English muffin. But this
guy described how he carefully prepared for this moment. He figured out
what the entire history of this person was up until that moment, all of
the issues leading to this action, to the delivery of these lines.
Vygotsky describes it in his Thought and Word chapter, the scoring of an
action, the historical subtext that runs through the action, that is
important as the action itself. For Stanislavsky I believe that acting
was like an iceberg, you only see the very top of it. But this old
actor did more than score his part, he became his part over the course
of the day leading to that event on stage. He would wake up in the
morning and put on the robe he thought this is what his character would
wear, he ate breakfast like he thought his character would eat breakfast
(I doubt he did this more than a couple of times, but it made the
experience whole for him I think). This vision of experience makes the
idea so much more resonant. I don't think it has as much to do with the
language the word is in as the process that is the word.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Peter Smagorinsky
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 2:07 PM
To: mca
Subject: [xmca] Polymathicus on perezhivanie

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