Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ever contradictory

The role of contradiction is apparent in the changes of direction Brook himself has chosen throughout his career, through Shakespeare, commercial comedy, television, cinema and opera: ‘I’ve really spent all my working life in looking for opposites,’ Brook suggested in an interview with The Times. ‘This is a dialectical principle of finding a reality through opposites.’38 He emphasises the role of contradiction as a means of awakening understanding, taking Elizabethan drama as an example: ‘Elizabethan drama was exposure, it was confrontation, it was contradiction and it led to analysis, involvement, recognition and, eventually, to an awakening of understanding.’39 Contradiction is not destructive, but a balancing force. It has its role to play in the genesis of all processes. The absence of contradiction would lead to general homogenisation, a dwindling of energy and eventual death. ‘Whatever contains contradiction … contains the world,’ claims Lupasco, whose conclusions are based on quantum physics.40 Brook points out the constructive role of negation in the theatre of Beckett: ‘Beckett does not say ‘no’ with satisfaction: he forges his merciless ‘no’ out of a longing for ‘yes,’ and so his despair is the negative from which the contour of its opposite can be drawn.

yup. That's how I feel.