This paper investigates the contribution of Song Chunfang (1892-1938) and Italian Futurism to the debate on the birth of the new Chinese drama movement during the 20s and 30s of the last century. This is done through the reading and analysis of his essays and his four translations of Italian futurist plays, published in Dongfang zazhi in 1921. Song Chunfang was in disagreement with the New Youth group, supporters of Ibsenian theater, and in his essays he tries to present other European avant-garde examples, such as Futurist plays, which he considered more appropriated to the creation of Chinese spoken drama. Indeed he was convinced that the social problem play, proposed by Xin qingnian group, was not helping the birth of new Chinese drama, but on the contrary was restricting the new spoken drama only to narrow academic circles of that period. In his opinion the mistake made by supporters of realist theater in China is twofold: on one hand their dramaturgical choices do not make the circulation of spoken theater any easier; on the other hand they show the need for the renovation of Chinese theater only for what regards the content of the pieces, forgetting completely about the other needed reforms, those which relate to technical and artistic aspects of the art. For this reason Song tried to use Italian Futurist Theater, and other Western avant-garde dramaturgical authors, to reduce the realist ‘fever’ which had spread to the debate on modern Chinese theatre and at the same time used them to support his concept of new theatre. In his mind, the theatre reform should concern all features of this dramaturgical art: content, subjects, lighting, performing art and other technical aspects. For this purpose he supposed Futurist plays could be a useful source and guiding light.

Four foolish pieces: the first translations of the Italian Futurist avant-garde / Brezzi, Alessandra. - STAMPA. - 1(2016), pp. 9-28.

Four foolish pieces: the first translations of the Italian Futurist avant-garde

Alessandra Brezzi
2016

Abstract

This paper investigates the contribution of Song Chunfang (1892-1938) and Italian Futurism to the debate on the birth of the new Chinese drama movement during the 20s and 30s of the last century. This is done through the reading and analysis of his essays and his four translations of Italian futurist plays, published in Dongfang zazhi in 1921. Song Chunfang was in disagreement with the New Youth group, supporters of Ibsenian theater, and in his essays he tries to present other European avant-garde examples, such as Futurist plays, which he considered more appropriated to the creation of Chinese spoken drama. Indeed he was convinced that the social problem play, proposed by Xin qingnian group, was not helping the birth of new Chinese drama, but on the contrary was restricting the new spoken drama only to narrow academic circles of that period. In his opinion the mistake made by supporters of realist theater in China is twofold: on one hand their dramaturgical choices do not make the circulation of spoken theater any easier; on the other hand they show the need for the renovation of Chinese theater only for what regards the content of the pieces, forgetting completely about the other needed reforms, those which relate to technical and artistic aspects of the art. For this reason Song tried to use Italian Futurist Theater, and other Western avant-garde dramaturgical authors, to reduce the realist ‘fever’ which had spread to the debate on modern Chinese theatre and at the same time used them to support his concept of new theatre. In his mind, the theatre reform should concern all features of this dramaturgical art: content, subjects, lighting, performing art and other technical aspects. For this purpose he supposed Futurist plays could be a useful source and guiding light.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/930814
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