Might be able to use this democratic book to get a better understanding of the old French aristocracy in what it demonizes

revolutionaries challenged the ties that bound this preeminent seventeenth-century comic playwright to the Old Regime and provided him with a place of honor in the nation’s new cultural memory.

You might have heard the word “tartuffery”? That refers to one of the plays of Molière. He’s one of the few kindred spirits I knew when I was young, through his play The Misanthrope.

Note the dialectic at play here. How to innovate theatre? How about going back to the time before the Age of Plebs. Badiou’s favorite playwright is a Stalinist, what more do you need to know?

I wish I knew of plays like this that applied to the present day

his satire of some aspects of polite society in mid-seventeenth-century France is so accurate that his contemporaries made strenuous efforts to keep some of his plays off the stage altogether.

They just can’t tolerate people LAFFIN at em, can they?

Symptom of the people, the “canaille”, in 1661

Dom Garcie de Navarre, Molière’s only play written in the higher register of tragedy and tragi-comedy, flops.

I feel so cheated I can’t go to the theatre and witness a mockery of the cathedral. I would actually walk out of there afterward feeling like the world is alright. What a dead culture it is.

I still strongly relate to this play now as an adult I’m realizing

for the misanthropist everyone is evil, some naturally so, the rest because they tolerate the others

What I remember about those plays from back in the day was they were all about laughing at phony people. They might have been freer in 17th century France to be able to gather a crowd together that laughed at that. Though the king did end up banning Tartuffe from the stage eventually. Why a lot of these works are seen as timeless is because depending on who you are you automatically interpret it as speaking to the reality of one’s own day. You want innovation in the theatre? The answer is to use actual satire. That means you have to cross taboo lines. I know that’s a novel concept to many people.

I’ll give you an example of “automatically interpret” – you will read the following with the background in mind of my off the reservation observations about society

How incredible would it be to see a character like that? It doesn’t exist. Thus I cannot bring myself to think “the world is alright”. We’re deprived in our time. We have no Molière. Something is profoundly off if your culture does not have a great humorist. It means that it is sick, that its people are sick. It’s a form of collective depression. Any potential Molière would be disappeared from the internet the moment signs showed that that’s who he was. The irony is that what passes for humor these days is itself something to be laughed at. The entire superstructure itself needs to be parodied or the culture will remain sick. People live in terror and act civilized on the surface. Actual satire is the cure for that. People are so imprisoned within themselves, and they are freed when someone makes them laugh about it all. Walking out of a theatre after experiencing a contemporary Molière I’d probably be a changed person myself, and I can’t imagine the effects that would have on people who are never, never candid and mirthful like I am.

The funnyman himself – I try to awaken someone to this ideal

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