Recenzja książki Mirosława Kocura, Źródła teatru (Wrocław 2013)
Review of Mirosław Kocur's book Źródła teatru (Wrocław 2013)
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The book Źródła teatru (‘Sources of Theatre’) by Mirosław Kocur is a good example of how findings of performance studies can be put to use. The tome begins and closes with case stud-ies on contemporary liturgical performances on Bali and in Tibet, and within this frame, large-format, diachronic chapters that amass multicultural material in explaining the origins of the performer, theatre house, or drama have been placed. In his quick-paced and exceptionally interesting narration, the author posits questions about what and how happened without insisting on seeking meanings at any price, because performance studies enables one to tackle visualness in terms of a unique event which is irre-ducible to theatrical script. Perhaps the part concerning performances in Palaeolithic caves seems to be the most valuable one. Instead of speculating what the famous cave paintings depicting men-beasts mean, as theatre historians usually do, Kocur proposes to conceive the cave itself as periper-sonal space. Such phenomena as neural plasticity and neural mirroring made it possible for John Onians to interpret cave paintings as ways in which Palaeolithic hunters imitated their game. Kocur is fascinated with this conception and develops it further quite creatively. To him, Palaeoperformances are “transformances” as well. The use of the latest international literature, interdisciplinary character and breadth of the studies conducted by the author may be cited as other substantial advantages of the book.
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