Jan Mukařovský and theatre

Source document: Theatralia. 2014, vol. 17, iss. 2, pp. 122-136
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
Jan Mukařovský (1891−1975) has played a prominent and unique role in the history of Czech Structuralism. He is the author of numerous theoretical and overview works on theatre and dramatic art, but only a part of it is widely known and commented on. This gives rise to the impression that Mukařovský dealt with theatre in bursts only, in fact producing only the occasional text. However, the opposite is true: published studies are just a fragment of his actual, systematic work developed in the field of study of dramatic art and aesthetics of drama. The entire collection of Mukařovský's texts dealing with theatre and dramatic art can be classified into six main types according to their theme and genre:1) Literary-aesthetic criticism of specialized works on drama and dramatic art, 2) Theatre criticism, 3) Articles on plays and dramatists, 4) Theoretical and overview studies, 5) Lectures, 6) Various – dealing with theatre and dramatic art. The main aim of this study is not to provide a complete and exhaustive account of Mukařovský's studies on theatre and dramatic art, but rather to identify their most important characteristics, mutual relations, the circumstances in which they were produced and the broader context. The author of the study argues that a) Mukařovský's interest in theatre and stage speech was always an integral part of his research into poetics, aesthetics and semiotics of art, and b) despite several internal contradictions, his scientific orientation is in principle continuous.
  • This study is a part of the project Jan Mukařovský: life, works, reception (No. P406/10/1911), supported by Czech Science Foundation.
[1] ČERMÁK, Petr, POETA, Claudio and ČERMÁK, Jan. 2012. Pražský lingvistický kroužek v dokumentech [The Prague Linguistic Circle in Documents]. Praha: Academia 2012.

[2] Honzl, Jindřich. 1948. K situaci divadelního umění [On the State of Theatre Arts]. Otázky divadla a filmu 4 (1948): 3: 49–63.

[3] HONZL, Jindřich. 1951. Jindřich Honzl's letter to Jan Mukařovský; dated 27. 11. 1951. Památník národního písemnictví, literární archiv, fond Jan Mukařovský [The Museum of Czech Literature, Literary Archive, Collection of Jan Mukařovský], inv. no. 66/86.

[4] HONZL, Jindřich. 1956. K novému významu umění. Divadelní úvahy a programy 1920–1952 [On the New Meaning of Art. Essays and programmes in theatre 1920‒1952]. Praha: Orbis, 1956.

[5] HONZL, Jan. 1958. Jan Honzl's letter to Jan Mukařovský; post stamp dated 1958. Památník národního písemnictví, literární archiv, fond Jan Mukařovský [The Museum of Czech Literature, Literary Archive, Collection of Jan Mukařovský], inv. no. 66/86. The letter is mistakenly dated 1968.

[6] MACEK, Emanuel. 1982. Soupis díla Jana Mukařovského [Register of Jan Mukařovský's works]. In Jan Mukařovský. Studie z poetiky [Studies in Poetics]. Praha: Odeon, 1982: 835–902.

[7] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1933. Otakar Zich: Estetika dramatického umění [Aesthetics of the Dramatic Arts]. Časopis pro moderní filologii 19 (1933): 3–4: 318–26.

[8] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1937. Stav naší dnešní estetiky [State of the Current Aesthetics]. Čin 9 (1937): 9: 70–1.

[9] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1947. K desátému výročí úmrtí F. X. Šaldy. Proslov při premiéře Racinovy Faidry ve Stavovském divadle [On the Tenth Anniversary of F. X. Šalda's Passing. Speech at the Opening of Racin's Phaedra in the Estates Theatre]. Otázky divadla filmu 2 (1947): 5–6: 181–9.

[10] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1951. Ke kritice strukturalismu v naší literární vědě [On the Crititique of Structuralism in our Literary Studies]. Tvorba 20 (1951): 40 (4. 10.): 964–6.

[11] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1957. Jindřich Honzl jako teoretik divadla [Jindřich Honzl as aTheorist of Theatre]. Divadlo 8 (1957): 9: 723–42.

[12] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1958. Dramatik Vančura v boji za rovnoprávnost a solidaritu národů [Playwright Vančura in Fight for Equality and Solidarity among Nations]. In Vladislav Vančura. Jezero Ukereve [Lake Ukerewe], Praha: Orbis, 1958: 70–84.

[13] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1959. O Vančurovi ‒ dramatikovi [On Vančura – the Playwright]. In Vladislav Vančura. Hry [Plays]. Praha: Československý spisovatel, 1959: 381–9.

[14] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1965. V zdánlivém zátiší samoty [In the Seeming Loneliness Retreat]. In František Černý. Theater ‒ divadlo. Vzpomínky českých divadelníků na německou okupaci a druhou světovou válku [Theater – Theatre. Memories of Czech Theatre Artists of the German Occupation and the Second World War]. Praha: Orbis, 1965: 51–3.

[15] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1966a. D34–D48 ve vývoji českého divadla [D34‒48 in the Development of Czech Theatre]. In id. Studie z estetiky [Studies in Aesthetics]. Praha: Odeon, 1966: 326–7.

[16] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1966b. Shakespeare and Czech theatrical criticism. In Zdeněk Stříbrný ‒ Jarmila Emmerová (ed.). Charles University on Shakespeare. Praha: Univerzita Karlova, 1966: 11–23.

[17] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1971. Zvuková a významová výstavba dramatického dialogu [Acoustic and Semantic Construction of Dramatic Dialogue]. Prolegomena scénografické encyklopedie 1 (1971): 5: 30–40.

[18] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 1978. On the Current State of the Theory of Theater. In John Burbank and Peter Steiner (trans. and eds.). Structure, Sign, and Function. Essays by Jan Mukařovský. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1978: 201–19.

[19] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2000a. K dnešnímu stavu teorie divadla [On the Current State of the Theory of Theatre]. In id. Studie I [Studies I].Brno: Host, 2000: 391–406; Engl. trans. (MUKAŘOVSKÝ 1978).

[20] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2000b. K jevištnímu dialogu [On Stage Dialogue]. In id. Studie I. Brno: Host, 2000: 407–10.

[21] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2000c. Jevištní řeč v avantgardním divadle. [Stage Speech in the Avant-Garde Theatre] In id. Studie I [Studies I]. Brno: Host, 2000: 411–4.

[22] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2000d. K umělecké situaci dnešního českého divadla [On the Artistic Situation of Contemporary Czech Theatre]. In id. Studie I [Studies I].Brno: Host, 2000: 415–27.

[23] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2000e. O recitačním umění [On the Art of Recitation]. In id. Studie I [Studies I]. Brno: Host, 2000: 428–41.

[24] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2000f. Pokus o strukturní rozbor hereckého zjevu (Chaplin ve Světlech velkoměsta) [An Attempt at Structural Analysis of a Dramatic Figure (Chaplin in City Lights)]. In id. Studie I [Studies I]. Brno: Host, 2000: 463–9.

[25] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2000g. Otakar Zich. In id. Studie I [Studies I]. Brno: Host, 2000: 49–500.

[26] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2001. Dialog a monolog [Dialogue and Monologue]. In id. Studie II [Studies II]. Brno: Host, 2001: 89–115.

[27] MUKAŘOVSKÝ, Jan. 2008. Estetika dramatu a filmu [Aesthetics of Drama and Film]. In id. Umělecké dílo jako znak[Art as a Semiotic Fact]. Praha: Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR, v. v. i., 2008: 95–118.

[28] VANČURA, Vladislav. 1959. Hry [Plays]. Praha: Československý spisovatel, 1959.

[29] ZICH, Otakar. 1931. Estetika dramatického umění. Teoretická dramaturgie [Aesthetics of the Dramatic Arts]. Praha: Melantrich, 1931.