Between modernism and postmodernism: experimental theater of Yuriy Tarnawsky

Шовкопляс, Галина Євгенівна (2021) Between modernism and postmodernism: experimental theater of Yuriy Tarnawsky Література і культура Полісся, 101 (16). pp. 228-240. ISSN 2520-6966

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The article is dedicated to the analysis of the dramaturgical works of Ukrainian diaspora author, poet and translator, one of the founders of the ‘New York group’ of Ukrainian poets, Yuriy Tarnawsky. The hexology-collection titled «6x0. Dramaturgical works.» (1998) which includes six of Tarnawsky’s plays, quickly garnered interest from many researchers due to its obviously experimental nature uncommon within the space of Ukrainian soviet and postsoviet dramaturgy. Tarnawsky’s plays, as emphasized by researchers, combine pathos from two literary areas simultaneously: modernism and postmodernism. The collection of plays is enhanced by commentaries and forewords, as well as by a program-based play titled «Theater and text». Specifically from this terminological apparatus we can find out about the creative methods of the dramaturgist: Tarnawsky defined himself as a modernist, associated himself with Western culture and aligned himself with the philosophical system of existentialism. The object of depiction of modernist literature (according to the author of the article «Theater and text») is the author himself, along with his or her spectrum of emotions, feelings, thoughts and principles, which can all together be denoted as the author’s «inner world». Such a uniquely self-focused approach is titled as the «myth of narcissism» by one of the researchers. She adds that «after creating the myth of Narcissus, the dramaturgist almost instantaneously destroys or decostruncts it». Such a destruction / deconstruction is characteristic of the postmodernist method. The goal of my article is the analysis of the qualities of modernism and postmodernism which can be observed in Tarnawsky’s plays, as well as his experimental method which the author himself describes as part of his nature as a pure experimental creator, equally ready to «break down the ‘bronze’ of ancient Greek tragedy and / or a Shakespearean drama» (such as the plays «Not Medea» and «Hamlet»). However, we won’t find simple «remakes» of classical plays among Tarnawsky’s works: the plotlines, themes and characters are not borrowed from Euripidius or Shakespeare and are unique to the author’s own style. Tarnawsky is interested only in the forms, theatrical structures and mechanisms with which he can experiment. Such plays are not common or characteristic for Ukrainian theater. This is why Tarnawsky often references the reformers of Western theater such as Bertold Brecht, Peter Brook and Jerzy Grotowski - the author of the so-called ‘poor theater’ theory. Tarnawsky sees himself as being ready to perform a similar reform function for Ukrainain theater. Researchers are confident in pointing to Tarnawsky’s dramaturgy as the forerunner of Ukrainian social art. The experimental line built on the principles of «elite modernist theater» will lead to the development of modern Ukrainian theater, where experiments are organic and even necessary. In several years Tarnawsky’s Hamlet will be succeeded by the Hamlet of Les Podervianskyi. A considerable number of young dramaturgists will follow in similar footsteps, experimenting with theatrical form. However, it is imperative to remember that the experiments of Tarnawsky were the start of this trend and made the transformations possible.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: modernism; postmodernism; experimental theater; Ukrainian modern.
Subjects: Це архівна тематика Київського університету імені Бориса Грінченка > Статті у журналах > Наукові (входять до інших наукометричних баз, крім перерахованих, мають ISSN, DOI, індекс цитування)
Divisions: Це архівні підрозділи Київського університету імені Бориса Грінченка > Факультет української філології, культури і мистецтва > Кафедра світової літератури
Depositing User: доцент Галина Євгенівна Шовкопляс
Date Deposited: 18 May 2021 07:09
Last Modified: 18 May 2021 07:09

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