La Pantomime entre Symbolisme et Naturalisme

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The Pantomime between Symbolism and Naturalism

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Between 1820 and 1846 the mime actor Jean-Gaspard Deburau was Pierrot in the Parisian Théâtre des Funambules. His reckless and impassable acting style was read as a new poetic and dramatic pattern by two generations of poets. The Romantic Jules Janin and Théophile Gautier created the myth of the ‘white man’, whose melancholic and cruel gesture interpreted the disease and the spiritual vacuum of an entire group of artists in search for a new ‘poetic drama’. It was nevertheless Charles Baudelaire who built a new theory of drama out of this mute play mode: his essay De l’essence du rire et généralement du comique dans les arts (1855) defines pantomime as the life synthesis, quintessence of comedy, pure comic element: the grotesque. Pantomime shows human tragic greatness, balanced between the vacuum of reality and the light of dream. Théodore de Banville and Jules Champfleury took up (?) Baudelaire's suggestions and elaborated two dramatic theories that would be seminal for Symbolist and Naturalist Drama.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The Pantomime between Symbolism and Naturalism
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)325-346
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Baudelaire
  • Pantomime
  • Symbolism
  • realism


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