“I need a theatre” …

… wrote W B Yeats!” I NEED A FILM! Yeats desire was ” to show events and not merely tell of them … and I seem to myself most alive at the moment when a room full of people share the one lofty emotion. My blunder has been that I did not discover in my youth that my theatre must be the ancient theatre that can be made by unrolling a carpet or marking out a place with a stick, or setting a screen against the wall. (W B Yeats – Note on ‘At the Hawk’s Well’).

Yeats believed that “drama is a picture of the soul of man not his exterior life.” At Samhain 1904 Yeats spoke of a dramatic art which reveals the “energy” of the soul and stated that “we, who are believers, cannot see reality anywhere but in the soul itself. For Yeats the most serious subject for drama was this reality, which he saw as the struggle of the spiritual with the natural order taking place in the depths of the soul.

It is in the soul that those difficult spiritual tests occur that shape a man’s destiny in the external world. Yeats felt that the long decline in the arts was “but the shadow of a declining faith in an unseen reality,”^ and he sought a dramatic art which could deal with the spiritual core of man’s existence on the living stage … Much of his creative energy went into the search for a dramatic art which would allow him to dramatize the nature of spiritual reality in terms of an internal struggle in the soul between the natural and supernatural.

And finally this passage which resonates deeply within me in 2019 … timeless sentiments …“Now the art I long for is also a battle, but it takes place in the depths of the soul and one of the antagonists does not wear a shape known to the world or speak a mortal tongue. It is the struggle of the dream with the world – it is only possible when we transcend circumstances and ourselves, and the greater the contest, the greater the art.” (W B Yeats 1915).

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

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