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European Lyric Folkdrama

A Definition


Robert M. Farrington

Robert M. Farrington sheds new light on nine folk-inspired rural dramas produced by three European playwrights between 1885 and 1936: Spain’s Federico Garcia Lorca, Ireland’s John Millington Synge, and Germany’s Gerhart Hauptmann. Through an analysis of the linguistic conventions of the three dramatists and by tying their plays’ language to a myth/ritual content, this book defines the works as representative of a sub-genre, that is, lyric folkdrama. A sound/meaning nexus is identified as an essential ingredient of folkdrama. To clarify this relationship between sound and meaning and to establish a theoretical basis for the linguistic analysis, the study draws from works on myth, ritual, drama, and poetic language by Aristotle, Richard Wagner, Mircea Eliade, and Northrop Frye, as well as from critical studies by the structuralists Roman Jakobson and Claude Lévi-Strauss.