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In the Footsteps of Harlequin and Pulcinella

Cultural Mobility and Localness of Theatre


Ewa Bal

Edited By Jan Burzyński

The author takes readers on a journey in the footsteps of Harlequin and Pulcinella, two well-known commedia dell’arte masks, to show the historically fluctuating way in which they participated in building “Italianness” in the eyes of foreign theatre audiences (the history of the Harlequin mask in France, Italy and Poland in the XVII and XVIII century) and local ones (the history of the Pulcinella mask, or the Italian dialect theatre of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which historians, at a certain point, erased from the process of the creation and construction of the Italian national community). Using modern performance studies methodologies, this book effectively cuts the distance between past and present theatre practices, opening new prospects for an active and clearly situated epistemology for theatre studies, cultural studies, media studies, and performance studies.

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