15 February 2013


So today's short story is a story about an incredibly ballsy writer: Lajos Egri, as a fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there lived a confused tyrant, who made demands one way, but actually wanted something else altogether - like ordering ice cream, but really wanting pizza.  The problem was, this tyrant didn't know he was confused.  He just thought people were stupid when it came to hearing his orders.  This Tyrant was named Aristotle, and he sat upon his throne named Poetics for more than two millenia, with hundreds of thousands of loyal subjects.  A sniveling lot that didn't dare countermand ol' Aristotle's orders, because how could someone be wrong for two thousand years?  That's a ridiculous notion.  These subjects were called writers.  Sure there were a few rebels that made an impact in how other writers viewed Aristotle's tyranny, but they were the exception - not the rule: Shakespeare, Cervantes, Chekhov.  But even some of these rebels did not know they were rebelling.  Accidental freedom fighters, as it were.  You see, Aristotle demanded that ACTION was more important than CHARACTER, which of course is similar to saying that a sword or a gun is more important than the soldier carrying it, or the crucifix is more important than the person hanging from it.  Because, you see, action can only be driven BY character, and in the early twentieth century, one man dared stand up against two thousand years of traditional tyranny, and say, "Hey, now this is patently ridiculous - shouldn't the characters matter at all?  After all, aren't they in fact what the play (you see, this hero was a playwright) about?"  That man, that titan of the craft was Lajos Egri.  He dared question why the common consensus was that a play couldn't be judged to be good or bad without actually performing the play.  The brave Lajos took up his pen and struck again and again at Aristotle the tyrant, but Aristotle would not easily die, and in fact the tyrant still lurks in the dark corners of classrooms, preying on the traditionalists and enslaving new subjects, while Lajos harries the edges of the tyrant empire, whittling it down, shedding light on error.

And just what epic weapon did Lajos Egri create to combat the empire of Poetics? Why, The Art of Dramatic Writing of course.

Seriously, though, this book will change how you view Poetics. And maybe even writing itself.  Although, Lajos Egri does set up another tyrant: Premise.
"The Premise is a tyrant that permits only one way - the way of absolute proof" (Egri 109).

Thanks for reading.

No comments: