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Certain Noble Plays of Japan

In the series of books I edit for my sister I confine myself to those
that have I believe some special value to Ireland, now or in the future.
I have asked Mr. Pound for these beautiful plays because I think they
will help me to explain a certain possibility of the Irish dramatic
movement. I am writing these words with my imagination stirred by a visit
to the studio of Mr. Dulac, the distinguished illustrator of the Arabian
Nights. I saw there the mask and head-dress to be worn in a play of mine
by the player who will speak the part of Cuchulain, and who wearing
this noble half-Greek half-Asiatic face will appear perhaps like an image
seen in revery by some Orphic worshipper. I hope to have attained the
distance from life which can make credible strange events, elaborate
words. I have written a little play that can be played in a room for so
little money that forty or fifty readers of poetry can pay the price.
There will be no scenery, for three musicians, whose seeming sun-burned
faces will I hope suggest that they have wandered from village to village
in some country of our dreams, can describe place and weather, and at
moments action, and accompany it all by drum and gong or flute and
dulcimer. Instead of the players working themselves into a violence of
passion indecorous in our sitting-room, the music, the beauty of form and
voice all come to climax in pantomimic dance.

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 No. 5
 Posted on 6 June, 2006
 
 
 
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