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The Prague School Theory of Theater Author(s): Jiři Veltrusky Source: Poetics Today, Vol. 2, No.

The Prague School Theory of Theater Author(s): Jiři Veltrusky Source: Poetics Today, Vol. 2, No. 3, Drama, Theater, Performance: A Semiotic Perspective (Spring, 1981), pp. 225-235 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1772473

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Jiri Veltrusky


Strikingly contrasted assessments of the achievement of the Prague School theory of theater have recently been made by two scholars who are both well acquainted with the subject. In Frantisek Deak's view, it is not possible to speak about a

structuralist theory of theater because

conceptual system in this area and because its writings on theatercannot compare

with its contribution to literarytheory in either quantity or variety (Deak, 1976). According to Ladislav Matejka, on the other hand, it was in the domain of dramatic art that the Prague semiotics of art was worked out most thoroughly (Matejka, 1976). Contradictorythough they may be, the two opinions are not as mutually exclu- sive as they seem. The studies concerning dramatic art add up to only a small fraction of the volume of the Prague School's work on literature and art. Moreover, some vital problems of the theory of theater are dealt with sketchily and some are hardly touched upon. But the Prague Linguistic Circle focused primarily on general linguistics, and literature overlaps with language so much

that literary theory can draw on

the Prague School never fully applied its

the linguists' findings quite heavily. That is not

the case of the theater. From this point of view, it is quite significant that the Prague School's work on the theaterwas far superior in quantity and variety to its contribution to the study of the visual arts, music and dance, areas which are still

further removed from linguistics.

At the same time, precisely because it dealt with phenomena so different from

language, the Prague School theory of theater brought to

light certain problems

of the semiotics of art that would otherwise have remained hidden; which of course does not mean that it was always able to solve them. As a Polish scholar

recentlyput it, this was the semiotics of theaterin statu nascendi which until quite recently was systematically disregardedby scholars claiming a pioneering role in this field (Slaviiiska, 1977).

The present paper does not seek to assess the merits and

shortcomings of the

main findings

Prague School theory of theater. Its purpose is to summarize its

and, wherever possible, put them into some historical perspective.

? Poetics Today, Vol. 2:3 (1981), 225-235.



The scope of the paper is strictly confined to the subject indicated by its title. It

deals exclusively with the theory of theater, without branching off into other fields of the Prague School's activities, more or less closely related to it.' And it

takes into

Linguistic Circle in 1948.2






the liquidation

of the Prague

1. THE ORIGINS The theory of theater occupies a somewhat peculiar position in the work of the Prague School: Unlike the theory of literature and esthetics, it drew very little on the heritage of Russian formalism. Even an early formalist study by Petr Bogatyrev on folk theater (1923) had very little influence on the conception of the

theater that subsequently developed within the Prague Linguistic Circle, although Bogatyrev was one of its prominent figures. Secondly, the scholars who developed the Prague School theory of theater came from very different backgrounds. Otakar Zich, its immediate precursor who was at the same time its founding father, laid the foundations of the structural and semiotic conception but considered himself neither a structuralist nor a

semiotician; his approach was psychological. Petr Bogatyrev was an ethnologist, Jindfich Honzl an avant-garde stage director, Jan Mukafovsky was mainly concerned with poetics and esthetics; Roman Jakobson, too, contributed to the theory of theater.3



was the other way around in linguistics,


Art (1931).4 It



entered this field when Zich proposed



of Dramatic

literary scholarship,

of empirical

a complete

theory in his monumental


or ethno-

where the analysis and interpretation

facts had come first.






the almost innumerable








the various components





of the theater can have, he studied only those they assume in what might broadly be called realistic or (in Honzl's words) conventional theater. By a sort of natural

reaction, the younger scholars were inclined to focus on entirely different

in Karel

Brusak's paper on the classical Chinese theater, a minute description of a

material. This tendency


found perhaps its most characteristic expression

' In particular, studies in dramatic literature, film, ritual and folk costume have been left aside here.

School theoreticians (such as Bogatyrev, Jakobson, BruSak and myself)

reflect their own subsequent intellectual development as much as the conceptions of the Prague Lin-

guistic Circle. The recent work of younger scholars more or less influenced by the Prague School (for instance Herta Schmid in Germany, Frantisek Deak in the United States, Ivo Osolsobe, Oleg Sus, Bohuslav Benes, Miroslav Prochazka and others in Czechoslovakia) represents an altogether

2 Later studies by Prague

Some studies by members of the Prague Linguistic Circle were never published, few of them are now available to me, I have not attempted to take them into

new phenomenon. and since only a

account here. Most of this unpublished material is probably lost for ever. 3 There is no area of the Prague School's activity to which Jakobson did not contribute.

4 It is only quite recently, forty-six years after its publication, that Zich's book was reprinted, in

"Preface" by Oleg Sus, in fact a thorough study which

places Zich's theory in a historical perspective and discusses some of its major aspects in the light of

Germany (1977). The reprint

contains a

today's semiotics (Sus, 1977).



dramatic structure made up of lexicalized signs with meanings rigorously determined by convention (Brusak, 1939). In the process, some parts of Zich's system disintegrated and some were relegated to the background. Not that the theoreticians of the Prague Linguistic

Circle disputed Zich's tremendous achievement;5everything in his work that the study of a wider range of materialhad not shaken or modified was either tacitly or explicitly recognized as valid. But the main emphasis of the researchshifted. That is the reason why Zich's pioneering semiotic analyses of music in the theater and of opera as theater, for instance, were never pursued. Other discoveries of his

were taken no furtherbecause besides

Prague School he

was also, so to speak, its continuator by anticipation. Indeed, this great thinker

dealt with certain fundamental problems which were to remain beyond the reach of the gradually developing semiotics of art for many years to come.

being a precursor of the

A rather striking instance is Zich's bold idea of dividing the components of the

theater into the visual and the auditory, and tying this in with the distinction between the arts of space and the arts of time. He pointed out that in the theater

the auditory signs are organized in space as well as in time, while time is as much involved as space in organizing the visual signs. These are very topical issues on

the agenda of

ways the two types of signs and the two principles of their organization mingle and interpenetrate, and found here the basic characteristic of the theater as

distinct from the other forms of art (Zich, 1931: 213-4). The Prague School theo-

reticians never again dealt with such questions -

although the relationship

between visual signs, music, noise and speech was examined with respect to film

(Jakobson, 1933).6

today's semiotics, almost half a century later. Zich also studied the

In historical perspective, Zich's work presents itself as at once belonging and

not belonging to the body of the Prague School theory of theater. This

ambivalenceis due to the natureof the Prague School as much features of Zich's own system. The different members of the

Circle never conceived their writings about the theateras organic parts of a single,

gradually constructed doctrine. In fact, although they all belonged in some sense

to the same school of thought, they held widely differing views.


being made by discussing and confronting these views rather than by com- plementary research. It is only in retrospect that the sum of their writings can be

perceived as a theory.

as to the particular Prague Linguistic



The theater was perceived as an independent art in its own right. The same view

was held with respect to acting.7 Yet it was fully recognized that not

reciter's, but also the actor's voice performance and, through its intermediary, all

only the

5 Bogatyrev alone rejected this theory, yet even he could not always escape its influence.

6 Occasionally, the differences between the types of signs used in the theater were dismissed as irrel-

evant (Honzl, 1940c), while in other cases became a mere instrument of classification

7 Mukafovsky (1947) considered even recitation an independent art. Zich did not (1931: 26-7).

the division of the components into visual and auditory

(Brusak, 1939).



the other components of the theatricalstructureare more or less predeterminedby the sound structure and the semantic qualities of the text (Mukafovsky, 1939;

Veltrusky, 1941). That was not a contradiction within the theory but rather an effort to study the antinomies and tensions existing in the art of the theater itself. It came to be seen that the theater is a distinct semiotic system, using hetero- geneous materials and drawing on other semiotic systems - language, pictorial

while differing from them

all. This fact has two paramount consequences. First, the theater has many more, and much more varied, components than any other form of art. Secondly, each of the contributory semiotic systems tends to keep its own characteristic way of

relating the signatum to the signans and, as a result, each type of sign to some extent clashes with all the others. At the same time, through combination with the

others, each acquires certainnew

not have in itself outside the theater. This may be illustrated by the three examples

of signs borrowed respectively from sculpture, music and language. On the stage, the statue loses its characteristic plurality of "views"because the spectator sees it from one angle only. It may, however, be endowed with new qualities under the impact of theatrical lighting (Bogatyrev, 1938b). Moreover, the ability to convey meanings pertaining to time, process, movement, forces, tensions and such like, which sculpture possesses despite its immobility and the law of gravity to which it is subject, may be brought out when it is juxtaposed and by the same token contrasted with the actor on the stage. A contrast between the immobility of the statue and the mobility of the actor may ariseeven if there is no sculpture on the stage, for example when the actors' performance is designed to separate their postures from their movements, when the immobile mask is sub- stituted for the play of the facial muscles, and so on (Mukarovsky, 1941). In certain forms of puppet theater, too, the opposition between the statue and the actor turns into an internal antinomy of the stage figure, it being understood that the signs making up the stage figure are distributed between the puppet and the puppeteer (Zich, 1923, 1931: 59). Musical signs are similarlyaffected, even in the case of opera where the music is

so preponderant that, instead of

interacting with each of the other components

separately, it can combine them into a mere complement of itself. Any sort of

whether absolute or programmatic, can be used in the theater (Zich,


featuresand semiotic potentialities which it does

signs, sculpture, architecture, music, gestures, etc. -


1931: 394). But the intrinsic meaning of its procedures does not remain the when it becomes an integral part of the theatrical structure (Zich, 1931: 38, 396).

In combination with the other components of the theater, music can also call forth fairly concrete meanings, either by contiguity or by similarity or by an interplay of both. Not only conative and expressive but also referential meanings may be so conveyed (Zich, 1931: 277-349), even by compositions which bear no concrete meanings in themselves (Zich, 1931: 394). The leitmotif is only one of


examples of music used to evoke such concrete meanings; in the Chinese

theater, for instance, music serves to indicate drunkenness (it would infringe the esthetic convention to indicate this by acting), fighting, flight, etc. (Brusak, 1939).



Moreover, the theater may draw on music without even including any piece of music among its components. The actors' movements and gesturesmay be shaped according to "agogics" and rhythm of a musical nature (without coming anywhere close to dance), a measurable rhythm may be imposed on the speeches, their into- nation may be modeled on musical melody (by assimilating the syllables to distinct tones, or notes, in place of the "portamento" which characterizes speech), etc. (Mukafovsky, 1941). Through such procedures music infiltratesthe theatrical

performance almost unnoticeably, yet affects

probably to a lesser degree -

it in a similar way -

though most

as when it is actually part of its structure. For

example, the insistent reality of the actor and his behavior is attenuated, the distinction between man and object on the stage is blurred, and the unity of the whole performance is emphasized. As regards the linguistic signs, the striking materiality of acting tends to interferewith the tenuous bonds between their meaning and sensory material, and consequently with their ability to conjure up the most complicated relationships among meanings. At the same time, however, the actor gives more weight and vigor to the language he voices and, in return, receives from it the ability to communicate extremely flexible and subtle, yet precise, meanings (Veltrusky, 1941). Furthermore,language on the stage combines, to different degrees, with all the other components of the theater and enters into dialectical tensions with each

one of them separately and directly (Mukarovsky, 1937b). Yet, just as in a work of verbal art, it can also be used so as to abolish the distinction between reference to reality and sheer absurdity (Jakobson, 1937). And again, the theater may draw on the semiotics of language without actually employing any linguistic signs. In mime, gestures and movements can be shaped according to the analytical and dis- cursive principle that is proper to language. Mime also exploits the fact that postures, gestures and facial movements, which by their primary expressivity contrast with the fundamentally conventional linguistic signs, can themselves be either immediately expressive or conventionalized. Chaplin based an entire performance on a systematic confrontation and interference between conven- tionalized postures, gestures and facial expressions on the one hand and those that are immediately expressive on the other (Mukaiovsky, 1931).8 As an independent semiotic system freely drawing on all types of signs, the theateris an extremelycomplicated structure,perhaps more complicated than any other (Mukarovsky, 1937a). So it was of the utmost importance that, following

Zich's lead, a dramaticwork was perceived and analyzed meanings conjured up by its many material components

partly metaphorical formulation, as an "immaterial interplay of forces moving in

time and involving the spectator in their constantly shifting mutual tensions" (Mukarovsky, 1941). However, some of the studies produced by the members of the Prague Linguistic Circle, especially Bogatyrev and Honzl, seemed to have inherited one of the most serious shortcomings of Zich's theory (derived from

mainly as an interplay of or, to use Mukaiovsky's

8 In Mukarovsky's view, Chaplin's acting was relevant to the theater because he performed in front of an immobile camera (Mukavovsky, 1931).



"realistic" theater), namely the tendency to interpret the sign as a thing which in itself and by itself represents, stands for, or characterizes something else.9 Such a "one-to-one" conception lagged far behind Prague School linguistics and poetics and their study of the semantic values of sound patterns, intonation, verse, morphological forms, grammatical categories, syntactic constructions, linguistic and extra-linguistic context and such like. Yet, it was Bogatyrev who pinpointed one of the most important features of the semiotics of theater, namely that a great many of the signs the theater produces are not plain signs, so to speak, but signs of signs (Bogatyrev, 1938b). Any attempt to study the countless components of the theaterand their mutual relations without focusing on meaning would be bound to end in confusion or sterility. Yet it is indispensable to analyze them one by one. The Prague School did set out to do so but, apart from Zich's systematictreatment, which precisely in this area proved somewhat obsolete, it only got around to examining certain aspects of acting (Mukarovsky, 1931; Honzl, 1939, 1940b, 1946/7, 1947/8), dra- matic action (Honzl, 1940a; Veltrusky, 1940) language in the theater (Jakobson,


implications of the dramatic text (Veltrusky, 1941).10










In spite of

theatrical structure possesses a certain number of constant factors. Some of its components, though very complex in themselves, stand out as those which unify all the others and ensure the integration of the whole. Most generally speaking, this is the function of acting, action, and space; music must be added to their number in certain forms of theater, especially in opera and melodrama, but this aspect was hardly ever studied by the Prague School. Acting performs this function because all that goes on during the performance centers on the actor, so to speak. It is through him that the other components receive their theatrical function and meaning (Mukafovsky, 1941). This does not necessarily presuppose that all he does is strictly integrated in the representation of a dramatic character (Bogatyrev, 1938a; Honzl, 1940a; Mukarovsky, 1937). The reason why everything centers on the actor is that he is a real, live person, so that the signs he produces with his own body cannot be reduced to a mere signans/signatum relation (Zich, 1931: 55; Bogatyrev, 1938b; Honzl, 1940a; Mukafovsky, 1941). In acting, the artist himself is personally present in his work. All the other components appear, therefore, as in some sense less real. For the same reason, the actor is a counterpart of the spectator, provoking the spectator's empathy (Mukaiovsky, 1941) - the more so since there is also a constantly shift- ing actor/spectator relation among the actors themselves (Bogatyrev, 1937).

the diversity, complexity and variablity of

its components, the

9 Bogatyrev went so far as to divide the components into the "representing" and the "purely

theatrical" ones (Bogatyrev, 1940: 123-8, 129-32).

10 Some of the unpublished papers mentioned in footnote 2 dealt with still other specific components

of the theater.



As for the action, it was recognized as the very essence, or foundation, of

theatricality. Only Bogatyrev, undoubtedly misled by the magic function which is all-pervasive in folklore, tended to base theatricality on the somewhat mystical

concept of

Action was perceived as a ceaseless flow, or progression, of meanings which combine with each other regardless of the nature of the signs - words, move-

ment, gesture, costume, prop, stage set, music, light, film, projected slide and so on - which respectivelyconvey them (Honzl, 1940c;Mukarovsky, 1937b, 1941). Every single component of the theater is involved to some extent in the construction of the action and is therefore endowed with functions comparable with and complementary to those of the other components. In the flow of this all- embracing action, even the "existential"distinction between man and object is erased because, on the plane of immaterial meanings, eitherone can appear at any moment as the acting subject (action-bearer) or a mere accessory (Veltrusky,

"transformation" or "transfiguration" (Bogatyrev, 1940: 8-13)."


Honzl in particular insisted on the unity of the action so much that he came dangerously close to considering the different types of signs by which it is successively carriedas interchangeable(Honzl, 1940c).'2 He did notice that there is some sort of polarity between each sign and the function it assumes in the context of the continuous action, but he dealt with it in purely metaphorical

terms, assimilating action to

costumes, scenery and music to the conductors through which the current flows.

He developed the image as follows:

an electrical current, and the words, actors,

.] this current, that is, dramatic action, is

not carried by the conductor that exerts the least resistance(dramaticaction is not

in the performing actor) but rather theatricality

frequently is generated in the overcoming of obstacles caused by certaindramatic

devices (special theatricaleffects when, for instance, action is concentrated

in the words or in the actor's motions or in off-stage sounds, and so on), in the same way that a filament fiber glows just because it has resistance to an electric current" (Honzl, 1940c).

It may be surprising that this vital issue was left at that. For it was recognized that the opposition between the single units of meaning and the semantic context which they make up is one of the basic structural principles in language and verbal art (Mukarovsky, 1940). The theoreticians of the theater also discussed this conception but never fully worked it out, especially not in writing. It would have required a far more advanced understanding of the common and the distinctive

characteristicsof different sign systems. Zich had perceived this difficult

which was as yet beyond the grasp of the Prague Linguistic Circle; when he tried

to prove that action was the very essence of

theatricality, he based his argument

on the distinction between visual and auditory components and on the contention

always concentrated only




Bogatyrev'slife-longtemptation to beanactor (Jakobson,1976)may alsohavecontributedto his

insistence on "transformation" or "transfiguration" as the essence of

12 Honzl corrected this view later, at least by implication, when he stressed the radical

between a given content as described by the chorus and as mimed by the actor (Honzl, 1943).





that, in all its components, the theater is an art of both space and time.

Space in the theater is not only the material space made up of the playing area

the sets. Zich developed the crucial concept of what

and the spectators' area plus

he called "dramatic space"(Zich, 1931: 246). This can be defined as the dynamic (because it is constantly changing) spatial aspect of dramatic action or, to put it differently, as the constantly changing cluster of relations among the subjects, tools and complements of that action; these space relations continually change in time because every movement, gesture, utterance or sound - to name just a few of the many factors involved - modify their pattern. The "dramatic space" need not coincide with the playing area. This area itself does not necessarily remain the same for the whole duration of the performance (Bogatyrev, 1937, 1940: 95-7, 99-100). The theater also has means of making the "dramatic space" shrink and expand in the course of the performanceirrespective of the delimitation of the playing area. In addition, there are the many forms of the so-called imaginary stage or, to use a more accurate term, "imaginary action space," that is, the action manifesting itself either by off-stage noises or voices, or by the on-stage characters'reactions to, or comments on, the action going on in the area contiguous to the stage, or else by subsequent reporting of those hidden events. Dramatic space unifies all the meanings the various components evoke simultaneously just as dramatic action unifies all the meanings they evoke successively. At the same time, since dramatic space itself is in constant change, its unifying function involves succession, too, just as the unifying function of the action also

involves simultaneity.


Zich laid the foundations of the semiotics of theater when he conceptually separated the signans from the signatum in acting, namely the stage figure created by the actor from the character, or dramatis persona, represented by that figure - and when he separated them both from the actor as an artist (Zich, 1931: 55-6). Most of the theoreticians belonging to the Prague Linguistic Circle were reluctant to adopt this concept of the stage figure as distinct from both the actor and the character.At first sight, their reluctance may be hardto understand,

especially since Zich's separation of the three concepts corresponds fairly closely to what the Prague School was trying to achieve when dealing with other sign and other forms of art.

systems The problem was not to distinguish the actor from his work or product; on the contrary, the need to do so was fully recognized (Honzl, 1940; Mukarovsky, 1940).13 It was the distinction between the stage figure and the character that proved difficult to accept.'4

13 Mukafovsky (1941) even attempted to give the distinction between the actor and his "product" a more general foundation by stating in this connection - perhaps oversimplifying the point - that

of his work exists in all the arts."

"tension between the subjectivity of the artist and the objectivity

14 The embarrassment caused by this distinction is well illustrated by the treatment it received in

Mukafovsky's review of Zich's book (1933). MukaTovsky did mention the distinction, called the



In retrospect, the true reason why Zich's path-breakingseparation of the stage figure from the character was never fully accepted lay in the Saussurian concep- tion of the sign, which the Prague School adopted, or rather in the way this conception was interpreted at the time. The idea that the sign has simply two


the signans and the signatum,

does not quite apply to acting. In a specific

work of acting, it is often hard and sometimes utterly impossible to determine what belongs to the stage figure and what to the character. The borderline between the two is blurred, a great many features are part of the signans in some respect and of the signatum in some other. Since in acting human beings, their actions and behavior represent human or anthropomorphous beings, theiractions

and behavior,

the difference between similarity and sameness tends to vanish


1931:56). 15

It does not follow

that the distinction

between signans and signatum

is any less

important in the theater than in the other semiotic systems. What does follow is that the two terms are not simply two facets of the sign, like the two sides of a coin, but two poles of a dialectical antinomy, the internal antinomy of the sign. But then, if this is true of the sign created by acting, it must be true of any sign whatever. Or else the very term of sign would be metaphorical, and semiotics a fiction. To investigate this extremely complicated problem would clearly have been premature some thirty to fifty years ago, at the time when the Prague Lin- guistic Circle was trying both to develop general linguistics into a scientific discipline and to explore in the same spirit severalother areas of social activity, of which the theater was only one. Special problems arose in all of them. Some found solutions which in their turn opened new vistas for linguistics. Some others

remained unsolved.

The relation between the signans and the signatum belongs to

this second category. The manifest embarrassmentit caused is in itself significant.

It shows that the researchthe Prague School pursued in fields other than


was far from being a mere application of the linguist's methods and findings.


BOGATYREV,PETR, 1977. Cesskij kukol'nyj i russkij narodnyj teatr [The Czech Puppet Theater and the Russian Folk Theater] (Berlin-Petersburg).

1937 "Hra a divadlo" [Play and Theater], Listy pro umMnia kritiku 5.

relation between the stage figure and the dramatis persona "interesting" and concluded that in Zich's

in the mind


the construction of the character (Zich, 1931: 115-8), not to his analysis of the stage figure (1931:

55-6). Moreover, by using, at the very beginning of the passage, the

figure" he in fact blurred, no doubt unwittingly, Zich's conceptual distinction. 5 The conceptual intricacies of Zich's distinction between the actor, the stage figure and the char- acter have recently been studied by Sus, especially in the light of some current theories of commun- ication and semiosis (Sus, 1977). His interesting and thoughtful interpretation differs radically from mine but the two do not seem to be incompatible.

of the audience is the meaning of this sign. But in this passage he referred only to Zich's

view the stage figure objectively existing on the stage is a sign while the character



ambiguous term "dramatic



1938a "Zur Frage der gemeinsamen Kunstgriffe im alttschechischen und im volkstiimlichen Theater," Slavische Rundschau 10. 1938a "Znaky divadelni" [Theatrical Signs], Slovo a slovesnost 4; English translation

Theater") in: Matejka and Titunic, 1976.

1940 Lidove divadlo ceske'a slovenske [Czech and Slovak Folk Theater] (Prague: Borovy).

BRUSAK, KAREL, 1939. "Znaky na &inske M divadle" [Signs in the Chinese Theater], Slovo a

slovesnost 5; English translation in: Matejka and Titunic, 1976. DEAK,FRANTI'EK, 1976. "Structuralismin Theater: The Prague School Contribution," Drama Review 20:4, 83-94.

HONZL,JINDRICH, 1939. "Herecka postava" [The Acting Figure], Slovo a slovesnost 5. 1940a "Objevene divadlo v Lidovem divadle ceskem a slovenskem" [The Theater Discovered in Czech and Slovak Folk Theater], Slovo a slovenost 6. 1940b ':Nad Diderotovym paradoxem" [Looking at Diderot's Paradox], Program D40.

"Pohyb divadlnlho znaku" [Dynamics of the Sign in the Theater], Slovo a slovesnost 6;

("Semiotics in the Folk


English translation in: Matejka and Titunic, 1976.

1943 "Hierarchie divadelnich prostredkd" [The Hierarchy of Dramatic Devices], Slovo a

slovesnost 9; English translation in: Matejka and Titunic, 1976.


"Definice mimiky" [Definition of Facial Expression], Otdzky divadla a filmu 2.


"Mimicky znak a mimicky priznak" [Facial Expression as Sign and Symptom], Otazky

divadla a filmu 3.

JAKBOSON,ROMAN,1933. "Upadek filmu?" [Is the Cinema in Decline?] Listy pro umeni'a kritiku 1; reprinted in Studies in VerbalArt (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions, 1971); English translation in: Matejka and Titunic, 1976.

1937 "Dopis Romana Jakobsona JiffimuVoskovcovi a Janu Werichovi o noetice a semantice

svandy" [Letter by Roman Jakobson to Jivi Voskovec and Jan Werich on the Epistemology and Semantics of Fun], 10 let Osvobozeneho divadla (Prague); reprinted in Studies in VerbalArt (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions, 1971).

1976 "Petr Bogatyrev (29.1.1893 - 18.8.1971). Expert in Transfiguration," in: Ladislav

Matejka, ed., Sound, Sign and Meaning (Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Contributions).

MATEJKA,LADISLAV,1976. "Postscript: Prague School Semiotics," in: Matejka and Titunic,


MATEJKA,LADISLAVANDTITUNIC,IRWINR., eds., 1976. Semiotics of Art: Prague School Con- tributions (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press). MUKAROVSK0,JAN, 1931. "Pokus of strukturni rozbor hereckdho zjevu" [An Attempt at a Struc- tural Analysis of a Dramatic Figure], Literdrni noviny 5; reprinted in Studie z estetiky

(Prague: Odeon, 1966); English translation in Structure, Sign, and Function (New Haven- London: Yale UP, 1978).

1933 "Otakar Zich: Estetika dramatickeho umni'. Teoreticka dramatugie" [Otakar Zich's

Esthetics of Dramatic Art: Theoretical Dramaturgy], Casopis pro modernl'fiologii 19.

1937a "K jevistnimu dialogu" [On Stage Dialogue], Program D37;

ceske poetiky I (Prague: Svoboda, 19482);English translation in The Word and VerbalArt (New Haven-London: Yale UP, 1977). 1937b "Jevistni rec v avantgardnim divadle" [Stage Language in Avant-garde Theater], Studie

reprinted in Kaptioly z

z estetiky (Prague: Odeon, 1966).

1939 "Pr6za K. Capka jako lyricka melodie a dialog" [K. &apek's Prose as Lyrical Melody

and as Dialogue], Slovo a slovesnost 5; reprinted in Kapitoly z ceske'poetiky II (Prague:

Svoboda, 19482); English translation

School Reader on Esthetics, Literary Structure, and Style (Washington, D.C.:

UP, 1964).

(slightly abridged) in: Paul L. Garvin, ed., A Prague


1940 "O jazcye basnickem," Slovo a slovesnost 6; reprinted in Kapitoly zceske poetiky I

Language (Lisse: The Peter de

Ridder Press, 1976), and in The Word and VerbalArt (New Haven-London: Yale UP, 1977).

(Prague: Svoboda,

19482); English translation On Poetic






1941 "K dneknimu stavu teorie divadla" [On the Current State of the Theory of Theater],

Program D41; reprinted in Studie z estetiky (Prague: Odeon, 1966); English translation in Structure, Sign, and Function (New Haven-London: Yale UP, 1978).

1947 "O recitalnim umeni" [On the Art of Recitation], Program D47; reprinted in Kapitoly z

ceske poetikv I (Prague: Svoboda, 19482).

SLAVINSKA,IRENA, 1977. "La semiologie Roczniki Humanistyczne 25:1.

Sus, OLEG, 1977.


theatre in


nascendi: Prague


"PYedmluva: Prftkopnik cesk6strukturne

of the Czech Structural-Semantic Theory of Theater] in: Zich, 1931.

semanticke divadelni vedy" [Pioneer

VELTRUSKY,JIRf, 1940. "lovek

a pfedmet na divadle" [Man and Object in the Theater], Slovo

a slovesnost 6; English translation in: Paul L. Garvin, ed., A Prague School Reader on

Esthetics, Literary Structure, and Style (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown UP, 1964).

1941 "Dramaticky text jako souNastdivadla" [Dramatic Text as a Component of Theater],

Slovo a slovesnost 7; English version (revised) in: Matejka and Titunic, 1976.

ZICH,OTAKER, 1923. "Loutkove divadlo" [Puppet Theater], Drobne umni' -

VYtvarnesnahy 4.

1931 Estetika dramatickeho umni' [Esthetics of Dramatic Art] (Prague: Melantrich);

reprinted, with preface by Oleg Sus (Wurzburg: JAL Reprint, 1977).