BL. W. B. Yeats

235. Takahashi, Yasunari. ‘The Ghost Trio: Beckett, Yeats, and Noh’. Cambridge Review 107/2295 (1986): 172-76.

Aims to demonstrate a relation between nô and Beckett via Yeats, but offers along the way insightful analysis of the importance of nô for Yeats: his earlier drama had incorporated much that would be reaffirmed in his encounter with the nô—masks, music, dance, stylised acting, a bare stage, minimal scenery, stories drawn from myth and tradition, poetic language, a small cultivated audience capable of understanding literary allusions—but his attempts at ‘overcoming realism’ and moving ‘beyond the limitations of symbolism’ remained unsatisfactory until he discovered in the nô a ‘tout á coup that had been lacking: a ghost!’ Proceeds from this observation to brief but lucid examination of the spiritual underpinnings of the nô, the belief in the ‘torments of the soul after death’, ‘the power of a prayer for its release’, and how ‘perfectly’ this ‘dovetailed into the system of Yeats’s long-held occultism’. Reprinted in The Empire of Signs: Semiotic Essays on        Japanese Culture, edited by Yoshihiko Ikegami (Philadelphia: Benjamins, 1991). Takahashi had earlier authored two other provocative works that trace the relation between the nô and Beckett, ‘The Theatre of Mind: Samuel Beckett & the Noh’ (Encounter, April 1982, pp. 66-73) and ‘Qu’est-ce qui arrive? Some Structural Comparisons of Beckett’s Plays and Noh’ (in Samuel Beckett: Humanistic Perspectives, edited by Morris Beja, S. E. Gontarski, and Pierre Astier [Columbus: Ohio State UP, 1983]). See also A39 and BL190 and 250.





Home | Top | Previous | Next

Previous | Next


Creative Commons License