‘Rhapsody for the Theatre’ by Alain Badiou

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For Alain Badiou, theatre—unlike cinema—creates a space in which philosophy can be lived. It is, of all the arts, the most closely related to politics: both depend on a limited number of texts or statements, which are collectively enacted by a group of actors or militants who test the limits of the structure inn which they are confined, be it the medium of drama or the nation-state. For this reason, the history of theatre is inseparable from the history of state repression and censorship.

This definitive collection of Badiou’s work on the theatre includes not only the title essay “Rhapsody for the Theatre,” originally published as a pamphlet in France, but also essay on Jean-Paul Sartre, on the political destiny of contemporary drama, and on Badiou’s own work as a playwright.