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The Shape of Things (Anglais) Broché – 25 août 2001

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144 pages

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Par Un client le 18 septembre 2002
Format: Broché
C'est une critique audacieuse et merveilleusement bien pensée que nous livre l'auteur de The Shape of Things sur la forme, la définition, les limites de l'art et de l'artiste aujourd'hui. C'est également une observation fine des relations entre jeunes étudiants : amour, amitié, confiance... qui peuvent être troublés par le passage d'une seule personne, qui exulte dans sa perversion... à moins que ce ne soit que de l'art ?
Texte court, rhytmé, et évolutif, The Shape of Things est une pièce des plus agréable à lire.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x90702ef4) étoiles sur 5 38 commentaires
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90717b10) étoiles sur 5 "Fear No Art?" 6 juillet 2002
Par Stanley H. Nemeth - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Several years ago, PBS distributed to subscribers a particularly annoying, idiotic button announcing that with-it people "Fear No Art." Even though such heralded types as Plato and Tolstoy had worried about the artist's frightening power to create as well as to wreak havoc on the social order, PBS thought it knew better. Artists these days are basically nice people, it held, and thus they will necessarily use their powers of self-expression only to enrich the lives of everyone in society. Consequently, we must be open to and accepting of whatever an artist comes up with - even a crucifix in a bottle of urine - lest we be thought narrow-minded or indeed intolerant. Neil Labute looking at the current scene with wide open eyes challenges the complacency in this conventional thinking about the "nice" artist and life. In "The Shape Of Things," he vividly brings home to us the truth in Jonathan Swift's observation that "nice people are full of nasty ideas." Set among campus Me-First postmoderns who delve into art and engage in tangled "relationships," Labute's play gives its characters free rein to reveal themselves as both pathetically and hilariously stunted human specimens. Their seeming one-dimensionality is by satiric design, as are those hints of rage and clueless meanness which occasionally ooze out from beneath their laid-back surfaces to enrich the key moments of dramatic encounter. Like many of the sardonic Ibsen's characters, Labute's too have snarling trolls lurking just beneath their "nice," ever so tolerant, "non-judgmental" public selves. Most significantly, his charismatic, rebellious central female figure, her inner person reduced wholly and subhumanly to warped aesthetic concerns, emerges as a satiric embodiment of the postmodern artist as essentially destructive creator.
To any mainstream critic who goes to plays and demands "positive" or "compassionate" endorsements of the received ideas we hold or our self-absorbed lives as we generally live them now, Labute has little to offer. Refreshingly free of such frothy, mindless cheer, the playwright instead skewers unquestioned contemporary notions of art's necessary beneficence and those of the glories of untrammeled individualism. Human nature and art, he reveals as satiric dramatist, are both larger and more problematic than such currently genteel, fashionable conceptions of them. Far from being "non-original" in his ideas, Labute more than any other current playwright provokingly calls into question the actual - not the putative - received ideas about art and life which are thought "cutting edge" in our time. If anyone writing drama today could produce a fully realized masterwork on the way we live now, I suspect it would be Neil Labute.
14 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90717b64) étoiles sur 5 Old forms in bright new clothes. 22 février 2002
Par darragh o'donoghue - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Adam is an amiable and literate loser and virtual virgin who needs two jobs to pay for his student loans. Working as a security guard at a gallery, he tries to dissuade Evelyn, an Art postgraduate, from defacing one of the exhibits, and ends up going out with her. Not only does he start enjoying 'great' sex for the first time, but, under Evelyn's supervision, he begins eating and dressing better, working out, even getting a nose job, to the point where the former scruffy prole becomes what his best friend's fiancee calls a 'babe'. Adam had been too shy to ask the latter out before, but now they kiss and go for a 'drive' in the 'woods'. Meanwhile Evelyn has her thesis showcase to organise.
For all its appeals to modernity and student culture - post-modern art; makeovers; facial surgery; college; swearing; studenty soundtrack - 'The Shape Of Things' is surprisingly traditional fare, not too removed from the well-made plays of Terence Rattigan, or Shaw's dramas of ideas (Evelyn becomes Higgins to Adam's Eliza Doolittle), in which every element and loose end is neatly tied up. Each character represents a particular point-of-view (check out, for a start, those names), which is modified or developed as the thesis continues - each vignette proceeds intellectually, leading to a climax in which the leads declaim their positions at wordy length. This means that the character interplay, though present and involving, lacks the true forcefulness of a work like 'Your Friends And Neighbours'.
Behind the players are projected images from Western civilisation's visual treatment of the human body, from antiquity to anatomy to Magritte. This might seem to be pretentious padding, an attempt to add spurious depth to what is basically a sour college romance, but it actually works with the drama to achieve the devastating pay-off of The Revelation.
To be honest, Labute's ideas - about the impoverishment of post-modern art; the consequences of 'art for art's sake', or the crossing the line between life and art; about a culture that privileges image over decency, self-consciousness over relationships; the dangers of 'too much' civilisation or sophistication; the alienation (oh yes) of one's life as it is mediated by life, art and the media - aren't very original, though paradoxical enough to avoid seeming static. What is more enjoyable is the way the famous male monstrosity that characterised Labute's earlier work (e.g. 'In The Company Of Men'), has been transferred to a female character, whose spectacular callousness has you cheering her on in spite of yourself, and chills the post-'Nurse Betty' sentimental streak the playwright has difficulty in suppressing. The dialogue is as sharp, suggestive and funny as ever, with a great line about Picasso. And, yes, it's nice to see people like me on a stage for once.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90717f9c) étoiles sur 5 loved it 20 mars 2009
Par Marilou Baughman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This was my first exposure to Neil LaBute. I bought three plays, and I can't wait to read the others. The Shape of Things is very thought-provoking, and I see in his characters many truths about humanity.
Buy the book. You won't be sorry.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90717f84) étoiles sur 5 Outstandingly deep 7 juin 2007
Par Geoff Wildanger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This play can be viewed as heavy-handed if one wishes to see it that way. One can assume that the play is simply about the nature of art and relationships. That isn't the main issue of the play. The play forces the perceptive viewer to address the meta-ethical question of whether there can be some sort objective morality to life. If one doesn't believe in an objective morality then one cannot hate 'Jenny' but simply disagree with what she did (if that!). The ultimate question this play forces one to confront is whether one can believe in an objective morality after god has died. Unless a reader may assume I am a christian raging against godless, immoral, post-modernist, I don't believe in god or in an objective morality (not that I'm a relativist). Jenny could morally justify her actions in many different ethical systems, but not in any deistic systems. This play is superbly subtle if one has enough patience to see it through to the end and really think about it.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x90853468) étoiles sur 5 Startling! 20 juillet 2004
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I've always admired the work of Labute, but admittedly never got around to reading or seeing "The Shape of Things." Needless to say, then, when I finally did get to read it, I began with high expectations. And these expectations were met. "Shape of Things" is a startlingly crisp and wittily written piece that examines the form of "art" and just how far it can be taken. Without a doubt, this is an artist's play, and certainly one of the most groundbreaking dramas of recent years. The end will knock your socks off... particularly if you don't see what's coming!
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