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By Susan Melrose

Is "theatre semiology" now background? Melrose's publication argues that theatre perform maintains to use either a fancy net of "spontaneous semiologies" (Bourdieu), and the "arts de faire" (or arts of creating do) defined via Michel de Certeau. In drawing on either the habitus and the "practices of daily life", Melrose makes an attempt to track among verified theoretical fields and fields of perform, a discursive course which would enable a renewed semiotic method of dramatic theatre's varied economics. Susan Melrose is the writer of "Eating Out".

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Began to raise their voices to declare that the Saussurean principle of shared or transcendental signifieds, and consequent agreement as to meaning-production, did not necessarily apply here and now for me/us. Rational difference and 'truth' The prevailing logic based on an either/or binarism, according to which A's identity was not immanent but able to be discerned through differences from not-A (here female = not male, and is perceived to be male's negative; black is not-white and again the first term is the other's negativity), began to be seen less as a natural system (social in operation), than as an arbitrary symbolic system, derived from our desire itself to note difference as a principle of organisation.

What is now needed is an exemplary but momentary event of empirical analysis (in place of a 'stable methodology', a 'rigorous model', universally practised upon an 'analytical object'), which might be worked through the application of a number of 'semiotic' heuristic tools. What I am looking for, in the terms with which I began this chapter, is a postmodern theory of dramatic theatre practice which is neither cynical nor disenchanted - but which does not aspire, either, to burst forth from the theatre space to convert the orders of the wider social.

To reclaim the pleasures of language, feminists and other cultural theorists began to recognise instead that language itself was less the culprit, than that straitjacket which comes from discursive traditions bound up and ratified in certain institutions of learning and everyday practice. This difference in perspective marks the epistemological shift from a modernist to a postmodern (or non-oppositional, combinatory) approach. It is neither a universal nor an uncontested development. Drama's 'talking about theatre': the case for connotation But let us come back to the proposition made by Benveniste: it might seem then that a case can be made for the hypothesis that dramatic writing is not so much the 'speech' of 'human' characters, not so much the coded intention of its author, as a "[dramatic] 50 A Semiotics of the Dramatic Text semiotic system ...

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