Following the rapid pace of a journalist’s investigation, on the crossroads of dramatic fiction and document-based research, the author gives a try to a theatre-inquiry presenting us the public and private human portrait of a legend named Napoleon.
BOOK: What would happen if a contemporary historian, playing the part of a fussy meticulous journalist, could summon witnesses of a great but controversial age? In this proof of a theatre inquiry, Magda Poli plays with infinite aspects of possibilities. The author sets free on the stage the remote voices of the past, developing an imaginary dialogue, very fast, full of plot twists, between an anonymous narrator and the main characters of the Napoleonic time. Beyond the boundaries of biography as a genre, in a rapid exchange of the opposite opinions, the theatre piece draws a picture of the Brumaire man, modern Prometheus capable of shaking the thrones of the old Europe. Deprived of the hagiography inherent to a myth, set free from the conservative reactionary propaganda, Bonaparte keeps just his human nature faithful to his time. Thus, a contradictory figure is emerging, suspended between the public virtues and private vices, greatness and misery, cynicism and ideals, strategies of “realpolitik” and the tendencies to break free from them, brutal tyranny and respect for universal rights. The evidence of the eyewitnesses is being contraposed to the sentences pronounced by the posterity, the voices of soldiers – to the enlightened opinions of artists, intellectuals and poets, while close relatives’ confessions are mixed up with the excellent personalities of the period, Joachim Murat, Klemens von Metternich, Emmanuel de las Cases. Napoleon was composing – piece by piece – the mosaic of the epoch after which nothing was the way it had been before. At the same time, he removes the veils that hide the origin of a legend.
AUTHOR: Magda Poli is one the most famous observers of the Italian and international contemporary drama. She wrote about it on the pages of il Giornale from 1979 to 1986. Today she is a theatre critic writing for the newspaper Corriere della Sera. She is the author of books: Milan in miniature (Rizzoli Publishing House, 2007) and, together with Ferruccio Soleri, of Harlequin’s Servant: fifty years of theatre and of a life covered by the mask (Rizzoli Publishing House, 2011). The following plays by Magda Poli were published by Sandro Teti Publishing House: Shoah: it was just yesterday (2011), A sea of ink for a sea of tears. World War II (2011), Napoleon (2011).
The world belongs to Bonaparte. He missed this world when he was alive. He possesses it now that he is dead. After having supported the despotism of his person, we still have to support the despotism of his memory.François René de Chateaubriand
author: Magda Poli
price: 9,00 €