Richard Wagner gave his musical drama a name, composite art (Gesamtkunst). This was an
exact name as an expression form which is performed with time art and space
art which were totally mobilized, in theater planned by himself, with acting
of singer who wore a clothing designed by himself, and then with setting
contrived by himself, music and words being integrated in the drama. Each
art form, i.e. fine art and music and so on, which composes this composite
art were called pure art (Reinekunst). As above-mentioned, composite art aims at the overall expression
in the spatio-temporal and pure art is divided into time art and space
The spatio-temporal is
the world where human being inhabits daily, and the phenomenon drawn with this
as an object is the presentation of internal value of human being. The values
are beauty, goodness, truth and holiness. When these values are indicated by an
outer symbol, they can be expressed by painting and music sufficiently. To show
this symbol in the style that has only either time or space as an expression
means needs an excelling genius of creator and an advanced technique.
However, in the art
style which can express time and space, the symbolization of values is not so
difficult. These can be easily expressed in stage setting and acting of
character or words. As for the art of spatio-temporal expression, the deeper
concerning between values and human being can be elucidated and also the
interest of the creator is turned there, too. The values are sensed through the
mind of human being and externalized. Therefore, the idea about it, that is to
say, the presentation of the values is internal for human being. Consequently, the
purpose of the spatio-temporal art is expression of this internal values.
Speaking in another way, if concerning with the values inside human being is
not drawn in composite art as the spatio-temporal art, it is not suitable as an
By the way, in the
spatio-temporal art expresses actual world, as means of expression, language in
addition to time and space is used. Because time and space are equipped from
the first, there is no lack in implement. As above-mentioned, in case of pure
art, since used implement was insufficient to express actual world, a technique
complement it must be developed. However, as for composite art, to use extra
energy for such a technique is not necessary and language which becomes another
element is used as a new expression means. Then, since language is an inevitable
accompaniment for the mind activity of human being, to use this is useful for
expression of the presentation of the internal values which are purpose of
composite art, too.
The art which uses language is literature. It
is widely known already that linguistic art is the third art type different
from time art and space art. Language does not concern time and space. This is a
special sign, the inter-subjectivity, which mediates the idea of plural human
beings. Because language as sign is external from time and space, it can
concern equally to these both. Therefore, in composite art, it can mingle with expression
of the spatio-temporal.
Language is a kind of sign, and sign has two-facedness such as existence
and function. The function of sign is indispensable for language act because
of concerning with the above-mentioned inter-subjectivity. Also, since
there is a side of existence in sign, it has consubstantiality with material
or mental existence. A sign is used in the subject of human being; each
of material and
mental existence appears as objective notion and image in this subject
of human being. Therefore, a sign is combined with this objective notion
or image. Then, Jacques
Derrida aimed only at the material-ness of sign, but it concerns mental existence
equally and has relation with image. When seeing a sign from the side of
this objective notion or image, it is called the meaning of sign.
On the other hand, it is needless to say that it is syntax
that thinks of sign only from the aspect of function. Because language
is a kind of sign, it has the meaning which occurs from the combination
with this objective notion and image naturally. A linguistic meaning is
formed customarily in the accumulation of activity of human being. However,
the combination of sign except language and objective notion or image is
newly made by setting of a special agreement. In this way, there are traditional
one and founding one in meaning operation of sign.
When a sign is combined with plural objective notions and images in the founding meaning operation, it is said to have the multivocation. When this multivocation becomes bigger than some degree, it is specifically said to be a symbol operation. This symbol operation appears easily when meaning of sign is an image with large elasticity. The language used in composite art which practices above mentioned expression of the spatio-temporal uses extensively this meaning operation of sign in order to express the internal mind presentation appears through image and symbol operation plays a most important role in it specifically.
As above-mentioned, a lot of technique are mobilized for the symbolization
of value presentation in pure art; the symbolization can be easily achieved
by using this symbol operation of sign in composite art. Because, material
of space art being physical stable existence, aspect of existence can be
borrowed, it becomes possible to take in the symbolization expression achieved
in symbol operation of language used by composite art, though. Therefore,
the symbolism plays a very important role in fine art in addition to linguistic art.
Jacques Lacan thought that symbol operation is peculiar to language, but if using depth
function of sign, the carry of symbol operation will expand more.
Linguistic art is divided into two parts of
poetry and prose and it is not necessary to add any more words about poetry's
being more subdivided into lyric, scenery poem, epic, paean, elegy and so on.
The poetry is formally restricted by the rule of phoneme arrangement, and is a
style to be required to concentrate language which approaches the theme given
by a form in the contents. In other words, this can be called a restraint
style. The prose is a negative style of poetry and is a non- restraint style.
As above-mentioned, in composite art, all implements of space
art, time art, and linguistic art are used. Composite art expresses the actual
world by showing the spatio-temporal. Therefore, both physical stable existence
in space art and energy in time art are outwardly used whereas the spatial and
temporal relation of language is inwardly used. Outward and inward called here
are specified with the standard of the subject of a human being who appears on
the stage of composite art. In other words, an environment, a clothing, a
setting, a state around a character and so on become outward and a speech and a
human action which are shown by his acting become inward. （Human action is not linguistic itself but it is often
accompanying language. Therefore, this can have a strong symbol operation to
language. Accordingly, symbolizing the action, combining the symbolized action
with linguistic expression connects with it generally; symbol operation of the
action is complete with leading to that of language. This advancing more, the
action connects with image and so on directly without language. Pursuing the
possibility of direct symbol operation of the action is none other than
pantomime. And it is used as a suggestive acting of cast in composite art.）
Summarizing this, in composite art, implement of linguistic art
is used for word and gesture uttered from the personality of character,
implement of space art is used for physical environment in his appearing and implement
of time art is used for psychological situation.
Since time art and
space art can have only either of the temporality or the spatiality,
respectably, being composed only a part of expression of the spatio-temporal, they
are specified as pure art. Linguistic art concerns both whereas it is out of
the frame of time and space. The ideal way of such a language resembles mass in
physics well. Mass creates the field of gravity, it distorts time and space in
it but it is not the spatio-temporal itself. However, it has an influence on
both of time and space.
participates equally to time and space, this can make an expression of the
spatio-temporal by itself. Saying in other words, linguistic art is qualified
for composite art. However, as mentioned above, since linguistic art composes only
a part of composite art, it is possible to say that it is pure art. In other
words, linguistic art has the two-facedness such as composite art and pure art.
Linguistic art which has the nature of composite art is play. It is possible
to say that play is the prototype of composite art because it becomes the
simplest drama by reading only. However, play becomes a novel just as it
is, if detailed stage directions are attached to the sentences which have
the same contents as the play, a lot of explanations of scene conversion
are added and moreover explanations about idea and concept which appeared
there are added. Also, when picking out a part of this novel and changing
it into restraint style, it becomes a poem.
In other words, novel and poetry are stylistic forms that have continuity
with play. Since it is clear that poetry and novel are classified in pure
art, they having continuity with play as the prototype of composite art;
it is obvious that there is the above-mentioned two-facedness of linguistic
art. Then, time art and space art cannot possess this two-facedness; this
fact becomes Merkmal which distinguishes linguistic art from them
Time art and space art
used in composite art express independently and respectively time and space
which are elements of the spatio-temporal. Because these two are independent
mutually, it is possible to combine in different form. Therefore, original
artificial plan can be brought into this combination and this can be called
production. Because time art and space art concern only an outward area in
composite art, Production about these is called stage production.
On the other hand, in
case of linguistic art, time and space are united in a body in language.
Therefore, language cannot be produced from outside viewpoint, time and space. As
for language used in composite art, i.e. expression of speech, special internal
production is accomplished in the form of personal acting guidance of actor
chattering it. Therefore, in case of creating whole composite art, two kinds of
activities, stage production and acting guidance, are necessary.
By the way, as above-mentioned, in space
art, physical stable existence is used as material and in time art, energy is
used. In linguistic art, image and objective notion which language as sign
means are used. Because image and objective notion are reflections of
recognition on the idea of human being, they are not existence and energy, but they
associate existence and energy which invent image and objective notion.
Therefore, in linguistic art, existence and energy individually or unitedly
flow psychologically into the contents in indirect way. On the other hand, in
space art and time art, only material peculiar to each is individually used.
The realization form of composite art is drama. The drama as a
spatio-temporal art was realized once only by performance in the
above-mentioned times when human race didn't have medium of spatio-temporal
record, and it must continue to be updated to leave in memory of people
continuously. However, by appearance of film medium, one-time drama becomes recordable
as well. It is possible to understand easily that this is movie and movie is a
However, because language can be recorded by
characters, linguistic art has the most excellent recording medium. Therefore,
it is possible to save surely a linguistic part of drama without performance.
Then, as above-mentioned, space art has a permanent recording medium, physical
stable existence, and music which is a representative of time art can be
recorded by sign, note, as well as language. Therefore, it was possible for
some degree to record drama as composite art by using plural mediums except for
part of dance as another time art. However, if there is not a unifying medium,
complete record is difficult. Also, since there was not a recording medium in
dance part, it is possible to say that there is not a record in actor's acting
which has common aspect with this. Therefore, it is no room to deny that there
is a lack in record of drama before appearance of film.
The drama can arrange single or plural persons as actors who are
given a role according to the purpose of each drama. If giving single person a
focus, it becomes a psychodrama which irradiates personal innerness and if
giving plural persons a light, it becomes a social drama which picks out an incident
of group to which they belong. In this way, drama can express individual and
If group can be expressed,
it can adopt a norm for theme necessarily, too. Norm is always established on
condition that more than two persons share a specific purpose in some period.
As long as drama can express relation of plural persons, it can describe explicitly
or implicitly the norm which is set there as well. The norm is a form when the
value, goodness, takes a visible outward appearance to human being. Consequently,
drama concerns goodness deeply through expression of norm.
The purpose of art
expression in general is directed to the fact how to show beauty. However, drama as general art can express
goodness as well. In other words, the art form, drama, makes a bridge between
the different value such as beauty and goodness.
On the other hand, pure
art can concern only beauty. Saying more correctly, if not using some symbol
operation which shows association to general art, it cannot concern goodness.
This is substantial limitation of pure art. Above-mentioned split of the temporality
and the spatiality showed formal limitation of pure art. Here, we have reached
recognition about two limitations in the aspect of form and matter of pure art.
By the way, as mentioned
above, linguistic art includes the two-facedness of pure art and composite art.
Therefore, it relates to goodness in the nature of composite art. Consequently, it happens that art style such
as fine art, music, and dance cannot connect with goodness.
Incidentally, it is superfluous thing that
expression of the above-mentioned beauty or goodness includes expression of
their denial forms. Denial form of beauty is ugly and that of goodness is evil.
Although these denial forms, that is to say, the anti-values are contrary to
the values as presentation completely, being consubstantial from the viewpoint
of purpose of expression, each of them can be expressed equally by the same
The fact how to handle a norm in drama fixes the nature of the
drama. In case of handling some norm affirmatively, discovering, recovering or
sacrificing for the norm are inflicted to character. Then, development of scene
and act of character are intentionally regulated according to this request.
Speaking in another way, the norm affirmed by the purpose of drama binds whole
drama and characters. If it is so, beauty as the purpose of art in drama will
be found in the point that character achieves a self-purge toward this norm.
Then, this drama is called tragedy.
On the contrary, sometimes
certain norm is handled negatively. It falls under this instance in case that to
show that contents of the norm are illogical, that they are outdated and that
they are against a more fundamental norm becomes the purpose of drama. Here, to
prove the unreasonableness of the norm, to disclose the invalidity of it and to
abrogate the norm itself are inflicted to character. Then, like the case of tragedy,
development of scene and act of character are intentionally regulated by this
request. Beauty in this drama is found in the point that a more right norm
appears after an untruth norm passed publicly is removed. This is the essence
A focus of drama is directed
to a person who dies for the norm in tragedy but in the comedy, it is directed
to the true but concealed norm itself in comedy. Therefore, the lead of tragedy
must always be a heroic character but that of comedy often becomes an average
citizen. It is the reason for this proposition that self-immolation is act
beyond worldly affairs and transcendence to daily life, and then true norm has
universal validity, and that anyone consents it daily in the worldly must be
shown. Also, tragedy is made for gathering sympathy to the lead who does
self-immolation and it has emotional nature basically, but comedy is required
the criticism which searches for concealed norm and it has rational nature
Then, drama's progress
calls luck and misfortune by participation of accident. It is needless to say
that misfortune is liable to connect tragedy and luck is comic. By this fate,
appreciator is dragged into drama and unites him/her with drama by repeating
sympathy and self-projection there. The unification of actor and audience is
the best purpose of drama indeed and by this, drama achieves assimilation with community.
The drama achieved this assimilation becomes public cultural property and gets
an eternal life in community.
If this fate manages
drama's progress throughout time, above-mentioned norm becomes a motif which
dominates from the opening scene to the last scene together with time.
Figuratively speaking, norm becomes a warp, fate becomes a woof in drama and
both make textile of the spatio-temporal.
The structure of drama
prescribes the ideal way of style in words. Words which have the nature of
poetry are announced by monologue and prose spread out in dialog. Therefore, poetic
words are spoken by a single character and prosaic words are exchanged among
plural characters. Saying more, poetic words is effectively used in tragedy in
which a focus is directed to heroic act of the specific individual, prosaic words
becomes an indispensable implement for comedy in which a focus is directed to search
of norm by average citizen.
This linguistic art,
poetry or prose which is used as words, forms contents of play. Then, it
combines with formal frame, above-mentioned norm and fate, and all of them
compose whole play.
We want to introduce one
piece of concrete example which shows this thing. Opera is most typical composite
art in which music occupies a large portion, it is natural that extremely emotional
aria is allocated for monologue of character, and polyphonic vocal ensemble is
for plural characters respectively here. Since aria focuses on a soliloquizing
person necessarily, it is used in a tragic opera and since vocal ensemble
focuses on the set of singers, it deepens a comic opera. Aria promotes voice of
human being to a special solo musical instrument but vocal ensemble makes it a
part of orchestral music.
Summarizing things described above, it is
concluded as follows. In drama which is the realization form of composite art
which practices expression of the spatio-temporal, the basic element becomes a
most fundamental prototype is linguistic art, and this has the two-facedness of
composite art and pure art, and it takes a form as play in drama. Then, play
takes a form of tragedy or comedy by having norm as overall purpose and making
fate a program director, while stretching for both sides of society and
individual, and it is led to equip with form and contents by the nature of this
drama's making character tell poetry or prose, and it completes the ideal way
as linguistic art, and moreover it serves the embodiment of different values
such as goodness and beauty.
Drama connects with goodness through norm of its purpose. In
order to apply a norm right here, recognition of circumstance for which it should
be applied must be correctly accomplished. If this circumstance is different, the
norm which should be applied has changed. Therefore, application of right norm
must be always accompanied by recognition of correct circumstance, i.e. truth
as the value.
Also, in case that norm
extends to intention for holy area beyond worldly society, it has religious
nature. Religion is bunch of norms which force many items of prohibition on
human being like morality. Therefore, to handle a norm keeps possibility to
develop into holiness. (A drama theme of which is holiness is called relief
drama. Since it often gets to strengthen a human norm from back, it is
naturally liable to connect with tragedy. On the other hand, it is ordinary
that comedy leaves holiness because of its tendency of vulgarization.) After
all, drama concerns all the values, truth, goodness, beauty and holiness, and
it can concentrate them. The condition into which all the values are integrated
is called ideal. In other words, we can understand that drama is most suitable
art style to express ideal straight.
Ideal is the situation
in which all the values are concentrated, but if this is denied, it turns to be
non-ideal i.e. reality. Expressing in another way, it is possible to say that reality
is the situation in which all or part of the values for human being does not
exist. As above-mentioned, even in case of absence of purpose of expression, in
art expression, there is completely no difference for technique as expression
act. If it is so, as long as ideal can be expressed, reality as its denial can
be similarly expressed. In other words, drama suits to express reality most as
well. On the other hand, pure art can only express beauty which is essential
purpose of art.
We define to show how conflict between ideal
and reality appears for human being and then how it is solved as story. Then, in
composite art, play as linguistic art part of it gives an idea and a direction to
pure art which composes it by showing story and moreover it guides pure art,
too. Because play has the two-facedness of composite art and pure art, it
guides itself autonomously inside drama. Space art and time art, i.e. fine art,
music, dance is instructed a direction and an ideal heteronomously by story in
Edmund Burke contrasted sublimity and beauty, and he accomplished philosophical consideration
about it; such a contrast has sufficient reason. Sublimity is above-mentioned
personal attitude appears with way of concerning ideal of human being and
outer evaluation about it. This is purpose of expression in composite art;
this can be expressed only there. Since beauty is purpose of expression
in pure art, sublimity and beauty become two main purposes of expression,
and it is natural that nature of both is different.（In aesthetics of Western Europe, it is frequently said that
sublimity show fear and confusion of human being who stand before rage of
nature which is out of control. However, it is hard to believe the attitude
that such a blind powerlessness of human being is regarded as a maximum
aesthetic expression. It might be appropriate that there would be sublimity in
strong will of human being to overcome a natural fault with firm determination.
Then, such a will is a kind of heroic act to try to plow through for far ideal.）
However, the difference
of both is rooted in the formula of expression of the spatio-temporal in art
and is not opposed from the viewpoint of beauty. Sublimity is the synthetic
complete and sublimation style of beauty. There is not commonness among both in
a shape, but in the point of lively motion to the aspect of feelings that
beauty causes, there is continuity among both.
Beauty is shaped expression of harmony and balance. On the other hand,
sublimity is brought about to stand out by arrangement with contrastive
shape as elegance. Because sublimity is the presentation of the very advanced
mind in its root, and it is difficult to find a shape expresses this straight,
it is more effectively shown by paradoxical irradiation of a shape with
opposite nature. In this case, there must be harmony and balance in the
rate of juxtaposition with elegance and if these have collapsed, sublimity
will be damaged. In this meaning, when expressing sublimity accurately,
harmony and balance which are the general nature of beauty are working
latently and the deep relevancy of both exists in the aspect of form in
addition to content.
This text should not be translated into any other languages without autor's
Written and Translated by Taketoshi Murayama.
Original translation is rewritten by C T
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