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Transformation, Miracles, and Mischief: The Mountain Priest Plays of Kyogen

62 TransformationMiraclesMischief
Carolyn Anne MORLEY
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This is the first English monograph on kyogen. Heretofore kyogen has only been treated in studies mainly concerned with noh. The originality of Morley's work historical treatment of kyogen is in the way that she illustrates how audiences, patrons, censors, and the noh tradition influenced the lives and styles of the actors and the development of the plays. Morley clearly explains the asesthetics of kyogen (which changed over time). It derives now largely from the insertion of the actor's stage persona into the "text" of the play. She also skilfully shows how the image (myth) of the yamabushi was used by kyogen, and how the function of the character in kyogen changes as society's attitudes toward this religious figure change. Her analyses of performances are perceptive and her translations of the plays skilful. | 248 pages

CONTENT Acknowledgment | List of Photographs | Foreword

Part 1: Commentary

  • 1 Transformations
  • 2 Tracking the Elusive Comic Actor
  • 3 The Shaping of the Text: The Crab
  • 4 The Man within the Myth: The Mountain Priest Character
  • 5 Conclusion

Part 2: The Plays

  • Preface to the Plays
  • The Crab
  • The Lunchbox Thief
  • Mushrooms
  • Owls
  • Persimmons
  • Sacroiliac
  • The Shinto Priest and the Mountain Priest
  • The Snail

Endnotes | Glossary of Kyōgen Terms | Bibliography


  • "A feast of history, myth, and humor ... Should be of great interest to actors, medieval scholars, and serious students of comedy." - Chanoyu Quarterly  

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