Foreword | December 01, 2007
The full text of this Foreword is not currently available online.
In one of his many helpful letters of advice sent to young actors — published for the first time in this issue — Laurence Olivier describes the essence of a Shakespearean tragic character as a “perfect statue of a man,” made vulnerable by a significant flaw that finally will destroy him. Olivier’s remark calls to mind a quality of literature and indeed of all the arts: they relate to the core of an individual, the human, not the “statue,” and they articulate danger. The masks of literature, like those of primitive art and ritual, suggest “the other” that lies below the social being — the primal conflicts, the animal, and the sometimes scary forces within us.
If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.
Want to read more?Subscribe Today
SEE THE ISSUE
Dec 11 2020
Foreword: Fighting Back
Fighting Back Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood. —Dante, The Divine Comedy While temperamentally
Sep 29 2020
Foreword: Facing It
An old friend of mine called me in early May to tell me that he was alive, after all. He had caught covid-19 and been on a ventilator, his survival
Jun 19 2020
Foreword: Elemental Force
I happen to have discovered a direct relation between magnetism and light, also electricity and light, and the field it opens is so large and I think rich. —Letter to