The First and Second Attentions of Dramaturgy: A Phenomenological Analysis

David Pendery

This paper analyzes the structure of drama and proposes a theory of two phenomenological “attentions” in dramaturgy. The theory and analysis are based on the phenomenological theory of Martin Heidegger and others. Additionally, Sheila Rabillard’s “spatial” theory of drama is employed. Drama has (or I may say, can have) two side-by-side structures, with different aims and outcomes. Ostensibly, drama is a “realistic” narrative art form, and can even come across as a slice of “real history” related to lived experience. In this way dramaturgy can be seen either as a public event, with characters “speaking” to audiences, and audiences having a measure of “interaction” with live figures on stage; or as less-fully realized (but no less real) action, with audience members “spying” on characters and action, secretly viewing the framed lives of others. Alongside this immediate, “first attention” structure, which corresponds with Heidegger’s “presence-at-hand,” drama also comprises an alternative framework of meaning and response. By way of a Husserlian “attentional transformation,” a “second attention” is effected, a focus that corresponds to Heidegger’s “readiness-to-hand,” and by way of which dramaturgic being and consciousness are fully instituted. The second attention takes place in a deeply-intuited environmentality, wherein new conceptions of spatial relations are discovered. This “pure space” can further be analyzed through Sheila Rabillard’s theory that drama is less a coherent narrative than a free-standing “local order” comprised of repetitions, sequences, variations and combinations. This “flattened” second-attention structure creates an artificiality in drama that is almost the exact opposite of first-attention “realistic” narrative. Seen in these ways drama comprises two aspects of consciousness functioning in parallel: a first-attention experience of belief-laden historical understanding, and a shadowy, second-attention “re-realizing,” a bracketed, secondary cognizance and awareness. I specifically analyze and apply this theory to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Caryl Churchill’s Heart’s Desire.


本篇論文分析戲劇結構並且提出「兩層專注」之劇作理論( dramaturgy )。論文理論與分析出自海德格( Martin Heidegger )等人之現象學理論。同時亦運用 Shelia Rabillard 之「空間」戲劇理論。

戲劇具有(或可有)兩種並存結構,各具不同目標與結果。表面而言,戲劇是一種「寫實的」敘事藝術形式,而且可以是與實際生活經驗有關的「真實歷史」片段。在這脈絡下,戲劇書寫應可視為是一種公共事件,角色向著觀眾「說話」,而觀眾有一定程度的與在舞台上的活生生演員得以「互動」;或是,可視為,不盡完全實現(但不減其真實性)的行動,觀眾得以「窺視」到角色與其行動,秘密地觀看他人在戲框內的生活。在此一立即,「第一專注」結構,與海德格的「現成之物」( presence-at-hand )相符,之外,戲劇同時擁有一另類的意義與回應之框架。藉由胡賽爾的「專注轉化」,一種「第二專注」得以實現,一個合於海德格的「 上手 之物」( readiness-at-hand ),藉由此劇作之存有與意識得以充分直覺到。第二專注發生於深度直覺到的環境性( enviromentality ),此中新空間關係被發掘。此「純粹空間」可進一步由 Sheila Rabillard 的理論加以分析,亦即,戲劇與其說是井然有序之敘事,不如說是獨立之「在地秩序」,由重覆,序列,變調以及結合體所構成。此一「壓縮的」第二專注結構在劇中創造出一種人工性,其與第一專注的寫實敘事幾乎是對反面。以這種方式看待,戲劇是由兩兩平行運作之意識的兩個面向所組成:一是富含信念內容的歷史性理解,第一專注式的經驗,以及,一種隱晦,第二專注式,再-實現 ( re-realizing ),一種放入括弧,二度的理解與覺查。我特別將分析以及運用上述理論於亞瑟 ‧ 米勒( The Crucible )與 卡瑞 ‧ 邱琪兒( Heart's Desire ) 。