VARIANT OF THE TITLE: Actors and Acting.
Online text: UNZ
In this article, probably originally written in French in 1886, in speaking of the fundamental qualities of an actor, Coquelin outlines the concept of double personality: by reading the text, the actor's "first self" imagines the character he has to interpret as a "second self" which he ideally outlines as "a soft mass of sculptor's clay, capable of assuming at will any form" (p. 894). Great actors maintain this "second self" under tight control. When this does not happen the physical and psychological self of the actor prevent him from expressing the traits of the character. Coquelin mentions Irving as an example of this kind of mistake.
Irving immediately replied to the accusation with An Actor's Notes: M. Coquelin in Actors and Acting (see).
In August of the same year, Boucicault joined the fray with Coquelin-Irving (see).
Coquelin replied to both with A Reply to Mr Henry Irving. A Reply to Mr. Dion Boucicault (1887) (see).
In April 1888, the Harper's published a few "notes" to Acting and Actors, meant to "clear up some points and to develop certain others" (p. 679).
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The debate among Coquelin, Irving and Boucicault was summarized an published in:
- The art of Acting: A Discussion by Constant Coquelin, Henry Irving and Dion Boucicault, New York, Dramatic Museum of Columbia University, 1926.
- Papers on Acting, edited by Brander Matthews, New York, Hill and Wang, 1958.
In 1932 Acting and Actors was republished as The Art of the Actor (see).
In 1889 the article was published in French on the Revue Illustrée with the title «L'Art du Comédien» (see).
Online text: GALLICA