George Polti's 36 dramatic situations on film with Hannaleena Hauru

Este rakkaudelle

Työryhmä: Hannaleena Hauru, Ilja Rautsi, Pilvi Hämäläinen, Juha Heikkinen, Katariina Jumppanen, Jussi Lankoski.

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TWENTY-EIGHTH SITUATION
OBSTACLES TO LOVE
(Two Lovers; an Obstacle)

A (1) Marriage Prevented by Inequality of
Rank: ”Nite”tis” and ”The Chinese Hero” by Metas-
tasio: ”Le Prince Soleil” (Vasseur, 1889); second act
of ”La Vie Publique” (Fabre, 1901); ”Ramuntcho”
(Pierre Loti, 1908);’ ”L’Emigre”” (Bourget, 1908). This
is the sentimental-philosophical Situation of a great
number of eighteenth century works (”Nanine,” etc.),
in which a lord invariably falls in love with a peasant
girl. In George Sand, on the contrary, it is always a
lady who is in love with a man of inferior rank; a sort
of literature which at least has inspired many gallant
adventures of our own time. The addition of one more
little obstacle the marriage bond furnishes the pre-
text for the real intrigue of ”Ruy Bias.”

(2) Inequality of Fortune an Impediment to
Marriage: ”Myrtille” and in part ”Friend Fritz” by
Erckmann-Chatrian; ”L’Abbe Constantin” by Halevy;.
”La Petite Amie” (Brieux, 1902); ”La Plus Faible”
(Prevost, 1904); ”La Veuve Joyeuse” (Meilhac, Lon
and Stein, 1909); ”Le Danseur Inconnu” (Bernard, 1909);
”La Petite Chocolatiere” (Gavault, 1909); ”Primerose”;
”Le Reve” (from Zola’s story by Bruneau); in fiction;
”Le Bonheur des Dames” to mention only the more
estimable works, leaving aside the endless number of
trivial plays imitative of Scribe, and the Romances of
Poor Young Men, Dames Blanches, etc., which make
our ears ring with confusing additions and subtrac-
tions, until the unexpected final multiplication ”deus
ex machina” which suddenly equalizes the two terms
of the problem, the two fortunes of the lovers, with
the most admirably symmetrical alignment of parallel
zeros preceded, oh joy! oh bliss! on one side as on the
other, by two identical figures!

It must of course be recognized that these social
and conventional inequalities are mere puerile details,
and that the lovers, if they have but a little courage
and sincerity, will overcome them without difficulty;
they can do so by simply leaving behind them titles and
money, and in a new country, under other names,
bravely beginning life again together. If, instead of
such bagatelles, we might only be sometimes shown
the more serious obstacles of inequality of ages, of
characters, of tastes which are at the same time so
much more common!

They are, indeed, so frequent that a general theory
might be established with regard to them. The first
love (twenty years) seeks in its object equality of
rank and superiority of age (this is a fact well known
to those who have studied the cases of girl-mothers) ;
the second love, and in general the second period of
emotional life (thirty years), addresses itself, audacity
having been acquired, to superiors in rank but equals
in age; finally, the third love, or in a more general way
the third epoch of sentimental life, inclines by prefer-
ence to those who are younger and socially inferior.
Naturally, subdivision is here possible.

B Marriage Prevented by Enemies and Con-
tingent Obstacles: ”Sieba” (Manzotti, 1883); ”Et
Ma-Soeur?” (Rabier, 1911); ”Le P&he” de Marthe”
(Rochard, 1910); all fairy-plays, since the ”Z&m” of
Gozzi. In fine, a sort of steeple-chase process adapts
itself to this situation, but the chase is not one in which
several rival steeds and riders engage; throughout its
course but a single couple enters upon it, to end at the
shining goal with the usual somersault.

C (1) Marriage Forbidden on Account of the
Young Woman’s Previous Betrothal to Another:
”II Re Pastore” by Metastasio; and other pieces without
number. The lovers will die if separated, so they
assure us. We see them make no preparations to do
so, but the spectator is good enough to take their word
for it; the ardors, the ”braises” to use the exact
language of the ”grand siecle” and other nervous
phenomena in hypochondriacs of this sort cannot but
offer some interest not, however, for long.

(2) The Same Case, Complicated by an Imagi-
nary Marriage of the Beloved Object: ”Les Bleus de
1′ Amour” (Coolus, 1911).

D (1) A Free Union Impeded by the Opposition
of Relatives: ”Le Divorce” (Bourget, 1908); ”Les
Lys” (Wolf and Leroux, 1908).

(2) Family Affection Disturbed by the Parents-
in-Law: ”Le Roman d’Elise” (Richard, 1885); ”Le
Poussin” (Guiraud, 1908).

E By the Incompatibility of Temper of the
Lovers: ”Montmartre” (Frondaie, 1911). ”Les Angles
du Divorce” (Biollay) belongs both to E and to D 2.

F Love but enough of this! What are we doing,
co-spectators in this hall, before this pretended situation?
Upon the stage are our two young people, locked in
close embraces or conventionally attitudinizing in purely
theatrical poses. What is there in all this worth remain-
ing for? Let us leave it … What, Madame, you
straighten yourself in your chair and crane your neck
in excitement over the gesticulations of the ”jeune pre-
mier?” But his sweetheart there beside him have you
forgotten that it is she whom he desires, or are the two
of them playing so badly, is their dialogue so little natural
that you forget the story enacted and fondly imagine
yourself listening to a monologue, a declaration addressed
to you alone? And Monsieur there, with mouth open,
eyes starting from his head, following with avidity every
movement of the actress’s lithe figure! Quick, my
good man, another will be before you! Be consistent,
at least! Spring upon the stage, break the insipid
dandy’s bones, and take his place!

Sorry return to promiscuity, in our overheated halls
like lupanars, which the clergy is not altogether un-
reasonable in condemning! Do people gather here
simply to study amatory manifestations? In that case,
why not freely open training schools for courtesans? Is
it for the benefit of the sidewalk traffic, later in the
evening, that the public is here being prepared?

O fresh and stormy winds of Dionysian drama!
Aeschylus, where art thou who wouldst have blushed
to represent aught of amorous passion but its crimes
and infamies? Do we not, even yet, perceive the
heights to which rise those chaste pinnacles of modern
art, ”Macbeth” and ”Athalie?”

But why disturb ourselves? Turning our eyes from
these summits to the scene before us, we do not feel
depression; indeed, we indulge in a hearty laugh. These
characters here before us? Why, they are but puppets
of comedy, nothing more. And the effort of their mis-
guided authors to make them serious and tragic despite
their nature has resulted in mere caricature. In more
intelligent hands, have not the best of our dramas
wherein love is important (but’ not of the first impor-
tance, as in this XXVIII) returned logically and natur-
ally to an indulgence of smiles? ”Le Cid,” which is
the classic type of this sort, is a tragi-comedy, and all
the characters surrounding Romeo and Juliet are
frankly comic.

Nevertheless, our blind dramaturgy, with continued
obstinacy, still breathes forth its solemnities in this
equivocal rhythm. Whether the piece treats of sociol-
ogy, of politics, of religion, of questions of art, of the
title to a succession, of the exploitation of mines, of
the invention of a gun, of the discovery of a chemical
product, of it matters not what a love story it must
have; there is no escape. Savants, revolutionists,
poets, priests or generals present themselves to us only
to fall immediately to love-making or match-making.
It becomes a mania. And we are asked to take these
tiresome repetitions seriously!

This, then, is the actual stage of today. In my opin-
ion, de Chirac alone has shown himself its courageously
logical son although a rejected one, society, like an
aged coquette, reserving always some secret sins, and
fearing nothing so much as nudity, which would
destroy the legend of her imaginary wicked charms,
veiled, she willingly lets it be supposed, under her
hypocrisy.

How grotesque an aspect will our ithyphallic obses-
sion present, once it is crystallized in history, when
we shall finally have returned to antique common
sense !