Page:The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921).djvu/14

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THIRTY-SIX DRAMATIC SITUATIONS

Such an examination, which requires only patience, will show first the list of combinations (situations and their classes and sub-classes) at present ignored, and which remain to be exploited in contemporaneous art, second, how these may be adapted. On the way it may chance that we shall discern, hidden within this or that one of our thirty-six categories, a unique case,—one without analogue among the other thirty-five, with no immediate relationship to any other, the product of a vigorous inspiration. But, in carefully determining the exact position of this case among the sub-classes of the situation to which it belongs, we shall be able to form, in each of the thirty-five others, a sub-class corresponding to it; thus will be created thirty-five absolutely new plots. These will give, when developed according to the taste of this or that school or period, a series of thirty-five "original imitations," thirty-five new scenarios, of a more unforeseen character, certainly, than the majority of our dramas, which, whether inspired by books or realities, when viewed in the clear light of the ancient writings revealed to us only their reflections, so long as we had not, for our guidance, the precious thread which vanished with Gozzi.

Since we now hold this thread, let us unwind it.