Eleonora Duse and Cenere (Ashes)

Centennial Essays


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About the Book

The 1916 silent film Cenere (Ashes) features the great Italian actress Eleonora Duse (1858–1924) in her only cinematic role. In her meditative approach to her craft, she reprised for the screen all the “mother roles” she had created for the theater.
Marking the film’s 100th anniversary, this collection of essays brings together for the first time in English a range of scholarship. The difficulties involved in the making of the film are explored—Duse’s perfectionism was too advanced for the Italian movie industry of the 1910s. Her work is discussed within the creative, political and historical context of the silent movie industry as it developed in wartime Italy.

About the Author(s)

Maria Pia Pagani is an adjunct professor of theatrical literature, art of directing and theatre discipline at the University of Pavia (Italy). She has written many essays—in Italian, English, Russian—about Duse. She is a member of the Pen Club International and the managing editor for Italy in “The Theatre Times,” a portal for global theatre news.
Paul Fryer is an academic, author, editor and researcher, based in Kent (UK). He has lectured and presented film screenings internationally and is a visiting professor at the Universities of Leeds, London South Bank and East London.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Maria Pia Pagani and Paul Fryer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 188
Bibliographic Info: 26 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6375-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2782-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Foreword: End Without End

Antonio Attisani 1

Introduction 7

Eleonora Duse and the Fall of the European Tradition of Acting:

An Historical Overview (Giuliano Campo) 11

Verga and Duse: Before Cenere (Enza De Francisci) 41

Duse and the Stanislavsky System of Acting (Sharon Marie Carnicke) 56

Duse Recorded (Paul Fryer) 72

Duende Has No Age (Maria Pia Pagani) 90

The Work of the Actor Febo Mari (Francesca Brignoli) 109

“L’art du silence! La fièvre au cœur, depuis cette offre de Griffith,

je n’ai rêvé que des films”: Cenere through Duse’s Letters

to Her Daughter Enrichetta Maria (Ida Bigg) i127

Cenere: A Selected Annotated Bibliography and Mediagraphy (Nuccio Lodato) 139

Appendix A. Grazia Deledda: From Cenere to the Nobel Prize, Nobel Award Presentation Speech by Henrick Schück, December 10, 1927 147

Appendix B. Grazia Deladda, Voice of Sardinia: The First Italian 153

Woman to Receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (Anders Hallengren)

Bibliography 169

About the Contributors 175

Index 177