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Learning to Kneel -

Learning to Kneel

Noh, Modernism, and Journeys in Teaching

Hardback

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In this inventive mix of criticism, scholarship, and personal reflection, Carrie J. Preston explores the nature of cross-cultural teaching, learning, and performance. Throughout the twentieth century, Japanese noh was a major creative catalyst for American and European writers, dancers, and composers. The noh theater's stylized choreography, poetic chant, spectacular costumes and masks, and engagement with history inspired Western artists as they reimagined new approaches to tradition and form. In Learning to Kneel, Preston locates noh's important influence on such canonical figures as Pound, Yeats, Brecht, Britten, and Beckett. These writers learned about noh from an international cast of collaborators, and Preston traces the ways in which Japanese and Western artists influenced one another. Preston's critical work was profoundly shaped by her own training in noh performance technique under a professional actor in Tokyo, who taught her to kneel, bow, chant, and submit to the teachings of a conservative tradition. This encounter challenged Preston's assumptions about effective teaching, particularly her inclinations to emphasize Western ideas of innovation and subversion and to overlook the complex ranges of agency experienced by teachers and students. It also inspired new perspectives regarding the generative relationship between Western writers and Japanese performers. Pound, Yeats, Brecht, and others are often criticized for their orientalist tendencies and misappropriation of noh, but Preston's analysis and her journey reflect a more nuanced understanding of cultural exchange.

Product code: 9780231166508

ISBN 9780231166508
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H229xW152
Series Modernist Latitudes
No. Of Pages 352
Publisher Columbia University Press
Learning to Kneel locates noh drama's influence on American and European writers, dancers, and composers. Carrie J. Preston's work has been profoundly shaped by her training in noh performance. While her subjects are often criticized for Orientalist tendencies, Preston's own journey reflects a more nuanced understanding of cultural exchange.