The essay consists of a dialogue between two speakers in which the first speaker espouses the views of Diderot on acting. The first speaker argues that the great actor is characterized by a complete absence of any feeling; and that the art of the great actor consists of displaying the illusion of feeling. The reason is that if the great actor were to become emotional he would not be able to play the same part in the theater in repeat performances with the same success. Also, those actors who depend on feeling when performing usually give unpredictable or uneven performances. The great actor is thus guided by his intelligence, and not by his emotion.
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Paradoxe sur le comédien, pt. 4 (feat. Jean-Philippe Albizzati)
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