Stoke that fire with your passions
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
- Plutarch (46-120 AD)
Peter Shaffer put it to Arnold Wesker:
furious, inchoate energy funneled through shape (and only so) reconstitutes itself as furious energy in the brains and psyches of its recipients. Reconstitutes itself because of you. The fire which started in the playwright’s head must get dimmer and dimmer as it grows in the communal imagination of an audience. Your job is to convey sacred flame in a vessel. You can say, looking at that vessel smoking on the stage: “How miserable. I have seen the Volcano, and all I caught is one wretched tongue of fire.” But that tongue properly placed and focused upon is the Volcano. Your power to concentrate fire for an audience will make them feel it, and be burned by it, even though they don’t know the volcano, and never can…. what one writes can detonate in a viewer’s head with the same resonance that it had when one first put it down on paper …
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