Sociology of Theatrical Criticism according to the Critic Hassan Attia (A Study in Criticizing Criticism)

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Dr. Amer Sabah Noori al-Marzook , Rusul Kalfah Kadhim al- Bakri


Modern studies of criticism have interested in texts and theatrical works by counting on the mechanisms provided by curricula and theories that enable the reader to go into the creative work, which has become an integral part of the society in which it grew up, and to capture the connotation that lies behind it, to achieve the interaction between the reader and the creative work. The relationship between creative works and society does not need to be proven, or there is someone to deny it, and all that is needed is to clarify this relationship, reveal its elements and explain them. In what way are these works related to society? Does society derive from art or vice versa? Is the relationship between them a relationship of mutual influence and influence? Also, criticizing this reality is not sufficient for sociological criticism. Rather, the critics must be aware of what the reality that man aspires to be, and reject outdated traditions, backwardness and exploitation, for what he expresses in his criticism by proposing alternative solutions.

Therefore, the researchers shed light on the relationship between the sociological approach and the critical works accompanying the theatrical phenomenon, as it is one of the approaches adopted by the critical practice in order to produce scientific knowledge related to creative works. Analysis becomes socially, culturally, politically and historically common, especially, when the author drew his creativity from his environment. So, if we try to dive into creative works, we will find the life of producer, his personality, his society, and his environment, in which he grew up, whether intended or not. Adding to the traditional curricula what he enriches in a new depth and dimension, the creative works are a product of social life, and the fruit of reconstructing the elements of reality in a new language, based on inspection, observation, explanation, interpretation and analysis, to generate a perception and awareness of beauty in the recipient.

Perhaps, one of the contemporary Arab experiences in criticism is the one of the Egyptian academic theater critic Professor Dr. Hassan Attia (1948-2020 AD), which constitutes a new addition to the field of contemporary sociological studies of criticism, considering it an experience that extended since the late sixties of the last century through his theatrical criticisms that he began publishing in local newspapers and magazines then Arab and foreign. Later, he published a number of academic studies of criticism, and then issued a group of critical literature that focused on theater and society, which dealt with a set of theatrical issues related to world and Arab theater. His interest was divided according to three main axes: theater, cinema and popular arts.

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