FASCH: I saw Moliere performed at his Illustre Theatre in Paris once. I hated it. I chafed under the artifice. It depicted a world in which we are as bestringed as any cello and thus
banished…meaning. The characters all happened to disagree about whatever was centrally at stake; every action was
designed to further events; people always entered at exactly the proper moment…The Creator’s hand was all too clear.
KAUFMANN: What is the alternative?
FASCH: To write a play in which the demands of its Form do not supersede the truthfulness of its Content! To stop hiding what we are behind tired conventions: the
deus ex machina; or, the messenger who arrives with insanely detailed knowledge of tremendous events approaching from a distance; or, or, the Fool who suddenly speaks Wisdom…
KAUFMANN: But…forgive me, Fasch…what’s the difference?
KAUFMANN: Between the Form and the Content? Rather…how is it
possible to write…Formlessly? What is the difference, finally, between choices that lead to a destiny, and a destiny prefigured by certain choices? Let’s say
you are the Creator. And you wish to give your characters choice. As you write, the choices are
yours. As the play is performed, the choices are theirs. Your audience is aware of both, so both are true. And, it seems to me, you cannot deny one without denying the other. Where those on stage have control, so do you. Where you have none, neither do they. After all, if you seat your characters in an unchanging place, at the mercy of some unseen force, conversing to no purpose, passing Time…Well: there is no destiny in that world, to be sure, but no choice either. And even
that is a Form. A Formless Form. Haha. This old world, Fasch, will be new again, and again, and so after us will come new Forms
we cannot imagine, because we do not yet need them to explain the world to ourselves. Which is, in the end, all they are meant for: not to hide what we are. But to remind us.
FASCH: (Pause.) Yes. (Pause.) Well. (Pause.) I still hate Moliere.
-- Itamar Moses, Bach at Leipzig