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II


THE NEW THEATER


Moral and Physical Conditions


Such, briefly, is the history of the first attempts to create a People's Theater in France. They are the direct result, as we have seen, of the great democratic traditions of the eighteenth century philosophers and the men of the Convention. There remains for us to state our conception of this new theater.

The economic aspects of the question have received adequate treatment at the hands of Eugène Morel.[1] Of course, I do not invariably agree with him. For instance, Morel believes in the theater for its own sake: "The more theaters the better. The more people, the better. I consider quantity, not quality." On the contrary, I think only of quality, and not at all of quantity. I have no faith in a theater without an ideal. I should not trouble my head about the people if I thought they might become merely another Bourgeoisie, as vulgar in their pleasures, as hypocritical in their morality, as stupid and apathetic, as the actual Bourgeoisie. Little

  1. Letter from Eugène Morel to Georges Bourdon (in the Revue bleue, May 10, 1902).

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