«Est-il bon? Est-il méchant?» : réhabilitons le #théâtre
Is he good ? Is he confused ?Est-il bon ? Est-il méchant ? is an occasional piece composed by Diderot is several stages between 1775 and the 1780s, originally as a favour in the form of a mystification (whence its subtitle, L’Officieux persifleur). What was originally a simple sketch to be presented on a private stage became a four-act comedy which shows Diderot’s capacity for self-multiplication and his virtuosity as a writer. Replying to those who accused him of confusion and disorder, he shows that he can contruct and resolve brilliantly and precisely a complicated multi-layered plot while concentrating attention on himself and, in complicity with his audience (or readers) justifying himself. This is a lesson for Jacques le fataliste and the Neveu de Rameau.