Past Performance: American Theatre and the Historical Imagination

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Bucknell University Press, 2007 - 287 Seiten
In this age of overweening global capital and omnipresent electronic media, many critics have diagnosed Western culture as suffering from a kind of historical obliviousness, a mass inability to situate our lived experience within the temporal flow of past, present, and future that is history. Within this historically bankrupt culture, representations of history in whatever medium - cinema, television, print - most often become mere fashion, the quotation of past styles devoid of historical gravitas. Against this, Past Performance: American Theatre and the Historical Imagination argues that many contemporary American theatre and performance artists are not only developing innovative strategies for staging history, but helping us reimagine our relationship with the past.

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Inhalt

Prologue The Day Time Stopped
7
Acknowledgments
11
The Subjects of History
15
The Ends of History A Cultural and Theoretical Backdrop
37
Remembering JFK Dead Kennedys and Traumatic History
68
A Kind of Painful Progress Angels in America and Progressive History
102
Brutus Jones n the Hood The Provincetown Players The Wooster Group and Theatrical History
128
H M in the USA Hamletmachine and Allegorical History
168
At First Sight SuzanLori Parkss Venus and Erotic History
208
The Day after the Day Time Stopped
244
Notes
249
Bibliography
270
Index
282
Urheberrecht

Andere Ausgaben - Alle anzeigen

Häufige Begriffe und Wortgruppen

Beliebte Passagen

Seite 111 - Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins.
Seite 174 - Whereas in the symbol destruction is idealized and the transfigured face of nature is fleetingly revealed in the light of redemption, in allegory the observer is confronted with the fades hippocratica of history as a petrified, primordial landscape. Everything about history that, from the very beginning, has been untimely, sorrowful, unsuccessful, is expressed in a face— or rather in a death's head. And although such a thing lacks all "symbolic...
Seite 114 - Messianic cessation of happening, or, put differently, a revolutionary chance in the fight for the oppressed past. He takes cognizance of it in order to blast a specific era out of the homogeneous course of history - blasting a specific life out of the era or a specific work out of the lifework.
Seite 44 - What has happened is that aesthetic production today has become integrated into commodity production generally: the frantic economic urgency of producing fresh waves of ever more novel-seeming goods (from clothing to airplanes), at ever greater rates of turnover, now assigns an increasingly essential structural function and position to aesthetic innovation and experimentation.
Seite 108 - Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm...
Seite 173 - If the object becomes allegorical under the gaze of melancholy, if melancholy causes life to flow out of it and it remains behind dead, but eternally secure, then it is exposed to the allegorist, it is unconditionally in his power. That is to say it is now quite incapable of emanating any meaning or significance of its own; such significance as it has, it acquires from the allegorist.
Seite 19 - In other words we must drop our habit of taking the different social structures of past periods, then stripping them of everything that makes them different; so that they all look more or less like our own, which then acquires from this process a certain air of having been there all along, in other words of permanence pure and simple. Instead we must leave them their distinguishing marks and keep their impermanence always before our eyes, so that our own period can be seen to be impermanent too.
Seite 113 - Where thinking suddenly stops in a configuration pregnant with tensions, it gives that configuration a shock, by which it crystallizes into a monad. A historical materialist approaches a historical subject only where he encounters it as a monad.
Seite 107 - His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed.

Über den Autor (2007)

Roger Bechtel is currently the Directory of Graduate Studies for the Department of Theatre at Miami University, Ohio.

Bibliografische Informationen