Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1998.5.21


Reviewed by
Word count: words


1.   Strictly speaking, B. discusses 8 productions (counting Peter Stein's 1980 and 1994 stagings separately), plus an original play and a film, both by Pasolini.  

2.   B. points particularly (32n59) to the controversial question of Athena's vote -- is it a casting vote that resolves a deadlock, or does it create the deadlock that results in acquittal? A director has to opt for one or the other, and the implications of either answer will significantly affect the message of the play as a whole.  

3.   B.'s suggestion that Athena is to be identified with the American occupying forces, though ingenious, is perhaps too literal-minded.  

4.   This may account for some of the extraordinary rhetoric that pops up from time to time, e.g. Cassandra in the plastic container [quot ]representing the imprisonment of the Tragic Self.[quot ] Much of this material derives from B.'s own discussions with Castellucci, and I am half-inclined to wonder whether someone's leg was being pulled.  

5.   Cf. Adrian Kiernander, Ariane Mnouchkine and the Theatre du Soleil (Cambridge, 1993), 142: [quot ]K[iernander]: I know that you knew Michel Foucault, for example, who's been very influential in a number of areas. M[nouchkine]: Yes [...] I met him several times, I liked him, I knew him, but he was a very good friend of Helene [Cixous]. K: But he's had no particular influence? M: Not for me, no, because I'm not a philosophy reader. I'm not a reader of philosophy, so, no. I liked him as a man naturally.[quot ]   B. himself seems aware of the danger, conceding at one point that [quot ]Mnouchkine ist freilich weit davon entfernt, in ihrer Inszenierung einfach die Theorien eines führenden französischen Intellektuellen getreu zu übertragen[quot ] (73). He nevertheless goes on to argue for a [quot ]Nähe zu Foucault[quot ] (ibid.) that seems to imply more than simply an assertion that the play can be read in Foucauldian terms.  

6.   B.'s index is revealing in this regard: the reader will find entries for Gorbachev, Popper and Paul de Man, but not Grotowski, Piscator, or Peter Brook.  

7.   For a recent example of this depressing genre cf. Herbert Golder, [quot ]Geek Tragedy? -- Or, Why I'd Rather Go to the Movies,[quot ] Arion 3rd Series 4.1 (Spring, 1996).

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