Tag Archives: tragedy

Antonio Negri’s catechism of the revolutionary militant

Inspired by “learning plays” by Brecht and Müller, Negri wrote a “morality play,” Swarm, structured as a Way of the Cross of a revolutionary militant on his way to the common of a Franciscan multitude. 20 May 2020

Posted in Left, Revolution | Tagged , , , , , ,

“The price of the revolution”

I propose that Heiner Müller wrote the learning play Mauser (1970) to show that rebellion against party discipline means betrayal of the revolution and deserves punitive measures.  To convey this lesson, he composed a pre-tragic ritual for chorus only, where … Continue reading

Posted in Left, Revolution | Tagged , , , , ,

Betraying the revolution

While Bertolt Brecht in his learning plays explored the antinomies of revolutionary autonomy, Heiner Müller responded by experimenting in his learning plays with the revolt against autonomy, specifically, the betrayal of the revolution.  The tragic structure of Brecht’s The Measures … Continue reading

Posted in Autonomy, Revolution | Tagged , , ,

The antinomy of autonomy

In my current research project, The Tragedy of Revolution, I argue that α central topic of modern tragedy is the ethico-political dilemma of rebellion, namely, the predicament of the revolutionary beginning caught between limitless self-authorization and self-limiting rule. Modern tragedy … Continue reading

Posted in Autonomy, Revolution | Tagged , , ,

“Memory of a revolution”

Commemorating a revolution is always self-congratulatory as it amounts to solemnizing a victory of sorts.  Negotiating claims on the memory of the revolution, though, is a very different operation. Heiner Müller’s The Task/Mission (1979) provides an excellent illustration.   The play … Continue reading

Posted in Revolt, Revolution | Tagged , ,

“Παίζουμε ένα ποίημα;”/11: Αλέκος Λούντζης: “Εξάγγελος” (η τραγική γνώση)

“Ποιός θα τολμήσει να ξεστομίσει την αλήθεια του χρησμού, να καταγγείλει την γραφικότητα της αιμομιξίας, αναρωτιέται αυτό το χορικό της τραγωδίας της μετα-νεωτερικής Ελλάδας των μετα-προγονικών Ελλήνων οι οποίοι ήρθαν ‘αργά στην εποχή’ τους αλλά δεν έχουν τη δύναμη να … Continue reading

Posted in Crisis, Disengagement, Greek Poetry, Melancholy, Resistance | Tagged , , ,

Brecht’s Tragic Measures (2)

Bertolt Brecht’s The Measures Taken [Die Massnahme/The Measure] (written and published in 1930, premiere and 2nd edition in 1931) is a cantata in speaking parts, choral parts, recitatives, and songs for tenor, 3 actors, mixed choir, and small orchestra created with … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Revolution | Tagged ,

Brecht’s Tragic Measures (1)

Once Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) began in 1927 to develop a systematic interest in Marxist thought, he turned against what he considered the tragic legacy of Western theater as configured in Naturalist drama.  Humanity cannot change natural laws and is doomed … Continue reading

Posted in Left, Revolution, The Arts | Tagged , ,

“Modernist Theory & Theater between the Tragic & the Melancholic”

Here is a video of two lectures at the University of Michigan in dialogue on modern tragedy:  the brilliant Ian Balfour (English, York) focuses on Shakespeare’s Hamlet while I focus on the tragedy that has been called Luigi Pirandello’s Hamlet, … Continue reading

Posted in Disengagement, Literature, Melancholy, Resistance | Tagged , , ,

The messianic critique of tragedy*

The rejection of the covenant of assimilation by twentieth-century Messianism was an integral part of the pre-1914 pan-European critique of modernity and “romantic anti-capitalism” (Lukács). “In the years approaching the First World War, the self-confidence and security of German Jewry … Continue reading

Posted in Bildung, Culture, Melancholy, The "Greeks" | Tagged , , , ,