Tag Archives: tragedy

Political reflections on Schiller’s The Robbers

I have posted a new section of my work-in-progress, The Tragedy of Revolution:Revolution as Hubris in Modern Tragedy, on the work’s own website.  The site is centered on a book-length scholarly project and reflects my study of political hubris in modern … Continue reading

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The contours of tragedy

Where does tragedy happen?  This is a major question that has been driving interest in the tragic phenomenon over the last few decades.  While scholarship and performance were still defining the norms of literary genre and moral conduct, the question … Continue reading

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Panel on “Tragic Conditions” at the 2021 MLA Convention

As the 2020 Chair of the Forum “Classical and Modern” of the Modern Language Association, I was happy to put together at the 2021 convention a virtual roundtable of great scholars with a special interest in tragedy. MLA Panel no. … Continue reading

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Elements of the modern tragedy of sovereignty as activated in Schiller’s “The Robbers” (1781)

An individual claims agency as an autonomous subject by rebelling against a declining ruling order. He searches for principles of self-authorizing legitimacy of a new order, based on absolute freedom, which will plot its own history. The antinomy of the … Continue reading

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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“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

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“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

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