From Chicago to Toronto to Shanghai, cities around the world have sprouted “iconic” buildings by celebrity architects like Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind that compete for attention both on the skyline and in the media. But in recent years, criticism of these extreme “gestural” structures, known for their often-exaggerated forms, has been growing. Miles Glendinning’s impassioned polemic, Architecture’s Evil Empire, looks at how today’s trademark architectural individualism stretches beyond the well-known works and ultimately extends to the entire built environment. Glendinning examines how the global empire of the current modernism emerged—particularly in relation to the excesses of global capitalism—and explains its key organizational and architectural features, placing its most influential theorists and designers in a broader context of history and artistic movements.
Arguing against the excesses of iconic architecture, Glendinning advocates a vision of modern renewal that seeks to remedy the shattered and alienated look he sees in contemporary architecture. Mingling scholarship with wry humor and a genuine concern for the state of architecture, Architecture’s Evil Empire will raise many heated debates and appeal to a wide range of readers, from architects to historians, interested in the built environment.
China’s mid-twentieth-century wars pose extraordinary interpretive challenges. The issue is not just that the Chinese fought for such a long time—from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 1937 until the close of the Korean War in 1953—across such vast territory. As Hans van de Ven explains, the greatest puzzles lie in understanding China’s simultaneous external and internal wars. Much is at stake, politically, in how this story is told.Today in its official history and public commemorations, the People’s Republic asserts Chinese unity against Japan during World War II. But this overwrites the era’s stark divisions between Communists and Nationalists, increasingly erasing the civil war from memory. Van de Ven argues that the war with Japan, the civil war, and its aftermath were in fact of a piece—a singular process of conflict and political change. Reintegrating the Communist uprising with the Sino-Japanese War, he shows how the Communists took advantage of wartime to increase their appeal, how fissures between the Nationalists and Communists affected anti-Japanese resistance, and how the fractious coalition fostered conditions for revolution.In the process, the Chinese invented an influential paradigm of war, wherein the Clausewitzian model of total war between well-defined interstate enemies gave way to murky campaigns of national liberation involving diverse domestic and outside belligerents. This history disappears when the realities of China’s mid-century conflicts are stripped from public view. China at War recovers them.
After fending off Persia in the fifth century BCE, Athens assumed a leadership position in the Aegean world. Initially it led the Delian League, a military alliance against the Persians, but eventually the league evolved into an empire with Athens in control and exacting tribute from its former allies. Athenians justified this subjection of their allies by emphasizing their fairness and benevolence towards them, which gave Athens the moral right to lead. But Athenians also believed that the strong rule over the weak and that dominating others allowed them to maintain their own freedom. These conflicting views about Athens’ imperial rule found expression in the theater, and this book probes how the three major playwrights dramatized Athenian imperial ideology.
Through close readings of Aeschylus’ Eumenides, Euripides’ Children of Heracles, and Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus, as well as other suppliant dramas, Angeliki Tzanetou argues that Athenian tragedy performed an important ideological function by representing Athens as a benevolent and moral ruler that treated foreign suppliants compassionately. She shows how memorable and disenfranchised figures of tragedy, such as Orestes and Oedipus, or the homeless and tyrant-pursued children of Heracles were generously incorporated into the public body of Athens, thus reinforcing Athenians’ sense of their civic magnanimity. This fresh reading of the Athenian suppliant plays deepens our understanding of how Athenians understood their political hegemony and reveals how core Athenian values such as justice, freedom, piety, and respect for the laws intersected with imperial ideology.
James C. Hogan introduces each play by highlighting specific and interpretive problems relevant to that play before turning to a line-by-line analysis. The line analysis is comprehensive, ranging from the meanings of words and phrases that pertain to a variety of Greek ideas and institutions to metaphor and imagery specific to each play as well as plots and borrowings from earlier poetry, styles, and characterizations.
Along with his examination of the seven extant plays of Sophocles in English translations, Hogan provides a general introduction to the theatre in Sophocles’ time, discussing staging, the conventions of the Greek theatre, the text of the plays, and mythology and religion.
The True Story of an Impossible Mission During the Liberation of Italy
"World War II history writing at its best.” —Dallas Morning News
“Schultz convey stories of individual courage and fear. He presents the Rapido crossing as part of an experience that changed lives utterly.” —Publishers Weekly
“Well written, superbly documented and containing many helpful illustrations and maps, this fine book will appeal to military history enthusiasts of all ages.” —Read@MPL (Milwaukee Public Library)
“Duane Schultz has written another powerful account of the Second World War.” —Daily News, Iron Mountain, Michigan
The Rapido River was the last natural barrier between General Mark W. Clark’s Fifth U.S. Army and Rome. Ignoring intelligence reports that the Germans had significant forces protecting the opposite side of the river, Clark ordered the 36th Division to make a nighttime crossing on January 20, 1944. The division, already coming through some of the heaviest fighting in Italy, knew they could not succeed: they had to cross a fast-flowing river at night in bitter cold and face one of the strongest, most formidable German defensive lines in Europe, full of minefields, veteran troops, and withering artillery and mortar fire. Once in the water, men in full field gear were borne away by the current or vanished in massive explosions. The few who managed to reach the other side found themselves pinned down unable to move. Soldiers died by the hundreds, yet the stunned survivors who fell back to the launch site were ordered to attack again, this time in daylight. Of the 4,000 men who attempted the crossing, more than half did not return. General Clark never accepted blame for ordering the assault despite the numerous warnings he received from both British and American commanders. Although they were decimated, the division went on to lead a key surprise attack that opened Rome to Allied forces, and ultimately fought in France, where they had the distinction of capturing Hermann Goering and Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt.
“Those of us who were present will always remember the men of the 36th, climbing silently in the night behind the enemy, armed with little but their American competence and a personal faith in their quiet, retiring general who had never let them down. If Generals Alexander and Clark received the key to the city of Rome, it was General Walker who turned the key and handed it to them.” —Eric Sevareid, reporting from Italy during World War II
“I have never seen so many dead as on that day.” —John Huston, Academy Award winning director during his wartime filming of The Battle of San Pietro
Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment. In Driven toward Madness, Nikki M. Taylor brilliantly captures her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy and resistance.
Taylor, the first African American woman to write a history of Garner, grounds her approach in black feminist theory. She melds history with trauma studies to account for shortcomings in the written record. In so doing, she rejects distortions and fictionalized images; probes slavery’s legacies of sexual and physical violence and psychic trauma in new ways; and finally fleshes out a figure who had been rendered an apparition.
Marriage is a central concern in five of the seven extant plays of the Greek tragedian Sophocles. In this pathfinding study, Kirk Ormand delves into the ways in which these plays represent and problematize marriage, thus offering insights into how Athenians thought about the institution of marriage.
Ormand takes a two-fold approach. He first explores the legal and economic underpinnings of Athenian marriage, an institution designed to guarantee the legitimate continuation of patrilineal households. He then shows how Sophocles' plays Trachiniae, Electra, Antigone, Ajax, and Oedipus Tyrannus both reinforce and critique this ideology by representing marriage as a homosocial exchange between men, in which women are objects who may attempt—but always fail—to become self-acting subjects.
These fresh readings provide the first systematic study of marriage in Sophocles. They draw important connections between drama and marriage as rituals concerned with controlling potentially disruptive female subjectivities.
Since the late 1970s, the high-rise developments of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) have been dominated by gang violence and drugs, creating a sense of hopelessness among residents. Despite a lengthy war on crime, costing hundreds of millions of dollars, the CHA has been unable to reduce the violence that makes life intolerable. Focusing on three developments—Rockwell Gardens, Henry Horner Homes, and Harold Ickes Homes—Sue Popkin and her co-authors interview residents, community leaders, and CHA staff. The Hidden War chronicles the many failed efforts of the CHA to combat crime and improve its developments, offering a vivid portrait of what life is like when lived among bullets, graffiti, and broken plumbing.
Most families living in these developments are headed by African American single mothers. The authors reveal the dilemmas facing women and children who are often victims or witnesses of violent crime, and yet are dependent on the perpetrators and their drug-dominant economy. The CHA—plagued by financial scandals, managerial incompetence, and inconsistent funding—is no match for thegang-dominated social order. Even well-intentioned initiatives such as the recent effort to demolish and “revitalize” the worst developments seem to be ineffective at combating crime, while the drastic changes leave many vulnerable families facing an uncertain future. The Hidden War sends a humbling message to policy makers and prognosticators who claim to know the right way to “solve poverty.”
Few events in the history of Spain have provoked as much controversy as the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. Conflicts within the Catholic Church, suspicions within the newly unified Spain, and the claims of Spanish merchants combined to make the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella intolerant and inquisitorial. Yet the roots of Spanish anti-Semitism went deeper. In this concise survey of the expulsion of the Sephardic Jews, Joseph Pérez studies the evolution of the Jewish community in Spain from the time of the Visigoths to the reign of the Catholic kings. He explores the Jewish community’s role in creating and sustaining the vibrant cultural, political, and economic world of medieval Spain, and how growing religious intolerance, a pervasive resentment of the “others,” and a string of escalating encroachments culminated in expulsion.
On the 150th anniversary of the death of the English historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay, Robert Sullivan offers a portrait of a Victorian life that probes the cost of power, the practice of empire, and the impact of ideas.His Macaulay is a Janus-faced master of the universe: a prominent spokesman for abolishing slavery in the British Empire who cared little for the cause, a forceful advocate for reforming Whig politics but a Machiavellian realist, a soaring parliamentary orator who avoided debate, a self-declared Christian, yet a skeptic and a secularizer of English history and culture, and a stern public moralist who was in love with his two youngest sisters.Perhaps best known in the West for his classic History of England, Macaulay left his most permanent mark on South Asia, where his penal code remains the law. His father ensured that ancient Greek and Latin literature shaped Macaulay’s mind, but he crippled his heir emotionally. Self-defense taught Macaulay that power, calculation, and duplicity rule politics and human relations. In Macaulay’s writings, Sullivan unearths a sinister vision of progress that prophesied twentieth-century genocide. That the reverent portrait fashioned by Macaulay’s distinguished extended family eclipsed his insistent rhetoric about race, subjugation, and civilizing slaughter testifies to the grip of moral obliviousness.Devoting his huge talents to gaining power—above all for England and its empire—made Macaulay’s life a tragedy. Sullivan offers an unsurpassed study of an afflicted genius and a thoughtful meditation on the modern ethics of power.
"What matters about a play is not the extent to which it is like any other play, but the way in which it is different," writes Thomas G. Rosenmeyer. "This is, I suggest, how the ancient audiences received the performances.... My purpose, then, in writing these essays is twofold: ... to devote enough space to the discussion of each play to allow its special tone and texture to emerge without hindrance and at leisure ... and to include in one collection analyses of plays so different from one another that the accent will come to rest on the variety of the tragic experience rather than on any one narrowly defined norm."
Greek tragedy is a vehicle for many different ideas and many different intentions. From the wealth of material that has come down to us the author has chosen six plays for analysis. He reminds us that the plays were written to be seen and heard, and only secondarily to be studied. The listeners expected each play to have a specific objective, and to exhibit its own mood. These the author attempts to recover for us, by listening to what each play, in its own right, has to say. His principal concern is with the tragic diction and the tragic ideas, designed to release certain massive responses in the large theater-going group of ancient Athens. In exploring the characters and the situations of the plays he has chosen, the author transports his reader to the world of fifth-century B.C. Greece, and establishes the relevance of that world to our own experience.
The essays are not introductory in nature. No space is given, for instance, to basic information about the playwrights, the history of Greek drama, or the special features of the Attic stage. Yet the book addresses itself to classicists and nonclassicists alike. The outgrowth of a series of lectures to nonspecialists, its particular appeal is to students of literature and the history of Western thought. Parallels are drawn between the writings of the philosophers and the tragedies, and attention is paid to certain popular Greek beliefs that colored the tragic formulations. Ultimately, however, the approach is not historical but critical; it is the author's intention to demonstrate the beauty and the craftsmanship of the plays under discussion.
Muskegon is a derivation of a Native American word meaning "river with marshes." Jeff Alexander examines the creation, uses of, devastation, and restoration of Michigan's historic and beautiful Muskegon River.
Four of the five Great Lakes touch Michigan's shores; the state's shoreline spans more than 4,500 miles, not to mention more than 11,000 inland lakes and a multitude of rivers. The Muskegon River, the state's second longest river, runs 227 miles and has the most diverse features of any of Michigan’s many rivers. The Muskegon rises from the center of the state, widens, and moves westward, passing through the Pere Marquette and AuSable State Forests. The river ultimately flows toward Lake Michigan, where it opens into Muskegon Lake, a 12 square-mile, broad harbor located between the Muskegon River and Lake Michigan.
Formed several thousand years ago, when the glaciers that created the Great Lakes receded, and later inhabited by Ottawa and Potawatomi Indians, the Muskegon River was used by French fur trappers in the 1600s. Rich in white pine, the area was developed during the turn-of-the-century lumber boom, and at one time Muskegon Lake boasted more than 47 sawmills. The Muskegon was ravaged following settlement by Europeans, when rivers and streams were used to transport logs to the newly developing cities. Dams on rivers and larger streams provided power for sawmills and grain milling, and later provided energy for generating electricity as technology advanced.
There is now an ambitious effort to restore and protect this mighty river's natural features in the face of encroaching urbanization and land development that threatens to turn this majestic waterway into a mirror image of the Grand River, Michigan's longest river and one of its most polluted.
Origin of the German Trauerspiel was Walter Benjamin’s first full, historically oriented analysis of modernity. Readers of English know it as “The Origin of German Tragic Drama,” but in fact the subject is something else—the play of mourning. Howard Eiland’s completely new English translation, the first since 1977, is closer to the German text and more consistent with Benjamin’s philosophical idiom.Focusing on the extravagant seventeenth-century theatrical genre of the trauerspiel, precursor of the opera, Benjamin identifies allegory as the constitutive trope of the Baroque and of modernity itself. Allegorical perception bespeaks a world of mutability and equivocation, a melancholy sense of eternal transience without access to the transcendentals of the medieval mystery plays—though no less haunted and bedeviled. History as trauerspiel is the condition as well as subject of modern allegory in its inscription of the abyssal.Benjamin’s investigation of the trauerspiel includes German texts and late Renaissance European drama such as Hamlet and Calderón’s Life Is a Dream. The prologue is one of his most important and difficult pieces of writing. It lays out his method of indirection and his idea of the “constellation” as a key means of grasping the world, making dynamic unities out of the myriad bits of daily life. Thoroughly annotated with a philological and historical introduction and other explanatory and supplementary material, this rigorous and elegant new translation brings fresh understanding to a cardinal work by one of the twentieth century’s greatest literary critics.
What leads us to respond politically to the deaths of some citizens and not others? This is one of the critical questions Heather Pool asks in Political Mourning. Born out of her personal experiences with the trauma of 9/11, Pool’s astute book looks at how death becomes political, and how it can mobilize everyday citizens to argue for political change.
Pool examines four tragedies in American history—the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the lynching of Emmett Till, the September 11 attacks, and the Black Lives Matter movement—that offered opportunities to tilt toward justice and democratic inclusion. Some of these opportunities were taken, some were not. However, these watershed moments show, historically, how political identity and political responsibility intersect and how racial identity shapes who is mourned. Political Mourning helps explain why Americans recognize the names of Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland; activists took those cases public while many similar victims have been ignored by the news media.
Concluding with an afterword on the coronavirus, Pool emphasizes the importance of collective responsibility for justice and why we ought to respond to tragedy in ways that are more politically inclusive.
Winner, John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize, Association of American Geographers, 1997
Shadowed Ground explores how and why Americans have memorialized—or not—the sites of tragic and violent events spanning three centuries of history and every region of the country. For this revised edition, Kenneth Foote has written a new concluding chapter that looks at the evolving responses to recent acts of violence and terror, including the destruction of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School massacre, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Much has been written about the heroic figures of Sophocles’ powerful dramas. Now Charles Segal focuses our attention not on individual heroes and heroines, but on the world that inspired and motivated their actions—a universe of family, city, nature, and the supernatural. He shows how these ancient masterpieces offer insight into the abiding question of tragedy: how one can make sense of a world that involves so much apparently meaningless violence and suffering.In a series of engagingly written interconnected essays, Segal studies five of Sophocles’ seven extant plays: Ajax, Oedipus Tyrannus, Philoctetes, Antigone, and the often neglected Trachinian Women. He examines the language and structure of the plays from several interpretive perspectives, drawing both on traditional philological analysis and on current literary and cultural theory. He pays particular attention to the mythic and ritual backgrounds of the plays, noting Sophocles’ reinterpretation of the ancient myths. His delineation of the heroes and their tragedies encompasses their relations with city and family, conflicts between men and women, defiance of social institutions, and the interaction of society, nature, and the gods. Segal’s analysis sheds new light on Sophocles’ plays—among the most widely read works of classical literature—and on their implications for Greek views on the gods, moral life, and sexuality.
In The Tragedy and Comedy of Life, Seth Benardete focuses on the idea of the good in what is widely regarded as one of Plato's most challenging and complex dialogues, the Philebus. Traditionally the Philebus is interpreted as affirming the doctrine that the good resides in thought and mind rather than in pleasure or the body. Benardete challenges this view, arguing that Socrates vindicates the life of the mind over the life of pleasure not by separating the two and advocating a strict asceticism, but by mixing pleasure and pain with mind in such a way that the philosophic life emerges as the only possible human life.
Benardete combines a probing and challenging commentary that subtly mirrors and illuminates the complexities of this dialogue with the finest English translation of the Philebus yet available. The result is a work that will be of great value to classicists, philosophers, and political theorists alike.
Early modernity rediscovered tragedy in the dramas and the theoretical writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Attempting to make new tragic fictions, writers like Shakespeare, Webster, Hardy, Corneille, and Racine created a dramatic form that would probably have been unrecognizable to the ancient Athenians. Tragedy and the Return of the Dead recovers a model of the tragic that fits ancient tragedies, early modern tragedies, as well as contemporary narratives and films no longer called “tragic” but which perpetuate the same elements.
Authoritative, wide-ranging, and thought provoking, Tragedy and the Return of the Dead uncovers a set of interlocking plots of family violence that stretch from Greek antiquity up to the popular culture of today. Casting aside the elite, idealist view that tragedy manifests the conflict between two equal goods or the human struggle against the divine, John D. Lyons looks closely at tragedy’s staging of gory and painful deaths, ignominious burials, and the haunting return of ghosts. Through this adjusted lens Le Cid, Hamlet, Frankenstein, The Spanish Tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, Phèdre, Macbeth, and other early modern works appear in a striking new light. These works are at the center of a panorama that stretches from Aeschylus’s Agamemnon to Hitchcock’s Psycho and are placed against the background of the Gothic novel, Freud’s “uncanny,” and Burke’s “sublime.”
Lyons demonstrates how tragedy under other names, such as “Gothic fiction” and “thrillers,” is far from dead and continues as a vital part of popular culture.
To prove his sons’ treachery, Herod embellished a letter. To certify his history of Vespasian’s Judaean campaign, Josephus marshaled epistolary testimony. To alleviate a domestic problem, the Israelite king David sent a missive with a man it marks for death. Arguing for the importance of the first-century historian Josephus to the study of classical and Hellenistic literature, Tragedy, Authority, and Trickery investigates letters in Josephus’s texts.Ryan S. Olson breaks new ground by analyzing classical, Hellenistic, and Jewish texts’ use of letters, comparing those texts to Josephus’s narratives, a virtual archive containing hundreds of letters. An external voice similar to speeches, embedded letters raise questions of authority, drive and color dramatic scenes, and function at textual and meta-textual levels to deceive their readers. Josephus, contextualized in a complex intellectual and cultural milieu, sustains and develops epistolarity in important ways that will be of interest to classicists, historians, theologians, and comparatists.
The Tragedy of a Generation is the story of the rise and fall of an ideal: an autonomous Jewish nation in Europe. It traces the origins of two influential but overlooked strains of Jewish thought—Yiddishism and Diaspora Nationalism—and documents the waning hopes and painful reassessments of their leading representatives against the rising tide of Nazism and, later, the Holocaust.Joshua M. Karlip presents three figures—Elias Tcherikower, Yisroel Efroikin, and Zelig Kalmanovitch—seen through the lens of Imperial Russia on the brink of revolution. Leaders in the struggle for recognition of the Jewish people as a national entity, these men would prove instrumental in formulating the politics of Diaspora Nationalism, a middle path that rejected both the Zionist emphasis on Palestine and the Marxist faith in class struggle. Closely allied with this ideology was Yiddishism, a movement whose adherents envisioned the Yiddish language and culture, not religious tradition, as the unifying force of Jewish identity.We follow Tcherikower, Efroikin, and Kalmanovitch as they navigate the tumultuous early decades of the twentieth century in pursuit of a Jewish national renaissance in Eastern Europe. Correcting the misconception of Yiddishism as a radically secular movement, Karlip uncovers surprising confluences between Judaism and the avowedly nonreligious forms of Jewish nationalism. An essential contribution to Jewish historiography, The Tragedy of a Generation is a probing and poignant chronicle of lives shaped by ideological conviction and tested to the limits by historical crisis.
A sweeping political history of the turbulent two centuries that led to the demise of the Roman Empire.The Tragedy of Empire begins in the late fourth century with the reign of Julian, the last non-Christian Roman emperor, and takes readers to the final years of the Western Roman Empire at the end of the sixth century. One hundred years before Julian’s rule, Emperor Diocletian had resolved that an empire stretching from the Atlantic to the Euphrates, and from the Rhine and Tyne to the Sahara, could not effectively be governed by one man. He had devised a system of governance, called the tetrarchy by modern scholars, to respond to the vastness of the empire, its new rivals, and the changing face of its citizenry. Powerful enemies like the barbarian coalitions of the Franks and the Alamanni threatened the imperial frontiers. The new Sasanian dynasty had come into power in Persia. This was the political climate of the Roman world that Julian inherited.Kulikowski traces two hundred years of Roman history during which the Western Empire ceased to exist while the Eastern Empire remained politically strong and culturally vibrant. The changing structure of imperial rule, the rise of new elites, foreign invasions, the erosion of Roman and Greek religions, and the establishment of Christianity as the state religion mark these last two centuries of the Empire.
“As Kulikowski presents it, the end of the Roman Empire in the West was mean and dirty—and thoroughly Roman…In a brilliant tour d’horizon of the West from Ireland to the Black Sea, he measures the effect of the fall of Rome on the world beyond Rome.”—Peter Brown, New York Review of Books“A tour de force history of the inner workings of the late Roman Empire.”—Kyle Harper, author of The Fate of Rome“Kulikowski writes boldly and fluently about imperial politics, incorporating the latest scholarship yet avoiding getting bogged down in academic controversies. Highly recommended.”—Hugh Elton, author of The Roman Empire in Late Antiquity“Weaving together…complex family affairs, rebels, battles, coups, and intrigue into engaging prose, Kulikowski’s book is an enjoyable read for anyone who is interested in late Roman history.”—Minerva MagazineOne hundred years before the reign of Julian, the last non-Christian emperor of Rome, Diocletian had come to the conclusion that an empire stretching from the Rhine to the Euphrates could not effectively be governed by one man. He had devised a new system of governance to respond to the vastness of the Roman Empire, its new rivals, and the changing face of its citizenry.Michael Kulikowski traces two hundred years of Roman history—from the late fourth century to the end of the sixth—during which the Western Empire ceased to exist while the Eastern Empire remained politically strong and culturally vibrant. He captures the changing structure of imperial rule, the rise of new elites, foreign invasions, the erosion of Roman and Greek religions, and the establishment of Christianity as the state religion.
When it comes to questions of religion, legal scholars face a predicament. They often expect to resolve dilemmas according to general principles of equality, neutrality, or the separation of church and state. But such abstractions fail to do justice to the untidy welter of values at stake. Offering new views of how to understand and protect religious freedom in a democracy, The Tragedy of Religious Freedom challenges the idea that matters of law and religion should be referred to far-flung theories about the First Amendment. Examining a broad array of contemporary and more established Supreme Court rulings, Marc DeGirolami explains why conflicts implicating religious liberty are so emotionally fraught and deeply contested.Twenty-first-century realities of pluralism have outrun how scholars think about religious freedom, DeGirolami asserts. Scholars have not been candid enough about the tragic nature of the conflicts over religious liberty—the clash of opposing interests and aspirations they entail, and the limits of human reason to resolve intractable differences. The Tragedy of Religious Freedom seeks to turn our attention from abstracted, absolute values to concrete, historical realities. Social history, characterized by the struggles of lawyers engaged in the details of irreducible conflicts, represents the most promising avenue to negotiate legal conflicts over religion. In this volume, DeGirolami offers an approach to understanding religious liberty that is neither rigidly systematic nor ad hoc, but a middle path grounded in a pluralistic and historically informed perspective.
Tragic Effects: Ethics and Tragedy in the Age of Translation confronts the peculiar fascination with Greek tragedy as it shapes the German intellectual tradition, with particular focus on the often controversial practice of translating the Greeks. Whereas the tradition of emulating classical ideals in German intellectual life has generally emerged from the impulse to identify with models, the challenge of translating the Greeks underscores the linguistic and historical discontinuities inherent in the recourse to ancient material and inscribes that experience of disruption as fundamental to modernity.
Friedrich Hölderlin’s translations are a case in point. Regarded in his own time as the work of a madman, his renditions of Sophoclean tragedy intensify dramatic effect with the unsettling experience of familiar language slipping its moorings. His attention to marking the distances between ancient source text and modern translation has granted his Oedipus and Antigone a distinct longevity as objects of discussion, adaptation, and even retranslation. Cited by Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Bertolt Brecht, and others, Hölderlin’s Sophocles project follows a path both marked by various contexts and tinged by persistent quandaries of untranslatability.
Tragedy has long functioned as a cornerstone for questions about ethical life. By placing emphasis on processes of translation and adaptation, however, Tragic Effects approaches the question of ethics from a perspective informed by recent discourse in translation studies. Reconstructing an ancient text in this context requires negotiating the difficult tension between comprehending the distant past and preserving its radical singularity.
The ancient Greek tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides have long been considered foundational works of Western literature, revered for their aesthetic perfection and timeless truths. Under the microscope of recent scholarship, however, the presumed universality of Greek tragedy has started to fade, as the particularities of Athenian culture have come into sharper focus. The world revealed is so far removed from modern sensibilities that, in the eyes of many, tragedy’s viability as a modern art form has been fatally undermined. Tragic Modernities steers a new course between the uncritical appreciation and the resolute historicism of the past two centuries, to explore the continuing relevance of tragedy in contemporary life.Through the writings of such influential figures as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, tragedy became a crucial reference point for philosophical and intellectual arguments. These thinkers turned to Greek tragedy in particular to support their claims about history, revolution, gender, and sexuality. From Freud’s Oedipus complex to Nietzsche’s Dionysiac, from Hegel’s dialectics to Marx’s alienation, tragedy provided the key terms and mental architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By highlighting the philosophical significance of tragedy, Miriam Leonard makes a compelling case for the ways tragedy has shaped the experience of modernity and elucidates why modern conceptualizations of tragedy necessarily color our understanding of antiquity. Exceptional in its scope and argument, Tragic Modernities contests the idea of the death of tragedy and argues powerfully for the continued vitality of Greek tragic theater in the central debates of contemporary culture.
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