This book offers a provocative interpretation of a relatively neglected tragedy, Aeschylus's Suppliant Women. Although the play's subject is a venerable myth, it frames the flight of the daughters of Danaus from Egypt to Greece in starkly contemporary terms, emphasizing the encounter between newcomers and natives. Some scholars read Suppliant Women as modeling successful social integration, but Geoffrey W. Bakewell argues that the play demonstrates, above all, the difficulties and dangers noncitizens brought to the polis.
Bakewell's approach is rigorously historical, situating Suppliant Women in the context of the unprecedented immigration that Athens experienced in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. The flow of foreigners to Attika increased under the Pisistratids but became a flood following liberation, Cleisthenes, and the Persian Wars. As Athenians of the classical era became increasingly aware of their own collective identity, they sought to define themselves and exclude others. They created a formal legal status to designate the free noncitizens living among them, calling them metics and calling their status metoikia. When Aeschylus dramatized the mythical flight of the Danaids from Egypt in his play Suppliant Women, he did so in light of his own time and place. Throughout the play, directly and indirectly, he casts the newcomers as metics and their stay in Greece as metoikia.
Bakewell maps the manifold anxieties that metics created in classical Athens, showing that although citizens benefited from the many immigrants in their midst, they also feared the effects of immigration in political, sexual, and economic realms. Bakewell finds metoikia was a deeply flawed solution to the problem of large-scale immigration. Aeschylus's Argives accepted the Danaids as metics only under duress and as a temporary response to a crisis. Like the historical Athenians, they opted for metoikia because they lacked better alternatives.
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.
Stephen Halliwell University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress PN1040.A53H35 1998 | Dewey Decimal 808.2
In this, the fullest, sustained interpretation of Aristotle's Poetics available in English, Stephen Halliwell demonstrates that the Poetics, despite its laconic brevity, is a coherent statement of a challenging theory of poetic art, and it hints towards a theory of mimetic art in general. Assessing this theory against the background of earlier Greek views on poetry and art, particularly Plato's, Halliwell goes further than any previous author in setting Aristotle's ideas in the wider context of his philosophical system.
The core of the book is a fresh appraisal of Aristotle's view of tragic drama, in which Halliwell contends that at the heart of the Poetics lies a philosophical urge to instill a secularized understanding of Greek tragedy.
"Essential reading not only for all serious students of the Poetics . . . but also for those—the great majority—who have prudently fought shy of it altogether."—B. R. Rees, Classical Review
"A splendid work of scholarship and analysis . . . a brilliant interpretation."—Alexander Nehamas, Times Literary Supplement
After the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, New York City's Emerald Society Bagpipe Band of firefighter-musicians took out their instruments and prepared to bury their dead--343 brothers in duty and in blood. Many firefighters alternated between playing their instruments at funerals and digging for the missing in the rubble of Ground Zero. The Irish American tradition of funeral bagpiping became the sound of mourning for an entire nation.
Bagpipe Brothers tells the unforgettable story of four firefighters in the band, who struggled to bring peace to their families and themselves while searching for the dead, coping with the endless round of funerals, and rethinking the meaning of faith. Their experiences illustrate the grief and recovery of the nation in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
Kerry Sheridan has written the first book to cover the ordeal of the massive number of funerals, the importance of recovering bodies in Irish American culture, and the bagpiping ritual, both traditional and modern.
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.
This commentary offers a rich introduction and useful guide to the seven surviving plays attributed to Aeschylus. Though it may profitably be used with any translation of Aeschylus, the commentary is based on the acclaimed Chicago translations, The Complete Greek Tragedies, edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore.
James C. Hogan provides a general introduction to Aeschylean theater and drama, followed by a line-by-line commentary on each of the seven plays. He places Aeschylus in the historical, cultural, and religious context of fifth-century Athens, showing how the action and metaphor of Aeschylean theater can be illuminated by information on Athenian law athletic contests, relations with neighboring states, beliefs about the underworld, and countless other details of Hellenic life. Hogan clarifies terms that might puzzle modern readers, such as place names and mythological references, and gives special attention to textual and linguistic issues: controversial questions of interpretation; difficult or significant Greek words; use of style, rhetoric, and commonplaces in Greek poetry; and Aeschylus's place in the poetic tradition of Homer, Hesiod, and the elegiac poets. Practical information on staging and production is also included, as are maps and illustrations, a bibliography, indexes, and extensive cross-references between the seven plays. Forthcoming volumes will cover the works of Sophocles and Euripides.
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
“A fast-paced, dramatic account of World War II combat.”—Global War Studies
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.
In Crossing the Rapido: A Tragedy of World War II, Duane Schultz follows the action at the ground level using survivors’ interviews and army documents to tell the story of one division’s sacrifice in war. In doing so, he demonstrates that the American soldier will face the greatest odds without protest, but expects those in command to share any failure or success.
“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
Boldly contesting recent scholarship, Sallis argues that The Birth of Tragedy is a rethinking of art at the
limit of metaphysics. His close reading focuses on the
complexity of the Apollinian/Dionysian dyad and on the
crossing of these basic art impulses in tragedy.
"Sallis effectively calls into question some commonly
accepted and simplistic ideas about Nietzsche's early
thinking and its debt to Schopenhauer, and proposes
alternatives that are worth considering."—Richard
Schacht, Times Literary Supplement
'Culture' and 'violence' have always been regarded as antithetical terms. In The Culture of Violence, Francis Barker takes a different view.
Central to his argument is the contention that, contrary to post-Enlightenment humanist, liberal and conservative thought, 'culture' does not necessarily stand in opposition to political inequality and social injustice, but may be complicit with the oppressive exercise of power.
The book focuses on Shakespearean tragedy and on the historicism and culturalism of much present-day cultural theory. Barker's analysis moves dialectically backwards and forwards between these two moments in order to illuminate aspects of early modern culture, and to critique the ways in which the complicity between culture and violence has been occluded. Rejecting the tendency of both modernism and post-modernism to homogenise historical time, Barker argues for a genuinely new, 'diacritical' understanding of the violence of history.
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.
According to traditional accounts, the history of tragedy is itself tragic: following a miraculous birth in fifth-century Athens and a brilliant resurgence in the early modern period, tragic drama then falls into a marked decline. While disputing the notion that tragedy has died, this wide-ranging study argues that it faces an unprecedented challenge in modern times from an unexpected quarter: political economy.
Since Aristotle, tragedy has been seen as uniquely exhibiting the importance of action for human happiness. Beginning with Adam Smith, however, political economy has claimed that the source of happiness is primarily production. Eclipse of Action examines the tense relations between action and production, doing and making, in playwrights from Aeschylus, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Milton to Beckett, Arthur Miller, and Sarah Kane. Richard Halpern places these figures in conversation with works by Aristotle, Smith, Hegel, Marx, Hannah Arendt, Georges Bataille, and others in order to trace the long history of the ways in which economic thought and tragic drama interact.
Political by its very nature, Greek tragedy reflects on how life should be lived in the polis, and especially the polis that was democratic Athens. Instructional as well, drama frequently concerns itself with the audience's moral education. Euripides and the Instruction of the Athenians draws on these political and didactic functions of tragedy for a close analysis of five plays: Alcestis, Hippolytus, Hecuba, Heracles, and Trojan Women. Clearly written and persuasively argued, this volume addresses itself to all who are interested in Greek tragedy. Nonspecialists and scholars alike will deepen their understanding of this complex writer and the tumultuous period in which he lived.
". . . a lucid presentation of the positive side of Euripidean tragedy, and a thoughtful reminder of the political implications of Greek tragedy." --American Journal of Philology
". . . the principal defect of [this] otherwise excellent study is that it is too short." --Erich Segal, Classical Review
". . . a most stimulating book throughout . . . ." --Greece and Rome
Justina Gregory is Professor of Classics, Smith College, where she is head of the department. She has been the recipient of Fulbright and Woodrow Wilson fellowships.
Where is the pleasure in tragedy? This question, how suffering and sorrow become the stuff of aesthetic delight, is at the center of Charles Segal's new book, which collects and expands his recent explorations of Euripides' art. Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba, the three early plays interpreted here, are linked by common themes of violence, death, lamentation and mourning, and by their implicit definitions of male and female roles. Segal shows how these plays draw on ancient traditions of poetic and ritual commemoration, particularly epic song, and at the same time refashion these traditions into new forms. In place of the epic muse of martial glory, Euripides, Segal argues, evokes a muse of sorrows who transforms the suffering of individuals into a "common grief for all the citizens," a community of shared feeling in the theater. Like his predecessors in tragedy, Euripides believes death, more than any other event, exposes the deepest truth of human nature. Segal examines the revealing final moments in Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba, and discusses the playwright's use of these deaths--especially those of women--to question traditional values and the familiar definitions of male heroism. Focusing on gender, the affective dimension of tragedy, and ritual mourning and commemoration, Segal develops and extends his earlier work on Greek drama. The result deepens our understanding of Euripides' art and of tragedy itself.
“The most extensive scholarship to appear on this Greek dramatist in many years, Michelini’s work will be important to specialists and students of classical literature, literary theory, and both English and comparative literature.”—Modern Greek Studies
What was the relationship between rhetoric and slavery, and how did rhetoric fail as an alternative to violence, becoming instead its precursor?
Fanatical Schemes is a study of proslavery rhetoric in the 1830s. A common understanding of the antebellum slavery debate is that the increased stridency of abolitionists in the 1830s, particularly the abolitionist pamphlet campaign of 1835, provoked proslavery politicians into greater intransigence and inflammatory rhetoric. Patricia Roberts-Miller argues that, on the contrary, inflammatory rhetoric was inherent to proslavery ideology and predated any shift in abolitionist practices.
She examines novels, speeches, and defenses of slavery written after the pamphlet controversy to underscore the tenets of proslavery ideology and the qualities that made proslavery rhetoric effective. She also examines anti-abolitionist rhetoric in newspapers from the spring of 1835 and the history of slave codes (especially anti-literacy laws) to show that anti-abolitionism and extremist rhetoric long preceded more strident abolitionist activity in the 1830s.
The consensus that was achieved by proslavery advocates, argues Roberts-Miller, was not just about slavery, nor even simply about race. It was also about manhood, honor, authority, education, and political action. In the end, proslavery activists worked to keep the realm of public discourse from being a place in which dominant points of view could be criticized--an achievement that was, paradoxically, both a rhetorical success and a tragedy.
Fatal Harvest takes an unprecedented look at our current ecologically destructive agricultural system and offers a compelling vision for an organic and environmentally safer way of producing the food we eat. It gathers together more than forty essays by leading ecological thinkers including Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, David Ehrenfeld, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, and Gary Nabhan. Providing a unique and invaluable antidote to the efforts by agribusiness to obscure and disconnect us from the truth about industrialized foods, it demostrates that industrial food production is indeed a "fatal harvest"--fatal to consumers, fatal to our landscapes, fatal to genetic diversity, and fatal to our farm communities.
As it exposes the ecological and social impacts of industrial agriculture's fatal harvest, Fatal Harvest details a new ecological and humane vision for agriculture. It shows how millions of people are engaged in the new politics of food as they work to develop a better alternative to the current chemically fed and biotechnology-driven system. Designed to aid the movement to reform industrial agriculture, Fatal Harvest informs and influences the activists, farmers, policymakers, and consumers who are seeking a safer and more sustainable food future.
Faust: A Tragedy, Part I
Eugene Stelzig Bucknell University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PT2026.F2S74 2019 | Dewey Decimal 832.6
Goethe is the most famous German author, and the poetic drama Faust, Part I (1808) is his best-known work, one that stands in the company of other leading canonical works of European literature such as Dante’s Inferno and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This is the first new translation into English since David Constantine’s 2005 version. Why another translation when there are several currently in print? To invoke Goethe’s own authority when speaking of his favorite author, Shakespeare, Goethe asserts that so much has already been said about the poet-dramatist “that it would seem there’s nothing left to say,” but adds, “yet it is the peculiar attribute of the spirit that it constantly motivates the spirit.” Goethe’s great dramatic poem continues to speak to us in new ways as we and our world continually change, and thus a new or updated translation is always necessary to bring to light Faust’s almost inexhaustible, mysterious, and enchanting poetic and cultural power. Eugene Stelzig’s new translation renders the text of the play in clear and crisp English for a contemporary undergraduate audience while at the same time maintaining its leading poetic features, including the use of rhyme.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Without resorting to the jargon often employed by contemporary critics, this book covers all major aspects and questions raised by the play. The text contains a thorough examination of the contrast between Athens and its dramatic opposite, Thebes, a contrast best represented by the comparison between each city's primary representative, Theseus or Creon. Wilson offers a radical rereading of the Oedipus riddle and concludes with a substantial discussion of the play's (and playwright's) role in providing a political and moral education for the troubled Athenian polis in the last decade of the tumultuous fifth century.
Joseph P. Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Scranton.
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.
"If you do not know where you come from, you will always be a child." Cicero wasn't talking about being a child in the sense of enjoying life in a state of ignorant bliss. He was, rather, adamant that those who don't understand their origins are consigned to a life without power or authority, without the ability to act fully in the world. Love, Sex & Tragedy is acclaimed classicist Simon Goldhill's corrective to our state of ignorance. Lifting the veil on our inheritance of classical traditions, Goldhill offers a witty, engrossing survey of the Greek and Roman roots of everything from our overwhelming mania for "hard bodies" to our political systems.
Marx, Clark Gable, George W. Bush, Oscar Wilde, and Freud—Goldhill's range here is enormous, and he takes great delight in tracing both follies and fundamental philosophical questions through the centuries and continents to the birthplace of Western civilization as we know it. Underlying his brisk and learned excursions through history and art is the foundational belief, following Cicero, that learning about the classics makes a critical difference to our self-understanding. Whether we are considering the role of religion in contemporary society, our expectations about the boundaries between public and private life, or even how we spend our free time, recognizing the role of the classics is integral to our comprehension of modern life and our place in it.
When Goldhill asks "Who do you think you are?" he presents us with the rarest of opportunities: the chance to let him lead us, firmly but with a wink, back two thousand years to where we are.
Love Song for the Life of the Mind develops the view of comedy that, the author argues, would have been set out in Aristotle's missing second book of Poetics. As such it is both a philosophical and a historical argument about Aristotle; and the theory of comedy it elucidates is meant to be trans-historically and trans-culturally accurate.
David Farrell Krell reflects on nine writers and philosophers, including Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot, and Holderlin, in a personal exploration of the meaning of sensual love, language, tragedy, and death. The moon provides a unifying image that guides Krell's development of a new poetics in which literature and philosophy become one.
Krell pursues important philosophical motifs such as time, rhythm, and desire, through texts by Nietzsche, Trakl, Empedocles, Kafka, and Garcia Marquez. He surveys instances in which poets or novelists explicitly address philosophical questions, and philosophers confront literary texts—Heidegger's and Derrida's appropriations of Georg Trakl's poetry, Blanchot's obsession with Kafka's tortuous love affairs, and Garcia Marquez's use of Nietzsche's idea of the Eternal Return—all linked by the tragic hero Empedocles.
In his search to understand the insatiable desire for completeness that patterns so much art and philosophy, Krell investigates the identification of the lunar voice with woman in various roles—lover, friend, sister, shadow, and narrative voice.
William C. Scott extends concepts set forth in his Goodwin Award-winning Musical Design in Aeschylean Theater (1984) by examining scansion patterns in the odes of the seven surviving Sophoclean tragedies. Analyzing the play as performed-its full expression in words, music, and dance-Scott finds that Sophocles' metrical patterns are not a secondary detail of the plays but a central feature of their musical organization. Just as the playwright enhanced awareness of themes with a series of recurring and developing verbal images, he also designed the music to guide the audience's understanding of unfolding, often ambiguous events. The fabric of music and meaning is so tightly woven, Scott argues, that significant portions of the plays cannot be fully realized on stage unless the musical effects created by the poet are incorporated. While his work necessarily centers on the chorus, Scott carefully integrates that role into the meaning of the play as a whole, asserting that the chorus becomes a single persona, a character with partial knowledge, limited perspective, and inconsistent responses. The combination of words, meters, and forms provides a new perspective on each play.
By focusing on the story of Hector, James M. Redfield presents an imaginative perspective not only on the Iliad but also on the whole of Homeric culture. In an expansive discussion informed by a reinterpretation of Aristotle's Poetics and a reflection on the human meaning of narrative art, the analysis of Hector leads to an inquiry into the fundamental features of Homeric culture and of culture generally in its relation to nature. Through Hector, as the "true tragic hero of the poem," the events and themes of the Iliad are understood and the function of tragedy within culture is examined. Redfield's work represents a significant application of anthropological perspectives to Homeric poetry. Originally published in 1975 (University of Chicago Press), this revised edition includes a new preface and concluding chapter by the author.
Omens of Adversity is a profound critique of the experience of postcolonial, postsocialist temporality. The case study at its core is the demise of the Grenada Revolution (1979–1983), and the repercussions of its collapse. In the Anglophone Caribbean, the Grenada Revolution represented both the possibility of a break from colonial and neocolonial oppression, and hope for egalitarian change and social and political justice. The Revolution's collapse in 1983 was devastating to a revolutionary generation. In hindsight, its demise signaled the end of an era of revolutionary socialist possibility. Omens of Adversity is not a history of the Revolution or its fallout. Instead, by examining related texts and phenomena, David Scott engages with broader, enduring issues of political action and tragedy, generations and memory, liberalism and transitional justice, and the possibility of forgiveness. Ultimately, Scott argues that the palpable sense of the neoliberal present as time stalled, without hope for emancipatory futures, has had far-reaching effects on how we think about the nature of political action and justice.
Focusing on the 17th-century play of mourning, Walter Benjamin identifies allegory as the constitutive trope of modernity, bespeaking a haunted, bedeviled world of mutability and eternal transience. In this rigorous elegant translation, history as trauerspiel is the condition as well as subject of modern allegory in its inscription of the abyssal.
During the past twenty years or so, Othello has become the Shakespearean tragedy that speaks most powerfully to our contemporary concerns. Focusing on race and gender (and on class, ethnicity, sexuality, and nationality), the play talks about what audiences want to talk about. Yet at the same time, as refracted through Iago, it forces us to hear what we do not want to hear; like the characters in the play, we become trapped in our own prejudicial malice and guilt.
A Philosophy of Tragedy
Christopher Hamilton Reaktion Books, 2016 Library of Congress BH301.T7H36 2016 | Dewey Decimal 128
A Philosophy of Tragedy explores the tragic condition of man in modernity. Nietzsche knew it, but so have countless characters in literature: that the modern age places us squarely before the reflection of our own tragic condition, our existence characterized by utmost contingency, homelessness, instability, unredeemed suffering, and broken morality.
Christopher Hamilton examines the works of philosophers, writers, and playwrights to offer a stirring account of our tragic condition, one that explores the nature of philosophy and the ways it has understood itself and its role to mankind. Ranging from the debate over the death of the tragedy to a critique of modern virtue ethics, from a new interpretation of the evil of Auschwitz to a look at those who have seen our tragic state as inherently inconsolable, he shows that tragedy has been a crucial part of the modern human experience, one from which we shouldn’t avert our eyes.
Renaissance Revivals examines patterns in the London revivals of two English Renaissance theatre genres over the past four centuries. Griswold's focus on revenge tragedies and city comedies illuminates the ongoing interaction between society and its cultural products. No cultural object is ever created anew, she argues, but is instead constructed from existing cultural genres and conventions, the visions and professional needs of the artist, and the interests of an audience. Thus, every "new play" is in part a renaissance and every "revival" is in part an entirely new cultural object.
"No one can make us love love as much as Shakespeare, and no one can make us despair of it as effectively as he does." William Shakespeare is the only classical author to remain widely popular—not only in America but throughout the world—and Allan Bloom argues that this is because no other writer holds up a truer mirror to human nature. Unlike the Romantics and other moderns, Shakespeare has no project for the betterment or salvation of mankind—his poetry simply gives us eyes to see what is there. In particular, we see the full variety of erotic connections, from the "star-crossed" devotions of Romeo and Juliet to the failed romance of Troilus and Cressida to the problematic friendship of Falstaff and Hal.
This volume includes essays on five plays, Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, and The Winter's Tale, and within these Bloom meditates on Shakespeare's work as a whole. He also draws on his formidable knowledge of Plato, Rousseau, and others to bring both ancients and moderns into the conversation. The result is a truly synoptic treatment of eros—not only a philosophical reflection on Shakespeare, but a survey of the human spirit and its tendency to seek what Bloom calls the "connectedness" of love and friendship.
These highly original interpretations of the plays convey a deep respect for their author and a deep conviction that we still have much to learn from him. In Bloom's view, we live in a love-impoverished age; he asks us to turn once more to Shakespeare because the playwright gives us a rich version of what is permanent in human nature without sharing our contemporary assumptions about erotic love.
"Provocative and illuminating." —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
"A brilliant analysis of the erotic ugliness and the balancing erotic grace of The Winter's Tale . . . and Bloom makes more sense of [Measure for Measure] than anyone else I have read." —A. S. Byatt, Washington Post Book World
At his death in 1992, Allan Bloom was the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including Shakespeare's Politics (with Harry V. Jaffa) and The Closing of the American Mind.
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.
Table of Contents: Preface Introduction
Drama and Perspective in Ajax Myth, Poetry, and Heroic Values in the Trachinian Women Time, Oracles, and Marriage in the Trachinian Women Philoctetes and the Imperishable Piety Lament and Closure in Antigone Time and Knowledge in the Tragedy of Oedipus Freud, Language, and the Unconscious The Gods and the Chorus: Zeus in Oedipus Tyrannus Earth in Oedipus Tyrannus
Abbreviations Notes Index
Reviews of this book: "Sophocles' Tragic World is...a lucidly written work of great theoretical sophistication and learning, offering many new insights into the fundamental meaning of the plays."
--Victor Bers, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"[Segal] refutes reductionist attempts to derive from a Sophoclean tragedy a unitary moral or message. The dramas, Segal argues, present insoluble dilemmas that require the audience to engage with the situations the characters face, the choices the characters make, and the consequences of those choices...This book will be of interest to anyone who wants a fuller appreciation of Sophocles' dramatic art."
--Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, New England Classical Journal
"Segal's strengths as a critic are sensitivity to detail, breadth of cultural reference, and open-mindedness; these qualities make his writing rich...This is a book which could enhance any reader's understanding of Sophocles."
--Greece and Rome
"A fine collection of nine essays...A richly rewarding collection amply illustrated with specific detailed reference to the texts that one always tries to inculcate in one's pupils: for them, this will be invaluable."
--Jim Neville, JACT Review
"Sophocles' Tragic World is an organized collection of nine essays (plus introduction) on five plays, Ajax, Trachiniae, Philoctetes, Antigone, and--especially--OT, to which four of the chapters are devoted. The introduction and three of the essays (one on Ant., two on OT) are new; the others are revisions of published articles, dating originally from 1976 to 1993. For several decades now, [Segal] has been so articulate about Greek tragedy, and so productive in his articulations, that one has acquired an unusually sharp sense...of the changing shape and direction that his readings have taken over the years."
--M.S. Silk, Classical Review
"Charles Segal has written a superb critical study of five of the seven extant plays by Sophocles...Segal's analytical interests go beyond the usual discussion of the nature of heroic greatness of tragic stature. He is principally concerned with the 'tragic world' which Sophocles depicts...Segal writes in a lucid, jargon-free prose that is also dramaturgy of the highest order...Segal's strength as a critic issues directly from a wide-ranging sensitivity to the epic tradition and a nuanced awareness of the dramatic use of temporal shifts and poetic displacements. Segal's terrific, lucid book should also be required reading for anyone interested in the tragic stature of women in Greek tragedy. His complex thinking on the subject gives justice to the basic intractability of Sophocles's views on the nature of feminine sensibility."
"This work includes five previously published essays and four new essays. Once more, Segal brings his considerable scholarship to bear on the plays of Sophocles, addressing five of the seven extant tragedies."
The Soul of Tragedy brings together top scholars to offer a wide range of perspectives on Greek tragedy. The collection pays homage to this ancient, enduring theatrical and literary genre by offering a deep exploration into the oldest form of dramatic expression. It is a reminder that, for all their years, these dramas still have much to teach us.
Exemplary of the nature and scope of this book, the essays range from Simon Goldhill's comparative study of music, gender, and culture to Martha Nussbaum's inspection of "the comic soul." Through the critical lenses of psychoanalysis, gender, social history, and philology, this compilation looks at Greek tragedy's peculiar power to illuminate the workings of the human soul. Structures of tragic meaning, the relationship between character desire and spectator experience, and investigations of tragedy's extraordinary preoccupation with gender reveal the form's emotional core and explain its rapid ascent through the hierarchy of cultural practices in classical Greece. The Soul of Tragedy is a celebration and a model of collaboration that will be essential reading for scholars in classics, literature, and drama.
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.
Drawing on philosophical and psychoanalytic methods of interpretation, Richard Kuhns explores modern transformations of an ancient poetic genre, tragedy. Recognition of the philosophical problems addressed in tragedy, and of their presence up through eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophical texts, novels, and poetry, establishes a continuity between classical and modern enactments. Psychoanalytic theory in both its original formulations and post-Freud developments provides a means to enlarge upon and inform philosophical analyses that have dominated modern discussions.
From Aeschylus' classic drama The Persians to the hidden tragic themes in The Merchant of Venice, from the aesthetic writings of Kant to Kleist's narrative Michael Kohlhaas, Kuhns traces the writing and rewriting of the themes of ancient tragedy through modern texts. A culture's concept of fate, Kuhns argues, evolves along with its concepts and forms of tragedy. Examining the deep philosophical concerns of tragedy, he shows how the genre has changed from loss and mourning to contradiction and repression. He sees the fact that tragedy went underground during the optimism of the Enlightenment as a repression that continues into the American consciousness. Turning to Melville's The Confidence Man as an example of Old World despair giving way to New World nihilism, Kuhns indicates how psychoanalytic understanding of tragedy provides a method of interpretation that illuminates the continuous tradition from the ancient to the modern world. The study concludes with reflections on the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Each poet's celebration of the body, and the contribution of the senses to reason, perception, and poetic intuition, is seen as an embodiment of the modern tragic sensibility.
The Tragedy of a Generation
Joshua M. Karlip Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress DS134.8.K35 2013 | Dewey Decimal 320.54095694
The Tragedy of a Generation is the story of a failed ideal: an autonomous Jewish nation in Europe. It traces the origins of two influential 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 the Holocaust.
Michael Kulikowski traces two hundred years of Roman history during which the Empire became ungovernable and succumbed to turbulence and change. A sweeping political narrative, The Tragedy of Empire tells the story of the Western Roman Empire’s downfall, even as the Eastern Empire remained politically strong and culturally vibrant.
The Tragedy of King Christophe
Aimé Césaire; translated from the French by Paul Breslin and Rachel Ney Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PQ3949.C44T713 2015 | Dewey Decimal 842.914
The Tragedy of King Christophe (1963, revised 1970) is recognized as the Martiniquan writer and activist Aime Cesaire’s greatest play. Set in the period of upheaval in Haiti after the assassination of Jean-Jacques Dessalines in 1806, it follows the historical figure of Henri Christophe, a slave who rose to become a general in Toussaint Louverture’s army. Christophe declared himself king in 1811 and ruled the northern part of Haiti until 1820. Cesaire employs Shakespearean plotting and revels in the inexhaustible possibilities of language to convey the tragedy of Christophe’s transformation from a charismatic leader sensitive to the oppression of his people to an oppressor himself. Paul Breslin and Rachel Ney’s nimble, accurate translation includes an introduction and explanatory notes to guide students, scholars, and general readers alike.
Legal scholars expect to resolve religious dilemmas according to principles of equality, neutrality, or separation of church and state. But such abstractions fail to do justice to the clashing values in today’s pluralistic society. Marc DeGirolami explains why conflicts implicating religious liberty are so emotionally fraught and deeply contested.
Winner of the 2017 Paul Sweezy Marxist Sociology Book Award from the American Sociological Association
Although humans have long depended on oceans and aquatic ecosystems for sustenance and trade, only recently has human influence on these resources dramatically increased, transforming and undermining oceanic environments throughout the world. Marine ecosystems are in a crisis that is global in scope, rapid in pace, and colossal in scale. In The Tragedy of the Commodity, sociologists Stefano B. Longo, Rebecca Clausen, and Brett Clark explore the role human influence plays in this crisis, highlighting the social and economic forces that are at the heart of this looming ecological problem.
In a critique of the classic theory “the tragedy of the commons” by ecologist Garrett Hardin, the authors move beyond simplistic explanations—such as unrestrained self-interest or population growth—to argue that it is the commodification of aquatic resources that leads to the depletion of fisheries and the development of environmentally suspect means of aquaculture. To illustrate this argument, the book features two fascinating case studies—the thousand-year history of the bluefin tuna fishery in the Mediterranean and the massive Pacific salmon fishery. Longo, Clausen, and Clark describe how new fishing technologies, transformations in ships and storage capacities, and the expansion of seafood markets combined to alter radically and permanently these crucial ecosystems. In doing so, the authors underscore how the particular organization of social production contributes to ecological degradation and an increase in the pressures placed upon the ocean. The authors highlight the historical, political, economic, and cultural forces that shape how we interact with the larger biophysical world.
A path-breaking analysis of overfishing, The Tragedy of the Commodity yields insight into issues such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change.
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.
Miriam Leonard Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress BH301.T7L46 2015 | Dewey Decimal 809.2512
Under the microscope of recent scholarship the universality of Greek tragedy has started to fade, as particularities of Athenian culture have come into focus. Miriam Leonard contests the idea of the death of tragedy and argues powerfully for the continued vitality and viability of Greek tragic theater in the central debates of contemporary culture.
It is often claimed that we know ourselves and the world through narratives. In this book, Robert D. Newman portrays narrative engagement as a process grounded in psychoanalytic theory to explain how readers (or listeners or viewers) manage to engage with specific narratives and derive from them a personal experience. Newman describes this psychodrama of narrative engagement as that of exile and return, an experience in which narrative becomes a type of homeland, beckoning and elusive, endlessly defining and disrupting the borders of a reader's identity. Within this paradigm, he considers a fascinating variety of narrative texts: from the Jim Jones episode in Guyana to Freud's repression of personal history in his story of Moses; from a surrealistic collage novel by Max Ernst to the horror films of Alfred Hitchcock; from the works of James Joyce, Ariel Dorfman, Milan Kundera, and D. M. Thomas to the tales of abjection in pornography. Transgressions of Reading is itself an engaging work, as interesting for its provocative readings of particular works as for its theoretical insights. It will appeal to readers from all fields in which narrative plays a crucial role, in the study of film and art, modern and contemporary literature, popular culture, and feminist, psychoanalytic, and reader response theory.
In this study, David Seale argues that Sophocles’s use of stagecraft, which has thus far received little attention, was as sophisticated as that of Aeschylus or Euripides. His discussions of the physical and visual elements of Sophocles's seven plays center around the theme of sight; he demonstrates that each play is staged to maximize the implications and effects of “seeing” and not “seeing,” of knowledge and ignorance. This emphasis on visual perception, Seale maintains, harmonizes with Sophocles’s use of verbal and thematic techniques to create dramatic movements from delusion to truth, culminating in climaxes that are revelations—moments when things are truly “seen” by both audience and characters.
In this trenchant work, James Barrett traces the political journey of a leading worker radical whose life and experiences encapsulate radicalism's rise and fall in the United States.
A self-educated wage earner raised in the slums of a large industrial city, William Z. Foster became a brilliant union organizer who helped build the American Federation of Labor and, later, radical Trade Union Educational League. Embracing socialism, syndicalism, and communism in turn, Foster rose through the ranks of the American Communist Party to stand at the forefront of labor politics throughout the 1920s. Yet by the time he died in 1961, in a Moscow hospital far from the meat-packing plants and steel mills where he had built his reputation, Foster's political marginalism stood as a symbol for the isolation of American labor radicalism in the postwar era.
Integrating both the indigenous and the international factors that determined the fate of American communism, William Z. Foster and the Tragedy of American Radicalism provides a new understanding of the basis for radicalism among twentieth-century American workers.
"This work includes five previously published essays and four new essays. Once more, Segal brings his considerable scholarship to bear on the plays of Sophocles, addressing five of the seven extant tragedies."