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Barker’s challenge to postmodernism
I define postmodernism as incredulity towards metanarratives.
Howard Barker’s art of theatre has been rightly described as resolutely
postmodern (by Lamb, Rabey, Morel, Sakellaridou and Zimmermann). Barker’s
obsessional need to revisit the grandnarratives that are at the basis of our epistemology reads as a deliberate intention to deconstruct them and to help the
spectator out of the ready-made programmes
challenging the heroic struggle narrative by highlighting its darker side, biography can demythologise grandnarratives and add nuance to our understanding of the past. In doing so, it becomes a disruptive voice in the wider public discourse.
Biography offers a messy space where scholars and activists rub shoulders, with the consequence that the field sways between meticulously researched tomes and hastily written polemic. Yet, in both instances, it is underpinned by the deeper need to understand and answer to the contestations that mark postapartheid
The poor survival rate of primary sources for the history of Irish women in the
early modern period is mitigated by the sophistication with which extant sources
are now being analysed. When re-examined without reference to the demands of the
traditional historical grand narrative, when each text itself is permitted to
guide its own interrogation, previously undervalued texts are revealed to be
insightful of individual existential experience. The memoir of
eighteenth-century Dorothea Herbert, hitherto much ignored due to the authors
mental illness, is becoming increasingly respected not just for its historic
evidential value but for the revelations it contains of a distressed individuals
use of literature to manage her circumstances. The interpretive tools deployed
on such a text by different research specialisms necessarily lead to divergent
conclusions; this in turn may lead to creative re-imagining of history although
they cannot all equally reflect what was likely to have been the lived reality
of the original author.
. In its
absence, as Bruno Latour approvingly argues, the whole becomes smaller than the sum of its parts
( Latour et al. , 2012 ). Rather than a
shared world of circulation, we have the endless personalised and separate worlds of
Post-humanism problematises the possibility of a shared or collective politics. Indeed, Latour
( Latour, 2008 ) goes further in suggesting that design
has now replaced politics. Building on his earlier rejection of grandnarratives and critique
( Latour, 2004 ), Latour claims that since
This book outlines the reasons for the development of and need for social democracy and the welfare state. It begins with the reaffirmation that post-2008 Anglo-America has seen the greatest concentration of wealth since the Great Depression, some nine decades earlier. The book reviews the thought of classical liberals like Adam Smith, democratic theorists like Alexis De Tocqueville and Matthew Arnold, and early social democrats like John Stuart Mill and Beatrice Webb. It further details the reasons for the derailing of the welfare state. Milton Friedman's ideas about the free market were institutionalized by Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, both of whom dismantled the welfare state, or as much of it as possible. The book talks about the collapse of the Grand Narrative of the Left in the 1980s and 1990s. How this led to the 'great forgetting' in Anglo-America, and to a lesser extent in continental European social democracies and welfare states as well, is discussed. The book argues that 'forgetting' the past success of social democracy has been costly. It highlights that globalization does not explain unemployment in Anglo-America; nor is it the cause of inequality in either the US or the UK. A comparison of Anglo-America's social model with the European social model of the welfare and social democratic states of continental Europe, follows. Even with the high unemployment rates of the European Union, most of Europe is still as economically efficient as the US and the UK.
's development tend to obscure the individual narratives that they ultimately shape. Birmingham's grandnarrative is, in one sense, uniquely its own. Viewed through a broader lens, however, we see in Birmingham the story of Britain's modernity actualised in the urban fabric, a concrete palimpsest revealing traces of history, some erased more completely than others. Barry's notion of the city as palimpsest – a document which is repeatedly erased and over-written, with marks visible from previous drafts – has proved consistently useful in reading contemporary urban literature
Tennyson and the enlistment into military masculinity
the twentieth and twenty-first century, as is evident in its continued
citation out of the context of its production and its ambivalent reading of military masculinity. While following some of the conflicting
accounts of masculinity in autobiographical narratives of enlisted
men,7 on a broader scale, this reading reveals how the poetic form provided Tennyson the means to deploy a specifically classed masculinity
in support of the military’s participation in the grandnarrative of progress and empire, while at the same time providing a form to critique
dialectical model at the basis of Marx’s grandnarrative of human history; the adaptations of Marxist theory in Latin America; and finally the enduring question of class consciousness.
Marx was born in 1818 in Germany and spent his early adult life in Prussia and France. Paris in the 1840s was a ferment of revolutionary socialist ideas, culminating in the 1848 revolution. Many of Marx’s ideas about history emerged during this period, worked out in conjunction with his life-long collaborator, Friedrich Engels. Raphael Samuel rightly pointed out that Marx’s published
Costa-Gavras and microhistoriography: the case of Amen. (2002)
Homer B. Pettey
narrative, and imagistically providing filmic discovery of the atrocities of Nazism and the complicity of the Roman Catholic Church. His intention was not to film the play, but rather to present a microhistory of the Final Solution. Unlike in the play, Pope Pius XII is a background figure, since Costa-Gavras desires another form of history: not institutional, not a grandnarrative, but a history that comes about through visual enactment of personal reactions. In this effort to combine narrative and image, Costa-Gavras interprets the conflicting political and theological
the particularities of life and art in the search for grandnarratives.
Though ironic with respect to its contents, Talking It Over’s title highlights its approach. With no narrator between characters and reader, different voices alternately speak as though to an interlocutor or camera, taking into a modern idiom many literary predecessors and archetypal settings, including a component of the primal situation of oral story-telling by the fireside or to listeners seated in a circle. The reader is to be told a story, but it is to be