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Allusion and the uncanny

This book explores the relationship between allusion and the uncanny in literature. An unexpected echo or quotation in a new text can be compared to the sudden appearance of a ghost or mysterious double, the reanimation of a corpse or the discovery of an ancient ruin hidden in a modern city. This study identifies moments where this affinity between allusion and the uncanny is used by writers to generate a particular textual charge, where uncanny elements are used to flag patterns of allusion and to point to the haunting presence of an earlier work. The book traces the subtle patterns of connection between texts centuries, even millennia apart, from Greek tragedy and Latin epic, through the plays of Shakespeare and the Victorian novel, to contemporary film, fiction and poetry. Each chapter takes a different uncanny motif as its focus: doubles, ruins, reanimation, ghosts and journeys to the underworld.

Neil Cornwell

modern understanding of Theatre of the Absurd. And we have yet to mention the pivotal absurdist ingredient of laughter. ‘All Comedy aspires to laughter – although not all laughter is related to Comedy’ is Segal’s judgment (23). In addition to laughter, key constituents of the Old Comedy, and of course beyond, were invective, cruelty and misogyny: Segal (30) points out that the ‘comedy of cruelty is found in all cultures, but has been most aptly named by the Germans – Schadenfreude’. Greek tragedy (or ‘goat’s song’4), which returned to the European consciousness at the

in The absurd in literature
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Tanya Pollard

an actor impersonates him, he impersonates a woman to seduce Callisto, a jewellery peddler to seduce Danae, and the general Amphitryon to seduce his wife Alcmena. 16 Heywood himself, meanwhile, imitates these antics by figuratively impersonating Plautus, who had previously dramatised the story of Amphitryon’s cuckolding by Jupiter; The Silver Age incorporates a near-translation of Plautus’ Amphitryo , which itself probably imitated a Greek tragedy on the same topic. 17 Imitating gods is a risky business, and despite Heywood’s generally admiring account in

in Thomas Heywood and the classical tradition
Silvia Bigliazzi

(s). The famous initial kommos of Aeschylus's Choephori (306–478), perhaps the longest lamentation scene in Greek tragedy, dramatises precisely this attempt at a communal reunion between the earth and the netherworld through the invocation of Hermes, the Psychopomp, escorting the deceased souls from the Earth to the afterlife, as well as the mourners’ own reunion with Agamemnon. This most famous of laments, located at the tomb of Agamemnon, from the outset connotes the tragedy as one of mourning, establishing a deep link with ritual. As Margaret Alexiou remarks, ‘The

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
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The ‘winter of discontent’ – views from abroad
John Shepherd

done to win: ‘the people wanted a change’ and ‘the unions did it. People could not forget and would not forgive what they had to suffer from the unions last winter’. This is very much in line with Donoughue’s final entry in his Downing Street Diary.21 Denis Healey later portrayed the end of the Callaghan government as a classic drama: ‘Our hubris in fixing a pay norm of five per cent without any support from the TUC met its nemesis, as inevitably as in a Greek tragedy’.22 In this sense there was an inevitability, and an air of fatalism, that hung about the last days

in Crisis? What crisis?
Tanya Pollard

printed in this edition of Hecuba. As the first translation of a Greek tragedy (which went on to become the Greek play most frequently printed and translated in the sixteenth century), Erasmus’s Hecuba offered a prominent exemplar of the genre, and singling out key lines for commonplacing lent them additional weightiness. 20 In these lines, just after Hecuba has learned that

in Formal matters
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The future of Regie?
Peter M. Boenisch

interpreting takes away the fear of ‘thinking for ourselves’, of ‘interfering’ and of ‘thinking differently’. It gives access to and offers a perspective – its perspective and our own perspective against the fixed logic of representation. For this reason, Regie, in its very play with classic texts, from Greek tragedy to Shakespeare and great novels, from Ibsen to contemporary plays and new writing, is able to take seriously all our own subjective fears, passions, concerns, anger and irrational gut feelings as artists and spectators, turning them into the very ground for the

in Directing scenes and senses
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Geraldine Cousin

provide an escape route. Her powerful energies are consumed by a longing that can be fulfilled only by her death, and so she feels desire and hatred in equal measure. Gabriel has the voice of an angel, but it is as a demon lover that he tempts Portia into the river. Marianne is both the longed-for mother and the feared witch. Portia’s unassuageable yearning is fed by her family history, ‘the sort of dark, bloody knot that is the basis of many a Greek tragedy’ (Sarah Hemming, Financial Times, 16.5.96). Portia and Gabriel’s incestuous passion has its origin in the fact

in Playing for time
Leisure and entertainment
Carey Fleiner

Latin verb pergraecari or ‘to Greek around’. TRAGEDY Don’t overlook Roman tragedy! Fragments of early Republican poets Ennius (239–169 BCE ) and Naevius (270–201 BCE ) have been published in the Loeb series; complete examples of tragedy come from Seneca the Younger in the first century CE . Some are adaptations of bloodcurdling Greek tragedy toned down for Roman audiences, but Seneca’s original pieces, such as Octavia (which is

in A writer’s guide to Ancient Rome
On Regie, truth and ex-position
Peter M. Boenisch

, before he moved to the Berlin Schaubühne in 2013. At Schauspiel Frankfurt, Thalheimer and Reese continued their explorations of German classics with a strikingly sharp The tremor of speculative negation 109 production of Schiller’s Maria Stuart (2011), while also returning to their venture into Greek tragedy, which began in 2006 with the Oresteia at Berlin. They combined Oedipus Rex and Antigone, thus merging the Sophoclean myth of the House of Labdacus into a four-hour-long production (2009), where the two individual plays became logical companions, like the plays

in Directing scenes and senses