By Anthony James Kubiak
From the earliest Puritan monitors of piety and rectitude to the present-day epidemic of staged university massacres, the historical past of the United States has been characterised through a twin impulse: to solid public occasion and personality as excessive drama, and to brush aside theater and theatricalization as un-American, even evil. This ebook rethinks American heritage as theater, and theater because the ethos and substance of yankee lifestyles, paradoxically repudiated at each flip by means of the tradition it produces. starting with the writings of John Winthrop and others, in the course of the Federalist and ''romantic'' phases of yank cultural existence, and into the trendy and modern classes, Anthony Kubiak reveals an the USA now not often came across by way of conventional or materialist techniques to heritage. He deploys the psychoanalytic idea of Jacques Lacan, the cultural concept of SlavojZizek, and the functionality thought of Herbert Blau in an unheard of reappraisal of dominant American identification, tradition, and background. Anthony Kubiak is affiliate Professor of English, collage of South Florida. he's additionally writer of levels of Terror: Terrorism, Ideology, and Coercion as Theatre historical past .
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Extra resources for Agitated States: Performance in the American Theater of Cruelty
As Gramsci points out, the structuring of hegemonic forces is quite a bit messier than I have presented it here; what constitutes "dominant culture," for example, is, in this scheme, often left unspecified. " Does membership in this or that ideological camp constitute dominance over the individual by a culture? Does that dominance produce its own endocolonizations? Is there thus a dominant culture, then, or is all culture and subculture from the American middle class to cadres of Queer theorists-domi- nant and dominating to those who live within it?
The very theatrical ontology that is developed is repressed-the uncon- scious as mise-en-scene. But who, finally, in the cells of the repressed, might the watcher's object of desire have been? On the first page of his diary, in the first sen- tence, in fact, Wigglesworth first names the "unnatural, filthy lust" that arises in him as a result of a conversation with his pupils, all of whom are male, of course, and all of whom are "unloving... " His "fond affection," in fact, is often returned as ridicule and insult.
They became actors with parts to play in a cosmic drama of redemption. 20 Shepard indeed uses the phrase god's plot for the divine plan, but his writing reveals a theatrical ontology that moves well beyond such easy metaphors, into the seeing, and the doubled seeing, that charac- terizes so much of Western theater. On March 18, 1641, for example, Shepard writes in his diary, I saw if my mind acted it spun nothing but deceit and delusion; if my will and affections acted, nothing but dead works. Oh, how do I need Christ to live in me!
Agitated States: Performance in the American Theater of Cruelty by Anthony James Kubiak