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Tragedy Contra Theory

Tragedy Contra Theory This essay argues that in emotionally and politically fraught terrains tragic literature may offer an embodied, affective critique of the existing political order that is more effective than theoretical-didactic critiques. As a form that makes room for conflict, violence, and desire, tragic literature has the capacity to engender a non-utopian, engaged political critique that is truer to experience and less vulnerable to disintegration or attack than most modes of polemic political critique. As a dialectic, morally flexible form, it is able to contain its own contradictions; and as a genre embroiled in emotion and trauma, it can speak to all sides wounded by conflict without moralizing. It is in the hero's direct encounter with and response to conflict and violence, what Raymond Williams calls “its experience, its comprehension, and its resolution,” that the essay locates tragedy's potential for serious political work. The essay takes Hebrew culture as its primary example. Tragedy Zionism Oedipus Antigone Ronit Matalon's Sarah Sarah Butler http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Tragedy Contra Theory

Comparative Literature , Volume 67 (4) – Dec 1, 2015

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Duke Univ Press
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/00104124-3327563
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay argues that in emotionally and politically fraught terrains tragic literature may offer an embodied, affective critique of the existing political order that is more effective than theoretical-didactic critiques. As a form that makes room for conflict, violence, and desire, tragic literature has the capacity to engender a non-utopian, engaged political critique that is truer to experience and less vulnerable to disintegration or attack than most modes of polemic political critique. As a dialectic, morally flexible form, it is able to contain its own contradictions; and as a genre embroiled in emotion and trauma, it can speak to all sides wounded by conflict without moralizing. It is in the hero's direct encounter with and response to conflict and violence, what Raymond Williams calls “its experience, its comprehension, and its resolution,” that the essay locates tragedy's potential for serious political work. The essay takes Hebrew culture as its primary example. Tragedy Zionism Oedipus Antigone Ronit Matalon's Sarah Sarah Butler

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2015

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