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Art and Crisis: Homeland Security and the Noble Savage

Art and Crisis: Homeland Security and the Noble Savage ART, MEDIA, GLOBAL POLITICS London, Anti-War Demonstration, February, 2, 2003. Photo: Courtesy ATTAC. ART AND CRISIS Homeland Security and the Noble Savage Herbert Blau R ecently I was asked permission to reprint an essay that I was first asked to write, over forty years ago, by the novelist Saul Bellow, long before he became a Nobel Laureate. It was for a periodical he once co-edited called The Noble Savage—with that other spelling of the word, not the name of the munitions maker, who created a peace prize, too, from the invention of dynamite. As for The Noble Savage, there was a romantic irony in the appropriation of that romantic figure, whose mythic purity—according to Rousseau—was an innocence upheld by natural law, while its possible resurrection, during the period of the Cold War, was little more than a Bellowish joke of a knowing wish-fulfillment. Speaking of savagery, if not purity, I should say that the essay I wrote was eventually absorbed into my first book, The Impossible Theater: A Manifesto, which was described at the time as a savage indictment of the American theatre, with chapter titles drawn from the language of the Cold War: Fallout, The Iron Curtain, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art MIT Press

Art and Crisis: Homeland Security and the Noble Savage

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art , Volume 25 (3) – Sep 1, 2003

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2003 Performing Arts Journal, Inc.
Subject
Art, Media, Global Politics
ISSN
1520-281X
eISSN
1537-9477
DOI
10.1162/152028103322491647
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ART, MEDIA, GLOBAL POLITICS London, Anti-War Demonstration, February, 2, 2003. Photo: Courtesy ATTAC. ART AND CRISIS Homeland Security and the Noble Savage Herbert Blau R ecently I was asked permission to reprint an essay that I was first asked to write, over forty years ago, by the novelist Saul Bellow, long before he became a Nobel Laureate. It was for a periodical he once co-edited called The Noble Savage—with that other spelling of the word, not the name of the munitions maker, who created a peace prize, too, from the invention of dynamite. As for The Noble Savage, there was a romantic irony in the appropriation of that romantic figure, whose mythic purity—according to Rousseau—was an innocence upheld by natural law, while its possible resurrection, during the period of the Cold War, was little more than a Bellowish joke of a knowing wish-fulfillment. Speaking of savagery, if not purity, I should say that the essay I wrote was eventually absorbed into my first book, The Impossible Theater: A Manifesto, which was described at the time as a savage indictment of the American theatre, with chapter titles drawn from the language of the Cold War: Fallout, The Iron Curtain,

Journal

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and ArtMIT Press

Published: Sep 1, 2003

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