Theorizing the "Unmanageable"

Theorizing the "Unmanageable" of the Nazi state machine’s Jewish victims and their cultures. To solve the paradox of how “goneness” could ever be represented in art (recall Theodor Adorno’s “no poetry after Auschwitz”), she introduces Hayden White’s theory of tropes. Rejecting naive representations of what was lost (as in Diary of Anne Frank dramatization, a play she pointedly does not discuss), she examines a range of metaphors—among them the diabolical file cabinet in Peter Barnes’s Auschwitz and the enormous radio in Joan Schenkar’s The Last of Hitler —that point to “what cannot be mapped.” Patraka implies that the theater, whose very “presence” partakes of continual loss, is a medium intuitively suited to witnessing the ungraspable disappearance of European Jewry. At the center of the book are discussions of plays that present the possibility of a conflict of loyalties. Patraka wrestles with dual allegiances—for instance, to the memory of the Holocaust and to the awareness of gender. After some soul-searching, she refuses to fault Nelly Sachs’s Eli: A Mystery Play of the Sufferings of Israel and Liliane Atlan’s Mister Fugue for their relative disregard of gender issues. She backs off, however, on Martin Sherman’s Bent, which she discusses with I-feel-your-pain caution. Some http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theater Duke University Press

Theorizing the "Unmanageable"

Theater, Volume 30 (3) – Jan 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre
ISSN
0161-0775
eISSN
1527-196X
DOI
10.1215/01610775-30-3-127
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

of the Nazi state machine’s Jewish victims and their cultures. To solve the paradox of how “goneness” could ever be represented in art (recall Theodor Adorno’s “no poetry after Auschwitz”), she introduces Hayden White’s theory of tropes. Rejecting naive representations of what was lost (as in Diary of Anne Frank dramatization, a play she pointedly does not discuss), she examines a range of metaphors—among them the diabolical file cabinet in Peter Barnes’s Auschwitz and the enormous radio in Joan Schenkar’s The Last of Hitler —that point to “what cannot be mapped.” Patraka implies that the theater, whose very “presence” partakes of continual loss, is a medium intuitively suited to witnessing the ungraspable disappearance of European Jewry. At the center of the book are discussions of plays that present the possibility of a conflict of loyalties. Patraka wrestles with dual allegiances—for instance, to the memory of the Holocaust and to the awareness of gender. After some soul-searching, she refuses to fault Nelly Sachs’s Eli: A Mystery Play of the Sufferings of Israel and Liliane Atlan’s Mister Fugue for their relative disregard of gender issues. She backs off, however, on Martin Sherman’s Bent, which she discusses with I-feel-your-pain caution. Some

Journal

TheaterDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2000

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