of the Nazi state machineâs Jewish victims and their cultures. To solve the paradox of how âgonenessâ could ever be represented in art (recall Theodor Adornoâs âno poetry after Auschwitzâ), she introduces Hayden Whiteâs 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 metaphorsâamong them the diabolical file cabinet in Peter Barnesâs Auschwitz and the enormous radio in Joan Schenkarâs The Last of Hitler âthat point to âwhat cannot be mapped.â Patraka implies that the theater, whose very âpresenceâ 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 allegiancesâfor instance, to the memory of the Holocaust and to the awareness of gender. After some soul-searching, she refuses to fault Nelly Sachsâs Eli: A Mystery Play of the Sufferings of Israel and Liliane Atlanâs Mister Fugue for their relative disregard of gender issues. She backs off, however, on Martin Shermanâs Bent, which she discusses with I-feel-your-pain caution. Some
Theater – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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