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Immigrating Fictions: Unfailing Mediation in Dictée and Becoming Madame Mao

Immigrating Fictions: Unfailing Mediation in Dictée and Becoming Madame Mao E R I C H AY O T Immigrating Fictions: Unfailing Mediation in Dictée and Becoming Madame Mao he originality of the Brechtian sign, Roland Barthes once said, comes from its always being read twice. "What Brecht gives us to read," Barthes wrote in 1975, "is, via a kind of disconnect, the look of a reader, not the object of that look; that object only reaches us through the intellectual (alienated) act of a first reader who is already on stage" ("Brecht" 265; my translation). Barthes meant that objects on the Brechtian stage never appear on stage as themselves. They are instead objects--facts, things, people, situations--as someone has perceived them, elements of a story told by an actor who performs a relation to the objects of his regard that subjects them, in advance, to reading. From the edge of the proscenium, the audience sees the reading, not the objects, and sees simultaneously the possibility of reading the objects otherwise. The Brechtian theater thus shows that an object is always someone's object, that any given thing, person, or situation has already emerged, prior to any single perception of it, as the "reading" of someone else whose first reading was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

Immigrating Fictions: Unfailing Mediation in Dictée and Becoming Madame Mao

Contemporary Literature , Volume 47 (4) – Feb 16, 2006

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
ISSN
1548-9949
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Abstract

E R I C H AY O T Immigrating Fictions: Unfailing Mediation in Dictée and Becoming Madame Mao he originality of the Brechtian sign, Roland Barthes once said, comes from its always being read twice. "What Brecht gives us to read," Barthes wrote in 1975, "is, via a kind of disconnect, the look of a reader, not the object of that look; that object only reaches us through the intellectual (alienated) act of a first reader who is already on stage" ("Brecht" 265; my translation). Barthes meant that objects on the Brechtian stage never appear on stage as themselves. They are instead objects--facts, things, people, situations--as someone has perceived them, elements of a story told by an actor who performs a relation to the objects of his regard that subjects them, in advance, to reading. From the edge of the proscenium, the audience sees the reading, not the objects, and sees simultaneously the possibility of reading the objects otherwise. The Brechtian theater thus shows that an object is always someone's object, that any given thing, person, or situation has already emerged, prior to any single perception of it, as the "reading" of someone else whose first reading was

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Feb 16, 2006

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