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Tyrol or Not Tyrol

Theatre as History in Südtirol/Alto Adige

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Nóra de Buiteléir

On 19 June 1992 Austria and Italy declared the official resolution of the South Tyrol question – the dispute that had dominated relations between the two countries since the end of the First World War. While this bilingual province is today held up as a triumph of minority rights protection and a model for post-conflict societies across the world, the story of the South Tyrol since its amalgamation into the Italian state in 1919 has been a complex and often turbulent one.
This book investigates the political role of the theatre in reflecting, shaping and subverting patterns of cultural identity among the German-speaking South Tyrolese. Taking as its starting point the representation of history in a series of ambitious theatrical productions from the 1970s to the present, this study offers close readings of texts and performances and an examination of the belated development of professional theatre in the province. The role of theatre is analysed in terms of the broader historical and sociocultural factors at play in the shaping of South Tyrolese identity.

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CHAPTER 4 Remade, Refilmed, Restaged, Retold: Ezra und Luis oder Die Erstbesteigung des Ulmer Müns

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ters You backed the wrong side, And the wrong side backed me. That is our cross. That is why we he have to film it all again. Because we were wrong, Because we went wrong, Because we fell from grace, Because nothing went right, That is why we have to film it all again.1 — Ezra und Luis, 1994 All his life Luis Trenker remained fascinated with the idea of the Erstbesteigung or first ascent. Himself a veteran of a number of first ascents in his native Dolomites – according to his memoirs, at least – he was so possessed by the story of the conquest of the Matterhorn in the nineteenth century that he made a film about it. And then, a decade later, he made the 1 ‘Sie haben der falschen Seite applaudiert/und die falsche Seite hat mir applaudiert./ Das ist das Kreuz./Deshalb müssen wir alles neu verfilmen./Weil wir uns geirrt haben,/weil wir uns verirrt haben,/weil wir abgestürzt sind,/weil nichts gut gegangen ist,/deshalb müssen wir alles neu verfilmen.’ Gerhard Köpf, Ezra und Luis oder die Erstbesteigung des Ulmer Münsters. Ein Spiel mit essayistischen Kletterhilfen zu Pound und Trenker. Ed. by Christina Karafiat & Fabian Kametz (Innsbruck: Löwenzahn, 1994), p. 28. 106 CHAPTER 4 same film again. This fascination with new and uncharted territory on the one hand and with the possibility of correction and revision on the other are the two apparently contradictory urges at play in Gerhard Köpf ’s farce...

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