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Gadamer, History and the Classics

Fugard, Marowitz, Berkoff, and Harrison Rewrite the Theatre


Alison Forsyth

Should The Merchant of Venice be staged post-Holocaust? How was Antigone (an icon of «noble» suffering in the Western liberal humanist tradition) received in Apartheid-riven South Africa? These are some of the questions confronted in this examination of the potential of rewriting the classics to produce new or altered meanings by virtue and not in spite of such works’ cultural cachet. Too often the space that exists between present realities and the interpretative stasis that typifies our reception of canonical texts is overlooked or used to bolster fruitless «canon-busting» polemics. This book persuasively advocates the productive potential of rewriting the canon whereby we are challenged to «re-cognize» that the often unsatisfactory absolutes with which we attempt to rationalize the world are inextricably bound up with, shaped and sustained by our hermeneutically dulled reception of «high» culture.