Chapter

Decolonizing Thoas

Edith Hall

in Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392890
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979257 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392890.003.0013

Series: Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture

Decolonizing Thoas

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Thoas and the Taurians have been central to the 20th- and 21st-century reception of Iphigenia in Tauris, especially in anti-imperial and postcolonial writers such as the Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes. In Yannis Ritsos' ‘The Return of Iphigenia’, written in 1971-1972 under the Greek dictatorship, Iphigenia comes home to the Peloponnese, but cannot escape her memories of persecution. Ritsos' Taurians have here metamorphosed into the ‘internal barbarians’ of the Greek state regime. The play has struck chords in Australia, in relation to the colonial persecution of the Aboriginal population, in Louis Nowra's contemporary classic The Golden Age (1985). Wlodzimierz Staniewski's Polish production, a work-in-progress which opened in 2010, uses ethnographic traditions and ritual to read the play creatively against a history of the invasion of lands and peoples subjected to Russian and German invasion and persecution, in Poland, Georgia, and Thoas' homeland in the Ukraine.

Keywords: Thoas; Taurians; postcolonial; Alfonso Reyes; Yannis Ritsos; Louis Nowra; The Golden Age; Australia; Aboriginals; Wlodzimierz Staniewski

Chapter.  8812 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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