Chapter

The Birth of Farce 1950–2000

in Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226289533
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226289557 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226289557.003.0008
The Birth of Farce 1950–2000

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This chapter reports some of what happened to the peaceful Minoans as Cold War replaced World War, postcolonial relativism usurped classical elitism, and neo-Greek tragedy made way for neoprimitive farce. The warlike, heroic Minoans of Arthur Evans's earliest interpretations were finally ready to make a reappearance, confounding the stark dichotomies of Crete versus the mainland that had dominated Bronze Age archaeology since 1898. Evans made an appearance in Martin Bernal's story about classical archaeology, but proved to be a bit of an awkward fit. His death liberated a critical impulse that had been kept at bay for forty years, and the visionary coherence of his work quickly turned back into fragments. In the years after 1945, Greek archaeologists reclaimed Mycenae as evidence for cooperative nation-building and multiculturalism, while their counterparts on Crete began dismantling Evans's utopian legacy.

Keywords: neoprimitive farce; Arthur Evans; Crete; Martin Bernal; Mycenae; Cold War; World War; postcolonial relativism; neo-Greek tragedy

Chapter.  6859 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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