Stages of subjectivity

Frances Babbage

in Re-Visioning Myth

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780719067525
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701782 | DOI:
Stages of subjectivity

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  • Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)


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According to Hélène Cixous, the very concept of ‘character’ is a straitjacket: promising subtlety, it is in the end always a reductive puzzle whereby the subject exists in order ‘to be figured out, understood, read’. Drawing on the thinking of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Jacques Lacan, this chapter explores re-visions that excavate and chart an almost wholly inner landscape: Demeter Beneath the Sand was created and performed in 1986 by Serena Sartori and Renata Coluccini, artists from Milan's Teatro del Sole; Cixous's The Name of Oedipus: Song of the Forbidden Body was originally performed in Avignon in 1978. Both plays depict mythical worlds and adopt archetypal imagery in studies of identity and subjecthood that make no explicit reference to a social frame. The chapter also considers The Perjured City, or The Awakening of the Furies, also by Cixous, produced in 1994 by the Théâtre du Soleil; the piece echoes some of the concerns of Cixous's earlier play, but uses myth to resituate the self and individual ethical choices within an overtly political realm.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud; Carl Jung; re-visions; Jacques Lacan; Demeter Beneath Sand; identity; subjecthood; Hélène Cixous; myth; plays

Chapter.  19208 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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