This book argues for a new way of reading tragedy that attends to how bodies on the ancient Athenian stage pivot between subject and object, human and not, and so serve as vehicles for confronting the edges of the human, for thinking beyond or without or instead of it. At the same time, Greek tragedy pulls up close to human bodies, examining their physical edges, their surfaces and parts, their coverings or nakedness, and their postures.
Drawing on and leading forward the latest interplays of posthumanism and materialism in their relation to classical literature, Nancy Worman shows how enactment such as this may seem to emphasize the "human" body, but in effect it does something quite different, treating the body as a thing that has the status and implications of other objects - such as a sieve, an urn, a toy for a dog.
This book urges attention to key scenes in Greek tragedy that foreground such bodily identifiers as materializations of signs, whose symbolic resonances become concrete sites for contention and imbrication on the dramatic stage, as well as for closeness, contact, and sensory dynamics. This way of reading the dramatic script affords a consideration of how bodies - compellingly abject, barely human, strangely assembled, too proximate - register at tragedy's unique intersections, that is, at points where directive, enacted, and figurative language points up visual, tactile, and aural details.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 304
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm