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Greek Fragments in Postmodern FramesRewriting Tragedy 1970-2005$
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Eleftheria Ioannidou

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664115.001.0001

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Textual Fragments and Sexual Politics

Textual Fragments and Sexual Politics

(p.131) 5 Textual Fragments and Sexual Politics
Greek Fragments in Postmodern Frames

Eleftheria Ioannidou

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 views adaptation as a fragmentation of the classical text, drawing on Erika Fischer-Lichte’s use of the ritual notions of sparagmos and ōmophageia. The adaptations under examination here depart from the ritualized stagings of Greek tragedy in the late 1960s and 1970s in that they adopt a deconstructive approach to tragedy. The collage of the diachronic appropriations of Euripides’ Medea in Tony Harrison’s Medea: A Sex-War Opera puts in historical perspective the feminist issues that the play addresses. In Caryl Churchill’s A Mouthful of Birds the fragmentation of the Bacchae and the dance element complement each other in order to resist the everyday violence involved in prescribed gender roles. Finally, in Heiner Müller’s Medeamaterial the sparagmos of the tragic text depicts the fragmentation of Medea’s body as well as the disintegration of the writing subject in the ruins of post-war Europe.

Keywords:   Fragmentation, sparagmos, Ihab Hassan, Erika Fischer-Lichte, Tony Harrison, Medea: A Sex-War Opera, Caryl Churchill, A Mouthful of Birds, Heiner Müller, Medeamaterial

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