Mediating acts of war/staging crises of sensibility : David Rabe’s Sticks and bones, Eve Ensler’s Necessary targets, and Sam Shepard ’s The god of hell

Part of : Γράμμα : περιοδικό θεωρίας και κριτικής ; Vol.16, No.1, 2008, pages 101-127

Section Title:
Writing war
The article focuses on the efforts of three outstanding contemporary American dramatists to address identified parameters of socio-political and cultural crises brought about by the diverse, yet intricately related, historical instances of the Vietnam War, the Bosnia-Herzegovina War, and the war on terror. In Sticks and Bones (1971), David Rabe discerns multiple layers of trauma on the face of a Vietnam veteran and thus finds chance to question the impossibility of gaining access to a healing process within the boundaries of a topos that proves even more disorienting than the battlefield itself. In Necessary Targets (2001), Eve Ensler, responding creatively to peculiarities spawned by the Bosnia-Herzegovina War and its aftermath, tackles adequately the question whether trauma is translatable. In addition, she examines the issue of positioning one's own stance towards the other's suffering, exploring modes in which the targeted people may help the observer become aware of her own crisis of self-placement. In Tiie God of Hell (2004), Sam Shepard directs his efforts at capturing in stage images the feeling of bewilderment prevalent in post9/11 America, where the appropriation of the national by a newly-conceived type of order is attempted via directed attacks on the people's understanding. In all three cases, attention is given to the artists' desire to shake audiences out of the familiarity of widely-shared and firmly-Established representations of crises, highlighting that what should be seen and studied as the most serious facet of "crisis" is the very failure the subject encounters in attaining a thorough understanding of the moment itself.
Subject (LC):
Revisiting crisis / reflecting on conflict: American literary interpretations from World War II to Ground Zero.Περιέχει σημειώσεις και βιβλιογραφία