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Who’s watching? Me! – Theatrality, the Žižekian Subject and Spectatorship

Boenisch, Peter M. (2014) Who’s watching? Me! – Theatrality, the Žižekian Subject and Spectatorship. In: Chow, Broderick and Mangold, Alex, eds. Žižek & Performance. Performance Philosophy . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York, pp. 48-60. ISBN 978-1-137-41090-0. E-ISBN 978-1-137-40319-3. (doi:10.1057/9781137403193) (KAR id:54561)


This chapter outlines a Žižekian analysis of theatre performance that goes be-yond disclosing the ideological workings of the symbolic and imaginary orders at the level of plots, characters, and representation. Linking Žižek’s revision of Hegelian (negative) subjectivity with approaches from German ‘theatrality stud-ies’, I instead focus on the (formal) level of theatral presentation. Discussing Flemish director Guy Cassiers’s intermedial production of Robert Musil’s novel The Man Without Qualities (2009-12), I argue that the dynamic force of ‘thea’ cre-ates a reflexive experiential loop of ‘watching ourselves watching’. This induces a parallax split, which dramatizes the negative dialectic force of Hegelian-Žižekian subjectivity.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1057/9781137403193
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN80 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1600 Drama
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The theatre
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: P. Boenisch
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 11:35 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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