Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xviii

“Whatever we make of performance, theater is desire,” wrote Herbert Blau in his reflections on theater and memory entitled The Audience (Blau 1990, 195). The question at stake is: what kind of desire is this? As we relate it to contemporary culture and society in Catalonia in particular and Spain...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xix-xx

Many thanks are due to the colleagues and friends who have put aside their own work to read drafts of this book, as well as to those with whom I have established a gratifying intellectual dialogue throughout the years about theater and narratives of memory in Spain and Latin America. I am very...

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Introduction: The Aesthetics of the Ephemeral

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pp. 1-18

The epigraphs condense, in an intertextual mode, particular ideas and images about theater and memory that foreshadow the entire argument of this book.1 In this study, these ideas and images about theater and memory involve the linkage that exists between the formation of societies and cultures...

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1. The Journey in the Desert

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pp. 19-38

Deserts, as the French cultural theorist Jean Baudrillard beautifully describes them, are magnificent. Their grandeur derives from a paradox that is intrinsic to deserts’ magnificence: their austerity. For deserts are arid spaces, wastelands, desolate and unprotected. Deserts are the negative of the earth’s...

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2. Ruins, Loss, Rebirth

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pp. 39-80

Cities are built upon layers of histories—the histories of their foundation and their demise, of their formation and transformation, of their rituals and daily life—all of them shaped by a common aspect: the experience of time and space. In this regard, this chapter first provides a brief discussion of...

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3. Tragedy, Violence, Justice

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pp. 81-114

How can we imagine or project alternative forms of future to the prospect of one colonized by the triumphalism of progress within late-modernity?— namely, alternative forms of future that are not prolongations of the present or something in actu but rather something in potentia. As a response to this...

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4. Immigration, Displacements, Actualities

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pp. 115-160

Materialized in a narrative figuration of multiple voices, memory has the potential to undermine the univocal character of the rule of law. Indeed, memory stores a past—an immanent history—that may influence the present, thus transforming it into something else. But this fusion of past and present...

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5. Inheritance, Memory, Natality

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pp. 161-190

As in the fissures and crevices of modern ruins from which a frail form of life protrudes, insistently, in the interstices of a dialectical reflection about the past, the present, and the future, a fragile truth looms: namely, memory, as a practice able to recreate and reconstruct what has been lost, destroyed...

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In Place of a Conclusion: A (Dys)functional Body Politic

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pp. 191-202

Theater “close[s] up a small number of people in melancholy fashion in a gloomy cavern, which keeps them fearful and immobile in silence and inaction,” wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau, during the heyday of the French Enlightenment, in his Letter to d’Alembert (1758; Rousseau 2005, 343).1 It...

Notes

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pp. 203-244

Works Cited

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pp. 245-266

Index

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pp. 267-274