Abstract

This article focuses on the dynamics between historical materialism in Walter Benjamin’s sense and the postmodern rendition of the baroque metaphor of theatrum mundi in Peter Handke’s play Die Fahrt im Einbaum that create a type of utopia which runs counter to not only the linear discourse of historiography but also the reductive logic of the mass media. The structure of the play is a contemporary version of the theatrum mundi, insofar as the role of God, the original author of the play of human life, is now assigned to the inscrutable history, the contemporary deus absconditus. The utopian project in the play, presented as a voyage by dugout, defies history through a form of memory which Benjamin termed Eingedenken. This memory resembles theology with its focus on the recurring utopian now-time, a messianic moment of recognition, which suspends historical linearity and prevents retribution for bygone injustices among the Balkan peoples.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-026X
Print ISSN
0037-1939
Pages
pp. 43-67
Launched on MUSE
2017-03-12
Open Access
No
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