Introduction: Performance and the Tragic Politics of the Agon

Fisher, Tony (2017) Introduction: Performance and the Tragic Politics of the Agon. In: Performing Antagonism: Theatre, Performance & Radical Democracy. Performance Philosophy . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 1-24. ISBN 9781349950997
Creators:Fisher, Tony

The introduction to the book provides a rationale for the collection by sketching out a ‘tragic conception’ of the political. It is in relation to this conception—understanding the tragic in terms of the finitude and precarity of the political—that the various approaches taken by the authors in the collection might be said to be responding. Core to this approach is the theme of ‘antagonism’ as theorised in the work of Carl Schmitt and later Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau. The introduction offers a comprehensive account of the ‘agonistic’ dimension that defines the political as such, beginning by tracing the ‘agon’—meaning ‘struggle’—back to its origins in ancient Greek society and culture. That the ancient Greeks understood the insuperable nature of the agon provides the starting point for a discussion of the limits of the political, grasped as the permanent interplay of contesting forces and thus the impossibility of reaching a final consensus on social and democratic life. How theatre and performance respond to this tragic conception, or deploy it, is then discussed in the final section of the chapter, through a brief analysis of the emergence of ‘post-Brechtian’ aesthetics—central to debates that animate the essays that follow.

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Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:Library Code: 792.01 FIS ----- HBK ISBN: 978-1349950997 ----- EBK ISBN: 978-1349951000
Uncontrolled Keywords:Tragedy, Radical Democracy, Political Theatre, Carl Schmitt, Post-Brechtian
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ID Code:633
Deposited By: Ms Research Administrator
Deposited On:14 Jun 2017 10:59
Last Modified:28 Jun 2017 12:55
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