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Farm Frenzy 3 Lösung
Farm Frenzy 3 Lösung
Farm Frenzy 3 Lösung

The Pirandello tale, told in isolation, fails to communicate such complexity. In his last years Pirandello felt out of sympathy with a government of which earlier in his life he had held high hopes.

Mussolini and his ministers consciously worked to blur such boundaries as high versus low culture, art versus popular theater, art versus propaganda.

Many productions for the masses were indeed quite worthy, theatrically and artistically speaking; this is, however, a point beyond the scope of this essay.

More pertinent here are two important issues: first, that the regime also continued to pursue the possibility of a more traditional National Theater structure and to back the theatrical vanguard and, second, that these efforts were conceived as complementary to and not in competition with productions for the masses.

Pirandello pursued the National Theater project until his death. We must learn to wait, because he needs time; woe unto those who get tired of waiting.

There were no certain outcomes here. In , the Italian Society of Authors and Editors created the Burcardo Theatre library, attached to the Teatro Argentina which had always been a likely candidate to house an eventual state auditorium.

Prampolini of Futurist Pantomime Theater fame returned to Italy in and served as scenographer, as did Antonio Valente who designed the aforementioned carri di Tespi.

Facing the impending closure of his Teatro degli Indipendenti back in , he proposed to do something bigger and better. Bring us, oh Duce, out of this catacomb of believers, make faith triumph!

It was, instead, the necessary proving grounds for any such endeavors and a training area for its artists. I spoke of a Faustian pact for Pirandello, but perhaps it was Bragaglia who sold his soul.

Such repugnant, although isolated, events coexisted alongside those that were, from an artistic point of view, thrilling. By now historians have amply demonstrated that fascism was at its core a modernist political movement and that the regime conceived of the relationship between art and politics in fundamentally modern ways.

If this epoch is truly fascist to the core, all that is of lasting value and is accomplished during its course will bear the visible imprint of fascism.

Six Characters had already played in fourteen countries, with major productions in London, New York, Paris, and Berlin between and He sent shock waves across Europe and America.

He was a herald of a new modern theater. And, as he made sure everybody knew, Mussolini was behind him all the way.

And yet, if we consider Pirandello privileged, we need to think of him as a model, not as an exception. I could limit my discussion to the personalities, institutions, and shows already mentioned, as it is difficult to deny the regime its theatrical avant-garde credentials when we consider the artists and productions it actively promoted.

By definition, being avant-garde is about leading the way. These gave training and experience to technicians and actors, but perhaps their greatest feat was the creation of a new generation of directors.

After the war, directors came to dominate, absolutely, the Italian theater. Initially, there were twelve founders, but by the time they signed the papers on October 6, , the shareholders were in fact eleven.

Unless otherwise noted, all translations in this essay are my own. Corrado Alvaro, in Il Risorgimento, April 3, , in PC, English translation from Susan Bassnett and Jennifer Lorch, Luigi Pirandello in the Theater London: Routledge, , This is doc.

This sum amounted to more than the liberal government had provided for all prose and opera performance in , the year before il duce came to power.

See Luigi Pirandello, Saggi e interviste, ed. Ferdinando Taviani Milan: Mondadori, , and Pupo, Interviste a Pirandello, Pirandello, Saggi e interviste, From an interview with O.

Gilbertini, November 27, Reviews and rehearsal photos, however, indicate that the director was not successful in attempts to abolish the prompter.

See Gaspare Giudice, Pirandello: A Biography, trans. Alastair Hamilton London: Oxford University Press , Gilbertini, La Tribuna November 27, in Pirandello, Saggi e interviste, For a performance history of the play, see Jennifer Lorch, Pirandello: Six Characters in Search of an Author Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Tinterri, Savinio e lo spettacolo, April 3, , Il Tevere, in PC, Bassnett and Lorch , Documentary, Luigi Pirandello, La Sagra, Corrado Alvaro, Cronache e scritti teatrali Rome: Edizioni Abete, , 76; Bassnett and Lorch, Documentary, See in particular Emilio Gentile, Il culto del littorio Rome: Laterza, [] , in English, The Sacralization of Politics in Fascist Italy, trans.

Keith Botsford Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Alvaro, Cronache e scritti teatrali, April 12, , in PC, Mussolini, in his interviews with Emil Ludwig.

Emil Ludwig, Colloqui con Mussolini ; Milan: Mondadori, , Yvon De Begnac, Taccuini Mussoliniani, ed. Francesco Perfetti ; Bologna: Mulino, , An early adherent of the PNF, he had written a successful biography of il duce in and was close enough to Mussolini to facilitate communication between him and Pirandello in the early stages of their collaboration.

Bontempelli would be a vocal devotee of Mussolini for at least the first decade of his rule; il duce, in turn, enthusiastically praised him throughout the years and personally pushed for his nomination to the Royal Academy of Italian Intellectuals in Massimo Bontempelli, Il Neosofista e altri scritti Milan: Mondadori, , Mussolini, Opera Omnia, vol.

Marco Praga, Cronache teatrali Milan: Treves, , June 29, , quoted in PC, Lorch, Pirandello, See Documentary, Excerpt translated in Love Letters, The complete set of letters, with the exception of a handful the Pirandello Estate did not authorize, can be found in Luigi Pirandello, Lettere a Marta Abba, ed.

Benito Ortolani Milan: Mondadori, The Gruppi Universitari Fascisti sponsored various cultural activities, including film and theater groups. For the crowds of La Sagra e Gli dei, Pirandello used students from the Santa Cecilia acting academy, in part of an attempt to give students professional experience alongside academic instruction.

Translated in Jeffrey T. Gentile, Origini, Ferdinando Taviani, Uomini di scena, uomini di libro: La scena sulla coscienza ; Rome: Officina, , Trapped in France after the Nazi invasion in , Hasenclever committed suicide.

Bronnen was from his teenage years attracted to both extremes of the political spectrum. However, he quickly fell out of favor due to both the avant-garde form and lurid sexual content of his work.

In , Bronnen became a Communist, and after the war he enjoyed the support, if not perhaps the complete trust, of the GDR. They not only expose the deficiencies of the legal system and the bourgeois order it supports, but they attack law and authority in any form.

This chapter examines the plays against the broader context of early twentieth-century avant-garde performance and German politics.

During this era, invocations of aesthetic and political violence intertwine in the writings of both theater artists and vanguardist politicians.

Goebbels paints war in apocalyptic terms, as violence so extreme and complete as to baffle the imagination.

Intensity, grandeur, and boundlessness are all characteristic of the sublime. First appearing in a Roman treatise describing a particularly heightened rhetorical style, the concept of the sublime emerged in its modern form during the eighteenth century.

Immanuel Kant and Edmund Burke, two of its earliest and most important theorists, describe it as an aesthetic response to experiences of limitlessness.

From the fourteenth century until late in the nineteenth, European theater also became increasingly representational, in the sense that it aimed for increasing illusionism.

Hasenclever and Bronnen portray patricide as an act of war generating a sublime, nonrepresentational mode of both politics and performance.

In the process, they reveal troubling affinities with key currents in interwar right-wing German thought, including Nazism, which likewise hailed war as a sublime event forging forms of performance and politics beyond representation.

Politics as War Zone The Son and Patricide hover on the border between avant-garde experiment and nineteenth-century illusionism. Yet as Patricide progresses, the repetitions and ellipses increasingly signal not the hesitations of everyday speech, but the distortion and collapse of language under an overwhelming emotional onslaught.

Surrealism expects nothing save from violence. They portray such situations as generating the sublime, suggesting that they possess an authenticity and intensity that resist any form of limitation or mediation.

Marinetti, Artaud, and Breton want to capture these qualities in theatrical performance. At the same time, they see actual war as both the supreme political act and ultimate avant-garde performance.

While Hasenclever expresses himself in a more measured manner, he too suggests that patricide releases his protagonist from all restraints.

The patricides achieve this effect within their respective dramas. Anticipating subsequent generations of performance artists, the Son performs himself.

The story of suffering he relates is his own personal history; the scars he shows the crowd are real, not stage makeup. Hasenclever and Bronnen represent the patricides not simply as bids for individual liberation, but as acts of revolutionary warfare.

In the modern West, supreme political authority typically rests with centralized states. At the same time, it delegitimizes violence deployed by those not acting as representatives of the state.

The Father resorts to having his Son arrested and returned home by the police because he has lost the ability to control the Son on his own. Fessel senior is determined to turn Walter into a lawyer because he wants his son to represent the downtrodden in their grievances against the rich and powerful, and so gain retribution for the hardships Fessel and his family have suffered.

While the Father and Fessel permit the state to represent them against their enemies, Walter and the Son take violence into their own hands.

In doing so, the protagonists transform the political realm into a war zone. Wars occur in situations where a monopoly on violence, and hence a sovereign political authority, are absent.

And as Hobbes observes, there is no monopoly on violence in the international arena: nation-states exist in the same anarchic relationship to each other as do individuals in the mythical state of nature.

The playwrights depict this transposition as an act of liberation. However, the sublime conception of freedom that he and Bronnen herald bears little resemblance to that found within the liberal democratic tradition, where the state maintains a firm monopoly on violence and periodic elections are designed to substitute for armed conflict between opposing factions.

But while some anarchists condoned violence as a technique for achieving their political goals, major figures like Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin tended to picture a stateless society as the epitome of order and peace.

This is not an ideal that Hasenclever and Bronnen share. Instead, the playwrights are drawn to the moment of orgiastic violence itself, suggesting that war offers the only truly representation-free politics.

Such sentiments do play a significant role within a certain apocalyptic strain of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European political discourse, one that, at least initially, fostered uncanny affinities between the far Left and extreme Right.

In the years preceding World War I, a wide variety of political figures joined with the avant-gardes in suggesting that sublime violence could become the vehicle for a more authentic and vital form of politics than that found within the bourgeois legal state.

That we have so long failed to appreciate this, is proof how effeminate the science of the state as treated by the hands of civilians has finally become.

Life is built on cruelty, horror, force. Moreover, like the playwrights, he sees war as a sublime aesthetic and political event.

Sorel insists on the importance of political myths as catalysts for revolutionary action. A variety of interwar German intellectuals looked to the destruction and chaos of the recent war as a model for the kind of ethos they hoped to instill in postwar Weimar society.

Schmitt, who would go on to serve the Nazi regime, cites war as the basis for all genuine politics. Likewise the various large parties acknowledge the need to adopt means of power that express the fact that the battle of opinions will not be decided solely through votes and programs but also by the stalwarts committed to march in support of those programs.

By , 25 percent of all men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five could claim membership in a paramilitary group.

The playwrights contribute to a broader shift in early twentieth-century German discourse, in which a paramilitary street-fighter might appear more admirable than the desk-bound parliamentarian, and bloodshed nobler than rational discussion and compromise.

Total Power, Total Theater Despite their longing for individual liberation, Hasenclever and Bronnen share a fascination with unlimited power, and suggest that, through patricide, their protagonists gain omnipotence.

In this dazzling nothingness, all and nothing are closely allied, since both are absolved from limits. It is for this reason that feeling utterly inconsiderable can tip over into a sense of omnipotence.

As previously noted, the speech breaks down the barrier between performer and audience, aesthetic event and lived experience.

However, this transformation does not enable the audience to challenge or critique the performance, but instead serves as a means for the performer to gain power over the audience.

The Son in turn asserts a similar form of control albeit half-unwittingly over the audience; while he does not literally hypnotize them, Hasenclever suggests that his performance achieves an equally mesmerizing effect.

Hasenclever and Bronnen depict the patricides themselves as even more emphatic performances of power. The Son and Walter force the fathers to participate in their performances.

They confirm their absolute power over their progenitors, wiping them out of existence. While presenting themselves as restoring order to the nation, they actually enshrined the limitlessness and lawlessness of war at the very heart of state authority, in a sovereign authority embodying unlimited power and unchecked violence.

While most of the party leadership shared an intense hostility toward modernist art and literature, Nazi rallies were, like many avant-garde performances, designed to dismantle any psychic barrier between the star performer and other participants.

Hitler describes speech-making in the way that Marinetti and Artaud describe the ideal performance: as both an artistic act and a form of assault.

It alone gives its chosen one the words which like hammer blows can open the gates to the heart of a people.

It overcomes the last rudiments of collapsing epochs and clears a free path for the future. There must be destruction if there is to be new creation.

Like Hasenclever and Bronnen, but on an exponentially grander scale, the Nazis viewed the ideal performance as an exercise in subjugation through annihilation.

It is a long way from patricide to world war; neither Hasenclever nor Bronnen advocate for anything like wholesale slaughter the Nazis engaged in.

Hasenclever, like several other expressionist dramatists, often dispenses with individual character names. In The Son, he designates the main characters by their relationship to the Son Friend, Governess, Father , except for the Son himself who, Hasenclever suggests, is defined by his relationship to the Father.

Unless otherwise noted, all translations from German are my own. Walter Sokel, The Writer in Extremis: Expressionism in Twentieth Century German Literature New York: McGraw-Hill, , Sokel, The Writer in Extremis, Roderick Stackelberg and Sally A.

Winkle London: Routledge, , Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Selected Writings, ed. Flint, trans. Flint and Arthur A.

Coppotelli New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, , 42, Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful Oxford: Oxford University Press, , 67; Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment, trans.

Werner S. Pluhar Indianapolis: Hackett, , Walter Hasenclever, Dramen Berlin: Die Schmiede Verlag, , Marinetti, Selected Writings, Richard Seaver and Helen R.

Lane Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, , Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, trans.

Arnold Bronnen, Vatermord, in Werke, vol. Hasenclever, Dramen, 56, Bronnen, Vatermord, Hasenclever, Dramen, Hasenclever, Dramen, , Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan New York: E.

Dutton, , Hasenclever, Dramen, , 53, ; Bronnen, Vatermord, Peter Vershov New York: Columbia University Press, , Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence, trans.

Hulme New York: Peter Smith, , Sorel, Reflections on Violence, Sorel, Reflections on Violence, , , Carl Schmitt, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, trans.

Kennedy Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, , Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, trans. George Schwab Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , Schmitt, Concept of the Political, Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg Berkeley: University of California Press, , Timothy S.

Brown, Weimar Radicals: Nazis and Communists Between Authenticity and Performance New York: Berghahn Books, , Brown, Weimar Radicals, Terry Eagleton, Holy Terror Oxford: Oxford University Press, , Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, trans.

George Schwab Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, , Michael Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History New York: Hill and Wang, , , , Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans.

Nevertheless, this quote seems revealing. Joseph Goebbels, quoted in James M. Rhodes, The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, , Albert Speer, Spandau: The Secret Diaries, trans.

Richard Winston and Clara Winston New York: Macmillan, , Yet in the history of vanguard movements in English fascism, such visions of political transcendence often collapse in performative failure.

This essay considers how the idealization of an imagined moment of vanguard performance entwines with the frequently disastrous history of the Far Right in English nationalism.

The fascist imaginary often conceives a transcendent moment of renewal and reinvention as if it were to come into being in a moment of revelatory presence built around a charismatic leader, the spearhead of the movement, before the body of its massing troops.

Lindbergh realizes the consummation of his political ambitions when he steps into the hall of the deadlocked Republican convention and seizes the chance to win the party nomination through his understanding of the potential of performance.

It is a compelling, convincing vision of what might have happened. The figure of Lindbergh is a familiar s icon of vaulting manhood. He is the vanguard leader whose charisma is registered through acts of heroism, endurance, and pioneering achievement in physical, military, or aesthetic spheres.

A masculine figure such as Lindbergh, or the Italian air ace Italo Balbo whose formation of flying boats crossed the Atlantic in , is represented in the moment as a parapolitical animal, an enthusiastic innovator whose successes as explorer, warrior, or flyer illustrate his ability to pioneer and to inspire.

He was both a military leader and a participant in the experience and group identity of the common soldier, reverting to the ranks under an assumed name after the war in order to escape the pressures of celebrity.

Williamson had risen to prominence as a leading British prose embodier of a particular vision of rural order and natural essentialism, most celebratedly as the author of the novel Tarka the Otter.

According to Genius of Friendship, their letters were regular and, judging from the contents of those from which Williamson quotes, tended to the intense.

His experience of the Christmas truce suggested to him that the enemy was in fact a band of brothers like his own army and that both sides were manipulated and betrayed by those whose interests the war served.

This identification of a common identity and trauma between soldiers and their fellow combatants led him to the belief that Lawrence might share his sense of its potential to unify nations and to prevent war.

So far, so idealistic and even so communitarian. So that the sun should shine on free men! This event was also attended by a variety of British and American fellow-travelers, including Unity and Diana Mitford, sisters whose associations with fascism became notorious.

People on their feet, a roar of heil hitler! People sat down, like hundreds of thousands of friends, knowing each other, equal with the same trust.

I can only describe it this way, picking each word deliberately as I write. He padded into the cottage. His eyes and head moved with noticeable quickness.

He was instantly alert to what I said, he reacted to my every movement. He knew what I was going to say before I said it.

His reflexes were extraordinarily quick and sensitive: quicksilver. It was not noticeable. But at the time I did not have these thoughts or rather reflections; I formulated them later.

All I felt at that moment was that, for the first time in my life, I was becoming real and strong. The potential, as we shall see, for performance to fail, to be misread, poorly staged, interrupted, uncommunicative, inadequate, is a contemporary theoretical commonplace.

Brought into being as a reality, an imagined performance risks being undermined rather than ideally realized. This regretful and nostalgic construction of a never-realized performance project is in many ways a model inscription of vanguardist values in fascism, with its emphasis on the ideal past against the decayed present, and something of that pleasure in nostalgia clings nowadays to the portrayal of Williamson as the neglected prophet of the Far Right.

In a BBC local news film recorded in ,20 Williamson is shown reclining on a bed, manuscripts around him, then sitting at his desk, correcting them.

Williamson, what is it, do you think, makes Westcountry writers different from the others? By the time the book was written, Williamson was long separated from active politics of the kind that had led him, even during World War II, during which he came under suspicion as a spy, to paint the British Union of Fascists logo on the wall of his farmyard.

Indeed, The Gale of the World, his last novel, received an approving commentary in a edition of National Vanguard,24 the magazine of the American neo-Nazi group the National Alliance, formed around the leadership of the now dead William Pierce, author of the infamous Turner Diaries.

In his Tales From A Devon Village, Williamson digs into the social and natural orders of his immediate surroundings, the village of Georgeham in North Devon, to which he retreated with his wife and young child in the aftermath of World War I.

The book was published by Faber and Faber in , and it has the air of a journey into a world of folk tradition and behavior that had not yet been explored in literature, an English equivalent to J.

In it, Williamson observes the strangeness, simplicity, and stupidity of the lives around him, the squabbles between haves and have-nots, between families and generations, between the farmer, the landowner, and the laborer, and he looks at the clash resulting when the modern world encroaches on the ancient.

It roots a view of the world in a gathered, substantial tradition, one that values a settled social order and seems to reject modernism or a radical political project.

Elsewhere in the book, Williamson watches a brawl burst out between two brothers, describing its slow burn, its ancient roots, and showing, in vividly captured language, the attitudes and anger of the two fighters.

In describing the local policeman, he contrasts his natural fit to his surroundings with the changing identity and attitude of an imagined immigrant to a city who might have joined the police service.

Williamson compares the process to that of the salmon adjusting to the world of the river, except that, for Williamson, the adaptation of the immigrant to the city is necessarily a decay.

The process of ideological conclusion being drawn from apparently innocent, open observation is exemplified in Tales. One episode describes the author being faced with a belligerent visitor, a rag-and-bone man who, as the scene continues, is clearly registered as a Gypsy and with whom Williamson has an argument.

Later a young woman with a baby comes to the door and an altogether happier conversation follows, but it is undermined when we discover that she is the wife of the man, and that they have been planning an elaborate revenge.

Here the story breaks down and the author steps in to explain the strange high comic style of the piece so far. He says that what he has written is the picturesque version of a reality, composed in response to various magazines rejecting his previous attempts at realistic accounts of village life.

Instead, he begins to discuss the reality on which the comedy was based. He describes the regular appearance in the country landscape of Gypsies with their intrusive and deceptive behaviors, trying to con the householder out of money.

He goes on to discuss the more sinister visits of door-to-door salesmen from the city. They are Gypsies; their falsity and greed is a result of their ethnicity, and their ethnicity, while a part of the country scene, is an intrusion on its purity.

At the same time, the door-to-door salesman is not just a city type. He is Jewish. It is in this space of celebrity that connections with other leading novelists, artists, and politicians develop and in which Williamson becomes a fellow-traveling fan of Hitlerism along with a significant proportion of the rightleaning establishment of the day.

The meeting, complete with standard bearers, raised dais, a triumphal spot-lit entry for the leader, the insignia and uniforms of a British Nazism, is claimed to have drawn thirty thousand people by websites devoted to Mosley, eleven thousand by those with a more dispassionate view.

On the cusp of war, the rally could not be disguised as a peaceable affair, but rather it announced itself as the attempted continuation of a policy of anti-Semitic and authoritarian aping of the Nazi precedent, one that paid much service to the dressing and staging of the Nuremberg model, but which seems to have made a less than mystical impression on the wider audience of the day.

At the last of them in July at Earls Court, he entered to a trumpet fanfare and harangued the crowd from atop an enormous plinth like a beleaguered steeplejack.

At his imagined Albert Hall, Williamson sought to fuse a community and its archetypal representative into a transformative force.

Whichever, the dangers inherent in the proselytizing of both figures remain part of the rhetoric of a right-wing vanguard, however unrealized they may have been.

The League of Empire Loyalists, the National Front, and the British National Party have all emerged to claim some kind of popular support or to take a position in local councils, in regional authorities, and most recently, in the case of the BNP, as members of the European Parliament in the proportional representation.

The tactic embraced by the EDL is to demonstrate in the center of cities with considerable ethnic minority populations and to encourage confrontation with those communities, the police, and left-wing counterdemonstrations.

The claim that the organization represents a body of sympathizers who are marginalized by current political discourse is borne out in the collision between them and the groups of those they are opposed to, whoever those might be.

The moment of self-realization sought is in the performative engagement with the street demonstration and violence.

For the EDL, developing from a local network of groups involved in football violence from Luton, the Luton MIGS, the moment of realization came in a series of demonstrations, supposedly rooted in counterprotests against Islamic fundamentalism.

The rhetoric of nationalism is couched in an inclusive garb, but the space in which the EDL finds a realization is in the demonstration and its escalation into violence.

Its founder and spokesman, Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has a conviction for football-related violence.

In the case of the EDL, the Brevik moment seems to have precipitated the crisis rather more urgently than they had intended. Even in the moments of visibility that public events have sometimes provided for them, the sense of a vanguardist movement being undermined by performative failure has been strong.

And in the aftermath of the killing of a serving soldier, Lee Rigby, outside a London barracks in mid, the EDL sought to orchestrate a number of protest events that also shared a sense of performative bathos.

Lawrence as his catalyst hero illustrates a recurrent feature of the idealization of vanguard moments in the history of far-right and fascist movements in the UK.

The nostalgic representation of the plan for an Albert Hall rally in his posthumous writings to Lawrence indicates how important the myth of what might have been was to Williamson.

As right-wing movements have emerged subsequently in the UK, the model of the vanguard seeking realization through a performative enactment, whether BUF rally or EDL street-battle, has been characterized by their sense of the potential for progress.

It has led such movements to frequently latch onto potential watershed moments of self-realization, performances that might somehow tip them into power or potency.

Henry Williamson, Genius of Friendship London: Faber, , Philip Roth, The Plot Against America London: Jonathan Cape, Roth, The Plot Against America, Matthew Affron and Mark Antliff Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, , Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter London: Faber and Faber, Henry Williamson, The Gale of the World London: MacDonald, Williamson, Genius of Friendship, Unity Mitford was as loyal a British admirer of Hitler as could be found, apparently attempting to commit suicide when he told her she should return to Britain pending the outbreak of war.

Diana was later to marry Oswald Mosley. Lawrence: Letters, ed. Jeremy Wilson, vol. Henry Williamson, Goodbye West Country London: Faber, , Williamson, Goodbye West Country, For an example, see Rodney Legg, Lawrence in Dorset, 2nd ed.

Wincanton: Dorset, Lawrence , reprinted in Williamson, Genius of Friendship. Anne Williamson, Henry Williamson: Tarka and the Last Romantic Stroud: Sutton, , Williamson, Gale of the World.

Williamson, Henry Williamson, Andrew MacDonald, pseud. William Pierce, The Turner Diaries Hillsboro, WV: National Vanguard Books, When he failed, Mishima committed seppuku, the elaborate samurai ritual of disembowelment.

As Mishima was fond of pointing out, suicide can be seen as a moral victory in Japan thus it has different cultural connotations than it does in Western Judeo-Christian culture.

On the day of the coup, Mishima had an appointment at the Ichigaya base in the center of Tokyo to meet General Mashita. He brought four members of his Tatenokai group with him: Chibi-koga, Furu-koga, Ogawa, and his lieutenant, Masakatsu Mori.

Mishima founded the Tatenokai militia, his small private army, in ; it was composed of one hundred members, most of whom were students from Waseda University.

The militia was completely voluntary with an emphasis on outdoor activities similar to the Boy Scouts , except that they also engaged in rigorous physical training, such as kendo and long-distance running.

He wanted to restore the divine status of the emperor. Mishima was a reactionary: he idealized the mythical past, celebrating a backward-looking utopia.

After being defeated by the Allied forces in World War II, Japan experienced an acute identity crisis. For Mishima, the outcome of losing the war, combined with the increasing westernization of Japan, meant a distinct loss of Japanese identity.

When the goddess conferred divine status on the emperor, she also blessed Japan and made the land sacred.

In an effort to establish a sense of identity, some artists turned to a mythic prelapsarian past, a traditionalist idyll of feudal Japan.

Mishima himself felt powerless and retreated to his books and scholarship, increasingly engaged with the nihilistic Nihon Roman-ha Japanese romanticism that had been highly influential in his teenage years.

However, after the renewal of the security treaty between Japan and the United States of America AMPO in , his work became increasingly political. Mishima felt sure that the classical, perhaps mythical, romantic Japan had been ruined by the excesses of Western postwar economic prosperity.

Mishima publicly disparaged the fact that Emperor Hirohito abdicated his position as a divine being. His glorification of the military was not based on his own personal experience of life during wartime, but instead on ideas garnered from the samurai ethos.

Mishima was sixteen at the start of the war. He managed to avoid active military service when a doctor misdiagnosed his fever and cold as incipient tuberculosis after Mishima lied about his symptoms.

In Confessions of a Mask, he berates himself for lying to the army doctor: Why had I looked so frank as I lied to the army doctor?

That my shoulder was painfully stiff? That I spit blood. And even last night I had been soaked by a night sweat. Why had I run so when I was through the barracks gate?

It is unlikely that if he had served in the military, he could have glorified it to the extent that he did. On the morning of the coup, November 25, , Mishima delivered letters to three members of his Tatenokai Society.

Mishima was even more precise about how they were to act at their trial. The Jietai were instructed to summon the forty members of the Tatenokai for the speech, who were waiting nearby at Ichigaya hall ironically, his men refused to come because they failed to understand that the order came from Mishima.

Mishima stipulated that there were to be no interruptions to his balcony speech and the audience was to be silent.

Afterward, Mishima ordered a ninety-minute truce between the Tatenokai and the Jietai. If the truce was observed, Mishima would free General Mashita; if not, the general would die and Mishima would kill himself.

Mishima stood on the parapet of the Ichigaya garrison balcony addressing the soldiers below, pleading with them to rebel against the constitutional curtailment of the military.

Video footage taken from a helicopter shows Mishima with arms akimbo, commanding and resolute. Right now we will show you that there is a value higher than reverence for life.

It is neither freedom nor democracy. It is Japan. Japan, the country whose history and traditions we love. If there is, let us rise together even now, and let us die together.

They shouted, jeered, and heckled him throughout his speech. Morita then plunged the dagger into his stomach, ordering Furu-koga to decapitate him too.

They cried and murmured the Buddhist prayer for the dead: Namu Amida Butsu. The wisdom of the old is eternally murky, the actions of the young eternally transparent.

The longer people live, the worse they become. Human life, in other words, is an upside down process of decline and fall.

However, he explains that the main reason he was drawn to the genius of Radiguet was simply that he was jealous that Radiguet died at the tender age of twenty, leaving the world a magnum opus.

Somehow he became my personal rival and his literary achievement a landmark to be reached before I died. Commenting on the anxiety of influence, the author positions himself against Radiguet in the contest to be the most remembered enfant terrible, with a youthful, ennobling death.

Published when he was just twenty-six, Confessions is the coming-of-age story of a young man who discovers he is gay and hides behind various masks of identity that he creates to survive in the world.

Mishima was a sickly child, subject to fits of melancholy and illness. Natsu took Kimitake away from his mother and moved him into her sickroom when he was barely two months old.

Natsu was determined that Kimitake would achieve tremendous success and bring glory to her family name. Natsu also insisted that Kimitake act as her nurse, dispense her medicine, and even accompany her to the toilet when her neuralgia was complicated by stomach ulcers and a kidney disease.

His grandmother was brilliant, selfish, cultured, and unstable. He felt tiny and weak throughout his entire adult life until he took up bodybuilding in at age twenty-seven.

All I can feel is the padding. At that moment, Miwa realized how sensitive he was about his fragile body and that these feelings were his greatest weakness.

Shortly after that encounter in the nightclub, Mishima began his bodybuilding. A death by hara-kiri lacks honor if the body is old and ugly; then the sight of it seems indecent.

His preparation for death began with the preparation of his body. His hypermasculine body was one of a number of masks Mishima cultivated throughout his life.

But long before Mishima began bodybuilding, he was developing various masks of gender identity. His mother turned pale and looked away from him, and he had the sudden revelation of how grotesque he seemed to them.

Upon further reflection, Mishima discerned that it was this moment of rejection that led to his own incapacity to love in later life.

Further, gender is instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self.

Mishima is innocently attempting to performatively embody Tenkatsu. He is trying to get into the act. As Butler writes: The act that one does, the act that one performs, is, in a sense, an act that has been going on before one arrived on the scene.

Hence, gender is an act which has been rehearsed, much as a script survives the particular actors who make use of it, but which requires individual actors in order to be actualized and reproduced as reality once again.

Masculinity and Violence Rather than continue his flirtation with transvestism, Mishima began a different reluctant masquerade of acting like a boy.

Who could have explained for me why I was so delighted with fancies in which those body-revealing tights worn by the princes were associated with their cruel deaths?

There was an unspeakable delight in having been shot and being on the point of death. Thereafter, Mishima regularly attended the theater, seeing both Noh and Kabuki plays.

In Confessions, Mishima tells the story of his first erotic experience that distinctly conflates sex and death.

The beautiful Saint Sebastian looks heavenward, his hands are bound above him by ropes, and he is tied to a tree.

Mishima describes Saint Sebastian: His white and matchless nudity gleams against a background of dusk.

His muscular arms, the arms of a praetorian guard accustomed to bending of bow and wielding of sword, are raised at a graceful angle. Were it not for the arrows with their shafts deeply sunk in his left armpit and right side, he would seem more a Roman athlete resting from fatigue, leaning against a dusky tree in a garden.

About to burst, my gargantuan member awaited its use with an arousal never felt before. Mishima was well aware of the meaning of this attraction, and he even comments on the connection between images of Saint Sebastian and queer identity.

As Jerry S. Over this period, he transformed himself from frail weakling to a muscular bodybuilder. Any confrontation between weak, flabby flesh and death seemed to me absurdly inappropriate.

I lacked, in short, the muscles suitable for a dramatic death. And it deeply offended my romantic pride that it should be this unsuitability that had permitted me to survive the war.

Haunted by this lie and feeling guilty about it for the rest of his life, Mishima took up bodybuilding as an attempt to atone for both the lie and his failure to serve in the army.

In a documentary on Mishima, Shinoyama observed the degree to which Mishima was capable of manipulating him, as photographer, into doing precisely what he wanted: It seems to me that I was well and truly used by Mishima.

Mishima was quite willing to be photographed naked, but he was rarely photographed full-figure. It was because the lower half of the body is more difficult to develop than the upper half.

Here Shinoyama describes Mishima as a master of ceremonies, the exhibitionist who knows precisely how he wants to be seen in the photograph.

Mishima might be the object of the gaze, but he is also the subject, able to control exactly how he wants to be framed.

Shinoyama also discusses the important photograph of Mishima posed as Saint Sebastian, his muscles gleaming with oil and his white loincloth juxtaposed against a black tree.

He has attained the status of the powerful queer gaze that enthralled him in his first erotic experience. Other portraits by Shinoyama are equally striking.

Mishima becomes a split subject: he is both the object and subject of his own homoerotic and narcissistic queer gaze.

This photograph was on the cover of his book Sun and Steel, in which he articulates his vision of himself as a virile artist in action.

In these photographs, Mishima embodies a split queer gaze: he demonstrates that he has achieved his own ideal as the hypermasculine bodybuilder and soldier by being the object of the image, and, at the same time, he demonstrates his subjectivity by framing what he finds aesthetically attractive.

Mishima was one of the earliest writers to embrace Sade as a liberatory figure. Sade never appears, but his absent actions drive the play.

The more exalted the man the more refined his pleasures. No matter how loathsome it may seem to an outsider, this sickness has roses under its surface.

When it grew light the crowd retrieved her corpse. No one knew who she was. The morning sun mercilessly pierced through the coating of powder and lay bare the withered old flesh.

This detracted not in the least from her glory. Her dead body, feathers plucked and wrinkled, thighs bared, was borne in triumph through the streets to the sea.

That, as you know, marked the beginning of the French Revolution. He came to embody this martyrdom as a romantic revolutionary who sacrificed himself for the ideals of a mythic Japan.

While critics like Hal Foster have connected fascism and sadomasochism, Mishima was not exactly a fascist.

For the guns, too, they are shooting the real human flesh to their satisfaction for the first time in a long while. For instance, if you commit hara-kiri, the samurai was requested to make up his face by powder or lipsticks in order to keep his face beautiful.

While it is a tempting for me, as a Westerner, to link his made-up face in death with his childhood desire to perform femininity and become Takenatsu or Cleopatra, this connection is perhaps too easy.

It is, however, apparent that Mishima engaged in a particular performance of self, a deliberate masquerade of masculinity that he carefully crafted and constructed through his autobiographical writings, his samurai ethos, and his bodybuilding.

The Japanese army had split into two factions, the more traditional Kodo-ha Imperial Way Faction and the Tosei-ha the Control Faction. Their fathers were so poor that they had to sell their sisters into prostitution in order to pay the back rent on their farms.

They thought they had killed the prime minister, but he hid in a closet while they accidentally assassinated his brother-in-law. The goals of the Kodo-ha were identical to those stated by their commanding generals, so when they initiated a coup, they believed that the more senior officers would join them.

Instead, their army superiors abandoned them. Since he is newly married and very much in love, his colleagues have not involved Takeyama in the dangerous coup.

Rather than betray his friends, Lieutenant Takeyama and his wife Reiko commit hara-kiri in solidarity with the rebels. After the suicide, people would take out this photograph and examine it, and sadly reflect that too often there was a curse on these seemingly flawless unions.

Perhaps it was no more than imagination, but looking at the picture after the tragedy it almost seemed as if the two young people before the gold-lacquered screen were gazing, each with equal clarity, at the deaths which lay before them.

The story celebrates their decision to commit suicide. This idea of perfection captured by a photograph likely also motivated the numerous photographs Mishima posed for that served to document his virile masculinity.

The light from the low lamp clearly revealed the majestic sweep of her white flesh. The lieutenant, not without a touch of egocentricity, rejoiced that he would never see this beauty crumble in death.

Lieutenant Takeyama celebrates the fact that Reiko will leave behind a beautiful corpse, not worn by death, age, or sickness.

The black-and-white film shows the couple making love and reaching new erotic heights, their lovemaking intensified by the knowledge of their imminent death.

In chapter 4 of the film, the viewer watches as Mishima, as leading actor, playing Lieutenant Takeyama, simulates hara-kiri.

Representation and reality begin to blur here. This portrayal is distinctly eerie, as Mishima rehearses his own suicide on film while simultaneously preserving it as a performance of Eros and Thanatos for the world to see.

In his full dress uniform, Takeyama regards Reiko from underneath his military cap, as she bows reverently to him. He picks up his sword, the Seki no Magoruku the exact same sword Mishima would use to commit actual suicide four years later , carefully cleaning it with rice paper and then unfastening the large brass buttons on his military coat, unbuckling his belt, and pulling down his trousers to expose his gut.

He rubs his upper left gut before penetrating the soft flesh with his sword, slowly pulling it along his torso with his trembling hand while blood gushes onto his loincloth and the floor beneath him.

It is as though this reactionary vanguard image of Mishima were a clairvoyant phantasm visiting from the future.

Performed for the Japanese Dance Association on May 24, , the darkened stage revealed a young Yoshito Ohno son of Kazuo Ohno dancing barefoot with Hijikata Tatsumi.

The man and boy dance erotically; they are sexually attracted to one another. The man leaves the stage and returns, holding a chicken and running in a circle: The boy stiffens and walked to a narrow illuminated area centre stage, where the man is waiting in the darkness.

Then, placing the chicken between his thighs he slowly sinks to a squat. The audience can hear sounds of moaning. The explicit homosexual pedophilia in the piece, combined with the violence toward the chicken, shocked audience members.

It made those of us who watched it to the end shudder, but once the shudder passed through our bodies, it resulted in a refreshing sense of release.

Perhaps there was darkness concealed within our bodies similar to that found in Forbidden Colors and which therefore responded with a feeling of liberation.

It was a violent spasm of anti-dance. Of course, Hijikata was aware of the importance of the chicken. Boyhood hunger is vivid; the chicken my father killed was red.

To the hungry boy, the father even looked like a chicken as we were pounding the carcass. Hijikata came from the opposite socioeconomic background from Mishima.

Raised in the economically depressed area of Akita in rural northern Japan, Hijikata knew real poverty as a boy; his memories of hunger were strong.

Here he remembers killing a chicken and not wanting to eat it for fear his hunger would soon return , as well as a sense that everything, including his father, began to look like some kind of food when he was extremely hungry.

The progression from strangling the chicken, to cooking it, to presenting it on the dinner table was apparent even to a child.

Although the boy in Forbidden Colors directed the release of his dark passion, which burst forth from the inner depths of his flesh, towards the chicken, this passion might be regarded as a form of love, as part of the natural cycle that occurred occasionally in everyday farming life.

Love always comes late. I slept with the chicken the night before my performance with other new dancers. This chicken which laid an egg in the green room played a vital part in my initiation into love.

I sometimes visited this partner of mine at a poultry shop in Asagaya. Over and over I apologized to the chicken I held while dancing.

Hunger must have been the theme of the universe. He is also commemorating the chicken as the third performer in Kinjiki.

Did he sleep with the chicken the night before his performance like he did when he was a boy? Did the chicken in Kinjiki lay an egg on the green-room floor?

Did Hijikata apologize to the chicken, the sacrifice for his dance of darkness, over and over again before giving it to Ohno to squeeze between his thighs?

Hijikata enters the audience space carried on a wooden litter by several men; he is wearing a white bridal kimono backwards.

He is followed by a pig in a crib and a rabbit on a platter held at the end of a pole. He wears only an erect golden phallus. A dead chicken hangs above him strung up by its feet.

He proceeds to dance, leaping to large steel plates suspended from the ceiling. When he jumps on the plates, the light from them is reflected into the audience.

Finally, he kills a rooster by breaking its neck. The piece culminates with him being flown across the audience on ropes as though in a mock Ascension.

But both Mishima and Hijikata also looked back in Japanese history in an effort to uncover a mythic, authentic national identity and to reconstruct Japanese identity in the face of modernity.

It is also critical for beginning to understand the identity crisis central to postwar Japan. Indeed, for the core, the only sure mode of existence is to exist and to see at the same time.

Literature can envision but not enact; performance can enact but cannot transform. Pirandello took to the stage; Williamson strove to become a maker of events; and Mishima brought desire, power, and radical transformation together in a moment of totalizing performance in which he extinguished himself.

The vision of machine-death summoned out of the sky, and its compulsion to aesthetics, have been components of the modernist imagination ever since Percival Lowell announced that he saw canals on Mars in The development of the European avant-garde parallels the rapid developments in mass media at the end of the nineteenth century, and it can be plotted against the domestication of wireless communications and radio.

In the mid-nineteenth century, telegraphy opened up the commercial possibilities of remote communication: nationalism plus markets plus telegraphy equaled imperialism.

Telegraphy itself, prior to the invention of the wireless, was one of the formative conditions of modernism, roughly defined as the global era in which discourses of humanity and human subjectivity come to define the principles of economic and cultural traffic.

At the heart of modernity was the ability of mass communications to disseminate, mobilize, and silence social phenomena.

The rapid social acceptance of radio and the exponentially increasing sales of home wireless receivers brought about a radical transformation of North American culture that can only be compared in scale to the digital revolution of the late twentieth century.

The wireless revolution opened up new cultural forms, new aesthetics, new political movements, new religions, and new understandings of reception and audience.

Radio manufacturers started broadcast stations to sell radios; stations sought new sounds to broadcast to recruit listeners, and in the process discovered that radio frequencies could be owned, and that time itself is a market commodity.

In this world of industrial technology and political revolution, artistic vanguardism of which the now canonical avant-garde that Schechner traces was but one trajectory was not a property of any one political community.

Piscator had been doing with theater exactly what Goebbels had been doing with radio. In both cases, electric technology transmitted somatic affect through performance distributed across multiplied bodies and summoned social pluralities in its reception.

For Piscator, live performance took place in a theater machine that integrated new media, and for Goebbels who, like Mussolini, dabbled in playwriting , the live audience and remote listeners were conjoined in one acoustic space.

This was a discovery that was instrumental for the vanguardist movements that had access to radio transmission. From his apartment, Richard Schechner watched the towers fall and thought of avantgarde catastrophic fantasy and Artaud.

The essays in this part all address similar moments when art envisioned and welcomed the abyss. Several of these essays invoke the idea of the sublime, of the totality that negates individuation in a vaster ontology.

The irony of that desire is that the modernist sublime materializes as a machine: a radio, a megaphone, a film camera, an airplane over a city, a robot drone over a desert.

Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, , You have people who are that focused on a performance and then 5, [sic] people are dispatched to the afterlife, in a single moment.

By comparison, we composers are nothing. Artists, too, sometimes try to go beyond the limits of what is feasible and conceivable, so that we wake up, so that we open ourselves to another world.

And no one announced that they risked losing their lives. What happened in spiritual terms, the leap out of security, out of what is usually taken for granted, out of life, that sometimes happens to a small extent in art, too, otherwise art is nothing.

Of what value is such a designation? Here are a few exemplary quotations, roughly decade by decade, from a large repertory: , from F.

There is no masterpiece that has not an aggressive character. Poetry must be a violent assault on the forces of the unknown, to force them to bow before man.

We want to demolish museums and libraries. For art can only be violence, cruelty, injustice. Preparing to put an end to mourning, and to replace tears by sirens spreading from one continent to another.

All real progress has clearly been suspended until the revolutionary solution of the present multiform crisis. Violent manifestos made real by actual explosions continued to be issued by groups such as the Weather Underground, not by artists.

Why did artists move away from advocating violence? I have no definite answer. Possibly, the realization that Soviet Communism failed to deliver the goods soured the taste for revolution.

This did not stop teachers and artists from honoring the futurists, dadaists, surrealists, and situationists. The theater must give us everything that is in crime, love, war, or madness, if it wants to recover its necessity.

Destroy the current order. Create a new order, or anarchy. Are these manifestos mere ineffectual fantasies of powerless artists? Indeed, so-called high art and pop have merged just as news has melded into entertainment.

Additionally, at least since , when Chris Burden had a friend shoot him in the arm, many performance artists have wounded themselves, opened their veins as art, suspended themselves from hooks, slaughtered animals, and in manifold ways used real violence in the arts.

Popular culture is full of tattoos, piercings, and cosmetic surgeries, which, whatever their psychological and sociological meanings, enact the desire to be beautiful.

Aestheticizing and ritualizing violence, not as representations as in the visual arts, theater, or other media but as actual acts performed in the here and now, are widespread.

But is this really so? First of all, beautification by means of intrusive body alteration is practiced all over the world. Second, al-Qaeda and other jihadists are not averse to using those aspects of Western culture they find helpful.

Bin Laden and his allies have taken advantage of the media and advanced technology, from the Internet to hijacked jets. The technological sophistication of the jihadists debunks the ruling myth that they are primitive cave dwellers living in tribal areas.

In fact, no location is outside the global net, not even northeast Pakistan and Afghanistan; and no tribe or group of people is absolutely other.

Paradoxically, the West and the jihadists occupy very separate spheres from the point of view of values while sharing the same global system from the point of view of techniques.

In the media, where any mention is better than absence, jihadists and the warriors against terror compete for imagination space on the global stage.

Representations of the attacks are paradigmatic of the accelerating conflation of news and entertainment, and not only in the United States.

In Yueqing, a newly industrialized city southwest of Shanghai, videos showing the attacks were for sale by September In larger cities, these videos probably were on the market even sooner.

As Peter Hessler reported from China: They stocked them on the same racks as the Hollywood movies. Bush, and the burning Twin Towers.

On the back, a small icon noted that it had been rated R, for violence and language. That is, the news is given in small temporal units, and after two or three items there is another temporal unit, a commercial break.

This format of program content and advertising running sequentially is the same for news, sports, drama, and various contestant shows quiz shows, American Idol, etc.

Internet sites such as YouTube and its many Internet cognates further blur the boundaries between the real and the fictional. There was also much pathos.

It all went under the overall official rubric of the war on terror. This series included many subplots. Reporters were embedded with the troops on the ground.

There were daily suicide bombings and attacks of what the government and media called insurgents. Civilians were slaughtered in these bombings and also by the allied military.

Bush was gussied up in a flight suit though he was a passenger, not the pilot. Bush or a Tom Cruise impersonator? For performance theorists and historians, the collapse of aesthetic categories was already familiar from Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol.

But today most of the art world and the real world live in between these extremes. It is, to many Americans, simply the City, quintessentially American and foreign simultaneously.

If the planes had crashed into the towers three hours later, many more people would have died. If the two planes hit simultaneously or nearly so, the media would not have seen the collision, only the aftermath.

I believe the jihadists timed their hijackings as a one-two punch for maximum spectacular effect, synchronized to the morning news cycle in New York and midday in Europe.

Their intention was not to kill as many people as possible but to reach as large a spectatorship in the West as possible.

And what kind of imaginary is that? Regardless of who carried out the massacre, this violence is the legitimate daughter of the culture of violence, hunger and inhumane exploitation.

At present, I return to the question of art and of what kind. This leads me to the sublime as expounded by Immanuel Kant in It is a greatness comparable to itself alone.

Hence it comes that the sublime is not to be looked for in things of nature, but only in our own ideas. Can the horrible even as it is unfolding be experienced as art?

Even before Kant, in , Edmund Burke tackled this question in his treatise On the Sublime and Beautiful. And, of course, political and military action is still another.

Most of what we today call art carries an ideological or religious message. In the West, before the Renaissance and the advent of capitalism, there was no category of fine art as such.

At present, most art remains bound to forces outside itself and is not independent or disinterested. Most art is good or bad in an ethical-moral-political way in terms of values operating beyond or despite the work itself.

In other words, there may be some agreement universally about what is art and what is not, what is sublime and what is not, but there is no such agreement, nor can I foresee a time when there will be, about what is ethically-morally-politically good or bad.

Because Fo was not talking about art. And art is not as serious as politics; art is play, secondary, a representation. However, from the perspective of performance studies, the attack on the World Trade Center was a performance: planned, rehearsed, staged, and intended both to wound the United States materially and to affect and infect the imagination.

The destruction of two iconic buildings, and the murder of so many people in one fell swoop, was intended to deliver a very specific message about the boldness of the jihad and the vulnerability of the United States.

A performance, surely, but art? I believe that the attack can be understood as the actualization of key ideas and impulses driving the avant-garde.

Thierry de Duve writes: It is as if the history of the avant-gardes were a dialectical history cast off by the contradictions of art and non-art, the history of a prohibition and of its transgression.

This is a duty and not a right. It was illegal art from the point of view of international law because it targeted civilians. But it was avant-garde art from the point of view of the tradition I am discussing.

Is this kind of analysis perverse, not only doing dishonor to the dead and injured but also soiling what art is or ought to be?

Does such a designation grant the jihadists much more than they deserve? And does it help us understand better the world we are living in?

Stockhausen was actually envious of the jihadists. What other art act has done that? Having just written this, I confess that I am very uncomfortable.

I have reasoned my way into a position that I ethically reject. Maybe my way out is to assert that art requires artists who consciously choose to make art and spectators who willingly observe art.

This, surely, is the modern humanist tradition. But there are ritual performances that are extremely powerful, performatively and artistically, in terms of structure, color, rhythms, narratives, and so on and that require and enforce participation and witnessing.

Indeed, many artworks are not the products of free will. Are only the planners and overlords artists, and not the workers or victims?

Consider the pyramids of Egypt and Teotihuacan, Mexico, generally regarded as architectural masterpieces. The Egyptian pyramids were constructed by slaves, and the Teotihuacan pyramids and surrounding ceremonial site show that human sacrifices took place.

Time washes the blood off the stones; the magnificent stones remain unstained by what once were the immediacies of experience. Their very presence on the planes and in the Twin Towers marked them as participating in hated Western culture.

To this way of thinking, there are no neutrals, no bystanders. Still, neither Mohammed Atta nor the other hijackers thought of themselves as artists.

In the unfolding event, visual artists, performance artists, writers, artists of any kind can do just about anything with what happened.

But all these works are reflective. They came after raw, unmediated events. This nowness is fundamental. It does not cancel out representations after the fact: the documentaries, dramas, films, writings, firsthand accounts, and memorials all came later, on September 12 and after.

But they were supplemental to the attack itself, which was already a media event as it was happening. These were not accounts of what happened; nor were they ongoingly part of the attack.

They were collateral theater parallel to collateral damage in a military operation. Even while the Twin Towers were burning, people sought information about missing loved ones.

The media picked up on these notices, which individually were simply pieces of paper but collectively walls of anxiety and grief.

Each notice carried its own hope against hopelessness. No one knows exactly how many people found each other through this means.

Soon enough, the notices were joined by flowers, a sure sign of condolence. These notices were part of the spectacle even as they provided a human-scale entry into experiencing what was happening.

I wish I had a neat conclusion to my ruminations. The terrace of my apartment has a clear view of lower Manhattan. That morning, I was watching television when I heard shouts from workmen constructing a New York University building on La Guardia Place.

I went onto my terrace, looked south, and about one mile away I saw the blazing North Tower. I thought it was a horrible accident but wondered how such an accident could happen on a day when the sky was blue and clear.

Moments later, I saw a plane flying low make a sharp turn from north to west. Something banal and full of shock. Then I saw the plane slice into the South Tower as smoothly as a hot knife into butter.

Not a sound. A silent movie in full color. A great ball of orange flame and black smoke. It was terrifying; it was sublime; it was horrible; it was beautiful.

After that, except for about forty-five minutes when my wife and I fetched our daughter from school, I stood on my terrace with some neighbors who had come over because they knew of the view.

We watched as the towers came down, et cetera. What did I do? I offered people something to drink and eat, told them where the bathroom was.

From the terrace we watched and talked, amazed, horrified, excited, scared, fascinated. We used binoculars.

We saw some people flinging themselves from the towers. But it was a lot more complicated than that. I had seen high-wire acts in circuses.

What was happening was all in silence. People walked back and forth between the terrace and the television room. When new people arrived, they brought rumors and information.

We took in what passed for analysis by media pundits. But, most important, everyone was very aware that from the terrace looking south we were watching the thing itself.

What we saw and heard on television were explanations and rationalizations both describing and shaping reactions, reporting events and instructing us the receivers how we were to react.

The coverage and talking heads gave us both a wider horizon with which to comprehend what we were witnessing and close-ups at and near Ground Zero.

As I watched both in person and on television, I knew that whatever else it was, I was experiencing a spectacle, a live movie, real history happening, et cetera.

Globally speaking, we were a divided audience. Or, if you will, the destruction is the means toward the end of creating terror, which is a state of mind.

At least from the Western side. Al-Qaeda and its adherents saw in the attack the very wrath of God. And the sky can still fall on our heads.

And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all. We address ourselves to the imagination and feelings of people: we are therefore supposed to achieve the most vivid and decisive kind of action.

The Art History Archive. Lilith Gallery Network, web, accessed July 22, Situationist Manifesto, trans. Fabian Thompsett, Situationist International Online, web, accessed July 22, Julian Beck, The Life of the Theatre: The Relation of the Artist to the Struggle of the People San Francisco: City Lights, , entry Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double, trans.

Mary C. For more on the relationship between terrorism and television, see Daniel Dayan, ed. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment, in Immanuel Kant Philosophical Writings, ed.

Ernst Behler New York: Continuum, , Kant, Critique of Judgment, Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, with Several Other Additions, Harvard Classics, ed.

Charles W. See www. Frank Lentricchia and Jody McAuliffe, Crimes of Art and Terror Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , Lentricchia and McAuliffe, Crimes, Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle , trans.

Ken Knabb London: Verso, Artaud, Theater and Its Double, Newspapers had talked up the opening for months, and Mussolini had already announced he would be there.

If he hoped to convince il duce to create a National Theater, and make him its director, he would need to make an impression. But at p. Indeed, it must have been hard to decide where to look: at the strong crowd packed onto the tiny stage, at the nervy Eleven in their seats, or at His Excellency, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, visible to the entire house in the brand-new proscenium box above.

The tale of these two theaters and the vast system of which they were a part offers formidable challenges to the stubbornly held commonplaces that in theatrical matters il duce and his hierarchs were only interested in propaganda, that their rise to power in sounded the death knell of creativity, that fascism killed the avant-garde.

Back in October , just days shy of the first anniversary of the March on Rome that brought the regime to power, il duce had summoned the playwright to his office.

Encouraged by their first meeting, the flattered thespian did just that. Thus their partnership began. It was, evidently, a sensational gesture that had been agreed upon behind closed doors, and it delighted Mussolini as much as it dismayed his opponents.

They would also introduce unknown foreign plays and authors to the Italian public, providing the exchange that was vital to creativity.

And now, for Pirandello, Marchi worked wonders once again: the sleek silver and purple decor was a sort of shiny futurist baroque, preparing the audience for ultramodernity even before the curtain opened.

Characters should live on stage. His methods were as ahead of their day in Italy as his plays were and in turn had a direct impact on those texts.

Consider Six Characters in this regard. Heavily indebted to a total reconception of the theatrical space, the new version of the play now packed a full punch.

When the curtains opened on that play, a delightful scene unfurled: a barkeep in rolled-up shirt sleeves and striped apron called out to a waiter to cover the tables and thus the stage with linens, red and blue dishes, tin silverware, and sparkling glasses.

But not just from the wings. Their chatter mixed with the clamor of drums, pigs, and vendors selling their wares. Worshippers and revelers gathered in the piazza in front of a little church on the first Sunday of September: the former to give thanks to the Lord who rescued sailors from a terrible shipwreck, the latter to attend the first pig slaughter of the season.

The people, the colors, the noises coming from every direction and the lights growing redder as the one-act went on created a phantasmagoric total-theater effect like the one Wagner had theorized.

And you want a tragedy more tragedy than this? Would he have seen a similar social critique, and, if so, what would he have done?

Or would he have seen things differently? A follower of crowd theorist Gustave Le Bon, il duce viewed the Italian masses as essentially irrational and therefore malleable, to be lifted out of their own tragedy and molded into new fascist men and women.

He was in agreement with the fiercely antidemocratic Pirandello, then, on the precise point the play brought to the fore: there was a people out there that would be beastly until someone tamed it.

Maybe they were just what he was looking for. When the Blackshirt militia marched on Rome in October , its intent was revolution: the destruction of a democratic parliamentary system in favor of a totalitarian one in which bourgeois individualism would be replaced by utter dedication to the state and il duce.

Nor was he out to establish a single fascist style, notwithstanding a clear preference for modernist forms of art and architecture.

If not, woe betide. I shall therefore await for Your Excellency to grant us supreme, definitive assistance so as to resolve this situation which embarrasses me and is an obstacle to the free movement of my activities just at the moment when I have the greatest need.

He explained that he would accompany his actors abroad on tour, giving conferences and interviews. Mussolini knows how to govern a state with the same ability with which Mr.

Pirandello writes a play. The reflected prestige Pirandello could bring to the dictatorship, at home and abroad, was a clear motivation to back his endeavor.

Despite the ongoing efforts, the financial troubles eventually became insurmountable, and Pirandello was exhausted by the multiple burdens administrative, emotional, and financial of being capocomico.

When the initial three-year charter expired, he dissolved the company. The Pirandello tale, told in isolation, fails to communicate such complexity.

In his last years Pirandello felt out of sympathy with a government of which earlier in his life he had held high hopes.

Mussolini and his ministers consciously worked to blur such boundaries as high versus low culture, art versus popular theater, art versus propaganda.

Many productions for the masses were indeed quite worthy, theatrically and artistically speaking; this is, however, a point beyond the scope of this essay.

More pertinent here are two important issues: first, that the regime also continued to pursue the possibility of a more traditional National Theater structure and to back the theatrical vanguard and, second, that these efforts were conceived as complementary to and not in competition with productions for the masses.

Pirandello pursued the National Theater project until his death. We must learn to wait, because he needs time; woe unto those who get tired of waiting.

There were no certain outcomes here. In , the Italian Society of Authors and Editors created the Burcardo Theatre library, attached to the Teatro Argentina which had always been a likely candidate to house an eventual state auditorium.

Prampolini of Futurist Pantomime Theater fame returned to Italy in and served as scenographer, as did Antonio Valente who designed the aforementioned carri di Tespi.

Facing the impending closure of his Teatro degli Indipendenti back in , he proposed to do something bigger and better.

Bring us, oh Duce, out of this catacomb of believers, make faith triumph! It was, instead, the necessary proving grounds for any such endeavors and a training area for its artists.

I spoke of a Faustian pact for Pirandello, but perhaps it was Bragaglia who sold his soul. Such repugnant, although isolated, events coexisted alongside those that were, from an artistic point of view, thrilling.

By now historians have amply demonstrated that fascism was at its core a modernist political movement and that the regime conceived of the relationship between art and politics in fundamentally modern ways.

If this epoch is truly fascist to the core, all that is of lasting value and is accomplished during its course will bear the visible imprint of fascism.

Six Characters had already played in fourteen countries, with major productions in London, New York, Paris, and Berlin between and He sent shock waves across Europe and America.

He was a herald of a new modern theater. And, as he made sure everybody knew, Mussolini was behind him all the way. And yet, if we consider Pirandello privileged, we need to think of him as a model, not as an exception.

I could limit my discussion to the personalities, institutions, and shows already mentioned, as it is difficult to deny the regime its theatrical avant-garde credentials when we consider the artists and productions it actively promoted.

By definition, being avant-garde is about leading the way. These gave training and experience to technicians and actors, but perhaps their greatest feat was the creation of a new generation of directors.

After the war, directors came to dominate, absolutely, the Italian theater. Initially, there were twelve founders, but by the time they signed the papers on October 6, , the shareholders were in fact eleven.

Unless otherwise noted, all translations in this essay are my own. Corrado Alvaro, in Il Risorgimento, April 3, , in PC, English translation from Susan Bassnett and Jennifer Lorch, Luigi Pirandello in the Theater London: Routledge, , This is doc.

This sum amounted to more than the liberal government had provided for all prose and opera performance in , the year before il duce came to power.

See Luigi Pirandello, Saggi e interviste, ed. Ferdinando Taviani Milan: Mondadori, , and Pupo, Interviste a Pirandello, Pirandello, Saggi e interviste, From an interview with O.

Gilbertini, November 27, Reviews and rehearsal photos, however, indicate that the director was not successful in attempts to abolish the prompter.

See Gaspare Giudice, Pirandello: A Biography, trans. Alastair Hamilton London: Oxford University Press , Gilbertini, La Tribuna November 27, in Pirandello, Saggi e interviste, For a performance history of the play, see Jennifer Lorch, Pirandello: Six Characters in Search of an Author Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Tinterri, Savinio e lo spettacolo, April 3, , Il Tevere, in PC, Bassnett and Lorch , Documentary, Luigi Pirandello, La Sagra, Corrado Alvaro, Cronache e scritti teatrali Rome: Edizioni Abete, , 76; Bassnett and Lorch, Documentary, See in particular Emilio Gentile, Il culto del littorio Rome: Laterza, [] , in English, The Sacralization of Politics in Fascist Italy, trans.

Keith Botsford Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Alvaro, Cronache e scritti teatrali, April 12, , in PC, Mussolini, in his interviews with Emil Ludwig.

Emil Ludwig, Colloqui con Mussolini ; Milan: Mondadori, , Yvon De Begnac, Taccuini Mussoliniani, ed. Francesco Perfetti ; Bologna: Mulino, , An early adherent of the PNF, he had written a successful biography of il duce in and was close enough to Mussolini to facilitate communication between him and Pirandello in the early stages of their collaboration.

Bontempelli would be a vocal devotee of Mussolini for at least the first decade of his rule; il duce, in turn, enthusiastically praised him throughout the years and personally pushed for his nomination to the Royal Academy of Italian Intellectuals in Massimo Bontempelli, Il Neosofista e altri scritti Milan: Mondadori, , Mussolini, Opera Omnia, vol.

Marco Praga, Cronache teatrali Milan: Treves, , June 29, , quoted in PC, Lorch, Pirandello, See Documentary, Excerpt translated in Love Letters, The complete set of letters, with the exception of a handful the Pirandello Estate did not authorize, can be found in Luigi Pirandello, Lettere a Marta Abba, ed.

Benito Ortolani Milan: Mondadori, The Gruppi Universitari Fascisti sponsored various cultural activities, including film and theater groups.

For the crowds of La Sagra e Gli dei, Pirandello used students from the Santa Cecilia acting academy, in part of an attempt to give students professional experience alongside academic instruction.

Translated in Jeffrey T. Gentile, Origini, Ferdinando Taviani, Uomini di scena, uomini di libro: La scena sulla coscienza ; Rome: Officina, , Trapped in France after the Nazi invasion in , Hasenclever committed suicide.

Bronnen was from his teenage years attracted to both extremes of the political spectrum. However, he quickly fell out of favor due to both the avant-garde form and lurid sexual content of his work.

In , Bronnen became a Communist, and after the war he enjoyed the support, if not perhaps the complete trust, of the GDR.

They not only expose the deficiencies of the legal system and the bourgeois order it supports, but they attack law and authority in any form.

This chapter examines the plays against the broader context of early twentieth-century avant-garde performance and German politics.

During this era, invocations of aesthetic and political violence intertwine in the writings of both theater artists and vanguardist politicians.

Goebbels paints war in apocalyptic terms, as violence so extreme and complete as to baffle the imagination. Intensity, grandeur, and boundlessness are all characteristic of the sublime.

First appearing in a Roman treatise describing a particularly heightened rhetorical style, the concept of the sublime emerged in its modern form during the eighteenth century.

Immanuel Kant and Edmund Burke, two of its earliest and most important theorists, describe it as an aesthetic response to experiences of limitlessness.

From the fourteenth century until late in the nineteenth, European theater also became increasingly representational, in the sense that it aimed for increasing illusionism.

Hasenclever and Bronnen portray patricide as an act of war generating a sublime, nonrepresentational mode of both politics and performance.

In the process, they reveal troubling affinities with key currents in interwar right-wing German thought, including Nazism, which likewise hailed war as a sublime event forging forms of performance and politics beyond representation.

Politics as War Zone The Son and Patricide hover on the border between avant-garde experiment and nineteenth-century illusionism.

Yet as Patricide progresses, the repetitions and ellipses increasingly signal not the hesitations of everyday speech, but the distortion and collapse of language under an overwhelming emotional onslaught.

Surrealism expects nothing save from violence. They portray such situations as generating the sublime, suggesting that they possess an authenticity and intensity that resist any form of limitation or mediation.

Marinetti, Artaud, and Breton want to capture these qualities in theatrical performance. At the same time, they see actual war as both the supreme political act and ultimate avant-garde performance.

While Hasenclever expresses himself in a more measured manner, he too suggests that patricide releases his protagonist from all restraints.

The patricides achieve this effect within their respective dramas. Anticipating subsequent generations of performance artists, the Son performs himself.

The story of suffering he relates is his own personal history; the scars he shows the crowd are real, not stage makeup.

Hasenclever and Bronnen represent the patricides not simply as bids for individual liberation, but as acts of revolutionary warfare.

In the modern West, supreme political authority typically rests with centralized states. At the same time, it delegitimizes violence deployed by those not acting as representatives of the state.

The Father resorts to having his Son arrested and returned home by the police because he has lost the ability to control the Son on his own.

Fessel senior is determined to turn Walter into a lawyer because he wants his son to represent the downtrodden in their grievances against the rich and powerful, and so gain retribution for the hardships Fessel and his family have suffered.

While the Father and Fessel permit the state to represent them against their enemies, Walter and the Son take violence into their own hands.

In doing so, the protagonists transform the political realm into a war zone. Wars occur in situations where a monopoly on violence, and hence a sovereign political authority, are absent.

And as Hobbes observes, there is no monopoly on violence in the international arena: nation-states exist in the same anarchic relationship to each other as do individuals in the mythical state of nature.

The playwrights depict this transposition as an act of liberation. However, the sublime conception of freedom that he and Bronnen herald bears little resemblance to that found within the liberal democratic tradition, where the state maintains a firm monopoly on violence and periodic elections are designed to substitute for armed conflict between opposing factions.

But while some anarchists condoned violence as a technique for achieving their political goals, major figures like Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin tended to picture a stateless society as the epitome of order and peace.

This is not an ideal that Hasenclever and Bronnen share. Instead, the playwrights are drawn to the moment of orgiastic violence itself, suggesting that war offers the only truly representation-free politics.

Such sentiments do play a significant role within a certain apocalyptic strain of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European political discourse, one that, at least initially, fostered uncanny affinities between the far Left and extreme Right.

In the years preceding World War I, a wide variety of political figures joined with the avant-gardes in suggesting that sublime violence could become the vehicle for a more authentic and vital form of politics than that found within the bourgeois legal state.

That we have so long failed to appreciate this, is proof how effeminate the science of the state as treated by the hands of civilians has finally become.

Life is built on cruelty, horror, force. Moreover, like the playwrights, he sees war as a sublime aesthetic and political event.

Sorel insists on the importance of political myths as catalysts for revolutionary action. A variety of interwar German intellectuals looked to the destruction and chaos of the recent war as a model for the kind of ethos they hoped to instill in postwar Weimar society.

Schmitt, who would go on to serve the Nazi regime, cites war as the basis for all genuine politics. Likewise the various large parties acknowledge the need to adopt means of power that express the fact that the battle of opinions will not be decided solely through votes and programs but also by the stalwarts committed to march in support of those programs.

By , 25 percent of all men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five could claim membership in a paramilitary group.

The playwrights contribute to a broader shift in early twentieth-century German discourse, in which a paramilitary street-fighter might appear more admirable than the desk-bound parliamentarian, and bloodshed nobler than rational discussion and compromise.

Total Power, Total Theater Despite their longing for individual liberation, Hasenclever and Bronnen share a fascination with unlimited power, and suggest that, through patricide, their protagonists gain omnipotence.

In this dazzling nothingness, all and nothing are closely allied, since both are absolved from limits. It is for this reason that feeling utterly inconsiderable can tip over into a sense of omnipotence.

As previously noted, the speech breaks down the barrier between performer and audience, aesthetic event and lived experience.

However, this transformation does not enable the audience to challenge or critique the performance, but instead serves as a means for the performer to gain power over the audience.

The Son in turn asserts a similar form of control albeit half-unwittingly over the audience; while he does not literally hypnotize them, Hasenclever suggests that his performance achieves an equally mesmerizing effect.

Hasenclever and Bronnen depict the patricides themselves as even more emphatic performances of power. The Son and Walter force the fathers to participate in their performances.

They confirm their absolute power over their progenitors, wiping them out of existence. While presenting themselves as restoring order to the nation, they actually enshrined the limitlessness and lawlessness of war at the very heart of state authority, in a sovereign authority embodying unlimited power and unchecked violence.

While most of the party leadership shared an intense hostility toward modernist art and literature, Nazi rallies were, like many avant-garde performances, designed to dismantle any psychic barrier between the star performer and other participants.

Hitler describes speech-making in the way that Marinetti and Artaud describe the ideal performance: as both an artistic act and a form of assault.

It alone gives its chosen one the words which like hammer blows can open the gates to the heart of a people.

It overcomes the last rudiments of collapsing epochs and clears a free path for the future. There must be destruction if there is to be new creation.

Like Hasenclever and Bronnen, but on an exponentially grander scale, the Nazis viewed the ideal performance as an exercise in subjugation through annihilation.

It is a long way from patricide to world war; neither Hasenclever nor Bronnen advocate for anything like wholesale slaughter the Nazis engaged in.

Hasenclever, like several other expressionist dramatists, often dispenses with individual character names. In The Son, he designates the main characters by their relationship to the Son Friend, Governess, Father , except for the Son himself who, Hasenclever suggests, is defined by his relationship to the Father.

Unless otherwise noted, all translations from German are my own. Walter Sokel, The Writer in Extremis: Expressionism in Twentieth Century German Literature New York: McGraw-Hill, , Sokel, The Writer in Extremis, Roderick Stackelberg and Sally A.

Winkle London: Routledge, , Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Selected Writings, ed. Flint, trans. Flint and Arthur A. Coppotelli New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, , 42, Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful Oxford: Oxford University Press, , 67; Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment, trans.

Werner S. Pluhar Indianapolis: Hackett, , Walter Hasenclever, Dramen Berlin: Die Schmiede Verlag, , Marinetti, Selected Writings, Richard Seaver and Helen R.

Lane Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, , Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, trans.

Arnold Bronnen, Vatermord, in Werke, vol. Hasenclever, Dramen, 56, Bronnen, Vatermord, Hasenclever, Dramen, Hasenclever, Dramen, , Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan New York: E.

Dutton, , Hasenclever, Dramen, , 53, ; Bronnen, Vatermord, Peter Vershov New York: Columbia University Press, , Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence, trans.

Hulme New York: Peter Smith, , Sorel, Reflections on Violence, Sorel, Reflections on Violence, , , Carl Schmitt, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, trans.

Kennedy Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, , Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, trans. George Schwab Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , Schmitt, Concept of the Political, Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg Berkeley: University of California Press, , Timothy S.

Brown, Weimar Radicals: Nazis and Communists Between Authenticity and Performance New York: Berghahn Books, , Brown, Weimar Radicals, Terry Eagleton, Holy Terror Oxford: Oxford University Press, , Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty, trans.

George Schwab Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, , Michael Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History New York: Hill and Wang, , , , Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans.

Nevertheless, this quote seems revealing. Joseph Goebbels, quoted in James M. Rhodes, The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, , Albert Speer, Spandau: The Secret Diaries, trans.

Richard Winston and Clara Winston New York: Macmillan, , Yet in the history of vanguard movements in English fascism, such visions of political transcendence often collapse in performative failure.

This essay considers how the idealization of an imagined moment of vanguard performance entwines with the frequently disastrous history of the Far Right in English nationalism.

The fascist imaginary often conceives a transcendent moment of renewal and reinvention as if it were to come into being in a moment of revelatory presence built around a charismatic leader, the spearhead of the movement, before the body of its massing troops.

Lindbergh realizes the consummation of his political ambitions when he steps into the hall of the deadlocked Republican convention and seizes the chance to win the party nomination through his understanding of the potential of performance.

It is a compelling, convincing vision of what might have happened. The figure of Lindbergh is a familiar s icon of vaulting manhood.

He is the vanguard leader whose charisma is registered through acts of heroism, endurance, and pioneering achievement in physical, military, or aesthetic spheres.

A masculine figure such as Lindbergh, or the Italian air ace Italo Balbo whose formation of flying boats crossed the Atlantic in , is represented in the moment as a parapolitical animal, an enthusiastic innovator whose successes as explorer, warrior, or flyer illustrate his ability to pioneer and to inspire.

He was both a military leader and a participant in the experience and group identity of the common soldier, reverting to the ranks under an assumed name after the war in order to escape the pressures of celebrity.

Williamson had risen to prominence as a leading British prose embodier of a particular vision of rural order and natural essentialism, most celebratedly as the author of the novel Tarka the Otter.

According to Genius of Friendship, their letters were regular and, judging from the contents of those from which Williamson quotes, tended to the intense.

His experience of the Christmas truce suggested to him that the enemy was in fact a band of brothers like his own army and that both sides were manipulated and betrayed by those whose interests the war served.

This identification of a common identity and trauma between soldiers and their fellow combatants led him to the belief that Lawrence might share his sense of its potential to unify nations and to prevent war.

So far, so idealistic and even so communitarian. So that the sun should shine on free men! This event was also attended by a variety of British and American fellow-travelers, including Unity and Diana Mitford, sisters whose associations with fascism became notorious.

People on their feet, a roar of heil hitler! People sat down, like hundreds of thousands of friends, knowing each other, equal with the same trust.

I can only describe it this way, picking each word deliberately as I write. He padded into the cottage. His eyes and head moved with noticeable quickness.

He was instantly alert to what I said, he reacted to my every movement. He knew what I was going to say before I said it. His reflexes were extraordinarily quick and sensitive: quicksilver.

It was not noticeable. But at the time I did not have these thoughts or rather reflections; I formulated them later. All I felt at that moment was that, for the first time in my life, I was becoming real and strong.

The potential, as we shall see, for performance to fail, to be misread, poorly staged, interrupted, uncommunicative, inadequate, is a contemporary theoretical commonplace.

Brought into being as a reality, an imagined performance risks being undermined rather than ideally realized. This regretful and nostalgic construction of a never-realized performance project is in many ways a model inscription of vanguardist values in fascism, with its emphasis on the ideal past against the decayed present, and something of that pleasure in nostalgia clings nowadays to the portrayal of Williamson as the neglected prophet of the Far Right.

In a BBC local news film recorded in ,20 Williamson is shown reclining on a bed, manuscripts around him, then sitting at his desk, correcting them.

Williamson, what is it, do you think, makes Westcountry writers different from the others? By the time the book was written, Williamson was long separated from active politics of the kind that had led him, even during World War II, during which he came under suspicion as a spy, to paint the British Union of Fascists logo on the wall of his farmyard.

Indeed, The Gale of the World, his last novel, received an approving commentary in a edition of National Vanguard,24 the magazine of the American neo-Nazi group the National Alliance, formed around the leadership of the now dead William Pierce, author of the infamous Turner Diaries.

In his Tales From A Devon Village, Williamson digs into the social and natural orders of his immediate surroundings, the village of Georgeham in North Devon, to which he retreated with his wife and young child in the aftermath of World War I.

The book was published by Faber and Faber in , and it has the air of a journey into a world of folk tradition and behavior that had not yet been explored in literature, an English equivalent to J.

In it, Williamson observes the strangeness, simplicity, and stupidity of the lives around him, the squabbles between haves and have-nots, between families and generations, between the farmer, the landowner, and the laborer, and he looks at the clash resulting when the modern world encroaches on the ancient.

It roots a view of the world in a gathered, substantial tradition, one that values a settled social order and seems to reject modernism or a radical political project.

Elsewhere in the book, Williamson watches a brawl burst out between two brothers, describing its slow burn, its ancient roots, and showing, in vividly captured language, the attitudes and anger of the two fighters.

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