Marisa Parham

66 :: Reading thru a lens

Posted by on Oct 21 2007, in archive-me


Please do not forget your blogging assignment for Tuesday. The idea is to choose a single approach to your reading of Adrienne Kennedy, to read though a lens. All of these approaches begin in rather simple and baseline ways, but the purpose of the exercise is to push the approach into telling you something deeper about the play in general, to consider the relationship between mechanism and meaning.

(It is fine if you have already started or are already done: this is just to spur those of you who have not yet begun!)

Here are some suggestions:

–If you are interested in theater, for instance, imagine how you would stage this play. Walk us through a scene.

–If you are interested in literary approaches, consider mapping the text’s use of allusion. What kinds of stories are told through stories in Kennedy’s play? How does she make (or what’s at stake in) her leap from allusion to intertextuality (1 & 2)?

–If you are interested in maps, how would you read the text’s spatiality, both literally and symbolically? What is the relation between the literal and symbolic in Kennedy’s play?

And remember, all of the above suggestions are grounded in hints from Kennedy herself: 1. It’s a play (duh!); 2. quotes abound, and flourish; 3. Suzanne is obsessed with maps and space.

Too easy? Look for other kinds of hints, particularly viz. signifying chains. For example:

The play references Battleship Potemkin; the line, “who is Eisenstein?” is highlighted in the dialogue. We can free-associate–or google our way into association with the relevant terms!–montage, using Renaissance space, communism, and so on. What kind of meaning might be derived from following a single chain of signification?