Robyn Gee; Rob McCaig; Ian Ashman's Alltag bei den Rittern PDF

By Robyn Gee; Rob McCaig; Ian Ashman

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8 Although the absence of intelligible pain signals conforms to the conventions established in certain situations—a grimace or any other pain behavior would be out of place in most ballet performances, for example—such absence fails to conform to the standards of the medical profession, who must rely upon behavior for diagnosis. If I lower my brow, narrow my eyes, raise my cheeks, and then after several seconds close my eyes, you very likely perceive me to be bravely enduring pain to which I must finally surrender.

I would suggest that, to a large extent, post–World War II anxiety about representations of suffering turns on the question of whether such representations become too fully aesthetic, turning atrocity into a source of pleasure while forgetting the material suffering of those who are thus represented. 23 A closer examination of the conditions under which The Island was created and then revived can help to elucidate the interaction of performance text with social context and the resulting politics of pity.

For anyone else, one’s relationship to the sufferer delineates one’s level of obligation. One would be expected to save one’s child, for example, or perhaps even one’s neighbor. 20 Distance introduces additional ethical precepts. If one sees suffering at a distance, Boltanski argues, the principle of reasonable sacrifice does not require one to drop everything and go to help. Two forms of action are available: paying or saying. Because giving money does not on its own form a group among the donors, this form of action may be pity but does not constitute a politics.

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Alltag bei den Rittern by Robyn Gee; Rob McCaig; Ian Ashman


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