File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0103, message 68

Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 08:34:19 -0500
Subject: RE: Terror & the Sublime

> --Once when acting in a production of Macbeth, other cast 
> members and I used to
> gauge how well we had performed by counting the seconds of 
> silence between
> Macbeth's last word before intermission and the applause.  
> The longer the
> silence, the more powerful we felt we had been. But is it a 
> trance?  So
> mesmerized by the events before them that they forget that 
> they are sitting in a
> play, forget that their role is to applaud.  If you are 
> caught up in the events
> of the moment, are you awake or asleep?  Do audiences awaken 
> to remember to
> applaud, or is the applause the process of coming down out of 
> a different state 
> of awareness--the sublime--back to the mundane?   

It's interesting to compare this "sublime" method with the method of Bertold
Brecht. As you probably know, he took great care to remind his audiences
that they wee watching a play. Brecht thought that mesmerizing the audience
into thinking they were viewing reality prevented them from reflecting on
what they were seeing. His minimal sets, harsh lighting and intentional
interruptions reminded the audiences that they were not viewing reality and
helped them reflect critically on the subjects being presented.

This makes me wonder what part the sublime plays in hegemony.

Don Smith  


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