Reclaiming Klytemnestra: Revenge or Reconciliation

Overview

Reclaiming Klytemnestra explores the surprisingly numerous revisions by late twentieth-century women writers of the famous axe-wielding Greek queen who killed her husband in his bath when he returned from the Trojan War. By slaying her husband, Klytemnestra exposed the competing ethics of motherhood and matrimony at the beginnings of the Western tradition. In this interdisciplinary study, Kathleen L. Komar first examines the classical archetype of Klytemnestra established by writers such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, ...
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Overview

Reclaiming Klytemnestra explores the surprisingly numerous revisions by late twentieth-century women writers of the famous axe-wielding Greek queen who killed her husband in his bath when he returned from the Trojan War. By slaying her husband, Klytemnestra exposed the competing ethics of motherhood and matrimony at the beginnings of the Western tradition. In this interdisciplinary study, Kathleen L. Komar first examines the classical archetype of Klytemnestra established by writers such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Turning to the twentieth century, she investigates the work of women who, since the 1960s, have reconceptualized Klytemnestra's actions and motivations in the contemporary contexts of dance, fiction, drama, poetry, and the Internet. These revisions include a Martha Graham ballet; a performance piece by multiple authors; a play by Dacia Maraini; novels by Christa Reinig, Nancy Bogen, Marie Cardinal, and Christa Wolf; a short story by Christine Bruckner; a poem by Laura Kennelly; a mixed-genre piece by Severine Auffret; and two Internet presentations. Eloquent, provocative, and richly detailed, Reclaiming Klytemnestra asks us to reassess the roles women were assigned at the beginnings of Western culture and to reenvision how those roles might be changed in the new millennium.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252028113
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 5/9/2003
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Foundations of Western Culture - Re-collecting Klytemnestra 1
1 The Classical Klytemnestra 23
Klytemnestra - Matriarch or Mariticide: Whose Blood in the Bath?
Klytemnestra in Antiquity
Characteristics of the Classical Klytemnestra and Her Offspring
2 Klytemnestra Takes Center Stage: Klytemnestra in the Pre- and Early 1980s 55
Klytemnestra in Motion: Martha Graham's Ballet Clytemnestra
The Late-1970s Klytemnestra - Brutality on All Fronts: Christa Reinig's Entmannung
The Early 1980s - A Human Face for the Female Monster: Nancy Bogen's Klytaimnestra Who Stayed at Home
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Wields the Axe!: Dacia Maraini's I sogni di Clitennestra
The Unredeemed Klytamnestra: Christine Bruckner's "Bist du nun glucklich, toter Agamemnon?"
Comparisons and Contrasts
3 Klytemnestra in the Mid- to Late 1980s 107
Klytemnestra as the Strong Woman Wronged but Unrecuperated: Christa Wolf's Kassandra
Her Story Rewoven: Marie Cardinal's Le passe empiete
Is Electra or Iphigenia Klytemnestra's True Offspring?: Severine Auffret's Nous, Clytemnestre
A Community Effort: The Fabulous Furies reVue
Comparisons and Contrasts
4 The Fate of Klytemnestra in the 1990s: Upstaged by Her Daughters 155
A Dysfunctional Nonqueen as Avaricious Cutthroat: Laura Kennelly's "Clytemnestra Junior in Detroit"
Klytemnestra's Case Retried on the World Wide Web
Klitemnistra: ROOMS with Bath
Conclusion: The Issues for Women Revisionists - Trauma, Violence, and a New Gender Dialogic for Klytemnestra at the End of the Millennium 171
App Genealogies of the House of Atreus and Klytemnestra 191
Bibliography 195
Index 213
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