In this essay I offer a reading of Martin McDonagh’s play The Pillowman, staged in 2003 at London’s National Theatre, as a signature post-9/11 dystopia, a compelling parable about the state of exception as the signum of the new world order, and about the war on terror as its fullest manifestation to date. By pivoting the entire plot on the act of telling, enacting and interpreting the stories authored by the protagonist as well as his oppressors, McDonagh’s play throws a highly ambivalent light on the relationship between the fictitious world conjured up by its tales of terror, the real experiences they supposedly originate from, and the violence which they, in turn, are seen as able to generate. In particular, I point out that the play’s ability to engage with the current historical paradigm resides on more than one level in its heightened narrativity and, indeed, its fable-like aspects.

Tales of Terror: The Pillowman and the Violence of the Virtual

SONCINI, SARA FRANCESCA
2016

Abstract

In this essay I offer a reading of Martin McDonagh’s play The Pillowman, staged in 2003 at London’s National Theatre, as a signature post-9/11 dystopia, a compelling parable about the state of exception as the signum of the new world order, and about the war on terror as its fullest manifestation to date. By pivoting the entire plot on the act of telling, enacting and interpreting the stories authored by the protagonist as well as his oppressors, McDonagh’s play throws a highly ambivalent light on the relationship between the fictitious world conjured up by its tales of terror, the real experiences they supposedly originate from, and the violence which they, in turn, are seen as able to generate. In particular, I point out that the play’s ability to engage with the current historical paradigm resides on more than one level in its heightened narrativity and, indeed, its fable-like aspects.
Soncini, SARA FRANCESCA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/810681
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