Dagens ord

Ansvar väger tyngre än frihet - Responsibility trumps liberty

19 jan. 2010

Uppläsaren som guide

Stephen Walsh tolkar, i sin handbok, Stravinskys och Cocteaus syften med den uppläsare som redogör för och kommenterar handlingen i meta-dramat Oedipus Rex:

The real significance of the Speaker seems to be twofold. Technically, he articulates the drama into tableau-like sections whose framing in this way makes them to some extent inert and statuesque, since the action they depict follows a trajectory already implied (if not clearly narrated) by the Speaker....

More symbolically, the Speaker throws into relief both the complicated network of allusions in the music and dramaturgy, and the sheer monumentality of the drama. As a tour guide he satirises our voyeuristic condescension, our flippant air of having seen it all before, of 'doing' Sophocles today as we 'did' Shakespeare yesterday and shall 'do' Ibsen tomorrow: satirises it, because for all our god-like cultural superiority, we are moved by these masked, immobile figures in a way in which our own perhaps much worse fate seems unable to move us. As a master of ceremonies he authorises the work's diversity of style. As a newsreader he stands guard over these terrible events and reassures us that they are only moving pictures. He is, simply, modern man the voyeur, to whom all life is a newspaper or a TV picture or, now, a Visual Display Unit, and for whom pity is often not much more than a refined form of emotional masturbation....

(s. 31)

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