Language, lies and the crisis of representation in Such a Long Journey
This chapter studies Mistry's Such a Long Journey, a novel that contains elements of a political thriller and which shows that the operations of history are linked to, and impose on, everyday life. The novel, which is set in 1971, presents political events that put pressure on a family already under strain. The chapter discusses Such a Long Journey in detail, and notes the political features included that seem to be characteristic of a political landscape of deceit, corruption and decline. It determines that Such a Long Journey presents a powerful combination of casual brutality and political deception, which descends on the fiercely guarded private world of sensitive individuals.
This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.
. This prompts questions that I engage with in the following section about the specific role performing certain domestic processes in the context of an art session can play in supporting care home residents’ sense of identity.
Framing domestic performances in art sessions
There were important differences between how Betty’s laundry practice was framed in the context of an art session and how laundry is done in everydaylife. Her laundry practice had become performative: her actions had lost their practical application, she repurposed materials and spaces that were
seen both as the ‘“most noble, perfect and admirable” of the
senses’, while being burdened with the notion of ‘visual deception’ (p. 42). As a
result of this dichotomy, the ability of sense perception to enlighten or harm an
individual meant that people were constantly reminded to be vigilant, guarded
and to regulate their sensory activities. Our senses are often taken for granted
in everydaylife, but to early moderns, ignoring the sensations of the world upon
the body would have been unthinkable.
In addition to hierarchies and dichotomies, the senses are beset by
determinants outside or
beyond literature, Bennett’s anti-aestheticism is committed to a ‘sociology of social
forms’11 where the emphasis falls on exposing the regulatory character of ‘cultural institutions’ and on the need to bridge the gap between ‘literature’ and everydaylife.12 The
slippage implied here between art, literature and ‘lifeworld’ is certainly one which
some forms of aﬃrmative postmodern cultural criticism have facilitated, and in recent
years ‘anti-aestheticism’ has itself, at times, almost become a unifying device for articulating the shared concerns of
Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves as a reparative fantasy
also has a particular narrative function. As Rasmus’s eyes look straight
into the camera, they serve as an injunction to the viewer: you are seeing
this, and you are hailed as a witness.
With its narrative structure, Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves
invites its viewers into what Roger Hallas has termed an ‘intersubjective
space of testimony’ (Hallas, 2009). Documentary footage is used to enhance
a sense of historical accuracy. Each episode features a title sequence in
which documentary footage of everydaylife in Stockholm is mixed with
dramatic scenes from the
wider sense is political. Persuasion is part of the business of
everydaylife. And, as Bacon himself notes in his aptly named
Essay, ‘Of Negotiating’, the business of persuasion requires techniques other than reason and logic:
If you would work any man, [writes Bacon] you must either know
his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so
persuade him; or his weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him;
or those that have interest in him, and so govern him.20
Successful persuasion is contingent upon knowledge of ‘ends’.
The man whose ‘ends’ Bacon ‘knew’ and
the senses, representations of sensory encounters, and even accounts of the
sensory experiences that articulated everydaylife for early modern subjects.
This suggests a useful relationship of mutual elucidation between works of
art and wider culture: not only can a clearer picture of early modern thinking
about the senses clarify our understanding of particular artworks, but in turn,
the ideas about sensory experience suggested in these artworks might illuminate wider early modern understandings of the senses. Our investigation aims
at precisely this mutual
the bowl. As no air could
have entered the tube Torricelli reasoned that the gap at its tip must
Nothings in particular
contain nothing. Subsequently, such down-to-earth vacua remained
airtight until punctured by quantum theory, where nothing is never
present in the topsy-turvy revelations of particle physics.
Although quantum ambiguities swept away the seemingly objective predictions of Newtonian laws, more personally we can all
readily acknowledge the subjective paradoxes of everydaylife –
those that mix emotional and aesthetic worlds into the messy flux
that silence enhanced their femininity’.7 Not only was this a problem for women
in everydaylife as it limited virtually every aspect of their behaviour and modes
of expression, but it problematized the nature of any work women chose to
produce. Women often had no option but to create their art or literature within
the constraints imposed by a patriarchal society. As we shall see, the works of
female artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola, considered within this context,
illustrate that ‘what was a fundamental problem for the Renaissance female
artist’ was ‘the