Abyss essay

In one way or another, each of the essays faces up to a profound sense of difference between the audiences and cultures of the earlier twentieth century and the postmodern condition(s) of the last few decades. Aronson's clarion call to recognize the enormousness of this difference hangs in the air like the applause that invariably greets his conference contributions. In his essay on "(Sceno)Graphic Style," he raises the intriguing issue of the synergies between the graphic chic of international motorcar or fashion advertisements and contemporary performance aesthetics – for example, those of Richard Foreman or Robert Wilson. But it is a provocation thrown into a pond, without the detailed examination of the ripples that one knows (frustratingly) that Aronson is eminently suited to undertake. Time and again I felt that there was a book, or at least a much longer study, trying to get out of these tantalizing reformulations of the same basic questions. For example, he concludes the essay on "Technology and Dramaturgical Development" with the following:

Freud was a firm believer that there are several parts to our mind and the majority of what happens within it is unbeknownst to us. Much of his work, which developed into psychoanalysis, was aimed at finding the reasons for our current behavior/thoughts in these unconscious parts of our mind. This is where Proust suddenly finds himself as he searches for the origin of the feeling produced by the cake and tea. "What an abyss of uncertainty whenever the mind feels that some part of it has strayed beyond its own borders...It is face to face with something which does not so far exist...to which it alone can bring into the light of day" (Proust, "Swann's Way").

Place names also seem to be symbolic. Jane’s story begins at “ Gates head.” From there, she moves to the bosky darkness and spiritual abyss of “ Lo wood.” At Thornfield, she must fight her way through the stings of many emotional and psychological thorns (or, as many critics argue, wear “a crown of thorns” like Jesus Christ). Jane first tastes true freedom of movement in the open spaces surrounding Moor House, while Ferndean is the home where her love can grow fertile. Thus in Chapter 37 Rochester says to Jane, “I am no better than the old lightning-struck chestnut-tree in Thornfield orchard. . And what right would that ruin have to bid a budding woodbine cover its decay with freshness?” Jane replies, “You are no ruin, sir—no lightning-struck tree: you are green and vigorous. Plants will grow about your roots, whether you ask them or not, because they take delight in your bountiful shadow; and as they grow they will lean towards you, and wind round you, because your strength offers them so safe a prop.”

Abyss essay

abyss essay


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