American ‘Unculture’ in French Drama: Homo Americanus and by Les Essif

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By Les Essif

A ebook concerning the position the United States performs within the French mind's eye, because it interprets to the French level. knowledgeable through a wealthy number of Western cultural scholarship, Essif examines dozen post-1960 works representing probably the most leading edge dramaturgy of the final part century, together with works via Gatti, Obaldia, Cixous, Koltes, and Vinaver.

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Consider the case of the demolition derby that I attended at the Tennessee Valley Fair in 2009. ’ This was followed by the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ and the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ and then the rousing roar of the back hoes advancing toward the perimeter of the race track, a spot from which they could intervene to drag out the vehicles that were wrecked and incapacitated. Two ambulances stood ready to retrieve any mangled bodies that might need extricating from the cars. This ‘event’ represents a uniquely American mix of pure, senseless entertainment, the quest for glory 22 American ‘Unculture’ in French Drama of any nature, fundamentalist religion, aggressive violence, political patriotism: good ol’ American fun!

Consider the inanity and hypocrisy of asking God to protect from harm an individual who deliberately places him or herself in harm’s way in the context of an event that was organized to glorify participants by purposely and gratuitously jeopardizing life and destroying property. Does this event resemble the irrational, inhumane entertainment conceived by another global power of sorts 2000 years in the past? At least the diversionary massacre taking place in Roman arenas generally involved the more disposable enemies of the empire, gladiators and Christians, and it did occur 2000 years ago.

These amenities will save them from exposing themselves to the nature that presumably attracted them to this location, the nature that qualifies this location as a tourist attraction and justifies the trip, and the nature that undoubtedly was featured in the resort’s promotional brochures. No need to bother leaving your super-cozy room and expose yourself to the natural charms outside – the raison d’être for the vacation lodging. Perhaps the property’s cable television programming includes the Fireplace Channel with its nonstop projection of rustic warmth?

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