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International Journal of Literary Culture / Internationale Zeitschrift für literarische Kultur

Ed. by Biti, Vladimir / Liska, Vivian

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Laokoons ältester Sohn. Gewalt und Bildlichkeit bei Peter Weiss

Robert Buch
Published Online: 2007-08-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ARCA.2007.009


Peter Weiss' longstanding fascination with images of violence and pain is from the very beginning accompagnied by a certain anxiety and even a sense of guilt. These conflicting attitudes relate not only to descriptions of artworks in “The Aesthetics of Resistance,” but also to the author's two best-known dramatic productions. While the late novelistic trilogy stages the confrontation with iconic representations of violence and pain as one of overwhelming immediacy and presence, “Marat/Sade” effectively dismantles one such icon, David's famous portrait of the revolutionary slain in his bathtub. The other play, The Investigation, programmatically rejects the idea of representing atrocities committed in the concentration camps, but, paradoxically, the self-imposed proscription on images proves to be no less evocative than the ekphrastic ‘image-effects’ of the other two works.

Published Online: 2007-08-24

Published in Print: 2007-08-21

Citation Information: Arcadia – International Journal for Literary Studies. Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages 132–165, ISSN (Online) 1613-0642, ISSN (Print) 0003-7982, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ARCA.2007.009, August 2007

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