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Journal of Contemporary Drama in English

Editor-in-Chief: Middeke, Martin

Ed. by Berns, Ute / Wallace, Clare / Wald, Christina

2 Issues per year

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History Will Eat Itself: Rory Mullarkey’s Cannibals and the Terrors of End-Narratives

Sam Haddow
Published Online: 2014-12-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcde-2014-0025


Rory Mullarkey’s Cannibals (2013), an odyssey from post-Soviet Ukraine to contemporary Britain, catalogues the destructive power of teleological historical narratives through the eyes of a protagonist “mutilated in acts of spectacular terror” (Gray 205). This article aligns Mullarkey’s play with the anti-narrative political philosophy of John Gray, criticizing their approaches as implicitly valorising the very philosophies they purport to oppose. Offering an alternative reading of Cannibals through the lens of Alain Badiou’s Rebirth of History (2012), I contend that the play opens up a space of resistance against the totalizing impulses of the present, one in which “the power of an Idea may take root” (Badiou 15).

Works Cited

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    About the article

    Published Online: 2014-12-05

    Published in Print: 2014-12-01

    Citation Information: Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 275–288, ISSN (Online) 2195-0164, ISSN (Print) 2195-0156, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jcde-2014-0025.

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