Do we take pleasure in reading ancient Greek tragedy despite the unsettling content or because of it? Does a safe aesthetic distance protect us from tragic suffering, or does the proximity to death tap into something more primal? Approaching such questions through the lens of postmodern paradigms, Mario Telò (Classics) offers a new way of understanding tragic aesthetics.
Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy (Ohio State, 2020) approaches plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides through an eclectic synthesis of Freud, Lacan, Derrida, and other critical theorists, while engaging with a range of media including architecture and film. Telò locates tragedy’s aesthetic allure in a vertiginous sense of giddy suspension — a spiral of life and death that resists equilibrium, stabilization, and all forms of normativity.
Telò is joined by Damon Young (French and Film & Media). After a brief discussion, they respond to questions from the audience.