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Deconstructing Oedipus: Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite and the Classical Tradition
2017 (English)In: The Reception of Ancient Virtues and Vices in Modern Popular Culture: Beauty, Bravery, Blood and Glory / [ed] Eran Almagor and Lisa Maurice, Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2017, 11, 167-86 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The chapter examines the philosophical dichotomy between Hellenism and Hebraism in order to show how Mighty Aphrodite may be seen as a contemporary example of merging cultural identities, previously thought in contradiction to one another. Allen’s reiteration of Oedipal references may be read as a dismantling of Classical Hellenic culture and a rearrangement intended for a 21st century New York setting. Allen constructs a fictional tragic space that is embedded in the main plot and that manifests itself in the form of tragic dramaturgy and scenic conventions.

Against this backdrop, Allen’s overall use of classical tradition may be considered self-referential: it points out to the director’s own understanding of classical culture as a twenty first century Jewish New York film director. Ancient cultural forms mingle with contemporary film and mirror ‘the twoway relationship between the source text or culture and the new work andreceiving elements’. Abort of their original context of antiquity, ritual, drama and myth, tragedy and the very figure of Oedipus are (paradoxically) cinematically deconstructed as humorous, and are granted a place within contemporaneity,finding a specific leeway of expression in classical Hollywood film narratives. The film is a commentary on the potentials ofreinstating dominant structures of classical reception per se: Oedipus may become Anti- Oedipus, tragedy may turn into comedy and binary structures such as Hellenism and Hebraism may mingle together in perfect harmony.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden and Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2017, 11. 167-86 p.
Series
Metaforms: Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity, ISSN €2212-9405, E-ISSN 978-90-04-34772-4 ; 11
Keyword [en]
Tragedy, Allen, New York City, Deleuze, Guattari, Hellenism, Hebraism, Reason
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion History of Ideas Philosophy Performing Art Studies Studies on Film
Research subject
Aesthetics; History Of Sciences and Ideas; History Of Sciences and Ideas; Philosophy of Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135411DOI: 10.1163/9789004347724_008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-135411DiVA: diva2:1098871
Projects
Multiple Screens as Material
Available from: 2017-05-26 Created: 2017-05-26 Last updated: 2017-05-26

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • fi-FI
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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