Tragedy and Trauerspiel
This project investigates tragedy and »Trauerspiel« along with their philosophical principles by means of selected examples of dramatic spectacles where one witnesses the interference and dialectic of the European secularization process from the 17th century to the present.
While contemporary tragedy is born under the profound influence of its earlier cultish origins, Trauerspiel unveils the underlying ambition for a religious experience or more fundamental eschatological self-enlightenment. In understanding the two phenomena, one must neither overlook their ancient or Christian heritage, nor perceive them as resulting fromter the historical progression of distinctly disparate forms. However, expressions of Christian, ancient or pseudo-ancient origins endure and intermingle throughout the history of »Trauerspiel« and tragedy, traces that merit further investigation. Research in light of this conglomeration and hybridization will broach in particular the representations of the state and sovereignty, thus formulating a project that highlights political theory discourse as theological investigation historically and systematically exploring the origins of tragedy or »trauerspiel« and the implications that follow.
Current theories regarding secularization and its politics will not be applied to »Trauerspiel« and tragedy in a one-dimensional fashion; rather, the question of to what extent the two phenomena in turn influenced and determined central tenants of such theories will be examined. In this manner, one will explore the possibilities of localizing denominational subtexts, as well as texts inquiring into the philosophy of the tragic.
Such a reconfiguration of tragedy and »trauerspiel« under a literary, philosophical and religious historical regard will therefore implicate investigations into representational and performance theory. In so doing, one will progress beyond the political dimensions of theatre and theatricality, seeking out further examination of the theatre public, be it imaginary, and the underlying historical development of »affect-economy.«