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Reckoning with Rechnitz: on Elfriede Jelinek, translation and cultural reproduction

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>18/12/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Austrian Studies
Volume22
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)199-214
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Jelinek’s play Rechnitz (Der Würgeengel) is read here for notions of cultural reproduction and translation. In Rechnitz, the writing of history and the attendant emotions of atonement and guilt come under scrutiny as well as the metatheatrical question of how drama can intervene in the debates about mastering the past. Social privilege and the continued protection of the upper classes are further dimensions of cultural reproduction that are scrutinised by Jelinek. The ways in which Jelinek ‘reproduces’ and thereby initiates a dialogue with and through her acknowledged cultural sources (Buñuel, T.S. Eliot, Nietzsche, and Euripides) is another angle probed here. Finally, performance extracts by the British theatre company aya are considered in order to demonstrate the potency of culturally translated productions and show how the linguistic translation can provide stimulus for approaching Jelinek innovatively and in a culturally sensitive manner.