Negotiated Moments: Improvisation, Sound, and Subjectivity
Gender, Trauma, and Memory
This chapter analyzes two key female characters in Ann-Marie MacDonald’s epic novel Fall on Your Knees who use experimental, improvised performance to disrupt prevailing power relations that privilege white, male heterosexual identity. Materia’s and Frances’s performances destabilize notions of meaning and identity as coherent and unitary, and they thereby open up the possibility for new forms of signification. Their performances assert a profound and complex connection between bodies, sensuality, and meaning. Fall on Your Knees also, however, situates the liberatory potential of improvised performance very clearly in the context of the violent oppression that often mutes it.
In Gayl Jones’s...