This article examines Yael Farber's Molora, an adaptation of The Oresteia, in the context of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a narrative form. I argue that, in performance, the play prevents the culmination of both reconciliation and the tragic form, leaving the audience in the same transitional space that South Africa is itself experiencing. Spatially, Molora forestalls both the universalizing impulse of tragedy and the monumentalizing impulse of reconciliation. Temporally, it provides neither the firm tragic telos nor the temporal conflations implied by reconciliation. Affectively, we are too close to judge, but too distant to experience catharsis. Molora thus dramatizes the dilemma of a reconciliation that cannot happen unless it has already begun to happen and the retributive tragic form that never stops happening.
Glenn A. Odom; South African Truth and Tragedy: Yael Farber's Molora and Reconciliation Aesthetics. Comparative Literature 1 January 2011; 63 (1): 47–63. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00104124-1125286
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