The violence of remembering and forgetting: gender, nation and narration in the aesthetic reception of Dido/Elissa
Abstract:This article examines the representation of Dido/Elissa in Tunisian literature and nationalism and the literary, visual and performing arts of the West. This study has three central arguments. The first holds that the myth of Dido has served in these various discourses as an aesthetic tool to discuss expanding empires and state hegemony as well as gender, racial and national identity. The second claim this study makes is that all discourses on Dido are enunciated from specific hegemonic positions; be they privileges of race, class, gender, nationality, or education. The last argument affirms that these various artistic modes (epics, operas, paintings, novels, or museums), have produced images of Dido that are overlapping and contradictory at times. Dido emerges in the end as a liminal or trickster figure who defies all boundaries and definitions.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Alabama
Publication date: April 1, 2005
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