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A Map of the World: A Compromise of Politics and Fiction

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2009, 22(3), pp.143-165
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

김화순 1

1인천대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

David Hare’s A Map of the World(1982) concerns international politics and artistic representation, changing the setting in the play from a domestic one to foreign India. For the play Hare takes advantage of Brecht’s principle of estrangement and the deconstructive approach to the subject matter for the audience/reader’s judgement. The consequence of his attempts is problematic because to form a judgement itself from a certain perspective turns out to be an aporia in the play and for the audience. And the excessive adoption of the Brechtian principle and diffusion with an aporia rather seem to function as an obstacle to his sustaining the balance between politics and theatricality. Only the title of the play seems to help the audience/reader discern his dream of politics and art. In the play there intersect various and irreconcilable perspectives which incite the audience/reader’s curiosity and resist the endorsement of a certain perspective. Like the continents on the map of the world, they are major concerns in the play: the conflict between writing and journalism, the opposing attitudes between the right and left wings in younger and older generations, the collision between orientalism and national identity, and art and representation. And all the conflicts among the perspectives result in the conflict between truth and lies, or pureness and a compound. Eventually, self-deception and compromise can function as a possible alternative for the truth or pureness in reality. Hare’s choice of the title for his play from Wilde’s coinage reflects the implication of a paradoxical dilemma of the ideal and of an undaunted experimental spirit of an artist. The play seems to suggest that despite the dilemma, what matters is the writer’s and audience/reader’s will for social change. The title tacitly insinuates that the play dreams of an unattainable Utopia for politics and theatricality.

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