A Townsend conversation on Greek Tragedy in a Global Crisis: Reading through Pandemic Times (Bloomsbury 2023) between the author, Mario Telò (Rhetoric, Comp Lit, DAGRS) and Debarati Sanyal (French, director of ICCI)
What does it mean to read Greek tragedy in a pandemic, a global crisis? How can Greek tragedy address urgent contemporary troubles? Mario Telò, brings together a deep understanding of Greek tragedy and its most famous icons with contemporary times. In close readings of plays such as Alcestis, Antigone, Bacchae, Hecuba, Oedipus the King, Prometheus Bound, and Trojan Women, our experience is precariously refracted back in the formal worlds of plays named after and, to an extent, epitomized by tragic characters.
Structured around four thematic clusters – Air Time Faces, Communities, Ruins, and Insurrections – this book presents timely interventions in critical theory and in the debates that matter to us as disaster becomes routine in the time-out-of-joint of a (post-)pandemic world. Violently encompassing all pre-existing and future crises (relational, political and ecological), the pandemic coincides with the queer unhistoricism of tragedy, and its collapsing of present, past, and future readerships.
Mario Telò discusses the book with Debarati Sanyal