‘Beyond Satire: The Political Comedy of the Present and the Paradoxes of Authority’ by Aaron Schuster

A staging of The Balcony.

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An extended reading of Jean Genet’s play The Balcony, arguing for its contemporary relevance, and highlighting two of its most historically significant readings–those of Jacques Lacan (on the nature of enjoyment and its relation to the symbolic order) and Lucien Goldmann (concerning the impact of modern capitalism on traditional structures of authority). Particular attention is given to Genet’s vehement argument against satire. The essay puts The Balcony into dialogue with other political comedies (Lubitsch and JG Ballard) and films in sketching a broader understanding of how the theatricality of authority works today.

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