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Facing the face: To be or not to be Don Quijote

In: World Literature Studies, vol. 11, no. 4
Mieke Bal


Year, pages: 2019, 60 - 83
Language: eng
Trauma. (Self-)portraiture. Historical truth. Authorship. Remedial interface. Don Quijote.
Article type: štúdie - téma / articles - topic
Document type: pdf
About article:
The article presents a “preposterous” updating of Don Quijote, in the face of trauma, contemporary slavery, and the importance of a social face-to-face, or interface, to help people to come out of their isolation inflicted on them by violence. The argument begins with the “updating” of a literary monument, an instance of cultural heritage that never lost its relevance for whatever era in which it functions. The focus on trauma makes this particularly necessary, since those on whom the stagnation and isolation violence cause has been inflicted, must be helped socially. Taking seriously not that but why some people seem “mad” is a collective task for humans. We can all contribute to that remedial interfacing. Through its special complexity, subtlety and temporality, art can facilitate this. The video installation Don Quijote: Sad Countenances presents an attempt to do this. Especially the episode “Who Is Do Quijote” is central in the article. There, some characters discuss the value and possibility of history, the authorship of Cervantes’ novel, and the importance of the literary imagination, while the figure of Don Quijote, in front of a large mirror, exposes himself to an artist-photographer who tries to capture his face.
How to cite:
ISO 690:
Bal, M. 2019. Facing the face: To be or not to be Don Quijote. In World Literature Studies, vol. 11, no.4, pp. 60-83. 1337-9275.

Bal, M. (2019). Facing the face: To be or not to be Don Quijote. World Literature Studies, 11(4), 60-83. 1337-9275.
About edition:
Publisher: ÚSvL SAV, v. v. i.
Published: 21. 12. 2019