Ghosts: Death's Double and the Phenomena of Theatre (Review)
URL with Digital Object Identifier
At the end of her sometimes frustrating yet finally marvelous Ghosts, Alice Rayner returns to the scene of her own haunting. She opens her afterword with a brief anecdote about a young colleague who recently remarked that "she was awfully tired of all the talk about loss and death and trauma." "And, indeed," responds Rayner, "it seems these concerns may have run the critical course in academia, especially in the fading light of Derrida and Lacan and poststructural fever" (183). So what, writes the author to herself, am I doing in this book? Is this discourse about the ghosts that haunt the materiality of the stage, the traumatic effects theatre generates, and the encounter with trauma it produces merely nostalgic? Is it a warding-off of its own loss? Or is it something more?