Catalan Review

Anagnôrisis, Political Recognition, and Justice in Salvador Espriu's Antígona

Catalan Review (2009), 23, (1), 211–227.

Abstract

Salvador Espriu's Antígona (1969) is an auto-reflexive tragic drama in which the classical concept of anagnôrisis mirrors a dynamics of political recognition outside the play; that is, the contexts of the Spanish Civil War and the postwar periods. The correlation between anagnôrisis and political recognition places into question the polis in the Greek tragedy and the State in the historical contexts it mirrors. In exploring the ways in which, in this Catalan Antigone, political recognition is tied to the (im)possibility of justice, as (mis)recognition, I consider (1) how anagnôrisis as a form of recognition manifests itself in Espriu's Antígona; (2) how different forms of silence permeate the text: the imposed silence on the citizens of Thebes, as well as the silence that is related with distance and detachment, both of which render impossible an ethical and epistemological position associated with justice as a form of political recognition outside the rule of law; (3) the ways Antigone not only is the bearer of kinship; she also represents a political identity and ethos that differ from the civic ethos inaugurated by Creon's decree.

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Duprey, Jennifer