Just ... Mimesis: Jack Hitt's Act V

Abstract : The present article is based on the course given by Jacques Derrida in 1967-68, "Littérature et vérité: le concept de mimésis," largely unpublished but constituting the foundation for "La mythologie blanche" (1969) and, in an even more germane way to the present subject here, for "La Doublé séance" (1969). It has also been spurred by reading various works by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe who plays a foremost role in Richard Anker's book, Henry James. Le principe spectral de la représentation_, the latter of which informing the present essay. My current research on incarceration and on death penalties led me to treat the question of mimesis through an analysis of Jack Hitt's Act V, the subject of which is the staging of Hamlet in a Missouri prison (Eastern Missouri Correctional Facility). Although several studies recently have been devoted to theatre in prison as a means for rehabilitation into society, none have raised the issue of the actor's performance in relation to mimesis, nor conceptualized the stakes of mimesis for literature, truth and ethics, even though mimesis "as such" could have been rightly linked to the theatrical and play-full Shakespearean adage, "all the world's a stage," the world, here, including prison. The question of knowing if the world does include prison or not is precisely raised both by Hitt's Act V and by the analysis of the concept of mimesis. The present essay tries therefore to examine mimesis in its relation to specific questions which the context of incarceration enables one to identify.
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Thomas Dutoit. Just ... Mimesis: Jack Hitt's Act V. Revue Française d'Etudes Américaines, Paris : Association Française d'études américaines, 2013, Mimesis in American Literature, 1 (135), pp.94-109. ⟨hal-01131625⟩

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