“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Subject to Change 11

Ann Mazur (University of Virginia)

“Props in Victorian Parlour Plays: The Periperformative Object”

Transformative potential of home theatricals. 
Creative use of props. Slaying a mouse with a poker. 
textual scholarship that dismiss objects forget that props aren’t just signifiers
they can become absorbed into the play action (Stauffer)
Can become part of the play’s cultural tradition
Henry II’s planting of seeds
props contain their past
Daniel Deronda: the diamond necklace
Sedgwick: letter is peri-performative, avoiding performative sentences
“I dare you” vs “not on my account” -- a changing of the nature of what is agreed
>> makes it more potent
you need the necklace for the letter to have its full effect
the return of the necklace is supernatural: she can tell she’s going to get it back
ogre’s head or beast’s head instructions: complex mesh and you can make it! 
e.g. Rumplestiltskin that involves a trap door! 

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