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Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf$
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Ann Martin and Kathryn Holland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082624

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082624.001.0001

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Speaking Citizen to Citizen in a Time of War

Speaking Citizen to Citizen in a Time of War

Miss La Trobe’s Use of Parabasis in Her Historical Pageant

(p.164) Speaking Citizen to Citizen in a Time of War
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf

Kathleen Wall

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the directorial activities of Miss La Trobe in Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts. In a more recent work on both the Greeks and the autonomy of art, Fiction Agonistes, Gregory Jusdanis argues that autonomy is facilitated by parabasis, that moment in Athenian Old Comedy when “members of the chorus step off the stage, remove their masks and costumes, to address the audience on matters of social, cultural, and political import.” While this occurred literally in Greek drama, Jusdanis argues that in twentieth- and twenty-first-century texts, the parabatic moment is facilitated by formal choices such as those inherent in Miss La Trobe's fragmented and idiosyncratic play. The chapter then considers Miss La Trobe's historical pageant and its engagement with parabasis—the unmasked actor's direct address to the audience—that champions the autonomy of art and the independence of the artist.

Keywords:   play, Between the Acts, autonomy, art, Gregory Jusdanis, parabasis, historical pageant, independence, artist

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