Absence is potent, unanswerable questions are the ones that engage us, the silences are thick with story. – Janette Turner Hospital
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Orpheus and Falling Man
The image from the action theatre group PAN.OPTIKUM recalls the photo of the "Falling Man" (refer to my previous post) from 9/11 about which DeLillo writes in his novel of the same name. It forms a connection between two texts, DeLillo's and Janette Turner Hospital's Orpheus Lost. Like the above image, both texts follow a descent and are reminiscent of the myth of Orpheus, with towers falling, terrorism, and a journey into an unknown underworld. But the descents amount to journeys that attempt to reclaim a lost love. Orpheus descended into hell on a quest to reunite with Eurydice, but he looked back before they surfaced and broke his deal with the devil. The characters in each of the contemporary novels seek a lost love, but seem to have learned the lesson of Orpheus, not to look too closely before it has returned. Can we apply this to contemporary politics, terrorism, and texts?