Friday, November 13, 2015



Edith Hall, The Theatrical Cast of Athens: Interactions between Ancient Greek Drama and Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 5:
The ancient literary critics were nevertheless surely correct in emphasizing that one of the two great goals of art, along with usefulness to humankind (to ōphelimon) is pleasure (hēdonē); as an avid consumer of theatre, movies, and TV drama, always shamelessly motivated by the desire for pleasure rather than for moral or political instruction, I have long felt that Marxist theory, and all the schools of socially contextualizing literary criticism that derive from Marxism (New Historicism, Gender Studies, Postcolonial theory), have tended to underplay people's need for sheer enjoyment. No genre or medium of art will ever last for long—certainly not the hundreds of years for which tragedy, comedy and mythological pantomime were enjoyed on the stages of antiquity—if people don't actually like it.

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