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Dancing Jacobins$
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Rafael Sánchez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263653

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263653.001.0001

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Scenes of the Imaginary, I

Scenes of the Imaginary, I

The Fragile Collection

(p.227) Chapter 7 Scenes of the Imaginary, I
Dancing Jacobins

Rafael Sánchez

Fordham University Press

Moving beyond the historical approach of the previous chapter, in this chapter “The Fragile Collection” or “Gallery of Notables” is approached in more paradigmatic terms, as a crystallized governmental configuration. Among other things this involves returning to the theatre and the historiography of the period in order to identify in more precise terms the actual ideological tenets, presuppositions, narrative patterns, disciplinary practices, and motifs that positioned the nation’s representatives or tribunes as the monumentalized embodiment of Venezuela’s ‘general will.’ In particular, it examines the actual theatres where the ’civic’ plays popular at the time were routinely staged as disciplinary ensembles in their own right, as such continuously invested in forcibly immobilizing the audiences so that the actors could re-present on stage these audiences’ ‘general will.’ This was also true of the theatre of political representation erected by the notables which, beyond ideological proclamations, was a machinery aimed at immobilizing the masses as a precondition of its operation. It is precisely the inability to lastingly immobilize the masses that accounts, one, for the tribunes hyperbolic monumentalization, and, two, for the eventual replacement of the “Fragile Collection” by “Bolívar Superstar.”

Keywords:   censorship, historiography, masses immobilization, theatre as disciplinary ensemble

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