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Letter to a dead playwright : daily grind, Vicki Reynolds, and archive fever

D'Cruz, Glenn 2012, Letter to a dead playwright : daily grind, Vicki Reynolds, and archive fever, New theatre quarterly, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 122-132, doi: 10.1017/S0266464X1200022X.

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Title Letter to a dead playwright : daily grind, Vicki Reynolds, and archive fever
Formatted title Letter to a dead playwright : daily grind, Vicki Reynolds, and archive fever
Author(s) D'Cruz, GlennORCID iD for D'Cruz, Glenn orcid.org/0000-0002-6438-1725
Journal name New theatre quarterly
Volume number 28
Issue number 2
Start page 122
End page 132
Total pages 11
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2012-05
ISSN 0266-464X
1474-0613
Keyword(s) Melbourne Workers Theatre
AusStage
Jacques Derrida
archive theory
theatre archives
Summary ’Nothing is less reliable, nothing is less clear today than the word “archive”,’ observed Jacques Derrida in his book Archive Fever: a Freudian Impression (1996). This paper reflects on the unsettling process of establishing (or commencing) an archive for the Melbourne Workers Theatre, to form part of the AusStage digital archive which records information on live performance in Australia. Glenn D'Cruz's paper juxtaposes two disparate but connected registers of writing: an open letter to a deceased Australian playwright, Vicki Reynolds, and a critical reflection on the politics of the archive with reference to Derrida's account of archive fever, which he characterizes as an ‘irrepressible desire to return to the origin, a homesickness, a nostalgia for the return to the most archaic place of absolute commencement’. Using Derrida's commentary on questions of memory, authority, inscription, hauntology, and heritage to identify some of the philosophical and ethical aporias he encountered while working on the project, D’Cruz pays particular attention to what Derrida calls the spectral structure of the archive, and stages a conversation with the ghosts that haunt the digitized Melbourne Workers Theatre documents. He also unpacks the logic of Derrida's so-called messianic account of the archive, which ‘opens out of the future’, thereby affirming the future-to-come, and unsettling the normative notion of the archive as a repository for what has passed. Glenn D’Cruz teaches at Deakin University, Australia. He is the author of Midnight's Orphans: Anglo-Indians in Post/Colonial Literature (Peter Lang, 2006) and editor of Class Act: Melbourne Workers Theatre 1987–2007 (Vulgar Press, 2007).
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S0266464X1200022X
Field of Research 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
220202 History and Philosophy of Education
Socio Economic Objective 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Cambridge University Press
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049408

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Created: Thu, 15 Nov 2012, 11:41:39 EST by Glenn D'Cruz

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.