A challenge to American pragmatism: staging O’Neill’s Hughie by Alexa Visarion

  • Adriana Carolina Bulz Military Technical Academy, Bucharest
Keywords: reception, pragmatism, fatalism, performance, Romanian-America cultural connections

Abstract

“Hughie or the Tale of a Memory” is the working title of the first play that the experienced artist Alexa Visarion has directed for the independent theater (a production released in 2017). The purpose of my paper, which is an investigation of several drama reviews that discuss the play’s first night, is to prove that – despite difficulties with cultural reception and public taste (given a text by O’Neill that is 80 years old, as well as the director’s first time with an informal theater production) - this performance was a succesful attempt at communicating and debating the conflicted values of American pragmatism and equally a crowning of the Romanian director’s effort to stage O’Neill’s plays in our country. Relying on insights from the American doctrine of Pragmatism, I will try to show how O’Neill’s text challenges philosophical premises that are inbred in the American status-quo, thereby making his plays “anti-materialistic” by promoting a fatalistic approach to existence.

Author Biography

Adriana Carolina Bulz, Military Technical Academy, Bucharest

Adriana Carolina Bulz is a lecturer with the Military Technical Academy in Bucharest and an editor of the Journal of Philology and Intercultural Communication (JPIC). She published a volume entitled Readings in Eugene O’Neill’s Drama (2012) and her PhD, entitled Transatlantic Connections: A Critical Study of Eugene O’Neill’s Reception in Romania, has recently been published. She has a blog dedicated to literary translation and she has published two volumes of poetry.  She is a member of the Romanian Association for American Studies (since 2008) and of the American Association for Romanian Studies (since 2018). Her research interests include transatlantic cultural dialogue, drama studies, translation theory and practice.

References

“Alexa Visarion – 70” (2017, September). Contemporanul: 20-25.

Alexa, V. (2017) Împotriva uitării/ Against Oblivion. Bucureşti: Institutul Cultural Român.

Bogzaru, O. (2017, 27 June). “Hughie, personajul absent care a oprit timpul./ Hughie, the absent character who stopped time.” Yorik.ro, 418, retrieved January 2018 from https://yorick.ro/hughie-personajul-absent-care-a-oprit-timpul/

Bulz, A.C. (2018). Transatlantic Connections: A Critical Study of Eugene O’Neill’s Reception in Romania. Beau Bassin: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Epingeac, A. (2017, 11 July). “Eseu despre ratare./ Essay on failure” Yorik.ro, 368, Retrieved January 2018, from https://yorick.ro/hughie-eseu-despre-ratare/

James, W. (2004). The Meaning of Truth. Retrieved September 2018 from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5117/5117-h/5117-h.htm

Lucaciu, I. (2017, 22 August). “Demonstrație a rostului detaliului teatral./Demonstration of the purpose of theatrical detail.” Retrieved January 2018, from http://ileanalucaciu.blogspot.com/2017/08/hughie-unteatru.html

O’Neill, E. (1988). Complete Plays (1932-1943). New York: Library of America, 831-851.

Peirce, C.S. (1878).“Illustrations of the Logic of Science.” Retrieved September 2018 from https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Popular_Science_Monthly/Volume_12/January_1878/Illustrations_of_the_Logic_of_Science_II

Trăncuţă, D. (2017, 27 May). “Hughie şi moartea iluziilor./ Hughie and the death of illusions.” Ziarul Metropolis, Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.ziarulmetropolis.ro/hughie-si-moartea-iluziilor/

“Teatrul se ocupă cu ceea ce nu ştim şi căutăm. / The theater deals with what we don’t know and we are looking for.” Retrieved September 2018 from https://radioromaniacultural.ro/teatrul-se-ocupa-cu-ceea-ce-nu-stim-si-cautam-alexa-visarion-la-unteatru/

Published
2019-05-16
How to Cite
Bulz, A. (2019). A challenge to American pragmatism: staging O’Neill’s Hughie by Alexa Visarion. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 2(1), 76-90. https://doi.org/10.35824/sjrs.v2i1.18814