Memorial and human requiem (Adelaide Festival)

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Michael Morley Friday, 23 March 2018
Published in ABR Arts

If one were tempted to cast round for a theme or a set of motifs that could be discerned from this year’s Adelaide Festival, it might be Rilke’s ‘Who speaks of victory? To endure/survive is all.’ Not as a default position, but as a celebration of those left behind, of those who tell the stories of those who have struggled and, in some, cases, survived; in others, alas, not.

Brink’s staging/enactment/translation into musical, visual and theatrical terms of Alice Oswald’s great poem Memorial (2011) (★★★★) encompasses both the elegiac and the celebratory in its approach to conveying and expanding on the world of the original. The book-length poem, as its author indicates, is an attempt to translate not the story but the atmosphere of the Iliad, seeking to retrieve what she, along with ancient critics, referred to as the work’s ‘energeia’.

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Published in ABR Arts
Michael Morley

Michael Morley

Michael Morley is Emeritus Professor of Drama at Flinders University. He has written theatre and music reviews and articles for a variety of publications, including Theatre Australia, the National Times, The Australian, the Australian Financial Review, Opera News (New York), the Kurt Weill Newsletter, the Sondheim Review, the Adelaide Review, and Australian Book Review. He has also contributed translations for the English edition of the collected poems of Alfred Brendel.