Synopses & Reviews
With Trilogy of Resistance
, the political philosopher Antonio Negri extends his intervention in contemporary politics and culture into a new medium: drama. The three plays collected for the first time in this volume dramatize the central concepts of the innovative and influential thought he has articulated in his best-selling books Empire
, coauthored with Michael Hardt.
In the tradition of Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Müller, Negri’s political dramas are designed to provoke debate around the fundamental questions they raise about resistance, violence, and tyranny. In Swarm, the protagonist searches for an effective mode of activism; with the help of a Greek-style chorus, she tries on different roles, from the suicide bomber and party apparatchik to the multitude. The Bent Man, set in fascist Italy, focuses on a woodcutter who resists fascism by bending himself in two and using his own now-twisted body as a weapon against war. In Cithaeron, perhaps the most audacious of the three plays, Negri reworks Euripides’s Bacchae to explore the circumstances that would compel a diverse and creative community to withdraw from both the despotic government that constrains it and the traditional family relationships that reinforce that despotism.
First published in France in 2009 and featuring an introduction by Negri, Trilogy of Resistance provides a direct and passionate distillation of Negri’s concepts and offers insights into one of the most important projects in political philosophy currently under way, as well as a timely reminder of the power of theater to effectively dramatize complex and challenging ideas.
"Trilogy of Resistance is fascinating. These plays advance Antonio Negri’s philosophical and political project, one of the few genuine adventures in contemporary radical thought. In their language and conception they belong to the main trajectory of Negri’s work, yet they also swerve away in surprising directions, gathering echoes from ancient and modern literature to give theory a new voice. It is a book full of affective power, conceptual daring, and political courage." —Richard Dienst, Rutgers University
The first collection of plays—provocative political dramas—by the coauthor of the best-selling book Empire.
About the Author
Antonio Negri, who has taught at the University of Padua and the University of Paris, is the author of more than thirty books, including Empire and Multitude, with Michael Hardt; Insurgencies: Constituent Power and the Modern State (Minnesota, 1999); The Savage Anomaly (Minnesota, 2000); and In Praise of the Common, with Cesare Casarino (Minnesota, 2008). Timothy S. Murphy is associate professor of English at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Antonio Negri and Wising Up the Marks: The Amodern William Burroughs. Barbara Nicolier is a director living in Paris. She premiered many of Negri's plays for the stage and performed the French version of Trilogy of Resistance for a radio broadcast.
Table of Contents
Translators Introduction: Pedagogy of the Multitude
Trilogy of Resistance
Swarm: Didactics of the Militant (2004)
The Bent Man: Didactics of the Rebel (2005)
Cithaeron: Didactics of Exodus (2006)
Afterword: Staging the Plays Barbara Nicolier
Review A Day
"The three plays within Trilogy of Resistance
are very much plays of the dialectic -- like Waiting for Godot but without the road. Or the tree. Or the radish. That is, they do almost nothing with the stage, and yet these director's theater-style scripts are goldmines of potentialty. In fact, in the director's Afterword, Barbara Nicolier talks about staging Antonio Negri's Swarm
with only one actress in 2004, and then staging it with a cast of sixty-nine the following year. So, how does one stage a Socratic dialog about modern socialism? However they want. Unfortunately, Trilogy of Resistance
is a book, not a performance." Justin Maxwell, Rain Taxi
(Read the entire Rain Taxi review