Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy by Mario Telò (review)


In Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy, Mario Telò takes aim at one of the most canonical (if also one of the most contested) features of Greek tragedy: its potential to deliver catharsis (12).1 Through careful close readings of Greek tragedies informed by psychoanalytic theory and deconstruction, Telò makes a persuasive case that tragedy is anti-cathartic. “The Freudian take on catharsis is complicated, or even undercut,” he writes in the introduction, “by its own anti-cathartic latencies… We can accordingly look at tragedy as a form of dramatic poetry that finds its affective raison d’être… in these anti-cathartic feelings” (34).

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