Whoosh! Issue 55 - April 2001

THE DEATH OF THE LIDADOR:
JOXER'S DEATH AND THE PROBLEM OF SELF- FULFILLMENT


Page 3

Conclusion

[58] Romantic despair, wont at affirming individual, or group self-identity even at the price of self-annihilation, is not a sufficient condition for the building of new ideology or Weltsanschauung. However, it is a necessary condition for that, given that such despair is frequently the very first crack in the happy consensus of the bien-pensants. In that sense, we can see in Joxer the equal of the Lidador, in that the mediocrity of the former, when self-realized, can be as heroic as the larger-than-life attributes of the latter.


The fact it was too good to be true should have tipped Gabrielle off
Joxer dies for the first time in BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.


[59] Rest in peace, Joxer. You are not the only one.



Disclaimer

No classics of the Portuguese language were harmed in the making of this article.




Notes

Note 01:
My translation, according to the text as printed in OS MELHORES CONTOS DE ALEXANDRE HERCULANO, São Paulo, Círculo do Livro, n.d. I made no attempt to translate the language anachronisms of what was, already at the nineteenth century, acknowledged as pseudo-Mediaeval Portuguese. The language generally spoken in Portugal during the twelfth century was so removed from Modern Portuguese as Anglo-Saxon from Modern English. Herculano was, throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the master of a "grand" way of writing that was later to clash head-on with the principles of both international Realism and Modernism, therefore the fact that he failed to attract enough general attention to get translated into English.
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Note 02:
As Herculano writes, with his tongue certainly in his cheek:

"Whoever is told today the accounts of the brave fighting that in July 1170 took place in the meadow lands [veiga] at the Beja border, will take them for dreamy fables; for we, men corrupted and weakened by leisures and pleasures of effeminate living, measure by our stamina and strength the strength and stamina of the good Portuguese knights of the twelfth century ..."
(Herculano, op.cit., pg.114).

Xena plays with the same notion of a larger-than-life identity, albeit a group identity and not a national one, set conveniently in a mythical, and therefore out of historical time, past.
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Note 03:
Georg Lukács, The Historical Novel, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1983, pg. 61.
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Note 04:
Ibid., pg. 49.
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Note 05:
Karl Marx, Manifesto Of The Communist Party, Penguin Ed., THE REVOLUTIONS OF 1848, 1978, pg. 88.
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Note 06:
For instance, the Chilean marxists Ariel Dorfman and Manuel Jofré, cf. their study Super-Homem E Seus Amigos Do Peito ["Superman and his bosom friends"], Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1978, pgs. 78/79.
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Note 07:
Kevin Wald, "Heroine Barbarian", in Al Healy, "Xena parody-longish", newsgroup aus.tv, 01/08/1999.
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Note 08:
"White Wolf", by Ren (renelda@home.com), "Re:Was Gabby good enough for Joxer?", alt.tv.xena, 05/27/2000.
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Note 09:
Lukács, The Historical Novel, op.cit., pg.52
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Note 10:
About this division of the lower and higher speech in Ancient Literature, see E. Auerbach, Mimesis (Port. trans. Editora Perspectiva, São Paulo, 1987) chapter 2, passim.
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Note 11:
LIVIA, Act I, Scene 2.
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Note 12:
"...the general having-25-years-stolen angst", says the comment of the episode by Beth Gaynor (http://whoosh.org/epguide/livia.html).
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Note 13:
"ENOUGH with the fart gags, already!"- Beth Gaynor, ibid.
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Note 14:
Thomas Elsaesser, "Tales of Sound and Fury", in Marcia Landry, ed., Imitations Of Life: A Reader On Film And Television Melodrama, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1991, pg. 72.
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Note 15:
Eça de Queiroz, Os Maias, Rio de Janeiro, Tecnoprint, 1970, volume I, pg. 26. There is an English translation at Penguin Books, The Maias, a sure treat for anyone with a taste for great nineteenth century novels.
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Note 16:
Ernest Mandel, Delightful Murder, Portuguese translation, Delícias Do Crime, São Paulo, Buscavida, 1988, pgs. 35 / 36.
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Note 17:
Manifesto Of The Communist Party, op.cit., pg.70.
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Note 18:
Lenin, "What is to be done?", Collected Works, Volume 5, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1977, pg. 400/401.
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Note 19:
See, to name but one , Jon Elster's essay "Self-realisation in work and politics: the Marxist conception of the good life", in Elster and Karl Ove Moene, eds., Alternatives To Capitalism, Cambridge University Press, 1990.
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Note 20:
Ernest Mandel, Delícias Do Crime, op.cit., pgs. 209/210.
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Note 21:
EVE (111/521), Act II, Sc.2.
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Note 22:
THE CONVERT (86/418), Act II, Sc.1.
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Note 23:
This is the version of the myth made by Hesiod. In the Xenaverse, the Homeric version is followed, according to which Aphrodite was Zeus'daughter, although not by Hera. In Homer, her mother is the lesser goddess Dione, not to be confused with Diana, the Roman name for Artemis.
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Note 24:
Jean Pierre Vernant & Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Mito E Tragédia Na Grécia Antiga, São Paulo, Brasiliense, 1988, pg. 87.
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Note 25:
"[T]he history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles"- Marx & Engels, Manifesto..., op.cit., pg. 67.
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Note 26:
Marx, "Critique of the Gotha Programme", in D. Fernbach, ed., The First International And After, Penguin, 1981, pg.348.

Therefore, elaborate mathematical analysis about whether exploitation "exists" or not in terms of illegitimate appropriation of income, as that made by John Roemer in Analytical Foundations Of Marxian Economic Theory, Cambridge U.P, 1981, is a useless exercise, as the discussions over this postmodern nostrum, the basic income (as, viz., in Philippe Van Parijis, ed. Arguing For Basic Income, London, Verso, 1992). It is not an issue about how much each receives, but about what is produced and how it is produced.
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Articles

Carlos Eduardo Rebello de Mendonça, "In Illo Tempore--: An Introduction to a Marxist Analysis of The Making of a Postmodern Mythology in Xena: Warrior Princess" WHOOSH! #49 (October 2000)
http://whoosh.org/issue49/rebello1.html



Biography

Carlos Eduardo Rebello de Mendonca Carlos Eduardo Rebello de Mendonça

I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Rio de Janeiro State University since 1993. Received my Ph.D in 1996, at the Graduate Studies Institute of Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ) in 1996, with a thesis about the sociological relevance of J.M. Keynes' economic theory. Afterwards, I engaged in the writing of a (still unpublished) manuscript on Trotsky's writings. I have been increasingly concerned with the problem of the intellectual roots of postmodern thinking, especially in the field of mass culture. Having been besides an Ancient History buff since my teenage days, I eagerly seized the opportunity to write the work above, which I am presently developing as part of a graduate studies course on "Mass Culture Mythologies" to be taught in the (Southern) Fall.
Favorite episode:THE PRICE (44/220); ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313); IDES OF MARCH (89/421); THE CONVERT (86/418).
Favorite line:Xena to Gabrielle, in THE PRICE (44/220): "This is war! What did you expect glamour?! There are no good choices only lesser degrees of evil!"
First episode seen:By some coincidence, SINS OF THE PAST (01/101), in 1998.
Least favorite episode:THE GIANT KILLER (27/203). The mix between Xena: Warrior Princess and Biblical narrative doesn't seem to work - or better, cannot work, as one cannot play with the Old Testament as freely as one plays with Greek mythology.





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