|Author||Robert John Brocklehurst|
|Publication Date||August 12, 2006|
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Excessive Narratives: Georges Bataille, Self-Sacrifice & The Communal Language of the Yucatec Maya This essay is based on Georges Bataille's 1930s cultural theory of 'general economy' which presented modern living as problematic for societies that attempt to survive as a construct of multiple 'sovereign selves' expending themselves as useful in an overarching edict of economy (Bataille, 1949). However, the descendents of Late Formative Mayan culture (300BC-100AD) live according to 'other' narratives recognizing that a more 'useful' objective loss of self is to be found in the unconscious revelations of language and ritual performance. Self-sacrifice is beneficial to cross-communal relations when the sovereign self released in memorial moments facilitates a better understanding of our place in larger world and cosmic orders (Heyden 1981, Joyce, 2003). U Chan Tsola'ni Ek Balam (The Short Story of The Black Cat) Written from travel experiences in Southeast Mexico, this humorous Mexican 'memory play' explores language alterity and the roles nature and myth play in understanding the mis-understandings of the 'indigenous Maya'. The story is of a respected academic who travels to Mexico in search of the Cult of the Black Cat. Told in English, Yucatec Mayan and poor Spanish, the play is structured according to the everyday language of the Yucatec Maya where performing a triumvirate of 'teller, respondent and audience' allows physiocratic meanings to appear through acts of 'inactive witnessing'. Robert John Brocklehurst (BA Hons, Fine Art, Winchester School of Art; PGD in Video Production, Bournemouth University; MA in Cultural Memory, University of London) Bob Brocklehurst is a lecturer in Technical Theatre. He is currently conducting research at the University of Manchester, focussing on the relation between visual language and communal memory within Yucatec Mayan communities, Central Yucatan, Mexico. He has also worked as both a visiting lecturer and filmmaker in California, Bosnia Herzegovina and Ghana, West Africa.