Sound of the Sea. After Midnight. The Escobar's beach house. A terrace and an ample living/dining room where dinner is laid out on a table with two chairs. DEATH AND THE MAIDEN. A play in three acts. Cast of characters. PAULINA SALAS, around forty years old. GERARDO ESCOBAR, her husband, a lawyer. PDF | The partnership of death and maidenhood-found in many cultures, present as well as past, east as well as west-is examined here in the.

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Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden is a moral thriller about a woman, playing a cassette of Schubert's quartet Death and the Maiden which she found in. Wandsworth Amnesty International. Film Night. MONDAY 1 SEP • • £5. The Exhibit • Balham. (12 Balham Station Rd, SW12 9SG). Death and the Maiden. Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden is a psychological thriller about a woman who, in a country newly released from dictatorship, seeks revenge on the man.

Paulina has suppressed the worst details of her incarceration. Her paranoia has prevented her from sharing this information with Gerardo or her mother—for fear that the knowledge might place them in danger. While her country has replaced the dictatorship with a free, elected government, she suspects that many in power are from the military and only pretending to be democratic and fair-minded. She lives with acute fear, as can be seen from her defensive actions when Roberto Miranda's unfamiliar car first pulls up to the house.

Since her ordeal, Paulina has also stifled a great deal of anger, which surfaces with the opportunity to exact revenge on the man she believes was her primary tormentor. Sure of herself after "trying" Miranda, Paulina appears set to kill the doctor but ultimately chooses to be merciful. This action seems to suggest that she ultimately rejects the idea of an eye for an eye. Yet her humane gesture comes at a price to her piece of mind. The tense final image of the play suggests that Paulina may never be able to achieve a satisfying resolution to her lingering pain.

It was indeed the commission that provided Dorfman with the key he needed to turn his original idea into final form.

Death and the Maiden

The New York production, with its star cast, drew large crowds but largely withering reviews. The political context so largely missing from the New York production and the later film version was precisely what made the play so timely and so powerful elsewhere, particularly in countries confronting their own recent histories: Argentina, the former Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, South Africa, Britain Northern Ireland, the Falklands , and elsewhere.

Although clearly a timely play given German reunification in , Polish martial law, and South African apartheid, Death and the Maiden is also a play that transcends its moment in two important ways.

Reviews of the Broadway production were less enthusiastic, but critics differ on whether the weaknesses were the result of failings in the play, the performances Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss, and Gene Hackman , or the direction of Mike Nichols.

English and American audiences lacked the political experience of a recent return to democracy, shared by so many emerging nations in this era, yet the play is easily accessible to them. Matt Wolf wrote in the Times of London that the play was an unlikely success given its topic, but "Dorfman argues that its time is now.

At the same time, she is clearly speaking for more than torture victims. What makes it "ingenious," he wrote, is the playwright's "ability to raise such complex issues within a thriller that is full of action and nearly devoid of preaching. Rich wrote that "it is no small feat that the director Mike Nichols has managed to transform 'Death and the Maiden' into a fey domestic comedy.

But what kind of feat, exactly? The play takes too long to set up its central conflict, Kramer felt, dwells too long on the irony of Paulina contemplating doing just what her tormentors did to her, and "never gets much beyond that idea.

Disch of the Nation also found that the weaknesses of the play and of the production reflected one another.

He wrote in New York magazine of the "unconvincing" devices which establish the dramatic situation in the play, and other flaws of technique. And whereas Butt found the lack of resolution in the play to be a strength, Simon argued that because the play "avoids coming satisfactorily to grips with the one question it raises," it cannot succeed as a whodunit, either.

Jack Kroll of Newsweek also argued that Dorfman lessened the impact of his play by turning it into a "whodunnit.

Death and the Maiden

Death and the Maiden remains "a fiercely political play," Kroll commented, and if Dorfman had only forced his character Miranda to face his own guilt, this one change could have produced the "masterwork" that many critics have called the play, and enabled the star actors"to reach an emotional focus that they only glancingly hit in this production.

Most articles and other extended works on Dorfman focus on his novels, poetry, or his experience as a critic and artist in exile.

One exception is Stephen Gregory's lengthy article for Comparative Drama, which explores parallels between Dorfman and British playwright Harold Pinter. I deal often with people who are fighting against those who would obliterate others, who would forget them, ignore them, neglect them, erase them from the earth. In Dorfman's Death and the Maiden, it is years after Paulina's abduction and torment, yet her memory of the experience remains crystal clear.

She concludes without a doubt in her own mind that Roberto Miranda is the doctor who tortured and raped her, drawing on particular details such as the Schubert quartet, Miranda's quoting of Nietzsche, his smell, his voice, and the feel of his skin.

Gerardo questions the value of Paulina's evidence and Miranda calls her memories "fantasies of a diseased mind," but Paulina remains resolute. While a few details of her experience had initially appeared fuzzy, Paulina reveals in the course of the play that she obscured information in order to protect her loved ones from pain or possible danger.

Gerardo, for example, has always believed that Paulina does not remember how many times she was raped in captivity: "I didn't count, you said. Death and the Maiden unfolds simultaneously forward and in reverse; in fact there is very little forward movement of plot in comparison to the unfolding of the past which occurs in the course of the play.

Dorfman's primary theme of the past affecting the present is also a central stylistic device built into his play's technique. The two threads are intricately bound: just as a country cannot move forward by forgetting its history, the play's present tense narrative depends utterly on the events of the past. There is the painful legacy of Paulina's abduction and the question regarding Miranda's role in her rape and torture; Gerardo's affair with another woman while Paulina was in captivity is another painful memory that is revealed as the play's narrative progresses.

Paulina's perception of the past is clear, but she struggles with the issue of just how she should remedy these injustices. John Butt observed in the Times Literary Supplement that "the play's depressing message is that none of the three characters can offer a solution because all are still re-living the past.

In a play contrasting the ideal and the practical, Paulina and Gerardo differ in their respective concepts of justice under the present circumstances. Consequently, they also differ in their notions of how both individuals and society at large can address their painful memories of the past and what, exactly, can be done with this knowledge. Gerardo believes in the efficacy of the commission and the country's new "democratic" government to which he has been appointed, feeling that justice will be served by faithfully investigating human rights abuses and then turning the findings over to the country's courts.

He sees Paulina as emotionally trapped by memories that she must somehow put behind her. While the play is not largely sympathetic to Gerardo or his point of view, Dorfman explained in the Amnesty International interview that he can understand the political value of Gerardo's perspective: "In a transition to a democracy as in Chile, Bolivia, South Africa, there are different reasons why people do not want to remember.

They say, 'Look, if we keep on stirring up the past it's going to destroy us. To Gerardo, Paulina's actions "open all the wounds,'' but Paulina's wounds have been festering for years, and her action is the beginning of a process of healing. She mocks Gerardo's suggestion that she merely let Miranda go, so that years from now "we see him at the Tavelli and we smile at him, he introduces his lovely wife to us and we smile and we all shake hands and we comment on how warm it is this time of the year.

The question of whether Miranda is the doctor who tortured and raped Paulina is the central dramatic confiict in Death and the Maiden, but the play contains the larger thematic issue of how a society should confront a violent and repressive past, specifically reconciling conflicting memories of what occurred in this era.

Establishing a history of the victims will be a valuable step towards national reconciliation, and the tape recording Paulina makes for Gerardo is an important trial run for his work on the commission.

It is an interview much like the ones he will conduct in a professional capacity, but the process also has strong implications for the couple putting their own personal demons to rest. When the mirror is lowered near the conclusion of Death and the Maiden, a powerful image is introduced which implicates the audience in the play's central social conflict.

How do you make the truth, how do you pervert one truth to bring out another? Dorfman's characters are forced to move forward, putting the past at rest without necessarily resolving it. What is a personal issue for them is reflected in the social quandary faced by countries like Chile or Argentina, in which the process of investigation goes on despite the promise of a clear resolution any time in the near future.

Dorfman commented to Matt Wolf in the London Times that the impact of Death and the Maiden stems largely from the fact that "there are few plays about the real difficulties of the transition to democracy and few plays about violence and memory that work in this way.

The play's intriguing treatment of memory is thus at the center of both its current political topicality and its lingering literary value. Source: Christopher G. Driving back to his beach house, he blows a tire and, having neither a spare nor a jack much is made of these two unconvincing circumstances , gets a stranger, Dr. Miranda, to give him a lift home. By an even less persuasive device, Miranda drops in after midnight, and Gerardo's wife, Paulina, recognizes him or so she thinks as the man who, fifteen years ago, participated in torturing her and repeatedly raped her.

But she keeps mum. Miranda accepts Gerardo's invitation to spend the night more stretching of credibility , and while he sleeps, Paulina knocks him out, drags him into the living room, ties him to a chair, and gags him. In the morning, she is seated beside him with a gun.

She tells her flabbergasted husband that they will hold a trial; Gerardo is to be the defense, Paulina the witness, prosecutor, and judge. Miranda, when he does get a chance to speak, flatly denies being that doctor. Paulina, we gather, has been mentally unbalanced since those terrible events: Is she capable of determining what's what?

And how will she deal with Miranda if he is found guilty? But we do not get enough of the Escobars' home life to infer just how crazy Paulina is. Or enough about this society to deduce whether Miranda's loving Schubert's famous quartet and quoting or misquoting Nietzsche constitute enough grounds for identifying a person.

We don't even know what to make of the fact that former evildoers are to be ferreted out but granted amnesty. Yet these are small matters compared to the basic insufficiency of reducing a national and individual tragedy to a mere whodunit.

For despite the little grace or disgrace notes of humorous squabbles and troubled personal relationships, the play is really all is-he-or-isn't-he, did-he-or-didn't-he: too trivial for the amount of suffering on which it is predicated. Can you imagine Hamlet if its only real concern were whether Claudius did or did not poison his brother?

Yet even as a whodunit, Death and the Maiden fails because it avoids coming satisfactorily to grips with the one question it raises. Would Agatha Christie leave a murder unresolved and then pride herself on her ambiguity? And it isn't as if the wit, pathos, or language here were good enough to carry the play or even a half-pound paperweight.

Mike Nichols's direction does not seem to achieve more than anyone else's would, and the acting does rather less. Gene Hackman is a believable Miranda, perhaps because he is spared the excesses of Dorfman's fancy writing. But Richard Dreyfuss's lawyer is only Richard Dreyfuss, take it or leave it. As for Glenn Close, she is not exactly bad but seems, as usual, miscast. For Miss Close is almost always a bit too much this or not enough that; with rare exceptions, her performances leave you undernourished or overstuffed.

Curiously, Tony Walton, perhaps having shot his wad on Baboons, has under—or misdesigned—the scenery, which is sparse and a bit bewildering. And Jules Fisher's lighting no doubt at Nichols's behest turns illicitly stylized for a naturalistic play.

But Ann Roth's costumes are suitably understated.

Last time, I reviewed a terrible play by Richard Caliban. Here, despite an Ariel and a Miranda, things are not appreciably better. Go Ahead, Shoot Somewhere beneath the slick and enervating surface of Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden, there are serious themes struggling to get out. The play is set in "a country that is probably Chile,'' one that has recently emerged from a dictatorship and has become, tentatively, a democracy.

The question—one that is asked every day in Eastern Europe, in South and Central America, in Africa—is whether the new nearly democratic health of a country depends on the recognition and punishment of the oppressors from the past or whether the present is better served—as Mussolini's sexpot granddaughter was saying on television recently—by dismissing all that ugliness as history.

In Dorfman's play there are advocates of recognition and of punishment, although not necessarily of both. Gerardo Escobar Richard Dreyfuss is a lawyer who has been named to a commission, with minimal power, that will investigate charges of wrongdoing—very wrongdoing—in the past. His wife, 17 Paulina Salas Glenn Close , who was raped and tortured in an attempt to extract information from her, is understandably obsessed by what happened to her and aches to punish the villains.

Circumstances provide an occasion. Roberto Miranda Gene Hackman , who has earlier rescued Escobar, stranded on the road by a plot device, drops by in the middle of the night to congratulate Escobar or perhaps to soften him up in case his name should come up in the hearings.

Paulina recognizes or thinks she does Miranda as the Schubert-loving doctor who led her torturers; she ties him up, demands a mock trial, threatens to be judge and executioner. Escobar is potentially the most interesting character. Miranda either is or is not the torture doctor; Paulina either will or will not kill him.

Escobar finally sides with Miranda and feeds him information, which he may not need, for the confession Paulina demands. Escobar's motivation is nicely unclear. His distress at Paulina's homemade vengeance may result from his belief in proper legal proceedings, even though he knows that the judiciary is still shot through with appointees of the old regime; after all, we do not want to be like them. He may be afraid that Paulina's irrational behavior will wreck his career, stain his growing importance within the new government.

It may be a bit of male bonding; we learn that while Paulina was under arrest, risking her life to protect Escobar's name, he was having an affair. In the next to last scene, Escobar having been sent offstage, Paulina listens to Miranda's confession and decides to kill him anyway. After an impassioned speech about the way victims are expected to act in a civilized way "And why does it always have to be people like me who have to sacrifice" , she holds a gun to his head and In the published play, Dorfman asks for a mirror to descend so that the audience can see itself while a spotlight picks out one playgoer after another.

This effect would presumably generalize the theme, take the play away from Paulina, who may or may not be mad, and prepare for the final scene. There, the three principals, formally dressed, arrive at a conceit to hear a little Schubert. Dorfman may intend a final ambiguity to an ambiguous play—a testimony to Paulina's unwillingness to act as her torturers did, an indication that the past is to be smoothed over by social ritual, or, given the look exchanged between Paulina and Miranda, a confession that the questions the play presumably faces are questions still.

If this sounds like an interesting—even an important—play, it certainly did not seem so in the theater. Part of the problem lies with Dorfman. Although moral problems can certainly be carried by a thriller or a mystery, here the emphasis is on the is-he-or-isn't-he of Miranda and the possibility that Paulina may have been driven mad by her experience. More of the blame lies with director Mike Nichols. That blackout on the gun-wielding Paulina is a case in point. It comes across not as her hesitation, but as a directorial tease, an attempt to pump suspense into a flaccid melodrama.

The three stars, all of whom have done admirable work elsewhere, seem simply to be going through the motions of performance. Everything is as elegant and sterile as Tony Walton's set. I found I did not believe in any of the characters nor care about their dilemmas which meant that it was also difficult to dig for the half-buried serious themes.

The commission is charged with investigating those human rights abuses by the previous government that resulted in the death, or the presumption of death, of the victim. The fragility of her marriage is established as Gerardo blames her for the indignity, vulnerability, and loneliness of being stranded on the way home after his meeting with the president. He holds Paulina responsible not because of his punctured tire but because she had failed to have the spare repaired and had loaned their jack to her mother.

Routledge, , Death and the Maiden 85 atively unified Christian church, I propose a polygenetic under- standing of the earliest Dormition traditions, which understands the different narrative traditions as products of multiple and dis- tinct "origins. The theo- logical diversity of ancient Christianity no doubt provided fertile ground for these diverse traditions to sprout forth. Eschatology, Literary History, and Independent Origins Although the persistent silence regarding the end of Mary's life in the first four Christian centuries makes any conclusion about the beginnings of the Dormition traditions necessarily somewhat ten- tative, given the present state of our evidence, their independent origins seem relatively certain.

A number of factors suggest the independent development of the earliest Dormition traditions, several of which we have already seen.

Perhaps the most important of these is the almost simultaneous appearance of several very dif- ferent narratives around the turn of the sixth century, all with 61 This alternative understanding of the early Dormition traditions is not, it should be clear, an altogether new hypothesis. Already in the s, Wenger advocated the idea that the literary and theological diversity of the ancient Dormition traditions is best explained by the existence of a "great variety of original types," rather than by the progressive modification of a single primitive tradition: Wenger, L Assomption, To a certain extent, this was also Jugie's conclusion: Jugie, La mort et Tassomption, Wenger's exceptional work along such lines was in many respects continued by Michel van Esbroeck, who in a very dense and seminal article proposed two discrete stemmata that outline the parallel, independent development of the two most im- portant families of Dormition narratives.

With these diagrams, van Esbroeck rather convincingly demonstrates in outline the independent origins of these two literary traditions. Likewise, the related liturgical traditions and early pilgrimage accounts afford no indication that the location of Marys house s can identify a particular narrative tradition as primitive.

In fact, the complexities of Jerusalem's early Marian liturgies and the often divergent reports by early pilgrims present a likely context for the independent development of rival Dormition traditions. So too does the remarkable diversity of eschatological belief encountered in both the early Dormition traditions themselves and the religions of Mediterranean antiquity more generally.

Indeed, the various narrative representations of Marys status after her death are more easily understood as reflecting the broad range of opinions in the ancient world concerning the eschatological role of Paradise than as the result of a unilinear process of dogmatic development.

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In spite of their substantial narrative differences, the early Dormition traditions agree rather remarkably on Mary's final loca- tion after her death: Beyond this important point of unity, however, the individual accounts diverge considerably, offering various assessments of the Virgin's return to the Garden and its eschatological significance.

The descriptions of Paradise found in the Dormition narratives are often complex and ambiguous, even contradictory, as one fre- quently finds in apocalyptic literature. This is evident, for instance, in the frequent identification of Paradise as being simultaneously both terrestrial and celestial, a paradox well known from other ancient sources, including Ephrem's Hymns on Paradise perhaps most famously.

This was also Ephiphanius' view, for instance: The ambiguous status of Paradise often makes uncertain the significance of Marys presence there, and consequently, we should not be altogether surprised in finding that the ancient Dormition apocrypha do not fit well at all within the sharp lines drawn by modern Roman Catholic theological dis- course about the Assumption.

In early Jewish and Christian eschatology, one finds two major trends concerning the importance of Paradise, although there are also numerous variations involving one or both of these possibili- ties, as the early Dormition narratives themselves bear witness. On the one hand, many ancient writers understood Paradise as being the eternal resting place of the righteous, where after their resurrec- tion the elect will receive their final reward. For those who equated Paradise with the final resting place of the elect, Mary's present existence there [Leiden: Brill, ], As Richard Bauckham notes, the location of "such mysterious places as the places of the dead at the furthest extremities of the earth" is a very ancient notion, present in both the Odyssey and the Epic ofGilgameshT Richard Bauckham, The Fate of the Dead: Brill, , See also Bauckham, Fate of the Dead, ; J.

Among the Church Fathers this view is repre- sented by Tertullian and Origen, for instance: Yet alternatively, if one viewed Paradise merely as a waiting place for souls, then Mary's presence there would not be in any sense special, but rather typical of the blessed departed, who together in Paradise await their final reward. In the majority of narratives, however, the theological signifi- cance of Marys presence in Paradise is rather difficult to zsscss, since the eschatological function of Paradise is either unclear or confused.

This is particularly true for the many of the earliest nar- ratives, from the fifth and sixth centuries, in which the reader often follows Mary on an extensive tour of the heavenly realms, where the Garden of Paradise is seen in its relation to other districts within the eternal Kingdom. The images of Paradise that emerge from these apocalyptic visions are diverse and complex, and in this the Dormition legends reflect the variety of eschatological opinion that is witnessed more broadly in the religious traditions of late antiq- uity.

Instead of positing a linear evolution from one theological position to another, we may instead identify the source of the early Dormition narratives' theological diversity in the different under- standings of Paradise and its eschatological purpose that were cur- rent in late antiquity.

In this way, the apocalyptic and eschatologi- cal traditions of late antiquity can help us both to organize and to analyze certain narrative differences in the early Dormition tradi- tions, providing as an alternative to modern dogmatic categories one that is drawn from the cultural world of the ancient Dormition traditions themselves. It would appear that the tradition of Mary's transfer to Paradise is in some sense primitive: Death and the Maiden 89 diverse traditions.

The Dormition narratives generally give only a confused, if often colorful, indication of what this significance may be, without any effort to produce a clear and precise theological statement either for or against the Virgins Assumption. On the contrary, most narra- tives fit very poorly the categories offered by modern dogmatics, the overemphasis of which has led scholarship to overlook, and occasionally even misrepresent, various details of their conclusions.

This is largely because the nature of such dogmatic pronounce- ments is generally to contain theological diversity: This is best accom- plished, I propose, by allowing the early Dormition narratives themselves to explain the significance of Mary's presence in the Garden of Paradise, rather than contorting them until they fit with modern dogmatic categories.

Given then the daunting complexities even in determining the theological position of individual narratives regarding the Virgin's "Assumption," the focus on dogma as a means of understanding the earliest history of the Dormition traditions is actually not very helpful or productive. Alternatively, the often clear evidence of lit- erary relations among the early narratives offers a much more reli- able and less ambiguous basis for investigating the earliest history and development of the Dormition apocrypha.

Therefore, instead of arranging the ancient Dormition apocrypha according to some hypothetical process of dogmatic development, I have followed Antoine Wenger and Michel van Esbroeck in developing a model for understanding the early history of these traditions that rests pri- marily on their literary history and posits multiple, independent 66 This is also attested in the Apocalypse of Paul 46, in Montague Rhodes James, Apocry- pha Anecdota: The University Press, , 1. On this basis, I identify three major literary families, as well as a number of more or less unique narratives, which, although they are relatively early i.

Rather than attempt- ing to explain all of the early Dormition traditions collectively in a single, totalizing explanation, Wenger instead had the insight to focus on a limited number of very closely related texts, which he successfully arranged into a detailed stemma. Van Esbroeck additionally turned his attention to another large group of related early apocrypha that Wenger did not consider, providing a stemma for these traditions and designating them the "Bethlehem and Incensings" traditions, or the Bethlehem traditions for short.

The Coptic Dormition narratives comprise a third narrative tradition, and although the Coptic traditions do not exhibit the same kind of close literary relations as the Palm and Bethlehem traditions, certain distinctive Coptic liturgical tradi- tions, still observed today by the Coptic and Ethiopian churches, have influenced all of the various Coptic narratives.

This marks 67 See the more extensive discussion of these four narrative groups in Shoemaker, An- cient Traditions, Death and the Maiden 91 them off as a separate set of linked traditions that should be studied in relation to one another. Rather, each of these lit- erary traditions appears to have developed independently of the others, and they most likely arise from rather diverse and distinct origins. One final issue that must be addressed briefly in regard to the early history of the Dormition traditions is the question of their "original" milieu.

With surprising frequency, one meets the assertion that the traditions of Mary's Dormition had their origin among the oppo- nents of the Council of Chalcedon On the contrary, the earliest narratives seem deliberately to avoid taking a position on the debates over Christ's humanity and 71 Ibid. Marguerite Rassart-Debergh and Julien Ries, vol. Etudes historique sur les traditions orientales Brookfield, VT: Daley, "'At the Hour of Our Death': Instead, the early Dormition narratives are larded with the sort of theological commonplaces that were acceptable to those on both sides of this debate, while the language and formulae of the controversy over Chalcedon are completely absent.

On a few occasions, one even finds theological formulae representative of various efforts to heal the theological rift occasioned by Chalcedon. Not only then is there no evidence to support an anti-Chalcedonian origin, but the con- tents of the narratives themselves seem to contradict such a hypothesis. The earliest exem- plars of both the Palm and Bethlehem traditions are preserved in Syriac manuscripts from the late fifth century, which have been translated from Greek originals.

Furthermore, several of the very earliest narratives, particularly the earliest Palm narra- tives, are filled with various "heterodox" theologoumena that are rather peculiar for the early Byzantine context in which these narra- tives first emerged. These include, among other things, the identifi- cation of Christ as a "Great Angel,"76 a persistent emphasis on secret 74 See the extensive discussion of these matters in Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions, Note that this silence regarding Chalcedon is broken by the early Byzantine homilies on the Dormition from the eighth century.

These homilies reg- ularly include discussions of the issues of Chalcedon, and this new theme is one of the main features that distinguish the Dormition accounts written after the Islamic conquests from the ancient narratives. See, e. Voulet, ed. Book of Mary's Repose , 52 Arras, De transitu, 1. See also Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions, , Death and the Maiden 93 and often soteriological knowledge,77 and even reference to a common "gnostic" creation myth.

See also Leslie S. CtYBR inv.

Lnfanzia e passione di Cristo, Assunzione di Maria Torino: Marietti, , , nn. In regards to the possibility of a relation with the "gnostic" Mary of early Coptic apocrypha, see also Stephen J. Shoemaker, "Jesus' Gnostic Mom: Deirdre Good Bloomington: Naming the Gnostic Mary," in Which Mary?

The Marys of Early Christian Tradition, ed. Society of Biblical Literature, , This date coin- cides roughly with the floruit of gnostic Christianity, as well as with the relative disappearance of Angel Christology after the beginning of the fourth century.

The initial composition of a document cen- tered on these ideas sometime after this point seems comparatively unlikely. In fact, in an earlier study I concluded that the earliest ver- sions of the Six Books are unlikely to be much older than the early fifth century, a terminus ante quern indicated by the two Syriac trans- lations made from the Greek preserved in manuscripts from the late fifth-century.

After further study of the True Cross traditions from the Six Books, I am some- what less convinced of this conclusion than I was previously. Thus, it remains entirely possible that the account of the Cross' discovery embedded within the Six byzantines II , ; Andrew of Crete, or.

Brill, Death and the Maiden 95 Books apocrypha is in fact a rather early version that was forgotten as other traditions came to dominate. Likewise, the traditions from the Doctrina Addai may have been known to the author of the Six Books in an independent state, before their incorporation into this "offi- cial" account of Edessas evangelization.

Conclusion It is my hope that this "new" approach to the early Dormition apocrypha not only brings a measure of additional clarity to this very complicated set of traditions, but that it will also demonstrate the importance of better integrating these traditions into the study of earliest Christianity more generally and the study of ancient Jew- ish and Christian apocrypha more specifically.

Heretofore, the Dormition traditions have been largely ignored in both endeavors: In the process, many in- dependent traditions were progressively added to this foundation document of the Edessene church, including its account of the Cross' invention the so-called "Protonike" version and the story ofAbgar's correspondence with Tiberius, both of which are connected with the Six Books apocryphon.

Drijvers in Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed. R McL. Wilson, rev. Louisville, Ky.: See also Sidney H. Journal of Syriac Studies 6, no. Elsewhere Drijvers suggests that the legend of Abgar's cor- respondence with Tiberius must be dated after Han J. Yet even if this might be the cor- rect date for the legend's inclusion in the Doctrina Addai, I am increasingly con- vinced that this is too late to account for its incorporation in the Six Books apocryphon, and consequently it must have had an independent existence prior to its incorporation in the Doctrina Addai.

Only Erbettas Italian col- lection has given these apocrypha the full inclusion that they merit. One reason for this common oversight is no doubt the confusing diversity of the traditions themselves and the lack of any clear consensus regarding their earliest history. But certain linger- ing prejudices about Mary in early Christian studies may also be at work. There is a palpable tendency in much scholarship to mini- mize any evidence of Marian devotion in the ancient church, exemplified, for instance, in Hans von Campenhausens study The Virgin Birth in the Theology of the Ancient Church, whose stated purpose is demonstrate that Mary was not an important figure in earliest Christianity.

Nor is this tendency merely an isolated vestige from the past: James includes translations of Ps-John and Ps-Melito's Transitus, as well as summa- ries of a few Syriac and Coptic narratives, although many of the most important nar- ratives were not yet known when James made his collection: Oxford University Press, , Elliott's presentation of the Dormition traditions mirrors James' com- pletely: Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, Elliott at least in his recent review of my book: Elliott, "Review of Stephen J.

It cannot be seriously disputed that the early Church, at any rate during its first few centuries, knew no real Marian doc- trine, that is, no thematic theological concern with Mary's person and her signifi- cance in the scheme of Salvation.

Nevertheless the flood of publications relating to the subject is now beyond computation, and under the pressure of present Catholic dogmatic interest it is still rising. Although we have fortunately begun to see more balanced views of Mary s importance in early Christian culture, much work remains to be done in this regard. Hopefully the evidence of early devotion to Mary and concern with her theological significance afforded by the ancient Dormition tradi- tions will help to overcome this not infrequent bias.

SCM Press, , 7. See also Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions, Smith, Drudgery Divine: University of South Carolina Press, , University of Califor- nia Press, , esp. Brill, ; Vasiliki Limberis, Divine Heiress: Routledge, ; Mary F. Foskett, A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Chssical Repre- sentations of Virginity Bloomington: Stan- leyjones, ; George T. Zervos, "Dating the Protevangelium of James: Zervos, "Seeking the Source of the Marian Myth: Have We Found the Missing Link?

Gerardo and Paulina argue about her actions; she insists that if Roberto confesses to raping and torturing her she will set him free though she admits to fantasizing about doing back to him his own alleged crimes. Furthermore, she wants the confession to be recorded on cassette tape.

Gerardo is spoon-feeding soup to Roberto, while Paulina watches on from the terrace. For a false confession to work, he suggests, Gerardo needs to get him a detailed account from Paulina about exactly what happened to her.

As the evening draws in, Paulina and Gerardo sit outside facing the sea. Roberto is inside, still tied up. Gerardo has the cassette recorder on his lap and is asking Paulina to tell him everything about the terrible events she suffered. In fact, he was with the other woman on the night she got released and went to find him.

Gerardo grows increasingly exasperated as Paulina forces him to tell her how many times he slept with his other lover. Paulina agrees.

Gerardo puts on the cassette recorder as, at his suggestion, Paulina states her name and begins her story. She outlines how she was kidnapped one afternoon on the street, and that one of the peculiar details she remembers is how one of her kidnappers smelled of garlic. The room goes dark and the cassette recorder is lit by moonlight.

Death and the Maiden

Roberto outlines how he came to be involved with the military regime. His brother, a member of the secret services, had convinced him that his involvement would be vengeance for what happened to their father, who had suffered a heart attack when peasants attacked his land. Roberto is writing down the words of his confession as Gerardo plays them back to him from the cassette recorder.Clarendon Press, No performance may be given unless a licence has been obtained. Allende died, apparently a suicide, and thousands of his supporters were killed.

Although clearly a timely play given German reunification in , Polish martial law, and South African apartheid, Death and the Maiden is also a play that transcends its moment in two important ways. Escobar is potentially the most interesting character.

CHEYENNE from New Orleans
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