Vom Altern des Sozialismus
The Ageing of Socialism The opening scene in Nino Haratischwili’s play “Fen Fires” confronts us with the loss of all privacy and intimacy: an ugly, white hospital bed is the most prominent object in the chamber play-like living room. Whoever is forced by the illnesses of age to lie in this bed loses not only a world, but his or her rightful, hard-earned social status. The naturally asymmetrical relationship between Lara, who needs care, and her scarcely younger caregiver Nathalie is additionally poisoned by the East-West difference: the East European woman can not count on a similarly “luxurious” setting in the last phase of her life. The modus operandi of the dramatist Haratischwili is similar to one she masterfully employed in her extensive novel Das achte Leben. Für Brilka (published in Germany in 2014): to relate volatile political history across generations as disturbing family history. Haratischwili, who was born in Georgia in 1983, is interested in family secrets, tabus and memory blocks which connect familial and collective memory in the long 20th C. East and West, poor and rich, object and subject – these are the poles between which Haratischwili treats ageing in present-day Europe.
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