Tragedy, Immanence, and the Persistence of Semblance


  • Karoline Gritzner Aberystywyth University



The form of tragedy has been central to philosophical projects since classical antiquity, and it gained special critical import as a result of the so-called 'tragic turning within philosophy' during the Romantic period of German Idealism (see Beistegui 2000). The aim of this short paper is to address the notion of aesthetic appearance (semblance, Schein) within aesthetic theory (Theodor W. Adorno) and in contemporary tragic theatre (Howard Barker) and to show that the problem of semblance re-appears as a productive critical category in the current discourse of performance philosophy.

Author Biography

Karoline Gritzner, Aberystywyth University

[email protected]

Karoline Gritzner is Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Aberystwyth University and a core convener of the Performance Philosophy network. Her research interests include contemporary British drama, modern European theatre, gender and sexuality, aesthetics and critical theory. She is the editor ofEroticism and Death in Theatre and Performance (2010), co-editor with Will Daddario of Adorno and Performance (2014), and author of Adorno and Modern Theatre (2015).


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How to Cite

Gritzner, Karoline. 2015. “Tragedy, Immanence, and the Persistence of Semblance”. Performance Philosophy 1 (1):126-32.



Notes on Tragedy