Monday, September 15, 2008

Review: Paranoid Nosztalgia by Elod Pal Csirmaz

Note: This post originally appeared on my discontinued website The published date and time has been adjusted to match the original.

This book is a bilingual Hungarian-English play. It's a clever future fantastic cocktail of consumer culture, genetics, pop science, psycho-analysis, and ideology. It poses questions about the nature of history, and also manages to answer a couple. Other themes explored are the blurred line between reality and simulation in the context of communication technologies, and the growing anxiety about the eventual commercial availability of genetic and biological manipulation technologies.

Theatre itself is a form of simulation, and asked whether drama still has the power to influence reality or, in cultural terms, history, Paranoid Nosztalgia answers: yes.