Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 55 | 2021 > The Revolutionary Intertextuality of Molora by Yäel Farber

The Revolutionary Intertextuality of Molora by Yäel Farber

Susanna Zinato    Università degli Studi di Verona, Italia    



This article focuses on the challenging intertextual phenomenology characterising the play Molora by South African playwright and director of international acclaim Yäel Farber. Premiered in Grahamstown in 2003, and published in 2008 after award-winning national and international tours, Molora is a radical adaptation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. It dramatises the challenges faced by South Africa in the highly-charged post-Apartheid aftermath, through dramatic confrontations between Klytemnestra, Elektra, and Orestes echoing the testimonies delivered by perpetrators and victims on the TRC’s ‘stage’, and through a chorus made up of seven Xhosa matriarchs belonging to the Ngquoko split-tone singers, who witness, comment on and significantly participate in the play’s action. Molora’s complex intertextual construction and dynamic are shown to call for a hermeneutical approach careful to avoid simplifying presentifications, as well as any possible fracture with extratextuality. Intertextuality, in fact, is here given the task to creatively and syncretically combine the ancient Greek text with the indigenous Xhosa text through a process of transcultural imbrication that, from beginning to end, exudes the tragedies of all-too-present history while instantiating a revolutionary use of memory.

Sept. 27, 2021
May 24, 2021
May 5, 2021

Keywords: MoloraTranscultural intertextualityYäel FarberIntertextualityIntertextuality and hermeneuticsGreek tragedy in post-Apartheid theatre

Copyright: © 2021 Susanna Zinato. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.