Article Title

Liliane Atlan's The Messiahs as Cosmic Theatre


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

The struggle must begin with one's soul - all else will follow upon this.

Martin Buber, Good and Evil

Liliane Atlan's play The Messiahs was first published in 1969. A revised version was performed in Avignon in 1974. Although Mme Atlan's drama is a bitter denunciation of the Messiah myth, it is also the affirmation of a belief the author cannot shed - one which gives her hope, enables her to live out her earthly destiny and to experience her pain and guilt not as destructive forces, but rather as creative instruments. The Messiahs as moulded from Mme Atlan's very flesh. Its sub-title Earth-Sickness is indicative of the corrosive nature of the life experience she incizes into her play. So successful is she in expressing her vision that Roger Blin, director of plays by Beckett and Genet among many others, believes Liliane Atlan to be one of the finest playwrights in France today.

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