Peter Greenaway And The "Post-Modern Pastoral"

Date
2014-01-15
Authors
Tanaka, Shannon
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
Picture this: You are traveling through space by air, as if in a dream, and below you see a world that you do not recognize. It is a black and squalid metropolis teeming with the unconscious and indifferent hustle and bustle of industrialism whose deafening clashes and crashes are rivaled only by the constant drone of sirens and alarms. Its damp, stale and decaying atmosphere is contaminated by the toxic fumes and thick yellow smog that permeate the moonless night. You hover lower in search for someone who can answer the barrage of questions that is overwhelming your mind; only, you find no one. You cover your nose and mouth instinctively as you attempt to block out the lingering and overpowering stench that smells like burning flesh. Finally, you see someone move to enter a large gray building resembling the ancient Greek Parthenon; you move toward the structure, and as you approach it, you realize that it is a museum of ancient artifacts. You enter, hoping to find the person you saw to ask him/her: why there are no people, why there is a stench of death, why there is no moon…. Suddenly, behind you there is a loud gong as the clock strikes the hour and an automated voice declares the time, "ten o'clock…A.M." Morning? But how could this be? It is pitch black out . . . . And just as your head begins once again to swell with questions, you notice that you have wandered into the central chamber of the museum.
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