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By Norman Manea
Captives, the acclaimed author Norman Manea's first novel, is an engaging, kaleidoscopic, and resourceful check out postwar Romania. Divided into 3 sections–narrated in first-, second-, and third-person voices–Captives explores the lives of a number of defeated characters as they turn into virtually an excessive amount of to undergo lower than the load of unending humiliations: lack of identification, trauma of getting survived the second one global battle, and submission to the totalitarian state.
This is a relocating account of a rustic shaken through communism and anti-Semitism and haunted by means of fresh atrocities, from "a individual author whose imaginative and prescient of totalitarianism is as regards to Kafka's cloudy risk, common but internalized" (Richard Eder, The manhattan Times).
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Patrilinear succession also depends on the pursuit of heterosexual partners in the ‘traffic in women’, and again Hamlet is not part of this chain. Shakespeare’s Hamlet emphasizes the link between love and speedy progression when he wishes that he ‘with wings as swift as meditation or the thoughts of love may sweep to my revenge’ (Act I, Scene 5). But Nielsen’s Hamlet instead is a bird with ‘clipped wings’, as the intertitle has it. She cannot chase and possess women as she is secretly a woman herself.
179, my emphasis). 4 What is never questioned is that time is the stable flow that joins these repeated moments into a continuous identity. In a Foucauldian inversion, I would here like to take time not as the given, but as also constructed by gender. What if it is the seeming stability of gender that creates the illusion that time flows in a constant line? The repeated moments of gendered behaviour would then suggest that there is such a thing as stable gender, and also as linear time. This is why drag performances can be seen to subvert both gender and time.
Normally, films gloss over this conflated chronology, in order to sustain the pleasurable illusion of letting audiences partake in the action as it happens. Nielsen’s Hamlet, however, takes the opposite approach of drawing attention to the differences between these points in time by marking them through differences in gender. Spectators are constantly reminded that they are seeing the historical moments of the crossdressing male Hamlet in medieval Denmark as well as the female Nielsen in 1920s Germany simultaneously rather than in temporal succession.