zizek.uk
Mercy and its Transformations | Žižek.uk
[Appeared in Muzikološki zbornik, 2009, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 7-16. pdf] [Abstract:] Far from radiating the dignity of the severe but merciful rulers of Mozart's early operas, Tito's acts display features of hysterical self-staging. The falsity of his position is rendered by the music itself, which, in a supreme display of Mozartean irony, undermines the opera's explicit ideological project. It is a very rare case that a (relatively) unpopular work like Mozart's [amazon asin=B00005M200&text=La clemenza di Tito] plays such a crucial structural role in the history of music. As we shall see, what makes it unpopular is not its archaic character, but, on the contrary, its uncanny contemporaneity: it directly addresses some of the key issues of our time. Clemenza has to be put in the series which characterizes opera from the very beginning: Why was the story of Orpheus the opera topic in the first century of its history, when there are almost one