Sunday 4 March 2012

Jerusalem: beyond the cliches

Scene from Jerusalem
Although I slightly hesitate to raise the subject of a play that I have not actually seen, it does seem as if the popularity of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem is a striking example of a mounting contemporary desire to find a new narrative on Englishness and national identity that steers a different course to the tired old dichotomy between backward-looking nationalism and liberal naval-gazing and self-loathing. 

Central to this subject in the play and in England - and it may well be the same elsewhere - is sense of place and landscape; particularly focused on rural imagery, though in an increasingly complex and interesting way. Laura Barton's article on the Guardian website  brings this out well. This seems rich and fertile ground for landscape-related discussion with real relevance and resonance, and will be returned to on this blog.

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