The Underside of Politics
Global Fictions in the Fog of the Cold War
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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This book is the result of a series of fortunate intellectual encounters. My mentors at the Comparative Literature Department of the State Uni-versity of New York at Buf_falo, Joan Copjec, Rodolphe Gasché, Ernesto Laclau, and Henry Sussman, have inspired this project since its early stages. I thank them for their generosity and guidance. I have benefited ...
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The adventure of interpretation . . . implies a relation to power. To read a work . . . is to allow yourself to lose the bearings which assured you of your sovereign distance from the other, which assured you of the distinction between subject and object, active and passive, speaking and hearing (to interpret is to convert reading into writing), the difference between one ...
Introduction. Writing the Cold War: Literature, Democracy and the Global Polis
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Thought itself arises out of incidents of living experience and must remain bound to them as the only guideposts by which to take its bearings.Can literature and art mediate our relation to the historical present? If we want to be contemporary, we cannot avoid this question. At the end of the twentieth century, we witnessed an “epochal threshold”: a picture ...
1 / Kafka and the Cold War: Fantasies of the Invisible Master
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Orson Welles’s 1962 adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Trial presents Joseph K.’s wanderings in the labyrinth of a perversely enigmatic justice system as the setting for a paranoid conspiracy. In this process of liter-ary adaptation, the skin of the Kafkaesque fiction is stretched to cover the anxiety signified by the Cold War moment in the history of political ...
2 / The Vicissitudes of Popular Sovereignty
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The increasing seriousness of things—that is the great opportunity of jokes.In Milan Kundera’s The Joke (1967), Cold War themes—such as the expansion of Soviet-style Communism in Eastern Europe—make up a distant yet relevant context. The novel describes how the fairy tale of the Communist dream transforms into a tragic farce of historical ...
3 / National Security in the Ageof the Global Picture
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Democratic governments might become violent and cruel at times of great The book [The Public Burning] is continually metamorphosing as though The assumption that, in the second half of the twentieth century, literature was able to engage the politico-historical dimensions of our age appears in literary criticism as the central element of the shif_t from ...
4 / All Power to the Networks!
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Logic is of course unshakable, but it cannot hold out against a man who Concentration camps and mass persecution make it hard for writers to deploy their favorite weapon: irony. How can you be ironic in the face of so The philosophical interrogation of the political amounts to theoretical narratives that typically look at modern society through the lens of para-...
Concluding Remarks: Transnational American Studies in the Fog of the Cold War
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What is the significance of the Cold War antagonism between democracy and totalitarianism to the political modernity of the global present? An answer to this question, this book has argued, is formulated in post-1945 American and Eastern European interpretive novels. Being exemplary literary fictions about “writing at the pressure of the political,” these ...
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Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2013