Ricardo Piglia's El camino de Ida (2013) is a meditation on the global shift from a political sovereignty that depends on visibility and height to a mode of political action that is as violent as it is "invisible." In other words, we witness a shift from the Tower of Babel to what Franz Kafka called "the pit of Babel," a digging downwards that is also a mode of construction. While the age of literary modernity is very familiar with the figure of the isolated writer, political theory would have us believe that this drive toward a "pit of Babel" precludes political action. Nevertheless, Piglia's emphasis on the role of literature—and even "comparative literature"—in the story of the Unabomber (or "the Recycler" in the novel) allows Piglia to think through a notion of politics in the age of the "loner," a politics that emerges from a small room.


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pp. 179-201
Launched on MUSE
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