By Russell Samolsky
The first argument that Russell Samolsky makes during this booklet is that convinced glossy literary texts have apocalyptic futures. His rivalry, besides the fact that, isn't really, as many eminent thinkers have claimed, that fab writers have clairvoyant powers; particularly he examines the ways that a textual content will be written in an effort to contain an apocalyptic occasion into the orbit of its destiny reception. he's hence serious about the best way apocalyptic works will be stated to solicit their destiny receptions. In examining this dialectic among an apocalyptic publication and a destiny catastrophic occasion, Apocalyptic Futures additionally units out to articulate a brand new idea and textual perform of the relation among literary reception and embodiment. Deploying the double check in of marksto reveal the potential wherein a textual content either codes in addition to goals mutilated our bodies, his particular concentration is at the method during which those our bodies are included into the sphere of texts by means of Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad and J.M. Coetzee. Situating within the Penal Colonyin relation to the Holocaust, middle of Darkness to the Rwandan genocide and watching for the Barbarians to the revelations of torture in apartheid South Africa and modern Iraq, he argues for the moral and political significance of analyzing those literary works' apocalyptic futuresnow in our personal pressing and threatening scenario. To this finish, he attracts on modern messianic discourse to set up the moral and political resistance of the marked physique to its apocalyptic incorporation. during this regard, what's eventually at stake in his research is his desire of discovering the opportunity of a hidden countervailing redemptive strength at paintings in those and different texts.
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Extra info for Apocalyptic Futures: Marked Bodies and the Violence of the Text in Kafka, Conrad, and Coetzee
She engraves her repentance upon the land itself. This fable attests for Rancière precisely to the contradiction at the heart of literature: the unmoored circulation of the letter makes available to all a new and democratic partition of the sensible, but the need to ground this dangerous surplus in a new social body ultimately leads to a cancellation of the word in the realm of things. Literature is caught on the horns of a dilemma whose only solution is the end of writing itself. ”48 My own analysis sees this move to the cancellation of the word in its embodiment in the “ﬂesh of real things” not as a utopian solution to the predicament that besets modern literature, but as the disastrous outcome of the text’s apocalyptic drive becoming materialized and thus overwhelming its redemptive potential.
35 Unbeknownst to Joyce, in a newly discovered poem, Samuel Taylor Coleridge had already done Shem the Penman one better in this respect, when after running out of ink, Coleridge bites into his body, drawing his own blood out of his thumb to write his “An Autograph on an Autopergamene”—meaning “self-parchment”—which seems to have been written in blood on a shred of skin that had peeled off in the bath: Why, sure, such a wonder was never yet seen! An Autograph on an Autopergamene! 36 In both instances the author signs his own body in an act of artistic production in which the word literally takes on its own ﬂesh.
And to what extent can Kafka’s text be said to anticipate the possibility for, or eventuality of, such a linkage? The ﬁrst part of this chapter reads Kafka’s claims to a new kabbalah in terms of Harold Bloom’s Kabbalah and Criticism. I will try to show that, via the paradoxical temporality of revisionist reading, Kafka’s texts do come to take on a kabbalistic eminence. Bloom’s linkage of kabbalah and revisionism with a Nietzschean theory of causality leads to my second section. Here I will try to open Kafka to a Derridean reading of the text as programming machine coding in advance its future reception.