By Russell Samolsky
The first argument that Russell Samolsky makes during this booklet is that definite glossy literary texts have apocalyptic futures. His rivalry, even if, isn't really, as many eminent thinkers have claimed, that groovy writers have clairvoyant powers; fairly he examines the ways that a textual content can be written as a way to contain an apocalyptic occasion into the orbit of its destiny reception. he's hence concerned about the best way apocalyptic works should be acknowledged to solicit their destiny receptions. In interpreting this dialectic among an apocalyptic publication and a destiny catastrophic occasion, Apocalyptic Futures additionally units out to articulate a brand new concept and textual perform of the relation among literary reception and embodiment. Deploying the double sign up of marksto reveal the potential in which a textual content either codes in addition to ambitions mutilated our bodies, his particular concentration is at the means within which those our bodies are integrated into the sphere of texts by way 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 looking forward to the Barbarians to the revelations of torture in apartheid South Africa and modern Iraq, he argues for the moral and political value of studying 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 ultimately at stake in his research is his wish of discovering the potential of a hidden countervailing redemptive strength at paintings in those and different texts.
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Extra resources for Apocalyptic Futures: Marked Bodies and the Violence of the Text in Kafka, Conrad, and Coetzee
If it is not the script itself that does the killing, the death of the publisher’s body still confers a strange kind of “life” upon the script written on the assassin’s body, which is after all the Book of the Dead. The dead letter of this script acquires a “life” even as it takes a life, and the life of the letter is purchased by the death of the publisher’s body. If, unlike Kafka’s writing machine, the script inscribed upon the body in The Pillow Book only proclaims but does not it- 22 Introduction self strictly speaking execute its sentence, in Memento we are brought even closer to the power of a script written on a body to indite (and indict) the fate of other bodies.
Knowing that he will forget the moment in which he manipulates himself into inscribing Gammell as the murderer, Leonard attempts to infuse the inscription with a kind of stored agency, but an agency to which he can remain true only by paradoxically forgetting the falsity of its origin. The identity of the murderer is thus retroactively determined and inscribed. But for all of Leonard’s manipulation of his condition toward an agential inscription of a self, he too falls prey to what he inscribes.
My book, then, sets out to examine the marked body in relation to the antipodes of contemporary apocalyptic and messianic discourse. It will do so by attempting to think through this problem with regard to both the messianic tradition that we inherit from Benjamin as well as an apocalyptic politics as it is analyzed in the work of deconstruction. My objective, however, is not to attempt to present a uniform philosophical or religious theory of the apocalyptic or the messianic. This is, rather, a work of literary analysis that draws on modern and contemporary discourses of the apocalyptic and the messianic in sometimes generalized as well as speciﬁc ways.
Apocalyptic Futures: Marked Bodies and the Violence of the Text in Kafka, Conrad, and Coetzee by Russell Samolsky