Utopia and Political Theology

Broj 2 - Godina 5 - 06/2015

Uvodnik

Although utopias of different kinds have always stirred people’s imagination, it seems that the twentieth century rise of political theology brought about a particularly intense proliferation of utopian narratives. On the other hand, catastrophic failures such as that of the communist project gave rise to various subsequent reconsiderations of the utopian dream, dystopian nightmare and the thin line dividing the two. ..

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Izdvojeno

In a period witnessing the increasing popularity of superhero franchises, comic book historian Tim Hanley sheds light on the forgotten history of the world’s most famous female superhero, Wonder Woman. Tim Hanley’s Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, as its title suggests, aims to explore the curious path of Wonder Woman: from the creation of the character to her contemporary iconic status. The book is comprised of three sections that follow the eras of American comic books: Golden Age, Silver Age and Bronze Age. Hanley starts off with Wonder Woman’s origin story, associating it primarily with the life and work of her creator, psychologist William Marston. The story begins when an American pilot, Steve Trevor, crashes on the hidden Paradise Island and is found injured by Diana and her fellow Amazons. Paradise Island is the home of mythical Amazons guided by goddesses Aphrodite and Athena. Their world is an only-female utopia situated far away from the outside, violent, world of men. However, while Amazons live in peace, the outside world is bursting with war and Steve needs to return to America to fulfill his soldier duties. The Amazon goddesses decide to send a warrior, Diana, to help Steve through his journey. That warrior later becomes a superheroine known by the name of Wonder Woman. ...

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This essay starts from the premise that André Breton’s First Manifesto of Surrealism constitutes the ‘event’ of that movement (i.e., ‘event’ as defined in Alain Badiou’s Ethics), an event subsequently betrayed by its subject, André Breton, in his encounter with Nadja. Situated between rupture and repetition, the opportunity of the event returns in the Second Manifesto of Surrealism. Taking as its target Breton’s novel Nadja, the essay addresses the issue of event as repetition and explores the ramifications of the ‘failure’ to ‘imagine’ one’s continued fidelity to the event. Consequently, this article reads Nadja as a ‘failure’: the failure posed by representation itself, but also the failure of representation to completely annihilate the promise of a “beyond” encrypted in the project of surrealist imagination. Thus, I would like to play off the idea of failure in two complementary ways. First, I look at the ‘failure’ that is more significant than any achievement. Second, I address the failures at particular missed moments in history, expressed as a series of ‘returns’ in Nadja. Finally, the point of tension between the two types of failures in Nadja elicits a reading of Breton as a reactive, rather than an immortal Subject....

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In attempting to represent political transformations, we often encounter a moment that seems to resist narrativisation, a moment of obstinate inconsistency which various theoretical, historical and fictional accounts cannot properly absorb except by way of indicating the parameters of a rupture. Here, I present a position which views these unrepresentable moments as structurally necessary features of revolutionary events. It is not simply that, at such historical junctures, we are faced with an abundance of information and that the unrepresentability or narrative deficit is the consequence of this surplus; on the contrary, the founding act that accompanies any radical transformation necessarily involves a certain temporal contraction. To the extent that narrative relies on a linear chronology, it fails to capture this moment of contraction. Indeed, this is why works of political philosophy associated with a founding contract (for example Hobbes’s Leviathan and Rousseau’s Social Contract) cannot fully suppress the moment of circularity in which the rhythm of chronological time skips a beat and, to paraphrase Rousseau, one requires an effect to perform the function associated with its own cause. If the moment of founding can be represented at all, it is only by way of paradox and metaphor....

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Prvi sam put vidjela Lamberta na dan velike oluje. Nebo je bilo tamno, oblaci nisko, na pučini je već snažno grmjelo.Stigao je malo poslije mene i sjeo na terasu za stol na vjetrometini. Sunce mu je udaralo u oči, mrštio se, kao da plače. Promatrala sam ga, ne zato što je izabrao najgori stol, niti zbog grimase na licu. Gledala sam ga jer je pušio poput tebe, zureći u prazno, palcem trljajući usne. Usne možda suše od tvojih.Pomislila sam da je novinar, ekvinocijska oluja, iz toga bi mogle ispasti dobre fotografije. Iza lukobrana, vjetar je dizao valove, boreći se sa strujama Raz Blancharda iz dalekih crnih rijeka, sjevernih mora i podmorja Atlantika.Morgane je izašla iz gostionice. Ugledala je Lamberta."Niste odavde", reče, upitavši ga što će naručiti.Govorila je mrzovoljnim glasom, kao i uvijek kada je za lošeg vremena morala posluživati goste."Ovdje ste zbog oluje?"Odmahnuo je glavom."Onda zbog Préverta? Svi ovamo dolaze zbog Préverta...""Tražim prenoćište", napokon izusti.Slegnula je ramenima....

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