(Dis)placements

Broj 1 - Godina 6 - 12/2015

Uvodnik

The point at which all the texts collected in this issue of [sic] converge is the contended problem of (non-)belonging to a certain physical or imaginary place, with the accompanying experience of being displaced, replaced, or misplaced. The anxiety of displacement creates an increasing need – now perhaps more visible in contemporary societies than ever before– to move beyond the existing boundaries and limitations in a perpetual search of a place of one’s own, or otherwise place the fragmented experience of life within some spatial framework. Various aspects of and approaches to the broad concept and forms of displacement(s) provide the basis for considerations of artistic, literary and social phenomena offered by [sic]’s authors. ..

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Izdvojeno

“My darling sister, you have a hole in your butt,” Ivka says in all seriousness, as if relating a particularly important discovery. Children giggle and point fingers at the torn up stitching right in the middle of Tona’s round butt. Tona has just bent over while dragging the wooden stool from the kitchen, and now, broad and strong, she stands up next to the stone table. Villagers let go of their chatting and prick their ears up. There is a smile lurking at the corner of their lips – they know what their Tona is all about. Even now, when you can clearly make out her white panties under the wide, colourful skirt, it doesn’t cross her mind to cover the hole with her hand, let alone feel embarrassed. On the contrary, it’s as if she has been waiting for fancy Miss Ivka to slap that remark in the middle of a hot summer afternoon. Her tiny eyes pop with delight and people know her tongue, so sharp and witty, is half way out to snap back at Ivka.“First, it’s not a hole, it’s a cranny,” she fires. “And second, what, there’s no cranny in your fanny?!”...

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Representing Capital: A Reading of Volume One opens with the claim that “It should not be surprising that Marx remains as inexhaustible as capital itself, and that with every adaptation or mutation of the latter his texts and his thought resonate in new ways and with fresh accents … rich with new meanings” (Jameson 1). Together with Valences of the Dialectic (2009), this is Fredric Jameson's latest chapter in a life-long project of actualization and affirmation of different categories of Marx’s dialectic, from alienation to commodity fetishism, all thoroughly criticized and somewhat abandoned after the (post)structuralist turn of Marxism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By positing the category of representation in the center of his reading of Capital, Jameson is moving against the current of those appropriations of Marx that amidst the unprecedented global financial crisis of 2008, aimed to find their foothold in the supposed objectivity of the economy – projecting onto the economy the authenticity and the absoluteness of the Lacanian real. Having in mind his previous work, this is not something undertaken without a sense of self-responsibility, taking the form of admission when he writes that “the problem of representation today eats away at all the established disciplines like a virus, particularly destabilizing the dimension of language, reference and expression …, as well as that of thought” (Jameson 4). Rejecting the “false” debates around the (non)political nature of Marx’s magnum opus, Jameson claims that it is a figural work since by using different forms of value, space, time, and mediation, it ends up constructing a kind of ‘proto-narrative’ representation of capitalism as totality. Famous images scattered throughout Capital – capital as ‘vampire’ and other forms of recurring monstrosities, dancing tables or the play for recognition between the linen and the coat – are a way to grasp the specific form of capitalist reality which in appearance is neither true nor false but rather ‘objective illusion’. And yet concepts that aim to grasp this eluding totality – including the very term ‘capitalism’ – can rarely be found in Capital. This leads Jameson to conclude that Marx, after a well-documented laborious reworking of the opening chapters and the overall structure of Capital, found out that the accumulation of capital can be made visible only in its symptoms, distortions, crisis, and different cuts of structure. This return to the now famous Slavoj Žižek proposition that “Marx invented the symptom” (Žižek 1) is followed up with an even more far-reaching conclusion: the only possible Marxian totality of capitalism has a Freudian structure and is a result of a combination of different but ultimately partial representations unable to fully capture its field of phenomena. Jameson himself is unwilling to follow up the full implication of this parallel; insofar as Marxian capitalist totality can only be an aesthetic construct – or, to use psychoanalytic vocabulary, a ‘compromise formation’ – built for strategic purposes, it remains just one amongst other totalities, competing with them in a terrain not overdetermined by any recourse to economic objectivity. In order to avoid this, Jameson takes the road of Marx’s dialectic which for him resolves the duality of objectivism – economic determinism – and voluntarism underlying the whole history of Marxist theory. In actualizing Marx’s dialectics, Jameson is not returning to the mystic source itself as much as reading Marx via and alongside the likes of Althusser or Deleuze and other “unwilling” dialecticians he recruits along the way. At the same time, once more taking a jab at structuralist theory – claiming, for example, that one can mistake the structuralist notion of the synchronic for ‘conceptual ideology’ relating to the eternal present of capitalist accumulation – for Jame...

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The boy was playing alone on a dusty road, not far from the big door of the courtyard of his house. On a day other than a market day or a holiday, the road would be peaceful, almost deserted, but the boy would always harbor a hidden hope that the road might produce something new, rare, and exciting. On that day the road brought nothing for quite a long time. At one moment the boy raised his eyes. High overhead he saw someone coming down the hill.The slopes of that unusually steep hill rose above the town almost perpendicularly, evoking in the boy’s mind the image of a school blackboard. The precipitous surface of the hill was streaked by a dusty white road that disappeared behind low, rocky and sparsely vegetated mounds with a well-trodden shortcut the color of clay stretching between them. High above on the hill the traveller emerged as a tiny figure whose clothes or age could not yet be discerned. The boy saw him disappear behind the rocky mounds and then appear again, coming out of every bend bigger and clearer than he had been the moment before. The boy kept a close watch on him until the man appeared on a small plateau, where the reddish shortcut merged with the dusty road, and the road descended almost straight as a waterfall in front of the first houses on the outskirts of the town. The boy’s house was one of them. ...

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Tom Stoppard once famously proclaimed his guilt that art is unimportant. The character Moon from Stoppard’s early farce The Real Inspector Hound presents surprising evidence that Stoppard’s view of art in his early years as a playwright may have been more complex than he let on. The circumstances behind Moon’s journey into the very art he criticizes are not unlike Tom Stoppard’s foray into politically conscious drama. Moon desperately wants the thriller he is reviewing to mean more than it really does. His wish becomes a reality when a third party, Puckeridge, forcibly pulls Moon into the fantasy. Like Moon, Stoppard had a fantasy, a dream-world in which art has the power to enact social change. Stoppard was unwilling or unable to act on that desire alone, until his own Puckeridge, an artist and dissident named Victor Fainberg, compelled him to act on his dream and merge art with politics.Keywords: Stoppard, The Real Inspector Hound, Fainberg, art, politics...

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