Utopia and Political Theology

No. 2 - Year 5 - 06/2015

University of Zadar | ISSN 1847-7755 | SIC.JOURNAL.CONTACT@GMAIL.COM


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. ...

Literature and Culture
Camelia Raghinaru, Concordia University, Irvine, USA:

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...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.3
Literary Translation
Lionel Shriver and Lana Filipin:

9. rujna 2011.Draga Sarah,ispričavam se što je ovo pismo tako formalno, ali nemam sama u sebe povjerenja da bih ovo mogla izgovoriti uz čašu vina, posebno dok još i nisam sigurna što želim reći.Vjeruj mi da sam oduvijek cijenila tvoje prijateljstvo. Na onom pješačkom izletu kroz pustinju Sinaj, kada smo se svi upoznali, nijedno od nas četvero nije bilo sklono prigovaranju i to je ono što nas je zbližilo. Ostali su turisti neprestano cmizdrili zbog vrućine i hrane, ali mi smo bili neustrašivi. Kad ti je od previše sunca izbio gnojni herpes, unatoč povrijeđenoj taštini nastavila si stupati dalje kao da to nije ništa. Stoga bi mi bilo grozno da ispadne da je ovo pismo prigovor – no ipak, možda ono i jest prigovor.Tvoj je muž umro usred terorističkog napada 11. rujna. Moj je muž umro uslijed terorističkog napada 11. rujna. Toliko je toga proizišlo iz tih prijedloga, male slovne varijacije.Začudo, tvoja mi je priča jednako živa kao moja jer sam mnogo puta čula kako je prepričavaš na zabavam...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lt.3
Literature and Culture
Maja Ćuk, Alfa BK University, Serbia:

The aim of this paper is to show how Atwood’s reformulations of myths contain hidden political messages from ancient and modern history and can be interpreted from Fredric Jameson’s views on ‘symbolic acts,’ discourse and the ideology of form. Several scholars have explored the symbolic relationship between the three major protagonists in The Robber Bride and fragments of the omnipotent image of the Neolithic deity the White Goddess. As the symbolic counterparts of Diana, Venus and Hecate in the novel, Tony, Roz and Charis demonstrate how women’s integrity has been crippled and how the restoration of female principle is just a utopian idea. However, our analysis has revealed that the younger generation of “goddesses” does not bring hope to the female gender in either the present or the future. Augusta, Paula and Erin symbolize oversimplified and parodied versions of the destructive Hecate in an unpromising world and “the not-good place” that resembles a dystopia. Keywords: Margaret Atw...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.4
Literature and Culture
Madelon Hoedt, University of South Wales, United Kingdom:

The words ‘utopia’ and ‘zombie’ are likely to conjure up strong images in the mind of the reader. The first makes one think of perfection, of happiness, of something new and better; the other, of the monstrous, of death and decay. Despite the fact that these images are arguably the most common, one can question their validity: can it be said that utopias are always perfect, and are the undead always monstrous? In this paper, I aim to explore the concepts relating to both utopias and zombies and the possible connections between the two, including a reading of the undead in light of the ultimate utopia: Paradise. In the light of these analyses, I propose a more positive approach to the figure of the zombie, which will be discussed as a counterpoint to the commonly held views of (religious) utopias. Keywords: utopia, dystopia, Christianity, Revelation, Paradise, Second Coming, zombie, post-zombieA man, dressed in an old, torn and dusty suit, is seen in the distance, staggering between the...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.6
Literary Translation
Gordan Nuhanović and Una Krizmanić Ožegović:

I don't have a clue why I even travelled to Armenia; even now, after all these years, the reasons that brought me to that part of the world remain unclear. When someone asked me what was so interesting about Armenia, I mumbled something about its history, about its people adopting Christianity before the Romans and about little churches from the fourth and fifth centuries. “And what's wrong with our little churches? Look into your own backyard first,” they advised, “then turn to wherever you like.” Still, during that winter and spring of 1998, I felt an ever-growing desire to travel to Armenia. Days were getting warmer and the Japanese cherries in front of my building revealed their long-expected blossoms. And that’s how April passed. My flight was on May 1. I gave seemingly simple instructions to my girlfriend: “If I do not get in touch within two weeks, report me missing at the Embassy in Athens.” And more importantly: “Please, buy the Sports News next Sunday and find out the score f...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lt.1
Literature and Culture
Pavao Parunov, University of Zadar, Croatia:

Bowie consists of twenty-one short chapters that function as a collection of conceptual fragments. Bowie's artistic work already provides a series of different periods each with its own stock of identities which could easily be comprised into different sections of this book according to, as Critchley calls them, illusions he inhabited, both musically and aesthetically. Although a sense of linearity is present, as the author tends to give an overview of albums and his own fan sensibilities, dividing the book according to Bowie's own artistic eras is avoided. The division into twenty-one chapters is much closer to breaking Bowie's work into conceptual categories that are present throughout his career and are related to questions of identity, sexuality and desire or sometimes even Bowie's own life in the background of it all. Still, as the author notes at the very beginning of the book – it is important not to conflate Bowie as a persona of popular music with his work. It is a popular app...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.8