Utopia and Political Theology

No. 2 - Year 5 - 06/2015

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

Editorial

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
Jack Reilly, University College London, United Kingdom:

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 Contrac...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.2
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
Literary Translation
Zoran Ferić and Tomislav Kuzmanović:

1.At first the island is just a sign on a yellow board with a drawing of a vessel and the letters saying “Car Ferry,” then it is a grayish silhouette in the blue of the sea, and then, later still, an acquaintance working on the ferry, who just nods briefly in greeting. Jablanac, ferry port, its pleasant lobby, and then, from the upper deck, a giant rock approaching. That is the object of a year-long desire: the moment of stepping off the boat and smelling the rosemary, diesel and sheep droppings, seeing the sharp rocks looking at the Strait of Senj, coarse limestone in sharp opposition to the signs that say: Benvenuti, Welcome, Willkommen!At home, on the terrace, in the shade of the oleander, there’s no wish to eat. Only swimming trunks are put on and then, barefoot, without a towel or sun-tanning lotion, off to the beach.“Why won’t you eat something?” grandma asks.She knows that there’s an exciting world waiting out there, but she knows nothing of the details. All friends went on a bo...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lt.6
Literature and Culture
Dunja Opatić, University of Zagreb, Croatia:

Preokupacija gotičkog žanra uvijek je bila liminalnost, kako prostora dodira između civilizacije i divljine tako i likova koji titraju između definiranih fizičkih i društvenih okvira. I sam je žanr obilježen svojom liminalnosti u odnosu na "visoku" književnost, književna ga je kritika marginalizirala smatrajući ga formulaičnim i trivijalnim izrazom "nižega" književnog oblika. U bilo kakvu ozbiljnijem prikazu razvojnog procesa američke književne produkcije zauzimanje takve devalorizirajuće pozicije spram žanra koji je uvelike utjecao na formiranje američke književnosti te čiji elementi prožimaju djela kanoniziranih američkih pisaca može se u najmanju ruku smatrati velikim propustom. Knjiga Marka Lukića U sjeni američkog sna: od C. B. Browna do Stephena Kinga upisuje u taj konradovski prazan prostor na hrvatskoj "karti" književne teorije pregled razvojnih etapa gotičkog žanra od trenutka njegova "preseljenja" na novi kontinent. S obzirom na autorov dosadašnji opus, koji obuhvaća teme suv...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.7
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
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