Raids on Human Consciousness: Writing, Anarchism, and Violence
However one looks at violence -- as an instrument of bureaucracy or ideology; as a product of racial, gender, or class antagonisms; or as the inevitable result of power politics -- it is an integral part of every social system and is one of the most pressing problems of our tortured century.
In Raids on Human Consciousness Arthur Redding examines the contention that violence, be it the mass product of revolutionary uprising or a private sadomasochistic indulgence, may be taken to instill in those who commit it the capacity for radical change.
Conscious that mainstream theory considers violence deviant, a departure from the normal equilibrium of social and aesthetic structures, while other critiques take it to be integral to any dynamic system, Redding begins with the anarchist inquiry into the relationship of violence to the imaginary representation of modern communities. He explores the "public images" of anarchism in literature and popular culture and emphasizes the diverse strategies by which modern writers encounter, derive, deflect, and manipulate fantasies of political violence.
Redding recognizes that language fails when confronted with the extreme suffering of human bodies. Acknowledging that flesh is subject to war, torture, and everyday brutality -- violations to which language can never do justice -- he nonetheless finds it urgent to reclaim language on the far side of suffering.
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( Why then the huge market for slasher films ? ) At any rate the tendency is to hide
the dead , to repress the suffering that is the foundation of a victory , and possibly
a society itself , according to the anthropological criticism of Rene Girard ( 1972 ...
... ornamentation : In such hours the great roaring indifferent world of London
seemed to him a huge organization for mocking at his poverty , at his inanation ;
and then its vulgarest ornaments , the windows of third rate jewelers , the young
The “ foreignness ” of socialist and anarchist ideas is underscored in American
writing by the huge influx of immigrant labor in this country , certainly , and yet
alterity is seen everywhere to be an innate property of contamination . Dynamite