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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In this century the West has been confronted with the outbreak of World War I ,
and with what historians of ideas have termed the ... I am describing an evolving
idea of violence as it has been acknowledged in various generic texts drawn from
Bakhtin focused on the junctures of ideas that had the shape of potentialities ” :
He brought together ideas and ... combinations of ideas , the emergence of new
idea voices , and changes in the arrangements of all the idea - voices in the ...
Kirilov was generous , and so he couldn ' t bear an idea and killed himself . But
then , I can see that he was generous because he wasn ' t sane . I can never lose
my reason and never believe in an idea the way he did . I cannot even get very ...