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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... like some new planet in the night sky , suggests senses and forms of libidinal
gratification as unimaginable to us as the possession of additional senses , or the
presence of nonearthly colors in the spectrum . - Fredric Jameson , The Political ...
... emblematic description of the fire , in which frenzied destruction all plots
culminate : A great fire at night always produces an exciting and exhilarating
effect — that is the main idea behind fireworks . But then , fireworks create regular
and eye ...
Burroughs , William S . Cities of the Red Night . New York : Holt , 1981 . - . Queer .
New York : Viking , 1985 . Butler , Judith . Bodies That Matter : On the Discursive
Limits of “ Sex . ” New York : Routledge , 1993 . - Gender Trouble : Feminism ...