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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... nobody thinks about it ” ( Revolutionaries 209 ) . Likewise , Kenneth Keniston ,
an American social psychologist , in his 1968 study Young Radicals : Notes on
Committed Youth , insisted that “ the issue of violence is to this generation what ...
... had to suffice ” ( 157 ) . The son ' s desires are torn between the revolution and
election into the peerage of refinement ; both of these lineages , however , which
will cumulatively define the impasse our young revolutionary reaches , serve to.
At a safe house in Cape Cod she will meet Joel , a pretty , young draft dodger
who accompanies her through the novel and who — jealous , loving , and
impetuous — will furnish both the spark of a memory of the lost joy of youth , the