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From Sovereignty to Ethopoiesis: Literature, Aesthetics, and New Forms of Life

From Sovereignty to Ethopoiesis: Literature, Aesthetics, and New Forms of Life RiChaRD a. GaRNeR From Sovereignty to Ethopoiesis Literature,Aesthetics,andNewFormsofLife There is a dilemma: either all these books are already contained within the Word and they must be burned, or they are contradictory and, again, they must be burned. Michel Foucault, "Language to Infinity" (100) The consensus of culture has to be opposed by the courage of art in its barbaric truth. Michel Foucault, The Courage of the Truth (189) If literature can be considered sovereign, it can only be in that singular, idiosyncratic conceptualization of sovereignty whose lineage can be traced to the work of Georges Bataille. "Only sacred, poetic words, limited to the level of impotent beauty, have retained the power to manifest full sovereignty," Bataille says, going on to equate sovereignty with a state of radical freedom (25). If literature is sovereign, it is because it insists on its autonomy from all other discourses, including interpretation. It is this vision of literature that is taken up at a certain moment in time--in a style where the concepts non-meaning, transgression, play, and sovereignty can all be linked together--by both Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Yet despite each one taking up and adopting this Bataillean association of literature and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

From Sovereignty to Ethopoiesis: Literature, Aesthetics, and New Forms of Life

The Comparatist , Volume 36 (1) – May 19, 2012

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University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
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1559-0887
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Abstract

RiChaRD a. GaRNeR From Sovereignty to Ethopoiesis Literature,Aesthetics,andNewFormsofLife There is a dilemma: either all these books are already contained within the Word and they must be burned, or they are contradictory and, again, they must be burned. Michel Foucault, "Language to Infinity" (100) The consensus of culture has to be opposed by the courage of art in its barbaric truth. Michel Foucault, The Courage of the Truth (189) If literature can be considered sovereign, it can only be in that singular, idiosyncratic conceptualization of sovereignty whose lineage can be traced to the work of Georges Bataille. "Only sacred, poetic words, limited to the level of impotent beauty, have retained the power to manifest full sovereignty," Bataille says, going on to equate sovereignty with a state of radical freedom (25). If literature is sovereign, it is because it insists on its autonomy from all other discourses, including interpretation. It is this vision of literature that is taken up at a certain moment in time--in a style where the concepts non-meaning, transgression, play, and sovereignty can all be linked together--by both Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Yet despite each one taking up and adopting this Bataillean association of literature and

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 19, 2012

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