Utopia and Political Theology

Broj 2 - Godina 5 - 06/2015

Uvodnik

Although utopias of different kinds have always stirred people’s imagination, it seems that the twentieth century rise of political theology brought about a particularly intense proliferation of utopian narratives. On the other hand, catastrophic failures such as that of the communist project gave rise to various subsequent reconsiderations of the utopian dream, dystopian nightmare and the thin line dividing the two. ..

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Izdvojeno

This essay starts from the premise that André Breton’s First Manifesto of Surrealism constitutes the ‘event’ of that movement (i.e., ‘event’ as defined in Alain Badiou’s Ethics), an event subsequently betrayed by its subject, André Breton, in his encounter with Nadja. Situated between rupture and repetition, the opportunity of the event returns in the Second Manifesto of Surrealism. Taking as its target Breton’s novel Nadja, the essay addresses the issue of event as repetition and explores the ramifications of the ‘failure’ to ‘imagine’ one’s continued fidelity to the event. Consequently, this article reads Nadja as a ‘failure’: the failure posed by representation itself, but also the failure of representation to completely annihilate the promise of a “beyond” encrypted in the project of surrealist imagination. Thus, I would like to play off the idea of failure in two complementary ways. First, I look at the ‘failure’ that is more significant than any achievement. Second, I address the failures at particular missed moments in history, expressed as a series of ‘returns’ in Nadja. Finally, the point of tension between the two types of failures in Nadja elicits a reading of Breton as a reactive, rather than an immortal Subject....

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In a period witnessing the increasing popularity of superhero franchises, comic book historian Tim Hanley sheds light on the forgotten history of the world’s most famous female superhero, Wonder Woman. Tim Hanley’s Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine, as its title suggests, aims to explore the curious path of Wonder Woman: from the creation of the character to her contemporary iconic status. The book is comprised of three sections that follow the eras of American comic books: Golden Age, Silver Age and Bronze Age. Hanley starts off with Wonder Woman’s origin story, associating it primarily with the life and work of her creator, psychologist William Marston. The story begins when an American pilot, Steve Trevor, crashes on the hidden Paradise Island and is found injured by Diana and her fellow Amazons. Paradise Island is the home of mythical Amazons guided by goddesses Aphrodite and Athena. Their world is an only-female utopia situated far away from the outside, violent, world of men. However, while Amazons live in peace, the outside world is bursting with war and Steve needs to return to America to fulfill his soldier duties. The Amazon goddesses decide to send a warrior, Diana, to help Steve through his journey. That warrior later becomes a superheroine known by the name of Wonder Woman. ...

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1.At first the island is just a sign on a yellow board with a drawing of a vessel and the letters saying “Car Ferry,” then it is a grayish silhouette in the blue of the sea, and then, later still, an acquaintance working on the ferry, who just nods briefly in greeting. Jablanac, ferry port, its pleasant lobby, and then, from the upper deck, a giant rock approaching. That is the object of a year-long desire: the moment of stepping off the boat and smelling the rosemary, diesel and sheep droppings, seeing the sharp rocks looking at the Strait of Senj, coarse limestone in sharp opposition to the signs that say: Benvenuti, Welcome, Willkommen!At home, on the terrace, in the shade of the oleander, there’s no wish to eat. Only swimming trunks are put on and then, barefoot, without a towel or sun-tanning lotion, off to the beach.“Why won’t you eat something?” grandma asks.She knows that there’s an exciting world waiting out there, but she knows nothing of the details. All friends went on a boat trip. And suddenly one step from the shade of a path covered with oleanders and acacias leads into the burning sun of the afternoon. The light screams, just like children in the water, just like white objects that radiate as if there are some powerful light bulbs within. The feeling of freedom of someone who has just arrived in a foreign place and can now do anything. There’s no one familiar on the beach, they all got in the boat and left. The seafront leading to the camp is full of people, naked children with dirty faces licking ice cream, young families pushing strollers, groups of teenagers who have just woken up from their last night’s party. But there’s no one that must be greeted. The feeling of freedom that’s at the same time close to death. Suddenly, all paths are open. That there are no obligations or friends waiting, this afternoon, until they come back, is a complete boon....

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The aim of this paper is to show how Atwood’s reformulations of myths contain hidden political messages from ancient and modern history and can be interpreted from Fredric Jameson’s views on ‘symbolic acts,’ discourse and the ideology of form. Several scholars have explored the symbolic relationship between the three major protagonists in The Robber Bride and fragments of the omnipotent image of the Neolithic deity the White Goddess. As the symbolic counterparts of Diana, Venus and Hecate in the novel, Tony, Roz and Charis demonstrate how women’s integrity has been crippled and how the restoration of female principle is just a utopian idea. However, our analysis has revealed that the younger generation of “goddesses” does not bring hope to the female gender in either the present or the future. Augusta, Paula and Erin symbolize oversimplified and parodied versions of the destructive Hecate in an unpromising world and “the not-good place” that resembles a dystopia. Keywords: Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride, the White Goddess, a dystopian world, Hecate, Fredric Jameson...

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