Utopia and Political Theology

No. 2 - Year 5 - 06/2015

University of Zadar | ISSN 1847-7755 | SIC.JOURNAL.CONTACT@GMAIL.COM


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. ...

Literature and Culture
Camelia Raghinaru, Concordia University, Irvine, USA:

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...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.3
Literature and Culture
Pavao Parunov, University of Zadar, Croatia:

Bowie consists of twenty-one short chapters that function as a collection of conceptual fragments. Bowie's artistic work already provides a series of different periods each with its own stock of identities which could easily be comprised into different sections of this book according to, as Critchley calls them, illusions he inhabited, both musically and aesthetically. Although a sense of linearity is present, as the author tends to give an overview of albums and his own fan sensibilities, dividing the book according to Bowie's own artistic eras is avoided. The division into twenty-one chapters is much closer to breaking Bowie's work into conceptual categories that are present throughout his career and are related to questions of identity, sexuality and desire or sometimes even Bowie's own life in the background of it all. Still, as the author notes at the very beginning of the book – it is important not to conflate Bowie as a persona of popular music with his work. It is a popular app...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.8
Literature and Culture
Matthew Smith, University of Alabama, USA:

King Lear as a product of evolutionary progressions is logical because the play is framed around two ideas of society and generation in direct confrontation. The sociopolitical ramifications of King Lear are clarified when viewed as an evolutionary progression because societal causality is mirrored in nature. The connection between Lear’s madness and nature’s role in determining societal evolution is demonstrated in the evolutionary notion that “everybody is what he typically is because his progenitors were what they were . . . [i]n the molecular structure of the minute germ of him,” (Maudsley 4) and that and social events are connected with the mechanistic march of nature. When Lear bellows “Crack nature’s molds, all germens spill at once,” (3.2.8) he is requesting the impossible, that the laws of causation be terminated and evolution be put on hold.Keywords: Evolutionary Criticism, reason, philosophy, Shakespeare, King Lear, consilience, evolution, mechanism, madness, nature

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.1
Literary Translation
Harkaitz Cano and Andrea Rožić:

Bilo mi je samo devet godina, ali nikad neću zaboraviti dan kad su dali zeleno svjetlo projektu za izgradnju umjetnog jezera i kad smo postali sigurni da će naša kuća nestati pod vodom. Sva sredstva i sve žalbe bili su iscrpljeni i čekali smo još samo da otac uđe u kuhinju i obavijesti nas da je i zadnja presuda bila u korist umjetnog jezera. Vani je padala obilna kiša i monotono šljapkanje očevih cipela kad je ušao u kuću kao da je poručilo, pripremite se, sve će ovo uskoro preplaviti voda, bit će teško hodati ovuda, promijenit će se boje i teksture, ova se lampa nikad više neće upaliti jer žarulje ne gore pod vodom.Sve nas je to pogodilo. Ali njega, koji je otpočetka bio vrlo uključen u borbu, potpuno je pokosilo. Odnos mojih roditelja sve se više pogoršavao i ishodovati odluku koja bi zaustavila umjetno jezero bilo je jedino što je još moglo spasiti stvari, spriječiti naglu poplavu koja samo što nije potopila našu obitelj. Majka i otac to su znali i bili su svjesni da poraženo šljap...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lt.2
Literature and Culture
Jack Reilly, University College London, United Kingdom:

In attempting to represent political transformations, we often encounter a moment that seems to resist narrativisation, a moment of obstinate inconsistency which various theoretical, historical and fictional accounts cannot properly absorb except by way of indicating the parameters of a rupture. Here, I present a position which views these unrepresentable moments as structurally necessary features of revolutionary events. It is not simply that, at such historical junctures, we are faced with an abundance of information and that the unrepresentability or narrative deficit is the consequence of this surplus; on the contrary, the founding act that accompanies any radical transformation necessarily involves a certain temporal contraction. To the extent that narrative relies on a linear chronology, it fails to capture this moment of contraction. Indeed, this is why works of political philosophy associated with a founding contract (for example Hobbes’s Leviathan and Rousseau’s Social Contrac...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.2
Literary Translation
Zoran Ferić and Tomislav Kuzmanović:

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 bo...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lt.6