Introduction: Writing Violence: Marked Bodies and Retroactive Signs

Russell Samolsky

in Apocalyptic Futures

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234790
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241248 | DOI:

Series: Modern Language Initiative

Introduction: Writing Violence: Marked Bodies and Retroactive Signs

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This introduction poses the problem of how the marked body in particular modern texts might imbue them with an apocalyptic destiny by absorbing marked and mutilated material (extralinguistic) bodies into the ambit of their future reception. It then questions whether these works might also be imbued with an internal metacommentary in which the authors reflect on the ethico-political destiny of their texts. The introduction poses the further question of how this fatal drive to power over bare life might be halted or, if it cannot be halted, at least arrested. It concludes by addressing the possibility of a countervailing redemptive or messianic force that might also be at work in these texts.

Keywords: apocalyptic destiny; bare life; future reception; marked body; messianic force

Chapter.  11660 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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