Get The Literary and Cultural Rhetoric of Victimhood: Western PDF

By Fatima Naqvi (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230603475

ISBN-13: 9780230603479

ISBN-10: 1349536350

ISBN-13: 9781349536351

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Additional resources for The Literary and Cultural Rhetoric of Victimhood: Western Europe, 1970–2005

Example text

We may also demonstrate our unconcern for our environment by actively withholding certain emotions—emotions without which life together becomes very difficult, but which do not necessarily lead to violence. Without an “active feeling for” and “interest in” our fellow human beings, a sense of victimhood can flourish. 20 ‘Indifferentiation’ and its related indifference, in this reading, become the ground for a different kind of victimhood—to which a socio-cultural explanatory model such as Girard’s is only applicable to a slight degree (whose account parallels other theories of emergent mass society and the explosion of affect in the early twentieth century).

Throughout the various parts of the work comprising Homo sacer, Agamben does not tire of linking homo sacer to the very modernity that will be under attack in the other works I discuss (most directly in René Girard’s Violence and the Sacred and Peter Sloterdijk’s The Contempt of the INTRODUCTION 25 Masses). Agamben, too quickly severing the link between sacrifice and sacredness (see chapter 6), writes: In modernity, the principle of the sacredness of life is thus completely emancipated from sacrificial ideology, and in our culture the meaning of the term “sacred” continues the semantic history of homo sacer and not that of sacrifice (and this is why the demystifications of sacrificial ideology so common today remain insufficient, even though they are correct).

We are not simply confused about differences, as Girard seems to say, be they natural differences perceived as constructed or constructed differences that have come to seem natural over the course of time. Rather, our view of difference relies on two conflicting premises. As Girard’s statement presented earlier implies, the absolute, irreducible, and incommensurable difference of all individuals from one another is the basis of our democratic value system. As such, difference becomes the salutary guarantor of the relativity of all values and is in itself posited as an absolute value.

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The Literary and Cultural Rhetoric of Victimhood: Western Europe, 1970–2005 by Fatima Naqvi (auth.)

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