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Coetzee Meets Foucault: Power, Punishment and Political Violence in Wating for the Barbarians and Disgrace


Petković, Krešimir
Coetzee Meets Foucault: Power, Punishment and Political Violence in Wating for the Barbarians and Disgrace // Violence, Art, and Politics
Zagreb, Hrvatska, 2014. (predavanje, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni)


Naslov
Coetzee Meets Foucault: Power, Punishment and Political Violence in Wating for the Barbarians and Disgrace

Autori
Petković, Krešimir

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni

Skup
Violence, Art, and Politics

Mjesto i datum
Zagreb, Hrvatska, 24. 5. 2014.

Vrsta sudjelovanja
Predavanje

Vrsta recenzije
Neobjavljeni rad

Ključne riječi
Foucault; Coetzee; power; punishment; violence; subject; Waiting for the Barbarians; Disgrace

Sažetak
Can we really learn something about power and violence by reading two prize winning pieces of fiction, written by a Nobel laureate in literature, through the lenses of the late and controversial Collège de France Professor? In this paper I argue that we can. I first present a short reading of Waiting for the Barbarians, a dystopian story of a middle aged magistrate who gets caught into violent power operations on the borders of an unknown decadent empire. I ensue with the interpretation of Disgrace, which, on the contrary, offers a narrative firmly placed in the real political context of post-apartheid South Africa. There a university professor takes part in the two episodes of violence, both of them sexual and political in nature, neatly mirroring each other in the structure of the novel. Foucauldian reading made in the second part of the paper points to interesting similarities and differences in these stories of power, politics and violence: while the first novel exhibits the functioning of sovereign power and torture, the second novel is more easily located within the interpretive framework of violent popular justice, vividly depicted in Chateaubriand's memoirs of the French Revolution and famously scrutinized in Foucault's discussions with the Maoists and Noam Chomsky in the early 1970s. Both novels, however, clearly show the futility of subject’s escapism. The subject dreams of escape but is thoroughly enmeshed in the nets of power. Often outside of their explicit political awareness, this “mesh of power” constitutes the subjects, reshapes them and brings to their demise, usually in the episodes of political violence. In the final part, I draw some lessons from this reading for the hermeneutics of power, punishment and violence in our present.

Izvorni jezik
Engleski

Znanstvena područja
Politologija



POVEZANOST RADA


Ustanove
Fakultet političkih znanosti, Zagreb

Autor s matičnim brojem:
Krešimir Petković, (277204)