Agamben and Politics: A Critical Introduction (Thinking by Sergei Prozorov

By Sergei Prozorov

Tracing how the common sense of inoperativity works within the domain names of language, legislations, heritage and humanity, Agamben and Politics systematically introduces the basic options of Agamben's political suggestion and a severely translates his insights within the wider context of up to date philosophy.

Agamben's commentators and critics are inclined to specialise in his robust critique of the Western political culture within the Homo Sacer sequence. yet this slim concentration serves to imprecise the general constitution of Agamben's political idea, that is neither destructive nor severe yet affirmative. Sergei Prozorov brings out the affirmative temper of Agamben's political proposal, targeting the idea that of inoperativity, which has been valuable to Agamben's paintings from his earliest writings.

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Additional resources for Agamben and Politics: A Critical Introduction (Thinking Politics EUP)

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In this way the mouth truly becomes a mouth only if it is about to be kissed, the most intimate and private parts become a place for shared use and pleasure, habitual gestures become the illegible writing, whose hidden meaning the dancer deciphers for all. The glorious body is not some other body, more agile and beautiful, more luminous and spiritual; it is the body itself, at the moment when inoperativity removes the spell from it and opens it up to a new possible common use. 3 Let us briefly consider other examples in order to illuminate the relation between inoperativity, potentiality and glory.

These liturgical rituals, whose model is the hymn, are usually devoid of positive signified content other than the praise they confer. In this suspension of the signifying or communicative function, the hymn serves as a special case of the more general phenomenon of poetry, which Agamben approaches as ‘a linguistic operation that renders language inoperative’ (Agamben 2011: 250). : 251). The example of the poem demonstrates once again that inoperativity is not equivalent to inactivity: the poetic use of language evidently involves much more ‘work’ than our everyday use of language.

While Agamben certainly differs from numerous representatives of the tragic logic in vesting his hope in such a messianic displacement, he also emphasises its minimal, almost imperceptible character. Finally, we ought to emphasise that the relation between the comic and the tragic is not a binary opposition between two distinct states of affairs but rather between two perspectives on or attunements to the same situation. The comic mood is a modified way of dealing with the tragic that liberates us from its burden.

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