By Russell Samolsky
The first argument that Russell Samolsky makes during this publication is that convinced sleek literary texts have apocalyptic futures. His competition, even if, isn't, as many eminent thinkers have claimed, that fab writers have clairvoyant powers; fairly he examines the ways that a textual content could be written which will include an apocalyptic occasion into the orbit of its destiny reception. he's therefore all for the way apocalyptic works could be acknowledged to solicit their destiny receptions. In reading this dialectic among an apocalyptic booklet and a destiny catastrophic occasion, Apocalyptic Futures additionally units out to articulate a brand new concept and textual perform of the relation among literary reception and embodiment. Deploying the double check in of marksto demonstrate the potential through which a textual content either codes in addition to pursuits mutilated our bodies, his particular concentration is at the manner during which those our bodies are included into the sphere of texts through Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad and J.M. Coetzee. Situating within the Penal Colonyin relation to the Holocaust, middle of Darkness to the Rwandan genocide and expecting the Barbarians to the revelations of torture in apartheid South Africa and modern Iraq, he argues for the moral and political value of analyzing those literary works' apocalyptic futuresnow in our personal pressing and dangerous scenario. To this finish, he attracts on modern messianic discourse to set up the moral and political resistance of the marked physique to its apocalyptic incorporation. during this regard, what's ultimately at stake in his research is his desire of discovering the potential of a hidden countervailing redemptive strength at paintings in those and different texts.
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Additional resources for Apocalyptic Futures: Marked Bodies and the Violence of the Text in Kafka, Conrad, and Coetzee
The dead letter of this script acquires a “life” even as it takes a life, and the life of the letter is purchased by the death of the publisher’s body. If, unlike Kafka’s writing machine, the script inscribed upon the body in The Pillow Book only proclaims but does not it- 22 Introduction self strictly speaking execute its sentence, in Memento we are brought even closer to the power of a script written on a body to indite (and indict) the fate of other bodies. Memento features the extraordinary scenario of Leonard Shelby, who is on an unrelenting mission to take his revenge upon the man who murdered his wife.
It is not enough, then, to claim, as Butler does, that the body “exceeds every possible linguistic effort of capture,” for what we are given in Memento is precisely an instance of what it might mean to speak of a body as captured by a text. It is just such a metaleptic form of bodily capture that I have already determined to be at work in Kafka’s story. 41 That Memento should so closely follow Kafka here is not entirely surprising, as the ﬁlm is in some respects a rewriting of Kafka’s great story.
But it remains to be asked just how such coding might take place; after all, not every text is granted such prophetic powers. Martin Jay, for example, has argued against any strict severance of the history of a text’s “misinterpretations” from a preserved and pristine original: 48 Metaleptic Machines The history of a text’s effects may well be more a chronicle of successive misunderstandings than perfect reproductions, that “map of misreadings” suggested by Harold Bloom, but the potential for the speciﬁc distortions that do occur can be understood as latent in the original text.
Apocalyptic Futures: Marked Bodies and the Violence of the Text in Kafka, Conrad, and Coetzee by Russell Samolsky