Surrealpolitik

Keyword Search Results

There were 31 results from your search for keyword(s): 'The Other'.

  1. "I help them understand it," she said. "They can make their own choices. The goal is to develop an awareness, from inside, of how dual cognitive systems form, how they function, how they respond to hostile or contradictory data. Threats to stability, inequal growth by one member. Cognitive dissonance. I'm sure these concepts are familiar."

    Source: As She Climbed Across the Table, p. 87-88
  2. "Now let us see what the next one says. See, there is only a single character. It is the barbarian character war, but it has other senses too. It can stand for vengeance, and if you turn it upside down like this, it can be made to read justice. There is no knowing which sense is intended. That is part of barbarian cunning.

    "It is the same with the rest of these slips." I plunge my good hand into the chest and stir. "They form an allegory. They can be read in many orders. Further, each single slip can be read in many ways. Together they can be read as a domestic journal, or they can be read as a plan of war, or they can be turned on their sides and read as a history of the last years of the Empire -- the old Empire, I mean. There is no agreement among scholars about how to interpret these relics of the ancient barbarians. Allegorical sets like this one can be found buried all over the desert...It is recommended that you simply dig at random: perhaps at the very spot where you stand you will come upon scraps, shards, reminders of the dead. Also the air: the air is full of sighs and cries. These are never lost: if you listen carefully, with a sympathetic ear, you can hear them echoing forever within the second sphere. The night is best: sometimes when you have difficulty in falling asleep it is because your ears have been reached by the cries of the dead which, like their writings, are open to many interpretations.

    Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 112
  3. "You have been treasonously consorting with the enemy," he says.

    So it is out. "Treasonously consorting": a phrase out of a book.

    "We are at peace here," I say, "we have no enemies." There is silence. "Unless I make a mistake," I say. "Unless we are the enemy."

    Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 77
  4. 'Verfremdung' means becoming other, becoming estranged from oneself -- alienation in the literal sense. 'Entfremdung', by contrast, means to be dispossessed of the other, to lose all otherness.

    Source: The Perfect Crime, p. 112
  5. 'Being realistic' may once have meant coming to terms with a reality experienced as solid and immovable. Capitalist realism, however, entails subordinating oneself to a reality that is infinitely plastic, capable of reconfiguring itself at any moment. We are confronted with what Jameson, in his essay 'The Antinomies of the Postmodern', calls 'a purely fungible present in which space and psyches alike can be processed and remade at will'...How could it ever be possible for us to believe successive or even co-extensive stories that so obviously contradict one another? Yet we know from Kant, Nietzsche and psychoanalysis that waking, as much as dreaming, experience, depends upon just such screening narratives. If the Real is unbearable, any reality we construct must be a tissue of inconsistencies. What differentiates Kant, Nietzsche and Freud from the tiresome cliché that 'life is but a dream' is the sense that the confabulations we live are consensual. The idea that the world we experience is a solipsistic delusion projected from the interior of our mind consoles rather than disturbs us, since it conforms with our infantile fantasies of omnipotence; but the thought that our so-called interiority owes its existence to a fictionalized consensus will always carry an uncanny charge.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 54-56
  6. 'There is me, there are the others. You know, with the LSD, we're finding, the distinction begins to vanish. Egos lose their sharp edges. But I never took the drug, I chose to remain in relative paranoia, where at least I know who I am and who the others are. Perhaps that is why you also refused to participate, Mrs Maas?' He held the rifle at sling arms and beamed at her. 'Well, then. You were supposed to deliver a message to me, I assume. From them. What were you supposed to say?'

    Oedipa shrugged. 'Face up to your social responsibilities,' she suggested. 'Accept the reality principle. You're outnumbered and they have superior firepower.'

    Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 104
  7. As I drew near the fire the woman stopped stirring the pot and rose to greet me. When we faced each other I felt my heart give a convulsive leap and stop. The woman who stood before me was myself...

    "[W]ould you like me to decide which of us is I?" she asked...

    She nodded gravely and pointed into the soup with the long wooden spoon. "Jump into the broth, meat is scarce this season."

    I watched in horrified silence...I tried to nod and move away at the same time, but my knees were trembling so much that instead of going towards the staircase I shuffled crabwise nearer and nearer the pot. When I was well within range she suddenly jabbed the pointed knife into my back side and with a scream of pain I leapt right into the boiling soup and stiffened in moment of intense agony with my companions in distress, one carrot and two onions.

    A might rumbling followed by crashes and there I was standing outside the pot stirring the soup in which I could see my own meat, feet up, boiling away merrily as any joint of beef. I added a pinch of salt...

    Source: The Hearing Trumpet, p. 137-138
  8. Breton...writes: "The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd. Anyone who, at least once in his life, has not dreamed of thus putting an end to the petty system of debasement and cretinization in effect has a well-defined place in that crowd, with his belly at barrel level." Interpretations of these lines from the Second Manifesto have fueled attacks against surrealism in general, most notably Jean-Paul Sartre's charge that the movement, like Breton's statement, represented a feeble attempt to organize "revolution" around the inner dictates of the individual -- a vulgar and politically bankrupt fusion of Leninist and Freudian rhetoric. Yet Breton is not invoking the "inner dictates of the individual," nor is he simply mobilizing this act of terror as a rhetorical flourish. He means it literally, but stresses that "my intention is not to recommend it above every other because it is simple, and to try and pick a quarrel with me on this point is tantamount to asking, in bourgeois fashion, any nonconformist why he doesn't commit suicide, or any revolutionary why he doesn't pack up and go live in the USSR." Surrealism's struggle lay in reconciling its radical break from the "ideology of continuity" with its awareness that even radicalism tends toward the continuous and the familiar whenever it expresses itself in forms, such as gunshots, that are merely extensions of preexisting violence...

    The group's analyses and debates about the status of violence in the modern world extended to the very question of using revolutionary violence as a political strategy. To what extent could political violence ever be distinguished from crime? How did anti colonial violence differ from terrorism, from ethnic cleansing, or from colonial wars of invasion? Such questions, central to the activities of the surrealist group throughout the movement's history, show the surrealists' dedication to a public intellectualism that confronted the most fundamental principles of revolution and avant-gardism.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 7
  9. But with this woman it is as if there is no interior, only a surface across which I hunt back and forth seeking entry. Is this how her torturers felt hunting their secret, whatever they thought it was? For the first time I feel a dry pity for them: how natural a mistake to believe that you can burn or tear or hack your way into the secret body of the other!

    Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 43
  10. Calculated mass murder is unimaginable to most of us, so we can only conceive of it as something done by the Other, by definition. We cannot make sense of it or accept as coming from Us. And the Big Other, as "official narrative", is also the Big Us, not the Big Them. This is why people cannot accept that "we" would do such things as 9/11.

    Source: Random Thoughts, p.
  11. Despite systematic and largely successful attempts to manage 'official' representations of terrorism, dissonances keep appearing...The 'war on terror' frame is hardly convincing when significant parts of the Arab world are spilling onto the streets demanding democracy and not jihad. Additionally, in the new digital media landscape where alternative messages travel globally and instantaneously...the mediation of terrorism is likely to become more multi-layered and multi-lingual...However, a word of caution is in order. Apart from global media conglomerates such as Google and Facebook, with their formidable power over the aggregation and distribution of information, governments are determined to ensure that they control the global commons.

    From chapter: Introduction
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 14
  12. Far from a mere factual account, Down Below is a testimony to the recollection of madness and, therefore, subject to Carrington's critical and imaginative eye on later reflection. This is particularly important when we recall that Breton had prompted Carrington to recount it as a Surrealist, and as a Surrealist who had experienced the "real" thing. As Jonathan Eburne argues, Carrington adeptly wrestles with her paranoia and is self-reflexive about the Surrealist nature of her experience. She tells us: "I am afraid I am going to drift into fiction, truthful but incomplete, for lack of some details which I cannot conjure up today and which may have enlightened us". This curiously mirrors Breton's assertion at the beginning of Nadja: Narrative truth is more important than the factual truth. However, the "truth" of Carrington's experience in Down Below is not to be found only in the recollection of what happened where but has everything to do with how Carrington holds that she could no longer maintain the mind/body split within herself and that this rupture led to her projection of her mind and body onto the external world as well. Her body and mind mirrored the outer world of the chaos of Europe in 1940. Rather than the events of the outer world being the sole catalyst for her inner breakdown (like Ernst being taken back to a detention camp), the world itself appeared to become "jammed" (as she calls it) at the same time as her body.

    Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 98
  13. For the majority of people who are not directly subject to its violence or intimidation, terrorism has to be 'made to mean' and the media are crucial ideological vehicles in systematizing and organizing disparate 'acts of terror'. Indeed, media are not simply external actors passively bringing the news of terrorist incidents to global audiences but are increasingly seen as active agents in the actual conceptualization of terrorist events. They are credited, in other words, not simply with definitional but constitutive power: we now have 'mediated terrorism' (Cottle, 2006), 'media-oriented terrorism' (Surette et al., 2009), 'media-ized warfare' (Louw, 2003) and 'mass-mediated terrorism' (Nacos, 2007)

    From chapter: Introduction
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 9-10
  14. From Timerman's chronicle and texts like Miguel Angel Asturias's El señor presidente it is abundantly clear that cultures of terror are based on and nourished by silence and myth in which the fanatical stress on the mysterious side of the mysterious flourishes by means of rumor and fantasy woven in a dense web of magical realism. It is also clear that the victimizer needs the victim for the purpose of making truth, objectifying the victimizer's fantasies in the discourse of the other. To be sure, the torturer's desire is also prosaic: to acquire information, to act in concert with large-scale economic strategies elaborated by the masters and exigencies of production. Yet equally if not more important is the need to control massive populations through the cultural elaboration of fear.

    Source: Culture of Terror/Space of Death, p. 469
  15. In spite of all its grounding power, the big Other is fragile, insubstantial, properly virtual, in the sense that its status is that of a subjective presupposition. It exists only in so far as subjects act as if it exists.

    Source: How To Read Lacan, p. 183-186 KL
  16. It is not surprising, then, that when Breton had to deal with women participants in his own movement, he chose ones that he thinks he can deploy as Surrealist tropes of the female, as women who are stand-ins for the various aspects of Surrealist aesthetics. If Prassinos's inclusion in the Anthologie de l'humour noir can be seen as a token gesture to showcase the Surrealist trope of the "child-woman," then Carrington is obviously introduced as the embodiment of the "femme-folle," the madwoman.

    Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 97
  17. Kafka was the greatest writer on bureaucracy because he saw that this structure of disavowal was inherent to bureaucracy. The quest to reach the ultimate authority who will finally resolve K's official status can never end, because the big Other cannot be encountered in itself: there are only officials, more or less hostile, engaged in acts of interpretation about...the big Other's intentions. And these acts of interpretation, these deferrals of responsibility, are all that the big Other is.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 49
  18. Literary texts explore the limits of language and playfully engage with the border to forbidden territories beyond the empire of the Symbolic Order.

    From chapter: Anna-Margaretha Horatschek, 'Logicized' Taboo: Abjection in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda
    Source: Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 194
  19. Much of Baudrillard's work was a commentary on...the way in which the abolition of the Symbolic [i.e. in postmodernism] led not to a direct encounter with the Real, but to a kind of hemorrhaging of the Real...We ourselves occupy the empty seat of power, phoning and clicking in our responses. TV's Big Brother had superseded Orwell's Big Brother. We the audience are not subjected to a power that comes from outside; rather, we are integrated into a control circuit that has our desires and preferences as its only mandate -- but those desires and preferences are returned to us, no longer as ours, but as the desires of the big Other.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 48-49
  20. Politics and fabulation overlap further towards the end of Part Five of How German Is It in a section entitled 'The purpose of an antiterrorist film'. According to Wurtenhberg's chief of police, the purpose of such a film amounts to constructing a complete terrorist profile that identifies 'their slang, their gestures, their preferences, their way of dressing...their weapons, their techniques, their political rhetoric...' in order to 'Depict as accurately as possible the threat they pose to the stability of this society'. However, as the narrative voice points out, presenting an authentic picture of the threat is fundamentally a matter of deciding how to 'minimize' or 'exaggerate' the terrorists' 'strength' and 'callousness'. Determining a special-effect of realism appears to be the only way the desired political effects can be realized: 'In order to clarify, to make evident a terrorist threat, the film has to distort, fabricate and often lie. But no matter how great these flaws are, the need for the film is self evident'...That this whole procedure requires that the distinctions between events and representations, facts and fictions, 'terrorism' and counter-terrorism, become totally unclear in order to manipulate the public is no doubt why there is 'always a possibility' that it will not succeed.

    Source: Terrorism and Modern Literature, p. 227-228
  21. Really Existing Capitalism is marked by the same division which characterized Really Existing Socialism, between, on the one hand, an official culture in which capitalist enterprises are presented as socially responsible and caring, and, on the other, a widespread awareness that companies are actually corrupt, ruthless, etc...But postmodernism's supposed gestures of demystification do not evince sophistication so much as a certain naivety, a conviction that there were others, in the past, who really believed in the Symbolic. [now quoting Zizek:] ...those who do not allow themselves to be caught in the symbolic deception/fiction, who continue to believe their eyes, are the ones who err most. A cynic who 'believes only his eyes' misses the efficiency of the symbolic fiction, and how it structures our experience of reality.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 47-48
  22. The big Other is the collective fiction, the symbolic structure, presupposed by any social field...One important dimension of the big Other is that it does not know everything. It is this constitutive ignorance of the big Other that allows public relations to function. Indeed, the big Other could be defined as the consumer of PR and propaganda, the virtual figure which is required to believe even when no individual can. To use one of Žižek's examples: who was it, for instance, who didn't know that Really Existing Socialism (RES) was shabby and corrupt? Not any of the people, who were all too aware of its shortcomings; nor any of the government administrators, who couldn't but know. No, it was the big Other who was the one deemed not to know -- who wasn't allowed to know -- the quotidian reality of RES. Yet the distinction between what the big Other knows, i.e. what is officially accepted, and what is widely known and experienced by actual individuals, is very far from being 'merely' emptily formal; it is the discrepancy between the two that allows 'ordinary' social reality to function. When the illusion that the big Other did not know can no longer be maintained, the incorporeal fabric holding the social system together disintegrates. This is why Khrushchev's speech in 1965 [sic, it was 1956], in which he 'admitted' the failings of the Soviet state, was so momentous...Khrushchev's announcement made it impossible to believe any more that the big Other was ignorant of them.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 44-45
  23. The intersubjective, 'public' symbolic space has lost its innocence: narrativization, integration into the symbolic order, into the big Other, opens up a mortal threat, far from leading to any kind of reconciliation. What one should bear in mind here is that this neutrality of the symbolic order functions as the ultimate guarantee for the so-called 'sense of reality': as soon as this neutrality is smeared, 'external reality' itself loses the self-evident character of something present 'out there' and begins to vacillate, i.e., is experienced as delimited by an invisible frame: the paranoia of the noir universe is primarily visual, based upon the suspicion that our vision of reality is always already distorted by some invisible frame behind our backs...

    From chapter: Surrealism Noir by Jonathan Eburne
    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 109
  24. The whole movement of modernity, its negative destiny, lies in the fact of transcribing all that was of the order of the imaginary, the dream, the ideal and utopia into technical and operational reality. It was a radical disalienation, then, this materialization of all desires, this hyperrealization of all possibilities. Unconditional accomplishment. No otherness, impossibility or transcendence in which to take refuge any more. No more alienated people: an individual who is totally fulfilled -- virtually, of course. It's the virtual dimension which monopolizes all the other worlds today, which totalizes the real by evacuating any imaginary alternative. It's from the point when it no longer has the imaginary to carry it on, and lapses into the virtual, that the real is truly dead. The individual finally becomes identical himself - the promise of the Self (the 'I') has been realized. The prophecy which was that of the whole of modern history, that of Hegel, Marx, Stirner, the Situationists -- the prophecy of the end of the separated subject -- has come to pass. But it has come to pass not for better, but for worse: from the Other to the same, from alienation to identification (just as the Nietzschean prophecy of the transvaluation of values has come to pass for the worse in the movement not beyond, but this side of, good and evil).

    Source: Paroxysm, p. 50
  25. The woman in the car with him (presumably Nadja) raises the stakes for him. Here is a moment: sex and speed and death. But Breton tells us that it is unnecessary to add that he didn't indulge her. In a sense, she should be his epitome of the authentic Surrealist, the kind of Surrealist that Breton wished that he could be. However, especially with Nadja's eventual breakdown, Breton recognizes that to commit fully to what he believes may very well result in self-annihilation. Ultimately, Nadja represents a failed encounter with the marvelous, an encounter from which Breton escapes. And the narrative provides Breton with a platform to elucidate the pitfalls as he learns about them. Regardless, Nadja the actual woman remains merely a placeholder in his Surrealist aesthetic. She begins as an exemplar of the marvelous and comes to represent the writer's failure to follow through with everything he thought he believed about the marvelous. However, even as a marker of failure, Nadja is a feminine representation of Breton's failure and therefore gets recuperated into his conception of Surrealist experience. If at first glance the narrative appears to be about how Nadja the woman provides Breton access to the marvelous, then the dangers of Nadja's experience serve once again abstractly as a feminine warning that the male Surrealist must overcome.

    Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 97
  26. There is a point at which the lives of madmen and murderers become so bizarre that we question whether the discourse about them "starts to function in a field where it qualifies as literature." Oedipus with his crimes or Faust with his devilish pact remain as emblematic literary figures of their times; "The Terrorist" and his apocalyptic threat might perhaps endure as an archetype of the late twentieth century's postmodern military simulacrum. [Quoted part is from Alexander Neill's 1991 "Fear, Fiction, and Make-Believe", The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49:47-56.

    Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 63
  27. This symbolic space acts like a yardstick against which I can measure myself. This is why the big Other can be personified or reified in a single agent: the ‘God’ who watches over me from beyond, and over all real individuals, or the Cause that involves me (Freedom, Communism, Nation) and for which I am ready to give my life. While talking, I am never merely a ‘small other’ (individual) interacting with other ‘small others’: the big Other must always be there.

    Source: How To Read Lacan, p. 174-177 KL
  28. What we also see is that an illness of the body is a bodily attempt at inscribing a history of otherness within the body that is the self, a tentative yet life-saving historiography that finds the dead hand of the past never so terribly alive as in the attacks by the spirits of the restless dead, such as Rosario's fiancé, or as in the sorcery of the envious. Through misfortune and its changing definition with attempts at healing, this picturing of the bodily self as the locus of otherness ineluctably enters into the exchange of magical powers established between Indian shamans and the Church, an exchange that operates with the powerful medium of visual images. Hallucinogens and points of rupture in everyday life -- illness, accident, coincidence, dusk -- can make this image-realm manifest and manifestly empowering, and it was Rosario's task to tie the power of the pagan to the power of the Church, ensuring in this circulation of images their dialectical solidarity.

    Source: Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, p. 168
  29. [From an end-of-chapter footnote #14] Literary texts are understood as being a central part of that "larger symbolic order by which a culture imagines its relation to the conditions of its existence" (Matus 5) and as a space "in which shared anxieties and tensions are articulated and symbolically addressed" (ibid. 7). Moreover, through active reader participation, literature renders imagination 'livable' -- the fictional world can actually be experienced and can therefore be 'tested' and criticized -- so that the literary text becomes a privileged space of simulation where the work on a cultural imaginary can take place (cf. Fluck).

    From chapter: Stefan Horlacher, Taboo, Transgression, and Literature: An Introduction
    Source: Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 19
  30. [In Dürrenmatt's The Assignment] Horribly brain damaged in the war, Achilles is locked in a VA hospital, from which he occasionally escapes to rape and murder women, and since it is the only pleasure he is able to feel, Polypheme feels obliged to procure it for him after he liberates his friend and installs him at the observation center. In his case, "terror as usual" takes the form suggested by Robin Morgan, who argues for a direct link between the old classical heroes and modern terrorism, the "sexuality of violence," the capture and rape of women that is, in fact, taken for granted in the Iliad. By suggesting that terrorism has affinity with beautiful and durable monuments of Western, not Islamic, culture, Dürrenmatt reminds us of Walter Benjamin's famous observation that there is "no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism".

    Source: Plotting Terror, p. 119
  31. [T]he enemy had become more and more abstract, a barely perceptible target for the marksman aiming through a telescopic sight, a subject of pure surmise for the artillery, and as a bomber pilot, he could, if pressed, indicate how many cities and villages he had bombarded, but not how many people he had killed, nor how he had killed and mangled and squashed and burned them, he didn't know...and after the attack he did not feel himself a hero but a coward, there was a dark suspicion in him sometimes that an SS henchman at Auschwitz had behaved more morally than he, because he had been confronted with his victims...

    Source: The Assignment, p. 113-114