Barbarism and Its Discontents
Barbarism and civilization form one of the oldest and most rigid oppositions in Western history. According to this dichotomy, barbarism functions as the negative standard through which "civilization" fosters its self-definition and superiority by labeling others "barbarians." Since the 1990s, and especially since 9/11, these terms have become increasingly popular in Western political and cultural rhetoric—a rhetoric that divides the world into forces of good and evil. This study intervenes in this recent trend and interrogates contemporary and historical uses of barbarism, arguing that barbarism also has a disruptive, insurgent potential. Boletsi recasts barbarism as a productive concept, finding that it is a common thread in works of literature, art, and theory. By dislodging barbarism from its conventional contexts, this book reclaims barbarism's edge and proposes it as a useful theoretical tool.
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aesthetic allegorical Argentina argues artist artworks Barbarei Barbarentum barbarians are coming barian becomes Benjamin catachresis Cavafy Cavafy’s poem century challenge civilization and barbarism civilization’s civilizational discourse clash of civilizations Coetzee’s novel colonialism construction context critical critique culture Derrida destructive character Empire Empire’s enemy essay ethnic European Experience and Poverty eyes fascism foreign Geers’s German Gómez-Peña’s barbarians Greek Guillermo Gómez-Peña hauntology human identity Jacques Derrida Kafka’s labyrinth language linguistic literature Magistrate Magistrate’s meaning mode modern narrative narrator narrator’s Native American negative notion ofthe opposition performance personas political positive barbarism poverty of experience present produces question reading reality refer relation repetition rhetoric rism Roman Romanitas Sacco’s Sacco’s installation specters standards stereotypes structures term barbarian theoretical theory tion Todorov tradition translation viewer views violence visual waiting Waitingfor the Barbarians Wall of China Walter Benjamin West Western word writes Žižek