The Underside of Politics: Global Fictions in the Fog of the Cold War
This book argues that during the Cold War modern political imagination was held captive by the split between two visions of universality reedom in the West versus social justice in the East by a culture of secrecy that tied national identity to national security. Examining post- 1945 American and Eastern European interpretive novels in dialogue with each other and with postfoundational democratic theory, The Underside of Politics brings to light the ideas, forces, and circumstances that shattered modernity's promises (such as secularization, autonomy, and rights) on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In this context, literary fictions by Kundera and Roth, Popescu and Coover, and DeLillo become global as they reveal the trials of popular sovereignty in the "fog of the Cold War" and trace the elements around which its world discourse or global picture is constructed: the atom bomb, Stalinist show trials, anticommunist propaganda, totalitarian terror, secret military operations, and political targeting.
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aesthetic Agamben allegorical American Arendt becomes Boris Davidovich central character Claude Lefort Cold War Cold War discourse Communism Communist concept conﬂict conspiracy contemporary context Coover cultural D. R. Popescu Danilo Kis deﬁned DeLillo democracy democratic Don DeLillo emergency fantasy ﬁction ﬁctional world ﬁgure ﬁlm ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst Giorgio Agamben global Gravity’s Rainbow Hannah Arendt Ibid ideology imagination interpretation joke Kaﬂ<a’s Kaﬂ<aesque Kis’s Kundera Lefort Libra literary literature logic Ludvik Married a Communist meaning metaphor Milan Kundera military modern myth narrative Nathan Nixon ofthe Oswald plot poetic political Popescu’s postmodern prophetic Public Burning Pynchon reﬂection rhetorical Robert Coover role Rosenberg Roth’s Royal Hunt Samuel Weber Schmitt secrecy secret sense signiﬁcance simply Slavoj Zizek social society sovereignty Soviet speciﬁc Stalin Stalinist story structure symbolic target term theology tion Tomb for Boris totalitarian Trial Uncle Uncle Sam University Press writing York Zizek