Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Sunday, 9 January 2011
In our mythology, violence is caught up in the same prejudice as literature or art: we can attribute to it no other function than that of expressing a content, an inwardness, a nature, of which it is the primary, savage, asystematic language ... [it is] an anterior, sovereignly original force.' (103)
In contrast the violence of the Zengakuren 'is immediately a sign': expressing nothing' (103). It is intransitive, concerned to create 'a great scenario of signs' (106), and exhausting itself in its immediate expression.
Of course, Barthes's caveats don't exhaust the dangers of 'Orientalism', but here we can, along with his work in Mythologies, a neo-Brechtian reaching for the 'pure sign'; in the case violence that is not primordial but signifying, but then not signifying a meaning or use, but only the 'nothing' of its own immanence.