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|Title:||Invoking the West: Giorgio Agamben’s “Romantic Ideology” and the Civilizational Transference|
Department of English, NTNU
|Abstract:||Inspired by Giorgio Agamben’s critique of the “Romantic Ideology” that consciously created a tautological equivalency between language and people, this essay is interested in drawing upon elements of the philosopher’s conceptual kit to explore the ways in which his attempt to trace ontological origins recuperates “Romantic ideology” with regard to civilizational difference. We will take as our point of departure the construction of that ambiguous yet ubiquitous civilizational entity, the “West.” In order to tease apart the status of the “West” in Agamben’s work, we will return to the conceptual distinction and historical narrative deployed in one of the philosopher’s earliest works, Language and Death, which plays a seminal role in the development of the author’s later philosophy. Having thus established the moment when the “Romantic Ideology” criticized by Agamben reappears in the form of civilizational transfer, we proceed by way of asking, once again both with and against Agamben, if the “West” might not be seen as a form of translational apparatus such as the concept is critically taken up in the philosopher’s 2006 essay, “What is an Apparatus?” The essay concludes with a reflection on the relation between translation and species difference in the context of the new biospheric colonization that characterizes contemporary capitalism.|
|Appears in Collections:||Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics|
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