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Forgetting Lot's Wife
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Forgetting Lot's Wife: On Destructive Spectatorship

Martin Harries

Abstract

Can looking at disaster and mass death destroy us? This book provides a theory and a fragmentary history of destructive spectatorship in the twentieth century. Its subject is the notion that the sight of historical catastrophe can destroy the spectator. The fragments of this history all lead back to the story of Lot's wife: looking back at the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, she turns into a pillar of salt. This biblical story of punishment and transformation, a nexus of sexuality, sight, and cities, becomes the template for the modern fear that looking back at disaster might ... More

Keywords: disaster, mass death, destructive spectatorship, Lot's wife, September 11

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780823227334
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823227334.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Martin Harries, author