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Mourning ModernismLiterature, Catastrophe, and the Politics of Consolation$
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Lecia Rosenthal

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233977

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233977.001.0001

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Catastrophe Culture, Atrocity Supplements

Catastrophe Culture, Atrocity Supplements

(p.8) Chapter 1 Catastrophe Culture, Atrocity Supplements
Mourning Modernism

Lecia Rosenthal

Fordham University Press

In the atrocity supplement, the newspaper tries to appease, and thus puts on display, its doubt over the justification for exhibiting the images. Sontag's argument exposes the desire, that of the critic and perhaps of the viewer as well, for the image to continue to deliver always yet more. The representation of atrocity, particularly that of the worst of privations should signify, introduces, and delivers an effective and definitive gain. The rhetorical negotiation with the category of the “unimaginable” inevitably intersects with, if unintentionally, obliquely, and perhaps against claims to better judgment, the rhetoric and tradition of the sublime. Catastrophe is the inevitable destructive event, the destiny that must be taken seriously because it is coming, because, from the perspective of the future, it is what will have taken place.

Keywords:   atrocity, Sontag, sublime, catastrophe

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