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Against DemocracyLiterary Experience in the Era of Emancipations$
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Simon During

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242542

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242542.001.0001

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Reform or Refusal? Living in Democratic Capitalism

Reform or Refusal? Living in Democratic Capitalism

Chapter:
(p.14) Two Reform or Refusal? Living in Democratic Capitalism
Source:
Against Democracy
Author(s):

Simon During

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823242542.003.0003

This chapter argues that forms of displaced revolutionary thinking have been more important to literary theory than reformist and liberal thinking. On the one side, it presents Maurice Blanchot's career as an example of how political and social revolutionary fervour has helped shape an influential account of literary writing. On the other side, it argues that the refusal/reform dichotomy is obsolete. Today, we cannot choose between them but need to embrace them both simultaneously. It presents a brief genealogy of this, perhaps rather counterintuitive, bicameral approach, which takes us deep into the history of Western thought and spiritual practice.

Keywords:   Reform, refusal, Maurice Blanchot, neoliberalism, literary theory

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