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The Common GrowlToward a Poetics of Precarious Community$
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Thomas Claviez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823270910

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823270910.001.0001

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A Metonymic Community? Toward a Poetics of Contingency

A Metonymic Community? Toward a Poetics of Contingency

(p.39) A Metonymic Community? Toward a Poetics of Contingency
The Common Growl

Thomas Claviez

Fordham University Press

This entry traces community as a historical strategy for overcoming contingency. In doing so, it puts forward a poetics of contingency, thought through the literary trope of metonymy against the traditional metaphoric community, and lays the groundwork for theorizing the metonymic community, one that thinks through, rather than flatly rejecting, the contingency inherent in the communitary impulse. Martin Heidegger’s conception of Being as Being-with serves as a starting point for thinking the contingency of the Other that is the condition of Being. The analysis then proceeds by tracing the thread of this community in the work of Agamben, Rancière, and especially the immunity/community paradigm of Esposito, and concludes by looking at literary examples from Whitman, Kafka, and Balzac. In proposing a tentative poetics of contingency, the analysis of these authors contributes to a new understanding of the spatiality of shared Being that could come under the heading of a metonymic community.

Keywords:   Agamben, Being-With, Esposito, Heidegger, immunity, metaphor, metonymy, Other, Rancière

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