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Public ThingsDemocracy in Disrepair$
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Bonnie Honig

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276400

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276400.001.0001

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Hope and Play: Jonathan Lear’s Radical Hope and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia

Hope and Play: Jonathan Lear’s Radical Hope and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia

(p.58) Lecture Three Hope and Play: Jonathan Lear’s Radical Hope and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia
Public Things

Bonnie Honig

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines hope and play in relation to the necessary conditions of democratic life by offering a reading of Jonathan Lear's book Radical Hope and Lars von Trier's film Melancholia. Both Radical Hope and Melancholia explore the loss of holding environments and the world-loss that results. Both also pose the question of how and whether attachment to world and to others is possible in the absence of public things. Melancholia may be read as a parable of capitalism or climate change as well as the human alienation and melancholy they engender. Radical Hope brings these possibilities together as it tries to understand the melancholy and resilience of the Crow people who suffered under white conquest, but managed to retain some of their land to this day.

Keywords:   hope, play, democratic life, Jonathan Lear, Lars von Trier, public things, capitalism, climate change, melancholy, land

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