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Technologies of Critique$
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Willy Thayer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823286744

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823286744.001.0001

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The Absolute Drought of Critique

The Absolute Drought of Critique

32 The Absolute Drought of Critique
Technologies of Critique

Willy Thayer

, John Kraniauskas
Fordham University Press

This chapter looks at Walter Benjamin's essay “Critique of Violence” in 1921. In the essay, it explains that violence is representational sovereignty that declares the state of exception, be it to found or to conserve regimes of representation. It points out how more foundation, representation, and catastrophe involves becoming more regular and familiar with violence. Absolute knowledge and recollection would be the absolute drought of critique or destruction. The chapter highlights the “Critique of Violence”, which is a critique of sovereign right itself and a critique of the violent opening of initiation in which it consists. It further explains Benjamin's essay and its discussion on violence as the dialectic that puts exception to work for the triumphal cortege of representation, establishing a continuum between violation and progress.

Keywords:   Walter Benjamin, Critique of Violence, violence, critique, destruction, sovereign, representation

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