21 ago. 2010

Tales of violent death, like those of Ignacio Sánchez Mejías and Antoñito el Camborio, are everywhere in Lorca's work. Death is everywhere in his work. We talk a lot about death in lyric poetry, but some proportion of this death is violent. In the epic tradition, obviously, violence is central.

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I am not wanting to praise violence, simply by pointing out how much a lot of us like it in the culture we consume. In fact, I'd like to question some of this glorification, reflect critically on it and on its popularity. A lot of reflection on violence simply takes for granted its necessity. For example, you can debate whether tv or the movies are too violent, whether the violence is too graphic, whether it will be imitated by spectators, etc... But all this takes for granted its centrality.

2 comentarios:

Thomas dijo...

When you first raised this topic I went back to Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics. He has a nice analysis of the Greek disposition for violence, which emerges from his reading of Antigone. "It is unthinkable that the Greeks decided that they wanted to produce culture for the next few millennia of the West. In the unique urgency of their Dasein, they alone used only violence, and by doing so did not abolish the urgency but only augmented it; thus they won for themselves the fundamental condition of true historical greatness." He famously goes on to talk about the "inner truth and greatness" of national socialism, which indicates some of the more disturbing implications of the cult of violence, though I think we will all agree that the violence is central, i.e., it is there to be cultivated.

Jonathan dijo...

Thanks for that reference. These aren't my first thoughts on this topic and won't be my last either. It's something I'm developing after reading a very good article on Miguel Hernández's use of violence in relation to Italian Futurism and the violence implicit in the avant-garde. Of course Fascism and Nazism glorify violence, but then so do left wing movements of the same period. When violence is not glorified, then being on the receiving end of violence is sacralized. Either way you end up with violence. Heads I win, tails you lose.