Language and Death: The Place of Negativity (Theory & History of Literature) Paperback – 10 Sep 2006
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What Agamben proposes is thus a truly radical redefinition of the linguistic basis of the human, a linguistic basis, it must be added, which has explicitly political effects. Instead of enclosing humans ever more within the 'prison-house' of language, historically taking the form of the polis or political community, Agamben considers the importance of absence and lack in defining the proper dwelling place of the human. To live in poverty, without a proper home or 'mother tongue' is that which is most human. Emptiness must be taken as the starting-point of all definitions of the human.
The breadth of themes this book covers makes it an important work for any who seek to question the now hegemonic theories of language proffered by postmodernism, as well as those who seek to effect a radical opposition to those institutions and systems whose existence are premised on the fullness and consistency of their speech.
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