mardi 6 juillet 2010

Cathy N. Davidson, REVOLUTION AND THE WORD; THE RISE OF THE NOVEL IN AMERICA, Oxford University Press, New York, 2004 [1986]

Protest need not (and maybe should not) be logical but expressive and performative. The desire to change, disrupt, or even destroy aspects of one's society that one sees as immoral and intolerable is, after all, one impulse that structures a culture. The desire to move outside of one's culture deserves validation - so long as one accepts that the desire does not (and cannot) move the subject outside of his or her own culture. And on certain occasions, these powerful desires to fragment or even restructure a culture. For many, these bottom-line convictions inform the way we read our world. The desire itself is cathartic and sometimes transformative. The ability to stir affect into action (individual or collective) has been a particular function of the artist not only in Western society but in many of the world's societies. I want to hold on to Melville's famously pure negation - "Saying 'no' in thunder!" It is the ultimate clarion call for writers, intellectuals, and anyone else who does not feel cozy within the State one cannot avoid inhabiting.
(p. 27)

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