By Natalie Reitano
This dissertation considers how Nabokov, Ishiguro and Sebald---each of whom has abjured, in several methods, a feeling of nationwide belonging---rethink neighborhood on the subject of the legacies of totalitarianism, imperialism and fascism. I learn Ada, The Unconsoled and Austerlitz either via and opposed to theories of group proposed by means of Bataille, Blanchot, Nancy and Agamben. Forming a kind of counter-discourse to various contemporary "traumatic" discourses, those philosophical remedies of group may interrupt a winning trust that any engagement with the earlier inaugurates melancholic repetition; they search in its place to find substitute buildings of group in a gift that might be neither a transition to a predestined destiny nor the redemption of a misplaced prior. group, as a question of even if belonging can withstand nostalgia or anticipation for a few (national) immanence misplaced or to return, principally determines the novels' temporal good judgment. every one addresses the potential for divorcing the current from an orientation towards loss through interrupting narrative futures triggered by way of "catastrophe" and a feeling of "imminent crisis." And but each one, in its war of words with political upheaval, old deadlock and the ostensibly ruptural common sense of modernity itself, threatens to overhaul that good judgment the place interruption is pressed into the carrier of self-perpetuation. For if the novels withstand a "future anterior" via interrupting an indebtedness to the prior, in addition they exceed the current that every could delimit by means of refusing to finish. jointly they show chronic problems with formulations of interruption, restrict and abandonment that might face up to fantasies of nationwide redemption: each one novel is itself a myth of nationwide unbelonging that makes an attempt to alternative its personal aesthetic totality for a feeling of nationhood that has been misplaced and that is still, regardless of Nabokov, Ishiguro and Sebald's disavowals of nationwide identification, a locus of longing. notwithstanding, even though myths of nationwide origins and rebirth do proceed to play out in those novels, an event of the "limit of community"---that threshold among the current and what it's not, among finitude and indeterminacy---continues to problem any "literary immortality" that might overwrite it.
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Extra info for Against redemption: Interrupting the future in the fiction of Vladimir Nabokov, Kazuo Ishiguro and W. G. Sebald
As García Düttman writes of Agamben’s reading of Benjamin’s integral actuality, the idea of prose evades either “poetic singularity” 26 or “philosophic generality” in order to present “the thing no longer separated from its intelligibility . ” The world of integral actuality establishes a “between” that is no longer oriented to “two extremes” but rather “exceeds what it simultaneously separates and brings together . ” However, one cannot “persist within pure possibility” since one would no longer be hesitating before its fulfillment.
For Levinas, however, we can only know of our death, of our finitude, in experiencing the deaths of others. ”79 For Nancy, the experience of Bataillean sovereignty is an “abandonment” of being to what is outside itself. ”83 Heidegger’s “authentic being” and organic community is rejected as a being-toward (or working toward) subject to the future; instead, where community denotes only a limit that is interrupted as soon as it is reached, it is “unworked” (désouvrée). Anything one might offer as a “work,” whether it is a people, a nation, or a work of art, is “abandoned” at this limit, its proposal of exemplarity withdrawn.
106 Agamben, Coming Community, 35. 107 Agamben, Coming Community, 2. 108 Nancy, Inoperative Community, 60. 109 Nabokov, Ada, 587. Emphasis in original. 110 Nabokov, Lolita, 13. 111 Nabokov, Ada, 536. 112 Nabokov, Ada, 18. 113 Nabokov, Ada, 18. 114 Nabokov, Ada, 536. 115 Nabokov, Strong Opinions, 156. 116 Nabokov, Ada, 550. 117 Bataille, Accursed Share, 220. 118 Nabokov, Ada, 536. 119 Nabokov, Strong Opinions, 69. 120 Bataille, Accursed Share, 210. 121 Nabokov, Ada, 219-220. 122 Nabokov, Ada, 556.