Bitter Carnival by Michael André Bernstein PDF

By Michael André Bernstein

ISBN-10: 0691069395

ISBN-13: 9780691069395

ISBN-10: 140081104X

ISBN-13: 9781400811045

"You humans placed value in your lives. good, my existence hasn't ever been vital to a person. i don't have any guilt approximately anything," bragged the mass-murderer Charles Manson. "These youngsters that come at you with knives, they're your kids. You taught them. i did not educate them. . . . they're working within the streets--and they're coming correct at you!" while a true assassin accuses the society he has brutalized, we're stunned, yet we're extremely joyful through an analogous accusations after they are mouthed by way of a fictional insurgent, outlaw, or monster. In sour Carnival, Michael Andr Bernstein explores this contradiction and defines a brand new determine: the Abject Hero. status on the junction of contestation and conformity, the Abject Hero occupies the logically very unlikely house created via the intersection of the satanic and the servile. Bernstein exhibits that we heroicize the Abject Hero simply because he represents a tradition that has develop into a staple of our universal mythology, as seductive in mass tradition because it is in excessive paintings. relocating from an exam of classical Latin satire; via greatly new analyses of Diderot, Dostoevsky, and Cline; and culminating within the court docket testimony of Charles Manson, sour Carnival deals a revisionist rereading of the full culture of the "Saturnalian discussion" among masters and slaves, monarchs and fools, philosophers and madmen, voters and malcontents. It contests the supposedly regenerative energy of the carnivalesque and demanding situations the pieties of utopian radicalism trendy in modern educational pondering. The readability of its argument and literary sort compel us to confront a strong quandary that engages probably the most relevant concerns in literary reports, ethics, cultural heritage, and important conception at the present time.

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For example, in the anecdote I just recounted, the unwilling listener might as easily be telling himself, “Well, yes, everything I’m hearing is just a garbled compendium of literary citations. But how can I be sure he isn’t suddenly going to reveal something true that I’ve always been afraid to acknowledge? If I dismiss him without a thought, am I just exposing myself as one more smug coward? ” And so the dialogue continues, between the speakers and within each one as well, the voices doubled and then doubled again until it is closing time in the bar, or the bus finally arrives, taking each man in a different direction, one home to his burrow in the Underground, the other to his duplex in the company (or faculty) compound.

And so the dialogue continues, between the speakers and within each one as well, the voices doubled and then doubled again until it is closing time in the bar, or the bus finally arrives, taking each man in a different direction, one home to his burrow in the Underground, the other to his duplex in the company (or faculty) compound. Two O Totiens Servus: Horace, Juvenal, and the Classical Saturnalia We stand in the tumult of a festival. What festival? This loud, disordered mooch? (Wallace Stevens, “The Auroras of Autumn”) LIKE SO MUCH else in contemporary theory, our newfound faith in the liberating power of carnival laughter returns for much of its rhetoric to the cardinal example of Friedrich Nietzsche.

For example, in the anecdote I just recounted, the unwilling listener might as easily be telling himself, “Well, yes, everything I’m hearing is just a garbled compendium of literary citations. But how can I be sure he isn’t suddenly going to reveal something true that I’ve always been afraid to acknowledge? If I dismiss him without a thought, am I just exposing myself as one more smug coward? ” And so the dialogue continues, between the speakers and within each one as well, the voices doubled and then doubled again until it is closing time in the bar, or the bus finally arrives, taking each man in a different direction, one home to his burrow in the Underground, the other to his duplex in the company (or faculty) compound.

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Bitter Carnival by Michael André Bernstein


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