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Title:Night-glory: cut-up literature, anarchism, and the question of the subject
Author(s):Ernstmeyer, Phillip W
Director of Research:Nelson, Cary
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Nelson, Cary
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Rothberg, Michael; Parker, Robert D.; Brunner, Edward
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Cut-Up Technique
Cut-Up Method
Voltairine de Cleyre
Gertrude Stein
William S. Burroughs
Kathy Acker
Kenji Siratori
Post-left anarchy
Abstract:This dissertation examines the anarchic practices implicit to literary texts composed through the cut-up technique. It argues that the aleatory and processual experiments in Gertrude Stein's, William S. Burroughs', Kathy Acker's, and Kenji Siratori's cut-up works appeal to principles of embodiment, affect, and affinity foundational for anarchist practices of direct action, horizontal organization, and voluntary cooperation. Counter to anarchism’s individualist and socialist traditions, which consistently install the humanist subject at the center of radical thought, the form of those cut-up works represents a post-anarchist ethics that assumes the subject’s anarchic and unconditional relation to the figure of the neighbor. In other words, this dissertation argues that cut-up literature’s extreme literary approach and eccentric formal effects exhibit a revolutionary language without a subject — without an "origin" or a "ruler" — in which the other speaks first and foremost. Repositioning the place of the neighbor in relation to the anarchic subject, this other, alien, cut up language radically re-imagines familiar political terms (race, gender, and sexuality) for the hyperconnected, globalized 21st Century.
Issue Date:2016-02-01
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Phillip Ernstmeyer
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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