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Biopolitical discharges in a literature of megalomaniacs

Author(s): Vanina Carrara Sigrist

Journal: Via Litterae
ISSN 2176-6800

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 278;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Biopolitics | Giorgio Agamben | Literature | Megalomaniacal characters

This paper intends to discuss the biopolitical concepts of bare life and of valid but meaningless law, such as formulated by Giorgio Agamben, through the reading of some literary texts that seem to anticipate, with their megalomaniacal characters for the good of humanity, the matter of power over life and death. Some references to the main characters of Kafka, Dostoievski, Mary Shelley, Stevenson and Hoffmann will be made, without an excessive chronological concern. Literature, in this perspective, contributes to move on some of the most important fundamentals of western thought about the value or non-value of human life in scientific and juridical spheres, which have been present at biopolitical and also literary reflections more intensively in last decades.
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