Why should violence be disavowed? After all, its just part of a tragic narrative seen within the context of the world’s greater failure and shortcomings. Perhaps, if we can remove the varnish of its mythology, we can, as Jean Genet said, “free the dream inside the dreamer.”… With religious devotion a struggle for the redemption of the defeated is conducted; the defeated of the bygone, of history are redeemed from oblivion, and those defeated in the present find themselves redeemed from manipulation by the current order.For Genet, like Walter Benjamin, redemption is an interpretive leap into the past which determines the present; a way to save memories of the oppressed unredeemed in the mists of time. Well, maybe they should ask them if they want to be redeemed, and go through the suffering and necessary violence of becoming that arises out of the dormant and deceased state. Redemption turns out to be the interpreter’s aesthetic institution of what Benjamin called “now-time.”
The interpreter, in an act of aesthetic selfishness, finds lofty goals of liberation a side-show, a fragment of purpose since, as Genet asserted, literature is built upon a choice of vocabulary; Genet said he wrote books for the taste of words, even for the taste of punctuation, commas and the taste of the sentence. But, seeks their own salvation, and courting the danger of annihilation from vagueness and void, false consensus, there are those fragment which inexorably burst into what Benjamin called “now-time,” a magic of time and space. Inexplicable.
However, Benjamin and Genet implicitly abandoned what they considered naive revolutionary calls for justice, which they saw was simply by exchanging current laws with others perceived as being more just. Such demands , then appear as mythical, violent contentions, opposed to divine purposes. Its still barter, market and exchange with different types of goods. A quantifying experience. From their perspective, all revolutionary efforts to achieve utopia is viewed as a vanity of mythic forces which oppose the messianic.
His pessimism discloses the presence of violence within the continuity of “the whole time everything is the same” as a cosmic fate, a fate grounded in mystic necessity. He regards reality as essentially tragic, jet not as a partial historical stage or as an accident, but as normality itself. “The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’, in which we live is not an exception, but a rule.” The fact that “everything continues as usual” is the eternal “catastrophe,” which according to Benjamin discloses the boundless dominance of the mythical. This is the basis of the “Kafka-like situation,” which determines the subject as described in the article “Franz Kafka.” The “original sin” makes itself present at each moment in history, and according to Benjamin it turns out to be a reaction to the subject’s being a victim of cosmic injustice permanently directed against him. Read More:http://construct.haifa.ac.il/~ilangz/Utopia4.html
It’s always there. The glance over the shoulder in anger. The deception and the sense of betrayal. Fatalistic and amoral, Jean Genet’s projection lives in a habitat of contradictory impulses and unexpected conclusions.Genet continued to steal even when he was rich. Theft may have been more of a necessity when he was young, but now he no longer needed to steal for survival, or even for material purposes. Theft had become an ideological act – an act against capitalism, an act against the society that had so excluded him and humiliated him. Perhaps there are parallels with today’s rioters in that the causes of Genet’s criminality were far from simple – but this did not mean his actions were apolitical or anti-political.
In 1957, Genet brought existential philosophy and absurdest theater together in what eventually resulted in one of his most famous plays: The Balcony. Set in a high-class brothel, the play follows a group of people living out their fantasies while a revolution blazes outside in the streets. The viewer is introduced to the brothel keeper, her assistants, and various clientele of particular tastes….
…Haver quoted Genet as saying that the day the Palestinians become an ‘institution’ or a ‘nation’ he would no longer be on their side. His loyalty was to the Palestinian ‘political and military’ movement which he called the ‘violenc
the revolution.’ Genet argued that the violence of the revolution was different from state sponsored or organized brutality’as in the case of Sabra and Shatila. For Genet, there was an essential difference between the violence of the Palestinian fedayeen, or freedom fighters and the ‘rationalized institutional’ brutality of the State.
According to Haver, Genet believed that the Palestinians felt that through their actions’the violence of the revolution’they could prove they exist. However, their acts were geared towards a goal, the liberation of national territory. Based on his readings of Genet, Haver came to his own understanding of violence. He argued that to try to establish protocols to which ‘we could with any degree of epistemological confidence distinguish between violence and the presumptively non-violent, between terror and whatever would not be terror, is to assume that the decision as to what is or is not terror or violence is not itself violent.’
…The revolution is also seen in the embodiment of the prostitute Chantal, who quits the brothel and joins the revolution with radical fervor, acting as a foil to the trinity of societal power players. It is class conflict that would make Karl Marx swoon. The play does not, however, bank on the politics and ethos of class consciousness and struggle.It dives even deeper than that. This work is really no more than a depiction of the struggle between illusion and reality, posing the question to the reader: “What is real and what is not?”
The bishop, judge and general are obviously men in costumes acting out roles, but as representatives of a dying society, they ultimately take on the form of the status quo, vainly attempting to quell the revolution. In their eyes, they live in reality and the revolution is an illusion. But, in the case of revolutionary Chantal, they are the illusion and she is reality…. Read More:http://theminaretonline.com/2010/12/08/article15338
…According to Haver, it is to assume there is an ‘outside of violence or terror, that we ourselves occupy that outside, and that outside is self-evidently the side of Good.’ Haver stated that ‘this revolutionary violence is not merely instrumental, not merely destructive, not merely negative, not merely secondary, but also creative, positive, in fact the very possibility of being at all.’
Genet, argued Haver, was absolutely passionate about the injustice that had been done to the Palestinians. He pointed out that Genet called himself a partisan of the Palestinian revolution because he loved the Palestinians. However, Haver added, Genet wondered if he would have loved the Palestinians had they not suffered. Read More:http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/2381
Genet plays with this theme throughout the play, ultimately tricking the reader into falling in and out of states of reality and illusion. This theme partially stems from Genet’s personal feelings on the outcome of the Spanish Civil War (the fascists defeating the Republican government) and the idea that illusion and reality had swapped places in Spain. As he stated in a 1957 interview in Arts magazine, “My point of departure was situated in Spain, Franco’s Spain, and the revolutionary who castrates himself was all those Republicans when they had admitted their defeat.” Read More:http://theminaretonline.com/2010/12/08/article15338
Clearly, violence is positive for Genet only insofar as it is non-instrumental or para-instrumental. Revolt is not revolution. Violence is positive only insofar as ends and means are identical in existence. For Genet, the Panthers and the Palestinians have no possibility for existence outside of their violence; they cannot »choose« whatever might count as non-violence, because their very existence in the world is violence. Concomitantly, the violence of existence in its positivity is never to be conflated with institutionalized brutality: should the Palestinians or the Panthers ever have a territory or state, Genet will no longer be there. In a short essay that first appeared in Le Monde in 1977, and which occasioned a major furor in the press, Genet supported the actions of the RAF precisely as a creative violence that sought the destruction of state brutality . Not unlike Georges Sorel, Frantz Fanon, and others before him, Genet saw the positivity of violence to belong to the practical constitution of being, in the affirmation that is potentia rather than the affirmation of potestas; that is, in existence as the actualization of a possibility that did not exist before its actualization, and which does not survive the happening of that actualization, rather than in the brutality of institutionalized power. For Genet, the affirmation of violence as the actualized potential of existence depends not only upon its non- or para-instrumentality, but upon what one might call its »immediate finitude,« that fact that survival, continuity, institution, conservation, preservation, and salvation are quite beside the point. Genet wrote:
You have to understand that the people you call terrorists know without needing to be told that they, their persons and their ideas, will only be brief flashes against a world wrapped up in its own smartness. Saint-Just was dazzling, and knew his own brightness. The Black Panthers knew their own brilliance, and that they would disappear. Baader and his friends heralded the death of the Shah of Iran. And the fedayeen, too, are tracer bullets, knowing their traces vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Read More:http://them.polylog.org/5/fhw-en.htm