counter create hit Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence

Availability: Ready to download

Words like "terrorism" and "war" no longer encompass the scope of contemporary violence. With this explosive book, Adriana Cavarero, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers, effectively renders such terms obsolete. She introduces a new word--"horrorism"--to capture the experience of violence. Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of vi Words like "terrorism" and "war" no longer encompass the scope of contemporary violence. With this explosive book, Adriana Cavarero, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers, effectively renders such terms obsolete. She introduces a new word--"horrorism"--to capture the experience of violence. Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of violation grounded in the offense of disfiguration and massacre. Numerous outbursts of violence fall within Cavarero's category of horrorism, especially when the phenomenology of violence is considered from the perspective of the victim rather than that of the warrior. Cavarero locates horrorism in the philosophical, political, literary, and artistic representations of defenseless and vulnerable victims. She considers both terror and horror on the battlefields of the Iliad, in the decapitation of Medusa, and in the murder of Medea's children. In the modern arena, she forges a link between horror, extermination, and massacre, especially the Nazi death camps, and revisits the work of Primo Levi, Hannah Arendt's thesis on totalitarianism, and Arendt's debate with Georges Bataille on the estheticization of violence and cruelty. In applying the horroristic paradigm to the current phenomena of suicide bombers, torturers, and hypertechnological warfare, Cavarero integrates Susan Sontag's views on photography and the eroticization of horror, as well as ideas on violence and the state advanced by Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt. Through her searing analysis, Caverero proves that violence against the helpless claims a specific vocabulary, one that has been known for millennia, and not just to the Western tradition. Where common language fails to form a picture of atrocity, horrorism paints a brilliant portrait of its vivid reality.


Compare

Words like "terrorism" and "war" no longer encompass the scope of contemporary violence. With this explosive book, Adriana Cavarero, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers, effectively renders such terms obsolete. She introduces a new word--"horrorism"--to capture the experience of violence. Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of vi Words like "terrorism" and "war" no longer encompass the scope of contemporary violence. With this explosive book, Adriana Cavarero, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers, effectively renders such terms obsolete. She introduces a new word--"horrorism"--to capture the experience of violence. Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of violation grounded in the offense of disfiguration and massacre. Numerous outbursts of violence fall within Cavarero's category of horrorism, especially when the phenomenology of violence is considered from the perspective of the victim rather than that of the warrior. Cavarero locates horrorism in the philosophical, political, literary, and artistic representations of defenseless and vulnerable victims. She considers both terror and horror on the battlefields of the Iliad, in the decapitation of Medusa, and in the murder of Medea's children. In the modern arena, she forges a link between horror, extermination, and massacre, especially the Nazi death camps, and revisits the work of Primo Levi, Hannah Arendt's thesis on totalitarianism, and Arendt's debate with Georges Bataille on the estheticization of violence and cruelty. In applying the horroristic paradigm to the current phenomena of suicide bombers, torturers, and hypertechnological warfare, Cavarero integrates Susan Sontag's views on photography and the eroticization of horror, as well as ideas on violence and the state advanced by Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt. Through her searing analysis, Caverero proves that violence against the helpless claims a specific vocabulary, one that has been known for millennia, and not just to the Western tradition. Where common language fails to form a picture of atrocity, horrorism paints a brilliant portrait of its vivid reality.

30 review for Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karl Steel

    "Today it is particularly senseless that the meaning of war and its horror--as well, obviously, as its terror--should still be entrusted to the perspective of the warrior....The civilian victims, of whom the numbers of dead have soared from the Second World War on, do not share the desire to kill, much less the desire to get killed" (65). "the instant of time that blows the bodies of the 'human bombs' and their victims to pieces today annuls the dimension of time: time in which to face up to the "Today it is particularly senseless that the meaning of war and its horror--as well, obviously, as its terror--should still be entrusted to the perspective of the warrior....The civilian victims, of whom the numbers of dead have soared from the Second World War on, do not share the desire to kill, much less the desire to get killed" (65). "the instant of time that blows the bodies of the 'human bombs' and their victims to pieces today annuls the dimension of time: time in which to face up to the reality of one's own crime and to answer for it singularly. Closed in on itself, suicidal horrorism thus takes pride in the unappealability of its work in the service of an instantaneous and irresponsible violence. In this sense, it is no surprise that books on female suicide bombings written by women who are disposed to understand them, if not justify and sympathize with them, have a tendency to minimize the ethical responsibility of the bombers" (103) I think other people are likely to to get a lot more out of this book than I did. Adriana Cavarero rightly demands that we should try to apprehend violence from the perspective not of the warrior (or 'terrorist') but from that of the victim. The victim, we should presume, does not care about whether or not he or she is being mutilated, tortured, or killed by a state actor, a criminal, or suicide bomber. Nor does the victim care about the motivation of the agent of violence: here's she might have used one of Zizek's favorite quotes, this from Deleuze: "si vous êtes pris dans le rêve de l'autre, vous êtes foutu!", since these dreams of the other, dreams whether for 'freedom and democracy' or for the Caliphate or whatever, do not matter to the victim. What matters is the pain and death, especially when the victim, caught unawares, has been unable to defend him or herself from the violence. This latter point, too, is key to Cavarero, as she observes that what distinguishes modern warfare from Homeric violence (her paradigm) is the particular suffering of the defenseless. Not the battlefield, but the bombed out city, or marketplace, or supermarket, or the theater filled with corpses and poison gas, is the picture of modern mass violence. For those interested in a richer philosophy and politics of war, for those interested in engaging in further debates with Bataille (she's against him), Arendt (largely for), suicide bombing (particularly when committed by women), and contemporary modes of violence, I imagine this book is indispensable. But it absolutely needs to be paired with Zizek's Violence: Six Sideways Reflections, in large part because Cavarero never considers the systemic violence of global capitalism itself. To use Zizek's terminology, she is so committed to studying subjective violence that--symptomatically--she does not see the system of violence that sustains her own way of life. We might save Cavarero's analysis by imagining what a 'horroristic' study might make of the fancy widget-maker (fwm): does the fwm care whether or not she is making a fw for the international yuppie smart set? Would it be all the same to her if she were manufacturing, say, toilet plungers? I suspect so. Cavarero demands that warriors and terrorists alike try to understand the violence they commit from the perspective of the victim. What might happen to our (where our= "the international yuppie smart set") love of our fw when we try to apprehend it from the perspective of the worker? Alternately, in my own work, I may demand that we try to understand nonhuman death from the perspective of the nonhuman. What does the cow care whether its meat is properly cooked? What does the sheep care whether its skin will be used for Chaucer or, god help it, Lydgate? Cavarero could ask such questions, but she is relentlessly and unthinkingly anthropocentric, a stance that is becoming increasingly unforgivable for any critical theorist given the growing body of critical animal theory. However, when she writes, "Horror has to do precisely with the killing of uniqueness....it consists in an attack on the ontological material that, transforming unique beings into a mass of superfluous beings whose 'murder is as impersonal as the squashing of a gnat' [qting Arendt Origins of Totalitarianism:], also takes away from them their own death" (43), this surely applies as much to animals, medieval or modern, as it does to the human animal caught up in some totalitarian fantasy. I have to confess to a perhaps petty annoyance with her typical litany of historical horrors: Stalinist Ukraine, Maoist China, Palestine and Israel, Iraq, Guernica, the Khmer Rouge, Chechnya, Rwanda, German and Japanese firebombed (& otherwise) cities, Nanking, the Holocaust, Armenia (with a few scattered references to Italian cases). There's no evidence that she considered why this representative litany occurred to her and not, say, the Congo of King Leopold or the DR Congo of the twenty-first century: my sense is that consideration of these other African killing fields would require an analysis of her own complicity as a citizen of a wealthy European nation. I suffer an even pettier annoyance when she writes: "Any review of the refined arts of war developed over the course of the century would have to dedicate a separate chapter to the aerial bombardments inaugurated by German forces over Guernica and Coventry" (51). Why not Italian forces over Ethiopia in the year before Guernica, or, arguably, RAF forces over Sulaymaniyah? (and while it's tempting to suggest the Zeppelin raids of English, beginning in 1915, the difference between these and Sulaymaniyah, Ethiopia, or Guernica is that the English could defend themselves: the Kurds, Ethiopians, and Basques could not, and thus stand as better representatives of horrorism (unlike the inhabitants of Coventry)). And perhaps pettiest of all: her moments of sloppiness, e.g., "...in this massacre there are not even innocents anymore, given that, whoever they are, each one is as good as the next in the abstract role of example. Although called infidel or miscreant, the absolute enemy loses all quality and assumes the role of anyone at all, with respect to whom the eventual faith of every singular victim--who sometimes, and certainly in modern Iraq, believes in the same god as his murderers--is just an accident" (75). Good point on the purposeful randomness of the victims of modern mass violence, but, c'mon, this not only elides the religious differences between Sunni and Shia, it also elides the fact that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God! Sheesh. Just like Catholics and Protestants, who have gotten along, as we know, famously well.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Balente1978

    Pur essendo una donna, la misoginia che mi accompagna fin dalla più tenera età mi spinge ad evitare (se non in rare eccezioni) scrittrici femminili, tanto nella narrativa, quanto nella saggistica. Adriana Cavarero è stata un’inaspettata quanto godibilissima sorpresa. Tutto il testo è un’analisi filosofica, psicologica ed antropologica riguardo la violenza sull’inerme. Per chi (come me) non provenga da studi classici la prima reazione è quella di chiudere il libro. Continuando la lettura la si sc Pur essendo una donna, la misoginia che mi accompagna fin dalla più tenera età mi spinge ad evitare (se non in rare eccezioni) scrittrici femminili, tanto nella narrativa, quanto nella saggistica. Adriana Cavarero è stata un’inaspettata quanto godibilissima sorpresa. Tutto il testo è un’analisi filosofica, psicologica ed antropologica riguardo la violenza sull’inerme. Per chi (come me) non provenga da studi classici la prima reazione è quella di chiudere il libro. Continuando la lettura la si scopre piacevolissima. E il merito è dovuto senza dubbio alla scorrevolezza del linguaggio usato dall’autrice: ecco perché ritengo che questo possa davvero essere un documento che meriti la più ampia diffusione. Colpiscono subito le ricchissime (e ben documentate) citazioni che percorrono l’intero scritto, con uno sguardo particolare all’opera di Hannah Arendt e di Susan Sontag. Di quest’ultima viene citato il saggio “Davanti al dolore degli altri” riguardo il moderno bombardamento di immagini e video che vanno a documentare l’orrore proprio dei conflitti. Tuttavia questi strumenti non vengono giudicati come morbosi, bensì eticamente indispensabili al fine di far comprendere come “gli esseri umani commettano dappertutto cose terribili ai danni dei propri simili“. Ad essere interessante è che non si mettano in luce i crimini ed i loro esecutori, ma lo sguardo è spostato sulle vittime, sulla loro assoluta vulnerabilità davanti agli attacchi. Nella quarta di copertina una frase riassume al meglio: “Assunto il punto di vista della vittima inerme, invece che quello del guerriero, Cavarero può costruire un’ontologia della vulnerabilità condizione umana che ci veda esposti alla dipendenza dall’altro: alla sua cura come al suo oltraggio” . Per fornirvi un quadro sintetico dei punti sviluppati dall’autrice può tornarvi utile l’indice dei capitoli: 1-Etimologie: “terrore” ovvero del sopravvivere; 2-Etimologie: “orrore” ovvero dello smembramento; 3-Della guerra; 4-L’urlo di Medusa; 5-La vulnerabilità dell’inerme; 6-Il crimine di Medea; 7-Orrorismo, ovvero della violenza sull’inerme; 8-Chi ha visto la Gorgone; 9-Auschwitz o dell’orrore estremo; 10-Erotiche carneficine; 11-Tanto mutilato che potrebbe essere il corpo di un maiale; 12-Il piacere del guerriero; 13-Aggressività planetaria; 14-Per una storia del terrore; 15-Orrorismo suicida; 16-Quando la bomba è il corpo di una donna; 17-Torturatrici che sorridono all’obiettivo. Come si può vedere, il percorso dell’autrice è un viaggio alla scoperta della violenza sull’inerme che inizia dall’etimologia propria di due sostantivi ormai abusati e, troppo spesso, usati come sinonimi: terrore ed orrore. Ed anche come, purtroppo, alle condizioni che da questi scaturiscono si sia ormai fatta l’abitudine. Dalla semplice lettura dei titoli dei capitoli è chiaro come l’opera attraversi diverse fasi storiche e come di queste vada ad analizzare le differenti forme di crimini verso l’inerme o, per usare un termine più moderno, i danni collaterali. Pur divisi i capitoli si integrano e si incatenano vicendevolmente. Basti pensare alla mitologica figura di Medusa e collegarla alla parte finale del libro, dove si analizzano l’Esercito delle Rose di Arafat, la fazione femminile delle Tigri Tamil, le vedove nere degli attentati ceceni in Russia (dall’attacco alla metropolitana, passando per il teatro Dubrovka, per giungere alla scuola di Beslan) per arrivare alle soldatesse americane tristemente note per le foto nel carcere di Abu Ghraib. I cicli della Storia. Vero. Verissimo. Che però mi fa tornare alla mente un’altra figura mitologica: un orrendo uroboro che continua, imperterrito, a mordere la propria coda. L’impatto tuttavia maggiore l’ho avuto nel capitolo dedicato ad Auschwitz. Sicuramente il motivo del mio interesse risiede nel fatto che l’Olocausto ebraico della Seconda Guerra Mondiale sia stato il primo vero argomento di Storia Contemporanea affrontato in modo approfondito e consapevole durante i miei studi. I Nazisti operarono in modo da trasformare i prigionieri in morti viventi, cadaveri ambulanti. Si è manipolata la Natura umana fino a ridurre le persone ad esseri assolutamente superflui. E questo concetto di Biopolitica calza perfettamente anche a ritroso nel tempo, con gli stermini e le sottomissioni dei popoli indigeni delle Americhe, dell’Africa e dell’Australia al fine di colonizzarne i territori. Storia non dissimile da quella che si ripete con le umiliazioni delle carceri in Iraq. E nuovamente l’uroboro si morde la coda. Godetevi poi appieno la lettura dell’appendice “The horror! The horror! Rileggendo Conrad” , dove si analizzano l’opera “Cuore di Tenebra” e il suo adattamento cinematografico “Apocalypse Now” di Francis Ford Coppola. Si pone l’accento sull’autocritica della modernità, sul suo essere macchina di espansione e dominazione. Sempre dello stesso autore vengono esaminate altre due opere “Con gli occhi dell’Occidente” e “Agente Segreto”.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kendall

    A fascinating read - looking at the 'other side' of terrorism, more specifically suicide bombers and how their mode of murder is, in a way, more horrific than others because they blow themselves and innocent people up, mingling victim and murderer body parts in the process. Identification of the body can be very difficult and often limbs etc of the terrorist are mistaken for those of a victim. Also a large number of suicide bombers are female, and a surprising number of those were pregnant. Also A fascinating read - looking at the 'other side' of terrorism, more specifically suicide bombers and how their mode of murder is, in a way, more horrific than others because they blow themselves and innocent people up, mingling victim and murderer body parts in the process. Identification of the body can be very difficult and often limbs etc of the terrorist are mistaken for those of a victim. Also a large number of suicide bombers are female, and a surprising number of those were pregnant. Also looks at the Medea myth and the Gorgon's gaze, but I wouldn't say it's a 'feminist' book. An interesting read for anyone studying terrorism and those who, like myself, are fascinated with human behaviour.

  4. 5 out of 5

    George

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pablo

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amélie

  7. 5 out of 5

    Little

  8. 5 out of 5

    Irina

  9. 4 out of 5

    Becca

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Finch

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hanne

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carly De La Hidalga

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wesley Ellis

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tomo

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pérola Tiosso

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gilson Landry S. Brasil

  17. 4 out of 5

    Motheroffbooks

  18. 5 out of 5

    Interecophil

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ignasi

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emma Hilliard

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shae Voorhees

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Leibold

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fede

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Rubio esquivel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristofer Petersen-Overton

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hamza Kebala

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.