Re: Violence and Rituals

Nils Zurawski (zurawsk@UNI-MUENSTER.DE)
Fri, 10 Mar 1995 09:00:26 +0100

>"The Penal Colony". The value of Kafka in a connection
>such as this is that he was *not* an imaginative author,
>that is, he articulated resonances that were already
>present in his native culture(s). Before invoking him
>in a social analysis such as is your aim, though, I'd
>want to be quite specific and detailed about the sources
>of his observations; it's simply unsatisfying to refer
>"as described by Kafka" without grounding those descrip-
> .
>Cameron Laird

Camero made a good point here. Looks like I wasn't quite clear about Kafka
and why I brought him in here.
Well, Clastres was the one who referred to him in his work " societies
against the state". His fieldwork was done some 20 years ago or so, while
"The penal Colony" was written about 100 years. I found it interesting,
being a Kafka fan, that he made this reference and that Kafka came up with
the same observations i a totally different environment than was the
fieldwork by Clastres.

And then there is a third article that came to a similiar ananlysis without
naming each of the above.

Allen Feldman: on cultural anesthesia:fFrom desert Storm to odney King. In:
American EThnologist 21(2): 404-418, 1994.

"Confronting his alleged insensate resistance, the police endowed King with
affectivity by exploring the levels of pain that could finally register the
will o the state on his body". (Feldman: 412)

This time it is the state that is writing down its law on someones body, as
in the case o Clastres fieldwork it was the society or its members that put
it down on on of thir own people.

I hope that clears i a little. I am sorry for having been inacurate about
Kafka and why I brought him in here. I didn't want to base my research on
that story.

Thanks for the post.