Scott McClintock Kafka's fiction, coming out of the fin de siecle of the Habsburg empire, has much to tell us about the relationship between subjectivity, legal institutions and processes, and textuality. Speaking out of the twilight of one empire to us in the twilight zone of another empire, of global American hegemony, Kafka's unsettled and unsettling fiction links one imperial time and place to another, thereby affording a comparative study of global imperialisms. And it is all the more necessary to underscore the imperialist nature of the War on Terror since this is what is most vociferously denied by the Bush Doctrine, which sets out to distinguish itself from the more openly imperialist doctrines of Monroe and Teddy Roosevelt even while it hides behind the pragmatic and operational lexicon of the petite, as opposed to master, narrative: Bush insists to a recent cadre of graduating West Point officers that his X-Ray vision blueprint for the counter-terrorism war will be, unlike the expansionist visions of the past, "no utopia, no empire." Based on the decadent 1899 novel by Octave Mirabeau, Le Jardin des Supplices, a work banned in Germany as pornography that depicts the sadistic torture of prisoners by
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Mar 4, 2004
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