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You (Shall) Have the Body: Patterns of Life in the Shadow of Guantánamo

You (Shall) Have the Body: Patterns of Life in the Shadow of Guantánamo Keith Feldman You (Shall) Have the Body Patterns of Life in the Shadow of Guantánamo In order to function, that is, to be readable, a signature must have a repeatable, iterable, imitable form; it must be able to be detached from the present and singular intention of its production. —Jacques Derrida Are we witnesses who conr fi m the truth of what happened in the face of the world-d estroying capacities of pain, the distortions of torture, the sheer unrepresentability of terror, and the repression of the dominant accounts? Or are we voyeurs fascinated with and repelled by exhibitions of terror and sue ff rance? What does exposure of the violated body yield? —Saidiya Hartman For three days in early October 2015, the Park Avenue Armory museum in New York City staged “Habeas Corpus,” a work of installation art that exposed, if not a present- t ense violation of the body, then the flickering visions of its immediate past.1 The writ of habeas corpus—Latin for “you (shall) have the body”— ema nates from the Magna Carta, and decrees that authorities holding a person captive must present the body of that person before a tribunal tasked with ruling on the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

You (Shall) Have the Body: Patterns of Life in the Shadow of Guantánamo

The Comparatist , Volume 42 – Nov 19, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Keith Feldman You (Shall) Have the Body Patterns of Life in the Shadow of Guantánamo In order to function, that is, to be readable, a signature must have a repeatable, iterable, imitable form; it must be able to be detached from the present and singular intention of its production. —Jacques Derrida Are we witnesses who conr fi m the truth of what happened in the face of the world-d estroying capacities of pain, the distortions of torture, the sheer unrepresentability of terror, and the repression of the dominant accounts? Or are we voyeurs fascinated with and repelled by exhibitions of terror and sue ff rance? What does exposure of the violated body yield? —Saidiya Hartman For three days in early October 2015, the Park Avenue Armory museum in New York City staged “Habeas Corpus,” a work of installation art that exposed, if not a present- t ense violation of the body, then the flickering visions of its immediate past.1 The writ of habeas corpus—Latin for “you (shall) have the body”— ema nates from the Magna Carta, and decrees that authorities holding a person captive must present the body of that person before a tribunal tasked with ruling on the

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 19, 2018

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