By James Martel
—Brent Steele, college of Kansas
In Textual Conspiracies, James R. Martel applies the literary, theological, and philosophical insights of Walter Benjamin to the query of politics and the problem of the modern left. in the course of the lens of Benjamin’s theories, as inspired through Kafka, of the fetishization of political symbols and symptoms, Martel seems on the ways that a variety of political and literary texts “speak” to one another around the gulf of time and area, thereby making a “textual conspiracy” that destabilizes grand narratives of energy and authority and makes the narratives of different political groups extra apparent.
However, in accordance with Benjamin’s insistence that even he's complicit with the fetishism that he battles, Martel decentralizes Benjamin’s place because the key theorist for this conspiracy and contextualizes Benjamin in what he calls a “constellation” of pairs of thinkers and writers all through historical past, together with Alexis de Tocqueville and Edgar Allen Poe, Hannah Arendt and Federico García Lorca, and Frantz Fanon and Assia Djebar.
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Textual Conspiracies: Walter Benjamin, Idolatry, and Political Theory by James Martel