[-empyre-] language/discourse on terror, reporting the virtually true

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri Nov 7 01:23:33 EST 2014

 dear Ana

>> only a short remark, when I am writing about my pain and my memories I am also using literary tools, the body remembers but the language or the brain don't. I read Butler's Frames of War, Agamben's Homo Sacer and The remnants of Auschwitz to trace the mechanisms and the forms to perform the pain. You all maybe remember we had a good exchange in -empyre with Monica Weiss about public lamenting and how to show the collective mourning as exorcism and catharsis.>>

yes, I do remember our discussions on certain literary and performance techniques or tools, used in writing or speaking pain.  
I meant that when I made my comment, and it was a recognition of your work, your embrace, and yet also implicitly, a question and thus a comment on your lament for all, and whether this is an aspect of collective mourning that you, or others here, find effective or even possible, in the face of despair? the leveling field approach is what Pia objected to, no? when she argued that political contexts are different.

The spectacle of the scaffold (Jon), does it not also differ from place to place?  from place to media (and those Tv or youtube serials of humiliation)?

I am now translating a short text written by my friend the Uruguayan writer Alicia Migdal. She was one of -empyre guests when I was moderating the list 2012. She is quoting Agamben as well. I will be back with her translated text, she writes in Spanish and I am just now translating it.

dear Ana, why not send us the Spanish text of your friend? I have always encouraged, in debates I moderated, that any language is welcome and the more we are willing to listen to others, and try to translate, the more we engage. 

Johannes you are raised in Germany I assume you are familiar with Heinrich Böll's writing. For me his best book is [Billiards at Half Past Nine] , a very powerful novel about an elderly architect who builds a church (maybe a cathedral, I don't exactly remember it), his son, an architect and engineer who destroys the church because it's strategical value and the youngest of them, an architect who is rebuilding it.
Shrines and churches and mosques and synagogues are built and rebuilt and they live in the memory, as in Calvino's "Invisible Cities". I was several times in Damascus and visited the Omeya mosque it was a Christian church before a Roman temple and in the beginning a Babylonian sacred place. 
The gods chose always the same spot to be worshipped :)
Ana Valdés 

Very interesting literary references you make, to Böll and Calvino,  just as others here however reminded us of the annihilation attempts (in epic and mythic histories, such as Iliad or Mahabharata, and real histories of colonization)
One could almost find hope in reading these poetic romances of the invisible cities we must imagine. Entonces,  certain imaginations must be more privileged than others?

warm regards
Johannes Birringer

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