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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

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Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence (New Directions in Critical Theory)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Words like terrorism and war no longer encompass the scope of contemporary violence. With this explosive book, Adriana Cavarero, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers, effectively renders such terms obsolete. She introduces a new word--horrorism--to capture the experience of violence.

Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of violation grounded in the offense of disfiguration and massacre. Numerous outbursts of violence fall within Cavarero's category of horrorism, especially when the phenomenology of violence is considered from the perspective of the victim rather than that of the warrior. Cavarero locates horrorism in the philosophical, political, literary, and artistic representations of defenseless and vulnerable victims. She considers both terror and horror on the battlefields of the Iliad, in the decapitation of Medusa, and in the murder of Medea's children. In the modern arena, she forges a link between horror, extermination, and massacre, especially the Nazi death camps, and revisits the work of Primo Levi, Hannah Arendt's thesis on totalitarianism, and Arendt's debate with Georges Bataille on the estheticization of violence and cruelty.

In applying the horroristic paradigm to the current phenomena of suicide bombers, torturers, and hypertechnological warfare, Cavarero integrates Susan Sontag's views on photography and the eroticization of horror, as well as ideas on violence and the state advanced by Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt. Through her searing analysis, Caverero proves that violence against the helpless claims a specific vocabulary, one that has been known for millennia, and not just to the Western tradition. Where common language fails to form a picture of atrocity, horrorism paints a brilliant portrait of its vivid reality.

Synopsis:

In this brilliant book, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers introduces a new word& mdash; "horrorism"& mdash;to capture the experience of violence. Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of violation grounded in the offense of disfiguration and massacre. Numerous outbursts of violence fall within Adriana Cavarero's category of horrorism, especially when the phenomenology of violence is considered from the perspective of the victim rather than that of the warrior. Through her searing analysis, Cavarero proves that violence against the helpless claims a specific vocabulary, one that has been known for millennia, and not just to the Western tradition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780231144575
Author:
Cavarero, Adriana
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Translator:
McCuaig, William
Subject:
Movements - Deconstruction
Subject:
Political
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Series:
New Directions in Critical Theory
Publication Date:
20101231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
168

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Horrorism: Naming Contemporary Violence (New Directions in Critical Theory) New Trade Paper
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Product details 168 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231144575 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this brilliant book, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers introduces a new word& mdash; "horrorism"& mdash;to capture the experience of violence. Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of violation grounded in the offense of disfiguration and massacre. Numerous outbursts of violence fall within Adriana Cavarero's category of horrorism, especially when the phenomenology of violence is considered from the perspective of the victim rather than that of the warrior. Through her searing analysis, Cavarero proves that violence against the helpless claims a specific vocabulary, one that has been known for millennia, and not just to the Western tradition.
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