"You feel that force there on your hand? That's the world. The story of the world is the story of force. It's just some people are better at applying it than others." Torture brings Glen Duncan's protagonist to this realization. In A Day and a Night and a Day, torture amounts to a means of not only collapsing time, as I posed in my previous post, but to a means of collapsing the world in on itself for the tortured, to creating bare life. Torture, thus, amounts to the limit of biopower, the extreme form of enacting power upon a body. It takes voice, Elaine Scarry's point, and it makes one lose faith in the world, Jean Amery's famous words. It leaves the tortured with a single certainty, the body, and the simple realization that the world works by enacting power on the body. Duncan's text explores these ideas and asks what is left once one comes to that conclusion: memory, love, moments in time?
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2 days ago