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There are many links between Shakespeare's monster Caliban, in The Tempest, and Abelard’s story in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: ideas concerning human monsters, education, language, political power, and the magical agency of books. This chapter considers the relationship between political power and aesthetics, especially the aesthetic form of knowledge in books, using examples from both Díaz’s novel and Shakespeare’s play to demonstrate that politics is itself an aesthetic practice. It is an endeavor rooted in individuals’ desire to impose their imprint upon particular situations and things. This is as true of progressive democracies as it...

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