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In this chapter, Beaumont uses Slavoj Žižek’s theories of fantasy and parallax to examine a plot widespread throughout world literature: the “Sleeper Awakened” plot. Tracing the trajectory of a particular iteration of this plot involving the medieval Islamic sect known as the Assassins—a trajectory that spans from twelfth- and thirteenth-century troubadour poetry up through William Burroughs’s Nova Trilogy (1961–64)—Beaumont draws on Žižek’s work on the “Janus-like structure of fantasy” as a means of understanding the “parallax shift” that occurred with regard to representations of the Assassins in the Western literary imaginary following the French Revolution, a shift that transformed them...

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