Starting from Hannah Arendt’s reflections on the openness of the future and the function of promises for political action, this essay offers a new understanding of the political pedagogy at work in The Aesthetics of Resistance. Rather than being narrated by the author’s proxy, as much of the novel’s reception assumes, Weiss plays subversively with mask narration. The narrator’s selective reading of Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa guides readers to a complex assessment of the costs and deformations necessitated by the narrator’s promise to remain part of the antifascist resistance. Via its poetics of looking away, the novel discloses a probing of history, politics, and collective action that contrasts sharply with the narrator’s stated poetics and teleological expectations. The Aesthetics of Resistance prepares its future readings as an open, not-yet-determined pursuit of aesthetic and political education.
Looking Away: On Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa and the Narration of Political Pedagogy in The Aesthetics of Resistance
Kai Evers; Looking Away: On Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa and the Narration of Political Pedagogy in The Aesthetics of Resistance. New German Critique 1 November 2022; 49 (3 (147)): 21–41. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-9965290
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