Jacques Rancière's political writings have enjoyed increased reception and engagement in the Anglo-American world. Yet few readers have paused to ask themselves what reading practices his works presume and evoke and if there is a politics to his stylistics. The conventional approach is one of reading Rancière with an analytic eye that finds insights into the conceptual armature of his theoretical interventions. Such a political methodology, however, is counterintuitive not only to the orientation of Rancière's political theory but also to his style of theoretical writing, which, as Bruno Bosteels rightly notes, “displays a brilliant use of the free indirect style of speech.” Style regards the arrangement of peoples, places, and events into collectivities. In this essay I elaborate Rancière's political style of writing. I begin by tracing Rancière's debt to Karl Marx's critique of capital's logic of equivalence. I then explore the sensibilities that arise from Rancière's adoption of free indirect discourse as part and parcel of his project of political emancipation. I conclude by showing how Rancière's turn to style offers a critique of political authority through a reimagining of the ambitions of political knowledge.
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Davide Panagia; Rancière’s Style. Novel 1 August 2014; 47 (2): 284–300. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-2647194
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