Unmaking Merlin: Anarchist Tendencies in English Literature
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A unique exploration of how anarchist philosophy and practice has inspired some of the English language's most revered, and reviled, authors.
handful of their successors) who identified Wilde’s short story ‘The Young King’ as having ‘Socialist’ leanings, with, for instance, the eponymous self-indulgent protagonist being told by his workers towards the narrative’s climax: ‘We tread out the grapes, and another drinks the wine. We sow the corn, and our own board is empty. We have chains, though no eye beholds them.’27 In his society comedies, too, Wilde rebelled against the rigid mores of Victorian England, arguing for a more libertarian
first met, we find the following passage: Did Bloom accept the invitation to dinner given then by the son and afterwards seconded by the father? Very gratefully, with grateful appreciation, with sincere appreciative gratitude, in appreciatively grateful sincerity of regret, he declined.34 By undermining certain ‘big words,’ Joyce – like the anarchists Orwell and Chomsky – correspondingly flies by the ideological nets of church and state. But unlike Orwell and Chomsky, Joyce always placed irony
life’s most precious possession; the impulse to act according to his own needs. It is especially dangerous when fatalism appears in the gown of science, which nowadays so often replaces the cassock of the theologian; therefore we repeat: The causes which underlie the processes of social life have nothing in common with the laws of physical and mechanical natural events, for they are purely the results of human purpose, which is not explicable by scientific methods.52 Though his suspicious gaze
inexorability of a law of Nature is own negation.’ How they rejoice in borrowing this and similar phrases in discussing how the ideas of their colleagues, on occasion, bring about their own negation etc. Perhaps epitomised best through the stylish work of Slavoj Žižek, empty paradoxes and meaningless reversals are without doubt the order of the day. The majority of opposition to neoliberalism has tended to ‘accept many of the basic propositions of neoliberalism,’ writes David Harvey.54 Critiques
Pursuit of Profit and Power (London: Constable, 2004), p. 50. 47. Dinyar Godrej, ‘A healthy mind in a healthy society,’ New Internationalist, May 2012. 48. Economist, 26 March 2011. 49. Bakan, The Corporation, p. 69. 50. Robert Reich, ‘How not to change big pharma’, Salon, 5 July 2012: http://www.salon.com/2012/07/05/how_not_to_change_big_pharma_salpart. 51. ‘Sir David Attenborough’s Response, Conferment of Distinguished Honorary Fellowships, University of Leicester Graduation Ceremony,