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Never-lasting Effects: John Williams, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bruno Jasieński, and Non-redemptive Failure

Abstract
My dissertation examines literary accounts of failure and failed performance largely in the context of the advent of modernity. I read the works of John Williams, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Bruno Jasieński as case studies to discuss a non-redemptive kind of failure, one where the narrative does not suggest failing as a step to eventual success. Never-lasting Effectsis an attempt to delineate the productive side of failure within a non-future-oriented approach. In parallel with a reading of the above authors, I review the existing narratives about failure, in the main offered by scholars and critics who see it either as a nihilist, apolitical approach or, in a more hopeful way, as a tool of subversion and revolutionary practice under the conditions of late capitalism. My dissertation carves out a theoretical position outside of either of these opposed camps in what appears to be a nascent field of failure studies. Taking my methodology from performance studies and its emphasis on ephemerality, I examine failure synchronically, as it happens in its present. As I argue, there are important political effects produced by failure that cannot continue into the utopian future. My discussions of Williams, Pasolini, and Jasieński offer a new methodology of reading failure that helps us examine and understand those effects better.
Type
campusfive
article
dissertation
Date
2021-09-01
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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
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