A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and by Jill Scott (auth.)

By Jill Scott (auth.)

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Additional info for A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and Wrongdoing

Sample text

Even if the votes are equal, Orestes wins. (750–756) The Furies are outraged at the disregard for the ancient laws. They curse the land with poison, sterility, and cancer, but there is no question now that they have been demoted and they have no choice but to acquiesce to Athena’s rule. The goddess of wisdom and war has brought restraint and measure to a world, in which brawn and brutality once ruled. Anger-fueled revenge is the modus operandi in the Iliad, and the Oresteia champions justified revenge in the name of civic order, but can we read this trajectory as an overall shift to peace, laying the groundwork for forgiveness and reconciliation?

Though Weigel criticizes Kristeva’s private and aesthetic model of forgiveness and argues in favor of Hannah Arendt’s public Introduction 23 and political engagement with forgiveness, my reading of Franza seeks to demonstrate the relevance of both Kristeva’s and Arendt’s concepts. I suggest that Bachmann actually formulates her own poetic form of forgiveness as an interrelational ethics that accounts for the complex interstices of responsibility and agency, while acknowledging the problematic nature of victimhood.

If it works for the jungle, it works for the movies too. And maybe it is best that we be permitted to partake in such “jungle ethics” on screen, releasing Anger without Emotion 43 tension through the vicarious pleasure of retaliation, so that we can strive to achieve higher moral standards in real life. 31 It is interesting to note that the job of the hard-nosed revenge killer shifts from male to female in the twenty-first century, as Tarantino implies. 32 I hesitate to enter this debate and I do not specifically treat gendered attitudes and behaviors toward forgiveness in this book, but I can’t help wondering if the Bride will surprise us in the sequel and show her other side.

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