Security and Hospitality in Literature and Culture: Modern and Contemporary Perspectives 113891584X, 9781138915848

With contributions from an international array of scholars, this volume opens a dialogue between discourses of security

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Security and Hospitality in Literature and Culture: Modern and Contemporary Perspectives
 113891584X, 9781138915848

Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Title Page
Copyright Page
Contents
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Risking Hospitality
PART I: Modern Homes
2 “And May these Characters Remain”: W.B. Yeats and Thoor Ballylee’s Vulnerability
3 Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine) in Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage and Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End
PART II: Sexual Difference
4 Security, Hospitality, and Perversion in Muriel Spark’s Robinson
5 Baiting Hospitality
PART III: Opting Out
6 Enantiosemiotic Care in J.M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K.
7 A Dwarf at the Table: Hospitality and the Non-Normate Body in Modern Literature
PART IV: Vulnerability
8 Securing the Nation, Settling Selves: Telling Stories of Refugees and Asylum Seekers
9 Reading Unreadable Lives: Precarity in Ken Barris’s What Kind of Child and Ishtiyaq Shukri’s The Silent Minaret
PART V: Conflicted Communities
10 “This Is Our Splintered City”: Security, Hospitality, and Tourism in Northern Irish Poetry
11 Welcoming the Other: Hospitality and Citizenship in Chinese American Fiction
PART VI: National Security
12 Safe from His Readers: Interpretation as Inhospitality in Cold War America
13 Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host? Cross-Cultural Hospitality and Security Anxieties in Mohsin Hamid’s Novel of Uncertainty
PART VII: Openness
14 The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality
15 Hospitality and Risk Society in Tao Lin’s Taipei
PART VIII: Terror
16 Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland” in Michael Haneke’s Caché
17 Cosmopolitan Testimony: Engaging Radical Alterity on The Road to Guantánamo
List of Contributors
Index

Citation preview

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Security and Hospitality in Literature and Culture

With contributions from an international array of scholars, this volume opens a dialogue between discourses of security and hospitality in modern and contemporary literature and culture. The chapters in the volume span domestic spaces and detention camps, the experience of migration and the phenomena of tourism, interpersonal exchanges and cross-cultural interventions. The volume explores the multifarious ways in which subjects, citizens, communities, and states negotiate the mutual, and potentially exclusive, desires to secure themselves and offer hospitality to others. From the individual’s telephone and data, to the threshold of the family home, to the borders of the nation, sites of securitization confound hospitality’s injunction to openness, gifting, and refuge. In demonstrating an interrelation between ongoing discussions of hospitality and the intensifying attention to security, the book engages with a range of literary, cultural, and geopolitical contexts, drawing on work from other disciplines, including philosophy, political science, and sociology. Further, it defines a new interdisciplinary area of inquiry that resonates with current academic interests in world literature, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism. Jeffrey Clapp is a Lecturer in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. His recent work is available in the journals Textual Practice and Partial Answers. Emily Ridge is a Lecturer in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Her work has been published in Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing, Modernism/Modernity, Textual Practice, and Katherine Mansfield Studies.

Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature

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For a full list of titles in this series, please visit www.routledge.com.

28 The Future of Testimony Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Witnessing Edited by Jane Kilby and Antony Rowland 29 Literature and the Glocal City Reshaping the English Canadian Imaginary Edited by Ana María Fraile-Marcos 30 Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture Post-Millennial Perspectives of the End of the World Edited by Monica Germanà and Aris Mousoutzanis 31 Rethinking Empathy through Literature Edited by Meghan Marie Hammond and Sue J. Kim 32 Music and Identity in Postcolonial British South-Asian Literature Christin Hoene 33 Representations of War, Migration, and Refugeehood Interdisciplinary Perspectives Edited by Daniel H. Rellstab and Christiane Schlote

34 Liminality and the Short Story Boundary Crossings in American, Canadian, and British Writing Edited by Jochen Achilles and Ina Bergmann 35 Asian American Literature and the Environment Edited by Lorna Fitzsimmons, Youngsuk Chae, and Bella Adams 36 Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Terror in Literature and Culture Basuli Deb 37 Children’s Literature, Domestication, and Social Foundation Narratives of Civilization and Wilderness Layla AbdelRahim 38 Singularity and Transnational Poetics Edited by Birgit Mara Kaiser 39 National Poetry, Empires and War David Aberbach 40 Technologies of the Gothic in Literature and Culture Technogothics Edited by Justin D. Edwards

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41 Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities Postcolonial Approaches Edited by Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Jill Didur, and Anthony Carrigan

48 Narrative Theory, Literature, and New Media Narrative Minds and Virtual Worlds Edited by Mari Hatavara, Matti Hyvärinen, Maria Mäkelä, and Frans Mäyrä

42 Theoretical Schools and Circles in the Twentieth-Century Humanities Literary Theory, History, Philosophy Edited by Marina Grishakova and Silvi Salupere

49 Women Writers and the Occult in Literature and Culture Female Lucifers, Priestesses, and Witches Miriam Wallraven

43 Gender, Race, and American Science Fiction Reflections on Fantastic Identities Jason Haslam

50 Technology, Literature, and Digital Culture in Latin America Mediatized Sensibilities in a Globalized Era Edited by Matthew Bush and Tania Gentic

44 Space and the Postmodern Fantastic in Contemporary Literature The Architectural Void Patricia García 45 New Directions in 21st-Century Gothic The Gothic Compass Edited by Lorna Piatti-Farnell and Donna Lee Brien 46 Latin American and Iberian Perspectives on Literature and Medicine Edited by Patricia Novillo-Corvalán 47 Institutions of World Literature Writing, Translation, Markets Edited by Stefan Helgesson and Pieter Vermeulen

51 Race and Popular Fantasy Literature Habits of Whiteness Helen Young 52 Subjectivity and the Reproduction of Imperial Power Empire’s Individuals Daniel F. Silva 53 Ireland and Ecocriticism Literature, History and Environmental Justice Eóin Flannery 54 Security and Hospitality in Literature and Culture Modern and Contemporary Perspectives Edited by Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge

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Security and Hospitality in Literature and Culture Downloaded by [University of California, San Diego] at 22:58 04 May 2017

Modern and Contemporary Perspectives

Edited by Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge

First published 2016 by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 and by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN

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Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2016 Taylor & Francis The right of the editors to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Security and hospitality in literature and culture: modern and contemporary perspectives / edited by Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge. pages cm. — (Routledge interdisciplinary perspectives on literature; 54) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Hospitality in literature. 2. Security (Psychology) I. Clapp, Jeffrey, 1981- editor. II. Ridge, Emily, 1983- editor. PN56.H66S43 2015 809'.93355—dc23 2015019982 ISBN: 978-1-138-91584-8 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-69001-8 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by codeMantra

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Contents

Acknowledgments   1 Introduction: Risking Hospitality

xi 1

J e f f re y C l a p p an d Emily R idge

Part I

Modern Homes   2 “And May these Characters Remain”: W.B. Yeats and Thoor Ballylee’s Vulnerability

19

Ja s o n M. C oats

  3 Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine) in Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage and Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End 35 R eb e cca B owl e r

Part II

Sexual Difference   4 Security, Hospitality, and Perversion in Muriel Spark’s Robinson 53 E mi ly R i d g e

  5 Baiting Hospitality

64

I rina Ari s tarkhova

Part III

Opting Out   6 Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K. 81 Arth u r Ro s e

viii Contents   7 A Dwarf at the Table: Hospitality and the Non-Normate Body in Modern Literature

94

M ica H ilson

Part IV

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Vulnerability   8 Securing the Nation, Settling Selves: Telling Stories of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

111

Tony S imoes da S ilva

  9 Reading Unreadable Lives: Precarity in Ken Barris’s What Kind of Child and Ishtiyaq Shukri’s The Silent Minaret 127 M inesh Dass and M ike M arais

Part V

Conflicted Communities 10 “This Is Our Splintered City”: Security, Hospitality, and Tourism in Northern Irish Poetry

143

Naomi M arklew

11 Welcoming the Other: Hospitality and Citizenship in Chinese American Fiction

159

M elissa L ee

Part VI

National Security 12 Safe from His Readers: Interpretation as Inhospitality in Cold War America

175

J effre y C lapp

13 Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host? Cross-Cultural Hospitality and Security Anxieties in Mohsin Hamid’s Novel of Uncertainty

190

M ichael P erfect

Part VII

Openness 14 The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality J ohannes Voel z

209

Contents  ix 15 Hospitality and Risk Society in Tao Lin’s Taipei 227 B rian W illems

Part VIII

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Terror 16 Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland” in Michael Haneke’s Caché 243 S u sana A raújo

17 Cosmopolitan Testimony: Engaging Radical Alterity on The Road to Guantánamo 258 T erri Tomsk y

List of Contributors 275 Index 281

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Acknowledgments

Lines from “In Belfast,” from Between Here and There by Sinéad Morrissey are reproduced in Chapter 10 by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as Carcanet. Carcenet has also granted further permission for the publication of further lines from There Was Fire in Vancouver and Between Here and There. Leontia Flynn’s Drives, and Profit and Loss, published by Jonathan Cape, are reproduced in the same chapter by permission of the Random House Group Ltd. Both Leontia Flynn and Sinéad Morrissey also granted permission for the publication of excerpts from private interviews, conducted by Naomi Marklew. The editors would like to thank the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, for providing funding and institutional support in carrying out this project. They would also like to thank Chung Hiu Lam Catherine and Collier Nogues for their tireless help with the manuscript.

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1 Introduction Risking Hospitality

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Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge

In his 1943 memoir The World of Yesterday, Stefan Zweig looks back on his youth in prewar Vienna as the “Golden Age of Security.”1 Writing in exile, Zweig gives an account of how a shared sense of private and public stability was shattered by the onslaughts of two World Wars, giving rise to a ­generation that had “long since struck the word ‘security’ from [its] vocabulary as a myth.”2 The World of Yesterday narrates a trajectory from privilege to precarity, against a backdrop of conflict and upheaval. And if for ­Hannah Arendt, Zweig’s trajectory seemed to register more “social h ­ umiliation” than genuine political disenfranchisement, it nonetheless seems iconic of a certain kind of modern and contemporary experience.3 For along with his vision of a stable world, what Zweig seems to have lost is access to hospitality. Such a loss can amount not only to what Arendt denigrates as mere “humiliation” within the social world, with its niceties of etiquette, but also to the loss of legal rights and ultimately to the often desperate situation of the refugee. Such a movement is evident throughout Zweig’s oeuvre. We find, for example, a young woman by the name of Christine, in Zweig’s posthumously published The Post Office Girl (1982),4 who moves, through the hospitality of a wealthy aunt, from a life of drudgery into the fantastical luxury of a resort in the Swiss Alps. On taking up this invitation, Christine is transformed and overwhelmed by her lavish surroundings, realizing happiness for the first time. Her happiness is short-lived, however; when fellow guests discover Christine’s background, her aunt dismisses her in fear that her own lowly origins will also be exposed. Christine’s exclusion cannot be read without taking account of Zweig’s own status as a refugee; The Post Office Girl was likely written at the same time as Zweig was working on The World of Yesterday. Zweig’s experience of modernity, and his prototypically modern writing, reveal that the conjunction of social humiliation and political disenfranchisement constitutes a crisis of security that is also a crisis of hospitality. Citing an old Russian proverb in his memoir, Zweig articulates the “cruel truth for every Jew” that “no one is safe from the beggar’s pack and the jail.”5 In fact, Arendt herself invokes the beggar and his wanderings to understand Zweig’s experience: He considered it unbearably humiliating when the hitherto wealthy and respected citizens of Vienna had to go begging for visas in countries

2  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge

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which only a few weeks before they would have been unable to find on a map. That he himself, only yesterday so famous and welcome a guest in foreign countries, should also belong to this miserable host of the homeless and suspect was simply hell on earth.6 Like Christine, Zweig is a welcome guest who suddenly finds himself ­homeless, undergoing a shift in status from the right to the wrong kind of foreigner, from recognizable subject to unrecognizable stranger. For Zweig, a loss of hospitality goes hand in hand with a loss of recognition, which for Arendt was merely a loss of “fame,” a word she comes back to again and again.7 But Zweig’s loss of fame is simply one aspect or component of the loss of r­ecognition and rights experienced by every refugee. In all cases, social humiliation is bound up with political disenfranchisement; in all cases, social status is tantamount to political representation and legal rights. When ­England declared war against G ­ ermany, it became apparent that Zweig was no longer assured refugee status in England. Because ­Austria had been annexed, E ­ ngland might see Zweig as German: “It seemed unlikely that I would be allowed to sleep in my own bed that night. Again I  had dropped a rung lower, within an hour I was no longer merely a stranger in the land but an ‘enemy alien,’ a hostile foreigner.”8 Trapped in what he calls a “paradox,” Zweig had become recognizable as an enemy, unrecognizable as a subject.9 Stefan Zweig was offered an explicit homage in one of the most popular films of 2014, The Grand Budapest Hotel, directed by Wes Anderson, who has acknowledged his debt to both The World of Yesterday and The Post Office Girl.10 Like Zweig’s novel, Anderson’s film centers on a distinguished alpine hotel, and on its concierge and “lobby boy,” both of whom regard the hotel as an “institution,”11 and who ardently seek to preserve its principled ­hospitality even as Anderson’s lightly fictionalized Nazis begin to destroy Europe. Stopped on a train by roving troops, the two are roughed up, particularly the lobby boy, Zero Moustafa, who is an ­immigrant ­working on a temporary visa. In this way, Anderson appears to use the hotel, and its employees, to reflect upon a “world of yesterday,” one subsumed by ­twentieth-century barbarity. Yet, the film is more than nostalgia, and reviewers have noted that there is something more leveraged and deliberate in this film than in Anderson’s other work.12 In fact, the US Ambassador in Prague, who was consulted on the film, was even able to claim that “hundreds of thousands of people took away [this movie’s] important lessons about tolerance, governance, and the rule of law.”13 But the ­“important lessons” s­ ubmerged in the film are not just pieces of conventional wisdom spoken from a secure ­position. Instead, Anderson has directly asserted the p ­ ertinence, to contemporary events, of Zweig’s painful trajectory from guest to beggar. This becomes particularly clear when we learn that Zero Moustafa is a refugee from an unnamed war in

Introduction  3 the Middle East. In an unrelated fit of pique, M. Gustave, the concierge, turns on Zero, his protégé: could have possessed you to leave the homeland where you very obviously belong and travel unspeakable distances to become a penniless immigrant in a refined, highly cultivated society that, quite frankly, could have gotten along very well without you?

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M. Gustave: What

[…] Zero:  Well

you see, my father was murdered. And the rest of my family were executed by firing squad. Our village was burned to the ground and those who managed to survive were forced to flee. … I left because of the war. M. Gustave:  I see. … so you’re actually really more of a refugee in that sense. … I suppose I better take back everything I just said. What a bloody idiot I am. … This is disgraceful, and it’s beneath the standards of the Grand Budapest. … I’m so sorry, Zero.14 What Anderson stages, between M. Gustave and Zero Moustafa, is the transition from one form of foreignness to another, from one kind of recognizability to another, from one “rung,” to use Zweig’s term, to another. Where M. ­Gustave, who represents an ethos of sincere, if sniffy, European hospitality, stands to lose his position at a venerable institution because of the war, Zero has already lost everything—the fact is encoded in his name. We should ask, though, why we are looking, in 2014, at a boy whose family is said to have been slain in an unnamed “desert uprising.” In this film, set against the b ­ ackdrop of the Second World War—and, therefore, of course, against the backdrop of the camps—Zero is a presence from the present, an insistent reminder that the relationship between security and hospitality, between recognition and nonrecognition, between the foreigner as honored guest and the foreigner as hostile barbarian, is playing out just as momentously in our time, as it did in Zweig’s. For Anderson, as for many of the contributors to this volume, it seems that modern and contemporary literature and culture offer views of a singularly disastrous encounter between forces of security and forms of hospitality. Where Zweig lived in a world in which security and hospitality seemed conjoined, we have now arrived at one in which they seem to contest one another. Where for Zweig, security was safety, for Anderson, security has become ­violence. The chapters in this collection explore the transformations and idioms of security as questions of personal, national, and global hospitality.

Approaching Hospitality The flourishing discourse around the concept of hospitality can offer cultural critics a point of access to understanding these transformations in the meanings of security. Critical interest in hospitality as a concept was

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4  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge initiated among French scholars in the 1990s in the context of contemporary ­discussions of illegal immigration in France (in particular, the Sans-Papiers ­movement).15 However, the currency of hospitality as a topic in the humanities in recent years derives primarily from Jacques Derrida’s ­revivification of the subject, principally in Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas (1999), ­“Hostipitality” (2000), Of Hospitality (2000), and On C ­ osmopolitanism and Forgiveness (2001). A number of the contributors to this volume have taken these texts as reference points, drawing particular attention to Derrida’s distinctions between conditional and absolute forms of hospitality as well as between the recognizable “foreigner” and the “anonymous new arrival,” categories both Zweig and Anderson can be seen to negotiate.16 Others have taken up Derrida’s response to the work of Émile Benveniste, in relation to the etymological ambivalence of the concepts of “host” and “hospitality.”17 ­Derrida’s essay “Hostipitality” constitutes an analysis of a single passage on the relation between “cosmopolitan right” and “universal hospitality” from Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace (1795), another key reference point in this volume. In the passage, Kant defines hospitality as the “right every stranger has of not being treated as an enemy in the country in which he arrives.”18 For Derrida, hospitality places us not only in the ethical realm but also “in the space of right, not of morality or politics or anything else but as a right determined in its relation to citizenship, the state, the subject of the state, even if it is a world state.”19 In conjoining these seemingly disparate elements of the worldly and the interpersonal, his work has opened up a fertile area of research for literary critical and cultural theorists, a development Judith Still has referred to as a “renaissance” in her 2010 appraisal of his contribution, Derrida and Hospitality.20 Ethical and political facets of hospitality have since been treated, individually or together, from a number of more specific angles in the humanities as well as the social and political sciences. In 2001’s Postcolonial ­Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest, Mireille Rosello furthered the work both of ­Derrida and his French predecessors through probing the often ambiguous historical and theoretical alignments between discourses of hospitality and immigration. According to Rosello, the “vision of the immigrant as guest is a metaphor that has forgotten that it is a metaphor,”21 in that the immigrant figure is placed in a position of dependence on arbitrary beneficence rather than legal right. Similar lines of inquiry on hospitality as a question of global relations and transnational movements have been undertaken by ­Jennie Germann Molz and Sarah Gibson, editors of Mobilizing Hospitality: The Ethics of Social Relations in a Mobile World (2007), Allison J­ effers, author of Refugees, Theatre and Crisis: Performing Global Identities (2011), and, most recently, Gideon Baker, author of Politicizing Ethics in International Relations: Cosmopolitanism as Hospitality (2011) and editor of Hospitality and World Politics (2013). Other scholars have sought to address hospitality through the interpersonal encounter, in the tradition of Emmanuel Levinas, with a particular

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Introduction  5 emphasis on gender issues. Taking the religious connotations of the term as her starting point, Tracy McNulty, for example, hones in on the female figure of hospitality in The Hostess: Hospitality, Femininity, and the ­Expropriation of Identity (2007). While drawing attention to misogynistic renderings in literature, she posits the hostess as an important figure of difference who contests the “autonomy of the host by giving voice to the alterity within personhood, functioning as the internal marking of the Other.”22 More recent discussions from Irina Aristarkhova (a contributor to this volume) and Luce Irigaray have sought to redirect attention to the maternal form as a crucial, and often misunderstood, emblem of generative hospitality. Aristarkhova mounts a critique of idealized associations of hospitality with femininity in Hospitality of the Matrix: Philosophy, Biomedicine and Culture (2012), attempting to restore the “materiality of actual women.”23 Irigaray, in S­ haring the World (2008), uses gender as a basis for a broader exploration of the irreducibility of an otherness that should be respectfully embraced rather than overcome. These gender-oriented studies spotlight interpersonal and domestic interactions alongside more political or industry-related understandings of the term. Another cluster of studies has treated hospitality within literary criticism. Key works include Romantic Hospitality and the Resistance to ­Accommodation (2007) by Peter Melville and Secretary of the Invisible: The Idea of ­Hospitality in the Fiction of J. M. Coetzee (2009) by Mike Marais, who has also contributed to the present volume. Literary criticism around hospitality has accelerated in recent years, with two literary critical monographs appearing in 2012: Rachel Hollander’s Narrative ­Hospitality in Late ­Victorian ­Fiction: Novel Ethics and Luke Thurston’s Literary Ghosts from the Victorians to Modernism. The year 2014 saw the publication of James A.W. ­Heffernan’s general account, Hospitality and Treachery in Western ­Literature. These literary critical works mobilize many of the topics and issues that have emerged in more philosophical accounts of the concept. Many of these scholars approach hospitality as a framework within which a range of writers probe ethical problems, from questions of trust to alterity (for example, Heffernan, Hollander, and Melville), whereas some are also interested in the aesthetic dimension, not least the presentation of the text itself as a site of hospitality or inhospitality (for example, Marais and Thurston). Of course, questions of politics, ethics, and aesthetics cannot so easily be cordoned off one from the other into mutually exclusive dimensions of hospitality. One recent volume of essays, edited by Thomas Claviez, The ­Conditions of Hospitality: Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible (2013), has activated an interdisciplinary dialogue. H ­ ospitality is, in itself, a concept that foregrounds exchange, whether benevolent or hostile. As Claviez notes: “To think together mutual dependency and radical alterity, reciprocity and irreciprocity, justice and the law—all of which characterize the relationship between … binaries—is exactly what any encounter

6  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge with an other (or Other) will always require us to do.”24 The current volume also seeks to interrelate political, ethical, and aesthetic aspects of hospitality in the contexts of security and security culture.

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Approaching Security J. Peter Burgess has recently suggested that, in the contemporary world, “the subject in general is always a subject of security,” and security talk has certainly become ubiquitous, heightened by the War on Terror, massive refugee movements, and the possibilities of new information technologies.25 In concert with these public and political discourses, the field of “security studies” has continued to experience meteoric growth within political science and international studies, and has rapidly forged interdisciplinary linkages with other domains of the human and social sciences. For all these reasons, there is now a decided impulse to reassess the meanings of security in the theoretical, literary, and cultural fields.26 This volume contributes to that effort by choosing to explore the conjunction of security discourses, with the politics, ethics, and aesthetics of hospitality. Many commentators, including some of the authors in this collection, have theorized security by returning to the suggestive analysis begun by Michel Foucault in his 1978 lectures at the Collège de France. In these lectures, Foucault began to inaugurate a useful distinction between his previous assessments of the dispositifs of sovereignty and of discipline, and to develop security as a major third element in his genealogy of modernity. For ­Foucault, security is to be tied first to figures of circulation and movement, and then to the aleatory, to the assessment of risk. Although Foucault did not finally make security a central term in his later thought (turning, instead, to analyses of liberalism and governmentality), his brief analysis of security has nonetheless become more and more influential—as in, for example, Louise Amoore’s The Politics of Possibility: Risk and Security beyond P ­ robability (2013) and Michael Dillon’s Biopolitics of Security: A ­Political Analytic of Finitude (2015).27 Moreover, Foucault’s analysis can help us understand certain apparent paradoxes in contemporary securitization practice. For example, borders across the globe are becoming—in certain ways and for certain populations—more and more difficult to cross, but it is also true that more and more people are crossing them all the time. Other areas show similar patterns: massive industries revolving around network privacy and anonymization have been established, but more information flows than ever before. Thus the modern and contemporary worlds can be characterized by the recurrence of a certain figure of securitization: Continual motion and traffic governed by prediction, prevention, and analysis of risk. From credit card applications to airplane boarding procedures to border management, risk worlds have come to function as what Amoore calls “proxy forms of sovereignty,”28 making and unmaking subjects and communities, and forms of life, on the basis of calculations and analysis intended to secure the future.29

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Introduction  7 But the deployment of concepts such as futurity, circulation, or risk is only one set of resources for understanding modern and contemporary security practices. In fact, following Giorgio Agamben, in works including Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1998) and State of Exception (2005), a discourse of the camp, linking Auschwitz to Guantánamo, has increasingly tied modern and contemporary securitizations together under the rubric of violent dehumanization. In this discourse, modern and contemporary security practices hardly seem like transformations or alternatives to earlier forms of sovereignty, but instead intensify and perpetuate the use of force against life. Unsurprisingly, such processes tend to operate along established lines that define the boundaries of the human in discriminatory ways—as for example, race, gender, or ability. Multiple contributors to this collection, therefore, address securitization primarily as a kind of exclusionary violence.30 In this context, Judith Butler’s recent work, particularly ­Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (2004) and Frames of War: What Makes Life Grievable? (2009), has offered many c­ ommentators, ­including some contributors to this volume, a powerful point of departure for a critique of security culture. Finally, there are important—even dominant—dimensions of modern and contemporary security and security studies that do not primarily proceed as critiques. Security has come to play a crucial role in human rights and development discourses, which remain resources for resisting statist and paramilitary violence and ensuring access to sources of life such as water, food, and medical care. In general, this is the idiom of “human security,”31 and, despite caveats and balancing acts, there is a wide swath of writing, including some essays in this volume, which read security primarily as a legitimate end of social action and modern and contemporary thought. This exceedingly broad set of trends in the meaning and history of security is aptly spanned by two very different books published in 2013: Paul Amar’s The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism, and John T. Hamilton’s Security: Politics, Humanity, and the Philology of Care. Hamilton’s approach to the concept of security isolates the “care” at the heart of the concept, and suggests that the deliberations of philology may “slacken the pace that fuels ideological designs.”32 He offers a profound insight into the inherent vulnerability of the human animal, arguing that while this vulnerability can only be eliminated at the cost of humanity itself, we cannot by any means cease to care for our own security and that of others. Approaching the matter with an entirely different array of disciplinary ideas and methods, Paul Amar shows that the distinctive feature of developments in the Global South is the emergence of a human-security consensus that maps together such disparate actors and processes as international peace movements, security governance, community policing, and counterinsurgency. For Amar, as for Hamilton, the goal is not to protect people simply by countering a hysterical securitization, but to ensure that “the transformation of global governance … [is now] debated

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8  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge in the complex and ambivalent language of human security.”33 Though they represent very different disciplines and discourses, both Hamilton and Amar converge on the claim that security has moved directly to the center of what it means to be human in the modern and contemporary periods. The points of view represented by writers such as Foucault, Agamben, Butler, Hamilton, and Amar represent a field of inquiry that lacks boundaries but that is suffused with urgency. In this collection, we hope to cross the emerging field of security in one way, along a certain path, by asking of the modern and contemporary cultures of security what they know, what they remember, or how they dream, of hospitality.

Security and Hospitality in Dialogue This volume mobilizes the energetic and ongoing discussion of hospitality’s paradoxes and injunctions to assess modern and contemporary experiences of securitization. The volume’s chapters span interpersonal exchanges and cross-cultural interventions, domestic spaces and detention camps, the perspective of the migrant and the gaze of the tourist. The overarching aim is to explore the multifarious ways in which subjects, citizens, communities, and states negotiate the mutual, and potentially exclusive, desires to secure themselves and offer hospitality to others. As the collection has developed, it has become clear that our contributions are best understood not within a handful of overarching categories, but instead as tightly related pairs of chapters. In the table of contents, we have offered a word or two to describe each pair; below, we briefly summarize them, suggesting how the pairs fit together and how the volume develops. These paragraphs hardly encapsulate the many ways in which the chapters speak to one another, but they may define directions for future research. Ultimately the goal of all this work is to counter certain developments, and to voice certain reminders, in line with Judith Butler’s observation in the wake of September 11: One insight that injury affords is that there are others out there on whom my life depends, people I do not know and may never know. This fundamental dependency on anonymous others is not a condition that I can will away. No security measure will foreclose this dependency; no violent act of sovereignty will rid the world of this fact.34 When we are injured—that is, when insecurity arrives as a reality rather than as a perception of threat—then we are in a certain sense alone, in the solitude of pain. Yet injury also shows that we depend upon one another. This process is immutable, intrinsic to life at every level. Butler’s statement is true of the insurance agent and her client, true of the military and its citizenry, true of the host and the guest. Human life is suffused with interdependency, a depending that operates across anonymity and into the unknown.

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Introduction  9 The idea of the unknown is one central point at which hospitality and security converge, so much so that a certain lack of knowledge is at the core of, or even constitutive of, both concepts. Indeed, the most comprehensive way to conceptualize this collection as a whole is to note that security and hospitality share an imperative of selfeffacement. This imperative appears at each end of a spectrum extending from openness to closure. On one side, hospitality articulates a drive toward absolute openness and defeats itself in that process (because to open oneself up absolutely to the other is to eliminate the differentiation between host and guest). On the other side, the concept of security articulates a drive toward absolute closure and defeats itself in that process (because to attempt to close completely is to become increasingly terrified of all that is unknown). In practice, and in the chapters that follow, these two concepts seem to merge into one, somewhere between figures of closure and figures of openness: A conditional, qualified hospitality is, in effect, a security system, whereas any practicable system of security must allow a certain hospitable openness in order to function at all. It is possible to think of individual chapters in this collection as descriptions of various positions along this spectrum, whereas the volume as a whole allows a critical perspective on the parameters of the security–hospitality nexus itself. This collection begins with rereadings of the archetypal scene of safety and hospitality: The home. Jason Coats discusses Yeats’s acquisition and renovation of the tower, Thoor Ballylee, that plays an important role in Yeats’s late poetry. Coats shows that, far from symbolizing poetic mastery, the tower instead appears in Yeats as an opening, a form of vulnerability that Coats reads as paradigmatically hospitable, despite the very real dangers that Yeats endured at Thoor Ballylee at a time of civil strife and military unrest. Yeats’s images of the tower evince chipped masonry as opposed to stone walls, courtesy to all comers as opposed to fearful retrenchment, and, rather than patriarchal lineage, a logic of temporary residency. The itinerant wanderings of two modernist characters—Miriam Henderson in Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage and Christopher Tietjens in Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End—offer the point of departure for Rebecca Bowler’s chapter. Nonetheless, like Yeats, the two characters enjoy certain vicarious forms of domestic security. Rejecting rooted forms of residence for themselves, these characters negotiate their freedom from, and nostalgia for, home—a process that plays out differently for male and female guests. The following section foregrounds these differences more prominently, excavating the gendered logics at play in any discussion of the security–­ hospitality interrelation. For Irina Aristarkhova, this entails reading the recent Brides on Tour art project by Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro through the lens of foundational stories of hospitality in the Abrahamic tradition, stories in which women serve as gift-objects rather than subjects. The ­project, which involved the two artists hitchhiking from Italy to Tel Aviv in white bridal dresses, ended tragically when Pippa Bacca was brutally murdered by

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10  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge one of the drivers who offered her a ride. Through the idea of the “bait,” Aristarkhova shows that Bacca abandoned security and embraced the lure of unconditional hospitality, and further considers how Bacca’s death exposes enduring figures of sexual difference in longstanding conceptualizations of hospitality. Emily Ridge is equally interested in the figure of the woman as a disruptive force in a tradition of hospitality that associates hosting, within a structure of conditional hospitality, with a form of patriarchal mastery that is relentless in its pursuit of security. Ridge looks at Muriel Spark’s ­Robinson, a pointed re-conception of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, which features a desert-island host beleaguered by three castaway guests—not least among them, a woman. In Spark, the Crusoe-figure ultimately relinquishes his hospitable role, and the gendered expectations that go along with it, in an act of ambiguous, and even perverse, withdrawal. The section to follow looks more closely at forms of “opting out” of the security and hospitality of the home. Arthur Rose is concerned with the paradoxical meanings of “care,” as they play out in J. M. Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K. Positing care as an important point of connection between concepts of security and hospitality, Rose traces a shift away from a proprietorial approach toward an ecology of care figured through the trope of gardening. Through gardening, Michael K. escapes not only the strictures of the state’s carceral securitization, but also the strictures of charity. Mica Hilson’s chapter presents a yet more radical form of rejection, noting that in modern and contemporary novels centered on dwarves or little people, one of the archetypal scenes of hospitable reception, the family dining table, tends to become a space of exclusion and mockery. Not only are these individuals regarded as security risks, insofar as they endanger normative orders, but Hilson finds that expectations of hospitality present a real threat to non-normate individuals, for whom hospitality can become hazardous. One answer, on offer in Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child (1988), is an alternative ethic, an ethic of squatting, in which security is achieved by a move away from the hierarchies of the table. The theme of marginalization continues into the next section through two investigations of vulnerability. Tony Simoes da Silva hones in on the figure of the refugee in two recent novels, Caroline Brother’s Hinterland and Chris Cleave’s Little Bee. Da Silva shows that both novelists respond to the wider tendency to figure refugees in reductively bureaucratic or stereotypical language by rendering the refugee characters in their novels as complex human subjects, both vulnerable and resilient. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, the chapter by Minesh Dass and Mike Marais takes a somewhat different tack, proposing that the precarious lives in the novels they discuss—Ken Barris’s What Kind of Child and Ishtiyak Shukri’s The Silent Minaret—challenge the reader’s interpretive capacity in the face of the unrecognizable. Further, in positioning their readers at a privileged remove from precarious subjects, these novels implicate the reader in the subaltern sufferings of those subjects. Highlighting an uncomfortable link between

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Introduction  11 reading and securitization, Dass and Marais offer the possibility of an alternative mode of reading, a radical hospitality that would render the reader vulnerable to an encounter with alterity. Following these discussions of the divide between privileged readers and precarious characters, the next section moves more emphatically into an arena of conflict within particular communities. Naomi Marklew’s subject is the “dark tourism” explored in recent Northern Irish poetry. Surveying a range of poems by Leontia Flynn and Sinéad Morrissey, she examines their complex responses to the development of a tourism industry based directly on Northern Ireland’s troubled history of sectarian violence. The persistence of tensions, despite the apparent culture of capitalist consensus, is also at the heart of Melissa Lee’s chapter about contemporary transnational C ­ hinese fiction, especially the work of Ha Jin. In particular, for Lee, Chinese ­writers in North America have been mapping the affects and meanings of successful citizenship applications. But what happens after the long struggle for citizenship has ended? In front of these new citizens lies a whole train of demands—linguistic, economic, and otherwise—for assimilation into national communities. Placing these demands for assimilation in the context of Derrida’s reading of the figure of the foreigner, Lee shows that the state’s citizenship mechanism can also act as a form of securitization—one that protects the state by eliminating differences within it. National security panics are among the most significant challenges to the idea of the nation as host. Jeffrey Clapp shows how the security efforts undertaken by antisubversion investigators in the United States in the 1950s allow for an exploration of the ways in which disciplinary formations and security logics have worked together to produce national security. Much as citizens found themselves trying to withhold information from the prying eye of the state, Vladimir Nabokov constructed novels that withhold information from the reader and that explore the same nexus of interpretation, information, and security which formed the legal and philosophical core of the postwar Red Scare. Michael Perfect examines The Reluctant ­Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, which ends with the surprising d ­ isclosure that its narrator, Changez, and his American interlocutor, may be playing out the game of US national security between them, even as they hospitably chat and drink tea in Lahore. For Perfect, Hamid’s novel emphasizes the dangerous aggrandization of US homeland security in the post–9/11 period and shows how hospitality itself may have come to function as a dimension of the state’s security apparatus. Where the fictions of both Nabokov and Hamid seem guarded or even encrypted, Johannes Voelz and Brian Willems examine contemporary literature structured around gestures of openness and disclosure. Reading texts that cross the threshold between fiction and autobiography, from authors such as Karl Ove Knausgaard and Miranda July, Voelz suggests that the notable preoccupation with sincerity in contemporary writing often depends on “reality effects” that are the result of refusing to distinguish between

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12  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge what is trivial and what is important, or between what is decent and what is shameful. The widespread “New Sincerity” in literature, he argues, is a form of written hospitality that implicitly cautions us against accepting the idea that security is only a technique of power. For Willems, similarly, the texts of Tao Lin, particularly Taipei, represent a throwing-open of the barriers between author and reader, and between autobiography and fiction. In what Ulrich Beck has described as our global “risk society,” it is usually impossible to avoid making the kinds of calculations made by actuaries or technocrats. But Lin, Willems shows, pursues a strategy not of risk management, but instead of an acceptance of the unanticipated centered on an ethics of absolute disclosure. In a way, the urgency of this collection can be signaled by the contrast between the chapters by Voelz and Willems and the concluding pair by Susana Araújo and Terri Tomsky. Where Voelz and Willems track strategies of radical openness, reading these as practices of hospitality that increase human security, Susana Araújo shows how Michael Haneke’s film Caché plumbs the present intensification, and long historical genealogy, of i­nhospitality. In Caché, Araújo argues, Haneke writes together multiple inhospitalities: First, a tragic day in the history of France’s colonialization of Algeria, then, a family trapped in their bourgeois fortress, even as it is ambiguously menaced, and finally, the ongoing import and export, particularly between the United States and Europe, of anti-immigration practices and antiterrorism r­ hetoric. Finally, Terri Tomsky’s chapter brings the collection to a close, arguing that the pursuit of the War on Terror has categorically traduced regimes and discourses of hospitality. In Michael Winterbottom’s docudrama The Road to ­Guantánamo, Tomsky finds a representation that refuses to accept the state’s silence about its torture and indefinite detention of terrorism suspects. For Tomsky, ­ ­ Winterbottom’s docudrama surpasses the merely journalistic, honoring and representing the faces of radically dehumanized individuals, and building a new kind of cosmopolitanism, by establishing a network of viewer-activists who consume and produce what Tomsky terms ­“cosmopolitan testimony.” The final frame of the trailer for The Road to Guantánamo poses a question that provides a motive force for this collection as a whole: “How far will we go in the name of security?” The chapters in this collection answer that question with others: in an era of security, has hospitality been risked— that is, subjected to calculations and limits that make it meaningless? How much has been risked, how much do we risk, how much can we risk, in the name of hospitality?

Notes 1. Zweig, The World of Yesterday, 13. 2. Ibid., 15. 3. Arendt, The Jewish Writings, 318.

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Introduction  13 4. Zweig’s The Post Office Girl was written during the 1930s and only discovered upon the author’s death. It was first published in German in 1982 and then translated into English in 2009. 5. Zweig, The World of Yesterday, 319. 6. Arendt, The Jewish Writings, 318. 7. Ibid., 317, 319, 325, 326, 327, 328. 8. Zweig, The World of Yesterday, 326. 9. Ibid. 10. Anderson, “‘I Stole From Stefan Zweig.’” 11. Anderson, The Grand Budapest. All quotations are our own transcriptions from the film. 12. See, among others, Levitz, “Up in the Old Hotel.” 13. Eisen, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” 14. Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel. 15. See, for example, Schérer, Zeus Hospitalier; Gotman, “La Question de l’hospitalité aujourd’hui”; Fassin, Morice, and Quiminal, eds., Les Lois de l’Inhospitalité. 16. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 23–25. 17. Derrida’s reference point in his etymological analysis of “hospitality” was ­Benveniste’s Indo-European Languages and Society. 18. Kant, Perpetual Peace, 35–36. 19. Derrida, “Hostipitality,” 3. 20. Still, Derrida and Hospitality, 3. 21. Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality, 3. 22. McNulty, The Hostess, 25. 23. Aristarkhova, Hospitality of the Matrix, 39. 24. Claviez, The Conditions of Hospitality, 3. 25. Burgess, The Ethical Subject of Security, 1. 26. Two contributors to this volume have edited journal issues focused on security. See Araújo and Martins, eds., “(In)securities,” Reconstruction 12, no. 3 (2012) and Berman and Voelz, eds., “Security and Liberalism,” TELOS 170 (Spring 2015). 27. See Dillon and Neal, eds. Foucault on Politics, Security, and War, for a crucial set of discussions about how Foucault’s thought approached and turned upon, or against, the analytic of security. 28. Amoore, The Politics of Possibility, 3. 29. Ulrich Beck’s theorization of the concept of “risk society,” in Risk Society (1992) through World at Risk (2008), offers a related assessment of the widespread internalization of the logic of risk, from corporate governance to war-­making. For similar assessments specific to the War on Terror, see Richard Grusin, ­Premediation (2010) and Joseph Masco, The Theater of Operations (2014). 30. In general, the discourse of “critical security studies” begins from this point of view. See also Mark Neocleous, Critique of Security (2008) for a substantial critique of several idioms of security studies. 31. See, among many, Mark Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of Development and Security (2001), and Mary Kaldor, Human ­Security (2007). 32. Hamilton, Security, 12. 33. Amar, The Security Archipelago, 23. 34. Butler, Precarious Life, xii.

14  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge

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Bibliography Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Translated by ­Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998. Agamben, Giorgio. State of Exception. Translated by Kevin Attell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. Amar, Paul. The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism. Raleigh, NC: Duke University Press, 2013. Amoore, Louise. The Politics of Possibility: Risk and Security beyond Probability. Raleigh, NC: Duke University Press, 2013. Anderson, Wes. The Grand Budapest Hotel. Los Angeles: 20th Century Fox, 2014. DVD. Anderson, Wes. “‘I Stole from Stefan Zweig’: Wes Anderson on the Author Who Inspired His Latest Movie.” Interview by George Prochnik. The Telegraph, March 8, 2014. Accessed April 28, 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/ film/10684250/I-stole-from-Stefan-Zweig-Wes-Anderson-on-the-author-whoinspired-his-latest-movie.html. Araújo, Susana, and Susana S. Martins, eds. “(In)securities,” Reconstruction 12, no. 3 (2012), http://reconstruction.eserver.org/Issues/123/Araujo-Martins.shtml. Arendt, Hannah. The Jewish Writings. Edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron H. Feldman. New York: Schocken Books, 2007. Aristarkhova, Irina. Hospitality of the Matrix: Philosophy, Biomedicine, and ­Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Baker, Gideon, ed. Hospitality and World Politics. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave ­Macmillan, 2013. Baker, Gideon, ed. Politicizing Ethics in International Relations: Cosmopolitanism as Hospitality. London: Routledge, 2011. Beck, Ulrich. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage, 1992. Beck, Ulrich. World at Risk. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2009. Benveniste, Émile. Indo-European Language and Society. Translated by Elizabeth Palmer. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, 1973. Berman, Russell, and Johannes Voelz, eds. “Security and Liberalism.” TELOS 170 (Spring 2015). Burgess, J. P. The Ethical Subject of Security: Geopolitical Reason and the Threat against Europe. London: Routledge, 2013. Butler, Judith. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso, 2004. Butler, Judith. Frames of War: What Makes Life Grievable? London: Verso, 2009. Claviez, Thomas, ed. The Conditions of Hospitality: Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible. New York: Fordham University Press, 2013. Derrida, Jacques. Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas. Translated by Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999. Derrida, Jacques. “Hostipitality.” Translated by Barry Stocker and Forbes Morlock. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 5, no. 3 (2000): 3–18. Derrida, Jacques. On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness. New York: Routledge, 2001. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.

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Introduction  15 Dillon, Michael. Biopolitics of Security: A Political Analytic of Finitude. New York: Routledge, 2015. Dillon, Michael, and Andrew W. Neal, eds. Foucault on Politics, Security, and War. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Duffield, Mark. Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of D ­ evelopment and Security. London: Zed Books, 2001. Eisen, Norman L. “The Grand Budapest Hotel Is a Thoughtful C ­ omedy about Tragedy.” The Atlantic, February 20, 2015. Accessed April 20, 2015, http://www. theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/02/how-grand-budapest-hotel-paystribute-to-the-holocaust/385264. Fassin, Didier, Alain Morice, and Catherine Quiminal, eds. Les Lois de l’Inhospitalité: Les Lois Politiques de l’immigration à l’épreuve des sans-papiers. Paris: La Découverte, 1997. Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977– 1978. Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Foucault, Michel. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–1978. Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Gotman, Anne. “La Question de l’hospitalité aujourd’hui.” Communications 65 (1997): 5–19. Grusin, Richard. Premediation: Affect and Mediality after 9/11. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Hamilton, John T. Security: Politics, Humanity, and the Philology of Care. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013. Heffernan, James A. W. Hospitality and Treachery in Western Literature. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014. Hollander, Rachel. Narrative Hospitality in Late Victorian Fiction: Novel Ethics. New York: Routledge, 2013. Irigaray, Luce. Sharing the World. London: Continuum, 2008. Jeffers, Alison. Refugees, Theatre and Crisis: Performing Global Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Kaldor, Mary. Human Security. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2007. Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace. San Diego: The Book Tree, 2009. Levinas, Emmanuel. Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Translated by Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1989. Levitz, Eric. “Up in the Old Hotel: The Hidden Meaning of Wes Anderson’s Nostalgia.” Salon April 3, 2014. Accessed April 25, 2015. http://www.salon.com/2014/04/02/ up_in_the_old_hotel_the_hidden_meaning_of_wes_andersons_nostalgia/. Marais, Mike. Secretary of the Invisible: The Idea of Hospitality in the Fiction of J. M. Coetzee. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Rodopi, 2009. Masco, Joseph. The Theater of Operations: National Security Affect from the Cold War to the War on Terror. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014. McNulty, Tracy. The Hostess: Hospitality, Femininity and the Expropriation of Identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. Melville, Peter. Romantic Hospitality and the Resistance to Accommodation. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007. Molz, Jennie Germann, and Sarah Gibson, eds. Mobilizing Hospitality: The Ethics of Social Relations in a Mobile World. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate, 2007.

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16  Jeffrey Clapp and Emily Ridge Neocleous, Mark. Critique of Security. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2008. Rosello, Mireille. Postcolonial Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. Schérer, René. Zeus Hospitalier: Eloge de l’hospitalier. Paris: Armand Colin, 1993. Still, Judith. Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010. Thurston, Luke. Literary Ghosts from the Victorians to Modernism. New York: Routledge, 2012. Zweig, Stefan. The Post Office Girl. Translated by Joel Rotenberg. London, Sort Of Books, 2009. Zweig, Stefan. The World of Yesterday: An Autobiography. London: Cassell and Company, 1943.

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Part I

Modern Homes

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2 “And May these Characters Remain”

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W. B. Yeats and Thoor Ballylee’s Vulnerability Jason M. Coats*

In 1917, W. B. Yeats purchased Ballylee Castle for 35 pounds from the colonial Congested Districts Board, renovated it over the course of three years, and renamed it Thoor Ballylee. At this point in his career, Yeats had arrived at a measure of financial security and literary success. The tower features in a group of late poems having to do with observations about aesthetic legacies, diagnoses of current cultural decline, and prognostications about the future of an independent Ireland. “To Be Carved on a Stone at Thoor Ballylee” supplies the quotation in this chapter’s title; it now can be found etched in slate outside Yeats’s former home. In this poem, as Seamus Heaney has remarked, Yeats romanticizes Thoor Ballylee’s renovations as if it were completely novel, or even epic, to buy and refurbish a home.1 He also announces his presence in sparsely populated County Galway, a somewhat surprising location, considering how his career to that point had been split between the urban centers of Dublin and London. The poem also gestures toward fixity and perseverance, despite forecasting the eventual ruin of this and every other seemingly impressive structure. All of his work on the tower, which also represents Yeats’s efforts on behalf of the Irish Literary Revival and nationalist politics, would eventually crumble. Still, he invokes the assistance of poetry to ensure that “these characters remain,” indefinitely and indelibly—both the letters and the persona of the poet who wrote them.2 Ballylee Castle had fallen into disrepair since its days as an Anglo-­ Norman fortification, built to help suppress the local population. But like many structures in Ireland, the tower has a complex lineage of multiple valences and competing claims. The Ballylee countryside had ancestrally belonged to the Gregory family, whose Big House manor of Coole Park abuts the tower’s valley in nearby Kiltartan.3 Yeats’s friend and playwriting colleague in the Abbey Theater, Augusta Gregory, had issued a standing invitation to Yeats to summer at Coole, which for years had been a prominent setting for his poetry. His purchase of the tower cemented his intellectual and political allegiance with his friend, for both were Irish Protestants who ­supported the aristocratic Ascendancy. But the tower had also once belonged to the C ­ atholic, nineteenth-century, Irish-language poet Anthony Raftery, and claiming Thoor Ballylee as Yeats’s own also meant

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20  Jason M. Coats adding himself to a company of Irish poets whose authentic cultural identity was undeniable; County ­Galway was then, as it is now, the region of Ireland with the highest percentage of Irish-language speakers. The symbolic capital of Thoor Ballylee afforded Yeats a phallic trope for arrival, virility, and sagacity. His purchase of the tower and self-reflexive posturing as its owner have often been read as gestures of self-confidence, or even of braggadocio. For example, Jonathan Allison hears the “grand declarative gesture” in the tower poems, an attempt to absorb Irishness, poetry, history, and the folkloric tradition into the tower’s symbolic ­capital.4 Other recent studies have concentrated on Yeats’s use of Thoor B ­ allylee to dramatize his turn away from the violence of the nationalist cause to the domestic,5 or away from revolutionary politics toward the arcane and obscure.6 Or, as Edna Longley and Marjorie Howes have emphasized, by creating a tenuous connection between Thoor Ballylee and neighboring Coole Park, the tower poems record an elegiac paean for the Ascendancy and its Big House tradition of genteel ease.7 But all such readings assume that Yeats’s purchase afforded him security enough to manage the risk inherent in the impending break with England, and the subsequent strife between Catholics and Protestants. This may stem from readers’ assumption that it was possible for Yeats to distance himself and his family from war in order to study the occult, or because of a critical desire to see defensive tropes used in poems like “A Prayer for my Daughter” as rear-guard actions against gender equality, the decline of the Ascendancy, and the inevitable changes wrought by modernity.8 Ultimately, however, Yeats’s ambiguous descriptions of the tower’s battlements are too often interpreted as the lament of the privileged against encroachment by the underprivileged rather than as representations of a very real, physically embattled vulnerability. In the poems written during the years the Yeats family summered in ­Ballylee (collected in Michael Robartes and the Dancer [1921], The Tower [1928] and The Winding Stair and Other Poems [1933]), the tower is alternately praised and blamed as a comfortable house or a drafty sieve for the howling wind. However, this fragile domesticity is decidedly threatened in “Meditations in Time of Civil War,” a poetic sequence anchored centrally in The Tower (although written during the first summer of the Irish Civil War of 1922–1923). Both Yeats and his neighbor Lady Gregory found themselves in the midst of fighting between those who supported, and those who rejected, the Free State treaty that won a form of independence from ­England. There are, of course, many differences between a four-storey tower with 7-foot-thick stone walls and an unfortified Big House replete with servants and comforts, and since each could conceivably have been targets of the IRA’s Catholic soldiers (the so-called Irregulars), Yeats’s new home may seem the better option. But although a tower might seem a good place to hole up and secure oneself against the unforeseen, the danger was much more immediate, and the protection Thoor Ballylee offered far less formidable, than might be supposed.

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“And May these Characters Remain”  21 Yeats’s presence within the tower during the Civil War presents several prescient continuities with contemporary security discourses, especially those having to do with randomness, mobility, and surveillance. Both sides of the Civil War, taking their cues perhaps from the conflict of two years prior, the Anglo-Irish War of 1920–1921, operated via random assault and unspecific reprisals. Anyone could be targeted at any time, and indeed one wouldn’t need to be targeted to be killed—Thoor Ballylee’s windows were shot out several times by errant bullets during the war.9 Physically, the tower provided Yeats little security. It was drafty and remote, which exacerbated the symptoms of his declining health to the extent that he was obliged to leave in the winter. And although the conflict may have been randomly destructive, Yeats was a more conspicuous presence than the Galway locals; the tower could easily have become a target for any IRA soldiers wishing to send a message to Ascendancy sympathizers of the Free State. ­Furthermore, Thoor Ballylee stands next to a river at the bottom of a topographical depression, which makes it prone to flooding and useless as a lookout. In a time of civil war, Yeats found himself in an eminently locatable, poorly protected, remarkably precarious structure. Why he might choose to sacrifice physical safety (in the form of removal to England, or for that matter a warmer climate) for an i­neffectual ­symbol of permanence and security might be explained by hubris: That Yeats ­mistakenly believed an ancient stronghold would protect him from ­whatever risks the coming wars might conjure. In this light, the self-directed irony and despair of the “Meditations” sequence will seem to be motivated by belated regret and abject humiliation. But I prefer to mark Yeats’s move to Ballylee as an admission of his inevitable precarity rather than a deluded attempt to escape danger by placing himself within a demesne that would shortly, and repeatedly, become a war zone. Surveillance by the Irregulars was merely a replacement for surveillance by the British, for since the late 1890s Yeats had been aware of colonial agents tracking his movements in Dublin. Whether provoking the English or the Irregulars, he had never shied away from openly voicing his beliefs. His baseline level of danger was more or less a constant, if never as explicit or proximate as during the summer of 1922. Yeats’s poems tell us that his move to Ballylee was a resignation of any pretense of control over his safety, an embrace of vulnerability, and a radical reliance on hospitality. The renovations he had overseen to the structure (especially widening the ground floor window) were also those that made it newly vulnerable, so he would have to find some other means of survival.10 His poetic tropes turn to invitation, courtesy, and sacrifice when other plausible remedies, all of them violent, were ready at hand. A sense of temporary tenancy animates Yeats’s poems about Thoor Ballylee, and his moments of claiming ultimate possession over land and stone are always met with an ironic deflation. It is quite possible that he did not even consider the tower fully his, in the sense that property might be absolutely possessed

22  Jason M. Coats

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and controlled by the owner of a deed of property. He tended it and benefited from the aesthetic view, as Raftery had done before him—but only for a while, before the next temporary host should take over minding the tower. In his poetic response to vulnerability and terror, Yeats repeatedly proffers hospitality as a means to acknowledge and even to welcome the danger posed by armed conflict, the unstoppable forces of nature, and the inevitable onset of dotage. By inviting in the forces that would enter regardless, he

Figure 2.1  Thoor Ballylee and the Streamstown River.

might at least dictate the terms by which he would be visited and thereby make meaning from his sacrifice.

Vulnerability and Security Thoor Ballylee is striking, among Yeats’s poetic settings, for its ironic vulnerability. Behind a set of massive walls the lyric voice bemoans the failure of expected security. Even beyond The Tower’s violent depictions of the Anglo-Irish War in “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen” and of the Irish Civil War in the “Meditations” sequence, other poems record the inevitable risks associated with living in a fortified but isolated situation, alienated from the comforts of open community. The event occasioning “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory” (published in Michael Robartes and the Dancer [1921] but written before the Yeatses had occupied the tower) is the untimely death of

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“And May these Characters Remain”  23 his new neighbor’s son in the Great War, which casts a pall on his housewarming that nothing can assuage. The pretext for “A Prayer for my D ­ aughter” (also 1921) is a howling storm the tower cannot exclude. It may partially prevent the wind from battering his daughter’s cradle, but noises penetrate the room and threaten to wake and scare her. His prayer for his daughter is thus instigated by his inability to keep the world at bay, for “There is no obstacle / But Gregory’s wood and one bare hill / Whereby the haystack- and roof-­levelling wind, / Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed”; meanwhile, the ­“sea-wind scream[s]” loudly enough to register twice in the same stanza.11 And in “The Tower,” the eponymous poem of its collection (1928), the speaker rails against “decrepit age that has been tied to me / As to a dog’s tail.” He surveys the surrounding countryside and finds only dead or dying landmarks to mirror his self-pity: Tree stumps and foundations of houses long stripped of their stones, less pathetic fallacy than sobering reality.12 Indeed, in “Ancestral Houses,” the first poem of the “Mediations in Time of Civil War” sequence, before any depiction of the danger the Yeatses felt while besieged in Ballylee, Yeats turns to a discussion of the motivations behind the construction of Big Houses. “Ancestral Houses” acknowledges the impressive ambition required to build such mansions, while also testifying to what Anthony Bradley (via Benjamin’s “Angel of History”) calls the violent origins discernible within all beautiful things.13 Sprung from the desires of “violent bitter men” to conquer the landscape and erect a p ­ ermanent testament to their unyielding ire, the Big House garden ­sculptures are purposefully placid in comparison to the ancestor who commissioned them.14 But in surveying the statuary, Yeats sees ironic architecture instead of monuments to the ancestor’s violence and bitterness. Although the ambitions of the builder required order and imposed it by force, nature responded with an equal and opposite reaction. The garden fountain overflows chaotically, serving as an apt metaphor for the futility of taming the wilderness. The natural landscape overwhelms his ambition, and moreover it will outlast him. Generations later, the garden fountain symbolizes not the unending triumph of order over chaos, but the fecund and shapeless vitality of nature: Its ability to take a metaphor for servility and shift its tenor to one of m ­ ocking defiance. The fact that the ancestor’s heirs possess only “inherited glory” seems to be the problem with ancestral houses.15 The generations who succeed the violent, bitter man need not trouble themselves with the task of clearing and taming the landscape. They simply live in the Big House, surrounded by unearned luxuries and placidly pondering their family’s status. Yeats finds no fault with the ancestor who unknowingly pacified and infantilized his descendants, who grow yearly more passive and less great. Yeats’s ekphrastic rumination upon the fountains, architecture, family portrait galleries, and garden statues suggests that he sees much to praise in what resulted ­aesthetically from the original conquest of the landscape. But the overwhelming difference between the violent bitterness that created the art and

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24  Jason M. Coats the passivity of those who tend it cannot help but make the Big House a bathetic deflation of its former glory. The more the ancestral house’s art attempts “to magnify, or to bless” the family, the more the family seems fallen from its original, brute magnificence. Part of the downfall of ancestral houses, too, is their attempt to provide security via the “escutcheoned doors” of the next stanza, themselves a marvelously ironic trope for evoking both the attempt to shield the inhabitants from the elements and the pompously ornate aesthetic that betrays their inefficacy to do so. Indeed, in the fourth poem of the “Meditations” sequence, “My Descendants,” the poem contemplates what would ­happen should Yeats wish to convert Thoor Ballylee into some form of Big House and join the landlording class of violent and bitter Ascendancy men. In other words, purchasing Ballylee Castle and renaming it Thoor Ballylee conjures a hypothetical scenario in which a newly violent Yeats might confer ­indolence to his children. The more he might try to make the tower his own, the more he would be defeated in his attempts, and the irony of this recognition, couched resolutely in the subjunctive though it may be, animates “My Descendants.” Instead of violence and bitterness, the trait he would bestow upon Anne and Michael Yeats is the intellectual life, but here too he may be stymied by “natural declension of the soul” and beget only paler and paler copies of his original mental vigor.16 The antidote he sees is a characteristic of Thoor Ballylee: An austere space bought dearly, recast, enjoyed intellectually but not physically, and never inherited by unworthy descendants: May this laborious stair and this stark tower Become a roofless ruin that the owl May build in the cracked masonry and cry Her desolation to the desolate sky. Thoor Ballylee’s heir shall be only an owl; in the meantime, the “laborious” winding stair will remind Yeats of the arduousness that has kept him vigorous, and the starkness of the tower will serve to announce his intention to lay down roots for one generation only. Jahan Ramazani has read this sequence as an act of “anticipatory vengeance” to warn his children against the evils of degeneration.17 But degeneration within luxurious spaces is an unavoidable given for Yeats; his bequest of the tower to the owl is less a curse on his family than a protective ward against decay and inanition. Instead, the ruined tower should actively serve to memorialize his own life’s work and human debts. The tower’s purchase and renovation, he attests, were made for his friend and his wife, not for his heirs. Taken together, these poetic vignettes about Thoor Ballylee offer a contrapuntal vision of security surprisingly reminiscent of Mark Neocleous’s argument in Critique of Security: That the “security-fetish,” the obsession

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“And May these Characters Remain”  25 with avoiding risk, only strengthens the state’s biopolitical control, and modern intellectuals ought to expose that obsession as merely another form of power-building, while also reorienting the end goal of security away from order and toward emancipation.18 Attempting to evade—or even forestall—unstoppable forces leads to the aggrandizement of those who are already powerful; better to concentrate on increasing freedom than to linger on the ability of any individual to control his fate. In “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,” for example, Yeats directly figures the carnage of the AngloIrish War’s hideous “reprisals,” in which Black and Tan mercenaries hired by the British conducted random terrorist killings in response to their own military casualties: Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare Rides upon sleep: A drunken soldiery Can leave the mother, murdered at her door, To crawl in her own blood, and go scot-free; The night can sweat with terror as before We pieced our thoughts into philosophy.19 The tower proves no protection against nightmares either. The poem evinces the flop-sweat of terror made all the more frightening because of its apparent caprice and randomness. The war intrudes upon day and night, in terms of both real danger and horror-struck amazement that such brazen atrocities can be committed without repercussion. The terror takes on the ­outsized influence of dragons, in terms of both the atrocities themselves and the remorselessness with which they have been inflicted—the murdered mother is named not just to point to the slaughter of civilians but to gesture toward the help she was denied. But although the enemy’s methods cause the speaker to recoil in righteous indignation, the conflict itself (between the “drunken soldiery” and those wishing to throw off the yoke of B ­ ritish colonial administration) is troped in a completely unconflicted manner. ­ Dragons should be stood up to; murderers should face trial; the Irish should be free; and so on. This was not the case in the Irish Civil War, during which Irish fought Irish and both sides resorted to the same guerrilla tactics that the ­ British mercenaries had introduced. In this conflict, Thoor Ballylee became a  locus of two overlapping sovereignties, each claiming power to affirm or negate the life of someone like Yeats, an Anglo-Irish ­Protestant sympathizer with the Ascendancy. As Yeats’s figure of “terror” suggests, both sides had d ­ iscarded the normal juridical order, causing what G ­ iorgio Agamben has theorized as a “state of exception,” wherein sovereign power manifests, suddenly and acutely, because of the revocation of the laws that should bind state power.20 This irruption of chaos into the ostensibly orderly and sensible chronology of events terrifies for two main reasons: The randomness of the conflict’s violence and the

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26  Jason M. Coats unknowable quality of its combatants’ movements and strategies (they were “unknown unknowns” as opposed to the “known unknowns” preferred by the security discourses that spurred the Anglo-Normans to build Thoor Ballylee in the first place). If in “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,” Yeats does not frame an image of what Agamben has termed “bare life” (that is, life reduced to its prepolitical substratum), Yeats certainly does describe a mode of life acutely aware of its proximity to ultimate divestiture.21 At the height of Yeats’s pretensions to mastery of property and household, the Civil War strips him of that pretension, as well as his ability to reconnoiter while he is besieged. Heretofore Yeats has celebrated the view from Thoor Ballylee. In “The Tower,” he majestically surveys the view afforded as he “pace[s] upon the ­battlements and stare[s]” at the surrounding countryside, its ruined houses and hoary trees.22 And in the second poem of the “Meditations” sequence, “My House,” he likewise sweeps the countryside with his appreciative, even authoritative, gaze. But the bridge across the Streamstown River also connected the tower to lands outside of his battlements’ vantage, lands that Yeats cannot survey or control. The fifth poem in the sequence, “The Road at my Door,” gives an apt glimpse of the transients he came to fear during the Civil War. An “affable Irregular” whom Yeats compares to Falstaff engages him with black humor about the conflict, “As though to die by gunshot were / The finest play under the sun.”23 It may be Yeats’s door, but the soldiers possess the road (the bridge was detonated shortly after this incident).24 The poem attempts bravado on the scale of the righteous ­indignation of  the “dragon-ridden” days described in “Nineteen Hundred and ­Nineteen.” The crass, fat Irregular lacks completely the refinement and the patience to understand Yeats’s Shakespearean reference, and only his unlearnedness and ignorance make his role in the war seem novel. Yet even the most affable and ill-­outfitted Irregulars are still armed, and their jokes are veiled threats made more terrifying by the Falstaffian soldier’s cavalier and reckless bloodlust. Yeats might disdain them inwardly, but he has little recourse other than to voice an old man’s impotent grousing about the weather and damage wrought by a recent storm on his woods. He cannot safely speak his outrage, and for all their cultural inferiority, the I­ rregulars plainly recognize his powerlessness. Moreover, the Free State’s army appears in the form of an unimpressively outfitted officer who inspires no confidence, and whom Yeats depicts little differently than the Irregular—no help there. Resignation combines with the bleakness of anonymous victimhood in “The Stare’s Nest at My Window,” the next poem in the sequence. Despite the tower’s protection, the danger of illness or starvation if siege is prolonged is frighteningly real. Meanwhile, those whom Yeats would spare further terror may or may not have come to harm. All he knows is that violence is occurring, the planned as well as the accidental:

“And May these Characters Remain”  27

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We are closed in, and the key is turned On our uncertainty; somewhere A man is killed, or a house burned. Yet no clear fact to be discerned … A barricade of stone or of wood; Some fourteen days of civil war; Last night they trundled down the road That dead young soldier in his blood …25 Now that his gaze commands a valley held by the IRA, Yeats’s plum vista from Thoor Ballylee’s windows merely encompasses all he does not know. He might wish to assist his neighbors, or to learn anything resembling “clear fact” beyond the grim certainty that the fighting has lasted two weeks; but by his own act of locking the door, he guarantees his ignorance. He notes that barricades are being built “of stone or of wood,” not because he does not know what substance they are made of, but because both stone and wood were lifted from the Streamstown Valley, his own land. The mocking irony with which he had hoped to endure his captivity turns inward, just as the tropes of possession and surveillance established earlier in the sequence on his own behalf have been usurped by the war. Living with constant fear for his family and friends’ safety layers uncertainty upon uncertainty. Terror has prompted a superabundance of anxious ignorance—what, in The Gift of Death, Jacques Derrida calls “supplemental” trembling, when “one doesn’t know why one trembles. This limit to knowledge no longer only relates to the cause or unknown event, the unseen or unknown that makes us tremble.”26 After an initial trigger, the trembling takes on a life of its own as each successive trauma redounds disproportionally upon Yeats’s escalating suspicions and his guilty feelings of responsibility for his family’s presence in Ballylee. The final poem in the “Meditations” sequence, the ponderously titled “I see Phantoms of Hatred and of the Heart’s Fullness and of the Coming Emptiness,” excoriates the circular logic of revenge. One side in a conflict commits an atrocity, upon which a reciprocal atrocity is visited by the second side upon the first, which then continues the cycle. The poem records the Civil War’s desperate trajectory toward nihilist futility. Driven by past wrongs, the feral combatants hunger to commit new ones, and the ambiguous goal they seek is at once the destruction they wreak and the vacuity of their approach. Yeats knows something of being rage-tormented, too, for he almost cries in unison with the mob shouting for vengeance. However, he checks himself, turns away from vengeance, and shuts the door of the tower decisively, preferring forever his hermetic occult studies to the urge to prove himself in ways recognizable to modern generations, the hunger for blood in reprisal for blood.27 By turning away from that exchange and ascending the tower to check his horoscope, Yeats ends the sequence in anticlimax. Trembling before his terrified feeling of responsibility, he searches for some active agency by which

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28  Jason M. Coats he can affix meaning to the randomness of the war without participating in the logic of sovereignty behind the state of exception, and thereby becoming complicit in its chaos. I do not mean to suggest that Yeats believed his occult beliefs protected him from harm but that his renunciation of violence and, at least temporarily, of public life, is an attempt to rise above bare life to the practice of something akin to what J. Peter Burgess has called “security ethics.” Burgess argues we must recognize that the irreducible importance of radical insecurity is the basis by which ethics is made indispensable—that, in the absence of complete knowledge, we must prioritize human values over the discourses of state power.28 By laboriously abjuring the violence all around him, he essentially ennobles himself for precisely the reason that he shares the same danger and terror of the other Galway locals (as opposed to his fame, connections, intelligence, class, etc.), even though his inwardly directed hermeticism doubtless would not map easily onto their own reactions to terror. In this sense the speaker serves as both magus and “homo sacer” (sacred man), Agamben’s term for he who “may be killed but not sacrificed.”29

Hospitality and Vulnerability Yeats cannot be sacrificed in this moment partly because he has already sacrificed himself in an act of radical hospitality on behalf of a saner, calmer posterity. In Of Hospitality, Derrida distinguishes between an “absolute, hyperbolical, unconditional hospitality” and a more conventional type of hospitality “circumscribed by law and duty,” before complicating the distinction by implicating each type in the other.30 Conditional hospitality ­performed out of a sense of rote duty may potentially slip into unconditional hospitality, and the intent behind unconditional hospitality may also slip back from hyperbole to empty gesture. In Yeats’s poems about the tower, and especially for the case of “Meditations,” conventional gestures of courtesy and punctilious observances of hospitality ceremonies more often give way to the unconditional hospitable sacrifice than the opposite, in part because of Yeats’s embrace of tropes that valorize vulnerability. Thoor Ballylee was a fortified space that Yeats often represented domestically, a sui generis hybrid of the military keep and the Big House. In the “Meditations” sequence, two of seven poems are devoted to majestic descriptions of his bedroom and dinner table. He seems to have especially relished the opportunity of no longer only playing host within a rented space: Here he would be master and could dispense hospitality to all who entered the valley. In the second poem of the sequence, “My House,” Yeats figures himself as one of a lineage of intellectual owners of Thoor Ballylee, the candlelight of whose literary toil heartens weary travelers, who then stop in for rest and refreshment.31 In the third poem, “My Table,” he describes Sato’s sword, a 500-year old weapon given him on travels abroad that represents Yeats’s uniquely cosmopolitan contribution to the tower’s lineage of ownership.

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“And May these Characters Remain”  29 Two earlier examples of conditional (reciprocal) hospitality should throw relief upon the unconditional hospitality proffered within the “Meditations” sequence. In the opening stanzas of “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory,” which appeared in The Wild Swans at Coole (1919) while the tower was still being restored, the poem invites the ghosts of old friends: “Now that we’re almost settled in our house / I’ll name the friends that cannot sup with us / Beside a fire of turf in the ancient tower, / And having talked to some late hour / Climb up the narrow winding stair to bed.”32 The invitation proves more potent than might first be supposed, for although dead, the characters of Lionel Johnson, John Synge, George Pollexfen, and eventually Robert Gregory himself obligingly appear at Yeats’s summons. Conditional hospitality suggests and requires a reciprocity of exchange; a gift carries with it an expectation of a return gift as future repayment. In exchange for the pungent warmth of the Yeatses’ turf fire, the food on which they would “sup,” a comfortable room for shelter, and fine conversation lasting right up to the point of guests’ retiring for the night, the host could expect a particular sort of decorum from those guests: “Always we’d have the new friend meet the old, / And we are hurt if either friend seem cold, / And there is salt to lengthen out the smart / In the affections of our heart, / And quarrels are blown up upon that head.” The friend accepting hospitality must subsume the relationship he or she had with the host into a courteous warmth toward the other guests being introduced, at least for the duration of the visit. If not, the host has the right to explode indignantly in response to the salted “smart” that strains the affection which produced the invitation in the first place. Similarly, in “A Prayer for My Daughter” (1921), a reciprocal exchange of courtesies attempts to compensate for Yeats’s presumption of his daughter’s perpetual vulnerability. Anne is endangered by a storm at the beginning of the poem, even as her father is at the height of his powers to protect her, having newly arrived in his late, landed affluence. That power can only wane, and he will not forever be able to shield his daughter from the buffeting winds (or whatever new terrors modernity can throw at her). It is perhaps understandable that a father should gesture lyrically toward some recourse that would assuage his own insecurities, even if his wishes might construct a cage for the older version of Anne who would have to inhabit this rigid, ritual courtesy. As Elizabeth Cullingford has noted, the poem prefers his daughter to live as a “hidden tree” whose branches are populated with thoughts that delight “like the linnet,”33 which may be less a chauvinist trope for passivity than an attempt to “sequester her in the cloister to protect her imaginatively from rape.”34 Should Anne venture out of the tower (or abandon her cloister), she would resume her vulnerability. The poem ends with a favorable depiction of her future marriage, grounded in tradition and protective courtesy between his daughter and a suitor who would return her affections gently rather than assault them from an aggressive posture of unequal strength. Such an

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30  Jason M. Coats imbalance serves as an analogy to the author’s anxiety over his f­ amily’s fate within a Catholic-majority independent Ireland. The perceived vulnerability of the Ascendancy to an Irish democracy dominated by ­Catholics does suggest a zero-sum game in which Protestant landowners suddenly find themselves exactly as impotent as their erstwhile tenants and dread immediate reprisal. The ceremoniousness of the past had attempted to set behavioral standards in relationships between the sexes, and by proxy to palliate the Catholic masses of their oppression by the Anglo-Irish. Once the masses should rise to power, the “spreading laurel tree” could not hope to prevent violence against Anne, should the new majority desire either restitution or retribution.35 But Yeats had no better alternative. Ramazani has noted the mirroring status of curse and blessing in Yeats’s writing. Both draw from the sublime, and both promise an exchange of boon (or threat) if the conditions remain unmet.36 Yeats’s poems willingly surrender precious possessions in order to lay claim to their eventual retrieval.37 As he countenances Anne Yeats’s future courtship in “A Prayer for my ­Daughter,” he believes it important that she begin the gesture of bestowing courtesy to her bridegroom, although that leaves her ultimately vulnerable to becoming locked into a permanent relationship without symmetrical reciprocity. Even if her future husband does not respond in kind, her welcoming devotion and courteous motions will prompt a boon in return—somewhere the gesture of the gift will be acknowledged and returned in kind, or credited to a debt that will be repaid eventually by those who agree with the poem that that which is “accustomed, ceremonious” is directly opposed to the “arrogance and hatred … peddled in the thoroughfares.”38 The corpus of Yeats’s poetry would resemble a ledger of debts, with his readers as witnesses. The hospitable invitation is a human economy between the host who issues it and the guest who receives it, and as Derrida has pointed out, once invited into the host’s dwelling the two roles bleed into each other—the host becomes vulnerable (“hostage”) to the guest.39 But the guest is also vulnerable, and traditional hospitality resembles the surrender of security in favor of a set of rules (courtesies) that dictate behavior and protect the participants, and that possibly have power unto themselves to enforce reciprocity. Jacques Molay, whom Yeats names twice in the last poem of the ­“Meditations” sequence, and who served as last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, suffered an egregious abridgement of the conventions of hospitality in 1307 when he was imprisoned by Philip IV of France, his host, and executed seven years later on fabricated charges of heresy.40 According to the lore of Freemasonry, upon his pyre Molay cursed Pope Clement V and Philip to die within a year and a day of his execution (which both did). Such an abridgement of custom triggers repercussions without an immediate expectation of reciprocity, which has an immanent (rather than imminent) logic. Indefinite patience may appear identical to hospitality provided with no expectation of return. For example, although the initial abrogation of hospitality occurred in 1307, “Vengeance for Jacques Molay!” (which

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“And May these Characters Remain”  31 also appears in the final poem of the sequence) was shouted upon Louis XVI’s execution at the guillotine in 1791, when the debt was finally repaid. But the references to Jacques Molay arrive just before Yeats represents and then repudiates the ineluctable cycle of retribution between Catholics and Protestants. Traditional hospitality may not suffice for situations like the one Yeats endured during the Civil War, when host and guest (here, the guerrilla soldiers foraging and fighting, uninvited, in the Streamstown ­Valley) have vastly dissymmetrical power. Both Free State and Irregular combatants are backed by sovereignty, and Yeats is reduced to meek, trembling, bare life. In such a situation, radical hospitality may be the only available option for righting the power imbalance by embracing risk and vulnerability, potentially sacrificing all in order to give all to the gesture of hospitality. In The Gift of Death Derrida discusses this gesture: In order to put oneself to death, to give oneself death in the sense that every relation to death is an interpretive apprehension and a representative approach to death, death must be taken upon oneself. One has to give it to oneself by taking it upon oneself, for it can only be mine alone, irreplaceably.41 By this logic, the death of a host in performing an act of radical hospitality would not be murder, for no one could place any other interpretation on the host’s sacrifice than the host himself did. Just as Agamben’s “homo sacer” may be killed but never sacrificed, radical hospitality (with its attendant radical vulnerability) may offer a way of claiming agency over the meaning of death. When Yeats gifts the tower to an owl rather than his children in “My Descendants,” he makes just that kind of radical invitation. Rather than contemplate Michael and Anne becoming pale copies of himself, he would rather be remembered at the site of his toil and invite the owl to “build in the cracked masonry,” and “cry / Her desolation to the desolate sky,” which is the same desolation that urged Yeats to cry.42 The owl’s cry will reflect the desolation of rebuilding after “ruin” claims yet another ambition. A rhyming instance of his bequest to the owl is Yeats’s gesture to the honeybees in “The Stare’s Nest at My Window,” the sixth poem in the ­“Meditations” sequence. Amid some of the bleakest days of the Civil War, he notices a mother starling feeding her young and compares it to honeybees tending the hive. Although his tower’s fortifications are decaying (or perhaps because his tower is decaying), Yeats makes of this comparison a symbol of hope and rebirth that is nevertheless tempered with the acknowledgment that the honeybees’ work will similarly crumble, that their hive will be similarly fraught and vulnerable. The fourfold refrain “Come build in the empty house of the stare” serves as a grim but resolute determination to invoke the continuance of life, as well as to accept no euphemism for hard truth, even when leveled at oneself.43

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32  Jason M. Coats In his Nobel lecture, Seamus Heaney called the insistent and uncompromising compassion of Yeats’s invocation to the honeybees both “tender-­ minded” and “tough-minded,” with no illusions about the inevitable repetition of the events he witnessed around Thoor Ballylee, but with full support for “the actuality of sympathy and protectiveness between living creatures.”44 Heaney’s insight helps explain the turn to the first-person plural in the last stanza of this poem, in which Yeats owns his past role in the Irish revolutionary movement (as the main force behind the Irish Literary Revival) and his complicity in the circular cycle of retribution. To whatever extent his participation had contributed to evacuating the mutual sympathy that had bound Catholics and Protestants together in resistance to British occupation, the hazards of war are the price he must pay. But even if the dream of peaceful postcolonial coexistence between Catholic and Protestant proves ultimately fictive, Yeats has always ardently supported both dreams and ­fictions. The creative impulse the honeybees represent must continue, regardless of consequence and inevitability. I return to the idea that Yeats had no better alternative for weathering the insecurity of the Civil War than a resort to radical hospitality, not because he had no other alternatives, but because he saw in unconditional sacrifice an affirmative way of breaking the cycle of violence. He renames his tower even though he explicitly desires to stay only temporarily in that part of the country; he is a tenant with duties and responsibilities to perform for art rather than a landlord. He embraces a structure abutting a neighboring Big House out of love for his friend Augusta Gregory rather than pretensions of rising in class; the tower appealingly lacked all of the comforts of Coole Park. He redesigns a Norman tower to heighten the aesthetic effects of its view, primarily, rather than because of its stronghold’s defensiveness—the tower was designed with a very different conflict in mind than the one the Yeatses endured. By offering hospitality to posterity in the figure of the starling, and resigning himself to whatever consequences might result, Yeats makes a virtue out of the insecurity he has no power to alter. He makes poetry out of danger and vulnerability, and he gifts all he has to a country (and a future readership) who may not reciprocate in word or deed. But such a precarious gift still represents active agency in the face of stultifying terror, a gesture that will be recorded and one day heeded.

Notes * I wish to thank Jeffrey Clapp and Victor Luftig for providing valuable suggestions at crucial points in this project. 1. Heaney, Place of Writing, 22. 2. Yeats, “To Be Carved on a Stone at Thoor Ballylee,” in The Variorum, 406. 3. The Irish “Big House” mirrors the English “Great House” in that it employs a large retinue of servants and is surrounded by a large estate of land rented by ­ tenant farmers. The Big House complicates the normal master–servant ­relationship because of the middle position of the Ascendancy, who felt the

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“And May these Characters Remain”  33 English had betrayed them and consequently developed a paternalistic attitude toward their servants and tenants. See Kiberd, Inventing Ireland, 67–73. 4. Allison, “Galway: Coole and Ballyee,” 103. 5. Ross, “Building a House of His Own,” 36. 6. Cullingford, “Jacques Molay,” 777. 7. Longley, Yeats and Modern Poetry, 136; Howes, Yeats’s Nations, 103. 8. See Howes, Yeats’s Nations, 103–115. 9. Heaney, Place of Writing, 24. 10. Ibid., 22; also Foster, W. B. Yeats, vol. 2, 214. Thoor Ballylee had a weak front door, and the new great-room window had fragile wooden shutters. 11. Yeats, “A Prayer for My Daughter,” in Variorum, 403. 12. Yeats, “The Tower,” in Variorum, 409. 13. Bradley, Imagining Ireland, 118. 14. Yeats, “Meditations in Time of Civil War,” in Variorum, 418. 15. Ibid., 418. 16. Ibid., 423. 17. Ramazani, Yeats and the Poetry of Death, 124. 18. Neocleous, Critique of Security, 4–5. 19. Yeats, “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen,” in Variorum, 429. 20. Agamben, Homo Sacer, 24–25. 21. Ibid., 6–7. 22. Yeats, “The Tower,” in Variorum, 409. 23. Yeats, “Meditations,” in Variorum, 423–424. 24. Foster, W. B. Yeats, vol. 2, 214–215. 25. Yeats, “Meditations,” in Variorum, 425. 26. Derrida, The Gift of Death, 55. 27. As Cullingford wittily observes, the heir of Raftery’s tower is “not a muse, but a magus.” See Cullingford, “Jacques Molay,” 777. 28. Burgess, The Ethical Subject of Security, 4–5. 29. Agamben, Homo Sacer, 8. 30. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 83, 135. 31. Yeats, “Meditations,” in Variorum, 419–420. 32. Yeats, “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory,” in Variorum, 323–324. 33. Yeats, “A Prayer for My Daughter,” in Variorum, 406. 34. Cullingford, Gender and History, 137. 35. Yeats, “A Prayer for My Daughter,” in Variorum, 406. 36. Ramazani, Poetry of Death, 102. 37. Ibid., 96. 38. Yeats, “A Prayer for My Daughter,” in Variorum, 405–406. 39. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 125. 40. Cullingford, “Jacques Molay,” 763. 41. Derrida, The Gift of Death, 45. 42. Yeats, “Meditations,” in Variorum, 423. 43. Ibid., 424–425. 44. Heaney, Crediting Poetry, 26.

Bibliography Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer. Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993.

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34  Jason M. Coats Allison, Jonathan. “Galway: Coole and Ballylee.” In W. B. Yeats in Context. Edited by David Holdeman and Ben Levitas, 98–107. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge ­University Press, 2010. Bradley, Anthony. Imagining Ireland in the Poems and Plays of W. B. Yeats. New York: Palgrave, 2011. Burgess, J. Peter. The Ethical Subject of Security. London: Routledge, 2011. Cullingford, Elizabeth Butler. “How Jacques Molay Got Up the Tower: Yeats and the Irish Civil War.” English Literary History 50, no. 4 (1983): 763–789. Cullingford, Elizabeth Butler. Gender and History in Yeats’s Love Poetry. C ­ ambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Derrida, Jacques. The Gift of Death. Translated by David Wills. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. Derrida, Jacques, and Anna Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Foster, R. F. W. B. Yeats: A Life. 2 vols. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2007. Heaney, Seamus. Place of Writing. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1989. Heaney, Seamus. Crediting Poetry. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1996. Howes, Marjorie. Yeats’s Nations: Gender, Class, and Irishness. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Kiberd, Declan. Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation. London: Vintage, 1996. Longley, Edna. Yeats and Modern Poetry. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Neocleous, Mark. Critique of Security. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2008. Ramazani, Jahan. Yeats and the Poetry of Death. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990. Ross, Daniel. “Building a House of His Own: Yeats, Domesticity, and ‘Meditations in Time of Civil War.” ANQ 22, no. 1 (2009): 35–42. Yeats, W. B. The Variorum Edition of the Poems of W. B. Yeats. Edited by Peter Allt and Russell Alspach. New York: Macmillan, 1968.

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3 Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine) in Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage and Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End Rebecca Bowler Modernist studies has traditionally made much of the itinerant hero or heroine: The flâneur, the cinematic mobile subject, the displaced and alien. The protagonists of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage and Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End both prefer adventures and independence to the ­traditional enclosure of the “home,” and in this sense, both protagonists are quintessentially modern.1 Richardson’s Miriam leaves her d ­ isintegrating middle-class home at the age of 17, in order to find work as a student teacher in Germany. She only returns for brief interludes (as a visitor), and lives out her life in a series of temporary accommodations: As a governess in a large country house; in a Bloomsbury lodging house which later becomes a boarding house (“‘We’ve got to march with the times,’” says the proprietor Mrs Bailey); and later a flat shared with a lady she has only met before twice, which, not unexpectedly, does not work out.2 She spends some time in a cheap chalet in Switzerland, and she lives for a while, paying rent, with a Quaker family in Sussex. Christopher Tietjens, in Ford’s Parade’s End, despite his love for the land surrounding his family estate Groby, does not, cannot, and will not return to this home. He makes another home, with his wife Sylvia, but her affair means he must (according to his own code, in which a cuckolded man or a disgraced couple cannot live in an ostentatious way) reduce his establishment. He becomes attracted to another woman, Valentine Wannop, and to her home and family, but he doesn’t leave Sylvia. The First World War removes him from England entirely: when he comes back, Sylvia is at Groby, out of the way, and his place in London must be stripped of its furniture in order to make money. Even then its associations with the past are too much, and Tietjens and Valentine, finally together, move again, to what they hope will be a safe, secure, and traditional country establishment, safe from the ravages of modernity. Miriam and Tietjens are always on the move, and for both characters the displacement and repeated upheavals are necessary rather than pleasurable. Miriam’s movements are determined by economic necessity as much as a desire for independence, and Tietjens’s life is completely derailed by the First World War. Modern subjects are not necessarily itinerant because of the pleasures of wandering; they are often itinerant because the fastpaced and ever-changing world only allows for provisional accommodation.

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36  Rebecca Bowler ­ odernity, as Rob Hawkes says in his recent study of Ford Madox Ford, M is characterized by “a pervasive and often debilitating form of uncertainty” and an “awareness of the provisional nature of our social forms and practices.”3 If modernity is characterized primarily by uncertainty, then both Miriam and Tietjens are modern subjects, but subjects that are forced to be modern by modernity itself. Both characters experience modernity as a loss of security and stability, and this loss leads them to seek new spaces where they can feel secure. These spaces are the homes of others, where hospitality, though always conditional, allows both Tietjens and Miriam a measure of temporary security. Whereas Tietjens suffers from his severance from tradition, and tries and fails to regain the space from which he himself can be host, Miriam revels in it. Uncertainty, for her, is stimulating. Dorothy Richardson also uses the word “uncertainty” to characterize modernity. In “The Spoon-fed Generation?” one of her Continuous Performance articles for Close Up magazine, she writes of a “new world” of “[u]ncertainty, noise, speed, movement, rapidity of external change,” even if it has historical precedents:4 Each generation, it is true, has had in turn to experience the break-up of a known world. The remotest historical records yield anathema, that might have been written yesterday, on modern noise and hustle, on new-fangled ideas and the perilous paths pursued by the ignorant young; and wistful longings for the good old days. But until to-day Everyman remained relatively self-contained, and could plan his life with fair certainty in a surrounding that could be counted upon to remain more or less in place. Himself, his house, street, town, nation, all were stable; and beyond these secure stabilities his imagination rarely wandered.5 The difference between the “anathema” of previous generations and this one is that modern life, as Richardson perceives it, lacks a secure background to its “noise and hustle.” For Richardson here, security and ­stability are one and the same thing, and these “secure stabilities,” such as home, tradition, family, town and country, are no longer secure or stable. As Michael D ­ illon points out, security and knowledge are often ­considered in ­“alliance”: “Hence: Security as knowledge (certainty); security’s r­eliance upon knowledge ­(surveillance); security’s astonishing production of ­knowledge in response to its will to know (calculability).”6 Richardson’s prewar ­“Everyman” knew everything about his small world; everything that he needed to know to keep himself secure. The world itself was stable, and so the knowledge of how it worked was a permanent possession. ­Richardson’s Miriam says something very similar to her new landlord in The Trap. He says to her, almost as a warning, that she must be a good t­enant: “People don’t keep themselves to themselves like they did. There’s too much running about. Don’t you think so, Miss Henderson?” She thinks: “It is blasphemy … blasphemy to imagine

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Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine)  37 that each next generation is plunging into an abyss.” She says, however: “Yes … People run about because they wonder who they are.”7 People are always on the move because they are uncertain. They are uncertain about the nature of the world and about their place within that world. Now the world is so big, and so connected, that you cannot shut yourself away and ignore it, you must explore it, whether literally or figuratively: By watching films and listening to the radio. As Ford also said of modernity, “We know so much, we know so many little things that we are beginning to realize how much there is in the world to know, and how little of all that there is, is the much that we know.”8 There is an interesting correspondence between Miriam’s prewar assertion (in The Trap, set in the 1890s) that uncertainty creates an adventurous spirit and Ford’s 1911 comment that the world is only just realizing how much more it can learn. In both, the absence of certainty, though frightening, is viewed as a challenge to the questing individual. After the war, as in Richardson’s Close Up article, the absence of “secure stabilities” is both more apparent and more alarming. As Dillon points out, the very word “security” already contains the concept of insecurity: “Any appeal to security must, therefore, also and simultaneously be a specification, no matter how inchoate, of the fear which engenders it.”9 Christopher Tietjens and Miriam Henderson are both intensely nostalgic for the certainties that were previously taken for granted. For Miriam, this is her middle-class childhood: “Garden summers”;10 “Tennis, ­dancing … ­irresponsibility in general.”11 For Tietjens it is Groby: The great tree, and the “deep well in the stable yard,” which he desires to show to his son.12 It is also, more generally, the England of the eighteenth century, where “[a] man and a maid walk through Kentish grass fields: The grass ripe for the scythe,” and both man and maid are proprietary: the land is England, and they ­themselves, the Tory gentleman and the future mother of the sons of Empire, are England, the “backbone of England!” (PE, 107). ­Christopher Tietjens’s nostalgia is for a world in which he is certain of everything because it belongs to him. After the war, the Tory gentleman and the propagators of Empire lose a measure of their power. It is not just power that is at stake here, however. Tietjens expresses a sentimental love for the traditional and the familiar which Ford himself echoes in The Critical Attitude: We have to watch modern life sweeping away the traditions that we love, the places that we considered hallowed; we have to consider that it is blowing away us ourselves as if we were no more than a little dust. And yet, if we have consciences, we must seek to perceive order in this disorder, beauty in what shocks us.13 As Andrzej Gasiorek notes, in The Critical Attitude, Ford is often ambivalent about modernity: “Anxiety and nostalgia vie with excitement and exhilaration.”14 “Modern life” may have destroyed the hallowed spaces (the word “hallowed” implying not only sanctity, but sanctuary) and the comfortable

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attitudes that belonged to the past, but it has a new beauty and interest of its own. Yet when the First World War displaces Tietjens, he does not examine his new modern situation for the beauty inherent in it; he reaches for comfort, for the certainties of home and the familiar. The place that he considers “hallowed” is a long way from him, but he manages to see the beauty of it in the disorder and ugliness of his surroundings: Yes, it was friendly, the trench face. … When you looked at it you hardly believed that it was part of this affair. …15 Friendly! You felt at peace looking at its flints and pebbles. Like being in the butts up above Groby on the moor, waiting for the grouse to come over. The soil was not of course like those butts which were built of turfs. (PE, 553) The trench face looks nothing like the butts of Groby; it is the concept of land itself that prompts nostalgia. He is not looking for beauty and order in his own current situation; rather, he is reaching back into the past for his certainties. This is, in part, because he owns the land that he evokes. He is nostalgic for the safety and security of ownership, and the sense of self that has always been informed by this ownership. He possesses what Richard Aldington, in All Men Are Enemies, calls “the sentimental spirit of patriotism which looks upon a landscape as a personal possession, a prolongation of the Me which must be kept intact as much as the valuable Me itself.”16 However, as Max Saunders points out, the war has destroyed the status quo in which this security of possession can be Tietjens’s. No one can now “restore the stability, the identity, of his orderly world of country house hierarchy.”17 As for Richardson, postwar, in Close Up, the stable and the secure are one and the same, and uncertainty is both modernity and threat. If the land is no longer Tietjens’s, then he no longer knows who he is. This feudal and proprietary nostalgia leads Tietjens to continually try to act the part of host, even when he is so displaced that he has nothing material to offer a guest. As soon as he returns to London, after the ­Armistice, he invites some of the men from his regiment to his rooms, newly reclaimed and cleared for his life with Valentine: “‘Come up, you fellows. There’s some hooch for you!’ He had a royal aspect. An all-powerfulness. They pushed past her and then past him on the stairs” (PE, 669). He has sold his furniture in order to buy the whiskey, and the act of hospitality, despite materially impoverishing him, gives him back some of his old feudal ease and power. For Tietjens, the role of host is inextricably entwined with proprietary power. The house is his, Valentine is his, and the men (who served under him) are his. The proprietor is the only figure in this setup who can give hospitality. Valentine, despite admiring the ease with which Tietjens slips back into his proprietary role, is not comfortable with the situation. The house has not been properly prepared for the giving of hospitality and is not suitably furnished. The ex-servicemen that Tietjens has invited round have been given too much access to the private spaces of the London flat: “Did she

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Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine)  39 like to see three officers bouncing about on her nuptial couch?” (PE, 671). The middle- or upper-class home has never been an entirely private space. As Monica F. Cohen says, the “typical English household” was never just comprised of “exclusively immediate family members”; rather, the house is witness to “the comings and goings of an army of virtual strangers.”18 The home has its secure and private spaces (the bedroom; the nursery), and it has public spaces for hospitality (the drawing room; the dining room). Tietjens’s mistake was in economizing on furniture: Making one “couch” do for both sofa and bed. This may be a practical solution to the economic situation in his eyes, but in Valentine’s eyes, it creates an uncomfortable blurring of the boundary between public and private. Both Miriam and Tietjens desire the role of host, but performance of this role in the makeshift living spaces that they both occupy (Miriam’s solitary room in a Bloomsbury attic, or Tietjens’s furnitureless flat) presents a more serious threat to security than it would in a large domestic house, with its careful delineation of the boundaries between public and private. In ­Pilgrimage, Miriam’s room is her sanctuary. She rarely invites people to visit her there, and instead seeks alternative spaces for the performance of ­hospitality. For Miriam, as for Tietjens, the act of playing host lends a ­certain power, but not necessarily a benevolent power. She was very young when she left home and had not fully learned the skills required of a successful hostess. When she returns home briefly, in Backwater, Miriam and her sisters lie around making jokes while their guest plays music for them; M ­ iriam does not even talk to the guest. In these early volumes, ­societal duties are often shirked, particularly when Miriam is with her family. ­However, as soon as the family recedes and she realizes she is on her own, she suddenly becomes aware of a certain pressure to be charming and witty and to produce ­hospitable conversation. Toward the end of Backwater, she even displays this anxiety while in a public space, on a hike between Brighton and Ovingdean. She is on holiday, walking side by side with a fellow boarder, Mr. Parrow: It had been rather nice walking along the top of the cliff side by side saying nothing. They walked exactly in step and his blunted features looked quite at ease; and she had gone easily along disposing of him with a gentle feeling of proprietorship, and had watched the gentle swing and movement of the landscape as they swung along. It seemed secure and painless and was gradually growing beautiful, and then suddenly she felt that he must have his thoughts, men were always thinking, and would be expecting her to be animated and entertaining.19 Again, social interaction is easy (“secure and painless”) for the proprietor (or the woman who imagines herself proprietor), and hospitality is possible. As soon as the illusion of power recedes, however, and the other’s agency and independence is realized, that security breaks down. The illusion

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40  Rebecca Bowler of ownership of the land, the companion and the situation, the only ownership that Miriam and Tietjens can secure, creates its own imperatives; new concepts of proprietorship demand new practices of hospitality. Even when Miriam is older, in The Trap, when she is living with her friend Miss Holland, she does not quite know how to be a hostess. She does know, however, that it is something she desires to be. She joins a club where she can invite friends to tea: “Every friend to tea at the club is an event. … And all of them are more real there than on their own backgrounds.”20 She enjoys hosting friends for tea so much that she attempts a dinner party, her “first launching out as an evening hostess,”21 and she invites the friends that she believes will have the least in common so that she can observe their clashes, and learn more about them: “Four widely separated worlds met together.”22 She is trying to decide where she belongs, and she is also trying to decide whether she herself is a hostess, or whether she can enjoy playing that role. Unlike the middle-class domestic hostess that she is imitating, however, Miriam must rely on the managers of the club for the atmosphere produced and on the chefs at the club for the quality of the fare offered. She has little control over her own party. This makes her less of a hostess and more of a fellow party guest. A party in a public space is a very different affair to a party in a domestic space, as Ford also points out: Dining in restaurants is in many ways gay, pleasant and desirable. It renders us on the one hand more polite, it renders us on the other less sincere, less intimate with our friends and less exacting. We have to be tidier and more urbane, but on the other hand we cannot so tyrannically exact of the cook that the dishes shall be impeccable. We are democratized.23 The detached view of the dinner party as spectacle that Miriam holds is in fact inevitable; the atmosphere of the club dining room makes a more intimate gathering impossible and makes it difficult for Miriam to control the situation. For Miriam this is not a disadvantage; it is a freedom. She is free, for example, to admire the “enchanting table” the club staff have prepared for her, unnoticed until it is pointed out.24 She is playing at being a ­hostess without any need to be “tyrannically exact” in the arrangements. Miriam, unlike Tietjens, does not desire to be the proprietor-host. She revels in the arrangements for a new kind of hospitality that the modern club environment provides for her. The results of Miriam’s experiment are mixed. As soon as she has set up the interesting spectacle, she loses interest in it: “She felt no desire for conversation and wondered, as she led the way downstairs, whether hostesses in general suffered the indifference that now held her in its grip. And if they did, why the business of entertainment was not abolished.”25 Toward the end of the party, however, she decides: “It was worth while. Worth while to miss the intensities. To be happily surrounded. And this way, the social and

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Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine)  41 domestic way of meeting things, the cool easy way of normal people, was perhaps the best way”: “They were all on a moral holiday.”26 Miriam is not a natural hostess. She brings together people from very different backgrounds in the hope that they will challenge each other; she refuses to begin a conversation when she introduces Michael and Dr. Densley because she is irritated by the implication that this kind of social nicety is a woman’s role; and she doesn’t intervene but is merely amused when the people at the party don’t blend. She is not concerned about her own insufficiencies as a hostess, however, because she is too interested in observing and testing the people around her. Miriam lacks the skills as well as the financial resources to play the role of host effectively. Tietjens is skilled but finds, postwar, that he lacks the resources. However, he still expects hospitality from others. Tietjens is Jacques Derrida’s “foreigner,” the stranger who is not altogether strange because he is “represented and protected by his or her family name.”27 His possessions (his land and his name) speak for him; the proprietor, or sovereign, as Derrida has it, is not only bound to offer hospitality but can expect it from others by virtue of his proprietorship. Hospitality, Derrida explains, is not offered to the complete “barbarian”; it is offered to a stranger who is familiar or who is endorsed by society. Hospitality, “in the ordinary sense,” is then “conditional hospitality”; “the law of hospitality as right or duty”; “the ‘pact’ of hospitality.”28 It is not absolute, and it comes with an array of conditions: It depends on this constant collusion between traditional hospitality, hospitality in the ordinary sense, and power. This collusion is also power in its finitude, which is to say the necessity for the host, for the one who receives, of choosing, electing, filtering, selecting their invitees, visitors, or guests, those to whom they decide to grant asylum, the right of visiting, or hospitality. No hospitality, in the classic sense, without sovereignty of oneself over one’s home, but since there is also no hospitality without finitude, sovereignty can only be exercised by filtering, choosing, and thus by excluding and doing violence.29 As a member of the upper class, as a Tory, and as a landed proprietor, Tietjens has a right to expect hospitality from others. Valentine and her mother are always at risk of being excluded because of their poverty and because of her brother’s pacifism, which made the “friendliness” of their neighbors turn to “surly suspicion” (PE, 240). When Valentine and Tietjens take their first, socially awkward walk together, he realizes that if they are spotted it will mean Valentine will lose her right to others’ hospitality, but decides “She must chance it. She’s probably struck off all their beastly visiting lists already … as a suffragette!” (PE, 107). He is right to suppose that it is Valentine, not himself, who will lose this privilege. When society later begins to believe that Valentine and Tietjens have been having an

42  Rebecca Bowler

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affair, it is of course Valentine, not Tietjens or Sylvia, who is filtered out of Mrs. ­Duchemin’s guest list: “My husband insists that I should ask you. But I will not. I simply will not. … I repeat, with our official position we cannot—we cannot; it would be madness!—connive at this intrigue. And all the more as the wife appears likely to be friendly with us. She has been once: She may well come again.” She paused and went on solemnly: “And I warn you, if the split comes—as it must, for what woman could stand it!—it is Mrs. Tietjens we shall support. She will always find a home here.” (PE, 260) Sylvia, with her wealth and her socialite connections, is a much better prospect than Valentine, and as long as Christopher Tietjens stays with his wife, in his socially sanctioned marriage, then he will not be excluded from the traditional and conditional hospitality of bourgeois society. Both ­Christopher and Sylvia Tietjens take for granted their visits to country houses at w ­ eekends. Christopher Tietjens, in fact, sees the giving of hospitality as so bound up with social class that he uses the markers of good and bad hospitality as an identifier of the right kind of people versus the wrong kind of people. The food at the infamous breakfast hosted by Mrs. D ­ uchemin is “too good” because she is trying too hard to paper over the cracks in her marriage and present an appearance of herself and her husband being the right kind of people, when, because of her husband’s madness, they obviously are not. He is initially distrustful, however, of the Wannops. He feels that he is going to go from too good breakfast to probably extremely bad lunch. The young woman, so the man is duly warned, to prepare it: Pink india-rubber half-cooked cold beef, no doubt; tepid potatoes, water in the bottom of willow-pattern dish. … Overgrown lettuce with wood-vinegar to make the mouth scream with pain; pickles, also preserved in woodvinegar; two bottles of public-house beer that, on opening, squirts to the wall. (PE, 105) Yet he is proved wrong: “It was an admirable lunch of the cold lamb, new potatoes, and mint-sauce variety, the mint-sauce made with white wine vinegar and as soft as kisses, the claret perfectly drinkable and the port much more than that” (PE, 116). He is equally pleased with his ­hostess: “Mrs. Wannop sat opposite him in the other grandfather’s chair; an a­ dmirable hostess, an admirable lady” (116). Because the lunch is good, the people are good. This meal cements his friendship with the Wannops: In part because the lunch is of good quality, implying that the taste of the two ladies is a developed one, but also because of the quality of the conversation, the giving freely of hospitality. An admirable hostess is necessarily an admirable lady. Ford Madox Ford uses the same phrase about his grandfather, Ford Madox Brown. He

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Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine)  43 describes him as “an excellent talker, an admirable host, extraordinarily and indeed unreasonably open-handed.”30 It is, in his view, what the right kind of people are and must be. Because Miriam cannot provide hospitality in a traditional way (not having the sovereignty of the home “which makes hospitality possible,” according to Derrida), she is more grateful when it is offered to her.31 She, unlike Tietjens, is completely cut off from the old world in which such things are taken for granted. She cannot get back to it even if she desires to. It makes hospitality, when offered, more mysterious and enchanting; more of a privilege. Hospitality is offered to her from three sources: Her own ­family, primarily her sisters who have homes of their own; the Broom family who, from their own middle-class base, respect her middle-class origins even while seeing her independence as something alien; and the Wilsons, who as “intellectuals” do not care about Miriam’s poverty but accept her because she went to the same enlightened school as Alma Wilson and can be expected to understand their progressive codes. She is the familiar foreigner to all three of these groups because of her origins. Miriam is exhausted by her day-to-day life as a young secretary in latenineteenth-century London. She is, as Deborah Parsons says, “watching her eagerness for life slip away amidst the drudgery of work and physical exhaustion, trying to squeeze every sensation from moments of respite in the quiet of her room, the impersonal embrace of the London streets or the rapid passing of evenings and weekends with friends.”32 In need of respite, she visits her sister Harriett: “Harriett must understand at once how battered and abject one was.”33 Despite her tiredness, the freshness and beauty of H ­ arriett’s house gives Miriam the rest she needs: “The room still had the same radiant air. Nothing looked worn. There was not a spot anywhere. Bowls of flowers stood about. The Coalport tea-service was set out on the little black table.”34 These signs of luxury are enough to make Miriam feel better. It reminds her of her middle-class childhood with Harriett, when flowers and tea services, and servants making sure that the rooms were spotless, were all taken for granted. For her, the brief visit to the past is restorative. Miriam finds the same kind of respite at the Brooms’s and at the ­Wilsons’s. When she arrives at the Broom household for a visit at the beginning of Interim, she asks dramatically, “Shall I come in or shall I burst into tears and sit down on the doorstep?”35 And at the Wilsons’s house, Miriam performs her surprise and relief at the sudden escape into luxury in the same dramatic way: “Shall I labor up the rest of the stairs, or sit down here and burst into tears?”36 She finds even more luxury and ease at the Wilsons’s house than she does at the Brooms’s and fantasizes about it when she is not there: Not just the intellectual talk which she knows will be going on, but the beauty and comfort that come from a stable old-fashioned establishment, with a servant or two to keep the show running: “The Wilsons’ sitting-room would be in an open blaze of shallow spring sunshine. She saw it going on day by day towards the rich light of summer … jealously.”37

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44  Rebecca Bowler However, Miriam cannot stay for long in any of these places. While visiting her poorer friends Mag and Jan, she thinks of these luxurious spaces she has visited and realizes that they cannot become a permanent part of her life. She thinks: “But all that life meant people, daily association with sheltered women and complacent abominable men.”38 There is a demand that she talk and be sociable, which she cannot do, as she realizes in her very first conversation with Hypo Wilson: “It would be necessary to be brilliant and amusing to hold his attention—in fact to tell lies. To get on here, one would have to say clever things in a high bright voice.”39 Miriam is continually hyper-aware of the situations in which she must code-switch, and like Tietjens, she becomes Derrida’s foreigner, forced to perform in a language not her own in order to receive hospitality: [The foreigner] has to ask for hospitality in a language which by definition is not his own, the one imposed on him by the master of the house, the host, the king, the lord, the authorities, the nation, the State, the father, etc. This personage imposes on him translation into their own language, and that’s the first act of violence.40 Of course Tietjens, representing, as he does, “host,” “king,” “lord,” “authority,” “nation,” “state,” and “father,” finds that the language required of him by all hosts is already his own. Miriam, as a single, poor, and displaced woman, does not. In fact, her perception of Hypo Wilson’s “everlasting demand for bright fussy intelligence” enrages her: “To shreds she would tear his twofold vision of women as bright intelligent response or complacently smiling audience. Force him to see the evil in women who made terms with men.”41 However, she fares rather better at the Brooms’s, an all-female household that does not require any imitation of masculine language. The two sisters, Grace and Florrie, are eager to hear her talk in her own way. Yet, any kind of talking is a tiring performance to Miriam. Her sense of being refreshed by the comfort of the Brooms’s home and the substantial food continually bumps up against her tiredness and annoyance at having to speak and keep the atmosphere of a jolly party going: “There was never enough time and strength to make everything clear,” she thinks.42 She even feels foreign to the middle class, familiar with it but not belonging to it, and she must create entertainment for the servant who clears the ­dinner table, responding to the Brooms’s encouragements with “biting heartiness, aching with the onset of questions, speaking to make warmth and distraction for Christine,” the maid.43 She is expected to speak, and she realizes that this is the price she must pay for the hospitality she is given. As Derrida states, “the foreigner doesn’t only have a right, he or she also has, reciprocally, o ­ bligations.”44 For the independent Miriam, these obligations are often ­fulfilled with “weary resentment.”45 Because hospitality is always conditional, the itinerant Miriam can never gain the “secure stabilities” that would allow her to relax.

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Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine)  45 Christopher Tietjens, despite having the ease and assurance born from his social position, increasingly feels the need to retreat from “company,” and he wishes only for himself and Valentine to have the opportunity to “get into some hole together!” (PE, 668) The “hole” is supposed to be a refuge from the world, from societal judgments of their unconventional relationship, and from the shocks of modernity in general. As Sara Haslam points out, this fear and mistrust of people was common to soldiers returning from the war: “The lack of shelter, the lack of mental succor to be found on the return, was experienced as a paranoid perception of a new enemy”: Civilians.46 Ordinary people must be avoided by Tietjens and Valentine, the newly minted unconventional couple, at all costs. The fourth and last novel in the Parade’s End tetralogy, The Last Post, is the story of the lovers’ life in their “hole”: An unsuccessful experiment that becomes a nightmarish comedy of hospitality. It begins with the reflections of Christopher’s brother, Mark Tietjens, as he lies, deliberately still and mute, in a shack on the land attached to Valentine’s and Christopher Tietjens’s newly acquired country cottage. He thinks about the situation that they all find themselves in and how he had tried to win Christopher over to his view of the proper way of living: An Englishman’s duty is to secure for himself for ever, reasonable clothing, a clean shirt a day, a couple of mutton chops grilled without condiments, two floury potatoes, an apple pie with a piece of Stilton and pulled bread, a pint of Club médoc, a clean room, in the winter a good fire in the grate, a comfortable armchair, a comfortable woman to see that all these were prepared for you, and to keep you warm in bed and to brush your bowler and fold your umbrella in the morning. When you had that secure for life you could do what you liked provided that what you did never endangered that security. What was to be said against that? (PE, 743–744) Christopher plans to deal old furniture and to live on the money that he makes doing so. He can’t attain the security of comfort and routine as yet (for most of The Last Post he is not even at home), and even Mark has lost what he had “secured for himself” when he lived alone with Marie Léonie, his mistress and now wife. Mark and Marie are now the guests of C ­ hristopher and Valentine. This leaves Marie uneasy, however, as she ­realizes the precariousness of her position: “How long would this life last here? And, still more, when it broke up, how would it break up? … Was it to be thought then that, once Mark was dead … Christopher Tietjens would maintain his benevolent and frugal dispositions of today?” (PE, 697). She cannot know how far the rules of traditional hospitality can be extended to this new and unusual situation. Mark himself is “finished with the world” (PE, 728). His shock at hearing that the Allies were not going to chase the beaten Germans back to Germany at the end of the First World War, and the

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46  Rebecca Bowler abandonment of France that this unwillingness implied, was the final shock of modernity that he could stand. He cannot retreat into the past, and so he retreats into silence and immobility. Even this doesn’t work, however, as a stream of visitors descends on his shack, talking and hectoring and bringing the problems of the world to him. Valentine Wannop, pregnant and hiding in her bedroom, is also besieged. At first she thinks the voices she hears outside are merely prospective customers, Americans come to look at furniture. Even this is too much for her, with her longing for solitude and peace, and she “considered all their customers to be intruders” (PE, 809). She wants to be undisputed mistress of her own house, to be called Mrs. Tietjens, and to lay her as yet unborn baby down on the bed of her bedroom. Valentine’s discomfort at the impromptu furniture-less party is echoed in this last novel. She invests her new bedroom with sanctity, and also with the strength of a fortress. She believes her bedroom to be the safest place in the house: “She was determined to remain shut in there. An Englishman’s house may no longer be his castle—but an Englishwoman’s castle is certainly her own bedroom!” (PE, 816–817). That most private of spaces is for Valentine the only inaccessible space in the modern, increasingly public private house, but it is still threatened by outside forces. At any point, a customer might call to say he would like “a bedroom complete” and take the very furniture away from her (PE, 810). Even the nursery might not be safe for her child: Would they peek into the nursery? Oh, God, who knew? What would he decree? It was an extraordinary thing to live with Americans all over you, dropping down in aeroplanes, seeming to come up out of the earth. … You never knew who was coming. It was eerie; at times she shivered over it. You seemed to be beset—with stealthy people, creeping up all the paths. (PE, 810–811) Tietjens is still the sovereign of his house, with Valentine, as subject, waiting for his “decree.” She has no actual power herself and no knowledge of what to expect from her master; she is not secure. At the sight of Sylvia, Valentine becomes even more distraught: “That woman must never come into their house-place before whose hearth she was to bathe the little Chrissie! Never! Never! The place would be polluted” (PE, 822). She locks herself in. Once again, the house is secure only because it is also insecure; perceived threat makes security a higher priority. The whole last volume of Parade’s End is a farcical tale of an attempted escape from modernity and from people, and the ways in which modernity, and modern people, will never let that happen. Miriam too seeks a rural idyll toward the end of Pilgrimage, and for ­Miriam too this idyll, in the Sussex countryside with a Quaker family, is not all she had envisioned. She wants the security of home and family, but she is also suffocated by it. She loves the countryside but she loves the city more. This is, in ­ ichardson as the fact, one of the reasons why Jesse Matz describes ­Dorothy R “singular modernist”: “When she takes up with the Quakers, if she loves the country, she nevertheless never strays from a modernist urbanism.”47 Miriam

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Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine)  47 knows that her nostalgia is just that. She cannot live fully in a domestic home of her own, and accepting the hospitality of others is the only way she can experience comfort and certainty without a loss of freedom. The laws of h ­ ospitality, of course, dictate that each stay will be a temporary one, and this hospitality, always already conditional, is all that Miriam will accept. Tietjens does not have this self-awareness. His attempt to re-create a little world in which he can be the host, rather than accepting the hospitality of others, dooms him. He attempts to be the proprietor and the host without the financial resources that would allow for that role to be properly fulfilled, and he cannot maintain his feudal ideals of hospitality in the uncertain modern world. Elizabeth Bowen, in a short piece written for Homes and Gardens in 1942, declared that despite the destruction of the Second World War, and despite modern social, personal, or political upheaval, “home still goes on; it triumphs; we can feel its undying value as never before.”48 For Bowen, the stability of the home is what enables the modern mobile subject to be free, to travel and to have adventures: “We love the tradition behind our lives without, perhaps, being clearly aware of it.”49 Someone’s house may have been destroyed in the Blitz, or may be in occupied territory, but the idea of home, and the nostalgia and comfort that the idea provides, is essential. The more modern and uncertain the life of the wandering hero or heroine, the more they begin to appreciate the stability of home. It is, however, someone else’s home that is the ideal resting place. Miriam, for example, tells Hypo Wilson that she cannot settle in a home of her own. She has, she says: “Been flying, almost desperately, from domesticity, all m’life.”50 The hospitality offered by others is a compromise between domesticity and grubbiness; nostalgia and independence; certainty and uncertainty. Tietjens and Miriam, both forced to be modern, only manage to sustain their independent modernity because the hospitality of others allows them that brief voyage back into the past. Tietjens is an unwilling modern subject, and Miriam is a willing one, but neither could hold up to the shocks of modernity (war, toil, dirt, and noise) if they did not, occasionally, have friends with safe and secure rooms for them to rest in. In Parade’s End and in Pilgrimage, while the actual attempt at playing host is dangerous to personal and domestic security, nostalgia for the tradition of home and the hospitality made possible by the arrangements of home is a beneficial force. The knowledge that somewhere these traditions are being upheld (and that these places can be visited, criticized, and enjoyed) is a kind of security that enables the radical, wandering modernity of Miriam and Tietjens.

Notes 1. The first 12-chapter-volumes of Pilgrimage were published between 1915 and 1938. A thirteenth posthumous chapter, March Moonlight, was published in 1967. Parade’s End is a tetralogy. Some Do Not … was published in 1924, No More Parades in 1925, A Man Could Stand Up—in 1926, and The Last Post in 1928. 2. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 2: 287.

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48  Rebecca Bowler 3. Hawkes, Ford Madox Ford, 11. 4. Richardson, “Spoon-fed,” 204. 5. Ibid., 203. 6. Dillon, Politics, 17. 7. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 3: 402. 8. Ford Madox Hueffer, The Critical Attitude, 178. Ford Madox Ford used the name Ford Madox Hueffer at an earlier stage in his career. Below, bibliographical citations will use the name under which the text in question was originally published, but this essay will refer to the writer as Ford Madox Ford. 9. Dillon, Politics, 121. 10. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 3: 463. 11. Ibid., 2: 91. 12. Ford, Parade’s End, 143. Hereafter cited as PE in the text. 13. Ford, Critical Attitude, 9. 14. Gasiorek, “Ford Madox,” 5. 15. Suspension points in original. 16. Aldington, All Men, 7. 17. Saunders, Ford Madox Ford, 3. 18. Cohen, Professional Domesticity, 48. 19. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 1: 308. 20. Ibid., 3: 464. 21. Ibid., 467. 22. Ibid., 471. 23. Hueffer, Ancient Lights, 260. 24. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 3: 467. 25. Ibid., 470. 26. Ibid., 475, 476. 27. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 23. 28. Ibid., 25. 29. Ibid., 55. 30. Hueffer, Ancient Lights, 2. 31. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 65. 32. Parsons, Theorists, 61. 33. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 2: 224. 34. Ibid., 224. 35. Ibid., 291. 36. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 3: 331. 37. Ibid., 2: 140. Suspension points in original. 38. Ibid., 92. 39. Ibid., 113. 40. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 15. 41. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 3: 360. 42. Ibid., 2: 296. 43. Ibid., 296–297. 44. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 23. 45. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 2: 297. 46. Haslam, Fragmenting, 33. 47. Matz, “Dorothy,”12. 48. Bowen, “Christmas Toast,” 131.

Hospitality, Nostalgia, and the Itinerant Hero(ine)  49 49. Ibid., 128. 50. Richardson, Pilgrimage, 4: 225.

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Bibliography Aldington, Richard. All Men Are Enemies: A Romance. London: William ­Heinemann Ltd., 1933. Bowen, Elizabeth. “The Christmas Toast Is ‘Home!’” In People, Places, Things: Essays, edited by Allan Hepburn, 128–130. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh ­University Press, 2008. Cohen, Monica F. Professional Domesticity in the Victorian Novel: Women, Work and Home. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Dillon, Michael. Politics of Security: Towards a Political Philosophy of Continental Thought. London: Routledge, 1996. Ford, Ford Madox. Parade’s End. London: Penguin, 2012. Gasiorek, Andrzej. “Ford Madox Ford’s Modernism and the Question of Tradition.” English Literature in Transition, 1880–1920 44, no. 1 (2001): 3–27. Haslam, Sara. Fragmenting Modernism: Ford Madox Ford, the Novel, and the Great War. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2002. Hawkes, Rob. Ford Madox Ford and the Misfit Moderns: Edwardian Fiction and the First World War. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Hueffer, Ford Madox. Ancient Lights and Certain New Reflections: Being the ­Memories of a Young Man. London: Chapman and Hall, 1911. Hueffer, Ford Madox. The Critical Attitude. London: Duckworth, 1911. Matz, Jesse. “Dorothy Richardson’s Singular Modernity.” Pilgrimages: A Journal of Dorothy Richardson Studies, no.1 (2008): 8–26. Parsons, Deborah. Theorists of the Modernist Novel: James Joyce, Dorothy ­Richardson, Virginia Woolf. London: Routledge, 2007. Richardson, Dorothy. “The Spoon-fed Generation?” In Close Up, 1927–1933: ­Cinema and Modernism, edited by James Donald, Anne Friedberg, and Laura Marcus, 203–205. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999. Richardson, Dorothy. Pilgrimage. 4 vols. London: Virago Press, 1979. Saunders, Max. Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life. Vol. 2. Oxford, UK: Oxford ­University Press, 1996.

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Part II

Sexual Difference

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4 Security, Hospitality, and Perversion in Muriel Spark’s Robinson

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Emily Ridge

That he should have met his end at the hands of one of his beneficiaries seemed to me the essence of his tragedy. —Muriel Spark, Robinson

The above reflection comes from January Marlow, the narrator of Muriel Spark’s 1958 novel, Robinson, in response to a presumed murder. The novel, “a kind of adventure story,” as Spark herself described it, concerns the experiences of three castaways (including January) who are stranded, following a plane crash, in the care of an eccentric hermit on his secluded island in the North Atlantic Ocean, both called Robinson.1 The castaways are given food and shelter by Robinson, and he is a generous if weary host who also manifests a fanatical concern for maintaining a tight regime on his island state. It is to the apparent fate of Robinson, as desert-island “benefactor,”2 that January refers in the above quotation. Robinson mysteriously disappears approximately two months after the unexpected arrival of these guests, and it is believed that he has been killed by one among them. In the absence of the host, their strictly regulated island life is plunged into disorder, prompting paranoia and mutual suspicion. If January sees the circumstance of Robinson’s death at the hands of one of his beneficiaries as the essence of his particular tragedy, we could also see it as the essence of the potential tragedy at all times embedded within hospitality itself, not least at an etymological level. Drawing on the philological investigations of Émile Benveniste, Derrida, in his copious writings on this subject, made much of the paradoxical intertwinement of ideas of reciprocity and mastery in the “troubled and troubling” origins of this term which, as he notes, “allows itself to be parasitized by its own opposite, ‘hostility,’ the undesirable guest.”3 As Tracy McNulty has observed, this uneasy semantic juxtaposition, while offering a model for egalitarian and mutual exchange, equally taps into an inherent “anxiety, rivalry, or hostility, in which the host’s power over the guest is conceived in a threatening manner, or in which the guest threatens to overtake the host’s place as master by usurping his home, personal property, or social position.”4 The most extreme version of the latter more pessimistic interpretation would see the death of the host as the endpoint in this act

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54  Emily Ridge of usurpation. Spark’s Robinson purports to enact, then, this ultimate dark scenario of “hostipitality,” to use Derrida’s well-known amplification of a preestablished portmanteau. Yet this is a scenario that the novel proceeds to turn on its head. Toward the end, Robinson returns, revealing that he himself has been the artist of his own disappearance, without supplying any motive for his actions. To use the word “artist” here is not to overstate the case; Robinson deliberately plants a suggestive trail of bloody evidence, pointedly nodding to a murder that nonetheless remains frustratingly unsubstantiated in the absence of a body and a clearly discernible perpetrator. January’s conception of Robinson’s end is flipped thus from tragedy into tragicomedy. This eventuality might be said to form a critique of what Judith Still has identified as the “historical tendency for the language and practice of hospitality to ‘turn’ against the guest … who not only fails to fulfil his duties (the parasite) but even betrays the host (the terrorist).”5 Instead, for January, it is a “well of darkness in Robinson’s character” (R, 164)—that is to say, the character of the host— which his orchestration of this drama exposes. However, this does not quite explain why a figure who is initially shown, on the one hand, to be decent in his hospitality even if he betrays a certain reluctance at the enforced role of host and, on the other, to set such store in order and control on his island, would suddenly abandon his position as host-cum-master. This chapter attempts an alternative explanation by reading Robinson as a dramatization of a double perversion: First, of a system of security, then of a structure of hospitality. The idea of perversion—as a “diversion of something from its original and proper course, state, or meaning,”6 to quote the OED—is inscribed, according to Derrida, in the very concept of hospitality in the impossibility of a reconciliation between absolute and conditional forms: “The law of hospitality, the express law that governs the general concept of hospitality, appears as a paradoxical law, pervertible or perverting. It seems to dictate that absolute hospitality should break with the law of hospitality as right or duty, with the ‘pact’ of hospitality.”7 This idea of pervertibility recurs throughout Derrida’s writings on hospitality, and, as he shows, it underlies what he sees as its self-destructive capacity. For a host to open up unconditionally to a guest means dissolving the very conditional terms on which that relationship is based, eliminating the differentiation between host and guest altogether. The concept of security is similarly rooted in a perverse paradox, as John Hamilton has recently established in alike tracing the etymological history of the term (sē-cura; freedom from care): “Security must always work at cross-purposes because the concern for security is at bottom a concern to be without concern.”8 This, too, is a self-defeating concept, demonstrating the kind of “irreducible pervertibility” Derrida found in hospitality.9 In Robinson, as I will demonstrate, pervertibility is personified by both January (the narrator/guest) and Robinson (the subject/host), each respectively aligned, moreover, with femininity and homosexuality. It is my contention that January represents

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a disruptive challenge to Robinson’s system of security which prompts his own inhospitable exit, what David Goldie has called, invoking a form of the very term in question, his “final perversity in faking his own death.”10 In making this inhospitable exit, he reveals an affinity rather than a disjunction between security and hospitality in practice, staging their mutually selfeffacing imperatives.

Perverting the Course of Security Robinson is, in itself, presented, from the outset, as a deliberate perversion of an original narrative. As the title and setting make clear, it is an explicit re-conception of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and also nods to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) through January’s last name. These intertextual allusions have been well-documented, but, for the purposes of this discussion, I would like to draw attention to two key aspects of Spark’s diversion from Defoe’s novel. First, as Ann Marie Fallon has noted, she was one of the first of a series of mid-century women writers to place a female consciousness at the center of the “modern Crusoe saga,” preceding writers such as Jean Rhys and Nadine Gordimer in the now-established genre of feminist and postcolonial revision (a project that gained ­momentum in the 1970s).11 Second (and relatedly, as will become clear), Spark reimagines that quintessential early English novel with a reluctant host as its subject, forced to take charge of a group of castaways on his private island, rather than the solitary mercantile individual of Defoe’s narrative. Against a late 1950s backdrop, this move from an individual to a collective focus, from an emphasis on solitude to an emphasis on community, within a malfunctioning framework of hospitality speaks to postwar anxieties in Britain about the changing national culture with the decline of empire and the rise of the welfare state but also, in a broader European context, to questions of human responsibility and rights. It is no coincidence that Emmanuel Levinas, drawing on his experience of wartime confinement, would ­publish Totality and Infinity just three years later in 1961, a work which, like R ­ obinson, sets out to write the other back into a solipsistic Western narrative: “Western philosophy has most often been an ontology: A reduction of the other to the same.”12 For Levinas, ontology is a “philosophy of power,” and the other demands of the same a “calling into question of [its] joyous possession of the world.”13 In Robinson, the other is forced upon the same, and, on a literary historical level, forced into the formative narrative of the Western liberal and imperial self. The novel presents this both as a questioning of “joyous ­possession,” to borrow Levinas’s term, and as an imposition upon an established system of security. That the guests pose a problem in both respects is something January intuits early on: “I felt that Robinson was determined to keep control. He was fixed on controlling himself, us, and his island” (R,  47). Drawing attention to an implied body–state analogy in the novel (the island,

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56  Emily Ridge named after Robinson as owner, is also shaped as a human form), Michael Gardiner has interpreted this fixation upon order as a commentary on the workings of an increasingly rationalized state and the prominence of logical positivism (which favored a detached mode of reasoning over personal experience) at mid-century. The arrival of these guests challenges Robinson’s totalizing perspective, and, for Gardiner, this also represents a critique of British novelistic realism at its very roots. To return to Defoe is to revisit the “foundations of a narrative regime in which a specific form of mimetic realism is seen to be behind the way that the British state mobilises a certain inscription of the universal properties of the individual in terms of economic vested interests.”14 Correspondingly, Robinson, at least initially, is shown to seek to maintain a productive order on his island-state which replicates an emphasis on narrative factuality and materiality, particularly manifested in his advice to January to keep a journal as a transparent and truthful record of her time on the island. Robinson’s continual reiteration of the importance of “keep[ing] to the facts” as the “healthiest course” (R, 17) is undermined, however, in a number of ways. For a start, it is tested by the unruly and irrational desires of his guests, January above all. These unauthorized desires are exemplified in the contents of the briefcase of one of January’s fellow castaways, Tom Wells, a salesman with more than a suggestion of the con artist about him. The case contains his samples—what he calls his “charms”—which become a special source of fascination for Miguel, a young boy Robinson has taken under his wing. For Robinson, these charms correspond to a form of irrational superstition which he is intent on eliminating. For January, they offer a means of establishing a resistant strain of unconstitutional desire within Robinson’s imposed scheme: When I mentioned Tom Wells he stopped cleaning the gun. He said, ‘I’ve told him that we are none of us interested in the contents of his bag.’ ‘I am,’ I said, ‘very interested.’ ‘Not while you’re on this island, you aren’t,’ said Robinson. … ‘I take an interest in what I please,’ I said. ‘Not while you’re on this island.’ (R, 50) January turns Robinson’s factual imperative against him more cunningly by giving an account of his own background in her journal, using information gleaned from the loquacious third guest on the island, Jimmie Waterford, which is very likely to be an embellishment, if not a downright ­distortion, of the truth: “I had enjoyed the small catty task—since by his ‘stick to facts’ Robinson had not meant facts about himself—and now obtained ­satisfaction from the thought, ‘He has got what he asked for’” (R, 78). Indeed, ­Robinson’s assertion of a rational basis for his island-based society predicated, first and foremost, on verifiable “fact” is, above all, undercut by the novel’s own refusal of an entirely mimetic mode. January makes this

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Security, Hospitality, and Perversion in Muriel Spark’s Robinson  57 dual dimension clear from the very first paragraph (a point reestablished in the very last) in reflecting that she has increasingly come to understand her island experience as a “time and landscape of the mind if I did not have the visible signs to summon its materiality” (R, 7). Accordingly, the novel itself continually evades a materialist assurance of its realistic surface, raising more questions than answers, veering as often into a fantastical as a factual realm.15 For Gardiner, this aesthetic mode has direct political implications: “The realist stitching Spark sews carefully with one hand is, with the other, carefully unpicked, constantly working at making difficult any naturalisation of the bond between the individual and the disembodied rationality of the state.”16 Furthermore, the novel exposes the function of a proprietorial form of security in the naturalization of that bond. Mark Neocleous has raised some pertinent questions in responding to a prevailing tendency to see security as a necessary basis for individual freedom: “But what if at the heart of the logic of security lies not a vision of freedom or emancipation, but a means of modeling the whole of human society around a particular vision of order? What if security is little more than a semantic and semiotic black hole allowing authority to inscribe itself deeply into human experience?”17 Back in 1958, Spark addressed such questions through creating a character with a loaded literary-historical legacy, via Defoe, whose “fetish” (R, 73) for order extends from the island itself to the individuals around him, not just in terms of his authorization of behavioral codes of practice within his realm but in terms of a “detachment which he prize[s]” (R, 47) in his own personal relationships. The original Crusoe was a post-Lockean model for enlightened liberal thought, and Neocleous, in returning to that Lockean model, persuasively argues that “[f]ar from being in opposition, the project of liberty supposedly announced with the onset of modern liberalism has been inextricably bound up—one might say even wrapped up—in the project of security.”18 At the crux of this intimate relation, as Neocleous further contends, is a concern for property; freedom for Locke was grounded in the right to own and to preserve one’s possessions. If anything, an obsession with the question of property is even more palpable in Spark’s novel than in Defoe’s. In contrast to the case of accidental acquirement depicted in the earlier novel, her Robinson’s island has been purposely sought out as a piece of private property. We are not allowed to forget that the island belongs to him—”It’s Robinson’s island” (R, 51, 61)—and his concern to maintain his own “particular vision of order” is proprietorial at root, even extending to the assumption of control over the property of his guests when he perceives this property as an ideological threat (for example, the charms and, later, January’s rosary beads). If, to reiterate Levinas’s words, an encounter with the other calls into question a “joyous possession of the world” (emphasis added), what we find in Spark’s novel is a calling into question of a longstanding tradition of liberal individualism grounded in an imperialist ­possession of the world.

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58  Emily Ridge In this interrogation of an imperialist mode, January is the Marlow to Robinson’s Kurtz. She takes it upon herself to pervert his logic of security, both in theory and in practice, not least on a proprietary level through covertly and repeatedly taking more than her ration of cigarettes from ­Robinson’s stock. From the beginning, January is shown to be attuned to the limitations of any system that attempts to completely regulate risk: “There is no absolute method of judging whether one course of action is less dangerous than another” (R, 39). At the same time, she is also aware of certain benefits that come with Robinson’s approach to governance. In balancing a sense of irritation at his intrusive meddling in her developing closeness with Jimmie Waterford with a sense of anxiety with regard to the increasingly threatening behavior of Tom Wells, she internally debates its pros and cons in line with established discussions of whether or not security inhibits or enables freedom: “I was wondering how best, during the five weeks remaining to me on the island, to preserve some freedom from Robinson’s interference in the matter of Jimmie, while retaining his protection from Wells” (R, 72). However, toward the end of the novel, following Robinson’s return, she extends her earlier reflections in the service of a damning judgment of his approach: ‘Normally, my life is regulated, it is a system. It was disrupted by your arrival.’ ‘Any system,’ I said, ‘which doesn’t allow for the unexpected and the unwelcome is a rotten one.’ (R, 162) Her criticism of Robinson’s obsessive system of regulation and control preempts the calls of later theorists of security to embrace contingency over an all-encompassing ambition to control risk. For Giorgio Agamben, writing in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, a “state which has security as its only task and source of legitimacy is a fragile organism”19 while Hamilton has since advocated a radical shift in values in the Levinasian vein: “Rather than remain safely ensconced within identity, we must open up to difference, including above all self-difference. … In brief, instead of security, we should appreciate the value of insecurity.”20 That Spark gives the role of perverting the course of security—the role of Marlow-cum-Friday—to a woman in the novel is crucial. January is conscious of her own perverse potential in this respect, intuiting that she has become a topic for discussion on the island: “I darkly discerned that they had been discussing me considerably as a female problem” (R, 30). ­Robinson himself associates femininity with a form of unruly and unpredictable deviation: “‘If you’re going for a walk,’ said Robinson, ‘take this raincoat. The weather is a woman in this island’” (R, 31). Martin Stannard, in his biography of Spark, highlights a “1949 letter in which she spoke of herself as an island which men tried to colonise,” suggesting the importance of the novel’s setting for a gendered form of resistance.21 Such a resistance

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Security, Hospitality, and Perversion in Muriel Spark’s Robinson  59 might equally be seen as an enactment of hospitality’s inherent pervertibility in line with McNulty’s thesis that the “feminine contests the autonomy of the host by giving voice to the alterity within personhood, functioning as the internal marking of the Other.”22 In contesting Robinson’s autonomy, both as guest and woman, January, I would argue, activates a process of internal recognition of difference that culminates in Robinson’s own abandonment of his sovereign place, a move I will discuss in more detail in the section to follow.

Perverting the Course of Hospitality January, as I have argued, shakes the foundations of Robinson’s security system through challenging, both verbally and surreptitiously, his rationalized approach to the regulation of his island, on the one hand, and his process of factual documentation, on the other. Yet it is Robinson himself who throws the novel into the realm of the absurd and the unverifiable through his temporary withdrawal. The transitional moment is described by ­January at the beginning of the eighth chapter in a sentence that combines factual scrupulousness with a premonitory warning of the epistemological lack to come: “Next morning, Saturday the third of July, Robinson was gone” (R,  100). Although the text, as I have already suggested, can be found to subtly undercut its mimetic surface from the beginning, this moment marks a more emphatic move away from what Gardiner calls the “systematic behaviour” that forms a cornerstone of the British ­realist novel, and into a more unpredictable and inexplicable mode.23 First, nobody can explain this sudden absence. Robinson, as mentioned, deposits enough clues and material artifacts in his wake to allow for certain suppositions to be made—in particular, he kills a goat and smears its blood on selected clothing items belonging to his guests, scattering these items in such a way as to imply that he has been killed by one of them—but not enough evidence to lead to any firm conclusions as to what exactly has befallen him. His disappearance tips a routine island order into a state of confusion. More importantly, when he does return of his own accord, thus shedding light on his confusing absence, he refuses to resolve the overarching question of why he might have committed such a bizarre act, much to January’s bewilderment: “I could not deny the comic element, at the same time as I could not help thinking, there is something vicious in him. What urged him to make such a display of blood? Why? What bloody delight was satisfied?” (R, 164). This is a novel that comically confounds any attempt to interpret behavior systematically as part of a coherent narrative in a realist tradition, and, significantly, it is the main advocate of a systematic logic, in terms of security as much as behavior, who becomes the most confounding and unpredictable element of all. In Robinson’s own words: “‘Things mount up inside one, and then one has to perpetrate an outrage’” (R, 162).

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60  Emily Ridge If Robinson’s actions cannot readily or satisfactorily be accounted for, what is clear is that they represent a conscious disavowal of a framework of hospitality. The “outrage” he perpetrates is, first and foremost, his abandonment of the duties of the host. These are duties that he takes on with no small degree of assiduousness from the outset, but it becomes clear that his hospitality is conditional upon its inevitable ending and upon his guests’ abidance by his rules. “I feel that we were all unwelcome on the island” (R, 40), ­January notes in her journal not long into the visit and then, shortly afterward, she adds: “I gathered … that he was anxious to regard our intrusion into his life as temporary” (R, 46). Robinson has, indeed, good reason to see this as a temporary intrusion. A boat carrying plantation workers is expected toward the end of the summer which will grant the castaways a passage from the island. It is also a manageable intrusion. Robinson maintains an austere detachment from his guests; he is polite but refuses to become intimate, thus forbidding a kind of closeness that might impact upon the unspoken but set terms of the visit (not least its fixed duration). The pertinent question to ask here is why he would see fit to abandon a role that, however inconvenient, he is able to fulfill without loss of autonomy and a role whose short-term duration is guaranteed. The answer to this question lies in the fact that his “outrage” goes beyond the simple abandonment of hostly duty. In staging his own death “at the hands of one of his beneficiaries” (R, 131), Robinson actively envisions the implosion of a paradigm of hospitality through its own internal pervertibility. In other words, Robinson perverts the course of hospitality in this novel not simply by fracturing its structure but by revealing the paradigm itself to be pervertible in playing ideas of benefaction against power. This reading aligns him with January, in her own resistance to a security paradigm, despite the more obvious differences between them, not least her early perception that “he could be positively hostile to the idea of women in general” (R, 29). In fact, Spark takes great care to discreetly imply such an alignment. Like Robinson, January has controlling ­tendencies and equally avoids intimacy: “I like to be in control of my relationships with people” (R, 39). She herself acknowledges this to be “one of the few grounds on which [she] understood Robinson” (R, 52). Above all, Robinson and ­January are aligned as figures of perversity. Although January’s perverse potential is associated with her womanhood, as previously discussed, it is strongly suggested that Robinson’s is a queer potential. His homosexuality is hinted at throughout the text and is an overt source of speculation on the part of his guests on more than one occasion: “‘He’s not a lady’s man’” ­ oreover, in relation to his mode of island governance, the descrip(R, 96). M tion of Robinson’s “schoolmasterly” (R, 131) approach is counterpointed by references to him both as a “headmistress” (R, 46) and a “schoolmistress” (R, 163), serving to obfuscate any sense of clearly defined gender boundaries. Robinson might be a male host, but he is not, straightforwardly, a masculine one. As such, we could go so far as to say that his uneasy confrontation with

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Security, Hospitality, and Perversion in Muriel Spark’s Robinson  61 January’s feminine defiance is a confrontation with his own alterity. Calling to mind McNulty’s contention that the feminine has “long embodied the alterity internal to the chez soi of identity, the insistence of the Other within and against the autonomy of the self,”24 I am proposing, in correspondence, that it is a queer form of otherness that is registered in Robinson. It is a recognition of this internal Other, provoked by January, that compels him not just to relinquish the traditionally patriarchal and distinctly heteronormative category of host but, even further, to perversely enact the death of the autonomous, the sovereign self. In his absence, paradigms of security and hospitality (in its c­ onditional form) collapse together, revealing a hidden alliance. This is not just because Robinson’s practice of hospitality prior to his vanishing is a hospitality governed by a “certain formality” (R, 46) in the absence of which island relations descend into a form of unrefined lawlessness. It is also that ­ ­Robinson’s system of security is shown to enable secure forms of interaction that are rendered unstable without it. Facing the thought that one of her two fellow guests must be responsible for Robinson’s purported death (and, by the same token, that they might themselves believe her to be responsible), ­January’s good feeling toward her castaway companions falters, morphing into a fear of their unknown dimensions: “You must understand that ­Jimmie and Tom Wells had all at once become strangers to me … for now their familiar c­ haracteristics struck me merely as a number of indications that I knew nothing about them” (R, 109). This anxiety is especially directed at Tom Wells, who becomes increasingly menacing the longer Robinson stays away and eventually attempts to kill January because she refuses to comply with his blackmail demands. Without the host, there is no security. Without security, hospitality loses its meaning in that fellow guests turn into ­potentially ­hostile “strangers.” Upon his return and in his resumption of the role of host and proprietor, Robinson restores order to the chaos. However, in this reincarnation, we find a subtle acknowledgment, even an embrace, of the fallibility of his own system of control. If, as Hamilton has observed, an “obsessive concern for security could be read as an attempt to distract ourselves from a frightening admission of our mortality, an apotropaic gesture aimed at warding off what can never be prevented, or in vain hope in the perfect efficacy of our calculations,” Robinson’s return, in effect, from the dead serves to disable the urgency of this foundational security concern.25 When January alerts him to the fact that Tom Wells had made an attempt on her life while he was away, his response is telling: “‘That would not have been so serious for you,’ he said. ‘You’ve got to die some time’” (R, 163). Robinson’s reappearance, at first glance, seems to mark a reassertion of the sovereign self over the queer other in his character. However, his reinstigation of the island status quo is complicated by a pointedly new acceptance of contingency on his part and, relatedly, by Spark’s own establishment of the island’s inherent vulnerability above and beyond any threat posed by interlopers.

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62  Emily Ridge At the end of the novel and in the aftermath of the events narrated, J­ anuary learns that Robinson’s island is sinking and that he himself is ­preparing to evacuate with, as January sees it, the intention of finding another island abode elsewhere. This demonstrates a new adaptability to the unexpected, no doubt shaped by his experience of unanticipated island intrusion. Yet this outcome equally nods to the end of a literary legacy of imperial and joyful possession at a time when the British Empire was undergoing a process of contraction, prompting Jed Esty’s recent application of the metaphor of the “shrinking island” in characterizing the literary output of this period, of which Robinson is representative.26 Even a brief discussion of Robinson reveals Spark’s own classification of the novel as “a kind of adventure story” to be somewhat disingenuous, as she herself made clear in correcting her own editor’s misconception in this regard: “He sat there pontifically with my manuscript in front of him … and wondered, after all, what was this novel about. A man and a girl on an island? It was, in fact, about a lot more than that.”27 Her comment should alert the reader to the fact that nothing should be taken at face value in this novel. Yet her editor also hits upon something in this description. This is a novel about a man and a girl on an island and their perversion of the literary legacy of that island as it is on the verge of slipping back into the North Atlantic Ocean.

Notes 1. Spark, Curriculum, 210. 2. Spark, Robinson, 51. Hereafter cited as R in the text. 3. Derrida, “Hostipitality,” 3. 4. McNulty, The Hostess, 11. 5. Still, Derrida, 12. 6. Perversion: OED Online, accessed April 10, 2015, http://0-www.oed.com.edlis. ied.edu.hk/view/Entry/141678?redirectedFrom=perversion. 7. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 25. 8. Hamilton, Security, 10. 9. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 25. 10. Goldie, “Muriel Spark,” 6. 11. Fallon, Global Crusoe, 99. 12. Levinas, Totality, 43. 13. Ibid., 46, 76. 14. Gardiner, “Body and State,” 30. 15. In this respect, Spark’s approach falls into line with what Marina MacKay and Lyndsey Stonebridge have identified as “a distinctive [postwar] aesthetic in which realisms emerge that are written self-consciously ‘after’ modernism.” See MacKay and Stonebridge, British Fiction, 7. 16. Gardiner, “Body and State,” 31. 17. Neocleous, Critique of Security, 4. 18. Ibid., 22. 19. Agamben, “Security and Terror.” 20. Hamilton, Security, 19. It is worth noting here that for Levinas himself, an acceptance of insecurity was a fundamental part of any dialogue with the other: “The

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Security, Hospitality, and Perversion in Muriel Spark’s Robinson  63 same can rejoin the other only in the hazards and risks of the quest for truth; it does not rest on the other in complete security.” See Levinas, Totality, 60. 21. Stannard, Muriel Spark, 190. 22. McNulty, The Hostess, 25. 23. Gardiner, “Body and State,” 28. 24. McNulty, The Hostess, 27. 25. Hamilton, Security, 28. 26. Esty, Shrinking Island, 8. Esty, indeed, directly invokes Hugh Kenner’s A Sinking Island (1987) in this title. 27. Quoted in Stannard, Muriel Spark, 184.

Bibliography Agamben, Giorgio. “Security and Terror.” Translated by Carolin Emcke. Theory and Event 5, no. 4 (2001). Accessed May 4, 2015. http://muse.jhu.edu.ezphost.dur. ac.uk/journals/theory_and_event/v005/5.4agamben.html. Derrida, Jacques. “Hostipitality.” Translated by Barry Stocker with Forbes Morlock. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 5, no. 3 (2000): 3–18. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Esty, Jed. A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England. ­Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004. Fallon, Ann Marie. Global Crusoe: Comparative Literature, Postcolonial Theory and Transnational Aesthetics. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2011. Gardiner, Michael. “Body and State in Spark’s Early Fiction.” In The Edinburgh Companion to Muriel Spark, edited by Michael Gardiner and Willy Maley, 27–39. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2010. Goldie, David. “Muriel Spark and the Problem of Biography.” In The Edinburgh Companion to Muriel Spark, edited by Michael Gardiner and Willy Maley, 5–15. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2010. Hamilton, John. Security: Politics, Humanity, and the Philology of Care. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013. Levinas, Emmanuel. Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Translated by Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne, 1969. MacKay, Marina, and Lyndsey Stonebridge, eds. British Fiction after Modernism: The Novel at Mid-Century. Houndsmill, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. McNulty, Tracy. The Hostess: Hospitality, Femininity and the Expropriation of Identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. Neocleous, Mark. Critique of Security. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008. Spark, Muriel. Curriculum Vitae. New York: New Directions, 1992. Spark, Muriel. Robinson. New York: New Directions, 2003. Stannard, Martin. Muriel Spark: The Biography. New York: Norton, 2010. Still, Judith. Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice. Edinburgh, UK: ­Edinburgh University Press, 2010.

5 Baiting Hospitality

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Irina Aristarkhova

Hitchhiking is choosing to have faith in other human beings, and man, like a small god, rewards those who have faith in him. —Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro, Brides on Tour Project

In this chapter, I explore the “risk management” of hospitality through the notion of the bait.1 In rereading ancient “foundational” texts, such as the Bible, or the Laws of Manu, that figure prominently in contemporary literature on hospitality, I noticed that hospitality-themed narratives often turn out to be a test or a trap (for example, to test the host’s or guest’s devotion to a god or a goddess; their righteousness and social standing; their willingness to sacrifice). It is not a situation of “welcoming for the sake of welcoming.” However, in our everyday life, these higher purposes are hedged against the fact that we know how unlikely it is that the concrete stranger in front of us is a God (in the Kantian sense), a goddess (in nonmonotheistic traditions), or, as Derrida often calls him, a Messiah, and hence we are taught not to talk to strangers or be too gullible.2 On the other hand, modern discourses on hospitality have renewed the discussion of the ethics and politics of cosmopolitanism, as formulated by Kant in Perpetual Peace and since then elaborated upon by many others.3 The question, however, remains: if hospitality is a bait, then who is luring whom and how? Furthermore, why are we being lured despite all the risks, and what are the differences in these risks and rewards? In other words, what if one knows about “baiting hospitality” and still “falls for it”? Is it naïve? Is it noble? To approach these questions here, I consider the tragic story of Pippa Bacca. Bacca, I will argue, followed the promises of unconditional hospitality based on foundational stories in the ­Abrahamic tradition, updated through the notions of Kantian cosmopolitanism and perpetual peace: the whole world is a home, where each one of us has a right to dwell and to be hosted.4 She believed. She wanted to “show us,” fulfilling Kant’s promise of peace. Her desire continues to live on in various reincarnations (a documentary film, a play, and other tributes, including this text).5 ­Respectfully, I want to raise the problem of the bait.

Baiting Hospitality  65

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Brides on Tour In March 2008, traveling in white bridal dresses and documenting almost every minute of their journey, Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro traveled from Italy toward Israel. They intended to have an exhibition opening in Tel Aviv (the final exhibition was scheduled for Italy in the Fall of 2008), but the two separated in Turkey, and Pippa Bacca disappeared shortly after she left Istanbul. A few days later, someone used her phone card to call, and this is how the man who raped and murdered her, Murat Karataş, was found by the police. He showed them the location of Bacca’s body on April 11. Her funeral took place on April 19, 2008. She was 33. In the aftermath of her death, many comments centered on the fact that this project was meant to symbolize peace across a region that had witnessed many ancient and recent wars.6 Other commenters emphasized that the risk she took was not naïve, blind faith. Rather, such radical openness to the Other (words used by her friends and family), which requires risking one’s life, is the only means we have to allow each other to reveal the potential of our shared lives.7 Such elementary hospitality is the foundation of any ­possibility of the social.8 There have been less sympathetic responses as well. Was she “crazy naïve”?9 What was she thinking? Did she, as a white, middle-class woman, an Italian citizen, and a Catholic, understand that the whole world is not her home, or, more critically, “hers”? In the aftermath of her death, some Turkish feminists protested that many murders and rapes in Turkey remain unsolved, and if she had not been a foreigner, this would not have been investigated and solved so quickly.10 This tragedy indeed became a matter of national shame for Turkey, with major newspapers covering the story and a Turkish government official calling his counterpart in Italy to express his sympathies and apologize. It has also prompted discussions of the safety and security of women travelers internationally.11 Yet one might argue that the artist’s risk was not as great as critics of her “naïveté” assume, since what might seem like mundane ­encounters— opening doors, stepping outside and driving, or entering private and domestic spaces with acquaintances and family members—result in rates of rape and murder several times higher than does hitchhiking. For women, we often hear, strangers are to be feared much less than those who live nearby or with us. For Bacca, faith was one of the most important points of this journey. By asking for the hospitality of strangers, she was giving them an opportunity to act upon this fundamental openness and vulnerability. She was testing them too; she was performing as a kind of she-Messiah, wearing her white dress as a symbol of peace. Handcrafted, the dress finally made it to the gallery in Tel Aviv, but without her. Bacca’s messianism, her faith, and her unconditional testing of the hospitality of strangers, even as she tested herself, are all distinguishable from Moro’s more conditional, “toned-down,” approach to Brides on Tour, an approach involving risk management. In Joël Curtz’s documentary film The Bride, Silvia Moro recalls a moment, before the two women separated, when she refused to get into a car with a few “fat, dirty-looking” men: “For Pippa, the fact I did not want to get into

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66  Irina Aristarkhova the car, was treason.”12 Moro had her conditions, one of which was that a driver had to have a “good face”: “I don’t get into the car if the guy does not have a good face. … A calm, serene one.”13 This distinction between the two women’s approaches to the project is not just a question of differing artistic intentions. For Bacca, any hedging, any desire for what Moro saw as “a reliable” driver, was a cheat. The ways that women make this particular call, on who is “reliable” and who is not, is something theorists of hospitality have yet to tackle. Bacca’s refusal of risk assessment points toward an identification with the Abrahamic ideal of unconditional hospitality, whereas Moro refused to be part of this tradition, to be lured by it, seduced by its stories and promises. Moro recognized the great foundational stories about welcoming all and any strangers for what they are: Stories. Bacca, by contrast, followed the law of unconditional hospitality: one says “yes” to anyone and anything that comes. The ultimate reward is not in this life but in the next, since the guest could be a god or a goddess.14 Whether one sides with Moro or Bacca, their choices point to issues of risk management (or issues surrounding the refusal to manage risks) that are built into practices of hospitality. Setting to one side many other important consequences of this tragic project, I would like to explore two main themes here. Both signify and problematize the question of sexual difference in relation to public/private or domestic/communal spaces of hospitality.15 The first is Bacca’s relation to foundational stories of hospitality (specifically, what Derrida calls the Abrahamic tradition), and the second is Bacca’s practice of cosmopolitanism and its claim to world citizenship.

Yes, We Are Heirs to This Tradition In his numerous discussions of hospitality, Derrida presents a complex ­relationship between a domestic, homely hospitality and its communal, public dimension. Sexual difference plays a crucial role in his theorization of hospitality, domestic and communal. Derrida collates several traditions in discussing communal history of hospitality—“Western, European, or paraEuropean traditions”16—by using the umbrella term “Abrahamic,” which allows him to bring together Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At the end of the co-authored work Of Hospitality, Derrida considers this Abrahamic tradition of hospitality through two specific scenes. In Genesis, Lot offers his daughters to the men of Sodom in place of his guest, whom the men want to rape. Derrida calls this “the great founding scene of Abrahamesque hospitality.”17 In another founding scene, from Judges, the master of the house also offers his daughter in the place of his guest, but instead, a guest’s concubine is given away to a crowd of men: Then the master of the house went out to them and said, “No, my brothers; I implore you, do not commit this crime. This man has

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Baiting Hospitality  67 become my guest; do not commit such an infamy. Here is my daughter; she is a virgin; I will give her to you. Possess her, do what you please with her, but do not commit such an infamy against this man.” The men would not listen to him. So the Levite took his concubine and brought her out to them. They had intercourse with her and outraged her all night till morning; when dawn was breaking they let her go. At daybreak the girl came and fell on the threshold of her husband’s host, and she stayed there till it was full day. In the morning her husband got up and opened the door of the house.18 Derrida explains what happens after that as follows: In the name of hospitality, all the men are sent a woman, to be precise, a concubine. The guest, the “master” of the woman, “picked up his knife, took hold of his concubine, and limb by limb cut her into twelve pieces; then he sent her all through the land of Israel. He instructed his messengers as follows, ‘This is what you are to say to all the Israelites, “Has any man seen such a thing from the day I­ sraelites came out of the land of Egypt, until this very day? Ponder on this, discuss it; then give your verdict.”’ And all who saw it declared, ‘Never such a thing been done or been seen since the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt.”’19 At the end of his retelling of this story, Derrida asks the following questions: “Are we the heirs to this tradition of hospitality? Up to what point? Where should we place the invariant, if it is one, across this logic and these narratives? They testify without end in our memory.”20 First, let us answer affirmatively: Yes, we are the heirs to this tradition of hospitality. We have to answer this question affirmatively after considering Pippa Bacca’s death, even if her own clearly articulated Christian ­intention complicates this affirmative answer, and even if the “safety” statistics that I discussed above do not support it. In fact, Bacca’s story complicates the easy private/public separation in the statistics on sexual violence and women’s deaths. Her story shows that these divisions reinforce each other and are permeable. Indeed, her case is not only that of a private individual, a person who habitually used to hitchhike with her sisters and her mother. Brides on Tour was an art project, a cultural product with all the symbolism and multiple meanings that Moro and Bacca expressed in their statements, actions, and documentation. Now, it lives on its own. In its totality, it allows me to question this “tradition of hospitality” as the bait. As Derrida clearly problematizes this tradition, the “we” in his questioning—“are we the heirs to this tradition of hospitality?”—is ambivalent. It is not clear who is included: “Para-Europeans” of all genders and sexualities, or heterosexual men, decision makers, of “this tradition” only. This “we” calls for taking responsibility and reflecting on what (or who) is at stake. “We” becomes a

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68  Irina Aristarkhova deconstructive term insofar as Derrida acknowledges that women can neither be simply included nor, any longer, left out. These considerations present a dimension to Pippa Bacca’s tragic death that needs to be factored into the larger picture of the risks of hospitality, especially for a group of people who not only self-identify but are often identified by others—legally, philosophically, and theologically—as women. After all, the story of the Levite is about the sin of asking to have sex with a male guest. In response, the master of the house, the host, offers his ­daughter—a virgin—and then, a guest’s “concubine” is delivered. There are two layers of substitution: For a male guest and for a host’s daughter. Was the concubine not also a guest? And why does the male host/the male guest not offer himself, in this story of (un)conditional hospitality? Second, in the spirit of Pippa Bacca’s work and intention, let us—the same “us,” or maybe already another “us”—answer no to Derrida’s question. We are not the heirs to this tradition of hospitality. What Bacca refused to follow is the existing order of feminine confinement in which the domestic, private space defines the “proper woman.” Bacca and Moro refused the tradition of women as defined through their “proper” space: After all, they started their journey on March 8, International Women’s Day. Through her ecumenical message of peace, Bacca was transgressing against the traditional gendering of space. Bacca not only posed Derrida’s question of inheritance—whether it is possible today, for a woman, in the twenty-first century, to claim world citizenship and cosmopolitan hospitality—but she also enacted it with her body. The artist opened up a possibility of forgetting, of pretending that one does not know “that” tradition. As if anyone can just ask for refuge in the “home” of another person (in a vehicle, not just in their house), and “forget” that one is a woman-concubine. How do we navigate such cultures of hospitality that cut women into pieces to make a point or to found a community, that offer daughters and wives, together with animals and other possessions, both to other men and to their gods? How does one continue living after violence? How do nations continue living after violence? One response is the connection Derrida draws between hospitality and forgiveness: As soon as the victim “understands” the criminal, as soon as she exchanges, speaks, agrees with him, the scene of reconciliation has commenced, and with it this ordinary forgiveness which is anything but forgiveness. Even if I say “I do not forgive you” to someone who asks my forgiveness, but whom I understand and who understands me, then a process of reconciliation has begun; the third has intervened. Yes, this is the end of pure forgiveness. There could be, in effect, all sorts of proximity (where the crime is between people who know each other): Language, neighborhood, familiarity, even family, etc. But in order for evil to emerge, “radical evil” and perhaps worse again, the unforgivable evil, the only one

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which would make the question of forgiveness emerge, it is necessary that at the most intimate of that intimacy an absolute hatred would come to interrupt the peace. This destructive hostility can only aim at what Levinas calls the “face” of the Other, the similar other, the closest neighbor, between the Bosnians and Serbs, for example, within the same quarter, the same house, sometimes in the same family.21 Bacca traveled through the areas of former Yugoslavia, and in her story, too, the “radical evil” manifested itself through sexual violence. But even though here Derrida presents the victim of violence as “she,” his discussion on the communal dimension of hospitality primarily addresses relations between men and whether they would protect those who are in their homes (daughters, guests, concubines). Brides on Tour shows that it is no longer possible (and perhaps has never been possible, without violence) to sustain women’s “private” versus men’s “public” division of space. But including “she” here complicates more than just Derrida’s own separation of private/ public hospitality. What if there is no forgiveness needed because there has been no hatred to begin with, but instead this elusive desire to act as if nothing like “that” has happened before, and one can just go and hitchhike one’s way from Italy to Israel, as part of an art project? In fact, this is how most tributes to Bacca’s memory proceeded.22 Why should it be “natural” for women to feel insecure in so-called public spaces? What kind of perversion of hospitality happened that one could see tragedy and death as a “logical” conclusion for a traveling woman? From this point of view, the invariant about which Derrida asks appears in the gendered functionality of hospitality.23 Woman’s function is to be a lubricant of hospitality relations, more or less celebrated, more or less acknowledged. The Levite story, as narrated by Derrida, highlights the violence of dismemberment for a “higher purpose,” such as in the handling of the concubine, daughter, wife, or any other woman at hand, where such treatment is seen almost as an unfortunate inevitability. Pippa Bacca, ­however, in her full commitment to saying “yes” to “this” tradition of hospitality, also demonstrated what a resounding “no” could be: No, she is not an heir to this tradition of hospitality. And the matter here is not only in her choice of giving herself to the cause of world peace (and who believes in that any longer?). We know her name; I write about her as a living, lived, person, as someone who showed to us that we are not the heirs to “this” tradition. However, there is no equality in the face of hospitality: its rewards and its logic so far are fundamentally gendered. Pippa Bacca’s intentions in the Brides on Tour work have deliberately both affirmed and shattered expectations of gendered hospitality: as a self-identified bride, with her bridal dress, her white gown, and its message of innocence and vulnerability, she moved directly into, rather than transgressing, the traditional male/female dichotomy. Because if there has ever been any hospitality given to women in traditional discourses, it

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is based on notions of their weakness, need of protection and defense, shelter from harsh “masculine” realities of the outside world. Thus, drivers whom Bacca asked to give her a lift were put in a position of protecting and helping a young, vulnerable woman, in a long white dress that, for many, specifically represents innocence. The lure of “this tradition” was enacted on multiple levels, and the question of cosmopolitanism adds a crucial dimension to it: Pippa Bacca is demanding our hospitality as a world citizen.

Cosmopolitan Hospitality: Home Is the Whole World Moro’s and Bacca’s project follows not only Abrahamic traditions, but also Kantian notions of cosmopolitanism and perpetual peace. The question of hospitality as a right of the stranger to be treated without hostility is raised by Kant within the framework of achieving perpetual peace: Something that Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro strove toward as well. Bacca’s death became an issue of relations between nations, between Turkey and Italy: “People were incensed that a Turkish man could carry out such a heinous crime on a young woman who was on a trip for peace. … Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gul, called President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy to relay the ‘heartfelt grief of the Turkish population for the tragedy.’”24 The challenging nature of this project is highlighted by the fact that at the first sight the artists seem to assume that there is no obstacle to women’s claims to cosmopolitanism. One might even add that here their claim is reinforced by being admitted to a citizenship of a European Union country with its own assumption of the world’s welcome through one’s passport. Kant formulated the connection between cosmopolitanism and hospitality in his “Definitive Article in View of Perpetual Peace” as follows: “The law of cosmopolitanism must be restricted to the conditions of universal hospitality.”25 However, can a Kantian notion of cosmopolitanism simply be “updated” to include women, such as Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro? Or does cosmopolitanism, too, become a bait, a mere story of the eternal peace between the nations (of men?) that no woman who wants to be safe should believe in? World citizenship is an important aspect of the Brides on Tour project, which challenges the private/public and domestic/political separation in discussions of hospitality by insisting on presenting women as cosmopolites and as brides at the same time.26 The fact that I referred to above—that Bacca’s murderer was found, convicted, and her body had been found too (even though there might have been another person involved who has not yet been identified)—is an important one and should not simply be taken for granted. This fact places Pippa Bacca within the legal practices of international citizenship and positions Bacca’s murderer and herself within the possibility of a global civil society governed by international law. This point—that justice is only possible if it actually exists outside of personal relations—was present in the Kantian notion of world citizenship. In this regard, his third footnote to the main

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text of Perpetual Peace is telling, as it establishes three different levels of cosmopolitan and civil protections, interrelating domestic, national, and international elements: 3. We ordinarily assume that no one may act inimically toward another except when he has been actively injured by the other. This is quite ­correct if both are under civil law, for, by entering into such a state, they afford each other the requisite security through the sovereign which has power over both. Man (or the people) in the state of nature deprives me of this security and injures me, if he is near me, by this mere status of his, even though he does not injure me actively (facto); he does so by the lawlessness of his condition (statu iniusto) which constantly threatens me. Therefore, I can compel him either to enter with me into a state of civil law or to remove himself from my neighborhood. The postulate which is basic to all the following articles is: all men who can reciprocally influence each other must stand under some civil constitution. Every juridical constitution which concerns the person who stands under it is one of the following: 1 The constitution conforming to the civil law of men in a nation (ius civitatis). 2 The constitution conforming to the law of nations in their relation to one another (ius gentium). 3 The constitution conforming to the law of world citizenship, so far as men and states are considered as citizens of a universal state of men, in their external mutual relationships (ius cosmopoliticum). This division is not arbitrary, being necessary in relation to the idea of perpetual peace. For if only one state were related to another by physical influence and were yet in a state of nature, war would necessarily follow, and our purpose here is precisely to free ourselves of war.27 In light of Kant’s words, the fact that Turkish and Italian heads of state communicated over Pippa Bacca’s death is symbolic, no matter how cynical one may be about such gestures. They were representatives of nations that have an established relationship within international law and international civil society. This is a Kantian vision. At the same time, the Turkish press in its coverage of Brides on Tour and Bacca’s murder were representing Turkish civil society. That is why the question of citizenship is important, as women have started claiming full citizenship status, which has been symbolically celebrated on International Women’s Day. Thus, demanding cosmopolitan hospitality on behalf of Pippa Bacca is also about demanding justice for the crime committed against her as a world citizen and an artist (granting all the problems with such definitions). When cosmopolitan right comes into play, then hospitality law is not only a question of individual citizenship, but rather for Kant, a question of

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72  Irina Aristarkhova the sovereignty of the state, which controls public space, the polis, and hospitality laws. These two problems which limit Kantian and hence, modern laws of hospitality, need to be dealt with, according to Derrida, so that they can be transformed and improved. For Derrida, the possibility of hospitality lies between the law of unconditional hospitality, “offered a priori to every other, to all newcomers, whoever they may be, and the conditional laws of a right to hospitality, without which the unconditional Law would be in danger of remaining irresponsible desire, without form and without potency, and of being perverted at any moment.”28 It calls for our urgent response to crime, violence, and to persecution. Hence, Kant and Derrida present the necessity of an ethical imperative as a possibility of a law, a political action, or another practical or theoretical application of such an ethical imperative. This is not a demand of absolute hospitality that would arrest any possibility of action, but rather, the ideal that makes any of its applications—conditional hospitalities—possible. Bacca and Moro transgressed Kantian notions of hospitality and cosmopolitanism because Kant famously (what he called “naturally”) excluded women (with other groups) from these discussions.29 In their insistence on becoming guests—cosmopolitan guests—they challenged both traditions of hospitality and international relations, through its most radical and uncompromising form: Hitchhiking with strangers. As Ksenija Vidmar-Horvat has provided a good overview of the difficult historical relationship between cosmopolitanism and women in recent feminist literature, it suffices to present one quotation from Kant in the context of this argument.30 It deals with this notion of “nature” through which he excluded women from his discussions of world citizenship, but also promoted the notion that women need to be protected by men against other men outside of the home: Feminine traits are called weaknesses. People joke about them; fools ridicule them; but reasonable persons see very well that those traits are just the tools for the management of men, and for the use of men for female designs. … He loves domestic peace and gladly submits to her rule, so that he does not find himself hindered in his own affairs. She does not shy away from domestic strife which she carries on with her tongue, and for which Nature has provided her with loquacity and passionate eloquence which together disarm the man. He builds on the right of the stronger to give orders at home because he has the obligation to protect his home against outside enemies. She builds on the right of the weaker to be protected by her masculine partner against men, and she disarms him with her tears of exasperation by reproaching him with his lack of generosity.31 Thus, the fundamental, essential connection between hospitality and sexual difference established in previous literature on hospitality, traditional or more recent, presents original, private hospitality of the maternal, feminine

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Baiting Hospitality  73 (a sense of being at home with oneself, pre-Oedipal, but also, through the mother tongue) as a condition and a possibility of public, communal, national, brotherly forms of hospitality (cities of refuge, cosmopolitanism, a league of nations). This endless dialectic remains the major obstacle to developing new theories and practices of hospitality that would not define one side of sexual difference as domestic and welcoming, and another side as hostile and in need of this kind of hospitality training at home, in order to make possible the subsequent queering of “hostile masculinity” through hospitality. How do we get out of this endless circling? Certainly, one path is to add “others” who have been previously excluded, to the Kantian framework, through early childhood socialization, cosmopolitan education, and scholarly work, as Martha Nassbaum, for example, has suggested.32 The Brides on Tour project shows, however, that such additions might be difficult, if not incompatible with the foundations of these theories and practices. The current traditions and discourses of hospitality remain “baits” for those men and women who are framed and supposed to make choices according to this domestic/public dialectic, in which “women” define the “public” by their absence from it or by their presence as ­“inappropriate” to it. The question, then, is of queering hospitality. To follow Kantian terminology, women, as citizens of the world, should be considered just as “natural” within cosmopolitan ethics and politics, as men are considered welcoming (nursing, caring) within domestic frameworks. It is time to think cosmopolitan hospitality beyond traditional categories of sexual difference. This must be made possible in theory, in tradition, in law, and in p ­ ractice. There is, moreover, an urgent need to think fearlessly about whether hospitality and/as cosmopolitanism can be framed without reliance on heteronormative difference and the essentially gendered separation of the domestic from the communal. Artists Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro demanded cosmopolitan hospitality whether we are ready or not. They challenged domestic/communal, national/ international and private/public separations within defined notions of hospitality. Their art work seems more real because of Pippa Bacca’s murder which was, indeed, real. She is no longer with us because of that murder. And it should not be easily dismissed as less important than other realities of the Brides on Tour project, especially as the question of violence, of risk of violence, is all too real for women who claim cosmopolitan hospitality. This “real” quality of their work has been praised by Ahu Antmen, who claims that Brides on Tour can be seen as a “zenith of all the performances by women artists that have involved risk-taking, pain and total submission to the other: it is a performance piece of ultimate real time, real space and real encounter. In this sense, the naïveté involved in the ‘Brides on Tour’ performance is surely an act that signifies, and defies, the passive role imposed upon women in most parts of the world, another topic that comes to mind in relation to women performing on a global arena.”33 While I understand the emphasis on “real encounter” in Antmen’s account, it is also, I believe,

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74  Irina Aristarkhova problematic to fetishize this work as such a “zenith” of performance art by women artists and imply, in turn, that death is more real than any other “pain.” In addition, I find Brides on Tour not to be a logical companion to performances that seek “pain and total submission” because Bacca’s and Moro’s intention was to enable peace, rather than to invite pain. I tend to agree more with Antmen’s point that Brides on Tour refuses to relegate women to the private, domestic sphere with their assumed passivity. In that sense, Bacca’s death points to the difficult history of sexual violence against women who refuse to follow this strictly gendered private/public order. I would also caution against extrapolating this case of violence to, in Antwan’s words, “most parts of the world,” in order not to overdetermine its explanation through culture or tradition. Such reasoning would leave few areas of the world off the hook and make Brides on Tour a case in point: there is nothing in stories about cosmopolitan hospitality but “the bait” that results in sexual violence more often than not. This is the order of things, one can conclude, which I believe would be an understandable but not necessarily productive answer to my initial question of the bait. Answering “yes, it is the bait,” does not yield an answer to the question of how to proceed: as I discussed earlier, private spaces where women are supposedly safe, are not, in fact, safer, whether in foundational stories or in real life. It would also be prudent to assume that Pippa Bacca, similar to Silvia Moro, understood that one quality of hospitality is as “bait.” They responded to it differently through their collaboration that presents us with more productive questions, I believe, than definitive answers. The Brides on Tour project has enacted a new form of hospitality that needs to be recognized, following Derrida’s desire: “A certain idea of cosmopolitanism, an other, has not yet arrived, perhaps. – If it has (indeed) arrived … - … then, one has perhaps not yet recognized it.”34 I am challenged by the complexity and tragedy of Pippa Bacca’s and Silvia Moro’s work. But as much as I am aware of my question as a pessimistic one—of hospitality as a bait and cosmopolitanism as existing for some men only—I am also compelled to recognize the absolutely “new” cosmopolitan hospitality of Bacca and Moro. Brides on Tour requires, perhaps, a new idea of recognition.

Notes 1. I use the notions of risk, safety, hedging, risk management, and other semantically connected words with ambivalence. I seek their rhetorical effect rather than some explanatory consistency. “The bait” is also used as a rhetorical gesture and is not presented as a theoretical framework. With these notions, I attempt to evoke a feeling of urgency in relation to the tragedy that lies at the heart of the art project I am writing about here. This text would not be possible without the documentary film The Bride (La Mariée). I thank the director Joël Curtz for making the film available and for finding time to discuss it with me. This has been a difficult text to write, and I am grateful to Emily Anna Maria Ridge and Jeffrey Michael Clapp for their initial invitation and helpful comments.

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Baiting Hospitality  75 2. Derrida, Acts of Religion, 362. 3. The relation between, and the coevolution of, practices of hospitality and discourses on cosmopolitanism are complex and well beyond the scope of this chapter. See Kant, Perpetual Peace. The most relevant recent discussions of cosmopolitanism in the context of this chapter are as follows: Derrida, On ­Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness; Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of ­Hospitality; Vidmar-Horvat, “A Wandering Paradigm.” 4. Both in Kant (in Perpetual Peace) and in Derrida (on unconditional hospitality being the precondition for any practiced, conditional hospitality in Acts of ­Religion, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, and Of Hospitality), e­ thics stand before politics; otherwise ethical principles are reduced to pragmatist expediency and subjected to current needs and ends. Later in this text I provide a feminist reading of the Kantian notion of world citizenship in Perpetual Peace, within the context of The Brides on Tour project. 5. The documentary film is Curtz’s The Bride; the play is Pippa, by Deniz Altun, directed by Lerzan Pamir, Sisli Blackout Theatre, Istanbul, Turkey, February 21, 2012. 6. Povoledo, “Performance Artist Killed”; King, “A Plea for Peace.” 7. The views of Pippa Bacca, Silvia Moro, and their families and friends are derived from Curtz, The Bride; Povoledo, “Performance Artist Killed”; King, “Plea for Peace.” 8. I have considered this elementary hospitality in detail elsewhere with reference to the work of Levinas and Derrida. See Aristarkhova, Hospitality of the Matrix, 353–359. 9. Curtz, The Bride. I thank Joël Curtz for discussing this specific question during our conversation. 10. Antmen, “Performing and Dying.” 11. Povoledo, “Performance Artist Killed”; King, “Plea for Peace”; Curtz, The Bride. 12. Curtz, The Bride. 13. Ibid. 14. See also Aristarkhova, “Exotic Hospitality,” 353–359. 15. This text is part of a larger project on practices of hospitality in contemporary art and the work of artists Lee Mingwei, Ana Prvacki, Faith Wilding, Kathy High, and Mithu Sen. See Aristarkhova, “Man as Hospitable Space,” 25–30 and ­“Hosting the Animal”; Prvacki and Aristarkhova, The Greeting Committee Reports. 16. Derrida, Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 17. 17. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality¸153. 18. Judges 19, quoted in Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 155. This scene has been widely interpreted. Pamela Tamarkin Reis, for example, provides a useful overview of current debates within feminist theology and presents a more positive reading, compared to my reading here or the one by Derrida. See Tamarkin Reis, “The Levite’s Concubine,” 125–146. An earlier book by Mieke Bal, however, is much more critical, presenting the concubine’s death as essential, and hence perpetually reenacted. See Bal, Death and Dissymmetry. I thank Ruth Tsoffar for bringing this book to my attention. 19. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 155. 20. Ibid. 21. Derrida, Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 49–50. 22. Her family and subsequent tributes refuse to see more in her death than an accident. Thus her mother says that it could be compared to a death from a rabid dog bite. See Curtz, The Bride.

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76  Irina Aristarkhova 23. I provide an extensive critique of the gendered character of hospitality in ­Derrida in Aristarkhova, Hospitality of the Matrix. See also McNulty, The Hostess, in particular her chapter on Kant. 24. Povoledo, “Performance Artist Killed.” 25. Derrida, Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 19. 26. There are critical issues around artists’ national origin, race, and class and whether European hospitality even exists, that I do not have opportunity to discuss here. These issues have been extensively discussed elsewhere. For a bibliography, see Aristarkhova, Hospitality of the Matrix, and also “Exotic Hospitality in the Land of Tolerance”. 27. Kant, Perpetual Peace, 111–112. 28. Derrida, Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 22–23. 29. Vidmar-Horvat, “A Wandering Paradigm.” 30. Ibid. 31. Kant, Anthropology, 217. 32. Nussbaum, “Kant and Stoic Cosmopolitanism,” 1–25. 33. Antmen, “Performing and Dying,” 62. 34. Derrida, Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 23.

Bibliography Antmen, Ahu. “Performing and Dying in the name of World Peace: From M ­ etaphor to  Real Life in Feminist Performance.” Rupkatha Journal on ­Interdisciplinary ­Studies in Humanities 2, no. 1 (2010): 59–64. http://rupkatha.com/V2/n1/Brideson Tourpippabacca.pdf. Aristarkhova, Irina. “Exotic Hospitality in the Land of Tolerance.” In Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. Edited by Stephanie Smith, 353–359. Chicago: Smart Museum of Art, 2013. Aristarkhova, Irina. Hospitality of the Matrix: Philosophy, Biomedicine and Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Aristarkhova, Irina. “Hosting the Animal: The Work of Kathy High.” Journal of Aesthetics and Culture 2 (2010): Doi:10.3402/jac.v2i0.5888. Aristarkhova, Irina. “Man as Hospitable Space: The Male Pregnancy Project.” ­Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts 14, no. 4 (2009): 25–30. Bal, Mieke. Death and Dissymmetry: The Politics of Coherence in the Book of Judges. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. Curtz, Joël. The Bride (La Mariée). Tourcoing: Le Fresnoy PRO, 2012. Documentary film. Derrida, Jacques. Acts of Religion. Edited by Gil Anidjar. London: Routledge, 2002. Derrida, Jacques. On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness. Translated by Mark Dooley and Michael Hughes, with a preface by Simon Critchley and Richard Kearney. New York: Routledge, 2001. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Kant, Immanuel. Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. Translated, ­Introduction, and Notes by Mary J. Gregor. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1978. Kant, Immanuel. To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch. Translated by Ted Humphrey. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 2003.

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Baiting Hospitality  77 King, Laura. “A Plea for Peace in White Goes Dark.” Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2008, http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/31/world/fg-pippa31. McNulty, Tracy. The Hostess: Hospitality, Femininity and the Expropriation of Identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006. Nussbaum, Martha C. “Kant and Stoic Cosmopolitanism.” Journal of Political ­Philosophy 5, no.1 (1997): 1–25. Pippa. By Deniz Altun. Directed by Lerzan Pamir, Sisli Blackout Theatre, Istanbul, Turkey, February 21, 2012. Povoledo, Elisabetta. “Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip Is Mourned.” New York Times, April 19, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/19/theater/19peac. html?pagewant. Prvacki, Anna, and Irina Aristarkhova. The Greeting Committee Reports. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012. Tamarkin Reis, Pamela. “The Levite’s Concubine: New Light on a Dark Story.” ­Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament: An International Journal of Nordic Theology 20, no.1 (2006): 125–146. Vidmar-Horvat, Ksenija. “A Wandering Paradigm, or Is Cosmopolitanism Good for Women?” QJB Querelles. Jahrbuch für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung 16 (2013): Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15461/3.

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Part III

Opting Out

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6 Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K. Downloaded by [University of California, San Diego] at 22:58 04 May 2017

Arthur Rose

At the end of J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K. (1983), a novel set in an imagined State of Emergency in late Apartheid South Africa, the novel’s protagonist, Michael K, imagines all the people for whom work and detention camps have been opened in the state’s efforts to make South Africa more secure. He wonders “how many people are … left who are neither locked up nor standing guard at the gate?”1 Security concerns have reduced the populace to a binary of guarded and guards, from which one may only be exempted by somehow being “out of all the camps at the same time” (MK, 182). By this point, K has escaped the security of the camps, but he hasn’t avoided the predations of hospitality. He has been taken in by a group of vagrants who try to take care of him: “I have become an object of charity, he thought. Everywhere I go there are people waiting to exercise their forms of charity on me” (181). K wonders whether he might extend his evasion of the camps to an evasion of charity: “I have escaped the camps; perhaps, if I lie low, I will escape the charity too” (182). The spatial confines of the camps are correlated to the metaphysical burdens of charity. Charity, in Michael K., happens in the camps and out, providing a perverted form of hospitality within the camps, but charity also expands the control of beings beyond the limits of the camp through discourses of care (“Care,” Mrs Curren remarks in Coetzee’s Age of Iron, “the true root of charity”).2 His response to these physical and metaphysical forms of control is to declare himself a gardener. Gardeners care for the land by “spend[ing] their time with their noses to the ground” (MK, 181). In this sense, gardening care is both more intimate and less controlling than more abstract forms of land ownership; it breaks with the patterns of circulation that move people into camps or exercise forms of charity on them. In this chapter, I will consider how Coetzee deconstructs notions of care in Michael K. to establish a more intimate relationship between hospitality and security. After a brief discussion of connections between hospitality, security, and care, I turn to K’s care for the land to redefine the priorities of hospitality and security. I balance this care against abstract ideas of ownership by considering K’s relationship with money. This relationship, I posit, serves as a sophisticated counterpoint to K’s gardening. K’s rejection of money parallels his rejection of ownership, and both disrupt the economies

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82  Arthur Rose of exchange that function through the novel. Coetzee short-circuits these economies of exchange by making abstract means of exchange (money, charity) obdurate and unwieldy. He replaces this with a material form of comfort and care, represented through hands. By engaging with this material “unit” of exchange, Coetzee develops a way of taking care that may be both hospitable and secure, without returning either hospitality or security to a metaphysics. Hospitality and security are entangled in their relationship to care. Moreover, care becomes, in J. M. Coetzee’s fiction, an enantioseme: A term that nurses antagonistic, antonymic meanings within itself. A brief detour through Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes will serve to establish what I mean by this obscure term: Certain languages, it seems, possess enantiosemes, words which have the same form and contrary meanings. In the same way, for him, a word can be good or bad, without warning: The “bourgeoisie” is good when it is considered in its historical, ascensional, progressive role; it is bad when in power.3 I highlight Barthes’s explanation, rather than other, more technical definitions, because it prioritizes how an enantiosemiotics develops, over narrative time and in context. For Paul Rayment, in Coetzee’s novel Slow Man (2005), the phrase “to take care of” may denote his angry declaration of self-autonomy and independence, but the euphemism is also used when his father kills the family dog with a shotgun.4 But Paul demonstrates that care only becomes enantiosemiotic under scrutiny. “The more he stares at the words take care of, the more inscrutable they seem. … That kind of caring, with a shotgun, was certainly not what Marijana had in mind. Nevertheless, it lay englobed in the phrase, waiting to leak out.”5 Care is conservative, but englobes the potential for destructive leakage; to care for something means to shelter it, but this shelter secures the constructive and destructive alike. Arne De Boever has demonstrated how Slow Man constitutes a biopolitical response to care: he reads the novel as “a biologico-literary experiment” in a larger project that considers “the novel as a form of life-writing, a kind of aesthetic care of the self and of others … characterized as a form of bioart.”6 Alluding to the double-voiced nature of the word, Carrol Clarkson has noted the linguistic concern with which Coetzee treats “care” in both Slow Man and Age of Iron (1990).7 Both De Boever and Clarkson draw, explicitly or implicitly, on Jacques Derrida’s reading of Plato’s pharmacy, in which Derrida shows the double valence of pharmakon, “which acts as both remedy and poison.”8 To reframe Derrida’s pharmakon in terms of care-asresponsibility, care becomes enantiosemiotic (and destructive) when an individual assumes control over another being or place (whether biopolitically or linguistically). But both biopolitical and etymological s­ ignificances of care emphasize relations between individuals at the expense of a relationship with

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Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K.  83 the environment. Moreover, they do not foreground care’s enantiosemiotics as a product of narrative development. This enantiosemiotic development is mitigated in Michael K. The destructive leakage in care between individuals gives way to a form of environmental care that cannot be equated with responsibility-as-ownership. It displaces the abstract circulation of ownership with a material economy of hands. Coetzee’s enantiosemiotic treatment of care engages with questions at the heart of both security and hospitality studies. Security, from “securitas,” John T. Hamilton explains, “is a state of being removed from care … the prefix se- (apart, aside, away from); the noun cura (care, concern, attention, worry); and the suffix –tas (denoting a condition or state of being).”9 But, as Hamilton argues, “we must grapple with the consequence that discourses of security continue to generate more and more causes of worry, including concern over the meaning and function of ‘security’ itself.”10 Security, under Hamilton’s careful scrutiny, accrues an enantiosemiology: Freedom from care requires more care. Hospitality, too, demonstrates an enantiosemiotics in Derrida’s later work.11 Derrida demonstrates, via links between hospitality and the Latin hostis, that the owner of a territory is potentially both hospitable and hostile at the same time. Derrida draws his definition of hospitality from Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace: “Hospitality means the right of a stranger not to be treated with hostility when he arrives on someone else’s territory.”12 It is also important to note, as Derrida does, that Kant proposes this definition as an alternative to care and because he cares: “We are concerned here,” Kant writes, “not with philanthropy, but with right,” specifically cosmopolitan right, which “shall be limited to Conditions of Universal Hospitality.”13 Kant cares that cosmopolitanism should be equated with hospitality and that this hospitality be extended not because of philanthropic sentiment—care or love for the human—but because it is a right. Hospitality is secure (se-cura) if it is free from care or sympathy, if it is protected by rights. Mike Marais has demonstrated how useful Derridean hospitality can be in reading Coetzee’s work. Marais particularly emphasizes this point in terms of the writer’s task and the place of the text: “It is the writer’s task to make of the text a home for the other.”14 As valuable as this approach is, emphasizing the text’s hospitality in spatial terms risks occluding internal dynamics of nonspatial hospitality within the novel. Michael K’s relationship with spatiality is circulated through abstract economies of exchange. K is only able to develop his material engagement with the land by ­stultifying his reliance on an already existent economy (i.e., rendering money obdurate). The economy in Michael K. changes from macropolitical concerns of ownership threatened by theft or political unrest into a micropolitical ­freedom from care in which cultivation is limited only by time and the ­number of seeds one has, by changing money from a vehicle for transference into an unwieldy thing. A brief synopsis of the novel illustrates the extent to which macropolitical movements across South Africa restrict themselves

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84  Arthur Rose to a micropolitics of cultivation, how this restriction reflects back on questions of security and hospitality, and how it relates to care. The first part of the novel details in free indirect style the journey Michael K, “Gardener, grade 1,” takes with his mother from a Cape Town in a state of emergency to an imagined home in Prince Albert, and his subsequent residence in a farm near the town, a period broken by some time spent in a work camp. The second part describes his incarceration in another camp in Cape Town and his escape from this camp, from the perspective of the camp’s medical ­officer. The third part returns to the free indirect style of Part One, and follows K’s brief life as a vagrant near his mother’s former abode, a closet under the stairs in the building where her former employers used to live. It closes with a narrative in the future conditional, when K and an old man travel back to the farm to restart the cultivation project forestalled by K’s sequestration in the camps: A plantation of pumpkins and melons. Even in this necessarily reductive and truncated précis of the novel, the concern with security and hospitality is evident: K’s efforts to care for the earth are interrupted by the excessive security concerns of the state, which deems it necessary that he be placed in the camps; his attempts to secure his autonomy are undermined by charity. It appears that for Coetzee both hospitality and security are inflected with too much care. Yet in Michael K. the Apartheid state, which sought to keep its citizens apart to limit their care or sympathy for each other, invalidates cosmopolitan rights of hospitality precisely because of a failure of sympathy or understanding. Kant’s efforts to disentangle security and hospitality from an ethics of care are perverted by the Apartheid state, where security and hospitality carry no underlying care for justice or freedom (the a priori axioms on which Kantian philosophy is based). Kantian hospitality is the right not to be treated as an enemy. This negative right, which constitutes itself around the position of the foreigner, includes an oblique reference to security: the suspension of the enemy status of the foreigner potentially compromises the security of the host. Every act of hospitality comes into a dialectical relationship with the state of security, since concern for the foreigner suspends the host’s ability to live se-cura (without care). Meanwhile, acts of security (in which foreigners are divided into friends and enemies) infringe hospitality, which, in its ideal form according to Derrida, must always precede the determination of the other (whether as stranger or as friend or as enemy). Derrida identifies the internal dilemma of these dialectical infringements as a “hostipitality”: drawing on the etymology of the Latin hostis, which implies both the hosting of and hostility toward the other, Derrida argues that hospitality is always already both the care for and regulation of the other, while acknowledging that we can never know what hospitality is (precisely because it relies on the insecurity of opening oneself to the possibility of the other).15 Some form of this hospitality is at work in Michael K. The medical officer, for instance, construes K’s stay in the camp as allegorical of a meaning

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Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K.  85 “taking up residence in a system without becoming a term in it” (MK, 166). This provokes an anxiety about security, since the officer acknowledges that “if the origin of this meaning were no more than a lack in myself … I would have every justification for … putting a bullet through my head” (165). The novel presumes hospitality and security function in dialectical relation to foreignness: Hospitality as receptivity and security as anxiety. This schematic fails, however, if one grants a bildung, or growth, to K, since K’s “essential” foreignness is a narrative development of the novel: K, after all, begins as somebody familiar with the local landscape; he becomes, rather than is, a foreigner. This is evident in his changing attitude to the soil of Wynberg Park, “cool and dark and damp and soft,” and that of the Karoo (67). Of Wynberg Park: “I have lost my love for that kind of earth, he thought, I no longer care to feel that kind of earth between my fingers” (67). His alienation from this kind of earth comes with a greater affinity for “the yellow and the red” of the Karoo (67). But it does not come with the creation of a home, a secure place where he might show hospitality to another: “He did not turn his cave into a home” (68). He acquires foreignness not in an attempt to start a rival house, but in antipathy to the normative preference for places like Wynberg over the Karoo. Foreignness is constructed to explain opposition. Neither security nor hospitality engages an actual other; rather, they deploy a constructed otherness to secure the community’s self-identity, which they suspend in the name of an equally constructed hospitality (charity). K’s importance is ultimately not as an Other; it is precisely his function within the structures of the Same that grants him a certain capacity to react or respond to his inoperative community. In this context, K is internally disruptive to the community, emerging from within the community as it is owned by its constituents, rather than staging his incursion from the limit. K’s internal disruption to the community challenges the idealities of the prevailing Apartheid nomos (law) by demonstrating its logical inconsistency with material conditions: securing characters like K is provoking anxiety, or care, rather than alleviating it. But the nomos is an ideality based on an occluded materiality. The nomos, according to Carl Schmitt, has abstracted its legal, political, and social connotations from a material reference to land division and ownership: “Nomos is the measure by which the land in a particular order is divided and situated; it is also the form of political, social, and religious order determined by this process. Here, measure, order, and form constitute a spatially concrete unity.”16 Nomos designates both securing land for ownership (in a material sense) and the abstract protection for that land provided by law and order. Hospitality, by contrast, is always made to come after this foundational act of security; hospitality relies on the initial security of the host, in both the material integrity of the home and its abstract order. More pertinently, abstractions of hospitality and security can no longer be adequately resolved by the nomos within the novel: they require a more substantive material response. K responds to the abstractions of security and hospitality with a material evasion, as quoted above: “I have escaped

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86  Arthur Rose the camps; perhaps, if I lie low, I will escape the charity too” (MK, 182). Caught between camps and charity, K’s escape attempt may appear to be a simple evasion of political responsibility. Nadine Gordimer argues as much in her early review of the novel, “The Idea of Gardening”: “If Michael K is shown to see himself ‘like a parasite dozing in the gut,’ he can never develop the metaphor by becoming the internal underground rebel who destroys the body of the enemy society he inhabits.”17 If Gordimer’s observation reinforces my previous argument that K becomes foreign, she also accuses Coetzee of failing to develop the parasite metaphor into a meaningful form of resistance. The issue Gordimer takes with the novel is its refusal to acknowledge self-empowered resistance to Apartheid: “[Coetzee] does not recognize what the victims, seeing themselves as victims no longer, have done, are doing, and believe they must do for themselves.”18 However, she does ultimately find some form of redemption in the novel, albeit not in the sense of political emancipation. “For is there an idea of survival that can be realized entirely outside a political doctrine?” she asks, “is there a space that lies between camps?” Her surprising answer: “The place is the earth, not in the cosmic but the plain dirt sense. The idea is the idea of gardening.”19 Cosmopolitan idealities of the world as abstract political entity give way to an understanding of the world as material reality, as plain dirt. As a result, the threat she finds in the book extends beyond those shocking interhuman relations forged through the Apartheid state: it is a threat “not only of mutual destruction of whites and blacks in South Africa, but of killing, everywhere, by scorching, polluting, neglecting, charging with radioactivity, the dirt beneath our feet.”20 K’s evasion is not a simple escape from political necessities, if any such escape may be deemed simple. Evasion helps K redefine the earth (the “cosmos”) from something owned in an abstract legal sense into something that must be cared for, through an idea of gardening. Gordimer draws her “idea of gardening” from the novel. When K is on the farm, after his sojourn in the work camp, he is presented with the opportunity to join resistance fighters. Joining the resistance will mean leaving the farm and the pumpkins he is cultivating. He decides not to join because enough men had gone off to war saying the time for gardening was when the war was over; whereas there must be men to stay behind and keep gardening alive, or at least the idea of gardening; because once that cord was broken, the earth would grow hard and forget her children. That was why. (MK, 109) Apparently, gardening is not nearly as important as the idea of gardening. This is why the failure of K’s pumpkin plantation does not detract too much from its overall significance; indeed, the plantation must fail so as not to be raised to the level of an ideal. But the idea of gardening does raise difficult questions: Is it Platonic? Does it prioritize abstract form over material reality? Not in this novel because Coetzee’s idea of gardening prioritizes the

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Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K.  87 material engagement with plain dirt over cosmic abstractions. Yet it is not Coetzee’s intention to resolve this paradox; rather, he is trying to rethink a tendency to think of land as abstract possession, whether through legal or implied ownership. The novel’s challenge to ownership parallels K’s becoming-foreign as a form of bildung, or growth, since K’s becoming-foreign inflects his changing attitude to the security of possessions. At first, the narrative is punctuated by moments in which theft is anticipated, attempted, or perpetrated. As K loses his possessions, these moments, predictably, become less and less frequent. However, this easing of possessive anxiety is not only due to material loss; it is also brought about by a change in K’s understanding of possession and security. This change in understanding is evident in the difference between his two stays on the farm, where he chooses to settle after arriving in Prince Albert with his mother’s ashes. His aim has been to find the farm on which his mother grew up. Her death on the journey from Cape Town to Prince Albert has frustrated this aim only a little; Anna K herself was unclear about which farm it was, since she remembers only dimly the layout of the farmyard and the names, Visser and Vosloo, neither of whom has farms near Prince Albert. When Michael K asks after the farm, the closest “V” name associated with a farm is Visagie, whose farm is abandoned. During his first attempt to settle on the farm, he repeats the Visagie family’s failed possession, taking up residence in their abandoned farmhouse. His efforts are brought to naught when the Visagie grandson arrives to claim ownership of the farm. When he later returns to the farm, he eschews the farmhouse for a burrow, constructed out of a piece of corrugated iron thrown over a small crevice. Between these two moments in the novel, K’s anxiety about his own security changes into concern for his pumpkins, even as he begins to understand that his role is not to go to war but to keep the idea of gardening alive: his role is not to secure possession of the land but to serve as its carer. His obligation to care for the land is marked from an attempt to own the land by his attitude to his burrow. While “it occur[s] to him that at the next hard rain all his careful mortar work would be washed out,” he reconciles himself to his lack of care in the construction process: “I am not building a house out here by the dam to pass on to other generations. What I make ought to be careless, makeshift, a shelter to be abandoned without a tugging at the heartstrings” (MK, 100–101). His care, he realizes, is better directed toward his plants, the material manifestation of his “idea of gardening,” than to the creation of a home or a dynasty. In considering Michael K. and hospitality, Marais argues that K’s changed relationship to the farm provides the locus for the shift in K’s attitude to possession in general. When K first arrives at the farm, his actions bespeak the assumption of ownership of the land. “K’s occupation of the deserted farmhouse is a deeply symbolic gesture … the house signifies ownership and mastery. The farm is a farm: That is, terrain that has previously been mastered and possessed.”21 When he returns to the farm, he lives in the burrow,

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88  Arthur Rose a relocation that “connotes an overcoming of the separation between human subject and natural object.”22 For Marais, when this opposition is overcome, “the impulse to possess and dominate is structurally impossible.”23 The result, Marais demonstrates, reverses the colonial tendency to assert ownership over open space as might be found in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, a notable intertext for the novel. Rather, the farm devolves, on K’s second visit, from a farm into open space. This devolution arises from the absence of a constituting “subject-centred intentionality.”24 K is able to enter into a mimetic relationship with the land, becoming like it, by yielding up his intentionality and allowing himself to imitate his environment.25 K becomes “a hard little stone, barely aware of its surroundings, enveloped in itself and its interior life” (MK, 135). Marais shows that Coetzee deterritorializes the farm space when K mimics the stone. The result is not merely a rethinking of hospitality against the paradigm of possession and dispossession; Marais understands the text itself to be a form of hospitable reading, or reading “non-intentionally.”26 Although I am largely in agreement with the way Marais reads Coetzee’s work, especially in his use of Derrida and ­Emmanuel Levinas, his emphasis on a suspension of intentionality risks ­idealizing hospitality. It avoids the security issues that arise in different patterns of ­circulation—that is, the surrender of one’s goods as opposed to the theft of one’s goods. Moreover, it does not address K’s final intention, to return with the old man to the farm and begin anew the project of gardening. In fact, the way K understands possession, in moments other than those that explicitly draw on an “idea of gardening,” shows that possessiveness is alleviated by something other than the suspension of intentionality. Linking K’s understanding of possessiveness to his treatment of money can shed light on this alternative. Indeed, the accumulation, hoarding, and loss of money play a crucial role in the novel. Monetary possessiveness undergoes a material attrition that retains all the aspects of intention. Why? Because money, too, may be enantiosemiotic, as it is for Barthes: On the level of values, money has two contrary meanings (it is an enantioseme): It is very harshly condemned, especially in the theater … then rehabilitated, following Fourier, in reaction to the three moralisms which are set in opposition to it: Marxist, Christian, and Freudian. However, of course, what is defended is not money saved, hoarded, blocked; it is money spent, wasted, swept away by the very movement of loss … thus money metaphorically becomes gold: The Gold of the Signifier.27 I will not attempt to unpick all the rich strands in Barthes’s reflection, but what stands out here is how money becomes enantiosemiotic when hoarding is juxtaposed with spending, both of which imply an intention. The journey from Cape Town to Prince Albert that Michael and Anna K intend to make is possible because his mother has saved her wages. But her purses contain

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Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K.  89 both the new and old currencies (the latter “valueless”) of Coetzee’s parallel South Africa.28 The old currency is valueless because, when it passed out of circulation, Anna K refused to trade it in. This investment in the materiality of money (rather than as the vanishing mediator of exchange value) correlates with Anna’s propensity to hoard things. Why, we might ask, does she carry a coffee tin containing curtain rings? These are items that the text only reveals after Anna has died, so there can be no direct answer. Understandably, K’s inclination, after her death, is to continue this practice by keeping her suitcase. But a pleasure in spending emerges. “There was pleasure in spending without earning: He took no heed of how fast the money went” (MK, 34). His hoarding of his mother’s possessions also passes. Soon after K leaves Stellenbosch, where she died, he is robbed by a soldier on patrol. After he is robbed, he realizes that there is no longer any point in keeping her suitcase. This decision seems to be linked to the loss of the purses, but it does mark a turning point in the novel from a logic of possession to one of material attrition, as he becomes “a mere footloose vagrant” (39). Money becomes increasingly objectified: Not as a possession, as it was for Anna K, or as something to be spent, as it was for Michael K after her death, but as something with little or no inherent value. Here, money extends beyond the object opposition laid out by Barthes to become an obdurate thing. Making money obdurate does not mark a suspension of intentionality. It is precisely when it functions in suspension of intention that money retains its status as a universal form of exchange, a pure signifier of circulation. Soon after K begins his first sojourn at the farm, someone claiming to be the grandson of the Visagie arrives and lays claim to the house, where K was sleeping. He then gives K some money and sends him to town to buy some supplies. Rather than leave the money behind or take it with him, K buries it at the gate of the farm. This money, like the grandson, will never be seen again. When K is paid in the camp, he gives half his money to Robert, whose family takes care of him, and keeps half in his pocket, but he does not spend it or put it into circulation. Like K himself, money becomes inert and obdurate. In order to understand this crystallization of money into mere object as something other than suspended intentionality (hospitality), it must be interrogated alongside the novel’s reception of charity: Something that must be escaped or rendered obdurate. As money retreats, so charity becomes the vanishing mediator of exchange in the novel. These exchanges are mutually beneficial, commensal, or parasitic. But, as Robert, K’s friend in the work camp, says, charity is given as a way of making people feel better about themselves. If K’s relationship with charity, as with his relationship with money, crystallizes, becomes obdurate, and material, there remains an insidiousness in both charity and money that reestablishes relationships of ownership and control, precisely when intentions are suspended: there are, after all, “people waiting to exercise their forms of charity on [K]” (MK, 181). The obduracy of money in Coetzee’s work potentially undercuts the higher values of hospitality and security, and, quite rightly, critics have been

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90  Arthur Rose wary of implicating his writing in a pattern of exchange deals that would put what Georg Simmel called “the higher goods of life” into “the same kind of value as goods on the weekly market” (the “cynicism of money”).29 Coetzee foregrounds a more secure form of property control: K’s relationship with the land. Following Marais, I have already mentioned this relation to the land, but I departed from Marais by invoking money and charity as forms of exchange that K makes obdurate. What consolidates these forms of exchange in material terms is their relation to hands, a relation that itself has material consequences for our understanding of hospitality and security in the novel, not least because it shows, pace Marais, that there must be intention in order to secure hospitality from care and charity. The material economy of hospitality and security in Michael K. should be measured in hands. Hands are used for solace, as when Michael lays his hand on his mother’s shoulder to comfort her after their first attempt to leave the “proclaimed Cape Peninsula police area” (MK, 23). They permit psychological and physical securities, as when Anna K. holds her hand before her eyes so that the rest of the world will not see her weep or when Michael prevents one of the many attempted thefts in the novel by folding his hands over his mother’s ashes (5, 50). In a sense, hospitality and security combine at the end of the novel, when Michael reflects on his mistakes in his interrupted efforts at gardening in the Karoo; what he should have done was to plant his seeds “in patches of soil no larger than my hand” (183). This action would have secured both the seeds and himself from detection by the state, while permitting him to take care of the seeds in the abundance of time that rural life affords one: “There is time enough for everything” (183). Hands also indicate the compromises of charity and the material desire to avoid such charity. The mother whose baby dies in the camp pushes away comforting hands, as does Michael when he becomes the object of charity for the prostitute in Part Three (181). Hands have a material relationship to security. The military convoys require of Michael that he show them his hands as part of their security protocols. Security personnel in the novel challenge his undisturbed possession of his items by variously rummaging through the suitcase, stealing the purses, taking his pumpkins. Finally, and most significantly, they become the means of asserting meaning. Meaning will reassert itself for the medical officer and with it the care for others he constitutes through a security of concept, if only Michael shows that the officer has “understood” him. All that it requires of K is to raise his left hand or his right. Under the pressure of these manifold hands at work, the contrasting image of idle hands becomes all the more striking: When Michael undergoes a period of unemployment, he spends it looking at his hands, and he repeats this gesture in the period after his mother’s death. Michael’s handstaring may broadly be taken as the objective correlative for his contemplation “behind the bicycle shed at Huis Norenius, namely why he had been brought into the world” (MK, 7). His initial response to this question, his

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Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K.  91 duty of care for his mother, obscures the fact that when this reason changes (after his mother’s death), the material concern with his hands does not. He clasps and unclasps his hands after she dies, indicating his anxiety at having lost, all too soon after finding it, his purpose for being in the world. But this loss of purpose does not stop him from finding new activities for his hands (whether caring for pumpkins or old men). Hands, the vehicles for both caring and killing, giving and keeping, security and insecurity, become the material by which an economy of hospitality and security is built in the novel. As with all care and security in Coetzee’s novels, neither offered by hands is universally affirmatory: as with every instance of Coetzee’s “ethics of care,” Coetzee is ambivalent about the emotional and ethical costs of acts of solicitude, hospitality, and security. However, the emphasis on hands in Michael K. develops this cost in relation to its materiality, a materiality that defies attempts to reduce, via synecdoche processes of work to the image of the hand (as happens when the Jakkalsdrif work camp dwellers are taken to cut lucerne for a local farmer, who refers to them as “hands”). The novel resists an abstraction of the hand either from its work, or its idleness, or its materiality. To circulate back through relationships between the hand, money, ownership, and land, it is worth remembering that the material hand in the novel acts as a unit of economy that will not expand to the level of abstraction. Each instance of the hand that I mention must be cultivated in its particular context, even if these contexts tend toward material hospitalities or securities (positive or negative). The stumbling block of metaphors, as Coetzee himself shows in his 1982 essay on Isaac Newton, is that they risk turning “forces” into “unexplained, occult qualities.”30 The result is translation’s struggle: “To bridge the gap between the nonreferential symbolism of mathematics and a language too protean to be tied down to single pure meanings.”31 Coetzee refers to Newton’s use of the metaphor, “attract,” to describe gravity. The only way that we can escape the occult force of this metaphor is if we believe it gradually loses this force over time (i.e., the metaphoric value undergoes an attrition of “animistic metaphoric content”). “If we do so,” Coetzee argues, we are embracing the most radical idealism: We are asserting that there exists a pure concept of attraction toward which the mind gropes via the sideways process of metaphoric thinking, and which it attains as the impurities of secondary meanings are shed and language becomes transparent, that is, becomes thought.32 To think that metaphors lose their metaphoric content through the attrition of habitual use embraces a radical idealism, the approximation of language to pure thought. But enantiosemes reverse this process, at least in part, since their polysemy interrupts the approximation of language with pure thought. How then reinstate an animistic metaphoric content? Michael K. arrests the

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92  Arthur Rose attrition of care to the “pure thought” of idealized security or hospitality through an enantiosemiology. It reasserts an animistic metaphoric content by emphasizing the importance of hands. Rather than suspending intentionality, the novel interposes material interruptions to any abstraction of K’s “idea of gardening.” Hands in Michael K. remain metaphoric equivalents to material economic and emotional functions. They enact things, but, as a consequence of the novel’s narrative shifts, the material significance of these actions is explicitly metaphoric, precisely because hands are abstracted as synechdoche for labor only once—in the Jakkalsdrif camp—and this after numerous incidents where they act as the material substitute for acts of hospitality and security (i.e. hypostasis). Ecology, or care for the environment, and economy, or care for the home, have a shared origin in oikos, or dwelling. K disturbs this balance when care for his environment (gardening) asserts itself as more important than his care for dwelling, possessions, or money. However, the inertia he grants these objects should not be taken as a suspension of intentionality. Rather, it intends: To secure hospitality and care from attrition to pure thought idealism through the material surety of hands. This secure care, a care-free-fromcare, becomes, through the novel, a realization of an ideal materialism: Less an idea of gardening than an idea of gardening. To think of a secure (se-cura) hospitality is, upon first approach, to care less for the self than for plain dirt; to think of it alongside a hospitable security perhaps first requires that we think care differently, enantiosemiotically.

Notes 1. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K., 182. Hereafter cited as MK in the text. 2. Coetzee, Age of Iron, 22. 3. Barthes, Roland Barthes, 62. 4. Coetzee, Slow Man, 43–44. 5. Ibid, 43–44. 6. De Boever, Narrative, 8. 7. Clarkson, J. M. Coetzee, 159–164. 8. Derrida, “Plato’s,” 429–450, 429. 9. Hamilton, Security, 23. 10. Ibid., 21. 11. Derrida, “Hostipitality,” 3–18. 12. Kant, Perpetual Peace, 35–36. 13. Ibid., 35. 14. Marais, Secretary, xv. 15. Derrida, “Hostipitality,” 6. 16. Schmitt, Nomos, 70. 17. Gordimer, “Gardening.” 18. Ibid. 19. Ibid. 20. Ibid.

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Enantiosemiotic Care in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K.  93 21. Marais, Secretary, 39. 22. Ibid., 39–40. 23. Ibid., 39. 24. Ibid., 42. 25. Ibid., 44. 26. Ibid., 36. 27. Barthes, Roland Barthes, 45–46. 28. South Africa replaced the pound with the rand in 1961. Evidently, the South Africa of the novel parallels this change, since the new currency is referred to as the rand when K buys pies for a man and himself at the hospital in Stellenbosch. 29. Georg Simmel, quoted in Sloterdijk, Critique, 316. 30. Coetzee, “Newton,” 186. 31. Ibid., 194. 32. Ibid., 193.

Bibliography Barthes, Roland. Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes. Translated by Richard H ­ oward. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. Clarkson, Carrol. J. M. Coetzee: Countervoices. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Coetzee, J. M. Age of Iron. London: Penguin Books, 1998. Coetzee, J. M. “Isaac Newton and the Ideal of a Transparent Scientific Language.” In Doubling the Point, edited by David Attwell, 181–194. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991. Coetzee, J. M. Life & Times of Michael K. London: Vintage, 1998. Coetzee, J. M. Slow Man. London: Harvill Secker, 2005. Critchley, Simon, and Tom McCarthy. “Of Chrematology: Joyce and Money.” James Joyce Broadsheet, 68 (June 2004): 1–2. De Boever, Arne. Narrative Care: Biopolitics and the Novel. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. Derrida, Jacques. “Hostipitality.” Translated by Barry Stocker with Forbes Morlock. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 5, no. 3 (2000): 3–18. Derrida, Jacques “Plato’s Pharmacy.” In Literary Theory: An Anthology, edited by Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan, 429–450. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003. Gordimer, Nadine. “The Idea of Gardening.” New York Review of Books. February 2, 1984. Accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1984/ feb/02/the-idea-of-gardening. Hamilton, John T. Security: Politics, Humanity, and the Philology of Care. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013. Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace. San Diego: The Book Tree, 2009. Marais, Mike. Secretary of the Invisible: The Idea of Hospitality in the Fiction of J.M. Coetzee. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009. Schmitt, Carl. The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of the Jus Publicum Eureopeaum. Translated by G. L. Ulmen. New York: Telos Press, 2003. Sloterdijk, Peter. Critique of Cynical Reason. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1987.

7 A Dwarf at the Table

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Hospitality and the Non-Normate Body in Modern Literature Mica Hilson

Within popular culture, dwarfs are most commonly depicted as weird ­outsiders, and therefore, although they sometimes appear as guests, they are rarely represented as hosts who extend hospitality by opening their homes to others. There are a few exceptions to this rule, as in Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), but even there, the dwarfs are i­ magined as bad homemakers, falling short in the practice of hospitality. Thus Snow White, assuming that the dwarfs’ cottage belongs to dirty, orphaned c­ hildren, feels compelled to take on the roles of homemaker and head of the h ­ ousehold. In the popular imagination, then, being a dwarf is a handicap to being a good host. In the United States, dwarfism is one of the many conditions covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which stipulates that disabled subjects must be granted certain accommodations. Although the ADA has done a great deal of good, it also entrenches a d ­ iscourse in which people with non-normate bodies are fundamentally imagined as the recipients of hospitality, dependent on (and expected to express gratitude toward) the normate who make accommodations for them. Similarly, wading through the sea of theoretical writing on hospitality, one is hard pressed to find references to hosts with disabilities. For instance, Jacques Derrida places great stock in the ethical question of how “we” might extend hospitality to guests who are not only “outsiders” but also completely unknown (and potentially alien) to us.1 However, his ­formulation assumes a relatively unmarked “we” responsible for extending that ­hospitality, thus eliding how, even within a household, some members might be marked as “alien” and thus be in dire need of philoxenia2 themselves. To be fair, Derrida does acknowledge the darker elements of hospitality, its potential points of overlap with cognate terms such as “hostility” and “hostage,” but his work does not address the structural inequalities that might put certain hosts at greater risk of being taken hostage by their guests. As Derrida notes, one of the curious things about hospitality is how, once the guest heeds the call to make himself at home, then the host becomes partially dependent on hospitality of the guest. If the tables can thus turn, so that the host becomes guest and vice versa, then it becomes crucial to consider the question of who the table is built to accommodate. In this chapter, I examine three twentieth-century novels featuring ­little people—Aldous Huxley’s Crome Yellow (1921), Pär Lagerkvist’s The Dwarf

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A Dwarf at the Table  95 (1945), and Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child (1988)—to examine the ­complex and often vexed relationship that these disabled characters have to one prominent site of hospitality: The household table. The table has long been idealized as a site where we might witness hospitality at its best. For instance, drawing from Hannah Arendt’s famous evocation of the communal table as the essence of what it means “to live together in the world,” Sara Ahmed notes that here “bodies gather, cohering as a group through the ‘mediation’ of its surface, sharing the food and drink.”3 Many people with physical disabilities might agree with this assessment; some people in wheelchairs, for instance, appreciate how the table serves as a leveler, ­letting them see eyeto-eye with companions who might otherwise be looking down at them. However, not all people with non-normate bodies experience the household table as a welcoming or egalitarian space. As our conventional distinction between the “head” of the table and the “foot” of the table makes clear, the table might not always serve as a leveling structure, but it can sometimes be used to reinforce hierarchal relationships. Indeed, in all the novels I examine, the table effectively dwarfs the ­protagonist, rendering him as less of a little person and more of a ­subhuman freak, one who is not granted the agency of his normate counterparts and is instead treated more like a child, an animal, or an object. H ­ owever, each of the three novels depicts very different strategies for dealing with this site of ­conflict. The little person in Crome Yellow upholds traditional ­institutions of hospitality at all costs, whereas the title character of The Dwarf ­mercilessly exploits the codes of hospitality for his own benefit. ­However, Lessing’s ­titular Fifth Child discovers a third possibility, s­idestepping the household table and its codes of conduct to develop a form of squatter ­hospitality that takes place away from the table. Although my analysis of these three texts privileges the viewpoint of the little person who perceives the table as an unsafe space, it also addresses the way that dwarfs themselves have historically been viewed as security risks that might compromise the family’s sustained prosperity. (Germany’s 1933 Law for the Protection of Hereditary Health, which authorized the ­sterilization of dwarfs and other congenitally disabled populations, was perhaps the most dramatic—but by no means the only—manifestation ­ of these ­attitudes).4 For Michel Foucault, one of the defining features of ­modernity was the paradigm shift from safety (sûreté) to security (­ sécurité)— that is, from a medieval model where safety was ensured by keeping the ­people on lockdown within enclosed structures like the walled city or castle, to a modern security state that allows for greater movement but also collects far more data on the population.5 Though Foucault’s distinction is valuable, it is also important to note how contemporary discourses of home security, with their fear of “stranger danger” and corresponding restrictions on hospitality, blur the lines between sûreté and sécurité, using antiquated notions such as “a man’s home is his castle” to justify widespread surveillance and exclusion of suspect populations.6 As I will discuss, modern science has treated dwarfs as a suspect population, analyzing them in terms of risk, in

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96  Mica Hilson keeping with Foucault’s argument that the modern security state moves away from a universal notion of “humankind” in favor of a taxonomical conception of “the human species.”7 By asking readers to sympathize with little people who are unsafe at home and yet are also treated as security risks, the novels I examine might thus trouble a nostalgic conception of home security. Furthermore, by emphasizing the natural reproductive processes through which dwarfs are conceived, these novels question assumptions that we can keep our families safe—and secure their ­normality—through processes of enclosure and exclusion. Like the other two works I will discuss, Aldous Huxley’s first novel Crome Yellow is set in and around a fortress-like residence that has lasted for ­generations. To entertain his guests, the current master of the house, Sir Henry Wimbush, tells stories about the eccentric ancestors who resided in Crome Yellow before him, including Sir Hercules, the 4th baronet of Lapith. Like his mythological namesake, Hercules is blessed with “great strength and agility … beauty and intelligence”; yet, because he is a dwarf, his parents are so deeply ashamed of having “brought an abortion into the world” that his birth serves to precipitate their own deaths.8 By his very existence, Hercules appears to undermine the security of the family, to be an “­abortion” rather than a proper heir who can perpetuate the status of their aristocratic lineage. Foucault cites Machiavelli as the preeminent theorist of the old sûreté paradigm, as he articulates how the sovereign might retain power by maintaining strict control and excluding any subversive outside influences.9 However, the birth of Hercules represents a hole in that system, an “alien” who comes from within and throws the hereditary maintenance of power into question. Even as his life is shaped by an antiquated system of primogeniture, ­Hercules somewhat anachronistically calls upon discourses of evolution and natural selection to define himself. The grandson of “Darwin’s Bulldog” Thomas Henry Huxley and the brother of evolutionary biologist Julian, Aldous Huxley would have been well aware of contemporary scientific discourses that interpreted dwarf offspring as a sign of degeneration. For instance, in his influential 1892 work Degeneration, Max Nordau proposes that malign environmental influences—health risks that included disease, drugs, and “tainted foods”—could “beget degenerate descendants who, if they remain exposed to the same influences, rapidly descend to the l­owest degrees of degeneracy, to idiocy, to dwarfishness, etc.”10 Nordau’s work predated Crome Yellow, but the association of dwarfs with degeneracy and atavism persisted for decades. For instance, when designing the “­Futurama” pavilion for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Norman Bel Geddes planned to employ four hundred dwarfs for a walk-through exhibit called the “Gnome Village.” As Christina Cogdell explains, “Like primitives, the dwarfs were characterized as maniacal, unintelligent creatures who cooked their food over an open fire in cauldrons and on spits.”11 Thus, “Bel Geddes would have placed his evolutionary inferiors on display: Dwarfs as representatives

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A Dwarf at the Table  97 of the degenerate and disabled ‘Lilliputian race’.”12 Dwarfs were thus placed below average-sized humans on two separate hierarchal axes: One ranked by height and the other ranked by evolutionary time. Hercules defines himself in terms of evolutionary discourses, yet rather than viewing his dwarfism as a sign of degradation into atavism, he m ­ aintains his self-esteem by regarding his small stature as a mark of high cultural s­tatus and distinction. He even writes poetry that brilliantly inverts the s­ tandard narrative of degeneration that associates progress with steady upward growth and interprets dwarfism as a monstrous aberration, ­imagining a past in which obscene giants roamed the Earth and predicting a coming era in which man has “grown more refin’d,/Slighter in muscle but of vaster Mind” so that “Art grew great as Humankind grew small” and as “The Giant dies, the hero takes his place” (CY, 59). In his poetry, Hercules is able to create a safe space in which he maintains his hereditary high status; for a time, he is able to use his wealth to create a similar safe space in the real world. On the isolated grounds of Crome ­Yellow, he is able to create “a private world of his own, in which all should be proportionable to himself” (CY, 60–61). Remodeling his ancestral home to serve his needs, he replaces the furniture with smaller-sized pieces, the animals with smaller breeds, and the servants with fellow dwarfs. He even finds a wife in Filomena, a little person, and the daughter of an Italian aristocrat who is on the verge of selling her to a traveling circus to pay his debts. Yet, even as Hercules’s aristocratic status gives him the monetary and cultural capital that allows him to reimagine the world in such a way that he remains top man, it also imposes certain obligations that ultimately lead to a tragic ending, culminating in Hercules’s suicide. As master of the ancestral house, Hercules feels obliged to continue the family line; he imagines that “the name of Lapith will be preserved and our rarer and more delicate race transmitted through the generations until in the fullness of time the world shall recognise [its] superiority” (CY, 63). Yet like his parents before him, Hercules has a child he considers monstrous. The key difference is that his son Ferdinando is physically “normal” but monstrous in his behavior; even as a child, he seems like a brutish and brutal giant, knocking down the butler and breaking his arm, then later bringing home a vicious mastiff that nearly kills Filomena. The production of a normal-sized male heir might reduce the risk that the Lapiths die out or diminish in status, yet it compromises the safety of the household. After several years at boarding school, Ferdinando returns, bringing along two friends and their valets. Sir Hercules is dismayed by these unexpected guests but concludes that “the laws of hospitality had to be obeyed”; thus, “The old family dining-table was dragged out into the light and dusted (Sir Hercules and his lady were accustomed to dine at a small table twenty inches high)” (CY, 66). Though Hercules tries to make polite conversation, the young men pay him little attention or respect, instead laughing at the butler’s attempt to serve them at the (oversized) table. After bed, Hercules

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98  Mica Hilson comes down and hears loud noise in the dining room; peeping through a keyhole, he sees that in “the middle of the ravaged table old Simon, the butler, so primed with drink that he could scarcely keep his balance, was dancing a jig” as the young men jeer and throw walnuts at him (CY, 67). “‘To-morrow,’ said Ferdinando, ‘we’ll have a concerted ballet of the household.’ ‘With father Hercules wearing his club and lion-skin,’ added one of his companions, and all three roared with laughter” (CY, 67) at this image of the paterfamilias deposed from his place at the head of the family and transformed into a sideshow freak. They threaten to treat him like the inhabitants of Bel Geddes’s proposed “Gnome Village,” made to embody a primitive Other antithetical to human civilization, a far cry from the evolutionally superior, highly refined being Hercules has conceived himself to be. Rather than confronting his son and his guests, Hercules “began to climb the stairs, lifting his knees painfully high at each degree. This was the end; there was no place for him now in the world, no place for him and Ferdinando together” (CY, 67). Indeed, as we are reminded by the image of Hercules “painfully” contorting his body just to climb the stairs, none of his household remodeling has managed to change the underlying fact that the fundamental structures of the ancestral home are not made to fit ­Hercules. These structures—both the physical structures of the house and the ­symbolic structures embedded in the role of master of the ancestral home—inevitably position Hercules as a “misfit,” placing him in situations where he is unable to maintain his centrality and high status, but is “dwarfed” and regarded as a freak. Tellingly, the story’s fatal conflict, which reveals to Hercules that there “was no place for him and Ferdinando together,” is precipitated by the ­presence of two family dining tables. One is the dwarf-sized table that positions Hercules as the head of the family, orienting the household around his patriarchal authority. The other “family table,” which both predates and undermines Hercules’s authority, is the only one that fits Ferdinando and his guests. However, this table “dwarfs” Hercules, Filomena, and the servants in their household, transforming them from fully functional members of a “more delicate race” (CY, 63), fully in control of their own space, into hapless freaks whose disability prohibits them from doing much more than serving as sources of amusement. There is a place at the table for Hercules and his fellow dwarfs, but unfortunately, it’s not a place at the head of the table or even an equal place seated around the table—rather, it is a place atop the table as objects of derision. Not only does the story present two competing family tables, it also deals with two competing forms of “family feeling.” Hercules might be part of the same Lapith “family line” as his son and his father, but his true “­family feeling” is reserved for his fellow dwarfs, who are the ones who would feel at home at his habitual table. Conversely, Ferdinando’s “family feeling” is reserved for the fellows whom he invites to stay with him, a sense of “brotherhood” that is only strengthened by their cruel rejection of whatever bond

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A Dwarf at the Table  99 the boy might have with “father Hercules.” To further bolster his relations with his normal-sized fellows, Ferdinando not only sells out his parents, but treats them as objects of exchange within a gift economy. This is a role that dwarfs have often historically occupied, as “curiosities” displayed before select onlookers, their spectacular “difference” often exaggerated through costumes and props (e.g., the club and lion skin), serving to give the audience a sense of common identity, a way to “relate” despite their own significant differences.13 In this respect, Hercules’s fateful decision to abide by the “laws of hospitality” is also a fatal one, since these are the same rules under which dwarfs were traditionally treated as objects of exchange, not subjects. I would thus argue against Jerome Meckier’s conclusion that ­Huxley’s story is mocking how “[u]nable to cope with reality, Hercules sets up a private world built to his own dimensions”14; the problem is not Hercules’s separatism, but rather his willingness to abide by the rules and ideological structures of a “reality” that would render him an aberration. The title character of Pär Lagerkvist’s The Dwarf, who also serves as the novel’s narrator, defiantly challenges the very civilized values that Sir Hercules tries to appropriate. When the book was first published, critics often read the dwarf as a symbolic representation of evil15; serving in the court of a Machiavellian prince, he revels in the prince’s violence, encouraging the prince to wage war and later helping him poison his enemies. Still, rather than characterizing him as “evil,” I think it would be more accurate to describe the dwarf as “sinister” (a word that originally referred to left-­ handedness, which was regarded as an ominous trait). I make this ­distinction to capture the ways that Lagerkvist sometimes renders the dwarf as d ­ evilish, yet also uses him to play devil’s advocate, as a means to voice incisive critiques of normative values. For instance, the dwarf is extremely proud that he is sterile. In a ­remarkable passage, he asserts: We dwarfs beget no young, we are sterile by virtue of our own nature. We have nothing to do with the perpetuation of life; we do not even desire it. We have no need to be fertile, for the human race itself produces its own dwarfs, of that one may be sure. We let ourselves be born of these haughty creatures, with the same pangs as they. Our race is perpetuated through them, and thus and thus only can we enter this world. That is the inner reason for our sterility. We belong to that race and at the same time we stand outside it. We are guests on a visit. Ancient wizened guests on a visit which has lasted for thousands of years.16 Here, the dwarf’s sterility is rendered as a “virtue” rather than as a ­symptom of degeneration. On the contrary, he implies that dwarfs have evolved beyond the need for procreation because they have developed a different strategy for “perpetuating their race.” Inverting the standard discourses that would imagine the dwarf as lacking the agency and essential capacities of a

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100  Mica Hilson normal adult, he instead suggests that his condition grants him a position of privilege, wherein he might maintain a critical distance from the imperative of human reproduction, assuming the status of a “guest.” Implicitly, then, the dwarf’s parents are rendered less as members of the dwarf’s family tree and more as his “hosts,” in both senses of the word—extending h ­ ospitality toward their “guests,” and carrying around a parasite, an entity from another race that feeds upon their resources. As in Crome Yellow, this passage carries the uncanny implication that the womb—conventionally imagined as the epitome of an enclosed safe space—is a space of unconditional hospitality, open to visits from alien others. Like Sir Hercules, Lagerkvist’s dwarf imagines himself as racially separate from and superior to normal-sized humans, tying their height to a character flaw (haughtiness) that blinds them to the subservient role they play as “hosts” to dwarfs. However, Sir Hercules casts himself as part of a more refined “new breed” of humans, who are the natural heirs to the lineage of Western civilization (including customs of hospitality). Lagerkvist’s dwarf, on the contrary, rejects any insinuation that he is tied to human ancestry or cultural inheritances; identifying as part of a race of “ancient wizened guests,” he feels no obligation to respect his hosts’ values or traditions. Though he lacks Sir Hercules’s social status and economic resources—and thus must depend upon hosts who belittle him— Lagerkvist’s dwarf is also able to exploit the ideology they use to belittle him: Cuteness. As Daniel ­Harris writes, cuteness “aestheticizes unhappiness, helplessness, and ­deformity, [and thus] it almost always involves an act of sadism on the part of its creator.”17 When he addresses the reader, the dwarf is full of contempt for this model of “cuteness” and its assumption that he is just a diminutive, more helpless version of the people who surround him. However, because he rarely airs his most militant views, the dwarf gains a privileged position of intimacy with the royal family; because they see him as cute, not threatening, he is even able to escape suspicion when he commits acts of violence, like beheading the young princess’s kitten. Although a more modern eye might view the dwarf as a security risk—identifying him as part of a deviant population18—the residents of the castle, operating under an earlier era’s conception of sûreté, feel totally safe around him. As in Crome Yellow, the story’s action climaxes at the dining table, where a dwarf is placed in a marginalized position. The key difference is that Lagerkvist’s dwarf is able to use his marginalized position to “turn the tables,” vengefully getting the upper hand on the normal-sized people at the table. Furthermore, he turns their patronizing assumptions—that the dwarf is a harmless servant, a curiosity who only exists to satisfy their ­pleasure—against them, serving poisoned wine to the banquet’s honored guests. Rather than feeling bound to the laws of hospitality, as Sir Hercules does, Lagerkvist’s dwarf feels above the law or perhaps simply outside of the law, as hospitality is not extended to his “race.”

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A Dwarf at the Table  101 At the start of the banquet, the dwarf occupies a position outside of the table’s sphere of hospitality; rather than actually partaking in the feast, he observes the diners and their giant appetites with disgust. However, once the poison and the subsequent outbreak of armed combat transforms the banquet hall into a “battlefield” full of “mutilated corpses,” the dwarf happily takes a position at the table (TD, 152, 156). Indeed, he takes a stance very similar to the foolish posture—moving atop the table, rather than sitting at the table—Sir Hercules finds so demeaning. There he stands, “surveying the tremendous results of my work: The extirpation by me of this loathsome race which deserves nothing less” (TD, 152). In the immediate wake of the violence he performs through the institution of the feast table, the dwarf is able to turn the tables on the hierarchical spectacle–spectator relationship that has characterized his interactions with normal-sized humans. That is to say, the slaughtered humans are reduced to a freakish spectacle that the dwarf can gaze upon at his leisure. Even his surviving superiors, like the Princess, stricken with grief after her secret lover is poisoned by the dwarf, are reduced to the subjects of the dwarf’s scrutiny and condescension. Lagerkvist ameliorates whatever sympathy we might feel for the victims of this carnage by emphasizing that, though the “peace feast” might extend hospitality to foreign dignitaries, the masses are denied a place at the table. Rather, the feast reenacts the kingdom’s hierarchies, as the room is lit by candelabra and torches held “by lads who had been taken straight from the streets, dressed in foul rags with their bare dirty feet on the stone floor” (TD, 131–132). The poor are thus reduced to human light fixtures, tantalizingly close enough to view the feast, but given no opportunity to slake their hunger by actually joining in it—that is, until the dwarf takes action and all hell breaks loose. This is more than just a figure of speech, given the imagery the narrator uses to describe the carnage in the banquet hall: “I felt like Satan himself … dragging their souls still hot and stinking from their bodies, down into the kingdom of death” (TD, 153). In the wake of this orgy of violence among the upper classes at the table, the marginalized “little people” (both the dwarf and the peasants) thrive. However, the dwarf himself expresses no sense of solidarity with these “little people.” Rather, he revels in the opportunities for one-upmanship and self-aggrandizement that the poison feast provides him, regarding himself as a supernatural dark lord, looking down upon the humans who are being debased and cut down to size as they are dragged “down into the kingdom of death.” Like Sir Hercules, then, Lagerkvist’s dwarf relies on a fundamentally hierarchal vision of the world. On the basis of Crome Yellow and The Dwarf, a reader might be inclined ­ ractice to conclude that for people with non-normate bodies, hospitality is a p that inevitably enacts a hierarchical set of relations, where they can choose either to one-up others or be dwarfed by them, to engage in a ­hostile takeover or be such an accommodating host that they risk being taken hostage. There is, however, a third possibility, one that Doris ­Lessing’s The Fifth Child helps to illustrate. Here, we witness a little person who practices hospitality,

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102  Mica Hilson yet sidesteps the hierarchical set of social relations imposed by the table. Huxley and Lagerkvist’s stories of little people are set in the distant past, yet address distinctly modern discourses concerning evolutionary biology and deviant populations, effectively bringing the science of sécurité into conversation with earlier notions of sûreté. Lessing’s novel, however, is set in the historical present, and although it establishes this same dialogue between modern and premodern paradigms, it also raises the hopeful possibility that more inclusive practices of hospitality can be developed for the future. The plot of The Fifth Child revolves around the conflict between Ben Lovatt, the titular little person, and the family who fears and deplores him. Richard Brock argues that the novel should be read as a critique of the Lovatt family’s “Thatcherite ideals, including the insistence on the primacy of the family over ‘society,’ the paranoid defence of space against the ideological ‘other,’ and the enthusiastic embracing of the 1980s capitalist dream of home ownership.”19 Drawing from Derrida, Brock notes that the Lovatts only accept Ben in the “family home within a framework of conditional hospitality,” with an unspoken threat of violence if he violates their conditions.20 Although I agree with Brock’s argument that Lessing is critiquing the Thatcherite family values that lead the Lovatts to brutally mistreat their non-normate son, I propose that she also depicts a positive alternative in the form of hospitality that Ben practices. To interpret Ben as an admirable figure, the reader must recognize how the novel subverts the traditional structure of thrillers like The Bad Seed (1954) and Rosemary’s Baby (1967), in which the mother gradually comes to the horrifying realization that her child is a dangerous threat. When Ben, a preternaturally strong infant, hurts his older brother and is suspected of killing a family pet, readers are primed to view him as a ticking time bomb, capable of exploding into deadly violence at any moment. Instead, Ben winds up something of a dud, as his violence fails to escalate. Yet Ben’s mother Harriet and his father David continue to view him as a threat to the family, and the gap between Harriet’s dire expectations and Ben’s relatively benign actions suggests that her judgments of Ben should be regarded with some skepticism. From this more critical perspective, we might note that although Harriet dwells on the threat Ben presents to the family, she disregards the ways that Ben’s family terrorizes and endangers him. Most notably, they send him to an institution for deformed children where he is nearly killed by heavy doses of medication; then, even once a guilt-stricken Harriet brings Ben home, she repeatedly threatens to send him back to the institution if he gets out of line. Ben is not the only non-normate child within his extended family; his cousin Amy has Down Syndrome, and the contrast between how the f­ amily treats the two children is revealing. Although Amy, born several months before Ben, is initially scorned by her aunt Harriet, who privately i­magines that this “mongol child” resulted from her sister’s marital problems,21 there is a place for her within the family. However, Amy is welcome in the

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A Dwarf at the Table  103 household only insofar as she can be put in her place as a defective child; when her mother brings her to the Lovatt family dining table, baby Amy is “covered up so as not to upset everyone” (TFC, 25). The retrograde term Harriet uses for Amy, “mongol,” also serves to place the child within the hierarchical discourses that late nineteenth- and early twentieth-­century eugenicists used to conceptualize arrested development. As h ­istorian Paul Lombardo notes, John Langdon Down (from whose name “Down ­Syndrome” comes) coined the term “Mongoloid” because he “described his findings as a type of degeneracy—a retrogression from one racial type (e.g.,  European or Caucasian) to what was considered a lower type (e.g., Asian or Mongolian).”22 Research on so-called “Mongoloid dwarfs” provided more opportunities for eugenicists to conflate the various hierarchical scales of intelligence, height, race, and evolution that would put modern-day Caucasians of normal size and IQ at the top.23 Unlike his cousin, who occupies a clearly-defined place as a “defective” child, which enables the family to regard her as cute and endearing, Ben is a child who defects from the family order and who, despite Harriet’s best efforts, is uncannily hard to place. A recurring motif involves Harriet’s thwarted attempts to get expert confirmation (from doctors and teachers) that Ben belongs at the bottom rung of various scales, that he should be ranked as subhuman in some way, akin to how Amy can be securely classified as a Mongoloid. She thus seeks to rationalize her instinct that Ben is a threat by trying to get him designated as part of a deviant population that constitutes a security risk. She is particularly attached to the notion that Ben is an evolutionary throwback, belonging to a “race that reached its apex thousands and thousands of years before humanity,” a fantasy that she clings to even more tightly once she encounters copious counterevidence (TFC, 130). Indeed, the fact that Ben fits in well with his group of teenage friends, while Harriet finds herself increasingly nostalgic and out of sync with the zeitgeist, suggests that she is the “throwback.” Even Ben’s physical dimensions are difficult to place. He is described more than once as a “dwarf” (TFC, 56, 94), but the term comes in close proximity to other, more fantastical comparisons: he is “like a little troll or a hobgoblin” (63), as well as “a squat little gnome” (71), and he earns a series of nicknames from his working-class babysitters: “Dopey, Dwarfey, Alien Two, Hobbit, and Gremlin” (94). While he might not fit the clinical conditions for dwarfism, Ben is nonetheless depicted as “much shorter” than the people around him (121). The word most often used to describe Ben’s physical dimensions is “squat,” which also gets employed as a noun and a verb to describe Ben’s characteristic posture and movement. The depiction of Ben as “squat” is in part used as an index of his arrested physical development; his “squat” frame is often described as extraordinarily “powerful,” with “cudgel-like bones” (132) as if the strength of a full-sized man has been compressed into a body that has never fully blossomed. Depictions of Ben squatting are also used to imply an obscenely uncivilized arrested

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104  Mica Hilson development; a characteristic posture for defecation, Ben’s squatting is reminiscent of a child who has not been properly potty-trained or an animal that has not been house-trained. Indeed, the book focuses pointedly on Harriet’s attempts to train Ben’s bathroom habits—and his reversions to a pre-housetrained state in moments of stress. There is a third meaning to “squatting,” however, and it is key to understanding the book’s representation of hospitality and family conflict—a “squatter” is someone who occupies a space that does not belong to him. In this sense, Ben squats throughout the novel. Even before he is born, Harriet perceives him as an occupier, an unwelcome guest in her womb with whom she is engaged in a “long blind struggle” and whom she wishes she could evict—“she fantasised that she took the big kitchen knife, cut open her own stomach, lifted out the child” (TFC, 48). As a child, Ben is frequently shown “squatting” in various locations throughout the house; for instance, rather than being cozily tucked into bed or having a proper lie-down, Ben “squatted on his bed” (89). Tellingly, this passage comes right after Harriet brings him back from the institution that nearly kills him; if Ben ever did feel safely at home in the family house, his period of institutionalization is sufficient to teach him not to make himself too comfortable, that his residence might be revoked at any given time. When he first returns from the institution, Ben assumes an accommodating position at the family table, observing his older siblings and assimilating their table manners, the gestures and attitudes that make them a welcome part of the family—“He studied how they moved, sat down, stood up; copied how they ate” (TFC, 68). Soon, however, he assumes a very different posture, one that aggressively asserts his difference from the family norms; one morning, Harriet and the other children come downstairs “to see Ben squatting on the big table, with an uncooked chicken he had taken from the refrigerator. … Grunting with satisfaction, he tore the raw chicken apart with teeth and hands” (97). Here, we see Ben violating nearly all of the distinctions upon which proper “table manners” are based, including the differences between squatting and sitting, between tables and chairs, between fingers and utensils, between the raw and the cooked, and between taking food and asking for it. His obscene performance of “squatting” and “grunting” atop the table also seems to blur the lines between ingestion of food and defecation, thus further defiling what is arguably the family’s most sacred piece of property. Several of the novel’s early passages describe this huge family table, “which could easily accommodate fifteen or twenty people” (12) and the remarkably stingy version of hospitality practiced there; “Neighbours, invited, did appear, but the sense of family togetherness was strong and excluded them” (19) and even family members at the table are made to know their place, with David snapping that “We are the centre of this family. … We are—Harriet and me” (27). Ben’s obscene squatting at the table thus makes a travesty of an apparatus that was already making a travesty of hospitality, a table that could in theory “easily accommodate” huge masses of people, but in practice has primarily been used to exclude them.

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A Dwarf at the Table  105 Ben’s rebellion against the family’s table manners represents a turning point in the novel. No longer feeling at home with a “squatter” in the house, the older children ask to be sent to boarding school. Meanwhile, Ben develops a sense of kinship with people outside his family, including the Lovatts’ teenage gardener and his friends, all high school dropouts who prefer roaming the town and countryside on their motorcycles to settling down in a ­stable job and home. When Ben grows older, he makes school friends who are closer to his own age but come from this same class—“the uneducable, the unassimilable, the hopeless” (120)—and rather than simply hanging about with them on pavements and other public spaces, he invites them back to the family house. There, they follow Ben’s lead and act more like squatters than guests, sometimes casually staying overnight in the house’s many rooms, and at other times going away for days at a time. Harriet imagines that the gang spends those nights in “half-derelict buildings, the caves and caverns and shelters of the big cities where people lived who could not find a place in ordinary homes and houses” (131). Like most of Harriet’s statements, this one provides more insight into her own prejudices than into Ben’s feelings; she cannot imagine that her son might not want to “find a place in ordinary homes” or that he might refuse to distinguish between good homes and “half-derelict buildings,” applying the same squatter mentality to both. Similarly, Harriet seems to be projecting her own feelings onto Ben and his friends when she describes them as “an alienated, non-comprehending, hostile tribe” (129), a line that comes at the close of a long passage in which she looks on in fascinated disgust as the boys eat. While she sits alone at the family table, an obsolete structure that has by this point been virtually abandoned, the boys lie “sprawled about on the other side of the low wall,” watching television and eating an array of take-out foods “that originated in a dozen countries,” as they “strew crumbs and crusts and cartons about” on the floor (128). Harriet responds to the boys’ lack of “table manners” with haughty disdain, yet there is something genuinely appealing about the alternative sociality that has assembled around Ben and their practice of what might be termed a “squatter hospitality.” Unlike the exclusionary form of hospitality that David and Harriet once practiced at the family table, which demanded that guests knew their place and made few accommodations for misfits, this squatter hospitality welcomes “the unassimilable, the hopeless,” providing them with more options to satisfy their diverse appetites and giving them more room to assume whatever posture best fits them. What Harriet can only see as negative qualities, the boys’ apparent indifference and lack of discrimination—“it did not seem to matter to them what they ate” (128)—could thus be taken as necessary conditions for establishing a form of hospitality that is genuinely open to difference and welcoming toward strangers. Thus, although I would agree with Brock’s observation that, by the novel’s end, we see the fragmentation of the domestic space, “its threshold breached,”24 I think that Lessing is aiming at not only a deconstruction of existing values but also a construction of new ones. Performing

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106  Mica Hilson hospitality away from the table, Ben and his gang gesture toward the alternative social relations that are only possible when one casts aside the overriding attachments to property ownership, home security, and the nuclear family that have defined Ben’s parents. Harriet blames “Ben, the alien, the destroyer” for darkening “the wide shine of the table,” in whose glossy surface she sees a flattering reflection of herself (TFC, 130). We might instead credit him for destroying a fundamentally false and narcissistic fantasy of hospitality, one that might be gratifying to the normate property owners whom the table is designed to accommodate, but brutally excludes a whole host of “aliens.” The Fifth Child thus underscores a point I have been suggesting throughout this chapter: The importance of developing modes of hospitality that can genuinely accommodate a diverse range of body types, allowing them equal access to the roles of host and guest, rather than clinging to traditional structures of hospitality that render the non-normate dependent on “special accommodations.” Furthermore, by acknowledging what Harriet is so afraid to admit—that our most private spaces, from the dining room to the womb, are always already open to the alien other—we might move beyond the nostalgic notion that “a man’s home is his castle.” In turn, that critical recognition might raise our awareness of how the home has become plugged into the apparatus of the modern security state, helping us to resist the corresponding impulse to classify the differently embodied on the basis of the “stranger danger” they might present.

Notes 1. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 25. 2. Literally, “love of the stranger,” a key component in Derridean notions of ­unconditional hospitality. 3. Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology, 80. 4. Adelson, The Lives of Dwarfs. 5. Foucault, Security. 6. In my home country of the United States, at least, the expansion of state surveillance powers (under the name of “Homeland Security”) has been ­ ­accompanied by an expansion of the “Castle Doctrine,” allowing individuals to shoot whoever they suspect to be a threat to their home or person. 7. Foucault, Security, 105–109. 8. Huxley, Crome Yellow, 58. Hereafter cited as CY in the text. 9. Foucault, Security, 92–93. 10. Nordau, Degeneration, 34. 11. Cogdell, “The Futurama Recontextualized,” 211. 12. Ibid., 209. 13. Betty Adelson provides an overview of this phenomenon, including a brief discussion of seventeenth-century British dwarf Jeffrey Hudson, who as a child was “concealed in a cold baked pie … [and] offered as a present to an overjoyed queen.” See Adelson, Lives of Dwarfs, 15.

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A Dwarf at the Table  107 14. Meckier, “Satire and Structure,” 285. 15. For instance, the back of the US edition includes a quote from Dorothy Canfield that “The evil in the Dwarf’s nature is in ours, too—is universal.” 16. Lagerkvist, The Dwarf, 98. Hereafter cited as TD in the text. 17. Harris, The Aesthetics of Consumerism, 5. 18. Indeed, Lagerkvist’s novel was written in the wake of Nazi policies that, ­identifying dwarfs and other disabled populations as a public health risk, ­sterilized and/or exterminated many of them. See Adelson, Lives of Dwarfs, 37–43. 19. Brock, “Thatcherism,” 10. 20. Ibid., 12. 21. Lessing, The Fifth Child, 22. Hereafter cited as TFC in the text. 22. Lombardo, “Castrating Dwarves,” 151. 23. Ibid., 152. 24. Brock, “Thatcherism,” 12.

Bibliography Adelson, Betty. The Lives of Dwarfs. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005. Ahmed, Sara. Queer Phenomenology. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006. Brock, Richard. “‘No Such Thing as Society’: Thatcherism and Derridean ­Hospitality in The Fifth Child,” Doris Lessing Studies 28, no. 1 (2009): 7–13. Cogdell, Christina. “The Futurama Recontextualized: Norman Bel Geddes’s Eugenic ‘World of Tomorrow.’” American Quarterly 52, no. 2 (2000): 193–245. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Foucault, Michel. Security, Territory, Population. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Harris, Daniel. Cute, Quaint, Hungry, and Romantic: The Aesthetics of ­Consumerism. New York: Da Capo, 2000. Huxley, Aldous. Crome Yellow. New York: Bantam, 1959. Lagerkvist, Pär. The Dwarf. Translated by Alexandra Dick. New York: Hill and Wang, 1945. Lessing, Doris. The Fifth Child. New York: Vintage, 1988. Lombardo, Paul. “Tracking Chromosomes, Castrating Dwarves: Uninformed ­Consent and Eugenic Research.” Ethics and Medicine 25, no. 3 (2009): 149–164. Meckier, Jerome. “Aldous Huxley: Satire and Structure.” Wisconsin Studies in ­Contemporary Literature 7, no. 3 (1966): 284–294. Nordau, Max. Degeneration. New York: D. Appleton, 1895.

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Part IV

Vulnerability

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8 Securing the Nation, Settling Selves

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Telling Stories of Refugees and Asylum Seekers Tony Simoes da Silva Refugees, the human waste of the global frontier-land, are the “outsiders incarnate,” the absolute outsiders, outsiders everywhere and out of place everywhere except in places that are themselves out of place—the “nowhere places” that appear on the maps used by ordinary humans on their travels. —Zygmunt Bauman, Wasted Lives

I Let me start by recalling three recent items in the international media. On April 5, 2015, The New York Times reported that Bulgaria has built a fence along its border with Turkey designed to keep refugees and unwanted migrants out. The author, Rick Lyman, noted with a hint of irony that not long ago Bulgaria had removed a similar fence from its Communist days—a fence aimed at keeping its subjects in.1 The article explains that the new fence is anticipated to be extremely effective, much as a similar one in Greece has deflected waves of travelers toward Turkey. Also on April 5, 2015, the BBC reported that in the preceding 24 hours, the Italian navy had rescued around 1500 people who were traveling by boat from Africa to Italy.2 The number thought to have entered Italy through its long littoral borders in 2014 is said to be around 200,000. Finally, in Australia, the legal and moral framework surrounding “refugee-processing” camps is once again under the spotlight, as employees of the Immigration Department turn whistle blowers to reveal the dehumanizing conditions at one such facility, on the island of Nauru.3 These conditions range from lack of medical care to overcrowding to the sexual abuse of children. In all three cases, migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers take center stage in an increasingly global narrative of displacement and containment that reflects a broader concern with matters of hospitality and security explored in this collection. In all three instances, desperation drives thousands of individuals to expose themselves to incalculable and, indeed, unspeakable risk in the quest for a new life, a safer life, an invitation and a welcome to stay elsewhere away from home. To stay home, in any number of countries around the globe, is to risk physical and psychological violence. In a ­rapidly globalizing world, Zygmunt Bauman asserts, “millions of refugees and

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112  Tony Simoes da Silva migrants … [are being turned] out on a fast accelerating scale.”4 The perverse irony highlighted by all three media reports mentioned above is that, even as they strive to travel undetected, refugees and asylum seekers repeatedly occupy the front pages of newspapers and online media. The refugee or asylum seeker—terms whose semantic fluidity is central to such media discourses—emerges in all three items as an “international intersubjectivity” par excellence, to draw on the work of Gideon Baker.5 In the introduction to Hospitality and World Politics, Baker notes that “it is now a staple of constructivist discourse in academic international relations that identity—in this case, state identity—is intersubjectively constituted.”6 Baker identifies such a mode of interaction between nation-states as intrinsically related to hospitality; although he sees war as the other such relational mode, “it is only an exceptional relationship between states.”7 Significantly, in an echo of Bauman’s views in Wasted Lives, Baker also argues that “the point at which international intersubjectivity takes place … is in hospitality.”8 The complexity of the overlap between terms such as “asylum seeker” and “refugee” has grown as ever tighter border controls contribute to the illegalization of flows of people. Perhaps paradoxically, stricter border policies have made the distinction harder to settle. Being granted refugee status is no longer a guarantee of a friendly welcome, as Australia’s ongoing attempts to resettle refugees in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, and Naurus shows. I want to propose that the refugee, understood broadly as a site of c­ omplex and fluid subject positions, enacts an intersubjectivity “inextricable from a political unconscious where it both challenges and gives new meanings to the function of the nation-state.”9 Hence, Giorgio Agamben’s view that “if the refugee represents such a disquieting element in the order of the nation-state, this is so primarily because, by breaking the identity between the human and the citizen and that between nativity and nationality, it brings the originary fiction of sovereignty into crisis.”10 Indeed, Peter Nyers asserts that the ­refugee “is constituted by being exposed to the violent limit of the sovereign relation known as the ‘state of exception’”11—the refugee exists only, or, ­perhaps most of all, insofar as she or he poses a challenge to the nation-state as presently constituted. To the celebrated free flow of goods and people augured for and by globalization, the modern nation-state responds with ever-stronger modes and means of control. As Ellen Bal and Roos Willems remark, “in response to the increasing mobility of people, we can witness a worldwide mushrooming of ‘security fences,’ ‘apartheid walls,’ or ‘anti-terrorist fences’ by which so-called developed nation states attempt to guarantee their sovereignty and (economic, political, cultural, existential) security.”12 This chapter addresses some of these concerns through a close ­engagement with two works of fiction: Caroline Brothers’s Hinterland (2012) and Chris Cleave’s Little Bee (2008). It seeks to consider especially the role and function that fiction can play in ongoing debates about involuntary mobility, hospitality, security, and a distinct subjectivity Nyers calls “refugeeness.”13 Both Chris Cleave and Caroline Brothers are white, middle-class journalists

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Securing the Nation, Settling Selves  113 based in Europe, Cleave a regular contributor to the British newspaper, The Guardian, and Brothers a writer for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. Both draw on their experiences as journalists reporting on the crisis of widespread human displacement to create situations and characters that capture on the page what their experience tells them is the condition of the contemporary refugee. They seek to make real the ineffable condition of a subjectivity that is at once altogether lacking in definition and too charged with meaning. For, again, the irony of the position of refugees in contemporary political and social discourse is that they are at once figures of excess and of lack. In their treatment of the experience of the refugee and asylum seeker, Hinterland and Little Bee develop “refugeeness” as a locus for a Foucauldian notion of governmentality. They do so, moreover, as a political intervention that enables literature to fight the dehumanizing actions of nation-states, particularly those made in the name of security, particularly since September 11, 2001. Fiction’s ability to create relations of affect between readers and characters offer significant opportunities to contribute to political and ethical debates by enabling greater understanding of the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers. Thus, this chapter sets out to examine the ways in which imaginative literature complements and sometimes supplements, in a Derridean sense, empirical work on the refugee experience, whether undertaken in the social sciences or by the bureaucracies of the nation-state. However, the chapter also draws attention to the challenges fiction writers face in representing refugees in ways that do not contribute to their dehumanization. The act of hospitality performed by works of fiction, such as the selected texts, requires that the refugee be both “outsider incarnate,” in Bauman’s words, and the complete human being symbolized by the characters in the novel. One exists forever as a liminal individual, despised or pitied, whereas the other retains a level of engagement with the societies she or he encounters. After all, as Dan Bulley remarks, “[h]ospitality is as much about control as it is about welcome,” or it can be.14 My focus on literary texts aims to explicate the intertwining of the contemporary political concern with refugees in society and the aestheticization of that phenomenon. In the novels, the refugee character on the page is not “the real thing.” But it is in the nature of imaginative writing to trick readers into embracing her or him as a real human being. Although primarily concerned with the personal experience of a small number of protagonists whose ­experiences are both unique and all too common, Little Bee and Hinterland act as important paratexts to post–September-11 discourses of fear and state-managed security. The ability of characters like Aryan, Kabir, and Little Bee to forge ahead toward a better future despite the full array of “measures to prevent the arrival of refugees” brings into relief the dehumanizing effect of global discourses of freedom, security, and managed hospitality.15 The paradox they highlight, one given particular poignancy by the fact that all three characters are children or young adults, is of a world brought together by optimistic

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114  Tony Simoes da Silva discourses of globalization, even as it is rent asunder by paranoid variations on those same discourses. Foregrounding simultaneously the fragility, the resilience, and the resourcefulness of the refugee, such works also bring into play a broader understanding of the costs of security and governmentality to the Other—and to the Self. At the heart of the political intervention of novels such as Hinterland and Little Bee is the desire to have the reader occupy the subject positions of refugees such as Aryan, Kabir, and Little Bee, the main characters in the two works. In this way, the novels seek to bear witness to the profound impact such mass movements of people have on the communities they encounter; they bring “home”—here understood as the private space the reader occupies while she or he reads a book—dimensions of “refugeeness” that the nation-state’s machinery of illegalization relentlessly occlude. In a discussion of the meaning of hospitality in textual production, Judith Still asks: “What is it to be a reader, to read, not just in the simple sense of casting your eye over words and turning the page, but to be formed as a reader by a text— to be host and guest with respect to a text? Letting it welcome you in and give you sustenance, warmth and shelter—and welcoming it reciprocally, without prejudice, into your heart?”16 Although focusing principally on the way the text welcomes the reader, Still nevertheless highlights the way such a relationship is inextricably reciprocal; without the reader, the text itself is denied the means to offer hospitality. To posit that refugees are made, discursively, in a range of spheres, is not to minimize the embodied dimension of their experience. Indeed, the affective dimension of works such as Little Bee and Hinterland ensures that it is through textualization, through representation that the refugee is made real as a fellow human being. Fiction’s textual refugee stands in contrast to a range of legal, political, and media discourses and mechanisms through which the refugee more commonly circulates, as Bal and Willems, Bauman, Nyers, and others show. The refugee, as fence-crosser in Bulgaria, as vulnerable migrant on a boat out of North Africa, or as the detainee awaiting more-or-less legal “processing,” is usually seen as either victim or usurper, a creature deserving only pity or contempt. Novels such as Hinterland and Little Bee work actively to counter such a view. The refugee, usually presented as evidence of a crisis in the post-globalization world, is represented in these novels as both a sign of conflicting meanings and a magnet for contrasting emotions. Such writing “acts from the heart” as a means of expressing solidarity with fellow human beings.17 The novels represent and present characters who live elsewhere, and who live differently, without reducing them to mere objects of pity. They strive to depict fully rounded individuals rather than the stereotype of the pitiable creature detached from history, culture, and political context—in the words of Slavoj Žižek, “the ideal subject victim.”18 Brothers and Cleave capitalize on literature’s fundamental characteristic, the ability to establish an imagined world that resonates with the real, to create a “process of ‘feeling one’s way into’ an art object or another person.”19

Securing the Nation, Settling Selves  115

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As David S. Miall explains, “the literary texts we read evoke emotion in us, enabling us to match fictional or poetic situations to episodes in our previous lives, although this most likely occurs unconsciously—we often do not know why we weep during reading, or feel pleasure at a particular moment.”20 That, I would suggest, is the view proposed by Brothers and Cleave in the novels—reading should in turn be connected to acting, even if that equation is not without its challenges.

II The contentious interplay between literary representation and political activism is tackled head-on by the Kenyan writer and political activist ­Binyavanga Wainaina in an essay published in the British magazine, Granta. It is a piece the authors of Hinterland and Little Bee might read with some trepidation, for while focusing on the activist potential of literature, it does so with serious reservations: Among your characters you must always include The Starving ­African, who wanders the refugee camp nearly naked, and waits for the ­benevolence of the West. Her children have flies on their eyelids and pot bellies, and her breasts are flat and empty. She must look utterly helpless. She can have no past, no history; such diversions ruin the dramatic moment. Moans are good. She must never say anything about herself in the dialogue except to speak of her (unspeakable) suffering.21 Wainaina writes as an African, and there is a degree of personal involvement that gives the essay its distinctive tone of j’accuse. In a passionate volley of angry words, Wainaina captures and critiques the complex mix of poetics and politics that characterizes much contemporary writing focused on the experience of refugees. Often this is intentional provocation or moral salve. In his scathing satire, penned in the style of Jonathan Swift, Wainaina takes aim squarely at the sort of literary representations that posit the refugee, here specifically an African refugee, as a magnet for meanings over which “it” has no control. The point is not that this refugee does not exist, but rather that she is presumed to have one single way of existing—as what Agamben terms homo sacer, bare life.22 The refugee signifies exclusively as a deep well of incomprehensible, yet irresistible suffering, and of pity; this is what Slavoj Žižek would call “traumatic experience that blurs all difference.”23 Put differently, she may be flat, but she is as absorbent as blotting paper. Meanings, known meanings, gravitate toward her. Wainaina’s essay highlights what he sees as an insensitive engagement with a dispossessed and disempowered other. It notes that refugees are made, materially as much as symbolically; increasingly, they circulate not only as the underbelly of the insatiable modernity outlined so eloquently by Bauman in Wasted Lives, but also as a by-product of gestures of benevolence.

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116  Tony Simoes da Silva Provocatively, if somewhat simplistically, Wainaina traces all such modes of representation to their colonial roots, a critical line also taken by ­ValentinY. Mudimbe in The Invention of Africa (1988). Wainaina’s ­lesson for the would-be travel or fiction writer stresses the risk of imagining the contemporary refugee as merely another “Starving African.” It is, in other words, the empty sign so easily parlayed into a Eurocentric imaginary familiar with an Other devoid of place, context, meaning, humanity. For Wainaina, the refugee as fictional character is thus a kind of revenant, an ever-present echo of times that never really went away. He asserts that readers, too, cannot opt out of the ideological baggage of the text; to engage with it, to empathize with the refugee as the oversignified sign Wainaina identifies, is to be complicit in another iteration of colonial power relations. As noted above, the difficulty lies in large part with the term “refugee.” As Nyers writes, “the politics of being a refugee has as much to do with cultural expectation of certain qualities and behaviors that are demonstrative of ‘authentic’ refugeeness (e.g. silence, passivity, victimhood) as it does with legal definitions and regulations.”24 Arguing for a more sophisticated take on debates about illegalized migrations, Michel Agier notes, in On the Margins of the World (2008), the overwhelming force of a “victimhood narrative,” articulated through vocabulary such as “stateless,” “placeless,” “useless,” “undocumented,” and a range of other terms that seek to capture and define what is nonetheless seen as being beyond definition. Such “known unknowingness,” the refugee self that is always defined using well-policed, yet indeterminate, categories, echoes Jacques Derrida’s work in Of Hospitality (2000). Derrida reads Socrates, Kant, and Arendt, to suggest that hospitality presupposes a degree of risk-taking that a priori conceives the foreigner, and here the refugee, as intrinsically familiar—­precisely because of their strangeness. Working through Levinas, Derrida proposes that hospitality requires a degree of courage on the part of the host, but also that in this relation, of host and guest, both are touched, potentially transformed. Such is the meaning of absolute hospitality; it is unconditional and involves risk-taking. Still asserts that “truly warm (ethical) hospitality should surely be immediate rather than pondered, and yet where political decisions are difficult the host and guest may need time for reflection and analysis.”25 Works such as Brothers’ and Cleave’s rehearse some of these concerns by setting out the experience of the refugees who constitute the main protagonists in their novels and those they meet, befriend or fear.

III Caroline Brothers’s novel, Hinterland, centers on the journey that takes two young Afghani brothers, orphaned, across Europe. Brothers tells of how Aryan and Kabir travel between their homeland and an England that the boys view through a popular culture lens as a symbol of freedom, p ­ ossibility, and a more secure life than the violent existence they have endured since the

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Securing the Nation, Settling Selves  117 invasion of Afghanistan by a coalition of forces led by the United States. In England, there will be no war and they will return to school. The journey, long, repetitive and traumatic, is depicted in the form of a minimalist snapshot: the monotonous but dangerous nature of their days, and the constant deferral of their dream of security, are made to work emotionally on the reader by Brothers’s reliance on the quest narrative. Chris Philo’s view of a “dialectic of mobility and immobility, with the one always on the brink of becoming the other” aptly describes the boys’ experiences—but equally how the reader responds to them.26 Time spent without moving is time wasted, deferral of an arrival that will afford security. For the reader, though, in the kind of encounter Miall and Still theorize, the investment in the boys’ success is weighed down by an awareness of the difficulties that await them in the United Kingdom. This is especially the case because, as they finally arrive in London, at the end of a hard and harrowing journey in the back of a freezertruck, Aryan is dead. While his death complicates the idea of arrival, it brings into play notions of security in/as death. Neither the refugee character nor the reader is afforded a happy ending—nor is the reader offered the ethical gratification of seeing England as a safe haven of acceptance and belonging. In Little Bee Chris Cleave tells the story of a young African woman, Little Bee, whom we meet as she walks out of a detention center outside London. The name of the institution, Black Hill Immigration Removal Centre, suggests that the people therein are awaiting removal from the United Kingdom, but the refugees cling to a belief that their cases are yet to be decided.27 Cleave passes no judgment, allowing readers to enter the world of the story at first in the conventional way of much realist fiction; we observe from above, or from outside the text, as the characters struggle to come to terms with the reality of their newfound freedom. As the main narrator, Little Bee herself pins her hopes on getting in touch with an Englishman whom she met in Nigeria, where he holidayed with his wife Sarah. In a plastic bag, she carries his driver’s license, which he dropped on the beach while in Nigeria. This encounter, which took place about two years earlier, drives the whole of the novel, for Little Bee travels to the UK largely because she believes that Andrew and Sarah will help her gain asylum in Britain. They know her story, they played a part in it, and they can attest to its veracity. The book alternates between the voice of Little Bee and that of Sarah, as the two women become increasingly close, following Andrew’s death by suicide. His death, not quite foretold but nevertheless instrumental to the narrative, is the result of a deep shame for not intervening when he had the chance to help Little Bee and her sister Nnirukka but also of his inability to forgive himself for the torture endured by Sarah during their holiday in southern Nigeria. This twinning of experiences that the novels set out to (re)create aims to unsettle the readers’ own subject position as a means to move them to act on behalf of refugees. Invited to empathize with the refugee on the page, readers are made aware of the precariousness of their subject positions. In these novels, readers are led to reflect on what Still calls “an economy of

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118  Tony Simoes da Silva hospitality.”28 The reader extends empathy, makes room in her or his heart for the (un)known refugee Other, but the latter’s experiences with danger, and her or his vulnerability act as a reminder of the fragility of hospitality and presumed security. For Brothers and Cleave, the work of fiction is made to work ideologically, politically, not in terms of benevolence alone, but also of a genuine attempt at inhabiting the Other. As Still stresses, “hospitality is always about crossing thresholds,” but those thresholds are not only those of hosts, but also those of the hosted.29 In this way, Brothers and Cleave seek to negotiate the privilege afforded by their own subject positions as outsiders to the experiences they represent and as “deterritorialized” Westerners able to cross thresholds (borders) freely and as often as they wish. That Brothers’s story is told by the two brothers, one about 15 years of age, the other 8, ensures that the account reads partly as a “boys’ own adventure,” a mode Brothers explores to great effect in order to minimize the risk of overplaying emotion. Bathos of the kind Wainaina so detests is kept in check through shifting focalization; for example, Aryan and Kabir alternate between the childlike and the adult roles their journey imposes on them. At one point, we read that Aryan “tries to remember how many trucks they have been on since they left Afghanistan: Sheep trucks, fruit trucks, once, the fume-filled bins of a fertilizer truck—each reeking of dung or decay or chemicals that took days to get off your hair.”30 Brothers knowingly acknowledges the irony of the boys’ own Grand Tour, a speedy hop, skip, and a jump that, in what seems an incongruously short period, takes them from Tehran to Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Paris, and finally to London. Importantly, unlike the “Starving African,” Aryan and Kabir remain in control of the telling of their fate, even if through the literary device of a character telling her or his story. Moreover, in a more or less overt acknowledgment of Wainaina’s admonition, the novel works affectively by stressing a material side of the r­ efugee’s mobility from which the reader is safely insulated. Safely, because, as a reader, the experience of fear and disempowerment are only ever vicarious, but also because the reader Brothers has in mind is usually buffered from the kind of situation faced by Aryan and Kabir. The brothers, adrift and alone in Europe, follow well-trodden migratory paths intrinsic to their coming into being as refugees. Still suggests that “hospitality is a material structure but overlaid with crucial affective elements,” but it would be arguable that the reverse is just as accurate.31 However successfully fiction may engender an immersion in the experience of an Other, there remains a distinct material dimension the reader can securely ignore. When Aryan worries that Kabir, the boy “who cannot stop asking questions” (H, 24–25), will be left alone if anything were to happen to him, he hopes “he will stand a chance if he can remember where to go, if the names of the cities become coordinates he can navigate by, like the sailors who once set their journey by the stars” (H, 12). Brothers portrays Aryan and Kabir as displaced children in search of shelter, asylum, hospitality, and, crucially, belonging, thematic

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Securing the Nation, Settling Selves  119 threads obvious already in the two brief epigraphs she uses. The first, from ­Constantine P. Cavafy, reads “When you start on the way to Ithaca, / Wish that the way be long,” while the second poses the questions Kabir never tires to ponder, in so many different ways: “How should I make a life?” Together, the epigraphs again help situate the novel within a broader tradition of exile narratives, preventing the book from turning the contemporary ­refugee into a fetish. Yet Hinterland’s politics are obvious—its hopes and ambitions humanist, perhaps even humanitarian, and its politics are progressive. Aryan and Kabir embark on their “­KabulTehranIstanbulAthensParisR omeParisLondon” (H, 11, 242) journey to escape Afghanistan’s protracted political c­rises, often exacerbated by Western interference. Like Cleave’s ­Little Bee, H ­ interland articulates its own take on international relations as a commentary on an “increasing policing of borders and irregular migrants,” just as the conditions for mass migrations are exacerbated by economic and ­political forces associated with the Global North.32 In Hinterland, Aryan and Kabir are on the road as a direct consequence of the protracted journey triggered in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, on September 11 2001; in Little Bee, the novel’s namesake leaves Nigeria’s Delta Region following the conflicts unleashed by the arrival of Western oil companies. In both cases, “the key drivers of mobility are at least shaped if not constituted by physical and economic insecurity,” in the words of Leanne Weber and Sharon Pickering.33 This concern with power imbalances between local and global forces that characterizes debates about globalization, both by proponents and dissenters, inflects Cleave’s work, but also Brothers’s work. Brothers, like Cleave, anchors her characters to specific political and geographical settings and conditions. In these books, the refugee is no longer temporally and geographically indeterminate; the refugee is as much a product of a broad set of conditions in the real circuits of geopolitics, as a product of fiction. Although the two novels share themes and meanings, Chris Cleave’s ­Little Bee is a far more complex and contradictory character than Brothers’ Aryan and Kabir. In a symbolic nod to Wainaina, Cleave carefully situates the story in the Delta region specifically rather than framing it as a Nigerian or African story. That Little Bee eventually finds herself in London is equally relevant, for, as Bulley notes, London “has created itself as a competitive cosmopolitan space of hospitality.”34 Little Bee’s feelings that London offers a relative sense of tolerance is in stark contrast to her detention in the Black Hill Immigration Removal Centre. It is from the center that she travels to Richmond, just outside London, in search of the young couple she met in Nigeria: Richard, a journalist with left-leaning British newspaper. The Guardian, and Sarah, an editor of an alternative fashion/lifestyle women’s magazine. They met Little Bee in a traumatic moment of violence where a group of men fighting against the oil companies in the Delta region attack them and brutalize them. Sarah and Richard were in Nigeria in an attempt to save their marital relationship, and both the ticket and the accommodation

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120  Tony Simoes da Silva were perks that afforded Sarah in her role as magazine editor. Ironically, unencumbered mobility of a type unknown, perhaps even unimaginable to Little Bee, or Aryan and Kabir, leads them into the kind of situation millions of people live with every day of their lives. Cleave’s politics are clearly committed and didactic. Yet Little Bee’s strong but gentle voice, her intelligence and fragility, subtly draw the reader into an intimate exchange of knowledge, of positions. Importantly, the presumed reader here is white and privileged; Little Bee addresses her or him as “you” and repeatedly identifies herself as the outsider in the narrative, albeit one working actively to be allowed in, to belong. Readers, because, or especially when they are white and British, are confronted with what Little Bee herself, and Little Bee as a whole, both articulate as a complicity with British political and economic decisions. That she is only 15  years old and hails from a small village in the Delta region in Nigeria has the effect of heightening the ignorance about her country of those around her, in Britain as undoubtedly elsewhere. Not unlike Brothers, Cleave relies on the faux naif to prevaricate and to smooth the lesson, as it were, though Little Bee’s position is a far more agential one. Although the boys are buffeted by the world through which they travel, Little Bee plays a fundamental role in the world she enters. When Little Bee’s arrival in Richmond triggers Richard’s suicide, she is taken in by Sarah, in a “dialectic of hospitality”35 that grows increasingly complex as she rises to the challenges engendered by Sarah’s neediness. Although Little Bee literally crosses the threshold of Sarah’s home, she plays host to Sarah as the latter realizes her complicity in the situations of refugees like Little Bee. Seemingly free, undaunted by the chaos of her personal situation, Little Bee reaches out to Sarah in an act of absolute hospitality—she will act as nanny to Sarah’s son, insulate Sarah from a love affair that threatens to place her in a difficult relationship, and support her through the aftermath of her husband’s suicide. Little Bee, the outsider, the profoundly vulnerable refugee, anchors Sarah. The refugee arrives as competent as an ideal citizen, able to contribute effectively to society. Following Derrida, Alison Jeffers has argued that “in the truly hospitable encounter both host and guest must be prepared to be changed.”36 Little Bee has as much to give as she receives, and the power of self-invention dominates Chris Cleave’s novel, as Little Bee assiduously strives to mask her Nigerian English (and her Nigerian self— her name is later revealed to be Udo) with a British one. Cleave playfully mobilizes Little Bee’s postcolonial subjectivity, a product of British colonialism, with all that entails, to call attention to Britain’s ongoing involvement in the exploitation of Nigeria’s resources. Cleave’s overt concern with globalization as an unbalanced and potentially destructive mode of international relations inflects much of Little Bee’s otherwise very personal experiences in a way that distinguishes the novel from Hinterland. Cleave depicts globalization as a system that entraps as much as it might liberate. (In contrast, perhaps because of their middle-class upbringing, for the brothers, London

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Securing the Nation, Settling Selves  121 is essentially a place they know through popular culture and television, a version of El Dorado.) However, in a suggestion that even the best-intentioned people will be confronted with the limitations of their own ability to act, ultimately Sarah fails to stop Little Bee’s re-arrest and eventual deportation. Yet Cleave’s use of the novel’s oldest trick, the depiction of characters who do stand in for real people, also brings into focus the power of fiction to disseminate change. Sarah and Little Bee take up the role of (English) reader and (wouldbe) refugee; Sarah’s decision to accompany Little Bee back to Nigeria may appear contrived, but, in its impulsiveness, it speaks of the randomness of genuine political actions (LB, 250–266). She acts not out of a belief in the right of all refugees to be granted asylum in England but out of a strong ­connection with Little Bee that grew out of their shared experiences. The lesson, one even Wainaina might approve of, is that it is possible to go from the imagined world on the page to the real world. Further, in her impulsiveness, Sarah returns us to the dialectical nature of hospitality, reciprocating when she believes that Little Bee needs her most. Through Sarah’s (re)actions, Cleave’s novel teaches a reader, who Cleave deems unlikely to be a refugee, how to be a better human being by immersing him or her in experiences he or she can imagine as their own. She does so, for example, through the whimsy of Little Bee’s over-eager reinvention as someone who “spent two years learning the Queen’s English so that I could speak like this without interruption” (LB, 5–6). The qualifier, “like this,” immediately refocuses attention to the fact that the refugee’s journey does not end with being granted asylum—settling into a different culture, ­learning its codes and often a new language can be as daunting as the ­physical work of becoming a refugee. Little Bee’s confident conversational style frames what is in effect a transferral of knowledge between Little Bee and a reader imagined as white and English. Cleave humanizes the (nonwhite) refugee by (re)humanizing her or his (white, English) interlocutor. By giving Little Bee the main speaking voice in the novel—for Sarah’s chapters never quite carry the same force—he does not necessarily overcome the dangers of Othering. Rather, he negotiates between the activist level at which the novel seeks to operate and the risk that Little Bee’s portrait should emulate the Refugee Woman of Wainaina’s essay. This woman is no victim, or at least not only a victim. Geopolitical events may have conspired to turn her land into a place to which she cannot return, but within ever-shifting conditions she strives to remain in charge of her fate. Reflecting on the new self she carries out of the Black Hill I­ mmigration Removal Centre, she remarks: “And this woman they released from the immigration detention centre, this creature that I am, she is a new breed of human. There is nothing natural about me” (LB, 9). London is both a selfappointed cradle of hospitality and an unpredictable contact zone where some will be welcomed to cross the threshold of the nation, while others will be arrested and deported. In one of many intra-diegetic comments that

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122  Tony Simoes da Silva signify as direct asides to the reader, Little Bee explains: “Take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived” (LB, 9). As she elaborates, referring to her friends in the immigration center: “All the girls’ stories started out the men-came-and-they” (LB, 11). On the one hand, Little Bee highlights the prevalence of violence against women in so many societies faced with internal or international conflict. But on the other hand, her quiet temperament and delicate voice point the finger at a web of discourses that treat people as commodities—as a refugee she is always defined from within as much as from without. The difference is that she knows that—hence her comment about her “unnaturalness.” The paradox lived by refugees each moment of their existence is that while they may lack an identity, while they seek a shred of meaning and often of purpose, they need not worry about having too little meaning. As refugees, they mean always too much, an excess of ever-accreting signification. Governments draw on such signification for political expediency; others feed off the surplus meanings of the displaced for their own reasons. As Sarah ponders, reflecting on her relationship with Little Bee, it is not always clear that her privilege and knowledge are of use to the Nigerian refugee. Brothers, Australian, and Cleave, British, remain in control as authors, and their authorial voices inevitably frame those of their narrators. H ­ owever, their readers are nonetheless allowed a degree of emotional closeness with the narrators that forwards the kind of transformative work Jeffers and Miall identify. In Little Bee, the irony, simple as it may seem, is that over the course of the story, Little Bee emerges as the dominant voice, the dominant person. In an engagement with the utilitarian frameworks deployed to define, contain, and exclude refugees, the novel affords an intimate glimpse of the value of people like Little Bee to the societies to which they seek admission. In an echo of Jeffers’s words, during her relatively brief stay in Britain, Little Bee is transformed (and actively moulds herself to fit her new environment), but she also radically transforms others and the world around her. Seeking security, she offers security, in an exchange that perfectly encapsulates hospitality as a dynamic relationship where both host and guest are able to give and receive. In fact, the gift she gives is greater than what she receives, limited as it is to internment, then deportation and further suffering in Nigeria, but that in a way is the point Little Bee underlines. The novel may thus be seen to comment on the treatment accorded refugees and asylum seekers by the nation-state, just as in Hinterland ­Caroline Brothers stresses the whole person behind each refugee rather than the hollowed out version offered by governmentality. Through their novels, then, Caroline Brothers and Chris Cleave could be said to reject what is being done in their name, as national citizens of countries with increasingly tough and brutalizing regimes of border control. As Matthew Gibney points out, “to be a refugee, it seems, may be to have access to important rights, but woe betide those who arrive in Western states claiming to be a refugee.”37 Hinterland and Little Bee foreground how the

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Securing the Nation, Settling Selves  123 quest for national security and the growing securitization of human relations threaten the bonds of a shared humanity that unite hosts and guests, “national citizens” and refugees. Left alone, Sarah, Little Bee, and Charlie, Sarah’s son, are free to engage, to cross thresholds in the manner suggested by Still as central to an experience of hospitality. Cleave’s novel explicitly addresses Nikos Papastergiadis’s view that “countless people are on the move and even those who have not left their homeland are moved by this restless epoch.”38 It proposes, more explicitly than Brothers’s work, that it is not possible to stand by while hospitality and security are denied the Other. As novelists, Brothers and Cleave create in their work a contact zone of sorts, where readers and characters are free to find in each other the means to a more secure world that bespeaks a truer meaning of globalization. The hospitality Sarah extends to Little Bee counters the regimes of control instituted by countless nation-states. The strength of Caroline Brothers’s novel lies in the way it (re)presents the being of the refugee as displaced and in-process, ­captured through the behavior of children, their fears and anxieties, the whimsy of their reactions, their resourcefulness and their resilience—but equally their vulnerability. Brothers’s refugee consciousness emerges quilt-like, assembled out of memories of Afghanistan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and France and of the dreaming of England. It is contingent because the boys are still young and impressionable, but it is also powerfully solid, precisely because of the unsettledness and the adaptability it denotes. Chris Cleave’s Little Bee has a third character, Sarah’s son, Charlie. ­Perpetually dressed up as Batman, Charlie emerges, at the close of the novel, as a hero for the time to come. It is in the eccentric world of the child’s imagination that the future begins, free of the encumbrances of political discourses of containment and exclusion. Just as Brothers does not allow Aryan and Kabir to have the lives they so excitedly dreamed of in England, Cleave too concludes his novel with tragedy, when Little Bee is arrested by Nigerian troops. She escapes to England, is imprisoned, escapes again and is recaptured, then repatriated and, as she predicted, is arrested. The murky reasons for her arrest lie in the collusion between corrupt multinational corporations and greedy politicians in the exploitation of national and global resources, and Little Bee is even less safe at home than on the road, as a refugee or asylum seeker. As she awaits the soldiers, she reflects: “I smiled down at Charlie … I smiled back at Charlie and I knew that the hopes of this whole human world would fit inside one soul. This is a good trick. This is globalization” (LB, 264). By ending with this “message,” Cleave takes a risk. The risk is that the English white boy, Charlie, takes away from Little Bee the ability to redefine the very meaning of an Englishness that determines who gets to stay and who gets deported. Yet, ultimately Cleave succeeds in reimagining and reclaiming globalization as a human phenomenon, rather than a politics or an economy, a phenomenon in which peoples flow across borders rather than submit to control and commodification, trafficking, or

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124  Tony Simoes da Silva indenture. As Bal and Willems write, “all over the world, (coalitions of) nation states have taken to the ‘fortification’ of their borders to safeguard security and to obstruct immigration. At the same time, however, growing numbers of people cross national borders in their quest for human security.”39 As people are welcomed into new countries, the giving of hospitality and asylum will always mean some measure of control. But a better understanding of the reasons people leave home in search of shelter may make it easier to invite them to share (in) their humanity fully and in more reciprocally humane ways.

Notes 1. Rick Lyman, “Bulgaria Puts Up a New Wall, but This One Keeps People Out,” New York Times, April 5, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/world/ europe/bulgaria-puts-up-a-new-wall-but-this-one-keeps-people-out.html?_r=0. 2. “Italians Rescue 1500 Migrants at Sea,” BBC, April 5, 2015, http://www.bbc. com/news/world-europe-32190648. 3. Paul Farrell and Ben Doherty, “Nauru staff call for closure of asylum centre and royal commission into abuse,” The Guardian, April 7, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/07/nauru-staff-call-for-closureof-asylum-centre-and-royal-commission-into-abuse. 4. Bauman, Wasted Lives, 12. 5. Baker, introduction, 4. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid. 8. Ibid. 9. Simoes da Silva, “Paper(less) Selves,” 58. 10. Agamben, State of Exception, 20. 11. Nyers, Rethinking Refugees, xiii. 12. Bal and Willems, “Introduction,” 250. 13. Nyers, Rethinking Refugees, 4. 14. Bulley, “Hospitality and Governmentality,” 222. 15. Gibney, “‘A Thousand Little Guantanamos,” 139. 16. Still, Derrida and Hospitality, 52. 17. See Mares and Newman, Acting from the Heart. 18. Žižek, “Against an Ideology,” 68. 19. Keen, Empathy and the Novel, 64. 20. Miall, “Emotions,” 339. 21. Wainaina, “How to Write.” 22. Agamben, Homo Sacer. 23. Žižek, “Against an Ideology,” 68. 24. Nyers, Rethinking Refugees, xv. 25. Still, Derrida and Hospitality, 14. 26. Philo, “Beyond the Stopping of Mobilities,” 503. 27. Cleave, Little Bee, 12. Hereafter cited as LB in the text. 28. Still, Derrida and Hospitality, 5. 29. Ibid., 8. 30. Brothers, Hinterland, 16. Hereafter cited as H in the text. 31. Still, Derrida and Hospitality, 12.

Securing the Nation, Settling Selves  125

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32. See Bleiker, “The Politics of Illegalized Migration,” 312. 33. Weber and Pickering, Globalization and Borders, 15. 34. Bulley, “Hospitality and Governmentality,” 224. 35. Philo, “Beyond the Stopping of Mobilities,” 503. 36. Jeffers, Refugees, 162. 37. Gibney, “‘A Thousand Little Guantanamos,’” 141. 38. Papastergiadis, The Turbulence of Migration, 2. 39. Bal and Willems, “Introduction,” 249.

Bibliography Agamben, Giorgio. State of Exception. Translated by Kevin Attell. Chicago: ­University of Chicago Press, 2005. Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Translated by ­Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998. Agier, Michel. On the Margins of the World: The Refugee Experience Today. ­Translated by David Fernbach. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2008. Baker, Gideon. Introduction to Hospitality and World Politics, edited by Gideon Baker, 1–17. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Bal, Ellen, and Roos Willems. “Introduction: Aspiring Migrants, Local Crises and the Imagination of Futures away from Home.” Identities 21, no. 3 (2011): 249–258. Bauman, Zygmunt. Wasted Lives: Modernity and Its Outcasts. Oxford, UK: Polity, 2004. Bleiker, Roland. “The Politics of Illegalized Migration.” Australian Journal of ­ olitical Science 47, no. 2 (2012): 311–316. P Brothers, Caroline. Hinterland. London: Bloomsbury, 2012. Bulley, Dan. “Conducting Strangers: Hospitality and Governmentality in the Global City.” In Baker, Hospitality, 222–245. Cleave, Chris. Little Bee. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008. ­ easures Gibney, Matthew J. “‘A Thousand Little Guantanamos’: Western States and M to Prevent the Arrival of Refugees.” In Displacement, Asylum, Migration, edited by Kate E. Tunstall, 139–169. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2006. Jeffers, Alison. Refugees, Theatre and Crisis: Performing Global Identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Keen, Suzanne. Empathy and the Novel. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2007. Mares, Sarah, and Louise Newman, eds. Acting from the Heart: Australian Advocates for Asylum Seekers Tell Their Stories. Sydney, Australia: Finch Publishing, 2007. Miall, David S. “Emotions and the Structuring of Narrative Responses.” Poetics Today 32, no. 2 (2011): 323–348. Mudimbe, Valentin Y. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988. Nyers, Peter. Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency. London: Routledge, 2006. Papastergiadis, Nikos. The Turbulence of Migration: Globalization, Deterritorialization and Hybridity. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2000. Philo, Chris. “‘One Must Eliminate the Effects of … Diffuse Circulation [and] their Unstable and Dangerous Coagulation’: Foucault and Beyond the Stopping of Mobilities.” Mobilities 9, no. 4 (2014): 93–511. Simoes da Silva, Tony. “Paper(less) Selves: The Refugee in Contemporary Textual Culture.” Kunapipi 30, no. 2 (2008): 58–72.

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126  Tony Simoes da Silva Still, Judith. Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010. Tunstall, Kate, ed. Displacement, Asylum and Migration. Oxford, UK: Oxford ­University Press, 2006. Wainaina, Binyavanga. “How to Write about Africa.” Granta 92 (2008). http:// granta.com/how-to-write-about-africa Weber, Leanne, and Sharon Pickering. Globalization and Borders: Death at the Global Frontier. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Žižek, Slavoj. “Against an Ideology of Human Rights.” In Displacement, Asylum and Migration, edited by Kate Tunstall, 56–85. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

9 Reading Unreadable Lives

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Precarity in Ken Barris’s What Kind of Child and Ishtiyaq Shukri’s The Silent Minaret Minesh Dass and Mike Marais For Judith Butler, notions of the human are normative.1 Far from being inclusive, the “normatively human,”2 which is differentially constructed and differentially distributed, is deeply exclusionary. It informs what is deemed familiar and therefore establishes codes of recognition that determine who is produced as a “recognizable subject,” that is, “who counts as a life, who can be read or understood as a living being, and who lives, or tries to live on the far side of established modes of intelligibility.”3 The latter are what Butler terms “precarious lives,” that is, “lives who do not qualify as recognizable, readable, or grievable.”4 Such unlivable lives “cannot be mourned because they are always already lost.”5 Our concern in this chapter is with the ways in which Ken Barris’s What Kind of Child (2006) and Ishtiyaq Shukri’s The Silent Minaret (2005), in dealing with the exclusions of the supposedly inclusive “new” South Africa, present their readers with unreadable lives, thereby challenging the “modes of intelligibility” and codes of recognition that inform their reading. By incriminating their readers in the suffering they depict, the texts seek to inspire in them a sense of shame that troubles the detached and secure position from which they read. That is, they attempt to render their readers vulnerable to the precarious lives of which they read. Our purpose is to show how these two novels approach this task, and, in the process, how they become, or try to become, sites of hospitality. We must add, though, that the discussion that follows draws no easy distinction between hospitality and security. What Jacques Derrida calls “conditional hospitality” is premised on the differential process through which community establishes itself and is one of the mechanisms with which it constantly maintains and secures itself.6 To be invited by a host, a visitor, as the etymology of this word suggests, must be visible and therefore recognizable. Importantly, too, hospitality cannot be made “unconditional,” since the exclusion of exclusion would mean the end of community and therefore of hospitality.7 At best, a hospitable form of hospitality is ineluctably futural in nature, something toward which the normatively human subject ceaselessly works by constantly reducing the limits that limit hospitality. It is for this reason that we foreground shame and vulnerability in our discussion. To the extent that they interrupt the codes that determine recognizability, and therefore precarity, shame and

128  Minesh Dass and Mike Marais vulnerability are means through which subjects are rendered less secure, and their hospitality less conditional.

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*** The most obvious structural feature of What Kind of Child is Barris’s use of independent narrative strands to juxtapose the lives of two ­children, ­Malibongwe and Luke. Unlike Luke, who is well educated and from a middle-class background, Malibongwe is illiterate and dyslexic,8 and ­ is eventually forced to live on the street. Barris quite deliberately locates Malibongwe on the very margins of language in order to suggest his ­ ­subaltern status—the fact that he has no voice, no position from which to speak. Although he is a member of one of the racial groups that were oppressed under Apartheid, Malibongwe has not been enfranchised by the advent of a new democratic dispensation. Rather than being a maker of history, he is always only at the mercy of those who make it, who occupy positions from which they are able to speak and act. By contrast, the novel depicts Luke’s bourgeois world as one in which agency, and therefore choice, are possible. Whereas Malibongwe’s narrative, which is truncated by his death while still a child, is throughout presented in the third person, there is, in Luke’s narrative, a shift in point of view from the third person to the first person once he reaches adulthood, the suggestion being that he is now a subject who is able to act in an arena of possibility. Significantly, too, Luke, unlike Malibongwe, is highly articulate. Aside from these differences, the Luke character is framed as familiar to the reader. In terms of career, material pursuits, and values, he is eminently recognizable. Malibongwe, in contrast, is quite pointedly described by the narrator as a “ghost” who is invisible to the bourgeois residents of Cape Town (197, 216). The implication is that he is not a recognizable subject. What one finds in this novel, then, is a juxtaposition of a precarious life with a securely bourgeois one that foregrounds what Butler describes as the “differential allocation of recognizability.”9 The juxtaposition of these two narratives positions readers in the bourgeois world and separates them from the world of subaltern poverty to which they are nonetheless related by the act of reading. Through his ­management of narrative point of view, Barris distances readers from Malibongwe and aligns them with the narratorial and authorial position from which his life is described. For instance, the following passage from Malibongwe’s narrative proceeds from a fairly detached, third-person perspective: The year begins with a breakdown in supply. Most of the textbooks and stationery are not delivered. Some of it is delivered too late. Sometimes the wrong materials are despatched. … In his first six weeks, Malibongwe learns very little. … He does learn one thing though, in the ancient subject of schoolboy intimidation and fighting. He discovers that he can be aggressive and quick. He is agile, with sharp reflexes and excellent timing. (WKC, 138–139)

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Reading Unreadable Lives  129 The narration emerges from a mediated perspective that is external to the events and world described. Not being a part of this world, readers of the text view it from the outside, from the narrator’s perspective, which, in terms of class, is itself clearly divorced from the community that is described. The narrator knows Malibongwe’s reality but speaks from a bourgeois world for readers who share that world. As an intermediary between these worlds, he or she is able to introduce readers to Malibongwe’s reality and take them on a guided tour of it. Like Luke, whose wanderings around Cape Town bring him into contact with the suffering of Malibongwe’s world, the ­novel’s r­eaders are “tourist[s] in a land of destitution” (132). In fact, the novel addresses them as poverty tourists, who observe a distant suffering from a secure position. Instead of the diegetic mode used in Malibongwe’s narrative, the mode of narration in the narrative sequences that portray Luke’s childhood is usually mimetic, as is apparent in the following passage in which he listens to his mother work: The sounds coming from outside – the teasing wind, the screaming gulls, the sea – combine with the scraping of his mother’s blade. They twist together into lines of music, briefly caught, something he might sing; then they are simply sounds and noises again. The scraping stops altogether. The fish slaps onto the board, he hears the cold tap running. (34) Because the narrator’s presence is barely discernible, readers are placed in close proximity with what is described. They read what Luke senses and are positioned within his world. This alignment of readers with Luke’s world cannot but complicate their response to the subaltern reality of ­Malibongwe. Although they are presented with this world of suffering, and are therefore required to respond to it, they are distanced from it by the mere fact that they read, that they are literate, and that they are therefore likely to be economically secure. In other words, they are distanced from Malibongwe’s reality by his difference, by the barely recognizable, hardly readable, nature of his life. Significantly, the problem of responding to the suffering of those whose lives are not recognizable or grievable is repeatedly staged in the novel in those scenes in which the bourgeois and subaltern worlds intersect. In one such scene, Malibongwe, while out begging on the streets, is approached by a young, so-called “colored” man who walks with a limp. From this description, it is clear that the young man in question is Luke. Although he responds with a measure of concern to Malibongwe’s predicament, the advice that he gives him, namely, that he should “[g]o back to school,” along with his decision not “to reward [his] lifestyle,” is highly ironic (WKC, 153). After all, having read Malibongwe’s narrative, readers are aware of the social and economic conditions that he has had to endure. Accordingly, they notice the petit-bourgeois assumption of privilege and choice latent in Luke’s use of the word “lifestyle.” Malibongwe’s suffering is involuntary rather than a

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130  Minesh Dass and Mike Marais matter of choice. His life on the streets has been forced on him by the social and economic inequities that were installed during the country’s colonial past and that have continued into the postcolonial present. In other words, there is ironic distance between readers and Luke in this scene, and this enables readers to detect his use of the putatively neutral universalisms of the middle class to mediate and express the street child’s subaltern reality. That is, readers are aware of Luke’s silencing of Malibongwe (who says nothing throughout the encounter), and of how his history is erased in being articulated in the language of the middle class. Barris’s use of irony lays bare the nexus between language and social institutions, and reveals how language, in the hands of the institutions, constructs and determines human identity, thereby establishing codes of recognition that render some lives valuable and others precarious. From Luke’s perspective, Malibongwe is quite simply not recognizable or readable. His suffering is barely visible, read as a choice and therefore as something for which he has only himself to blame. Evidently, Luke here encounters a form of suffering from which he is detached by his community’s codes of recognition. A further irony in the scene is related to Luke’s own sense of agency. Even though he occupies a position from which he is able to speak, it exists within a cultural context, and therefore positions him and limits the extent of the very agency that it enables. He acts but is also acted upon by the cultural context in which he acts, as emerges from his use of its codes of recognition. In effect, the norms that produce recognition reproduce themselves through him. He is a differential effect of these norms and therefore a product of the operation of power. So, although he may be an agent, he is one that has been socially produced. As is apparent from his subscription to his community’s codes of recognition, he is complicit in the suffering that they enable. In fact, his distance from the privation to which he responds is the measure of his complicity in the power structures that have produced it. Earlier, we argued that the novel’s readers are aligned with Luke’s world and separated from Malibongwe’s. If this is so, it should follow that Luke’s complicity in the suffering that he witnesses in this scene mirrors that of the readers of the novel. Being a part of his world means that they are a part of the culture that has created the conditions that enable precarity. However, the ironic distance that Barris inscribes between Luke and the readers in this scene troubles the symmetry of this alignment by complicating their response to both Malibongwe’s suffering and his implication in it. It could be argued, for instance, that their ironic distance from Luke allows readers to overcome their separation from Malibongwe and his world. After all, their detachment from Luke is premised on the fact that, unlike him, they are able to read Malibongwe and his history. In fact, ­Malibongwe’s narrative provides the novel’s readers with a counterdiscourse to the dominant history of the middle class. Through this narrative, the text seeks to render readable and recognizable the precarious life of a street child. Accordingly, the readers of the novel possess knowledge

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Reading Unreadable Lives  131 of Malibongwe’s life that Luke does not. Arguably, too, this knowledge enables them to sympathize with the life of which they read. If they do, they will have overcome their distance from Malibongwe, as sympathy always requires an identification of sorts. Matters are not as simple as this, though. What Kind of Child systematically questions its attempt at rendering readable an unreadable life. For instance, the presence in this novel of writer-figures, whose attempts to ­represent mute suffering constantly fail, places the text itself in Luke’s world, thereby acknowledging that its own representation of precarious life proceeds from within this world and in this world’s hegemonic ­language and terms. In other words, the novel is acutely aware that its attempt to ­represent the subaltern child may ironically repeat his silencing by the l­anguage and codes of recognition of the bourgeois world. It follows that this text is selfreflexively aware that its very medium separates it from Malibongwe’s silent suffering. Ultimately, then, readers simply cannot read the life with which the novel presents them from a settled position of epistemological certitude. Far from being secure, the knowledge of precarious life with which they are provided emanates from a cultural context that produces unreadable lives. At the very least, the readers’ ironic distance from Luke, which relies on precisely a disparity in knowledge, is always on the verge of itself being rendered ironic. They are thus forced to read from an unsettled position that is simultaneously proximate to and distant from Luke. As a result of this ambivalence, they are never able to disavow the bourgeois world that he occupies. And, in not being allowed an easy distance from him, they cannot dissociate themselves from his complicity in Malibongwe’s suffering. Equally importantly, in this regard, reading from an unsettled position also precludes the kind of proximity concomitant with an easy sympathy for Malibongwe that would enable readers to distance themselves from the social and historical causes of his suffering. The ambiguous position from which they read therefore prevents their reading from becoming an exculpatory gesture that announces their innocence. Their inability to overcome their distance from Malibongwe is the measure of their complicity in his suffering. It follows that the novel, in obliging readers to acknowledge both the historical conditions that have led to Malibongwe’s suffering by depriving him of agency and their complicity in creating and sustaining these conditions, seeks to induce in them a sense of shame. Like Ruth Leys, we maintain that shame differs from guilt in that its focus is not just the individual, but the individual as part of a collective.10 One feels shame when one becomes aware that one is a member of a community whose practices cause suffering. In being ashamed of one’s community, one is ashamed of oneself because one is located in that community and it locates one’s values and attitudes. Instead of absolving one of responsibility, then, shame disturbs one’s sense of belonging, of being at home, of being secure. At least, this is the understanding of shame that emerges from J. M. Coetzee’s emphasis, in

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Age of Iron, on Mrs. Curren’s awareness that she is a part of, and therefore complicit with, the Apartheid order that she nevertheless opposes: A crime was committed long ago. … So long ago that I was born into it. It is part of my inheritance. It is part of me, I am part of it. … Though it was not a crime I asked to be committed, it was committed in my name. I raged at times against the men who did the dirty work … but I accepted too that, in a sense, they lived inside me.11 Mrs. Curren knows that the crime of Apartheid was perpetrated in her “name,” and it is this sense of her complicity in a system that she seeks to resist which fills her with a shame “that never ceased to gnaw” her.12 Her shame is tied up with her very identity. She holds herself responsible not simply for her actions (and this would constitute a sense of individual guilt), but for what she is. This is why she wishes to become other than she is. Rather than being debilitating, though, her shame inspires her to act. No matter how ineffectual her actions may be, she must attempt to act in a way that is not simply predetermined by the discourses of her community. From these comments on Coetzee’s novel, it should be clear enough that shame is an affect that precludes indifference to the plight of others. In one of the fantasy sequences in What Kind of Child, a “golden woman”—­ presumably one of the many beggars who congregate at the intersections of busy roadways in South Africa’s major centers—collapses, and is ignored by passers-by, who are described as responding to this spectacle of suffering from their “cell of indifference” (WKC, 189–191). If this text inspires shame in its readers, the specious sense of autonomy concomitant with individual subjectivity, with being shut up in one’s own subjectivity, and therefore shut off from other subjectivities, is rendered impossible. In fact, when one feels shame, one is already in a relation with the other, since, as Jean-Paul Sartre notes, this affect is “a unitary apprehension with three dimensions: ‘I am ashamed of myself before the Other.’”13 My shame relates me to the other and to myself even as it separates me from both. It distances me from the self that I am by exposing me to the other and, in the process, rendering me vulnerable before the other. When I feel shame, I am already becoming other than I was, than I am. I am becoming estranged, separated from, and therefore unrecognizable to, myself. In the idiom of hospitality, I am no longer settled, at home, secure in my autonomy. In Butler’s terms, I am living, or trying to live, “on the far side of established modes of intelligibility,”14 and therefore myself becoming a precarious life. The security of home makes way for the insecurity and vulnerability that necessarily accompany a transitional state. It is when home is no longer a fortress against the world which secures my autonomy that hospitality becomes less conditional, less limited. For hospitality to become more hospitable, it follows, it must emanate from a home that is constantly becoming unhomely. That is, it must emanate from a place that questions, and so defers, those differences that enable home.

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Reading Unreadable Lives  133 If Barris’s novel inspires shame in its readers, they will quite involuntarily (in that it proceeds from an uncontrollable vulnerability) assume responsibility for the exclusions of home. They will seek to limit the limits of their hospitality and, in so doing, respond differently to precarious lives. Such lives, though not yet readable, will also not be unreadable; and, though not yet grievable, will also not be ungrievable. The readers’ reading of the novel will have become a work of mourning that is infinite because that which is mourned cannot finally be positioned, placed, located, and so laid to rest.15 *** Mourning what should never be lost is what gives Shukri’s The Silent M ­ inaret both its haunting quality and plot. The novel describes a summer in the lives of family members and friends mourning the abrupt disappearance of Issa Shamshuddin from his London flat in 2003. It is the story of two mothers, one biological, who must face losing a child. Kagiso, reared as Issa’s brother, Katinka, and Frances all endure the loss of a friend. This is the great irony that infuses the novel with tragedy: mothers lose their sons, brothers lose each other, friends and lovers are separated, but history determines that the broader society does not recognize these losses as worthy of grief. In this section, we will explore how Shukri’s text reasserts the value of these lives that have been made irrelevant by the forces that determine what is historical, which is to say, what is worthy of being recorded and legitimated in the corpus of a generally accepted history. We will also discuss the ramifications of Issa’s desire not to be recognized by the repressive documents that legitimize the West’s perennial “war” on those it deems “dangerous,” and argue that being unrecognizable may undermine the exclusionary process of subject formation that underpins the so-called War on Terror. Our concern, in this part of our argument, is thus with resisting the codes of recognition that enable governmentality to constitute someone as “dangerous.” To the extent that they serve this function, these codes are an essential part of the apparatuses of security. They inform the ways in which governmentality uses what Butler terms a “spectral sovereignty” as an “instrument of power by which law is either used tactically or suspended, populations are monitored, detained, regulated, inspected, interrogated.”16 As Shukri’s novel makes clear, these forms of control are scarcely new. Indeed, an awareness of the cyclical nature of history is suggested by Issa’s affection for the following words by T. E. Lawrence: “Yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to re-make in the likeness of the former world they knew. … We stammered that we have worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.”17 Certainly, in the continued inequality in post-Apartheid South Africa, Issa has seen first-hand that the victory for which he fought as a United Democratic Front cadre can be undone by the continued influence of those

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134  Minesh Dass and Mike Marais whom Lawrence terms “the old men.” The “peace” he has borne witness to resembles the prior war. He experiences a similar sense of history repeating itself in London in 2003, when the United States and Britain declare their “War on Terror.” His PhD is an exploration of the ways in which early practices in the Cape Colony would be adopted by later regimes. And, just as Apartheid was little more than an extension of these practices, so too, according to him, is this new War on Terror merely a ruse for the global imperial demands of the American-led Allied West. In sum, both the South African Apartheid history he actively opposed and the history on which he writes are not over: they are “universally and eternally pertinent,” as he states at the beginning of his thesis (TSM, 65). Issa therefore needs a “new way” because it is futile for him to repeat a course of action that he has seen fail. Since any form of opposition he might engage in would need to be articulated in terms dictated by history, it would necessarily be imbricated in that discourse. As a result, his resistance would be complicit with the violence it seeks to end. It would also render his life precarious, leaving him susceptible to the aggression of a Western world that reads him as a threat. There is much evidence to suggest that his disappearance is actually his final, most radical renunciation of history and its claims on his mind and body. Consequently, his invisibility, in the novel, suggests a rebellion that exceeds the terms through which history might render him recognizable. The novel’s readers are therefore asked to follow a character that can ­neither be found nor understood in language or any other means by which subjects are inscribed in society. This following becomes a kind of ­nonfollowing, which, we will argue, destabilizes the sense that one “belongs” to history, even as it asserts that one cannot but do so. Like those who loved him and are left behind, readers must accept that their affection for Issa must stop short of “knowing” him by “knowing” what has happened to him.18 Knowledge of what has become of him is not owed to them. At a literally unknowable price, he has shed the self he is within society, and responsible readers must not impose on him a narrative that his absence, by definition, repels. We would also argue that Issa’s absence makes Shukri’s text singularly resistant to analysis. It is not that it does not yield to standard forms of close reading, but that such modes of interpretation belong to the world from which Issa has vanished and, consequently, cannot lead to him. It is as if he walked off the pages of history, and away from the readers too, when he ceased to inhabit any legible record of his life. Just as there are forms of recognition that determine gender normativity, so too are there forms of recognition that inform normative reading patterns. According to Butler, the perpetuation of normative modes allows power to reproduce itself.19 ­Consequently, one must be aware that reading, particularly in the form of literary analysis, in which one sheds light on what is hidden or obscure, begins to feel like the exertion of force. Revelation begins to resemble

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Reading Unreadable Lives  135 cruelty; clarity is exposed as violence. This type of reading allows one to feel secure in the knowledge that everything is visible and in one’s control, and is therefore aligned with a form of “being at home,” which is antithetical to the kind of hospitality that Shukri’s novel demands. What is therefore at stake is what might be possible were readers to follow, to walk the path and adhere to the rules, precisely by not following. Could Issa be the exception to the rule? When he rules himself beyond the control of modern laws and systems of surveillance, could it be that he marks the space where the rules and laws falter before what Derrida has called The Law,20 which enables all other laws by signaling their limitations? These workings of historical violence in relation to visibility and invisibility date back to Issa’s childhood. What constitutes his family goes well beyond biology. The black woman, Ma Gloria, and her son who comes to live with his biological mother, Vasinthe, on the day he is born, are his other mother and his brother. Given the vast, futile legislation that attempted to establish a biological basis for race and community during Apartheid, this family’s choice to be together in the name of something that is difficult to legislate and define, namely, love, suggests the precarious position that they occupy. It is because of this threat of exposure that the mothers teach Kagiso and Issa the game of “hide and seek,” during which the boys hide with Ma G ­ loria, and Vasinthe searches for them. This game, always begun by the pretense of a knock at the door, ensures that both learn to find “more and more elaborate” hiding places (TSM, 84). Its pleasure resides not just in being hidden, but in being found, and like Freud’s grandson Ernst’s game of “fort/da,” it reassures these boys that the mother will return. Freud postulates that Ernst played the game, in which he threw a spool attached to string out of his crib only to pull it back, because he associated it with his mother’s occasional disappearances. It “may perhaps be said,” Freud muses, “that her departure had to be enacted as a necessary preliminary to her joyful return.”21 The same pleasure is certainly derived from Issa and Kagiso’s game. Being found reassures them that even if a mother should disappear or leave, the loss can be experienced as pleasure because it is temporary and is always a­ ccompanied by the coming back to presence of the mother. Presence marks the rule of the game: they hide so that she (the mother, both of them) will find them and return them to safety. Although the boys must temporarily suffer her absence, they do so while being hidden (and kept safe) by their other mother. The safety and pleasure of the game cannot last, however. Kagiso recalls “an eerie round” during which “they knew that from under the bed they had seen the boots of the dreaded Black Jacks come to drag Kagiso and Ma Gloria away” (TSM, 85). “[A]fter that,” he observes, “they enjoyed the game less and less” (85). From the moment the “Black Jacks” (a nickname given to the Apartheid police force) arrive, the boys realize implicitly that they are not assured of the return of the mother. She can be taken away, never to return. Clearly, there is a precarity to this family’s lives that is constituted by their

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136  Minesh Dass and Mike Marais society’s codes of recognition. However, this episode in the novel suggests a strange paradox: the family must be found, identified, recognized precisely so that they may be rendered unrecognizable, invisible, precarious. From the moment that the Black Jacks arrive, Issa feels overly exposed: he feels too visible, too found, and realizes that there are state apparatuses in place to organize people along differentially constructed lines. Their stated function, not coincidentally, is to provide security. Ironically, in this case, the safety of the state is achieved by destroying the security of its citizens. The game has always been geared toward that fateful day when the world would find and destroy the sanctuary that the two mothers tried to create. Although it is supposed to protect the boys, the game is premised on the notion that they cannot be protected. Some time, somehow, the boots of history will come. There will be a knock at the door, and childhood will be over forever. Later in the novel, Issa is again exposed to the brutal nature of a social world that demands he be legible (even as he is placed on the far side of intelligibility, another subject unworthy of subjecthood). In this instance, the institution that recognizes Issa as a threat is one that hovers, uncomfortably, between offering hospitality and providing security. He is stopped at customs at Heathrow and locked up with other detainees. It becomes clear why he is being treated this way when, in response to Issa telling him his name, an unnamed detainee declares: “[T]hat’s why. In here we all have such names” (TSM, 181, emphasis in the original). As M. Neelika J­ ayawardane explains, the detainee realizes that Issa’s “name ties him to a suspect ancestry,” brands him as “potentially criminal,” and “nullifies his individual achievements.”22 It seems that the violence that is done to Issa, which is done in and to his name, is an inherent risk of naming itself. Through naming one, society determines that one is a recognizable subject of and for the world. If, as ­Butler contends, the subject “is not a precondition of politics, but a d ­ ifferential effect of power,”23 Issa is being placed at the very borders of subjectivity. Although his name hails him as someone without rights, s­omeone barely human, this identification takes place within the politics of recognition. That is to say, the authorities at Heathrow use his name to recognize his status as less than fully visible. There are limits that restrict the degree to which Issa can reject this precarious status while simultaneously asserting his selfhood. As an act of defiance, he demands that his captors write down his name and his qualifications; yet, in so doing, he complies with the ideologies of statehood, nationalism, as well as the immigration policies that necessarily go hand in hand with them. The same cannot be said of him once he has disappeared. Whether or not that disappearance is by choice, because he is no longer visible or legible, one can no longer say that his desire for recognition instantiates complicity with the violence of the state. Clearly, Issa feels it is atrocious that he is treated with suspicion simply because of his name, and readers are probably meant to feel a similar sense of outrage. Like him, they are vulnerable to the same abuse. Even worse, they are implicated in the violence that is done to him and to themselves (since they are legible

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Reading Unreadable Lives  137 subjects of the bourgeois world). One is therefore victimized by that which one helps to validate. One authorizes one’s own subjugation. And, really, it is done in one’s name. There can be no absolute hospitality that desires the name of the guest. The airport as a site of hospitality becomes simply another means of control because its practices are based on naming, knowing, and thereby limiting those who pass through it. Derrida raises much the same issue in his previously mentioned discussion of the irreducible tension between conditional and unconditional hospitality. After asking if hospitality should not begin with an “unquestioning welcome” that effaces both “question and the name,”24 he speculates that it would be more just, more hospitable, to offer space to others “before they are identified, even before they are (­posited as or supposed to be) a subject, legal subject and subject nameable by their family name etc.”25 As Derrida conceives of it, such a radical form of hospitality is at odds with the host’s desire to secure his or her home. In fact, such hospitality renders the very notion of home problematic, as it places the rights of the guest, who may cause harm, before those of the host. It is likely, then, that Issa’s disappearance is the culmination of invasive and abusive acts perpetrated in England so as to render him legible (as a threat). There are others who lead even more precarious lives in that country, for whom he feels great affinity. He writes of “the invisible ones,” “Europe’s untouchables,” who are “here only in unwanted, despised, ­brutalized, foreign bod[ies]” (TSM, 134, emphasis in the original). Butler would describe these people as “differentially exposed to injury, violence, and death.”26 While Ronit Frenkel ascribes a great deal of hope to the “cosmopolitan humanism” that allows Issa to empathize with the suffering of these subaltern subjects, she ignores the fact that it leads only to despair.27 Ultimately, our sense is that her argument does not register the idea, implied by the novel, that Issa’s humanism is premised on shame, which is to say, it is practiced from within the limits of the very bourgeois society that has marginalized the people of whom he writes. Of course, this shame applies to readers of the novel as well. Yet, for all the ways in which the text asserts the inevitability of complicity with violence, its ending is strangely hopeful. Katinka, now living a fulfilling life with her lover in Palestine, sends a text message to Issa’s cellular phone, although she has no knowledge of who will set eyes on it, or that it will be read at all. As such, she makes room for the unexpected, the catastrophic even. In short, she allows for an experience of the other. Her message exceeds its sender and its recipient. If it should reach Issa, it would have followed in the footsteps of one who could not be followed, and would therefore have taken an unknowable route that could never be repeated or predicted in advance. And what of the other destination at which her words have unexpectedly arrived: The readers of The Silent Minaret? How should they place themselves, they who have read the message that was never assured of being read at all? Is it possible that they have done that which seemed impossible? Are

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138  Minesh Dass and Mike Marais they also in that unfindable and undefined “place” beyond history, beyond the text too? Have they arrived, by a never-before traversed path, at the place to which Issa disappeared? It seems that what makes The Silent Minaret such a difficult text is what redeems it. That is, the readers of this work are troubled by the lack of certainty surrounding the protagonist. His absence marks a lacuna that one cannot fill in by piecing together information from others. It is true that one may know more about Issa by the end of the novel than one did at its beginning, but one can never know what has become of him. There are several possibilities, but none is definitive. Perhaps, though, it is necessary to respect this uncertainty around which Shukri has constructed his novel. In not knowing, readers reject the violent machinery of state that has tried to document and claim Issa’s body and mind. Accordingly, they do the unthinkable, which is to respect and even welcome the alterity of this ­character. All forms of hospitality that do not care for the alterity of the guest are subject to history, by which we mean that they are at the service of ­history. Although it true to say that Issa becomes less legible, and more vulnerable, as the novel proceeds, it is also possible that his disappearance is not merely a product of his precarity. In other words, it might be the case that he ultimately refuses altogether the codes of recognition that perpetuate power. Readers who choose to read his story are given a strange mandate, which is that they must not read, not know, and not describe this character through those differentially constructed codes. Instead, they must give him a most extraordinary gift, which is a radical kind of freedom from description and inscription. Such a “gift” cannot be given in the knowledge that it will arrive at its recipient because what one is giving is the recipient’s right to be unarrivable-at, heterogeneous to placement and definition. The shame that readers of this text feel, which stems from an awareness of complicity with the violence of history, drives and demands a different kind of reading; it obliges one to allow for radical illegibility even in the act of reading. *** In this chapter, we have traced the ways in which two post-Apartheid n ­ ovels present their readers with unreadable lives, thereby challenging society’s norms of recognition, which necessarily inflect the act of reading itself. Both texts, we have argued, require readers to respond responsibly to ­unfamiliar lives from within the very codes of recognition that have shamefully rendered those lives unfamiliar. As we have shown, Barris’s novel does not allow its readers much choice on how to respond to this difficult demand, for it seeks to inspire in them a sense of shame that cannot but destabilize the secure position from which they read. In the process, they are made ­vulnerable to the precarity of which they read, and this vulnerability, in turn, makes them seek constantly to reduce the conditional nature of their hospitality, and, accordingly, become precarious lives themselves.

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Reading Unreadable Lives  139 We have argued that Shukri’s novel takes the logic of the follower that is implicit in Barris’s novel a step further by mooting, through its protagonist, the possibility of exceeding the codes of recognition that inform and maintain society’s security compulsion. Readers of this text must follow a ­character that is unknowable from within the language and terms that position subjects in society. Since Issa exceeds all discourse, they can only follow him by breaking with discourse, even though it both enables and disables the act of following. In short, readers must establish with this character a relation without correlation, and thereby bestow on him the freedom to be an illegible being. Were this to happen, the act of reading would have become an act of radical generosity, which is to say a hospitable form of hospitality. Finally, it is worth noting that Shukri’s latest novel, I See You, also centers on its readers’ response to the disappearance of the main character. In this case, however, the novel makes it clear that the protagonist, Tariq Hassan, has been renditioned, and readers are even privy to his thoughts as he is held captive and tortured. As its title suggests, the text is about the distinction between those who are seen, or recognized, and those who are not, within the current geopolitical power matrix. Like Barris, Shukri implies that in order to register the precarity of others, one must become vulnerable. In I See You, this vulnerability is generated in readers by the horrific sense that, as with Tariq, they are not really free, that “There is no freedom. / There is only the fight for freedom,”28 and that, as a result, they too are in constant danger of vanishing. For both writers, there can be no resistance to the exclusionary practices that precipitate violence which does not proceed from a state of precarity.

Notes 1. Butler, Precarious Life, 19–49; Butler, “Performativity,” i–xiii. 2. Butler, Precarious Life, xv. 3. Butler, “Performativity,” iv. 4. Ibid., xiii. 5. Butler, Precarious Life, 33. 6. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 25. 7. Ibid., 77. 8. Barris, What Kind of Child, 166. Hereafter cited as WKC in the text. 9. Butler, “Performativity,” iii. 10. Leys, From Guilt to Shame. 11. Coetzee, Age of Iron, 149–150. 12. Ibid., 150. 13. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 313. 14. Butler, “Performativity,” iv. 15. See Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 111. 16. Butler, Precarious Life, 97. 17. Shukri, The Silent Minaret, 61. Hereafter cited as TSM in the text. 18. See Steiner, “Pockets of Connection,” 53–68.

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140  Minesh Dass and Mike Marais 19. Butler, “Performativity,” ii–iv. 20. See Derrida, Specters of Marx, 74. 21. Freud, The Standard Edition, 15–16. 22. Jayawardane, “Disappearing Bodies,” 58. 23. Butler, Precarious Life, iii. 24. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 29. 25. Ibid. 26. Butler, Precarious Life, ii. 27. Frenkel, “Local Transnationalisms,” 135. 28. Shukri, I See You, 33.

Bibliography Barris, Ken. What Kind of Child. Cape Town, South Africa: Kwela, 2006. Butler, Judith. “Performativity, Precarity and Sexual Politics.” AIBR: Revista de Antropologia Iberoamericana 4, no. 3 (2009): i–xiii. Butler, Judith. Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso, 2004. Coetzee, J. M. Age of Iron. London: Secker and Warburg, 1990. Derrida, Jacques. Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International. Translated by Peggy Kamuf. New York: Routledge, 2006. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Frenkel, Ronit. “Local Transnationalisms: Ishtiyaq Shukri’s The Silent Minaret and South Africa in the Global Imaginary.” In Traversing Transnationalism: The Horizons of Literary and Cultural Studies, edited by Pier Paolo Frassinelli et al., 119–135. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Rodopi, 2011. Freud, Sigmund. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVIII (1920–1922): Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology and Other Works, edited by James Strachey. Translated by James Strachey et al. London: Hogarth Press, 1955. Jayawardane, M. Neelika. “Disappearing Bodies: Visibility and Erasure, Mobility and Containment of the Third World Immigrant during the War on Terror.” Scrutiny2 12, no. 1 (2007): 46–62. Leys, Ruth. From Guilt to Shame: Auschwitz and After. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007. Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology. Translated by Hazel E. Barnes. London: Routledge, 2003. Shukri, Ishtiyaq. I See You. Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media, 2014. Shukri, Ishtiyaq. The Silent Minaret. Johannesburg, South Africa: Jacana Media, 2005. Steiner, Tina. “Pockets of Connection against the Backdrop of Culture Talk in Ishtiyaq Shukri’s Novel The Silent Minaret.” Current Writing 19, no. 1 (2007): 53–68.

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Part V

Conflicted Communities

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10 “This Is Our Splintered City”

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Security, Hospitality, and Tourism in Northern Irish Poetry Naomi Marklew

This chapter will discuss work produced by two contemporary Northern Irish poets, Leontia Flynn and Sinéad Morrissey (Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate, appointed in July 2013). Both have published several volumes of poetry since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which was seen as a major step forward in the region’s peace process, following the decades of civil unrest and conflict often euphemistically known as the “Troubles.” Making use not only of their poems but also of comments made in private interviews, the chapter explores the engagement of Flynn and Morrissey with a “touristification” of the Troubles in the context of the development of the wider tourism and culture industries in Northern Ireland in recent decades. It posits the poets themselves as “tour guides” in drawing the reader into this process of rendering hospitable the insecure. Furthermore, the chapter considers questions raised by Sarah Brouillette about the ways in which Northern Irish culture has been “instrumentalized” or branded in order to “give value” to the region’s economy and the role that literary writers play in this process.1 The poets’ often ambiguous stance on the “dark tourism” that has followed the Troubles emphasizes some of the paradoxes that exist in a region that is striving toward a more secure future, yet might be seen to be commodifying the insecurities of its past in order to do so. Although both poets express unease about the way in which Northern Ireland’s hospitality industry is marketing the Troubles, they are both, to some degree, conscious of their own participation in the process of this dark tourism, even as they offer a critique of it. The “splintered city” of the chapter title, a description from Morrissey’s poem “Tourism,” is Belfast, and it points not only to the fragmentation caused by the violence of the past, but also to the ambiguity with which the future of Northern Ireland is viewed.2 A theme that links the work of many Northern Irish poets, both younger writers like Flynn and Morrissey and older ones such as Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon, is international travel and cosmopolitanism. Both Morrissey’s and Flynn’s poetry collections are characterized by an interest in travel and contain many works that are based on their own experiences as tourists in various global destinations. This is seen in Morrissey’s work in the “Japan” section of Between Here and There (2002); “Juist,” “China,” and “The Gobi from Air” from The State of the Prisons (2005); “Returning from Arizona”

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144  Naomi Marklew from Through the Square Window (2009); and “Baltimore” from Parallax (2013). In Flynn’s poetry, travel tropes can be found in “The Furthest Distances I’ve Travelled” from These Days (2004); “Monaco,” “Beausoleil,” “Barcelona,” “Rome,” “Paris,” “Berlin,” “Boxes,” “LA,” “Washington,” “New York,” “Airports,” and “Dungeness” from Drives (2008); and “Inside the Catedral Nueva” and “Letter to Friends” from Profit and Loss (2011).3 It is perhaps these experiences that predispose them to consider, on their return, the tourist experience and industry in their hometown of Belfast. Indeed, Flynn’s second collection opens with an epigraph from Elizabeth Bishop’s “Arrival at Santos” which introduces the theme: Oh, tourist is this how this country is going to answer you and your immodest demands for a different world, and a better life, and complete comprehension of both at last …4 Morrissey and Flynn explore the implied relationship in Bishop’s poem between “tourist” and “country,” as well as the idea that an interchange between the two might bring about “complete comprehension,” and both poets question the types of “answer” that are provided for tourists by Northern Ireland’s tourist industry. Of the tourism poems listed above that are not focused on Northern Ireland, the one that is perhaps most pertinent to the current study is Flynn’s “The Furthest Distances I’ve Travelled,” which, after listing a number of places to which the speaker has been with her “rucksack” (l. 1), reveals that she is now far more likely to be “stuffing smalls / hastily into a holdall” (l. 18–19) in order to do her laundry than for travel. In this seemingly mundane activity, as she “evict[s]” (l. 24) rubbish from her pockets, she understands that “the furthest distances I’ve travelled / have been those between people” (l. 30–31). It is the vast distances between the people who live in such close physical proximity in areas of Northern Ireland, such as West Belfast, that have become one of the region’s attractions for the “dark” tourists of the Troubles. The roots of the Troubles go back several centuries and can be seen to stem directly from issues of security and hospitality, as Ireland over the centuries has been a site of contestation. Michael von Tangen Page suggests that “the origins of the modern conflict probably lie in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and the plantation of Protestant settlers from Scotland and England in Ireland.”5 The plantation of Protestants in the largely Roman Catholic Ireland as an attempt to maintain order for the British monarchy perhaps inevitably led to the “cycle of conflict … which has continued to this day in Northern Ireland.”6 The fact that the settlers were placed within Ireland by the British Crown as a security measure against Catholic rebellion brings the issue of security to the heart of the conflict. Similarly, the plantation, in which land was confiscated from Catholic

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“This Is Our Splintered City”  145 landowners and became the property of Protestants, brings to the fore questions of hospitality and home; for example, whose home is contemporary Northern Ireland in the light of this history? There are claims of ownership to be heard from both Catholic and Protestant communities, which cannot easily be resolved. These claims have been made and were contested throughout the twentieth century, leading to the violence of the Troubles, which escalated to their height in the mid-1970s. The partition of Ireland and the establishment of Northern Ireland in 1922 came after decades of political wrangling. It was not met with universal approval and was followed by the Irish Civil War of 1922–1923, after which sectarian violence continued to flare up in both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland in the subsequent years. The period known as the Troubles started in earnest after the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, which campaigned for equal rights for Catholics in Northern Ireland. After peaceful protests became riots, which British authorities dealt with heavy-handedly, violence intensified, particularly between the British military and paramilitary organizations from both Republican and Unionist sides. Bombings and violent attacks, carried out both within and outside Northern Ireland, injured and killed civilians and military personnel. This made the region known for its instability and insecurity, a destination to which no tourist would choose to travel and from which any traveler might be inherently suspect as a terrorist threat. Although the worst of the conflict now appears to be over, particularly since the Peace Process of the 1990s, which culminated in the Good Friday Agreement, many of the tensions and divisions that gave rise to the violence still remain. It is no surprise that ideas of territory, personal and communal ­security, nationality, and home have featured recurrently in twentieth-century Northern Irish poetry. The contemporary hospitality industry, which ­ attempts to make use of the Troubles as a source of “dark tourism” to attract visitors to Northern Ireland, has entered into the work of Morrissey and Flynn, who are both aware of the paradoxes involved in marketing the conflict of the past while simultaneously emphasizing the current security and safety of the region as a tourist destination. Before considering the nuanced stance of these poet-guides, it is worth examining a more straightforward piece of tourist promotion and its implications. The current In Your Pocket guide to Belfast has a section on “Troubles Tourism,” in which a particularly positive note is struck: Those dark days have certainly dimmed, and todays [sic] tourists see a new Belfast and N. Ireland emerge from that contentious past. While the vast majority embraces peace and looks to a better future, what remains of those days for our history hungry visitor?7 The page then lists the activities whereby tourists might engage with the “history” of the Troubles, inviting them to: “Scrawl on the Peace Walls”;

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146  Naomi Marklew “Photograph the Murals”; “Take a Political Walking Tour or Black Taxi Tour”; “Head to the Shankill and Falls Roads via open top tour bus,” and “Sashay up the steps of Stormont Parliament Buildings.”8 As well as being encouraged to visit various museums and archives, visitors are finally urged to “[e]xplore Nationalist Milltown and predominantly Unionist Roselawn cemeteries,” with the accompanying explanation: “The former has a memorial to the Hunger Strikers who are buried there. The latter has graves of police and prison officers, and victims of the Troubles.”9 The homepage for Northern Ireland In Your Pocket begins, “Don’t you just love a peace process? Not so long ago, the sight of a backpacker grappling with their map or a business group on an open-top bus tour would have been met with open-jawed amazement.”10 In this guide, as in others, there seems to be an acknowledgment that tourists may not expect to find Belfast or Northern Ireland to be a hospitable tourist destination, and the Troubles are therefore emphasized as a historical fact rather than a continuing tension. The darker side of Belfast tourism in travel guides, such as the In Your Pocket guide, has been found to be “immoral” by Chris Jenkins. In a column written for The Guardian in 2012, he claimed that the Troubles have been wrongly exploited for financial profit that is not subsequently shared by those residents of Belfast whose neighborhoods are visited by the “Troubles Tours”: If this were history perhaps it would be more acceptable—but it’s not. These lines are still a very real part of everyday life for communities in Northern Ireland. Our politicians may say otherwise—that we are now at peace, and that nothing will destabilise our progress—but divisions aren’t removed. As a country, we have come to realise the financial gains that can be made by marketing our conflict while also exaggerating the “stability” of Northern Ireland; painting a picture of those who dissent as being in a vast minority with no support w ­ hatsoever. The reality is manipulated, history exploited.11 This uneasiness is echoed in the warning given by Wendy Ann Wiedenhoft Murphy that tourism “has the potential to keep past conflict in the present and may constrain efforts at peace building.”12 She states that the “question remains whether an identity marketed to the tourist has any relevance to local residents, or if memorials and commemorations are simply there for tourists to consume,” and suggests that nonlocal tour operators are in danger of “exploit[ing] local communities, which receive no economic or social benefits from their tours.”13 Yet, others have viewed the altered landscape of tourism in N ­ orthern ­Ireland in more positive terms. In 1993, David Wilson suggested that a change might be expected to take place in the future marketing strategies of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), moving away from the defensive attitude he finds in their “current” (1992) brochure, which gives a “totally sanitised impression of NI [sic]” with no mention of the Troubles: “Whilst

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“This Is Our Splintered City”  147 it has usually proved premature to attempt to predict the future course of events in Northern Ireland, those involved in the tourist industry are probably more optimistic today about the future than at any time since the present troubles began.”14 One way in which this optimism seems to have been well founded can be seen in the development of “dark tourism” as both a theoretical concept and an ongoing practice. Indeed, Wilson, among others, notes that even in the 1992 Corporate Plan of the NITB, the “curiosity factor” was being given as a reason for marketing the region, and recent “dark tourism” theorists have suggested that the marketing of sites of death and suffering might play a useful role in educating and informing visitors, helping them to interpret the recent history.15 The In Your Pocket guide does seem to be an attempt, albeit a slightly unsophisticated one, to heed the advice given by Wilson: “More open acknowledgement of the troubles by the NITB in their promotional literature, coupled with reassurance that tourists under normal circumstances are unlikely to come to any harm, would assist their marketing endeavours.”16 In a similar vein, the easyJet Traveller magazine of September 2010 prints an interview with television presenter Graham Little, who says: I am amazed at some people’s perception of Belfast. The Troubles finished a long time ago. It actually has a very low crime rate, and there’s a terrific buzz. The Troubles now need to be seen by Belfast as a tourist opportunity. I think we could do much more on that. If nothing else, it helps to reinforce the idea that it’s all in the past. … The murals are totems to the problems we’ve had in the past, but I think they have a positive part to play in the city’s future. They are fascinating in their own way, and having been symbols of division and misery for years, they may as well now make money for people of both sides as a tourist attraction.17 The tone taken here, while it should be read in its context as a piece of ­promotional writing with an obvious commercial agenda, nevertheless gives an oversimplified and even patronizing account of the legacy of the Troubles in Belfast. Also, there are worrying undertones in the apparent contradiction between the statement that the Troubles “finished a long time ago” and the acknowledgment that people continue to exist on “both sides” of the conflict. Murphy’s warning that “tourism in postconflict societies both builds peace and reproduces some processes of past conflict” seems pertinent here.18 She argues that the “expansion of tourism in Northern Ireland ­fundamentally rests upon the reduction of physical violence, yet it enables the reproduction of symbolic violence, particularly through the process of territoriality,” as local tour operators “capitalize on past conflict as a means to express their historical narratives and identities.”19 The local tour operators investigated by Murphy were those offering taxi tours of West Belfast,

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148  Naomi Marklew who tended to give an explicitly sectarian perspective on the conflict and who were predominantly Republican. These tours therefore emphasized different historical narratives than the “official” City Bus tours given by the NITB. The question of historiography has begun to be explored by theorists of “dark tourism.” John Lennon and Malcolm Foley give “the Irish Question in Ulster and mainland UK” as one example of the ethical dilemma posed by the question of “‘whose history’ prevails in interpretation?”20 This issue relates closely to questions about hospitality: whose home is being visited by tourists, and whose narrative of home is being shared with them? Murphy’s experiences as a researcher undertaking taxi tours in West Belfast are echoed by those of Leontia Flynn, who has herself taken a tour of the area. In a private interview, Flynn commented on this element of the “touristification” of the Troubles: “The tours go to the Shankill and the Falls in a black taxi, and they show you the murals, and it was kind of jaw-dropping to an extent, that we went to the Shankill.” She remembered the tone of the commentary given during the tour—“here’s the murals, and here’s where the names of the people who were going to be shot were put up”—while acknowledging that “there was something quite bizarrely authentic about it because once we got back to the Falls, the taxi drivers heaved this huge sigh of relief because this was actually their more normal turf.”21 The question of “whose history?” though it clearly relates to tour operators and those marketing Northern Ireland as a hospitable destination, is more complex when applied to literary authors such as Flynn and ­Morrissey, as observed by Brouillette: Given public awareness of the multiple and conflicting uses of the past, how can any group justify the particularity of its understanding of the archive of history from which the heritage project draws, let alone its approach to the minutiae of actual heritage reconstruction? What stake does the literary writer have in evolving her own perspective on such debates? The writer is, after all, also engaged in the creation of heritage products, in the sense that literary works in the North so often participate in reconstructing and illuminating the constantly contested facts of the history of the Troubles, and then disseminate those constructions for international consumption. How do writers interpret and perform their own roles in the creation of Northern Irish heritage?22 These questions might be asked of both Flynn and Morrissey, but p ­ articularly of Morrissey in her role as Poet Laureate. Morrissey has given explanations of her nonsectarian childhood in Northern Ireland, coming from a family where “the religion practiced in the household if you can call it any kind of religion at all was Communism” rather than either Catholic or Protestant variants of Christianity.23 In an early interview, she suggested that she might be able to “offer ‘fresh perspectives’ to the Northern Irish audience,” as a

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“This Is Our Splintered City”  149 result of this upbringing: “My parents were atheists, so I think that’s given me a degree of impartiality.”24 This sense of “impartiality” can be seen in her three-part sequence “Thoughts in a Black Taxi,” which is based on a return to Belfast, just as preparations are being made for the twelfth of July marches.25 The narrator, occupying a “problematic, liminal position as one who is neither/nor,” is aware that her name would place her in a dangerous position.26 This awareness leads to memories of earlier mistakes made, of the necessity to conceal her “Catholic” name, and of her schoolgirl fears as “[s]ix years of the Grosvenor Road in a state high school uniform / Was like having Protestant slapped across your back” (ll. 23–24). This unique position as both insider and outsider in Belfast may well have contributed to her appointment as the city’s Laureate. Morrissey’s sense of individualization within a community in which ­certain identities have been deeply ingrained strikes a progressive note in the context of recent commentary on Northern Ireland’s peace process. Joseph Ruane and Jennifer Todd suggest that following the Good Friday ­Agreement, Northern Ireland is still caught up in “the old systemic ­conditions of conflict” and that the only effective solution to the region’s troubles will come from an “emancipatory approach.” One of the major factors that they see in the continuing tension in Northern Ireland is the fact that “the conflict is maintained by tendencies toward communal polarization that limit individuals’ capacity for empathy and sense of communal responsibility across communal boundaries.”27 Their call for “emancipation” “requires greater individualization—greater willingness by individuals and subgroups to explore and give expression to their own needs and desires, even if this brings them into conflict with wider communal loyalties and desires.”28 Although Ruane and Todd do not give details about how exactly an emancipatory approach might go about achieving a decisive end to the conflict in Northern ­Ireland and might be seen as overly optimistic—indeed, they are aware that emancipation theory is often seen as “idealistic” or “nebulous”—their call for individualization from a sociological perspective can be usefully applied when thinking about the roles and responsibilities of Northern Irish writers in producing work since the Good Friday Agreement. Certainly, Morrissey’s deliberately nonsectarian stance, which is heard throughout her writing, might make her a role model for subsequent generations of Northern Irish writers, thereby making her an ideal Laureate for the city of Belfast. Belfast is the central focus of a number of poems by both Morrissey and Flynn. In Morrissey’s second collection, poems entitled “In Belfast” and “Tourism” appear as the first and second works of the book.29 The Belfast of the first poem is not explicitly pictured as a tourist destination, but it is emphasized as a “city … making money / on a weather-mangled ­Tuesday” (l. 7–8). In other Morrissey poems, such as “Photographs of Belfast by Alexander Robert Hogg” and “Signatures,” Belfast’s industrial, shipbuilding history is commemorated, and it is the decline of such manufacturing industries that has necessitated the city’s search for alternative sources of

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150  Naomi Marklew revenue, such as tourism and hospitality.30 “In Belfast” seems to recount the poet’s own return to the city following a decade of foreign travel—“I have returned after ten years” (l. 13)—and the city is found to be “[m]ore real” (l. 16) than the other places visited; more real because of “this history’s dent and fracture / splitting the atmosphere” (ll.16–17). The poem seems to imply that the legacy of the Troubles is an integral and inescapable part of the experience of the city. This sense is also found, more explicitly, in the poem “Tourism,” where visitors to Belfast are “landing in airports / and filing out of ships” (l. 6–7). The response of the people of the city is to take them to those streets they want to see most, at first, as though it’s all over and safe behind bus glass like a staked African wasp. (ll. 10–13) The poet comments on this act of “hospitality”: “Unabashedly, this is our splintered city” (l. 13), and goes on to detail the next stops on the tour, the Titanic shipyard and Stormont, “our weak-kneed parliament” (l. 21). The tone of the poem is flippant, even cynical. The ending of the poem, however, which invites visitors to “[d]iffuse the gene pool, confuse the local kings, / infect us with your radical ideas” (ll. 26, 28–29), might be read as Michael Parker has read it: “The irony and indignation seem to run out in the last two stanzas, which voice what seems to be a genuine appeal for the European tourists to keep coming, to radicalise the locals, and to endow the province with ‘new symbols’ and a new identity.”31 It is presumably this interpretation of Morrissey’s meaning that prompted her selection as ­Belfast’s poet laureate. If there is, as Parker sees it, a genuine desire on the part of Belfast’s inhabitants to be given a “new identity” by the tourists who visit them, then there might be hope for the vision of emancipation from conflict that Ruane and Todd have called for. However, this seems to be an oversimplified reading of Morrissey’s poem and, in particular, of her engagement with the wider theme of hospitality. The understated comment “as if it’s all over and safe” (emphasis added) at the center of the poem highlights the fact that the conflict in Northern Ireland is far from finished and that any pretense otherwise is a willful act of blindness. Paul Rogers draws attention to the problematic nature of the “peace” process in Northern Ireland, as he notes that “some of those with close links with PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) became accepted members of a power-sharing system, translating from perceived terrorists to legitimate political figures in a matter of years.”32 This sense of continued, albeit surreptitious, conflict is also evident in von Tangen Page’s concept of the “negative peace” achieved by the Good Friday Agreement.33 This paradox of “negative peace,” which is really only a suspension of open hostility rather than a resolution of conflict, strongly emerges in the poetry of both Morrissey and Flynn.

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“This Is Our Splintered City”  151 The atmosphere of “negative peace” in Northern Ireland is perhaps best exemplified by the continuing tensions that are felt in West Belfast, as described by Flynn in recounting her black taxi tour of the Shankill and Falls roads. The work of both poets registers an uneasy sense that conflict is masked rather than resolved by the city’s attempt to regenerate and promote itself as a desirable tourist destination. Flynn’s second collection, Drives, contains two explicitly titled “Belfast” poems: “Belfast” and “­ Leaving ­ elfast.”34 “Belfast” captures some of the sense in which the city is simultaB neously “finished” and “under construction” (l. 5): What was mixed grills and whiskeys (cultureless, graceless, leisureless) is now concerts and walking tours (Friendly! Dynamic! Various!). A tourist pamphlet contains an artist’s impression of arcades, mock-colonnades, church-spires and tapas bars; (ll. 6–9) Like Morrissey, Flynn comments on Belfast’s transformation from a center of industry to one of commerce and commodified “culture.” The city’s shipbuilding heritage is echoed in the “green sails” (l. 3) found on the scaffolding of the “old baths and gasworks” (l. 2) that are now being renovated to appeal to tourists. Flynn’s mixed feelings at the changes seen in Belfast are found in comments made in our interview. Considering her own “Black Taxi tour,” a version of the “touristification” that the poem “Belfast” seems quietly to mock, she found that “it does seem a bit sick, I suppose, in some ways.” However, she nevertheless tried to find some positive aspects of the commercialization that she sees in contemporary Belfast: “There’s also the fact that people are lured by these supposed tourist attractions—which of course are rubbish—I mean, you kind of feel embarrassed for the tourists. … But it’s all better than people blowing each other up isn’t it? So, I mean my sour grapes are a bit silly, really.” 35 In “Belfast,” while the language of standard tourist guides is imitated and mocked within parentheses—“(Friendly! Dynamic! Various!)” (l. 7)— there is nevertheless a proprietorial tone of the resident expert or tour guide in commenting on the changes experienced in the city, even if that tone is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. This contrasts slightly with Morrissey’s use of the plural first person in “Tourism”—“[o]ur talent for holes that are bigger / than the things themselves” (ll. 19–20, emphasis added)—which suggests that the speaker, though reluctantly, claims a Belfast identity as her own. Morrissey, as perhaps befits her laureateship, seems to feel a sense of responsibility in contributing to the hospitality that an increasingly secure Belfast might be able to offer. Flynn, coming from a slightly different angle, seems somewhat embarrassed by the commercialization that she sees in Belfast, yet acknowledges that it is a sign of improvement for the region, which should be viewed in a positive light, despite the reservations she has about the way in which the city is being regenerated. The tone of the poet-guide in Flynn’s “Belfast” is rather more ironic than that heard in Morrissey’s poem.

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152  Naomi Marklew In the same vein, Flynn’s poem “Leaving Belfast” might be read as a series of backhanded compliments about her home city. For every “torn-up billboard and sick-eating pigeon” (l. 5) to be found there, “there’s some scrap of hope in the young, in the good looks of women, / in the leafiness of the smart zones” (ll. 7–8). The poem is not directly about the tourist experience of Belfast, as it seems to be about the departure of a longer-term resident who is “­leaving Belfast / to its own devices” (ll. 10–11), but there nevertheless seems to be a sense in which the city has the power to regenerate and “make itself new” (l. 13). Whether this regeneration will result in the kind of emancipation from conflict that Ruane and Todd imagine seems less certain: the  poem prophesies that the city will merely “bury its past” and “paper over the cracks” (l. 12). Despite this notion, Flynn’s poem seems to suggest that Belfast’s future lies in its regeneration as a commercial and cultural center, attracting visitors with “luxury” (l. 13), rather than being known for its conflict and hostility. Her ironic playing of the role of tour guide represents the mixed feelings that she has about the way in which the city is dealing with the legacy of the Troubles. Flynn’s most recent collection, Profit and Loss, continues to consider the future of Belfast, alongside its recent industrial and political past. The second part of Flynn’s tripartite collection is a long poem entitled “Letter to Friends,” itself comprising three sections, which focus, respectively, on the past, present, and future of the speaker’s experience, much of which is centered around Belfast. The “past” memories of the first section are recalled as the speaker goes through a box of “doodles, bills, old cards and prints” (l. 111), many of which relate to foreign travel: “Fragile concertina’d inventories / for short- and long-haul flights” (ll. 41–42), “boarding passes, railcards, ticket stubs” (l. 61), photographs of “Marx’s grave” (l. 71) and “the Empire State” (l. 81). This section of the poem, therefore, recalls the travel poems of Flynn’s first two collections, yet casts these experiences firmly in the speaker’s adolescent and student past. The “present” of the poem takes on more global concerns, reflecting the contemporary situation of the “banking crisis and presidential election of October 2008.”36 This section takes into account the technological advances of contemporary society, providing us with a life that is “half virtual, half-flesh,” (l. 91) and mourns the lack of enthusiasm for poetry and literary texts when audiences are being offered such a multitude of “factoids and new-lite” to “read online” (l. 95). This section seems to climax in two stanzas about Belfast: What else is new then? Belfast, long the blight and blot on lives has now brought to an end or several ends, it’s [sic] grim traumatic fight; the pay-off packet and the dividend amid the double-dealings, halts and heists: a building boom and shopping malls thrown up like flotsam by our new security.

“This Is Our Splintered City”  153

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Here are our palaces of snow and ice, ‘and so folks with esprit de corps we’ll shop ourselves to civilised maturity’. Belfast aspires to be, then, every place where shopping is done less for recreation (this might apply to all the western race) than from a kind of civic obligation. The upshot: ‘On the whole we’re better dressed’ as Auden wrote – though maybe on the whole we find we suffer no less from neurosis? Despite our retail therapy We’re Depressed, Tired or Infertile finds some book or poll. Each week I hear of a fresh diagnosis among old friends at least … (ll. 191–211) Belfast itself, rather than the violence encountered within it, is seen as having been the “blight and blot” on its residents’ lives, and while the “grim traumatic fight” (assumed to be, at least in part, referring to the Troubles) seems to have been “brought to an end,” it has not been replaced with anything more hopeful. The “civilised maturity” imagined in the commercial success of the city sounds a hollow note and has not helped to improve the general sense of well-being of its inhabitants, who suffer the same types of “neurosis” as many inhabitants of the Western world, as the stanzas that follow go on to list: Concerns about international wars, ecological worries, the decline of faith and simultaneous rise of religious fundamentalism, the status of women and of men. Indeed, the idea of “our new security” is loaded with cynicism and perhaps implies that the perceived financial security that was seen in the city’s “building boom” is just as fragile and transient as the uneasy sense of “­security” from political and civil violence that it has experienced since the Good Friday Agreement. The “shopping malls” are described as “­palaces of snow and ice,” which again emphasizes their impermanence. Despite outward signs of financial security, the newly arrived consumer culture in Northern Ireland—which encompasses its tourist industry—is constructed upon insecure foundations; insecure, in part, due to the paradoxes involved in trying to create the sense of security that is vital for promoting the hospitality of the region, by revisiting and promoting the violent history of the Troubles. Although tourist guides might deliver a sanitized version of the conflict, the sectarian divides remain present in sections of Northern Irish society, and paramilitary organizations continue to operate. The ongoing trauma of the Troubles is evident in the stream of contemporary reports from the region, such as the May 2014 arrest and subsequent release without charge of Gerry Adams over the murder of Jean McConville, one of the Disappeared, and the firebomb attack (purportedly by the IRA) on a Derry

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154  Naomi Marklew hotel, also in May 2014, where a PSNI recruitment event was being held.37 In addition, the talks chaired by Richard Haass in 2013, after which he warned of the continuing legacy of the Troubles, together with the annual tensions that erupt during the summer marching season, highlight the fact that the threat of insecurity still looms large. The final, and shortest, part of “Letter to Friends” begins in the recent present of the banking crisis of 2008—“October’s been a scary month for news” (l. 251)—and moves on to look at more personal future events: The ­anticipatory grief that the speaker experiences for her dementia-­suffering father, and the anxiety felt when considering her “new motherhood” (l. 295). However, there is a sudden change of tone in the last two stanzas of the poem: These were my thoughts while driving from the ward under a sky perversely, brilliant blue. What? Did the intensity of my tirade burn off the cloud the way the sun lifts dew to bring about this sudden climate shift in Belfast? Look, each soot-encrusted brick shines in a gold light, pouring from above, celestially – so that my spirits lift against my will. (I almost want to check, the flood abated, for some hovering dove …) A dove, an olive branch, a ray of light. Who would have thought that only for so long might downturns turn down; that the future’s bright and black? That one new Power’s age-old wrong should find redress, or symbol of redress - and underneath her blanket with its bear my baby daughter too now lies at ease; she’s six months old. The future’s all a guess. My heap of junk is ready for the fire; our lives stand waiting, primed for compromise. (ll. 301–320, e­ mphases in the original.) There is a sense in which the city of Belfast itself is affected by the intensity of the speaker’s emotional response to all that she has been considering, concerns that have been both private and universal, both local and global. In return, the “gold light” in which the physical fabric of the city is bathed has the effect of changing the speaker’s mood, even “against [her] will.” There is a suggestion that the city is able to bring about a positive effect on those who encounter it, even those long-term residents who have been wearied by the “grim traumatic fight” of the Troubles and made cynical by the rampant commercialism and the marketing of Belfast as a cultural experience. There seems to be something intrinsic in the city that offers hospitality and welcome to those who encounter it. The double threats of violence and

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“This Is Our Splintered City”  155 commercialism are echoed in the incredulous realization that “the future’s bright / and black?” which puns on the controversial advertising campaign of the Orange mobile network operator in the late 1990s and early 2000s, “The future’s bright – the future’s Orange.” This campaign was used widely throughout the UK but encountered inevitable opposition in Northern Ireland, due to the association of the color orange with loyalist paramilitary groups and with the annual marching season. Flynn’s phrase, therefore, succeeds in implying both elements of Belfast’s identity: A nationwide advertising scheme which, as well as representing big-business commercial concerns, also highlights the particular nuances of the region that corporate bosses failed to take into account and the continuing sectarian tensions that are felt in Northern Ireland. However, both of these connotations are superseded by the declaration that the future’s “black,” which presumably, in the light of the previous lines’ mention of the “downturn,” refers to being “in the black” or rescued from the debt and austerity of the current crisis.38 “Letter to Friends” ends with the same sense of ambivalence toward Belfast’s future success as a center of culture and hospitality as is evident in Flynn’s interview comments. Although she does respond with cynicism and even anger at the way in which the legacy of the Troubles is commemorated and marketed, and has clear reservations about the emphasis on the city’s commercial success, she seems, nevertheless, to be forced to acknowledge the positive aspects of the city’s drive toward a more secure and more hospitable future. Morrissey’s attitudes toward the marketing of Belfast as a center for culture and renewal are similarly complex, but also, ultimately, similarly optimistic. Her acceptance of the role of Poet Laureate suggests that she is willing to be a part of “the creation of Northern Irish heritage.”39 The Lord Mayor of Belfast, when announcing his appointment of Morrissey to the role, as part of his vision for Belfast, said: “In all of my work, I pledge to remain relentlessly positive about Belfast, its people and its future. Today I am revealing my vision of how I can use the office of Mayor to build a better Belfast.”40 The fact that the establishment of a laureateship is a central aspect of the Mayor’s vision for “build[ing] a better Belfast,” emphasizes the role’s connection with the activity of “branding” and promoting the city. However, this is tempered by the official description of the role, which is described as both public and private: “Some aspects of the role are primarily for the benefit of the community, while others are primarily to develop the poet’s artistic career.”41 Morrissey’s personal interests are manifested in her work to be undertaken with different ethnic groups, with young people, vulnerable people and in promoting women’s creativity. Her own identity as an “individual” with a personal history outside of the Protestant/Catholic dichotomy of the region seems to have informed the way in which she hopes to create a new sense of Northern Irish identity among the communities that she works with and for her role as Laureate. In doing this, her poetry can be seen to respond more positively to Ruane and Todd’s ideals of “emancipatory” methods of promoting peace and security in Northern Ireland.

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156  Naomi Marklew In the work of both poets then, we can find expressions of concern about the “touristification” of the Troubles and the commodification of the region’s culture. Although Morrissey seems more comfortable in taking on an official poet-guide status, in the role of Laureate, Flynn’s responses to the changes witnessed in Belfast also give her work a compelling sense of the paradoxes with which Northern Ireland must engage as it considers the future. Ultimately, however, each poet offers some sense of quiet optimism about the opportunities for hospitality and welcome in a future that looks increasingly secure, both financially and politically.

Notes 1. Brouillette, “On Not Safeguarding,” 317. 2. Morrissey, Between, 14. 3. Flynn, These Days, 31, 39, 47–48; Drives, 14–17, 20–22, 28–30, 35, 57; Profit and Loss, 10, 35–45. The travel tropes in many of Flynn’s poems give a sense of a contemporary version of the “Grand Tour,” or gap year, as the narrator lists a large number of cities and tourist sites visited, and experiences that have taken place across various continents. 4. Flynn, Drives, n.p. 5. von Tangen Page, Negative Peace, 13. 6. Ibid. 7. “Troubles Tourism.” 8. Ibid. 9. Ibid. 10. Northern Ireland In Your Pocket. 11. Jenkins, “Belfast’s immoral ‘conflict tourism’,” The Guardian, May 7, 2012, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/may/07/belfast-immoralconflict-tourism. 12. Wiedenhoft Murphy, “Touring,” 538. 13. Ibid., 539, 540. 14. Wilson, “Tourism,” 156, 158. 15. Ibid.,156; See also Sharpley and Stone, The Darker Side of Travel. 16. Wilson, “Tourism,” 158. 17. “Insider’s Guide,” 190. 18. Murphy, “Touring,” 555. 19. Ibid., 555–556. 20. Lennon and Foley, Dark Tourism, 162–163. 21. Leontia Flynn, interview by Naomi Marklew, September 14, 2010, Queen’s ­University, Belfast. 22. Brouillette, “On Not Safeguarding,” 321. 23. Sinéad Morrissey, interview by Naomi Marklew, September 16, 2010, Queen’s University, Belfast. 24. McKernan, “Sinead Morrissey.” 25. Morrissey, There Was Fire, 19–20. 26. Parker, Northern Irish Literature, vol. 2, 159. 27. Ruane and Todd, “Communal Conflict,” 253.

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“This Is Our Splintered City”  157 28. Ibid. 29. Morrissey, Between Here and There, 13, 14. 30. Morrissey, Parallax, 15–17, 44. 31. Parker, Northern Irish Literature, 227. 32. Rogers, “Terrorism,” 175. 33. von Tangen Page, Negative Peace, 49. 34. Flynn, Drives, 2, 8. 35. Flynn, interview. 36. Flynn, Profit and Loss, note on flyleaf. 37. “Gerry Adams denies McConville son ‘backlash threat’,” BBC News N ­ orthern Ireland, May 6, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-27280446; “Londonderry explosion: ‘Firebomb’ explodes in Everglades Hotel,” BBC News Northern Ireland, May 30, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northernireland-27631542. 38. There might be a more political suggestion in the mention of “black,” which could bear connotations of the Black and Tans, a quasi-military temporary police force recruited to assist the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence in the early twentieth century, and whose often brutal behavior has led to the term “Black and Tans” being a derogatory term for the British in Ireland. However, in the context of the poem, this reading seems less convincing. 39. Brouillette, “On Not Safeguarding,” 321. 40. “Queen’s University’s Sinéad Morrissey named first ever Belfast Poet Laureate,” Queen’s University Belfast Communications and External Affairs Office, accessed November 10, 2014, http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/ceao/News/Archived PressReleases/2013PressReleases/July2013pressreleases. 41. Ibid.

Bibliography Brouillette, Sarah. “On Not Safeguarding the Critical Heritage: Glen Patterson’s Black Night at Big Thunder Mountain.” Irish Studies Review 15, no. 5 (2007): 317–331. Flynn, Leontia. These Days. London: Jonathan Cape, 2004. Flynn, Leontia. Drives. London: Jonathan Cape, 2008. Flynn, Leontia. Profit and Loss. London: Jonathan Cape, 2011. “Insider’s Guide.” easyJet Traveller. September 2010, 190. Lennon, John, and Malcolm Foley. Dark Tourism: The Attraction of Death and Disaster. London: Continuum, 2000. McKernan, Annamay. “Fast Movers: Sinead Morrissey.” Tatler Woman. June 24, 2002. Accessed April 23, 2010, http://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/scribe?showd oc=16;doctype=interview. Morrissey, Sinéad. There Was Fire in Vancouver. Manchester, UK: Carcanet, 1996. Morrissey, Sinéad. Between Here and There. Manchester, UK: Carcanet, 2002. Morrissey, Sinéad. The State of the Prisons. Manchester, UK: Carcanet, 2005. Morrissey, Sinéad. Through The Square Window. Manchester, UK: Carcanet, 2009. Morrissey, Sinéad. Parallax. Manchester, UK: Carcanet, 2013. “Northern Ireland In Your Pocket.” In Your Pocket Essential City Guides. Accessed September 12, 2014. http://www.inyourpocket.com/northern-ireland.

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158  Naomi Marklew Parker, Michael. Northern Irish Literature, 1956–1975. 2 vols. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. “Queen’s University’s Sinéad Morrissey named first ever Belfast Poet Laureate.” Queen’s University Belfast Communications and External Affairs Office. Accessed November 10, 2014. http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/ceao/News/ArchivedPressRele ases/2013PressReleases/July2013pressreleases. Rogers, Paul. “Terrorism.” In Security Studies, edited by Paul D. Williams, 171–184. London: Routledge, 2008. Ruane, Joseph, and Jennifer Todd. “Communal Conflict and Emancipation: The Case of Northern Ireland.” In Critical Security Studies and World Politics, edited by Ken Booth, 237–255. London: Lynne Rienner, 2005. Sharpley, Richard, and Philip R. Stone, eds. The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism. Bristol, UK: Channel View, 2009. “Troubles Tourism.” In Your Pocket Essential City Guides. Accessed September 12, 2014. http://www.inyourpocket.com/northern-ireland/belfast/Troubles-Tourism_ 71900f. von Tangen Page, Michael. A Negative Peace: Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement. London: King’s College London, 2000. Wiedenhoft Murphy, Wendy Ann. “Touring the Troubles in West Belfast: Building Peace or Reproducing Conflict?” Peace and Change 35, no. 4 (2010): 537–560. Wilson, David. “Tourism, Public Policy and the Image of Northern Ireland since the Troubles.” In Tourism in Ireland: A Critical Analysis, edited by Barbara O’ Connor and Michael Cronin, 138–161. Cork: Cork University Press, 1993.

11 Welcoming the Other

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Hospitality and Citizenship in Chinese American Fiction Melissa Lee

The languages of hospitality, and the concepts of host and guest, visitor and foreigner, have contributed to a contemporary understanding of ­citizenship in transnational Chinese fiction in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Representations of traveler mobility and citizen situatedness ­ reveal the instability of cultural individualities where claims on one’s identity are understood only in relation to others. These manifestations of s­ hifting cultural identity are revealed in metaphorical language and imagery, and are articulated through host and guest relationships in situations of migration and mobility. In particular, this article focuses on successful bids for ­citizenship in Chinese contemporary fiction, where hospitality is explored as both an act of welcome and an act of hostility. Attending to terms such as “ownership,” “host,” “visitor,” and “guest,” I establish a hierarchy of power relations which shows how citizenship functions as securitization in these chosen texts. Concepts such as immigration, asylum, and temporary and permanent residency establish boundary lines that divide people into citizens, noncitizens, and foreigners. These themes are then articulated into a language involving characterizations of hosts and guests, and the language of hospitality is sanctified and used in statecraft to represent the demarcated borders of a nation state. This chapter will discuss Derrida’s extensive writings on hospitality, including the concept of xenos (foreigner), and the absolute right of the host to identify the stranger and as such, through this mandatory identification process, contain the threat that transnational subjects might pose. The texts that I will analyze in this chapter (all written post-2000) include works by Chinese authors who write about immigration, and who have experienced transition and transnationalism in their own personal biographies. Ha Jin’s A Free Life (2007) and A Map of Betrayal (2014) are both about main characters who are raising families in between ­countries and citizenships. In both novels, the immigrants are welcomed in that they make successful bids for citizenship, and a process of assimilation follows. ­However, the difference between the two texts is that in A Free Life, the landed immigrant is in earnest about relocation, whereas in A Map of Betrayal, the immigrant is a spy. In Kim Fu’s For Today I Am a Boy (2014), hospitality and migration become crucially related to gender difference

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160  Melissa Lee and identity. Immigration and asylum also question these contradictions explored in Derridean hospitality and negotiate a third space between universal hospitality (an unlimited welcome) and hostile xenophobia (a securing of borders). Using symbols of mobility, community, and unbelonging, these authors’ multiple interpretations of hospitality reveal flexible transcultural relationships in transnational Chinese fiction. Particular examples of these guest and host relationships related to immigration include the fiction of Ha Jin, in which both novels A Free Life and A Map of Betrayal, revolve around an interloper dependent on the hospitality of residents or locals and navigating the cultural foreignness of a strange new home or career. Kim Fu’s For Today I Am a Boy illustrates a different interpretation of hospitality in which characters often have emotional reasons (such as relatives or unfinished familial relationships) to travel back and forth between China and the United States. The texts studied in this chapter are commonly classified under Chinese diasporic writing. However, this categorization becomes complicated when one more closely examines the problematic categories of citizenship of authors such as Chinese writer Geling Fu, who has made her home between Shanghai, Africa, and the United States, or Ha Jin, who holds a Chinese passport with permanent residency in the United States. A particularly contentious example is American resident Yiyun Li, an Ernest Hemingway National Book award winner whose permanent residency was denied with great controversy.1 Though this chapter focuses on analyzing fictional transnational texts, any exposure to a given author’s biographical background reveals that many Chinese authors (including the two examined in this article) operate in or involve more than one country, and so rather than being narrowly classified as Chinese regional, should be more accurately deemed transnational.2 This problematizes the categories of diaspora and the origins of homeland via the transnational experience of the authors studied as well as the allusions to issues of hospitality and citizenship that are discussed in the texts. Ha Jin and Kim Fu’s texts explore how the Chinese migrant negotiates new cultures, and new definitions of home, in relation to the idea of “accepting” hospitality through a series of successful bids for citizenship and belonging. The transnational Chinese fiction examined in this ­chapter brings to mind questions of conditionality associated with ownership, ­property, and culture that are inherent in the ethics of hospitality and influence the individual, society and community. These texts have been chosen in ­particular to analyze successful bids for citizenship because they incorporate different issues that make transparent the kinds of hospitality present in foreign intrusion, strangerhood and citizenship. The idea of xenos in Derridean hospitality can be imagined as the stranger, or the foreigner, whom it is obligatory to welcome.3 This welcome is conditional, as the welcome consists of interrogation—as xenos, the foreigner naming himself, exposing his life, and as thus becoming no longer a stranger.4 This contradictory nature of the welcome (inviting the foreigner,

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Welcoming the Other  161 as long as he is no longer a stranger) originates in the close relationship between the senses of xenos. In a dialogue with Richard Kearney and Mark Dooley, Derrida critiques the Kantian position that defines a specific “universal hospitality” of ethics as a guarantee of welcome to the foreigner under absolutely no conditions except one: The right to visit but not stay.5 Although temporality is emphasized as the only condition, there is actually a second imperative, which is that one must name the foreigner before he or she enters into country or home. Although the xenos is welcomed, his welcome is conditional on the visitor “ask[ing] for hospitality in a language by definition that is not his own. This language is imposed upon him by the host, the dominant power in the relationship manifested in temporal forms as ‘the master of the house, the host, the King, the laird, the authorities, the nation, the State, the father, etc.’”6 Mireille Rosello explores this contradiction of refuge, assimilation, and citizenship in Postcolonial Hospitality, which critiques Jean Baudrillard’s discussion of certain forms of hospitality as forms of cannibalism.7 Rosello’s reading of hospitality as selfishness and violent consumption can be directly related back to postcolonial and imperialistic discourse—as well as invitations to assimilate that mask uneven distributions of power in the guest–host relationship. Derrida identifies a central paradox in hospitality, which is found in the difference between universal hospitality and what certain critics refer to as “limited hospitality.”8 The principle of universal hospitality is welcoming all those that cross one’s private domicile with a lack of boundaries, with the only condition being that “one may refuse to receive him, if it can be done without endangering his existence.”9 This condition of entrance is related to a securization of state and a protection of residents, which I argue enacts a violence on the stranger and those seeking shelter or hospitality. This universal hospitality (which in fact, is actually limited), comprises the right that every stranger has of not being treated as an enemy in the country into which he arrives. When put into practice, this absolute welcome raises questions involving statecraft, immigration and border crossing, as the visitor receives a “limited” and conditional hospitality. We see these themes of securization maintained through the managing of threats of otherness in both A Free Life and A Map of Betrayal where protagonists only gain security and citizenship through the process of mastering the culture and language of the host. In Ha Jin’s A Free Life, immigration and securization demarcate boundary lines, outlining the differences between visitors, residents, and settlers. Concepts of home, borders, and nations are constructs that are conceptually imagined by a character as “home” and create, as well as define, illusory boundaries that become concrete in a place of new immigration. Nan, the main character in A Free Life, lives in-between two cultures—he is from China, but is residing in the United States on a student visa with his wife Ping Ping. The novel begins in the middle of their story with both Nan and Ping Ping anxiously awaiting Taotao, their 6-year-old son’s arrival from China. Neither Nan nor Ping Ping is able to return to China to fetch Taotao because

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162  Melissa Lee the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing has taken place during their sojourn in the United States, resulting in the cancellation of all flights from America into China. Nan himself is suspected of counterrevolutionary plotting and, in an example involving the borderlines of citizenship, has had his passport canceled by the Chinese government while on temporary visitor status in the United States. This revocation of citizenship reveals how the implementation of the word “country” and “nation” allows for borders that are imagined and conceptualized into reality with very real repercussions. The unexplained cancellation of Nan’s passport by the Chinese government leaves him unable to travel. He and Ping Ping are devastated as he realizes that “now the door back to China was shut and he had become a countryless man.”10 His anger over his home country canceling his passport energizes him to counter and renounce his country by “discard[ing] the baggage of China so as to travel light.”11 Later, when speaking with his friend Danning about homelands and ­citizenship, Nan declares that “China isn’t my country anymore … loyalty is a two-way street. China has betrayed me, so I refuse to remain its subject anymore.”12 This unplanned permanence in one country, however, aids in his application for US citizenship, as under United States immigration laws, a permanent resident of the United States who has not left the country for 30 months or more is eligible to become a naturalized United States citizen.13 Nan’s decision to remain in the United States becomes his only option and is one of the primary factors that results in him staying and ultimately becoming an American citizen. Although Nan becomes legally “countryless” in the novel, his purchase of a house in the latter half of A Free Life and his successful bid for citizenship give him a sense of American identity that he embraces once he has proclaimed a permanent home. This American citizenship, I argue, limits and constrains his behavior, enabling a securitization of his foreignness. In A Free Life, hospitality is thematically exercised as a tool of diplomacy and securitization—encouraging ownership and the rights of home in the creation of a nation’s boundary lines and the welcoming of immigrants, migrants, and visitors. In A Free Life, the cultural norms and language of the United States are alien to Nan, although the longer he stays in the country, the more he is expected to create his own belonging through assimilation. This assimilation includes adopting the capitalist value system of materialism—striving to be a success in business, to own his car and home. By adopting ­American values, Nan is expected to go through a process of becoming unforeign. Derrida’s discussion on the foreigner reverberates here, as he critically states that a foreigner in a strange country must ask for hospitality in a foreign language, a language in which he is inept in speaking, “a language, which by definition, is not his own” imposed on him by the country in which he resides or visits, or by “the master of the house.”14 Nan’s struggle with the English language is consistent throughout the book. He carries an English-language dictionary in his pocket, constantly studying. He has difficult situations

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Welcoming the Other  163 with other Americans in which his intended meaning is misrepresented due to linguistic and cultural misunderstandings. Derrida writes meaningfully that “the translation process is the first violence that is enacted on the foreigner.”15 This alienation that he feels from others is interestingly subverted to encompass not only the often-shown and -written tensions between citizens and ethnic noncitizens, but also the tensions between Chinese citizens and Chinese non-citizens. This is shown in the hostile encounters between Nan, his family, and other Chinese people living in the United States. An example of this resentment is demonstrated earlier in the text at a key moment while both parents (Nan and Ping Ping) are waiting anxiously for their son Taotao to disembark from the airplane. Bewildered by airport regulations, Nan asks a Chinese American woman for help. This woman “looked Chinese but spoke only English” and refuses to help them, Nan seeing in her eyes “a flicker of disdain, probably because she knew they were from mainland China and suspected they were still red inside, if not red to the bone.”16 Nan and Ping Ping experience a kind of vertigo when they encounter Chinese people in America who refuse to speak to them in Mandarin, their native language and the official public language of China. Both of them begin to go through a defamiliarization process in which (as Zhang, another character, writes), “one may see one’s own past and culture as foreign otherness.”17 Mandarin is only spoken furtively as a secret language, one shared between the couple who are afraid that speaking the language will reveal their “redness” or antipatriotism toward America and subsequently, their lack of enthusiasm in assimilating to their new country. The refusal to speak in the visitor’s language is where Derrida concludes that violence—the first violence—begins, in which we impose on the visitor translation into the host’s language, where we demand that the foreigner “claim his rights in a language he does not speak” before being able to “welcome him into our country.”18 A later example has Nan helping a fellow co-worker who is cheated by another Chinese cook at their restaurant. This incident reveals that rather than the ghettoization of nonpermanent residents aiding each other, bonded by a common ethnicity, immigration and citizenship often work in reverse, isolating those from the same homeland apart from each other, creating an internalized class system of differences among those with the same background in a foreign country. Themes relating to the host and guest relationship are repeated in an interplay of character relationships between new and old immigrants, families and friends separated from each other in different countries, and visitors to the country and residents of several generations, all of which emulate a change in local attitudes, hostility, and relationships. Although Nan is resentful of China as his home country, he is also ­ambivalent about his status of becoming an American citizen. Nan’s ­bitterness toward China originates from the way the country treats its ­citizens. This bitterness is encapsulated at the end of Part Two, when he ruefully comments that “only by becoming a citizen of another country can you be treated

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164  Melissa Lee decently by the Chinese.”19 This inverts the usual line of thinking of indecent treatment through the absence of citizenship implying instead that the citizen must become a guest to receive decent treatment. Throughout most of the text, Nan’s ambivalence about belonging to a country is amplified in his conversations with other characters. Although he has strong opinions against the Chinese government, he is reticent in speaking about America, noting that he “wasn’t a citizen yet and couldn’t vote, or he’d have argued more often with Dave over politics and the upcoming presidential election.”20 Hospitality is marked by an “inclusive exclusion” among those perceived as aliens with no links to the host country.21 Nan feels that he only has the privilege or “right” to discuss politics when he becomes a citizen of the state. As a guest, or nonpermanent resident, he feels that he does not have this same right to comment on democratic governance in which he is not participatory. Nan’s realization of his inability to participate, amplified in an uncomfortable state of unbelonging, reveals that a state extends only a limited hospitality to a person desiring citizenship. In this case, the state extends residency by allowing property purchase and working rights but not allowing the inclusive and decisive democratic principles of voting governance. Nan is reluctant to pursue the immigrant’s dream of capitalist success in America; he has dreams of becoming a poet rather than a well-to-do immigrant entrepreneur. By not subscribing to capitalist materialism, he refuses to opportunistically take part in the cultural values and norms that are popular among Americans and new American immigrants. In this way, it is a refusal of assimilating, of participating in the measure of economic immigrant success and subscribing to an identity that is actively assigned to him. The securitization of citizenship applies to the transnational Chinese texts studied here, where individuals are moving across cities and countries in an intermediary transition period of being impermanent residents before successfully being granted citizenship, securing the threat of otherness by assimilating the threats of the transnational subject. The immigrant as guest usually attempts to blend or fit in, adopting cultural values and concepts that are important to the host country. Contrary to this, however, instead of participating in the American dream of capitalism, Nan still dreams of China, represented in his dreams of writing Chinese poetry. This dynamic contrast between the two countries and values is also emphasized in the polarizing female characters of Ping Ping and his unrequited love for his ex-girlfriend Beina. Ping Ping, with her eagerness to save money, buy a restaurant, and pay their mortgage so that they are debt-free, represents the capitalist aspirations of the immigrant’s struggle for economic independence and Americanness. When Nan and Ping Ping finally reach their goal of owning their own house, restaurant, and car, instead of feeling joy, Nan is bewildered and baffled. He berates himself for his uncertainty, telling himself that he should “feel successful.”22 However, the ambivalence of succeeding in his capitalist-oriented goals leaves him empty, and he realizes that “somehow the success didn’t mean as much to him as it should.”23 Nan’s application

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Welcoming the Other  165 for American citizenship is desultory as he had not applied with “light heart” but only applied because it was “the sensible thing to do.”24 Nan admits that “before he met Ping Ping, he had always spent every penny of his salary each month.”25Nan’s Chinese ex-girlfriend Beina, as a lost dream, represents Nan’s longing toward China. He yearns for her not only as a physical entity, but also for the emotion that she stirs in him that he believes aids him in writing romantic poetry.26 Nan’s personality and desires are caught in between these two representations of China and America. Nan’s cultural value system is made up of a fluctuating movement of instability, where his meaning and symbols of culture do not originate in a Chinese or American way of thinking. For Nan, there is no nationalist way of thinking, or culture. For him, the meanings and symbols of culture have no primordial unity or fixity. Nan’s writing and language—once a sign of his ­Chineseness— is appropriated and rehistoricized into something wholly different. He is located in Homi Bhabha’s interventionist “third space,” rejecting historical identity of culture as a “homogenizing unifying force, authenticated by the originary past, kept alive in the national tradition of the People.”27 Near the end of the text, this feeling is emphasized by Nan’s discomfort when he returns to visit China as an American supermarket-contest winner. Nan’s assimilation is illuminated when he goes back to his homeland via the generous American hospitality of winning a local contest.28 Nan’s rejection of his home country, China, is manifested in the symptoms of physical illness that he feels when returning. Upon Nan’s return to China, he immediately feels like the foreign outsider, manifested in symptoms of physical illness with his throat feeling itchy and his windpipe tight, and his inability to breathe. ­Illness is related to incompatibility with the country of residence, fitting into one’s homeland or home again. When Nan confesses to his friend D ­ anning his physical discomfort in China, Danning laughs and replies “when my wife came back from America she had the same problem. It took her a month to get used to the air here, to become a Chinese again.”29 Visitor incompatibility and foreignness are manifested in physical discomfort and symptoms of illness exemplified in this flash of memory: Nan’s flight back to China reminds him of his first flight, in 1985, to America, and how he and his fellow-travelers, most of whom were students, had been nauseated by a certain smell in the plane—so much so that it made some of them unable to swallow the in-flight meal of P ­ armesan chicken served in a plastic dish. It was a typical American odor that sickened some new arrivals. Everywhere in the United States there was this sweetish smell, like a kind of chemical, especially in the supermarket, where even vegetables and fruits had it. Then one day in the following week Nan suddenly found that his nose could no longer detect it.30 In Nan’s situation, he no longer identifies himself as a visitor but as a citizen who is becoming legally integrated into American society. This enfolding of

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166  Melissa Lee the foreign into oneself becomes the adoption of the host’s own language and culture, demonstrated in Nan’s inability to detect the foreignness of the smell of American culture. Nan’s role of xenos has helped him homogenize himself into a role that is no longer that of the outsider. Aihwa Ong, Rey Chow, Ien Ang, and Sheng Mei Ma’s current dialogues about migrant narratives and transnational literature represent a ­politicized shift in contemporary fiction on themes of hospitality. Residency and ­citizenship privilege the discussion of hospitality as unrelated to motives of generosity, but more as a dual process of acculturation and cultural retention, as well as a duty regulated by cultural customs and domicile laws. Entering into a person’s domain—no matter how welcome or solicited—dictates that the visitor follow the cultural customs, rules, and regulations of the host. In exchange, the visitor who follows the rules of the visit is accorded a gracious welcome. This allocates boundaries of limited hospitality, as depicted by Derrida as problematic in his ethical examination of the social relationship. When the welcome is rescinded, or when the visit turns into a trespass, an assault upon customs or household is anticipated. This exchange, based on the concept of reciprocity, is integral to the concepts of hospitality, citizenship, and travel. The contract of Derridean hospitality requires the host to be in control and for the guest to respect particular boundaries. However, Derrida also draws attention to the fact that this power relation can be reversed with the guest in charge. In Hillis Miller’s deconstruction of the word “parasite,” he examines it as “originally something positive, a fellow guest, someone sharing the food with you, there with you beside the grain. Later on, ‘parasite’ came to mean a professional dinner guest, someone expert at cadging ­invitations without ever giving dinners in return.”31 Miller suggests fluid, changing dynamics in hospitality theory by revealing the transformations in the roles of guest and parasite. He emphasizes that there is no parasite without a host. The host and the somewhat sinister or subversive parasite are fellow guests beside the food, sharing it. The host doubles as both dispenser of hospitality and enemy and adversary to the parasite, or acting guest.32 A Map of Betrayal develops a later preoccupation with similar issues to A Free Life. “Nation” and “home” are further defined and emphasized, as the main character, Gary Shang, encounters regimes of limited hospitality. Shang, on the one hand, is headlined as “the biggest Chinese spy ever caught in North America,”33 but on the other, he views himself as a patriot of both countries, helping to ease diplomatic relations of both United States and China. Chang is temporarily caught between identities of guest and host in his divided loyalties and citizenship with both countries. Derrida is more positive about this relationship between host and guest, ­suggesting that the guest (whom he interchangeably calls “the foreigner”) acts not only as parasite, but also as liberator, one who comes in from the outside to rebalance the power of the host.34 In A Map of Betrayal, Shang’s successful bid for citizenship allows him to infiltrate American society as an informer of culture,

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Welcoming the Other  167 an outsider masking himself as an insider. Although citizenship is meant to transform the threat of Shang’s Otherness, instead, it merely allows him further license to infiltrate as a xenos or stranger. Shang’s daughter describes him as one who had been “not only a betrayer but also someone who’d been betrayed,” alluding to the shifting persona of her father from host, to guest, to parasite and spy.35 In fact, Gary Shang’s own story is of a man caught in a life of political currents that he does not fully subscribe to or understand. He considers himself a patriot of both countries instead of a traitor and ultimately sacrifices both countries for his family or his own domestic home. Shang sees himself as a diplomat who has come to mend and build a working relationship between China and the United States. In the text, Shang sees his comprehensive report, which “argued for pushing forward to restore a normal relationship with the United States,” as specifically responsible for American president Richard Nixon’s landmark visit to China.36 In this context, hospitality and security have a double meaning that links home and belonging to the building of a nation and continent, yet also conversely, implies the demarcation of boundaries, the sovereignty of homelands, and the implied hostility directed toward external factors threatening the conceptual and geographical borders of home.37 In A Map of Betrayal, Gary Shang has much of the same conflicted ­feelings as A Free Life’s Nan has between the country of his residence and the country of his birth. Shang’s daughter questions Uncle Bingwen, her father’s spy–confidant, raising many of these questions early in the novel: “But

I know this: He loved China and did a great service to our country.” “So he was a patriot?” “Beyond any doubt.” “Did it ever occur to you that he might have loved the United States as well?” “Yes. We read about that … in some newspaper articles on the trial. I could sympathize with him. No fish can remain … unaffected by the water it swims in …”38 The key part of this exchange is the Chinese proverb at the end—the concept of feeling “affected” or feeling at home with the country that you live in. Shang, originally the xenos, or stranger, has become assimilated and is no longer Other, accustomed to the rules of the host. Ha Jin complicates diasporan concepts of longing and homesickness, with feelings of anxiety and longing for one’s old homeland internalized as a form of psychological growth, Shang identifying these feelings as “a sign of maturity.”39 Although Shang feels at home in the United States, he still has residual feelings of being the cultural Other; his daughter wrote that “his heart was always elsewhere. Wherever he went, he’d feel out of place, like a stranded traveler.”40 Shang feels admiration for the US Constitution—”a document he had read with

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168  Melissa Lee great admiration for its careful attention to citizens’ rights defined and protected by the amendments,” but he still feels tied to his old country, China.41 He equates his time in America with another expatriate to being “caged like a pair of birds that could only chirp and warble only to each other.”42 Beyond unreciprocated hospitality, hospitality in relation to the ­cultural Other also plays a large part in transnational Chinese fiction. Despite this, individuals and families continue to leave their cultural homes and h ­ eritage for the culture of an alien Other. Frequently, hostility in communities ­produces racial contexts for hospitality, where visitors are made uncomfortable by prejudice. Such sources of tension between cultures of different ethnicities are exemplified in Kim Fu’s For Today I Am a Boy. The novel also shows how a preexisting condition of being accepted as a “good guest” is to assimilate to the culture’s language rules. In Fu’s novel the story of Peter, a young Chinese transsexual living in Ontario, is the story of the alienated life of an outsider. In this novel, hospitality becomes related to cultural practice, where one’s exterior façade differs from one’s interior practice within one’s home. In contextualizing Chinese families that have immigrated to North America as part of the Chinese diaspora, Mayfair Yang discusses how in North American Chinese households, only Mandarin or Cantonese is spoken, and often non-Chinese people are not welcome in the house, which creates spatial introversion through family management or in effect, “build[ing] cultural walls in order to shut out the outside world.”43 We see this reflected as a cultural practice in Fu’s novel where the Huangs have no interaction with the rest of the small Canadian community and the only neighbor who attempts to visit is Mrs. Becker, an unknown chaotic element who enters the household as a stranger, causing discord. Her original overtures at hospitality are firmly refused—she brings old toys for the Huang children, which Peter’s mother refuses, and leaves a welcoming apricot cake on the Huang doorstep, which Mrs. Huang flips into the trash.44 Later, her presence is revealed to be that of an intruder; she enters the home through disruption by having an affair with Peter’s father and spies on the Huang household. She spies on Peter’s sister Bonnie as she furtively takes a classmate into the woods to perform oral intercourse, and during a pivotal moment in the novel when Peter masquerades as a dancing Italian housewife wearing his mother’s sateen apron, Mrs. Becker intrudes, “staring through the window as frankly as a ghost” as Peter “instinctively turned [his] bare back and buttocks away.”45 In For Today I Am a Boy, hospitality forms binary oppositions in gender and culture in a community, a family, and even within an individual identity, that of Peter, the main character. The desperate need for Peter’s father to overtly integrate into Anglophone Canadian culture reveals his need to belong and no longer be a guest in the country that he and his family have chosen as home. In this story, h ­ ospitality is relocated within the context of racism, and the conceptualization of belonging is broached as the central issue in the Huang family. As a member of the only ethnically Chinese family living in a small

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Welcoming the Other  169 Anglo-Canadian ­community, Peter’s father struggles to overtly assimilate in order to gain a sense of belonging for himself and his family. His occupation as a ­government worker, his affair with an Anglo-Canadian housewife, and his imagination of her as “the culmination of his immigrant fantasy, blond as Marilyn Monroe,” all speak to this need to no longer be a guest but to integrate as one who belongs as part of the community.46 This assimilation contrasts with the oppressive nature of Peter’s mother’s yearning toward the Chinese cultural practices of the home she left behind. Peter’s mother never feels at home in Canadian culture. In the Huang household, both philosophies of assimilation and preservation are hostile to each other and battle over the legitimacy and sovereign influence over the four children living in the house. This cultural clash between the two parents acts as the background for the internal cultural struggle that is taking place in Peter, as he struggles between society’s expectations of his masculinity and his own desire to declare himself as a transgender female. In Fu’s text, culture is divided into gender factions—Canadian Anglophone culture viewed as overt, masculine, and prideful and Chinese culture seen as feminine, subversive, and shameful. During intercourse, when Peter’s father urgently whispers to his wife to give birth to a boy, he whispers in English, never in Chinese: “The aspirated b and the rounded open press of the oy.”47 The shedding of the Cantonese language is deliberate as Peter describes his father deciding that Cantonese should be “outgrow[n] in the way a child decides to outgrow a beloved toy after being mocked.”48 All things to do with Chinese culture involve a process of “trying to shed his old superstitions,” described again in childhood terms as a child remembering that Cantonese is a childhood object and “he doesn’t like the stupid toy anyway.”49 Peter describes an early childhood experience in which he joins a gang of boys in sexually attacking another female classmate. After the attack, Peter’s father congratulates him for successfully integrating into the white male persona discourse when subversively, all during the attack, Peter identifies with the victimized female classmate—“but I belonged in her place holding something so stunning they’d steal for it.”50 In For Today I Am a Boy the Huang household is hostile to guest visits. Instead, home is a place where family members are able to reenact their genuine private desires. Home becomes a subversive place where Peter is able to act out his true aspirational identity as a female and where Mrs. Huang (Peter’s mother) is able to practice her Chinese cultural practices—which Peter’s father forbids in the outside p ­ ublic sphere. In these examples of transnational Chinese fiction, the figure of the xenos plays a large part in negotiating issues of hospitality. I consider the s­ tatus of these Chinese travelers as foreigners managing their Otherness with d ­ ifficulty, which is further complicated by successful bids for citizenship. The politics of hospitality in transnational Chinese literature reveals t­ensions between issues of citizenship, belonging or unbelonging to a particular country, and cultural transrelativism, the reconfiguration of one’s national and patriotic identity upon leaving home.

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Notes 1. Li has since become a permanent resident of the United States. However, her ­battle to gain residency received public attention in the press and was s­ upported by a number of famous writers, among them Salman Rushdie. See Bob ­Thompson, “Writer Yiyun Li’s Petition for Residency Denied on Appeal,” The Washington Post, February 3, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ content/article/2006/02/02/AR2006020202252.html. 2. See also Lo, “The Myth of ‘Chinese’ Literature.” 3. Dick and Wolfreys, “The Derrida Wordbook,” 348. 4. Derrida’s reading of the paradoxical root meanings of “hospes” and “hostis” might also be used to understand nation building and cultural diplomacy, and how those processes are represented in contemporary Chinese transnational fiction. 5. Derrida, “Hospitality, Justice and Responsibility,” 70. 6. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 15. 7. In particular, Baudrillard discusses Japanese and Afro-Brazilian hospitality, but Rosello makes the convincing argument that Baudrillard’s vague, ahistorical reading of both cultures reveals that this framework can be used in a more general sense for other cultural hospitalities. Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality, 31. 8. Critchley and Kearney, “Preface,” xii. 9. Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, 28. 10. Ha Jin, A Free Life, 83. 11. Ibid., 83. 12. Ibid., 96. 13. Department of Homeland Security Website, http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/ learners/learn-about-naturalization. Accessed [April 21, 2015]. 14. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 6. 15. Ibid., 15. 16. Jin, A Free Life, 5. 17. Ibid., 130. 18. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 15. 19. Jin, A Free Life, 128. 20. Ibid., 254. 21. Ibid., 178. 22. Ibid., 419. 23. Ibid., 419. 24. Ibid., 489. 25. Ibid., 207. 26. Ibid., 60. 27. Bhabha, “Cultural Diversity,” 156. 28. Ha Jin A Free Life, 525. 29. Ibid., 533. 30. Ibid., 526. 31. Miller, “The Critic as Host,” 442. 32. Ibid., 441. 33. Jin, A Map of Betrayal, 11. 34. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 123. 35. Jin, A Map of Betrayal, 35. 36. Ibid., 618. 37. See also Kaplan, “Manifest Domesticity.”

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Welcoming the Other  171 38. Jin, A Map of Betrayal, 56. 39. Ibid., 109. 40. Ibid., 290. 41. Ibid., 381. 42. Ibid., 399. 43. Liu, “Space, Mobility and Flexibility,” 106. 44. Fu, For Today I Am a Boy, 99, 134. 45. Ibid., 121. 46. Ibid., 115. 47. Ibid., 16. 48. Ibid., 17. 49. Ibid., 17. 50. Ibid., 51.

Bibliography Bhabha, Homi K. “Cultural Diversity and Cultural Differences.” In The Post-­ Colonial Studies Reader. Edited by Bill Ashcroft, Garrett Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, 155–157. New York: Routledge, 2006. Critchley, Simon, and Richard Kearney. “Preface.” In On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, by Jacques Derrida. New York: Routledge, 2001. Derrida, Jacques. “Hospitality, Justice and Responsibility: A Dialogue with Jacques Derrida.” In Questioning Ethics: Contemporary Debates in Philosophy. Edited by Richard Kearney and Mark Dooley, 65–83. New York: Routledge, 1999. Derrida, Jacques. On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness. New York: Routledge Press, 2001. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Dick, Marie Daniella, and Julian Wolfreys. The Derrida Wordbook. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Fu, Kim. For Today I Am a Boy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. Jin, Ha. A Free Life. London: Pantheon Books, 2007. Jin, Ha. A Map of Betrayal. London: Pantheon Books, 2014. Kaplan, Amy. “Manifest Domesticity.” American Literature 70, no. 3 (1998): 581–607. “Learn about Naturalization.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Accessed April 21,2015.http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/learn-about-naturalization. Liu, Xin. “Space, Mobility and Flexibility: Chinese Villagers and Scholars Negotiate Power at Home and Abroad.” In Ungrounded Empires: The Cultural Politics of Chinese Modernism. Edited by David M. Nonnini and Aihwa Ong, 91–114. New York: Taylor and Francis, 1997. Lo, Kwai Cheung. “The Myth of “Chinese” Literature: Ha Jin and the Globalization of ‘National’ Literary Writing.” LEWI Working Paper Series no 23. Hong Kong: David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, 2004. Miller, J. Hillis. “The Critic as Host.” In Deconstruction and Criticism. New York: Continuum, 1985. Rosello, Mireille. Postcolonial Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

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Part VI

National Security

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12 Safe from His Readers

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Interpretation as Inhospitality in Cold War America Jeffrey Clapp

My inventions, my circles, my special islands are infinitely safe from exasperated readers. —Vladimir Nabokov, “Reply to My Critics”

One of the most exasperated readers in Cold War America was S­ enator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. Senator McCarthy was trying to find ­Communists living secretly within, and in his view working against, the United States.1 But McCarthy’s texts kept getting away from him, as his victims found one legal strategy after another that made it impossible for McCarthy to impose his questions. In particular, the United States C ­ onstitution’s Fifth ­Amendment, which includes the “privilege against self-incrimination,”2 blocked many of McCarthy’s moves and caused him singular frustration. ­Resorting to c­ alling his adversaries “Fifth Amendment Communists,” McCarthy and other antisubversion investigators (that was the polite phrase; the slang term was “Redhunter”) became hostile interpreters, imposing meanings on people who refused to be read. That imposition, however, was not only made in the ranks of the Redhunters. From 1947, when the protection of “the Fifth” was first claimed before the US Congress’s House Un-American Activities ­Committee (popularly known as HUAC), to 1957, when the US Supreme Court, in Yates v. US, made it much more difficult to convict Communists of the crimes like conspiracy, a national debate about the legitimacy of the ­privilege against self-incrimination was carried on by journalists, jurists, politicians, philosophers, and critics. The two basic positions in the debate were represented by Erwin ­Griswold, Dean of the Harvard Law School and later Solicitor General of the United States, particularly in The Fifth Amendment Today (1955), and by Sidney Hook, a former leftist and prominent philosopher, who countered Griswold with Common Sense and the Fifth Amendment (1957).3 Griswold defends the privilege, arguing that an inference of guilt attendant on claiming the privilege is logically illegitimate—there is no necessary relationship between the refusal to speak and the guilt of the claimant, and so no legal ­consequences could attach to a claim of the Fifth. Against Griswold—and following Jeremy Bentham, whose opposition to the English antecedents

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176  Jeffrey Clapp to the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment was much discussed—Hook argues that the inference of guilt attending a claim of privilege against self-­ incrimination is inevitable and that to deny this simple fact is to deny the legal system the advantages of “common sense.” In general, Griswold’s position won the day in the courtrooms, whereas Hook’s position won in public.4 Despite the torrential abuse, and the informal economic sanctions, heaped on radicals, leftists, liberals, and others who were caught up in the Red Scare, investigating authorities frequently struggled to get convictions for contempt, perjury (or for the underlying offenses, such as conspiracy or espionage) once a witness or defendant claimed the Fifth. The first novels Vladimir Nabokov published in English appeared during the Red Scare: First Bend Sinister in 1947, then Pnin in 1957.5 Nabokov took every opportunity to disavow the political interpretations that ­immediately surrounded his English-language works; in fact, the preface he attached to Bend Sinister in 1963 is one of the most sustained of Nabokov’s many ­statements on the matter. Yet with the advantage of time, one cannot help but note that precisely such disavowals were a key feature of the Red Scare, that Nabokov seems insistently to have “taken the Fifth” when asked about the political meanings of his books. However, although relations between Nabokov’s work and the Cold War have been substantively discussed,6 my intention in exploring Nabokov’s escapes from interpretation is not finally to assess his politics—and particularly not to capture Nabokov in the act of supporting the period’s anti- or anti-anti-Communism.7 Instead, by paying close attention to the debate around the Fifth ­Amendment, and to two of Nabokov’s lesser-known novels, I aim to ­illuminate a particular moment in the history of modernity and its m ­ odernisms: The transition from the logic of “discipline” to the logic of “security” which has been extensively analyzed by Michel Foucault and his many followers and interpreters.8 Very generally: on the one hand, ­disciplinary logics, ­frequently identified with Bentham’s panopticon or Orwell’s telescreen, protect and define society by causing individuals to stay in place. Security logics, on the other hand, encourage circulation and movement, and then define and defend society by the analysis of patterns and frequencies that allow the identification of anomalies and the production of threats. Although this pair of concepts represents an analytic or a genealogy and not, except in a highly attenuated sense, a history of society, the transition from discipline to security is nonetheless illustrated in a particularly lucid fashion by the passage from the early Cold War to the contemporary War on Terror. There is a striking contrast between the manner in which McCarthy pursued C ­ ommunists, using the mechanism of the subpoena, the technique of interrogation, and the scene of the trial, and the intelligence processes now underway, which use information technology, intelligence data, and algorithms to produce predictions about terrorism and the terrorist. The discipline/security binary offers enormous explanatory power for writing the history of the present. But in this chapter I offer a kind of

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Safe from His Readers  177 prolegomena to the large-scale transition from the Cold War to the War on Terror.9 Although the analytical distinction between discipline and security remains useful, it is equally crucial to assess how logics of discipline and security interpenetrate one another, working simultaneously and in concert. In returning to the early years of the Cold War, I will try to show how, although antisubversion investigators began with a disciplinary logic, attempting to force subjects of investigation to testify about themselves, they later pursued strategies of inference and suggestion that are more reminiscent of the predictions and calculations of contemporary security cultures. ­Moreover, responses to the methods of Cold War inquisition did not by any means necessarily call upon logics that stand outside the disciplinary disposition. Instead, as Nabokov’s fiction demonstrates, governing logics such as discipline and security are frequently too broad to see around; instead, expressions across different domains—for example, the legal and the ­literary—tend to make the same assumptions and pursue the same strategies, independent of the views or intentions of individual actors. Thus, in his antitotalitarian novel Bend Sinister, Nabokov’s protest against totalitarian discipline assumes ­certain disciplinary and “total” formations, and in Pnin, there is an attempt to rewrite resistance to cruelty that adapts the logics of securitization emerging at midcentury. One of the indicators that Gilles Deleuze uses to distinguish disciplinary societies from security societies—what he calls the “societies of control”—is the distinction between the signature on the one hand and the password on the other.10 Signature is an eminently disciplinary logic: it seems to collapse differences between the individual and the expression, and even between the mind and external reality; it is no coincidence that signature features so pointedly in legalized speech acts, like contract.11 The password, in contrast, is preeminently a figure of securitization: the password permits, but also r­egisters, the passage of the individual over thresholds, whether those thresholds are physical, social, or digital. Where the signature seeks to i­dentify and synonymize, the password produces multiple, asymmetrical relationships: Between that which is known and what is unknown or not yet known; between those who know and those who do not.12 And indeed, it is striking that in contemporary experience, signature is dwindling into a formality or ritual, whereas the use and management of passwords only becomes more and more prominent. The heated debate over the legitimacy of the Fifth Amendment ­privilege against self-incrimination, I think, can be read as an early phase in this ­transition; the debate offers a concrete context for thinking about a set of topics, around which it is all too easy to theorize and generalize. ­To further particularize, I move from Bend Sinister to Pnin, tracking a subtle ­modulation from the logic of signature to the logic of password. Finally, in conclusion, I examine how Nabokov registers this transition by relocating his fiction from public space to the space of the home. If Bend Sinister is a satire of tyranny, Pnin savages inhospitality.

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Bend Sinister and Signature In the first scene of Bend Sinister, Adam Krug stands outside the hospital in which his wife has just died. Krug stumbles homeward across the city, which is under the military rule imposed by a dictator, the vile Paduk. Reaching a bridge across a river, Krug encounters military guards checking passes, and although Krug has one, a tragicomedy of bureaucracy ensues. At first, the illiterate soldiers will not allow Krug onto the bridge because they are unable to read his pass. When they do permit him and he labors across, another crew at the other end of the bridge turn him back because at the initial checkpoint, the soldiers did not sign the pass. When Krug—“doomed to walk back and forth on a bridge which has ceased to be one since neither bank is really attainable”13—arrives again at the first checkpoint, the soldiers there no longer recognize him, and he is nearly arrested. Finally, he convinces them to sign, to release him from the bridge on which he has been oscillating—only to discover, when he gets back to the other end of the bridge, that the second crew has simply vanished. This initial encounter with a city under discipline is not the only way that Bend Sinister dwells on the concept of signature. The book’s primary movement results from Krug’s conflict with the dictatorship, and the first moment of crisis arises when the regime tries to compel Krug to sign his name to a document committing the university at which he works to support of the new regime. Krug sniffily rebuffs the first request, as he reads the proffered document, takes out his pen to insert a comma, and remarks: “Legal documents excepted … and not all of them at that, I never have signed, nor ever shall sign, anything not written by myself” (BS, 49). On the contrary, the faculty’s rat, a Dr. Alexander, sat down at the rosewood desk, unbuttoned his jacket, shot out his cuffs, turned the chair proximally, checked its position as a pianist does; then produced from his vest pocket a beautiful glittering instrument made of crystal and gold; looked at its nib, tested it on a bit of paper; and, holding his breath, slowly unfolded the convolutions of his name. … Unfortunately at this precise moment, his golden wand … shed a big black tear on the valuable typescript. (BS, 48) The betrayer would like to make a great show of signing, but Nabokov denies him the satisfaction. Moreover, when Krug is finally hauled before Paduk himself and given one last chance to sign, Paduk spills a glass of milk on the pages, leaving a “kidney-shaped white puddle” (BS, 133). Nabokov will not allow Paduk the satisfaction of a properly signed document, any more than Krug will sign something that Paduk has written.14 Krug sullenly resists until his 8-year old son David is seized, whereupon Krug agrees to say, do, or sign anything the regime requires. However, David is accidentally transferred to a penitentiary and gruesomely tortured to death. Upon being shown a film of his son’s death, Krug, having lost all,

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Safe from His Readers  179 suddenly discovers, in a momentary but lucid insight, that he is a character in a fiction. The narrator thereby offers Krug the bliss of canceling his son’s death by placing the entire existence of the novel’s world in a state of suspension. If David does not exist, neither his pain nor that of his father can matter. In his preface to Bend Sinister, Nabokov describes this conclusion as the appearance of an “anthropomorphic deity impersonated by me” (BS, xviii), and certainly the relationship between Nabokov and Krug appears salvific, like the restitution God offers to the biblical Job. But just as in Job’s story, the revelation of the meaningless fungibility of the world of Bend Sinister is distinctly unsatisfactory. If Nabokov’s descent can suspend the novel’s world, the very fact that the gesture seems merited, testifies not that David suffered no pain, but instead that there was some entity “David” and some entity “Krug” worth canceling. Nabokov’s godlike control over the final act of the book entails his agency throughout, implying in particular that Nabokov might ultimately be just as culpable as Paduk for David’s death. A gesture that attempted to “fictionalize” the novel attests to its reality; a gesture that frames Nabokov as a benign deity also reveals him to be an evil genius. Although a reference to “metafiction” in this context might s­uggest that Nabokov is engaged in producing the conceptual fluidity of the “­postmodern,” in fact the book’s final gesture is predicated upon the rigid conceptualization of diegetic levels implied in the appearance of a deity. When Nabokov enters the world of the novel like a deity, his relation to Krug becomes like that of the soldiers on the bridge: he signs Krug into the novel, and if he likes, he can sign him out. Bend Sinister is a novel about discipline that adopts discipline’s discourse.

Chains of Evidence In the first antisubversion hearings held in Hollywood, in the late 1940s, a group of political activists who came to be known as the “Hollywood Ten” tried to defend themselves against HUAC not with the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination, but instead using the First Amendment’s right to free speech. When all ten defendants were convicted of contempt, claims of the Fifth began to increase.15 Such claims dramatically accelerated when, through a series of prosecutions beginning in 1949, it became clear that being identified as a member of the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) could result in a treason trial.16 But most of the witnesses involved in congressional hearings were not, or could not, be established to be CPUSA members. Redhunters like McCarthy had to find a way to locate and prosecute individuals who might have Left-leaning sympathies, but who were not going to volunteer those opinions in a hearing or trial. Consequently, the right to refuse to testify against oneself, came under sustained interrogation. An absurd legal situation evolved in which saying anything on the stand could be held to constitute a waiver of Fifth Amendment protection. The

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Supreme Court case Blau v. United States (1950) was a crucial step in this direction. In the decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote: [The defendant] reasonably could fear that criminal charges might be brought against her if she admitted employment in the C ­ ommunist Party or intimate knowledge of its workings. … Answers to the ­questions asked by the grand jury would have furnished a link in the chain of evidence needed in a prosecution.17 (Emphasis added.) The privilege against self-incrimination is much broader than it appears, due to the rule Black invokes with the phrase “chain of evidence.” The privilege does not refer only to straightforward admissions of guilt; instead, it refers to any information that might be used to prove one’s guilt. The metaphor of the “chain” in Black’s decision adverts to an 1807 decision, in which Justice John Marshall pointed out that restricting the privilege to information that would alone be sufficient for conviction, would obviate the point of the privilege: Many links frequently compose the chain of testimony which is ­necessary to convict any individual of a crime … the true sense of the rule [is] that no witness is compellable to furnish any one of them against himself. It is certainly not only a possible but probable case that a witness, by disclosing a single fact, may complete the testimony against himself and to every effectual purpose accuse himself …18 (Emphasis added.) But there is a problem with these logics. The figure of the “chain” implies that the experiences of the witness, all of his or her knowledge, might conceivably be linked together to form a network of facts, with each datum entailing all the others. Therefore, given the evident danger in which they stood, witnesses and defendants increasingly pleaded the Fifth in more and more contexts. In response, investigators began to argue that if some information had already been disclosed, then the witness had no further right to claim the Fifth, because they had already given access to some part of the “chain.” This legal arms race was quickly pushed to its logical conclusion, in what was called “the waiver doctrine.” The case concerned Jane R ­ ogers, who had already admitted that she had been treasurer of the ­Denver, Colorado, Communist Party. But Rogers claimed the privilege against self-incrimination in order to avoid giving the grand jury the name of the person to whom she had turned over the Party’s books, and was promptly convicted of contempt.19 The Supreme Court held, in 1950, that since Rogers had been willing to discuss incriminating facts in her past, she had no right to deny access to further information. She had “waived” her Fifth Amendment rights. The simultaneous strengthening of the “chain of evidence” rule and the “waiver doctrine” had an unintended but immediate effect. First, the

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Safe from His Readers  181 experiences of a witness were increasingly seen as entailing one another, as one clue giving onto another (the chain). Yet, revealing any one of those links might mean that any further questions might also have to be answered (the waiver). McCarthy, less scrupulous than most anti-subversion investigators, saw advantage. He began hearings by asking bluntly whether the witness was a Party member or whether he or she had committed espionage. Answering these questions—either to affirm or to deny—now meant that the witness had waived the privilege against self-incrimination and could be cited for contempt the moment he or she declined to answer any subsequent question. The stage was set for the scenes that exercised McCarthy in his committee room, Sidney Hook in his commentary, and Americans in their living rooms. ­Witnesses refused to testify to their names, their addresses; they refused to release any information whatsoever. This situation persisted for roughly a decade, through the first, hottest part of the Cold War, and became perhaps the central public spectacle, and definitely the central legal dimension, of the Red Scare. Antisubversion investigators began their work with the help of an intensely, even archetypally, disciplinary logic: The demand that the witness swear an oath and render the truth about herself. This is a discourse of signature. But when witnesses began to resist, the logic of discipline began to be modulated with the logic of security. In particular, the idea that a life is composed of a series of interlinked pieces of information is a database logic, a logic of securitization. As the “chain of evidence” rule suggested, access to the interiority of the subject was no longer conceptualized as a confession, a truth the subject externalized about herself. Instead, the subject becomes a kind of reservoir of information, to which the Court can gain access, as though passing over a threshold. As the notion of a “waiver” suggests, this is a discourse of the password and represents an incipient securitization process at work in the originary moments of Cold War culture. In the jargon of our moment, these laws present a logic in which “access” was “granted.”

Pnin and Passwords On November 28, 1953, the first chapter of Pnin was published in The New Yorker, in an issue that began with an editorial making light of Joseph McCarthy’s blustery inquisition. But Nabokov resisted an even closer juxtaposition: when a version of Pnin was published with a reference, on the back cover, to “such Nabokovian enemies as McCarthyism,” Vera Nabokov wrote to the publisher conveying her husband’s insistence that the reference be removed.20 But again, even if the hapless jacket-copy writer might be said to traduce Nabokov by enlisting his work in straightforward political advocacy, there is an element of truth: Nabokov’s systematic structuring of his works, and his discourse about his work, around such denials, is enmeshed with the national debate about McCarthy’s tactics. Pnin is not an enemy of McCarthyism; but it does adopt, as literary strategy, the logic of the password which began to play out in the evolution of Fifth Amendment law.

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182  Jeffrey Clapp Where Bend Sinister directly attacks the tyranny of ideologues, the ­cruelties of Pnin are insidious and personal. Still, the two novels are deeply interrelated, and they begin similarly, by trapping their protagonists in transit. Bend Sinister begins with a dangerous encounter with armed soldiers, and the initial crisis in Pnin develops, as the narrator smugly states, because “Professor Pnin was on the wrong train.”21 After disembarking, Pnin waits for and boards a bus, only to discover that he has left his luggage behind. Running hopelessly late, Pnin lurches off the bus and collapses on a park bench. There Pnin experiences an attack, a swoon, which strongly recalls Krug’s “moment of clarity”: [Pnin] was less strong than his powerfully puffed-out chest might imply. … He found himself in a damp, green, purplish park … that eerie feeling, that tingle of unreality overpowered him completely. Was it something he had eaten? That pickle with the ham? Was it a ­mysterious disease that none of his doctors had yet detected? My friend wondered, and I wonder, too. (P, 20) Again, a moment of despair is reread as a detachment from reality; again, that detachment becomes an opportunity for the narrative persona to move across diegetic levels. More generally, in Pnin, the apocalyptic presentation of Bend Sinister’s anthropomorphic deity is subjected to a diminution that is also a dissemination. There is no torture—but the narrator steadily denigrates Pnin throughout the book. And frequently, the juxtaposition of narrative omniscience with an increasingly intradiegic narrator, points at the fact that the narrator’s sarcastic descriptions of Pnin’s thoughts can be little more than a series of slurs. The novel is driven forward by the narrator’s inhospitable reading of Pnin himself, and readers increasingly strain to imagine what parts of Pnin’s actual personality shine through the narrator’s scurrilous representations.22 In some ways, the persecution of Pnin by the narrator resembles ­Humbert’s casually devastating cruelty toward Dolores Haze, and in Pnin it is continually possible to discern, as Richard Rorty did in Lolita, that ­Nabokov’s focus on cruelty has both political and ethical valences.23 But observing that double register does not necessarily help us understand how or why Nabokov transitioned from Bend Sinister, set in a disciplinary society, to books like Pnin. The clearest clue is Nabokov’s use of the logic of the password to draw the book to its climax. In the same way that Krug comes into increasingly direct conflict with Paduk, Pnin and the narrator draw nearer and nearer to one another. First the narrator visits the town in which Pnin lives; then he displaces Pnin from his job. In the last chapter of the book, we learn that he was Pnin’s fiancé’s lover. And above all, we learn that the narrator is named “Vladimir Vladimirovich.”24 Who might this be? The book offers us a chain of evidence that looks very damning. We learn that some of the Russian émigrés in the novel know the

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Safe from His Readers  183 narrator as a novelist who had published under the name “V. Sirin” while in Europe (P, 117). This was Nabokov’s nom de plume. Then we learn that the narrator grew up on an estate outside St. Petersburg and was the son of a wealthy liberal. So Nabokov. Another émigré remarks to Pnin, apropos of a few butterflies they notice: “Pity Vladimir Vladimirovich is not here. He would have told us all about these enchanting insects” (P, 128). The butterflies the narrator describes are of a species that Nabokov himself discovered, named, and categorized in his entomological work.25 Such items, among many others, conspire to establish that the more links in the chain we have, the more it will appear that if we learned the family name of Vladimir Vladimirovich, Nabokov’s full name would appear in Pnin. But Pnin is not Bend Sinister and it does not contain a signature. Instead, the narrator’s name remains a password we do not know, a cipher that we cannot crack, no matter how much evidence the novel accrues. At the same time, he is not a god: The novel’s final movement is to release Pnin from the narrator’s clutches. Earlier, the narrator remarked that, “Some people—and I am one of them—hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm. Doom should not jam” (P, 25–26). Yet on the final page of Pnin, the good professor escapes, evading a meeting with the narrator, who is sure to humiliate him: … everything surged forward—truck one, Pnin, truck two. From where I stood I watched them recede … the little sedan boldly swung past the front truck and, free at last, spurted up the shining road, which one could make out narrowing to a thread of gold in the soft mist where hill after hill made beauty of distance, and where there was simply no saying what miracle might happen. (P, 191) This ending distinguishes Pnin from the initial plan Nabokov described in a letter, in which “I, V.N., arrive in person,” and Pnin immediately dies.26 That plan would have much more directly reproduced Bend Sinister. Instead, this book relents, and it is difficult to render in the abstract the glee that Pnin’s escape from Vladimir Vladimirovich offers to the reader. But a similar sensation must have been available, even if only behind closed doors, when US political minorities, in the early years of the Cold War, managed to defend themselves against interpretation—­perhaps particularly when they did so on the narrowest, most procedural, and most tendentious grounds.

Common Sense as Inhospitality The connection that we develop between the narrator and Nabokov in reading Pnin is the kind of connection one makes when a suspect pleads the Fifth. In a certain sense, these are inevitable connections, what Sidney Hook called “common sense.” It is interesting to remember, then, that Nabokov carried on a career-long diatribe against the concept of common sense.

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184  Jeffrey Clapp The key expression of Nabokov’s ideas on the subject are in a lecture, first given in 1941, but offered on many subsequent occasions, called “The Art of ­Literature and Commonsense,” in which Nabokov argues that the two items in his title are antithetical. “Common sense,” Nabokov claims, is the worst of human thought, the kind of thinking that would, given some set of circumstances, according to some logic, put to death anybody in the lecture hall.27 Ultimately, common sense comprises all of humanity’s worst impulses—in particular, its drive toward violence and cruelty. The appropriate attitude, therefore, is, as Nabokov says in the lecture’s final sentences, that as the author begins to write in his comfortable house, the monster of commonsense, headed for the front door, must be shot dead.28 Thus, we are not authorized to think of Nabokov as the narrator, and in fact the narrator never could be Nabokov. The counterdiscourse Nabokov works out in Pnin reveals a password; the book claims the Fifth. From this point of view, securitization, as the act of making reasonable extrapolations from the known to the unknown, comes to represent a singular danger, just as it does for Deleuze, who tells us that the “coils of the serpent” of security are just as ominous as the dead-ends to which discipline would confine us.29 But Nabokov’s figure, rejecting the monster of grim common sense “as he lumbers up the steps,” of the author’s home, implies another logic at work as well: The rejection of inhospitality.30 As Nabokov illustrates throughout Pnin, the kinds of interpretation on offer by security officials like M ­ cCarthy, and by the narrator, suggest that inhospitality is another name for “­common-sense” securitization. Endlessly goaded by humiliation and discomfort, Pnin moves from one rented room to another—for eight years, we learn, Pnin has moved “about every semester” for “one reason or another, mainly sonic”(P, 62). In one room Pnin occupies, workers with jackhammers are said to be drilling in “Brainpan Street, Pningrad” (P, 63). In another, the two brothers who share the room below make it impossible for Pnin to sleep; one of them is a “melancholy wheezer,” and the other snores with “a rattle at the end of each exhalation” (P, 110). When Pnin attempts to lodge in the house of some of his colleagues, he finds that “it blows from the floor, it blows from the walls” (P, 36). On his first night in that room, the Clements host a gathering, inviting one Jack Cockerell, who upon hearing that Pnin now resides upstairs, performs his notorious imitation of Pnin. Shortly, Pnin comes downstairs, ostensibly to complain of the drafty room; but when he also mentions “sonic disturbance. … I hear every, every sound from downstairs, but now it is not the place to discuss it, I think” (P, 37), it becomes clear that Pnin has overheard Cockerell. Where in Bend Sinister, it seems that “the police state, or communism, is trying to turn the globe into five million square miles of terror, and stupidity, and barbed wire,” in Pnin it is everyday inhospitality that abounds.31 But not only does inhospitality plague Pnin’s days; in fact, Pnin suffers from one of the key problems in the theory of hospitality: The problem of the parasite. The parasite is the uninvited guest, he who passes from the outside

Safe from His Readers  185

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to within, and then dwells there, unwanted but increasingly intrinsic to, or indivisible from, the host.32 Just as noise and breeze corrode Pnin’s ability to be at home with himself, so does the narrator take up uninvited residence within Pnin’s very body: Looking at Pnin’s chest X-ray, doctors try in vain to puzzle out what causes the “shadow behind his heart” (P, 126). Like the wind, and like the noise in Pnin’s homes, Pnin cannot maintain his borders: I do not know if it has ever been noted before that one of the main characteristics of life is discreteness. … The sensation poor Pnin experienced was something very like [death,] that divestment, that communion. He felt porous and pregnable. … [he] was one of those singular and unfortunate people who regard their heart … with a queasy dread, a nervous repulsion, a sick hate, as if it were some strong slimy untouchable monster that one has to be parasitized with, alas. (P, 20) Unlike Krug, the problem with Pnin is not that he is precisely as real (or as unreal) as the diegetic world in which he lives. Instead, Pnin’s problem is that he is permeable, that he can be opened to the environment. This is the key idea of hospitality: Openness to the world. But in the era of securitization, a tiny opening, the release of a single password, gives a waiver that leads to a chain of evidence, so that ­openness seems tantamount to death—a loss of discreteness so complete that the ­borders of the self become indiscernible. Pnin seems to exemplify what Deleuze describes as the typical subject within the logic of securitization: The “dividual,” who, rather than being held responsible for maintaining wholeness, is instead helplessly parasitized by multiple knowledges.33 At this point, it becomes more and more apparent how the discourses of security and those of hospitality cross and interpenetrate. For just as Pnin is disaggregated into data, along lines set by Foucault’s analysis of security, so, in terms first set by Derridean deconstruction, Pnin is becoming a text, invaded by a swarm of interpretations.34 Pnin’s plight sheds light on the current debate about surveillance, in which security agencies and their corporate allies have adopted a recognizably humanist argument: That information about one’s whereabouts, and the details of one’s contacts or purchases could never really amount to knowledge of the real person—that data is not the self, so that intensifications in surveillance and security do not really matter.35 In an extremely early phase, Pnin explores these questions, not from outside their logics or assumptions, but from within: just as Pnin is subjected to the narrator’s interpretations and extrapolations, so are readers the interpreters and extrapolaters regarding the narrator’s identity. It is common in Nabokov criticism to use terms like puzzle, or game, or even mystery, or gnosis, to describe the form of novels like Bend Sinister or Pnin.36 And when Nabokov depicts the author as a kind of magician who must defend against the inhospitality of common sense, such figures seem merited. But as I hope to have suggested, Pnin, unlike Bend Sinister, does

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186  Jeffrey Clapp not resort to the god from the machine, or to any other magical intervention that transposes a logic from one world into another. Instead, Pnin relies quite directly on the now-commonplace logic of the password. Even if it seems to be “common sense,” there is no way to reason from Vladimir Vladimirovich’s presence in this book, to that of Nabokov; in a way, the more information that is invoked about Nabokov within the novel, the greater the accent on the line that divides Nabokov from the work. From this vantage point, Nabokov’s narrative inhospitality is a security system, one that works from within the same logic that defendants used to avoid being read by Joseph McCarthy.

Notes 1. See Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism. 2. The phrase “privilege against self-incrimination” is regularly used in legal discourse but does not actually appear in the Fifth Amendment to the US ­ ­Constitution, where the relevant clause reads “No person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” 3. Other book-length contributions to the debate include Chafee, The B ­ lessings of Liberty (1954); Taylor, Grand Inquest: The Story of Congressional ­Investigations (1955); Mayers, Shall We Amend the Fifth Amendment? (1959); Rogge, The First and the Fifth (1960); and essays in Buckley, ed., The Committee and Its Critics (1962). 4. In 1957, the Gallup polling organization released the results of its inquiry into feelings about the Fifth Amendment. Seventy-one percent of respondents believed that the claim of the privilege indicated guilt, 20 percent that it did not. See Mayers, Shall We Amend, 21. 5. Lolita was published in Europe in 1955 in a small edition, but was rejected by many US publishers until, after an obscenity trial– it appeared in 1959. 6. See Piette, The Literary Cold War: 1945 to Vietnam. Although Dana ­Dragunoiu’s important Vladimir Nabokov and the Politics of Liberalism (2011) generally looks to revise the “predominantly Americanist terms in which Nabokov’s politics have been examined,” she also shows that Lolita “reflects Nabokov’s interest in the intellectual predicaments made visible by the Communist prosecutions at the height of the Cold War.” See Dragunoiu, Vladimir Nabokov, 7, 131. 7. Nabokov worked at Harvard and Cornell during on-campus “loyalty” investigations and protests thereof, but maintained his distance. In fact, Nabokov got to know the FBI agent assigned to the Cornell campus and thought that his son Dmitri might enjoy such a job. See Boyd, Vladimir Nabokov, 186. In general, see Ellen Schrecker, No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities. 8. See Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, 1–86. 9. Even though for Foucault the logic of security was already becoming visible in European cities in the eighteenth century, scholars like J. Peter Burgess have recently emphasized the extent to which security rose to “widespread circulation in the mid-twentieth century.” Foucault has also indicated that, in concert with neo-liberalism, discourses of security and danger became prominent in the years following World War II. See Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, 6; Burgess, The Ethical Subject of Security, 1; Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, 65–67. 10. Deleuze, “Postscript,” 5.

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Safe from His Readers  187 11. The (purported) collapses of signature are the site of one of Jacques Derrida’s most extensive acts of deconstruction, performed across his debate with John Searle. See Derrida, Limited Inc. 12. Among many others, Burgess defines security in this way: “Security concerns precisely what we do not know. Its entire rationality, politics, and normativity revolve around just this epistemological aberration: Security is by nature a relation to what is unknowable.” See Burgess, The Ethical Subject of Security, 2. 13. Nabokov, Bend Sinister, 14. Hereafter cited as BS in the text. 14. In a central piece of characterization, Nabokov makes Paduk’s father the inventor of the “padograph,” a typewriter that produces a facsimile of one’s own handwriting (BS, 61). Paduk’s personal padograph includes special keys to accommodate his habit of making blots and messes on the page. 15. Schrecker, The Age of McCarthyism, 67. 16. In these “Smith Act Trials,” the prosecution successfully argued, by quoting Marx and Lenin, that CPUSA membership was evidence of intent to overthrow the government. These convictions were upheld by the US Supreme Court in Dennis v. United States in 1951. For a discussion putting Lolita in dialogue with the issues in Dennis, see Dragunoiu, Vladimir Nabokov, 131–136. 17. Quoted in Taylor, Grand Inquest, 195. 18. Quoted in Mayers, Shall We Amend, 234. 19. At first, she refused on principle because she did not want to become an informer. In Naming Names (1980), Victor Navasky argued that investigators’ attempts to force witnesses to “name names” constituted a ritual shaming that violated deeply held beliefs about community and friendship and resulted in informal sanctions and blacklisting that lasted for decades. 20. See Vladimir Nabokov, Selected Letters, 495–496. 21. Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin, 8. Hereafter cited as P in the text. 22. For a summary of how critics have handled the question of whom to believe about what in Pnin, see Diment, Pniniad, 54–56. 23. Rorty, Contingency, Irony, Solidarity, 141ff. 24. That this Vladimir Vladimirovich is the narrator is generally but not universally accepted (See Diment, Pniniad, 49–50). 25. Barabtarlo, Phantom of Fact, 208. 26. Quoted in Barabtarlo, Phantom of Fact, 13. 27. Nabokov, Lectures on Literature, 372. 28. Ibid., 380. 29. Deleuze, “Postscript,” 7. 30. Nabokov, Lectures on Literature, 380. 31. Ibid., 373. 32. See Still, Derrida on Hospitality, 83–68, 263–265. 33. Deleuze, “Postscript,” 5–7. Note, however, that this impression of Pnin’s ultimate dispersal is the narrator’s aggressively presented illusion. Pnin can in fact welcome friends into his life, precisely by exchanging “a few rapid passwords— allusions, intonations, impossible to render in a foreign language,” a passage that Dana Dragunoiu reads as a suggestion that Nabokov’s work should not be reduced to a US political context. See Dragunoiu, Vladimir Nabokov, 13. Although my reading might seem to move in that direction, it should be quite apparent that the transition from discipline to security, from the signature to the password, is not by any means a merely national development.

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188  Jeffrey Clapp 34. See Miller, “The Critic as Host.” 35. US President Barack Obama has made this argument frequently. See, for example, “Transcript: Obama’s Remarks on NSA Controversy,” The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2013, accessed April 22, 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/ washwire/2013/06/07/transcript-what-obama-said-on-nsa-controversy. 36. For example, the most frequently cited book in Nabokov criticism, D. Barton Johnson’s Worlds in Regression: Some Novels of Vladimir Nabokov (1985), uses several of these terms. Not dissimilar is a recent work by David S. Rutledge, Nabokov’s Permanent Mystery: The Expression of Metaphysics in His Work (2011), which begins from the premise that Nabokov’s “readers should avoid the complacency of an answer.”

Bibliography Barabtarlo, Gennedy. Phantom of Fact: A Guide to Nabokov’s Pnin. Ann Arbor, MI: Ardis, 1989. Boyd, Brian. Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years. Princeton, NJ: Princeton ­University Press, 1991. Buckley, William F., ed. The Committee and Its Critics. New York: Putnam, 1962. Burgess, J. Peter. The Ethical Subject of Security: Geopolitical Reason and the Threat Against Europe. Oxon, UK: Routledge, 2011. Chafee, Zachariah. The Blessings of Liberty. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1954. Deleuze, Gilles. “Postscript on the Societies of Control.” October 59 (1992): 3–7. Derrida, Jacques. Limited Inc. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Diment, Gayla. Pniniad: Vladimir Nabokov and Marc Szeftel. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997. Dragunoiu, Dana. Vladimir Nabokov and the Poetics of Liberalism. Evanston, IL:Northwestern University Press, 2011. Foucault, Michel. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–1978. Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–1978. Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Griswold, Erwin. The Fifth Amendment Today. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955. Hook, Sidney. Common Sense and the Fifth Amendment. 1957. Reprint, Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1963. Johnson, D. Barton. Worlds in Regression: Some Novels of Vladimir Nabokov. Ann Arbor, MI: Ardis, 1985. Mayers, Lewis. Shall We Amend the Fifth Amendment? New York: Harper, 1959. Miller, J. Hillis. “The Critic as Host.” Critical Inquiry 3, no. 3  (Spring 1977): 439–447. Nabokov, Vladimir. Pnin. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1957. Nabokov, Vladimir. Bend Sinister. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life, 1963. Nabokov, Vladimir. Lectures on Literature. Edited by Fredson Bowers. London: ­Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980.

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Safe from His Readers  189 Nabokov, Vladimir. Reply to My Critics.” In Strong Opinions. New York: Vintage, 1990. Nabokov, Vladimir. Selected Letters 1940–1977. Edited by Dmitri Nabokov and Matthew J. Bruccoli. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990. Navasky, Victor. Naming Names. New York: Viking Press, 1980. Piette, Adam. The Literary Cold War: 1945 to Vietnam. Edinburgh: Edinburgh ­University Press, 2009. Rogge, O. John. The First and the Fifth. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1960. Rorty, Richard. Contingency, Irony, Solidary. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Rutledge, David S. Nabokov’s Permanent Mystery: The Expression of Metaphysics in His Work. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2011. Schrecker, Ellen. No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism and the Universities. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Palgrave, 2002. Still, Judith. Derrida on Hospitality. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2012. Taylor, Telford. Grand Inquest: The Story of Congressional Investigations. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955.

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13 Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host? Cross-Cultural Hospitality and Security Anxieties in Mohsin Hamid’s Novel of Uncertainty Michael Perfect Inviting, receiving, asylum, lodging, go by way of the language or the address to the other. … Nevertheless, we have come to wonder whether absolute, hyperbolical, unconditional hospitality doesn’t consist in suspending language, a particular determinate language, and even the address to the other. Shouldn’t we also submit to a sort of holding back of the temptation to ask the other who he is, what [his] name is, where he comes from, etc.? —Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality

Mohsin Hamid’s second novel has been lauded as an exceptional work in the emergent canon of “(post–)9/11 literature” and has been particularly celebrated for interrogating rather than propagating the kind of reductive, binary thinking on which much political, cultural, and indeed literary discourse on 9/11 and its aftermath has often been premised. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) has been described as a novel that “forces readers to think about what lies behind the totalizing categories of East and West, ‘Them and Us’ and so on—those categories continuously insisted upon in ‘war on terror’ [sic] discourse”;1 as a novel that “manages … to escape the Manichean tone that has sometimes defined post–9/11 Western political discourse”;2 as “a corrective to constructions of terror that are centralized around 9/11 and sees [sic] citizens of the west only as victims on the receiving end of terror.”3 In the place of such binaries, the novel purportedly offers “a unique and alternative discourse to the more commonly found expositions on contemporary terrorism and Islam.”4 The novel was an international bestseller, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, has been adapted for the big screen, is becoming a commonplace title on academic syllabi, and—perhaps most notably—has also been selected by major universities in both the United States and Britain for distribution to all of their incoming undergraduates. As well as taking as its subject matter cross-cultural encounters and cross-cultural (mis)understanding in a world that is (apparently) increasingly globalized yet increasingly polarized, The Reluctant Fundamentalist has been deemed a novel that can facilitate crosscultural understanding. This chapter explores hospitality and security in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, arguing that the act of personal hospitality that frames the novel’s

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Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host?  191 narrative is used as a means of exploring hospitality and (in)security in a much broader, geopolitical context. If, as so many critics have argued, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a novel that encourages greater cross-cultural understanding, it also seems to warn that acts of cross-cultural hospitality often serve to reentrench, rather than challenge, binaries between “self” and “other.” For Gideon Baker, and indeed for Derrida, “we must always think beyond hospitality as a pact with certain deserving foreigners toward that unconditional or absolute law of hospitality without which we would lack the concept of hospitality itself and be unable to decide on any laws to condition hospitality” (emphasis in the original).5 While “think[ing …] toward” such an unconditional (and impossible) hospitality may be a prerequisite for the existence of hospitality itself, in Hamid’s novel acts that seemingly approach such an “unconditional” or “absolute” hospitality are all the more suspicious and threatening. Finally, it is argued that The ­Reluctant Fundamentalist portrays securitization in the early twenty-first century as being more likely to lead to violence than to the state of greater safety that is supposedly its aim, and that the novel questions the degree to which cross-cultural hospitality offers an alternative to the violence and threats of violence associated with security anxieties.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist’s Changez: A Threateningly Impeccable Host? Hamid’s novel takes the form of a dramatic monologue spoken by a young, highly articulate Pakistani man called Changez. In the opening words of the novel, he offers his “services” to an unnamed American whom he finds wandering in the Anarkali bazaar in Lahore: Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America. I noticed that you were looking for something; more than looking, in fact you seemed to be on a mission, and since I am both a native of this city and a speaker of your language, I thought I might offer you my services.6 (Emphasis in the original.) The unnamed American serves throughout the novel as auditor to Changez’s dramatic monologue. The American is described as a “silent and silenced interlocutor,”7 and his verbal and nonverbal reactions to Changez’s ­narrative are only registered in the novel at all in the form of Changez’s comments on and responses to them. Changez soon takes the American to his favorite local establishment, and while the two drink tea (and, later, dine) together, Changez recounts the story of his adult life, including his migration to, and return from, America. Changez appears to be at great pains to make the unnamed American feel welcome and relaxed. He repeatedly tells him not to be frightened and not to worry—he does so three times in the first chapter alone (TRF, 1, 6, 12–13)—and seems determined to act as the perfect host. He

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192  Michael Perfect is, for instance, careful to ensure that the American is well fed and watered: “Do try these sticky, orange sweets—jalebis—but be ­careful, they are hot!” (13); “I see you have finished yours [your tea]. Allow me to pour you another cup” (17); “I can assure you, our meal will be anything but ­tasteless” (122). As well as giving the American recommendations in ­relation to Pakistani cuisine, Changez also gives him more general ­recommendations: “You have not been to Rhodes? You must go” (26). Changez is upset when his “guest is [made] uncomfortable” by a power cut (69) and expresses disappointment that he cannot be an even better host than their present circumstances allow: “I would offer you a whiskey to settle your nerves, if only I could” (69). A little less than halfway through the novel, Changez expresses his concern that, by speaking too much, he has been “negligent in [his] duties as a host”; he states his desire to “hear more of you [the ­American]: what brings you to Lahore, what company you work for, et cetera, et cetera” (87, emphasis in the original). The American,  however, seems unwilling to “reveal [his] purpose” for visiting Lahore to Changez, who says that he “will not insist” (88, emphasis in the original), and ­therefore continues with his monologue and, indeed, with his (seemingly impeccable) hosting. Given that Changez is so eager to extend his hospitality to the American despite not knowing who he is, what his job is, or why he is in Lahore, it would appear that Changez’s hospitality toward the American is so great as to approach what Derrida—as indicated in the chapter-opening e­ pigraph— might term an “absolute, hyperbolical, unconditional hospitality.”8 Even if Changez does not quite “submit to a … holding back of the temptation to ask the other who he is, what [his] name is, where he comes from, etc.,”9 when he finds his interlocutor reluctant to answer such questions, he continues to extend his hospitality regardless. Baker identifies “hyperbolic hosting” in Ancient Greece as being related to “theoxeny, the fear that the guest may be a god, testing the host’s hospitality.”10 Although Changez certainly does not worry that his American guest may be a god in disguise, his hospitality does somewhat resemble the theoxeny of Ancient Greece in its hyperbolism. Indeed, if Changez’s hospitality is not, in Derrida’s words, an “unconditional hospitality,” its only condition seems to be that the auditor is American; apparently, his nationality alone is enough to warrant Changez treating him like the proverbial king. This would, indeed, seem to substantiate Changez’s claim in the first paragraph of the novel that he is very much a “lover of America.” The American’s identity and purpose are uncertain both to the reader and, apparently, to Changez, and yet that uncertainty does not seem to preclude the possibility of cross-cultural hospitality. ­Moreover, as Sarah Ilott notes, Changez’s use of the second person is discomforting: it “uncomfortably conflates the singular ‘you’ (the American) with the plural ‘you’, which constructs readers of the narrative as sympathetic to the ­American’s perspective.”11 The American often “appear[s] impolite and ungrateful,” which means that “the foil created for the reader is an uncomfortable one.”12 Notably, Changez is so hospitable toward his (seemingly

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Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host?  193 rather rude) American interlocutor as to appear more at ease with him than might we, the readers who are aligned with him through Changez’s “you.” As we read the opening stages of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, we might wonder whether cross-cultural hospitality is to be offered up by Hamid’s novel as the key to greater cross-cultural understanding and security. Unfailing and impeccable though it may be, Changez’s hospitality actually does anything but allay the sense of anxiety that pervades the narrative. Rather, as Changez becomes ever-more hospitable—over the course of his encounter with his unnamed guest, Changez provides him with tea and snacks, invites him to dine with him, pays the entire bill himself, and then proceeds to walk the American to his hotel—a sense of impending danger and violence gradually intensifies. Changez thus takes his place in a long literary tradition of impeccable but threatening—or, perhaps, threateningly impeccable—hosts, from Circe in Homer’s The Odyssey to the e­ ponymous Count in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). Like these texts and many others, The Reluctant Fundamentalist suggests that impeccable hospitality can be used to conceal ulterior motives. However, what distinguishes The Reluctant Fundamentalist and its narrator/protagonist from their literary predecessors is the uncertainty that remains at the end of the novel. Much as Homer leaves us in no doubt that Circe is a highly manipulative and dangerous witch, Stoker leaves us in no doubt that Dracula is a murderous, blood-sucking member of the undead. The revelation of the true motives of these seemingly impeccable hosts constitutes a major aspect of the respective narratives. In The Reluctant Fundamentalist, however, such a revelation is never reached; Changez’s true motives—and those of his interlocutor— remain tantalizingly uncertain.

(Un)certainty, (In)security, and Risk Calculation in The Reluctant Fundamentalist The Reluctant Fundamentalist uses narrative uncertainty both to create a sense of insecurity that it never resolves and to explore what we might mean by “security.” Drawing on Michel Foucault’s notion—expounded in his 1978 lectures—of the “space of security” as referring “to the temporal and the uncertain” (emphasis added),13 J. Peter Burgess argues that the concept of security “mediates, structures and regulates forms of uncertainty that we consider increasingly inescapable, unavoidable, or inevitable in our lives” and that, paradoxically, the “discourse of security makes uncertainty an incessant c­ ertainty.”14 In something of a reversal of this configuration, and in strikingly similar language, Burgess later asserts that “it is uncertainty that enables, structures and regulates security” (emphasis in the original).15 For Burgess, then, security and uncertainty exist interdependently, each one shaping, structuring, and regulating the other. Commenting on the relationship between the apparent opposites security and insecurity, Burgess conceives of these categories as mutually constitutive rather than mutually exclusive. He

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describes security itself as “the fluctuation of the experience of insecurity/ security,” and the relationship between security and insecurity as dialectical: Through a kind of dialectical logic, security is the absence of insecurity, which is nonetheless present in its absence. Security is only ­possible through the thought of insecurity, through the preparation for what is not yet the case, but rather what could be the case. … Security has far less to do with what is known than with what is unknown.16 (Emphasis in the original.) Uncertainty, insecurity, and the unknown, then, are central to and constitutive of “security.” Commenting on contemporary security practices and discourse, Burgess identifies a “rise in the concept of risk” (emphasis in the original) and argues that risk itself “is the new culture of security” (emphasis added).17 Louise Amoore analyzes what Burgess terms the “rise in the concept of risk” in more detail, identifying “derivative” forms of risk calculation in contemporary security practices that bear strong (and troubling) resemblances to financial derivatives: The derivative forms of risk calculation that are emerging in contemporary security practice share important affinities with the financial derivative. … Indifferent to the contingent biographies that actually make up the underlying data, risk in its derivative form is not centred on who we are, nor even what our data say about us, but on what can be imagined and inferred about who we might be—on our very proclivities and potentialities.18 For Amoore, this is one of the most alarming developments in contemporary security practice and discourse. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is open in its portrayal of such practices. Flying from Manila (where he has been on a business trip) to his home in New York shortly after 9/11, Changez finds that he is treated very differently from his white colleagues. In the airport in Manila, he is “escorted by armed guards into a room where [he is] made to strip to his boxer shorts” (TRF, 85). On the plane itself, he is “aware of being under suspicion” (85), and upon arrival in New York he is swiftly detained by the immigration authorities. When asked about the purpose of his “trip” to the United States, Changez replies that he lives there, to which the immigration official offers the ­following retort: “That is not what I asked you, sir. … What is the ­purpose of your trip to the United States?” (86, emphasis in the o ­ riginal). His ­biography—his living in New York, for instance—suddenly ­“contingent,” Changez is perceived not as a human being but as a series of data points from which it might be inferred (wrongly) that he may represent a potential threat. However, in The Reluctant Fundamentalist it is not only immigration authorities and airport security guards who are engaged in the kinds of practices

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Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host?  195 described by Amoore. Rather, Changez and his American interlocutor both seem to be engaged in an attempt to use a series of data points about the other to infer the degree to which he (the other) represents a potential risk. Despite ostensibly being strangers, they seem to have prior knowledge of each other; the American, for instance, is able to “guess” that Changez went to Princeton (TRF, 3), and at one point Changez tells him “we have not met before, and yet you seem to know at least something about me” (86). In turn, Changez seems able to infer a great deal about the American from very few prompts. Judging by the frequency with which Changez has to reassure him, the American is clearly ill at ease (not least because of their waiter, who seems to trouble him greatly; on no fewer than five occasions, Changez registers the American’s sense of anxiety about their waiter as an ominous, threatening presence (6, 123, 175, 193, 208–209)). Changez makes ominous references to predators, prey, and hunting (35, 69, 72, 115, 140), to the poisoning of food (13, 139), and even to carrying out “the bloodiest of tasks” (157). Changez also comments more than once on his companion’s unusual mobile phone—which, he suspects, is “capable of communicating via satellite” (34)—and, as well as establishing that the American has been involved in armed conflict in the past (147), suggests that he looks as if he might even be armed at present (158). Somewhat paradoxically, although the sense of uncertainty that pervades the encounter between the two men intensifies, what becomes particularly disconcerting is the sense that, in fact, one or even both of the men may feel certain that they know who the other is, what their “purpose” is, and what must be done with them. Although the novel builds to a satisfying climax, its ending is far from conclusive and readers are left to make significant interpretive decisions. Indeed, readers must decide for themselves—based on limited, insufficient data—whether or not the American with whom they have been conflated is in fact an assassin sent to kill Changez, and whether Changez intends to kill the American because he believes him to be an assassin. Thus, the novel not only portrays but also stages the kinds of risk calculations described by Amoore.

“I wondered what manner of host would sally forth from so grand a castle”: Changez as Guest As he hosts his unnamed American guest, Changez tells him the story of how he was “hosted” by America itself. After graduating from Princeton and securing a job at an elite Manhattan valuations firm called U ­ nderwood ­Samson, Changez began to make a life for himself as a New Yorker; ­crucially, at this point he did not perceive himself as a “guest” who was being “hosted.” While he stresses that in his “four and a half years” in America—nearly four of which were spent at Princeton—he was “never an American,” he claims that he “was immediately a New Yorker” (TRF, 37, emphasis in the original). Changez not only felt but, apparently, also appeared very much at home in New York. He tells us that on public transport his skin tone “would typically fall in the middle of the color spectrum” and that on “street corners,

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196  Michael Perfect tourists would ask [him] for directions.” Even now, he comments, New York “still occupies a place of great fondness in [his] heart” (37). Significantly, Changez’s apparent integration into New York—that is, his supposedly becoming a resident there as opposed to only a guest—occurs simultaneously with, and largely corresponds to, his being taught to think and to evaluate according to a single, unifying principle. Describing his training at Underwood Samson, Changez states that “[m]aximum return was the maxim to which we returned, time and time again. We learned to … apply ourselves single-mindedly to the achievement of that objective” (TRF,  41). Later in the novel, Changez reveals that “focus on the fundamentals” was “Underwood Samson’s guiding principle” (112). Apparently very adept at applying himself single-mindedly to the pursuit of maximum return, Changez comments that he “stood out from the pack” (46) during his training and that he was even conscious of some “advantage conferred upon [him] by [his] foreignness” (47), an advantage that he still cannot explain but on which he sought to capitalize. Changez also seeks to capitalize on his “foreignness” in his pursuit of Erica, an American girl who possesses, in Changez’s words, “an uncommon magnetism” (24, emphasis in the original), and yet “some part” of her is “out of reach” (24–25). It transpires that Erica is still mourning the death of her former boyfriend Chris. She tells Changez when they first meet that he “give[s] off this strong sense of home” (22), and he is conscious of factors that mark him as different from his American peers—such as the “ease with which they parted with money” (23), their “self-righteousness in dealing with those whom they had paid for a service” (23), and their ­“conducting themselves in the world as though they were its ruling class” (24)—­making Erica notice him. Changez’s foreignness thus seems to give him an advantage in his romantic, as well as his professional, pursuits. Preparing to meet ­Erica’s wealthy parents for the first time, he agonizes over what to wear before finally settling on jeans and a kurta, and claims that it was “a ­testament to the open-mindedness and—that overused word—­cosmopolitan nature of New York in those days that [he] felt comfortable on the subway in this attire” (55, emphasis in the original). Changez wryly implies here that the city is, in the moment of the novel’s dramatic present, less cosmopolitan than it once was. Indeed, Changez fondly recalls the only reaction to his wearing a kurta on the subway being an “invitational smile” (55) from a man who he assumes is gay. Notably, Changez choosing to emphasize his “South Asianness” here through his attire results not in his encountering rejection or hostility but, on the contrary, in a kind of invitation being extended to him (albeit one that he is not, as it happens, interested in taking up). A “young New Yorker with the city at [his] feet” (51), Changez senses that his ethnic identity makes him all the more desirable in New York (indeed, to his employers, to Erica, and to complete strangers). Understandably, then, during his time in pre-9/11 New York, Changez comes to feel that he is not being hosted by the city, but that he has succeeded in making it his home.

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There are moments when Changez questions his sense of New York as his home. In Manila, where he spends just under two months valuing a music business, a Filipino driver stares at Changez with “undisguised hostility” (TRF, 76) while their respective vehicles are stuck in traffic. Changez confusedly wonders why, but then looks at his colleague: I looked at him—at his fair hair and light eyes and, most of all, his oblivious immersion in the minutiae of our work—and thought, you are so foreign. I felt in that moment much closer to the Filipino driver than to him; I felt I was play-acting when in reality I ought to be making my way home, like the people on the street outside. (TRF, 77, emphasis in the original.) Away from New York, Changez has the sense here—brought about, notably, by an inhospitable look—of himself as “play-acting,” and the notion of bringing this play-acting to an end by “making [his] way home” seems to suggest that he feels he should be returning to Pakistan. In turn, the implication is that—for all his declarations of being “immediately a New Yorker”—on some level Changez already senses that New York is not in fact his “home.” Changez’s lingering doubts over his position and status in New York— that is, over whether he has succeeded in transcending the category of “guest” there—are brought into sharp relief following the events of 9/11. Changez confesses to his interlocutor that, on watching the destruction of the World Trade Center on television in his hotel room, his first reaction was to smile (TRF, 83). Changez himself notes that his American interlocutor’s “disgust is evident” (83) and hastens to point out that, while he watched the events of 9/11 unfold, his initial thoughts “were not with the victims of the attack,” but that he was “caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees” (83, emphasis in the original); he later refers to his initial response to the attacks as “inhumane” (90). While on the plane on the way to Manila—that is, before 9/11—Changez felt like “a veritable James Bond” (72), on his journey back to New York he is, as above, detained and humiliated in the airport in Manila, treated with suspicion on the flight itself, and rudely interrogated upon arriving in New York (where he is once again detained for “inspection” (86)). This journey makes Changez aware that he is very much perceived, and expected to perceive himself, as a guest. Changez attempts to continue with his life in New York unchanged but is increasingly conscious of his status as a guest there. He even imagines a “host” emerging from New York’s skyscrapers: “Gazing up at the soaring towers of the city, I wondered what manner of host would sally forth from so grand a castle” (TRF, 90). While a “grand … castle” metonymically evokes a monarch demanding loyalty and homage from subjects, “sally forth” is—with its military etymology—suggestive of a “host” emerging from the skyscrapers

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198  Michael Perfect only to attack. There is a slippage here between “host” as in one who offers hospitality and “host” in a military sense. Tellingly, Changez later uses the term “host” again: “the mighty host I had expected from your country was duly raised and dispatched—but homeward, towards my family in Pakistan” (106–107). Here, it would seem that America has ceased to be a “host” in the sense of one who offers hospitality to guests; instead, it has unleashed a “mighty host” of attacks, with the term “host” being ironically associated with hostility rather than hospitality. Indeed, the words “mighty host” often refer to angels, and the religious inflection here perhaps offers a wry allusion to the religious rhetoric frequently employed in the “War on Terror”. When America invades Afghanistan—Pakistan’s “neighbor” and “friend” and a “fellow Muslim nation” (113)—Changez’s response is to “tremble with fury” (114). Previously able to immerse himself in his work, the next day he finds that he cannot do so: “I found it difficult to concentrate on the pursuit—at which I was normally so capable—of ­fundamentals” (114). While Erica “disappear[s] into a powerful nostalgia” (TRF, 129, emphasis in the original), so too does America. Having “always thought of ­America as a nation that looked forward,” Changez is suddenly “struck by its determination to look back” (130–131, emphasis in the original). Expressing ­confusion over what it was that Americans were longing for during this period, Changez is left wondering if this seemingly “fictitious” America “contained a part for someone like [him]” (131). While, on the surface, Changez seems to imply that America underwent significant changes in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Anna Hartnell rightly observes that The Reluctant Fundamentalist “questions th[e] supposed break” between pre- and post-9/11 conceptions of ethnic diversity in America.19 Hartnell argues persuasively that the “novel’s implication seems to be that the chauvinistic and racially charged atmosphere it describes after 9/11 is merely an intensification of something that was already there before.”20 Nonetheless, in the wake of 9/11, Changez is suddenly hyper-aware of being perceived as “other,” as suspicious, as a potential threat; he is conscious of standing out where he previously seemed to blend in. In one particularly disconcerting episode, a stranger refers to him as “Fucking Arab” (TRF, 134). Changez characterizes his final months in New York as “a period of great uncertainty” but also questions whether “a sort of classical period … had ever existed at all” (TRF, 133, emphasis in the original). C ­ haracteristically, he tries to manage this “uncertainty” by immersing himself in his work with a greater ferocity than ever, and yet he finds that “even at U ­ nderwood Samson [he] could not entirely escape the growing importance of tribe” (133, emphasis in the original). As well as coming to realize that he is very much perceived as a guest rather than a resident, Changez also comes to understand that the hospitality that is being extended to him by ­America is entirely contingent on his agreeing to dedicate himself to ensuring his host nation’s financial security and, in a sense, to his becoming a fundamentalist.

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Financial Securities and Financial Fundamentalism While the United States’ attacks on Afghanistan mark the beginning of Changez’s inability to focus adequately on his work, two trips overseas radically change his understanding of that work and his relationship to it. The first is a visit to his family home in Pakistan. Changez tells his American interlocutor that, upon returning to Lahore, he initially felt “shamed” (TRF, 141) when he saw his family’s house, but that he soon became conscious of (and, indeed, felt shamed by) “the Americanness of [his] own gaze” (140). As Joseph Darda observes, Changez “consider[s] his childhood home as an American valuator might” and “cannot see it as one of many conditions sustaining his parents’ lives, only a building lacking in market value.”21 Realizing that his family home is “far from impoverished” and is, in fact, “rich with history,” Changez wonders how he “could ever have been so ungenerous—and so blind—to have thought otherwise” (TRF, 142). Here Changez becomes conscious of the degree to which, during his time in New York, he has been taught to evaluate things solely in financial terms, and it is of course no coincidence that he works for a valuation firm. The ­American “gaze” that Changez has acquired is defined precisely by its lack of generosity; indeed, he has been taught to look upon the world inhospitably. ­Moreover, in the sense that it is interested exclusively in profit, this “gaze” is that of a fundamentalist. The second overseas trip that alters Changez’s view of his work is a professional assignment in Valparaiso in Chile, where he is to help value a book publisher. Changez experiences something of an epiphany: I saw that in this constant striving to realize a financial future, no thought was given to the critical personal and political issues that affect one’s emotional present. In other words, my blinders were coming off, and I was dazzled and rendered immobile by the sudden broadening of my arc of vision. (TRF, 165) In realizing that he is involved in a “constant striving to realize a financial future”—one that seeks endlessly to calculate risk and maximize profit— Changez comes to understand that the sole purpose of his job is to ensure future financial security for an already-existing elite. Interestingly, the short section of the novel that is set in Chile is the only one in which we might consider Changez himself to be the subject of the novel’s playfully paradoxical title (paradoxical in the sense that, if “fundamentalist” is taken as a synonym for “zealot” or “fanatic”—as it commonly is in reductive, post–9/11 rhetoric—then one can hardly be a “reluctant fundamentalist”). Peter Morey argues that Changez “is never a religious fundamentalist.”22 Changez does, however, work for a company whose mantra is “focus on the fundamentals,” and for whom “the fundamentals” means, specifically, the pursuit of maximum profit (even the pluralization here is somewhat misleading, eliding the singularity of the company’s fundamentalism). Although Changez is certainly never a religious fundamentalist (he does not even seem to be a practicing

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200  Michael Perfect Muslim), when he takes a job at Underwood Samson he is indoctrinated into a form of fundamentalist free market capitalism in which everything is ceded to the pursuit of maximum profit. Having previously been enthusiastic about his professional task of “focusing on the fundamentals,” in Chile, Changez finds himself reluctant about it. It is at this specific stage in the novel, then, that we might consider Changez to be “the reluctant fundamentalist.” Amoore argues that “forms of economy offer forms of sovereignty a means to harness the productivity of possible futures and the capacity to reconcile openness, freedom, and mobility with the pursuit of security.”23 She later argues that new forms of securitization—such as the derivative risk form— are ­“concerned not with the pursuit of security per se, nor with finding a safer place, but rather with the capacity to keep things moving, to guarantee the securability of circulations of people, money, things, and ideas.”24 A ­ rguably, there is an ironic correspondence between the d ­ iscriminatory practices to which Changez is subjected in the name of (supposed) securitization—being detained, being interrogated, being viewed with suspicion, and so on—and the work that he does for a living, with each aspiring to secure the continued circulation of capital, commodities, and people. Moreover, in such “security”oriented systems, people become almost i­ndistinguishable from commodities. Changez himself is, he realizes, a c­ ommodity; he is valued precisely according to his ability to value. Changez openly repudiates the attacks on the World Trade Center, an event that is often perceived as a catastrophic failure or collapse of security, and as having ushered in a new age of securitization. H ­ owever, he seems to be sympathetic—as does the novel itself—to the notion that 9/11 did not mark a new age of securitization; that securitization practices and discourse are now, just as they were before the Towers fell, geared not toward ensuring greater human safety but, rather, toward ensuring the continued security of the very free trade of which the towers themselves were symbolic. Changez decides that his “days of focusing on the fundamentals [are] done” (TRF, 175); he refuses to continue his work with Underwood Samson in the knowledge that he will lose not only his job but also his visa. At this point in the novel, it is clearer than ever that Changez has only ever been a guest in New York/America, and that the hospitality that has been extended to him was always conditional. Ironically, at this point in the novel Changez ceases to be, rather than becomes, a/the “reluctant fundamentalist” (even if, paradoxically, he is now more likely to be viewed as a religious fundamentalist by those around him). Changez also finds that he is suddenly “struck by how traditional [an] empire” America is: Armed sentries manned the check post at which I sought entry; being of a suspect race I was quarantined and subjected to additional inspection; once admitted I hired a charioteer who belonged to a serf class lacking the requisite permissions to abide legally and [who was] forced therefore to accept work at lower pay; I myself was a form of indentured servant whose right to remain was dependent upon the continued benevolence of my employer. (TRF, 178)

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Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host?  201 Crucially, Changez comes to realize that the hospitality extended to him by America is entirely dependent on his agreeing to act as its “indentured servant.” He is only able to reside in “the empire” at all as long as he devotes himself to the furtherance of that empire’s financial security (indeed, to its “fundamentalism”). The hospitality that America extends to Changez is not indicative of its benevolence toward him—a term that Changez uses ­sardonically in the quote above—or of a commitment to fostering any kind of diversity. Rather, the hospitality that Changez has enjoyed in America— and his very enjoyment of it—ultimately demonstrates America’s sovereignty over him, as well as its ability to further exercise that sovereignty by excluding him at any time. Changez’s final evaluation of America is that the only value it places on him is in accordance with his ability and willingness to serve its needs as an “empire.”

The Ending of The Reluctant Fundamentalist: Hosts, Fundamentalists, Guns, and Business Cards After Underwood Samson promptly (and unsurprisingly) fires Changez, he discovers that Erica has disappeared “into a powerful nostalgia” (TRF, 129, emphasis in the original). She had, he says, made the decision “not to be part of [his] story; her own had proven too compelling” (189). However, one might rephrase this and say that Erica found no place for Changez in her story. As numerous critics have noted, Underwood Samson (the United States) and Erica (Am/Erica) serve in the novel as opposing symbols of the nation; while the former seems to represent corporate America’s endless pursuit of ever-increasing profit, the latter “seemingly represents a romantic strain in American nationalism that looks back to a European past.”25 ­Accordingly, Chris—who is described as having “an Old World appeal” (TRF, 30, emphasis in the original)—represents Europe as well as the Christianity that European immigrants brought to America (Changez even describes the love that Erica believes she shared with Chris as “a religion that would not accept me [Changez] as a convert” (129)). Erica’s self-destructive obsession with Chris, therefore, may serve as an allegory for the self-destructiveness of America’s nostalgic myths of its own exceptionalism.26 Having been unable to save Erica from her retreat into a romanticized, semi-mythical past, and unwilling to submit to Underwood Samson’s ruthlessly future-oriented free market principles, Changez is suddenly and definitively excluded from both of the novel’s symbolic manifestations of nation. After his symbolic exclusion comes his physical exclusion, and Changez tells his American interlocutor that, as he left the United States, he resolved to “stop” it: It seemed to me then—and to be honest, sir, seems to me still—that America was engaged only in posturing. As a society, you were unwilling to reflect upon the shared pain that united you with those who attacked you. You retreated into myths of your own difference,

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assumptions of your own superiority. And you acted out these beliefs on the stage of the world, so that the entire planet was rocked by the repercussions of your tantrums, not least my family, now facing war thousands of miles away. Such an America had to be stopped in the interests not only of the rest of humanity, but also in your own. I resolved to do so, as best as I could. (TRF, 190) Changez tells his interlocutor that he took a job as a university lecturer in Lahore and immediately became popular with his students, whom he encouraged to take part in protests against aggressive American foreign policy. When one of his students was arrested for “planning to assassinate a coordinator of your country’s effort to deliver development assistance to our [Pakistan’s] rural poor” (TRF, 206)—a plot that Changez insists he had no knowledge of—television news networks descended on his campus, and Changez became internationally infamous after “stat[ing] to them among other things that no country inflicts death so readily upon the inhabitants of other countries, frightens so many people so far away, as America” (207). Since then, he says, he has been warned that “America might react to [his] admittedly intemperate remarks by sending an emissary to intimidate [him] or worse” (207–208). As Changez walks his American guest to his hotel, the American becomes convinced that they are being followed by a number of men, one of whom is their waiter; reassuring the American that these men “mean [him] no harm” (208), Changez then warns him against making assumptions: “you should not imagine that all we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all undercover assassins” (208–209). The novel ends with the men continuing to close in on Changez and the American, and with the American reaching into his jacket. Noticing a “glint of metal” as he does so, Changez tells him—in the final words of the novel—“I trust it [the glint] is from the holder of your business cards” (209). Here symbols of violence (a gun) and of finance (business cards) are presented as if they are simple, binary alternatives to each other, ­ eluctant ­Fundamentalist particuand yet what makes the ending of The R larly disquieting is not the “choice” between the two so much as the falsity of the binary that they represent; the novel has already suggested that violence ­ nancial securitization. is a function of, rather than an alternative to, fi Ilott suggests that The Reluctant Fundamentalist ends with “the possibility of four different outcomes: either Changez is a terrorist set to kill the American; the American is an undercover assassin contracted to kill Changez; both of the above; or neither.”27 Whether Changez’s possible intention of killing the American would deem him a “terrorist” is questionable, but if the American is indeed an assassin who has been detailed to kill Changez because of the (supposedly anti-American) comments that he made to the international media after the disappearance of his student, then we might consider the American himself to be in the service of a kind of fundamentalism (one that conflates critics of America’s actions with threats to America’s

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Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host?  203 security). Given that, as above, Changez’s “you” conflates his American interlocutor with the reader, and given that many readers of Hamid’s novel are—as Ilott points out—likely to find their “foil” in the narrative to be an “uncomfortable one,”28 we might even consider the novel’s title as referring to the reader who is “reluctant” to be aligned with the American and with the fundamentalism for which he arguably stands. As above, numerous critics have explored the seeming correspondence between individuals and nations in The Reluctant Fundamentalist. ­However, what has not thus far been widely noted is the degree to which the hospitality that Changez extends to his American guest corresponds to the hospitality that America extends toward him. There are times that Hamid actively draws attention to this correspondence. For instance, Changez’s exchange with the immigration official in New York, during which he is repeatedly asked to state the purpose of his visit, occurs just one page before Changez tells his ­American interlocutor “I wish now to hear more of you: what brings you to Lahore, what company you work for, et cetera, et cetera” (TRF, 87, emphasis in the original). Changez asks his interlocutor his purpose for visiting Pakistan, then, immediately after recounting how the immigration authorities in New York demanded to know his (Changez’s) “purpose” for “visiting” New York. Both Changez and America initially seem to offer a warm welcome to their foreign guest, picking them out from a crowd to be the beneficiaries of their munificence, and yet it seems that each of them performs the role of benevolent host only as a means of maintaining their own security (personal security in the case of Changez and financial security in the case of ­America). Moreover, each deems their foreign guest a potential security threat. It would seem that, at the beginning of the novel, Changez did not offer his hospitality to the unnamed American despite not knowing his identity or his purpose for visiting Lahore, but rather—having, he believes, “developed the ability to take quick stock of a person” (TRF, 205)—because he felt that he knew exactly what the American’s “purpose” was. Changez’s frequent references to predators and prey, and his repeated intimations that his interlocutor looks and acts like a soldier of some kind—Changez even compares him to Pakistan’s own “undercover security agents” (158)—all suggest that he (Changez) is convinced that his interlocutor is, in fact, the would-be assassin that he has been expecting. Somewhat similarly, America seems to be convinced that Changez is a would-be terrorist. Crucially, the novel ends with violence seemingly about to erupt even if neither of these things is in fact true. The Reluctant Fundamentalist therefore portrays the advancement of securitization in the early twenty-first century as being more likely to lead to violence than to the state of greater security that is supposedly its aim. Moreover, it suggests that—in what Changez terms our current “period of great uncertainty”—cross-cultural hospitality has not so much come to offer a means of allaying the distrust and the anxieties associated with everincreasing concerns over security but, rather, has come to serve as a function of those very concerns.

204  Michael Perfect

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Notes 1. Morey, “‘The Rules of the Game,’” 138. 2. Girardin, “In the Heat of Combat,” 63. 3. Ilott, “Generic Frameworks,” 571. 4. Khan, “The Treatment of ‘9/11,’” 85. 5. Baker, “Cosmopolitanism as Hospitality,” 123–124. 6. Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, 1. Hereafter cited as TRF in the text. 7. Girardin, “In the Heat of Combat,” 62. 8. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 135. 9. Ibid. 10. Baker, “Introduction,” 2. 11. Ilott, “Generic Frameworks,” 574. 12. Ibid., 575. 13. Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, 20. 14. Burgess, The Ethical Subject of Security, 1. 15. Ibid., 9. 16. Ibid., 95; 131. 17. Ibid., 131; 132. 18. Amoore, The Politics of Possibility, 61. 19. Hartnell, “Race, Place and Resistance,” 337. 20. Ibid., 339. 21. Darda, “Precarious World,” 114. 22. Morey, “‘The Rules of the Game,’” 139. 23. Amoore, The Politics of Possibility, 5. 24. Ibid., 76. 25. Hartnell, “Race, Place and Resistance,” 343. 26. While many critics have noted the apparent heavy-handedness of the novel’s symbolism, in some cases those same critics have suggested that such overt, transparent symbolism may in fact be part of rather more subtle and provocative textual strategies. See Morey, “‘The Rules of the Game,’” 140–141; Ilott, “Generic Frameworks,” 578–581. 27. Ilott, “Generic Frameworks,” 573. 28. Ibid., 575.

Bibliography Amoore, Louise. The Politics of Possibility: Risk and Security Beyond Probability. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013. Baker, Gideon. Introduction to Hospitality and World Politics, edited by Gideon Baker, 1–20. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Baker, Gideon. “Cosmopolitanism as Hospitality: Revisiting Identity and Difference in Cosmopolitanism.” Alternatives 34 (2009): 107–128. Burgess, J. Peter. The Ethical Subject of Security: Geopolitical Reason and the Threat against Europe. New York: Routledge, 2011. Darda, Joseph. “Precarious World: Rethinking Global Fiction in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” Mosaic 47, no. 3 (2014): 107–122. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.

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Reluctant Fundamentalist, Eager Host?  205 Foucault, Michel. Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977–1978. Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Girardin, Cécile. “In the Heat of Combat: Insurrectional Moment and Political Time in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Hari Kunzru’s My R ­ evolutions.” L’Atelier 4, no. 2 (2012): 59–75. Hamid, Mohsin. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. London: Penguin, 2007. Hartnell, Anna. “Moving Through America: Race, Place and Resistance in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 46, nos. 3–4 (2010): 336–348. Homer. The Odyssey. Edited by Peter V. Jones. Translated by E. V. Rieu. London: Penguin, 2003. Ilott, Sarah. “Generic Frameworks and Active Readership in The Reluctant ­Fundamentalist.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 50, no. 5 (2014): 571–583. Khan, Gohar Karim. “The Treatment of ‘9/11’ in Contemporary Anglophone ­Pakistani Literature: Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist as a P ­ ostcolonial B ­ ildungsroman.” eSharp 17 (2011): 84–104. Morey, Peter. “‘The Rules of the Game Have Changed’: Mohsin Hamid’s The R ­ eluctant Fundamentalist and post-9/11 Fiction.” Journal of Postcolonial ­Writing 47, no. 2 (2011): 135–146. Stoker, Bram. Dracula. London: Penguin, 1993. First published 1897 by Archibald Constable and Company.

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Part VII

Openness

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14 The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality

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Johannes Voelz

Literary Hospitality Hospitality and security appear to be two concepts that are intimately tied up with each other. Taken together, both terms create a tension from which grow stories of exposure and protection, contact and isolation, opening and closure. When a stranger asks for hospitality, he ultimately asks for shelter inside the home of his host. Asking for hospitality, in that sense, amounts to asking for security. Yet shelter and security imply closed off walls, whereas the act of granting hospitality is one of opening up and sharing. Thus, when the host opens his home to the guest, he himself becomes vulnerable. The guest may usurp his welcome in all kinds of ways. He may become a burden by staying too long, he may steal, he may kill. As the literary history of hospitality tells us, and as James Heffernan emphasizes in his recent study Hospitality and Treachery in Western Literature, “hospitality can never be purged of risk.”1 In fact, this is precisely what makes hospitality such a rich resource for the literary narrative. As Heffernan puts it, “since literature thrives on conflict, since it cannot long endure or sustain the spectacle of perfect contentment, it tends to favor the darker end of [the] spectrum [between violence and graciousness].”2 Hospitality in literature puts the spotlight on the threshold: as the door is opened and the stranger enters, home and outside world begin to permeate each other. The insecurity of the outside is brought into the home. On the conceptual level, the two worlds on which the idea of hospitality is built— the protected private sphere of the home and everything that lies beyond it—ultimately merge into a zone of indistinction. The undecidability between inside and outside, between security and insecurity, echoes the etymology of hospitality. As Pheng Cheah remarks, Host and its Latin etymology are immensely rich in meaning and always imply relations of force and power. Depending on the context, hospes can mean “host,” “guest,” “stranger,” or “foreigner.” Hospes is also related to hostis, which also means “enemy.” In Medieval Latin, it referred to an army or warlike expedition; hence, host can mean “an armed company or multitude of men.” However, it can also mean a victim for sacrifice, from the Latin hostia, a term often used to refer to Christ.3

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210  Johannes Voelz At its most extreme, then, the two parties to a scene of hospitality become indistinguishable. Host and stranger come together in the term hospes, and both evoke the specter of violence. If we really want to grasp the role of hospitality in literature, however, it would seem necessary to move beyond the portrayal of scenes of hospitality. In the pages that follow, I’d like to conceptualize the relation between character and reader (and ultimately between author and reader) in terms of hospitality. Literature promises insights into other lives and minds. It shares with, and makes accessible to, the reader what goes on inside the walls of the private that characterize another human being, or, more precisely, a literary character. Indeed, narrative literature brings forth the private world of characters only by opening it up to the reader.4 In this case, however, the private is not so much a physical sphere, materialized in the home, but may best be captured by what literary critic Patricia Spacks calls “psychological privacy.”5 By emphasizing the psychological dimension of privacy, literature underscores the—essentially liberal—idea that individuals are subjects in the full sense insofar as they contain a space of interiority that is irreducible to public being but that must nonetheless be articulated and thus implicitly addressed to an audience.6 I will refer to this type of hospitality, which grants access to the psychological dimension of privacy, as literary hospitality.7 One might object that literary hospitality contradicts the basic concept of what we usually mean by hospitality. In most scenarios of hospitality, we assume that asking for hospitality precedes granting it. Certainly, the most influential philosophical discussions of hospitality start from this idea. In his treatise Toward Perpetual Peace, Immanuel Kant, for example, conceptualizes hospitality as “the right of a stranger not to be treated in a hostile manner by another upon his arrival on the other’s territory” (emphasis added).8 Similarly, Jacques Derrida writes, “That is where the question of hospitality begins: Must we ask the foreigner to understand us, to speak our language … before being able … to welcome him into our country?”9 For Derrida, the question of whether there are any conditions for our granting the foreigner hospitality presumes that the foreigner has already arrived and, through his sheer presence, asked for entry. Welcome follows arrival. Literary hospitality reverses this order: in the relation enabled by ­literature—a relation between character and reader, and ultimately, author and reader—hospitality is offered before it has been requested.10 In what sense, then, does this relation qualify as hospitality? I suggest that the reversal at the heart of literary hospitality only takes to its conclusion the principle of reversibility which we have already seen to be at work in the very etymology of hospes. If inside and outside, host and guest, are exchangeable positions, literary hospitality carries this exchangeability to extremes by ­letting it reorder the starting point of hospitality. In reversing the temporal order, it is the logical relation between host and guest that gets thrown into question. Even more, the status of hospitality itself becomes ambiguous: if it has not been requested, is it an offering or an imposition?

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  211 The fact that in the literary relation hospitality is offered before it is asked for helps to show that literary hospitality affords the reader a special opportunity for reflection. That reflection concerns the question of what to do with an offer of hospitality that we did not request. This question, in turn, adds another layer to how hospitality relates to security. I said earlier that the act of opening up makes hospitality an affair marked by insecurity. Insofar as literature opens up and shares private spaces (including a character’s interiority) via representation, literature remains bound to insecurity in a similar fashion. In addition, however, literature puts the reader in a position where he or she must decide how to respond to this act of opening up. The reader thus confronts the fact that he or she has the power to usurp the hospitality offered. Again, this is a matter of reversed positions. The risk of usurpation always marks hospitality, but literary hospitality makes available to the reader’s experience both perspectives involved in hospitality: That of the host at risk (via textual representation) and that of the guest as risk (via the reader’s response to the work). The openness toward insecurity in literary hospitality thus means both that we can never be fully secure and that living in a world that is never fully secure requires conceiving of ourselves as potential forces of insecurity. Accepting insecurity is not a mere matter of passive toleration of the insecurity emerging from the behavior of others but encompasses a conception of the self as potentially harmful. The problem of security and insecurity raises anew the question of how literary hospitality relates to liberalism. As mentioned above, liberalism clearly provides an important philosophical backdrop for literary hospitality since what is shared in this type of hospitality is access to a psychologically conceived privacy. Roughly speaking, the literary subject of privacy is a liberal subject whose subjectivity is housed in what Habermas calls the “innermost core of the private.”11 But does liberalism also provide the framework for the embrace of insecurity characteristic of literary hospitality? To be sure, this question is much too large for this chapter, especially because it requires a discussion of how to define not only security but also liberalism.12 The reason I bring it up here nonetheless, if in a mere t­ angential manner, is that recent critical discourse has tended to sketch a picture of liberalism and security that ends up representing both terms in a reductive manner. Security, a growing number of critical theorists maintain, is a political idea whose current prevalence we owe to liberalism. Critics of liberalism—­and particularly those writing in the wake of Michel ­Foucault—have emphasized that security constitutes both liberalism’s ultimate legitimation of power and a distinctly liberal technology of rule.13 As Mark Neocleous has phrased it, liberal political thought is “less a tradition of ‘liberty’ and much more a liberal discourse on the priority of security” (emphasis in the original).14 The problem with such a view is that it settles from the start what security is—a violent technology of managing and disarming contingency. ­However, the tradition of liberal political thought, particularly in the variant

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212  Johannes Voelz of social contract theory, suggests a much more complex idea of security. I have argued elsewhere that rather than believing in the idea that the social contract will accomplish security, and that security will extinguish contingency, liberal social contract theorists after Thomas Hobbes either tended to regard security as something that could not be realized or redefined security as an arrangement with insecurity in which insecurity served as a vital force for the salus populi.15 In particular, for thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Alexis de Tocqueville, the salus populi became identified with revolutionary breaks in the rationally unfolding course of events, or with an idea of civic virtue whose valor aims to topple established orders. Thus, while post-Hobbesian liberal theory aimed to find models for how to best organize the polity, it came to embrace wayward and even anarchic energies based on the idea that there can be no political well-being (and hence no security) if the “agitations of liberty” are put to sleep.16 What this brief sketch is meant to suggest is that from the perspective of liberalism, hospitality does not constitute the opposite of security (where the first term would be marked by the movement of opening up and the second by closing down). Rather, hospitality and security both swing back and forth between opening and closing and ultimately come to accept the necessity of openness, even if that means accepting vulnerability. As intimated earlier, literary hospitality asks the reader to countenance the self not only as a potential victim of insecurity, but also as a potential perpetrator of insecurity. This, I began to suggest above, results from the reversal at the core of literary hospitality, which gives priority to the offering of hospitality over the request for it. How this reversal is related to the insecurity springing from the subject has so far had to remain oblique. I will flesh this out by switching from the level of conceptual exposition to the analysis of literary texts. I want to demonstrate that in contemporary literature we find a strand of writing of growing importance that can be usefully grasped as instantiating a kind of literary hospitality that gives the reader a chance to experience his or her own potential harmfulness. I have had to limit myself to a handful of examples—the Norwegian writer Karl-Ove Knausgaard, the Canadian author Sheila Heti, and U.S.-American writers Ben Lerner and Miranda July—but the list of authors contributing to the current form of literary hospitality is steadily growing longer.17

Autofictional Reality Effects I have suggested that in literary hospitality security becomes a concern because the private gets exposed. Indeed, the writers I have chosen all promise to provide access to the private dimension of their characters. But exposing the private in literature is a matter of aesthetic strategies; it is an effect. The texts under consideration employ two major strategies for creating the effect of exposed privacy: The aesthetics of sincerity and the aesthetics of

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  213 shame. More precisely, the evocation of shame with literary means is one of the ways in which the effect of sincerity is created; this effect of sincerity in turn constitutes the scene of literary hospitality. Before addressing how shame contributes to sincerity in these writings, however, it is important to note that the “sincerity effect” (as some critics have called it, with a nod to Roland Barthes18) often involves claims to autobiographical nonfictionality. In offering the private with the means of literature, reference doesn’t stop at the character. Behind the character stands the narrator, and behind him stands the author. In fact, even when the conventions of fiction are upheld, as in Miranda July’s short stories and her 2015 novel The First Bad Man, the sincerity effect tends to be activated through implicit references to the author. Most of the writers considered in this chapter have participated in a poetological discourse that emphasizes dissatisfaction with fictionality and the novel in general. Karl Ove Knausgaard, the Norwegian writer whose six-volume literary autobiography My Struggle has made him into a star within international literary circles, may at this point be the most vocal— and influential—voice among the current-day advocates for freeing literature from fiction.19 In the first volume, he reports on his struggle to say farewell to fictional writing—which he implies to have achieved by writing the book: “What I ought to do was affirm what existed, affirm the state of things as they are, in other words, revel in the world outside instead of searching for a way out, for in that way I would undoubtedly have a better life, but I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t, something had congealed inside me.”20 In Book Two, he continues his struggle against the novel: “Just the thought of a fabricated character in a fabricated plot made me feel nauseous.”21 Instead of fabricating characters and plots, he uses fiction to flesh out, embellish, and narratively arrange events, impressions, and memories that supposedly are real. Literary criticism is still unsure of how to describe or even name this kind of writing. One useful, if conveniently vague, label gaining currency is ­autofiction—a term coined by French novelist and theorist Serge ­Doubrovsky in the preface to his (autofictional) novel Fils (1977). As ­Christine Ott and Jutta Weiser describe it, “Fils consists of lived facts which have been given a ‘fictive form.’ This concerns in particular the discursive order of events, relevant factors of which are the play of words, and ideas that are linked by sheer association.”22 For Knausgaard, however, it is not primarily the order of events that seems to matter. More important for his autofictional style is the attention given to the most mundane details of a life he claims to be his own. Writing in the London Review of Books, Ben Lerner has commented on the ramifications of this aspect of Knausgaard’s style: “If your attention as a writer is so egalitarian that your memoir describes a bowl of cornflakes and, say, your brother’s face with the same level of detail, how do we determine a hierarchy of value? Differences break down when everything seems equally worthy

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214  Johannes Voelz of differentiation.”23 Though Lerner is uneasy about whether Knausgaard’s multivolume work will be able to wrest any discernible form from the undifferentiated mass of detailed observation (at the time of his review, three out of six of Knausgaard’s volumes had been published in English translation), he also realizes that it is this de-hierarchized attention that allows K ­ nausgaard to create a reality effect of extraordinary intensity: “The cumulative effect of his descriptions is to suggest the possibility of total recall, a past citable in all its moments: Each cornflake, each snowflake.”24 The Knausgaard effect thus rests on the following syllogism: if memory captures everything, then everything on the page must be a memory of something real. A similar point is made by Sheila Heti, who, also in the London Review of Books, concludes that Knausgaard’s “realism is really real.”25 Even if he has to enrich the past with the imagination of the fiction writer in order to achieve a microscopic gaze (as Heti puts it: “The past eludes us all; it’s past, it’s gone, even for Knausgaard”26), what sets apart Knausgaard’s ­writing from that of conventional novelists is an attitude of facing up to the interpersonal insecurity of the “really real.” Novels, Heti insists, are essentially nostalgic. Yet, “when nostalgia dies, … novelistic conventions also die. Also dead is the consensual safety that fiction brings with it, the presumably ethical veil behind which writers protect themselves from their family and friends: It’s not you, that’s not your name, your hair is not red, it’s made up.”27 Put differently, autofictionality creates sincerity precisely by smashing the protective shield of fictionality: the reactions of those whose names become characters in a book render the author insecure and thus vouch for his or her sincerity. Lerner and Heti seem to be so taken with Knausgaard because, to different degrees, their own writings also aim for a “realism that is really real.” Put in less circular terms, all three authors seek to recover a sense of reference in their writing. Of the three, Lerner remains most indebted to the novelistic tradition. His two novels, Leaving the Atocha Station (2011) and 10:04 (2014), can be called autofictions only if one puts special emphasis on “fictions.” His protagonists, named Adam Gordon in the first novel and Ben in the second, share key aspects with their creator. Like Lerner, Adam, in Leaving, is a young American poet from Kansas on a Fulbright in Madrid, who becomes a witness to the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Ben, in 10:04, is a young American writer from Kansas as well; like Lerner, he lives in Brooklyn, and he has recently been offered a “‘strong six-figure’ advance” for a new novel.28 This offer comes on the heels of a story that appeared, as in real life, in The New Yorker (the real story in fact becomes part of 10:04, if in revised form), which, in turn, results from the success of his first novel, whose title goes unmentioned in the second novel but the writing of which is recognizably described. In fact, 10:04 itself is present in 10:04, not so much in the spirit of postmodern self-referentiality (or metafictionality), but rather as an instance of post-postmodern reference to an objective reality. “Say that it was standing there that I decided to replace the book I’d proposed with the book you’re reading now, a work that, like a poem, is neither fiction nor

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  215 nonfiction, but a flickering between them; I resolved to dilate my story not into a novel about literary fraudulence, about fabricating the past, but into an actual present alive with multiple futures.”29 Heti’s How Should a Person Be? (published in 2010 in Canada and, slightly revised, in 2012 in the United States) shares with Lerner’s 10:04 the trick of making her book an object to itself in order to establish its claim to referentiality. Like 10:04, How Should relates its own genesis, and Heti even turns a portion of her book into the bone of contention around which evolves the book’s central conflict: should Sheila have recorded and transcribed, for the purpose of publication, her conversations with her best friend, Margaux? (Crucially, this debate takes place after the reader has read the transcriptions, i.e., after they have taken on a degree of reality as published literature.) But Heti also goes further than Lerner in using real names throughout, not only for herself but for all of her characters. Some of them, like her friend, the painter Margaux Williamson, are also public figures. As a result, referentiality has the effect of tearing open the seams that usually delimit fictional worlds: if the book is coextensive with life, then one can learn more about the world of How Should a Person Be? by finding out about Margaux Williamson online. Reading Heti’s book and googling her characters thus become integrated, continuous activities. Ultimately, however, all the aspiration to referentiality can only be lived up to by way of aesthetic strategies that create the effect of reality (Roland Barthes’s insight holds after all these years). The mediality of writing can never be expunged. It is for this reason that the writers I consider in this chapter do not only make truth claims for their literary representations of themselves (by highlighting references to really existing persons, objects, places, and events), but complement these reality effects by working toward sincerity effects.

Sincerity and the Ironic Attitude Toward the Self Sincerity is best understood as the moral ideal of making one’s speech in public correspond to what’s felt in private. As Jill Bennett puts it, assessing sincerity has traditionally rested on “defining an act or speech act in terms of a congruence of avowal and actual feeling or belief.”30 But how can this congruence be assessed? Clearly, the problem is that “actual feeling or belief” make up the content of psychological privacy and thus become accessible to the listener only via the representation of the speaker. For this reason, the speaker’s assertion, “What I am saying is sincere,” is merely tautological. A speech act must persuade the listener as being sincere from the way it is uttered. Sincerity is a mode of offering the private by employing a credible style or aesthetic. This is why aesthetic sincerity effects play a key role in initiating literary hospitality. Today, we are witnessing a veritable sincerity boom. In fact, recent proclamations of the “New Sincerity” are in danger of turning into a cliché.31

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216  Johannes Voelz In 10:04, Lerner pokes fun at just such pronouncements when his autofictional protagonist ponders how he might pitch his new novel: “‘I’ll project myself into several futures simultaneously,’ I should have said, ‘a minor tremor in my hand; I’ll work my way from irony to sincerity in the sinking city, a would-be Whitman of the vulnerable grid’.”32 Lerner’s joke takes for granted the opposition between sincerity and irony. Having to choose, his alter ego implicitly opts for irony by speaking in an ironic voice. But while fictional Ben may sneer at the vogue of sincerity by countering it with irony, Lerner’s novels themselves are more divided.33 This is because sincerity is not necessarily opposed to irony at all—particularly not in the writings under consideration in this chapter. We must remember, briefly, that when sincerity had its last upswing as a reaction to the counterculture of the 1960s, it was opposed not to irony but to authenticity, which was seen as the moral ideal of a culture of untrammeled narcissism.34 However, soon after, postmodernism and poststructuralism all but finished off the notion that sincerity was a meaningful concept, not to mention a virtue worth defending. If one takes to heart the poststructuralist credo that the subject only comes into being in language, it becomes questionable if a clear distinction can be made at all between avowed and actual feeling or belief. The postmodern celebration of self-referentiality and irony may be considered a result of this philosophical quandary. ­Consequently, there seems to be no straight line back to sincerity: after postmodernism, any return to sincerity must be able to accommodate irony.35 What sets apart the irony we find in the writings of the proponents of the New Sincerity from its postmodern variant is the end to which it is put.36 As the examples of Knausgaard and Lerner show, irony here is above all directed at the self. To this effect, Knausgaard over and over exploits the distance between the middle-aged narrating self and the naïve narrated self of his boyhood and youth. “Dear God, I prayed. Dear God, let my sexual organ straighten when it fills with blood. I will only pray for this once. So please be kind and let my wish come true,” he quotes his younger self in Book One (MS1, 72). The reader, I take it, is supposed to smile or laugh at the lack of perspective of young Karl Ove, who has just grown to nearly six foot two, is afraid that he may keep growing, and is even more terrified after having discovered “that my dick was bent upright when I had an erection” (MS1, 71). For narrator and reader, both of whom are so much wiser than the young protagonist, Karl Ove’s worry about his anatomy creates a moment of comedy. At the same time, these worries are not to be brushed aside. Like any other childhood experience related in the book, this memory is charged with the task of “affirm[ing] what existed.” Irony here becomes a particular mode of sincerity.37 In Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station, the ironic view of the self becomes more sinister. Lerner turns self-mockery into a kind of self-deprecation that is all the more effective for the achievement of a sincerity effect. P ­ aradoxically, he creates the effect of self-deprecating sincerity by showing his protagonist

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  217 to be insincere: Adam—Lerner’s alter ego—tells his friends outright lies for such paltry reasons as the wish to make himself more interesting. Thus, he pretends that his mother has just died, only to become caught in a web of necessary follow-up lies. Lerner’s autofictional narrator does not inscribe himself into the tradition of the con man who proudly brags about his deceptions; rather, he alternates between comedy and self-humiliation in narrating Adam’s fraudulence. If Knausgaard smiles affectionately at the naiveté of his younger self, Lerner’s self-deprecation (mediated though it is through the fictional vestiges of his work) tilts toward self-loathing. This sentiment, it seems, has gained in prominence in recent American literature—not because American writers have suddenly come to hate themselves, but because it creates an access path to psychological privacy in the mode of sincerity. Accordingly, in her 2014 bestseller Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham—who offers a somewhat crude version of many of the tendencies more subtly developed by the likes of Heti, Lerner, and July—dedicates her opening lines to the sincerity of self-loathing: “I am twenty years old and I hate myself. My hair, my face, the curve of my stomach. The way my voice comes out wavering and my poems come out maudlin.”38 To get a sense of the implications of self-loathing in the context of literary hospitality, I will turn, for the remainder of this chapter, to the work of Miranda July. July’s literary writings stand apart from the other authors discussed here because they are unequivocally fictional and nonautobiographical. But as I will suggest, the difference is much smaller than it at first appears. What July’s allegiance to fictionality enables is a broader reconceptualization of self-deprecation in terms of shame.

Shame and Impersonal Identity In the autofictional texts discussed above, self-loathing is a particular selfrelation between character and narrator–author. Combining claims to referentiality with sincerity, these texts create occasions for literary hospitality. For Miranda July, literary hospitality works somewhat differently: nothing in her fictions suggests that her characters are ciphers for the author in any representational sense. But ultimately, she, too, positions the author behind the fiction. As I want to argue, this is because she radicalizes self-deprecation by employing the affect of shame. In other words, it is through shame that July creates the effect of sincerity, and it is through sincerity that her writing tenders literary hospitality to the reader. Her emphasis on shame may already suggest that insecurity is particularly pronounced in July’s version of literary hospitality. I will conclude by spelling out this link. Although self-deprecation describes moments in which someone becomes an object of derision to himself, shame is produced by the presence of another. Rather than accusingly pointing at myself, I feel shame because in the presence of another, a displeasing aspect of myself suddenly comes into

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218  Johannes Voelz view that wasn’t visible before. Ruth Leys has recently argued that contemporary American culture is marked by a shift from a discourse of guilt to a discourse of shame, a shift that can be observed in a wide range of academic disciplines ranging from psychiatry to philosophy and literary criticism. “Shame theory,” Leys summarizes, “downplays the … interpersonal dynamic central to the formulation of guilt in order to depict shame as an experience of consciousness of the self when the individual becomes aware of being exposed to the diminishing or disapproving gaze of another.”39 The move from guilt to shame entails an emphasis on questions of identity. Whereas guilt concerns something you have done, shame concerns who you are: “Your deficiencies and inadequacies as a person as these are revealed to the shaming gaze of the other,” as Leys puts it.40 July’s fiction—both her short story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007) and her novel The First Bad Man (2015)—uses literary narrative to stage shame. In July’s narrative pattern for shame, an individual character becomes aware, through the sudden presence of another, that she has lived in a solipsistic world that does not translate into a shared language or experience. All of a sudden, her dreamy dwelling in the imaginary is exposed for everyone to see; even worse, it is exposed precisely in its quality as dreaminess, that is, as something that has no correspondence in social reality. The exposed self ludicrously falls short of making sense. The result is a feeling of shame in which the essence of who you are is revealed and experienced as inadequate. This is the signature moment of July’s fiction, and The First Bad Man is a rich collection of such moments. July’s protagonist Cheryl Glickman, a remarkably isolated single woman in her forties, takes the idea of “living in your own head” to extremes. This alone makes her a prime candidate for shame and a paradigmatic character for July. As a girl, Cheryl could not make herself heard by others—“my voice was too quiet, it didn’t leave me head”—and this predicament has not changed during the present time of the plot.41 When Cheryl believes that her colleague Phillip, whom she vividly imagines as her future partner, is about to confess his love to her, it turns out that the love he confesses is for a teenage girl. And during the book’s two sex scenes—one with Phillip, the other with the 20-year-old daughter of her employers—pleasure becomes possible only when Cheryl can withdraw into her private fantasies. But since sex requires at least a modicum of direct interaction, it is first and foremost an ordeal of embarrassment. What these examples already suggest is that shame, in July’s fiction, addresses identity: in her moments of awkwardness, disapproval concerns Cheryl’s whole being. At the same time, however, such shame has little to do with Cheryl’s individuality. The identity addressed by shame is situational and impersonal: anybody could be caught in embarrassing situations such as these.42 This situational nature of identity may help explain the titles July likes to choose for her works across various media: No One Belongs Here More Than You, “This Person,” Somebody, You and Me and Everyone We Know.

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  219 July has an affinity for the personal and indefinite pronoun because she specializes in the art of the impersonal affect. In a sense, the impersonality of shame allows her to recover sincerity after postmodernism’s critique of the subject. But does it make sense to speak of sincerity if July’s characters are fictional? It should be stressed that in The First Bad Man, Cheryl—in contrast to, say, Knausgaard’s narrator–protagonist—usually does not reflect on being ashamed. Rather, The First Bad Man makes observable how Cheryl gets stuck in her imaginary world and, once she has been confronted with reality, how she attempts to save her dignity. But to be recognizable as shame, the reader must actualize Cheryl’s process of shameful awakening, even while she is still deceived. In a sense, then, shame exists only to the degree that it becomes the reader’s.43 July skillfully facilitates the reader’s involvement by slowing down her heroine’s comprehension. Although the reader has long recognized that Cheryl, caught up in her imaginary, is misreading a situation, she trudges on, deferring the moment of revelation. A good example is the excruciating build-up to Cheryl’s realization that Phillip is in love with someone else. The strongest moment of shame does not occur when Cheryl finally finds out— in fact, she handles the situation with relative grace (see FBM 46). Truly embarrassing rather are the moments in which she recognizably misreads Phillip, as when he asks her if she would ever take a younger lover (because he is considering doing so), which falsely raises her expectations. I have so far argued that shame in July’s fictions emerges when characters get lost in their imagined worlds and that the sense of shame becomes palpable only once it is activated by the reader. But in order to explain how shame leads to a sincerity effect, one final step in my argument remains to be taken. In July’s text, I suggest, shame does not stop at the level of the story; the reader’s shame extends to the point where character-focalization blends into the text’s aesthetic. On that fine line, the character’s orientation to the world and the author’s aesthetic choices become indistinguishable, with the result that July, the author, reappears behind her fictional characters. No matter which medium she works in, July favors an aesthetic that tends to be self-involved in that it prizes creativity as the prime value. Her second feature film, The Future (2011), provides a striking example: as the narrator of her film she chooses a neglected cat that unabashedly appeals to the viewer’s sympathy. The idea is ridiculous kitsch, the filmic execution is flagrantly amateurish (the cat is a make-shift puppet and July herself seems to lend it her own voice, altered to disturbing gruffness), but thanks to its eccentricity, the talking cat–narrator registers as undeniably original. In fact, the film presents the originality of the talking cat with such confidence that one wonders whether July is even aware of its kitschiness. Indeed, her presentation is completely lacking in irony. This makes her aesthetically vulnerable: any attempt at originality runs the risk of failing to find the approval of the audience, but rejecting the protective shields of irony in doing so heightens the risk even more.

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220  Johannes Voelz In her fiction, too, July tends to commit herself to original ideas without attempting to hedge the aesthetic risk with the help of irony. Here is the opening of her story “This Person:” “Someone is getting excited. Somebody somewhere is shaking with excitement because something tremendous is about to happen to this person. This person has dressed for the occasion.”44 Throughout the story (which, typical for July, relates a private fantasy that ambiguously shades into reality and back), the protagonist is referred to only as “this person.” Subtly, it becomes clear that “this person” is a firstperson narrator who replaces “I” with “this person.” This raises the question of whether the peculiar and obsessive use of indirect and direct pronouns is part of the character’s worldview or the author’s aesthetic fancy. The fact that this question is impossible to answer has two ramifications. First, it appears that the reader’s embarrassment can be triggered both by the behavior of the fictional character and by the text’s fixation on originality because in both cases embarrassment emerges in the moment when imaginary self-absorption is revealed to have lost any intersubjective mooring. When it concerns the character, shame accrues from the embarrassment of having been caught in an idiosyncratic fantasy. When it concerns the text’s aesthetic, it arises from the sense that what must have appeared as a creative idea to the artist has failed to garner the reader’s consent (perhaps because the creative idea is a novelty that quickly wears off or because it was a worn-out cliché from the start). Similarly self-absorbed, character and artist become figures who have been exposed and now stand unprotected in their shame. The second ramification of the impossibility to tell the difference between character focalization and the author’s aesthetic play concerns the reappearance of the author as the reference point of the fictional text. This may explain what is at stake when fans of July’s writing routinely point out that what makes her art special is her “voice.” George Saunders, in his blurb for The First Bad Man, even goes so far as to suggest that “July’s work reminds us that the essential storytelling tool is voice” (FBM, back cover). Voice doesn’t seem to be quite the same as style (say, the recognizable style of a Hemingway, Faulkner, or Morrison). The constant invocation of voice gives expression to the idea that behind the character stands a true human being—the author—who may not be the model for the character, but whose presence can be sensuously perceived. And it is because of the meshing of character and author via voice that the experiences of shame afforded by the book create an effect of sincerity.45 Because the book seems to talk to us in a voice, the shame actualized by the reader becomes tied back to the author. July’s readers seem to intuit her effects of referentiality quite accurately when they lash out in response to the sincerity of shame, taking as their target not the character but the author. If literary hospitality à la July makes accessible a private realm defined by shame, we thus get another iteration of the link between hospitality and insecurity. Offering access to what is defined as the most private, writers like July expose themselves to contempt

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  221 and insult. If, on the level of representations of hospitality, literature thrives on treachery (to recall Heffernan’s point), something analogous may be true here. Indeed, the current version of literary hospitality thrives on strong reactions: consider only the tumblr blog “I hate Miranda July” (which gets mentioned in just about every newspaper article on July). July and the other proponents of sincerity may be said to provoke these reactions: it is the strong readerly ad-hominem attack that certifies the degree to which this literature is not merely about fictional characters but the expression of a real person. In short, the current literary hospitality invites us, the readers, to put in suspension, and even violate, the security of our autofictionalizing hosts. In the first part of this chapter, I suggested that literary hospitality makes available to the reader two perspectives of insecurity: That of the host at risk and that of the guest as risk. I further suggested that this doubling of perspectives had to do with the fact that literary hospitality turns around the temporal order of hospitality by offering it before it has been requested. July’s fiction demonstrates how these two contentions hang together. Her granting access to privacy concerns what is most shameful about her characters and the aesthetics of her works. Because this kind of shame is staged or performed rather than reported, it requires the participation of the reader so that the shame becomes the reader’s. July’s literary hospitality does not exactly offer the experience of shame to her readers; ambiguously, she also imposes it on them without their request. For the reader, this creates the need to find a response to July’s provocation of shame. Even if only relatively few readers may end up engaging in hate speech and similar attacks on the author, all of her readers are confronted with the ethical task of registering and processing their affective involvement in shame. It is in this sense that July urges her readers to face the fact that the insecurity of literary hospitality entails their own implication as security threats: the reader’s response becomes an ethical struggle with the affects created by the text—a struggle in which we may lose control of ourselves. If the philosophy of liberalism accepts that insecurity cannot—and should not—be extinguished, then one implication rarely acknowledged is that each of us who make up the liberal order are potential agents of insecurity, not least because we lack total mastery of ourselves. July’s invitation to usurp the literary hospitality of sincerity holds out the opportunity to experience precisely this fact. In the best of cases, the New Sincerity truly has something to offer: it affords the reader a heightened self-awareness of what it means to live insecurely.

Notes 1. Heffernan, Hospitality and Treachery, 3. 2. Ibid., 2. 3. Cheah, “To Open,” 187n.1. 4. Although I cannot address this point in the current chapter, I regard the perspective of literary hospitality as an alternative to conceptualizing literature’s

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222  Johannes Voelz staging of the private in conjunction with surveillance. For the latter approach, see David Rosen and Aaron Santesso, The Watchman in Pieces (2013). 5. Spacks, Privacy, 5. 6. Jürgen Habermas developed this point in relation to what he calls the “literary private sphere,” which brought together the private and the intimate, particularly through the form of the epistolary novel: “The relations between author, work, and public changed. They became intimate mutual relationships between privatized individuals who were psychologically interested in what was ‘human,’ in self-knowledge, and in empathy” (Transformation of the Public Sphere, 50). However, that change was highly contested, causing the novel to appear as a threat to the res publica. After all, as Spacks writes, “Privacy, whatever its definition, always implies at least temporary separation from the social body” ­(Privacy, 7). Therefore the novel, as a prime locus of psychological privacy, tended to be seen as detrimental to the social body. 7. I lay no claim to having invented the term “literary hospitality”—it crops up here and there in the history of American letters (my area of expertise), whether used by canonical writers like Walt Whitman or critics like R.W.B. Lewis and Larzer Ziff. In general, however, these earlier usages did not address the relation between reader and author/character. The same goes for the recent deployment of the phrase by Luke Thurston, who distinguishes between “the diegetic level” and “the level of meta-textuality[, which examines] the agency of ‘hostile’ textual figures within a ‘hospitable’ narrative” (Thurston, Literary Ghosts, 4). 8. Kant, Toward Perpetual Peace, 82. 9. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 15. 10. If literary hospitality is granted unconditionally because it is offered independent of, and prior to, a specific request, one might call this, in the language (though not quite in the spirit) of Jacques Derrida, an instance of “unconditional hospitality.” Derrida understands unconditional, or absolute, hospitality in the following terms: “Unlike conditional hospitality, it requires that I open up my home … to the absolute, unknown, anonymous other … that I let them come … and take place in the place I offer them, without asking of them either reciprocity … or even their names” (Of Hospitality, 25). 11. Habermas, Transformation of the Public Sphere, 49. 12. On this point, see the essays I have collected in Security and Liberalism, a special issue of Telos (Number 170, Spring 2015). 13. Foucault addressed the subject of security most extensively in his 1977–1978 lectures at the Collège de France, collected as Security, Territory, Population. In these lectures, Foucault extends his historical typology of power, adding the “security dispositif” to juridical rule and discipline. Security, for Foucault, is a technology of power that is shaped by liberal principles of circulation and laissez-faire: “In other words, the law prohibits and discipline prescribes, and the essential function of security, without prohibiting or prescribing, but possibly making use of some instruments of prescription and prohibition, is to respond to a reality in such a way that this response cancels out the reality to which it responds—nullifies it, or ­ oucauldians limits, checks, or regulates it” (47). For a collection of prominent F discussing and amending Foucault’s writings on security, see Michael Dillon and Andrews Neal, eds., Foucault on Politics, Security, and War (2008). 14. Neocleous, Critique of Security, 14. 15. See Voelz, “The Aspiration for Impossible Security.” 16. The phrase is Tocqueville’s. See Democracy in America, 951.

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  223 17. Among the most prominent U.S.-American candidates not discussed here (or merely mentioned) are the early Dave Eggers, Tao Lin, and Lena Dunham. 18. The idea of a “sincerity effect” has been proposed by Deborah Forbes in her Sincerity’s Shadow, 5 and by Jill Bennett, “A Feeling of Insincerity,” 198. For a sophisticated discussion of Barthes’s “reality effect” in relation to some of the authors discussed in this article, see Buurma and Heffernan, “Notation after the ‘Reality Effect.’” 19. For a brief moment, David Shields’s Reality Hunger (2010) seemed to become the touchstone of this discourse, but by now Shields’s collage-like manifesto gets far less often invoked by literary writers than Knausgaard’s project. 20. Knausgaard, My Struggle: Vol. 1, 222. Hereafter cited as MS1 in the text. 21. Knausgaard, My Struggle: Vol. 2, 490. 22. Ott and Weiser, “Autofiktion und Medienrealität,” 8. My translation. 23. Lerner, “Each Cornflake.” 24. Ibid. 25. Heti, “So Frank,” 22. 26. Ibid. 27. Ibid. 28. Lerner, 10:04, 4. 29. Ibid., 194. 30. Bennett, “Feeling of Insincerity,” 197. 31. The “New Sincerity” has become a popular topos for cultural journalists, the tracking of which deserves an article of its own. I only mention, as a commonly listed reference point, Jesse Thorn’s “A Manifesto for the New Sincerity” posted in 2006 on maximumfun.org. 32. Lerner, 10:04, 4. 33. Interestingly, in an interview with Tao Lin in The Believer, Lerner straightforwardly embraces the from-irony-to-sincerity pitch: “Most of us start from that position of irony now and what I wanted to do—really felt like I had to do if I was going to write another novel—was move towards something like sincerity” (Lerner, “Ben Lerner, interviewed by Tao Lin”). 34. Lionel Trilling’s brilliant study Sincerity and Authenticity (1971) is perhaps the most lasting statement to this effect, but his was only one voice among many. Others include Henri Peyre (Literature and Sincerity, 1963), Herbert Read (The Cult of Sincerity, 1968), and Marshall Berman (The Politics of Sincerity, 1970). Cf. the discussion in R. Jay Magill Jr., Sincerity, 174–175. 35. This, at least, I take to be the upshot of David Foster Wallace’s influential essay “E Unibus Pluram” (1990). Wallace diagnosed a fatigue with postmodern irony and suggested a return to sincerity. Yet doing so, he couldn’t quite help tingeing his voice with irony: “Today’s most engaged young fiction does seem like some kind of line’s end’s end. I guess that means we all get to draw our own conclusions. Have to. Are you immensely pleased” (Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram.” 82). 36. For a different reading of the irony–sincerity problem in post-postmodern American literature, see Adam Kelly, “Dialectic of Sincerity.” 37. This same attitude is also at work throughout Dave Eggers’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000), which served as an early reference point in discussions about the return of sincerity. Here, too, sincerity and irony blend into each other as a result of Eggers’s exploitation of the perspectival distance between narrated self and narrating self. 38. Dunham, Not That Kind of Girl, xi.

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224  Johannes Voelz 39. Leys, From Guilt to Shame, 10. 40. For this reason, Leys argues (following Walter Benn Michaels) that shame is part of a general trend in contemporary culture of prioritizing matters of identity (of who you are) over matters of debate and disagreement. The upshot of Leys’s book is thus in line with the arguments put forth by Michaels: The vogue of shame is part of the regime of identity politics, and identity politics ultimately depoliticizes politics by declaring everything to be a matter of perspective. 41. July, The First Bad Man, 9. Hereafter cited as FBM in the text. 42. I define embarrassment as a form of shame. 43. The theoretical premises underlying this move are informed by the reception aesthetics of the Constance School. See Wolfgang Iser, The Fictive and the ­Imaginary, and Winfried Fluck, Romance with America? Essays on Culture, ­Literature, and American Studies. 44. July, “This Person,” 53. 45. The current fixation on voice may give expression to a desire for a “metaphysics of presence” quite like Derrida analyzed in his critique of phonocentrism (see Derrida, Of Grammatology). But for writers like Saunders, voice has become a metaphor for a particular kind of writing. My point is not that proponents of voice stand in need of deconstruction, but that an author like July indeed uses the literary device called voice to provide fiction with a reference to the author. Though we neither hear her actual voice nor are in her actual (not to mention metaphysical) presence, the strategy is effective: Her fictional stories seem to lead back to herself.

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The New Sincerity as Literary Hospitality  225 Forbes, Deborah. Sincerity’s Shadow: Self-Consciousness in British Romantic and Mid-Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. Foucault, Michel. Security, Territory, Population. Edited by Michel Senellart and translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Habermas, Jürgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Translated by Thomas Burger. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991. Heffernan, James A.W. Hospitality and Treachery in Western Literature. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014. Heti, Sheila. “So Frank.” Review of My Struggle: Vol. 2. A Man in Love, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. London Review of Books, January 9, 2014. Heti, Sheila. How Should a Person Be? New York: Henry Holt, 2012. Iser, Wolfgang. The Fictive and the Imaginary. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. July, Miranda. The First Bad Man: A Novel by Miranda July. New York: Scribner, 2015. July, Miranda. “This Person.” In No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July. New York: Scribner, 2007. Kant, Immanuel. “Toward Perpetual Peace.” In “Toward Perpetual Peace” and Other Writings on Politics, Peace, and History. Edited and introduced by Pauline Kleingeld and translated by David L. Colclasure. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. Kelly, Adam. “Dialectic of Sincerity: Lionel Trilling and David Foster Wallace.” Post 45, October 17, 2014. http://post45.research.yale.edu/2014/10/dialectic-ofsincerity-lionel-trilling-and-david-foster-wallace. Knausgaard, Karl Ove. My Struggle: Vol. 1. Translated by Don Bartlett. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013. Knausgaard, Karl Ove. My Struggle: Vol. 2. A Man in Love. Translated by Don Bartlett. New York: Archipelago Books, 2013. Lerner, Ben. 10:04: A Novel. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2014. Lerner, Ben. “Ben Lerner, interviewed by Tao Lin.” The Believer, September 2014, http://www.believermag.com/exclusives/?read=inc_interview_lerner_2. Lerner, Ben. “Each Cornflake.” Review of My Struggle: Vol. 3. Boyhood, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. London Review of Books, May 22, 2014, http://www.lrb.co.uk/ v36/n10/ben-lerner/each-cornflake. Lerner, Ben. Leaving the Atocha Station. Minneapolis, MINN: Coffee House Press, 2011. Leys, Ruth. From Guilt to Shame: Auschwitz and After. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007. Magill Jr., R. Jay. Sincerity. New York: Norton, 2012. Neocleous, Mark. Critique of Security. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2008. Ott, Christine, and Jutta Weiser. “Autofiktion und Medienrealität: Eine Einleitung.” In Autofiktion und Medienrealität: Kulturelle Formungen des postmodernen Subjekts. Edited by Jutta Weiser and Christine Ott, 7–16. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter, 2013. Rosen, David, and Aaron Santesso. The Watchman in Pieces: Surveillance, ­Literature, and Liberal Personhood. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013. Shields, David. Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. New York: Hamish Hamilton, 2010.

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226  Johannes Voelz Spacks, Patricia Meyer. Privacy: Concealing the Eighteenth-Century Self. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. Thorn, Jesse. “A Manifesto for the New Sincerity.” Jesse Thorn’s Blog, March 26, 2006. http://www.maximumfun.org/blog/2006/02/manifesto-for-new-sincerity.html. Thurston, Luke. Literary Ghosts from the Victorians to Modernism. New York: Routledge, 2012. Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. Historical-Critical Edition. Edited by Eduardo Nolla and translated by James T. Schleifer. Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2010. Trilling, Lionel. Sincerity and Authenticity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1971. Voelz, Johannes. “The Aspiration for Impossible Security: Revisiting Liberal Political Thought.” Telos 170 (Spring 2015): 23–45. Wallace, David Foster. “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction.” In A ­Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments. New York: Bay Back, 1997.

15 Hospitality and Risk Society in Tao Lin’s Taipei

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Brian Willems

In his novel Taipei (2013), Tao Lin is not primarily concerned about to whom one does or does not offer hospitality. Instead, the novel focuses on the manner in which the host, in order to be “absolutely” hospitable, must be in a state of full disclosure.1 Though full disclosure is sometimes seen as an unreasonable and dangerous demand of heavily surveilled societies, in Lin’s novel disclosure first becomes a key component of hospitality and then leads Lin toward what I will call, following Louise Amoore, an “ethics of the unanticipated.” In Lin’s novel, Paul is a writer who has a few months to kill before a book tour; Erin is a blogger whom he eventually marries. Each approaches full disclosure by taking larger and larger doses of drugs, in order to diminish their inhibitions and speak and act more freely. They then expose themselves as unabashedly as possible, both in public and on the Internet, in keeping with Lin’s sense that in the future, the Internet will “represent every person perfectly.”2 The openness around which Lin’s novel is structured is reflected in a scene where Paul goes out on a fire escape during a party and hears two of his friends talking to each other in private: He descended the ladder until his head was below the opening to the roof and tried to hear what Fran and Daniel—who remained outside smoking—were saying, while unaware of his presence, but couldn’t, and also didn’t know what could possibly be said that he would want to secretly hear, so returned inside the apartment and lay on his back on the sofa in the common room.3 An invasion of privacy offers nothing of interest here, and Paul prefers the sofa in the “common” room to overhearing anything personal. It is not that Paul wants to give Fran and Daniel their space to discuss private matters. Rather, discovering secrets is itself of little interest. That figure appears not only in the novel but also in Tao Lin’s life. Lin has been open about his own drug use in numerous articles, particularly with hallucinogenics guru Terence McKenna, and he has engaged in a long series of artistic endeavors while openly under the influence, including a series of “Drug-Related ­Photoshop Art” pieces for Vice magazine.4 In addition, the feature films

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228  Brian Willems produced by MDMA films (a production company Lin founded with his estranged wife Megan Boyle, the basis for Taipei’s Erin) record Lin and Boyle on drugs, doing everyday things, as in their film Mumblecore (2011). In a scene from this film, later adapted for Taipei, Lin and Boyle are sitting on a bed, seemingly romantically involved with each other. Yet Megan freely discusses her on-again off-again relationship with another man. Although this seems to cause Lin discomfort, Boyle makes no attempt to lie about what is going on. Instead, they both seem to be interested in the pain it causes them to be so honest. In addition, Boyle has “liveblogged” portions of her life, which includes providing her email address and her telephone number, so she can be contacted during performances in which she uses heroin as a kind of truth serum. The art of Lin and Boyle could certainly be considered post-ironic, at least in the sense of a post-postmodernist attempt, in the words of David Foster Wallace, “to back away from ironic watching” and “endorse single-entendre values.”5 Jennifer Moore has noticed this aspect of Lin’s earlier poetry, and she connects Lin’s work to the concept of risk by saying that it “moves against the contemporary thrust by risking explicit self-expression and forms of knowledge through privileging modes of discourse that are essentially sentimental.”6 In what follows, I develop a connection between Ulrich Beck’s “risk society” and the risky full disclosures on display in Taipei. In particular, I show that underlying the “risk society” is a process of securitization that is best described, in Louise Amoore’s phrase, as a “politics of possibility.” ­Ultimately, I argue that Lin’s novel produces a series of strategies, including full disclosure, that can resist possibilistic logics and develop an aesthetics, and an ethics, of the unanticipated.

Risk Society and the Risks of Disclosure The current phase of the risk society was inaugurated when the concept of security began to break free from the logics of the Cold War. The ensuing decades have witnessed the abandonment of the “common security” and “stable peace” of the Cold War arms race, for the era of terrorism, in which danger is used as an excuse for invasion.7 As Pinar Bilgin argues, “The 1990s witnessed a proliferation of works that focused on the individual and societal dimensions of security. … Post-Cold War approaches turned toward frameworks that look at the threats faced by nonstate actors (individuals, social groups, the global security) as well as states.”8 As Michel Foucault puts it: “There is no liberalism without a culture of danger.”9 But the central theorist of the culture of danger has been the German sociologist Ulrich Beck, who published his influential Risk Society in 1986, just as this change was beginning. Beck indicates two key factors in the development of the risk society: The increased production of wealth after the Second World War, which minimized the role of scarcity, and the increased dangers created by the production processes which generate that wealth.10 Although risk

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is nothing new, Beck argues that risk now arises in a qualitatively different way. For Beck, risk no longer arises out of the environment (like walking in a dangerous place, such as the jungle), but instead, risk is now a decision that is made by the governing institutions. For Beck, risk has become reflexive, and the act of securing against this risk falls to the same institutions that create the risk in the first place. As Beck says, In contrast to all earlier epochs (including industrial society), the risk society is characterized essentially by a lack: The impossibility of an external attribution of hazards. In other words, risks depend on decisions; they are industrially produced and in this sense politically reflexive. While all earlier cultures and phases of social development confronted threats in various ways, society today is confronted by itself through its dealings with risks. Risks are the reflection of human actions and omissions, the expression of highly developed productive forces. That means that the sources of danger are no longer ignorance but knowledge; not a deficient but a perfected mastery over nature; not that which eludes the human grasp but the system of norms and objective constraints established with the industrial epoch.11 Risk is not located in the unknown but the known; risk is not about secret dangers that await in the void, but rather about society’s management of its own processes and technologies. One consequence of the risk society is the rise of securitization, which, as Maurizio Lazzarato suggests, is reflexive as it arises from the distrust that it itself creates.12 One reason for this, as Michael Williams argues, is that securitization can happen to anything as long as “[securitization] can be intensified to the point where [the risk] is presented and accepted as an existential threat.”13 In other words, as Beck argues, securitization is a management decision and is distributed by government policy, often unevenly, across populations. In Taipei, Lin represents risk society both explicitly and as an element of the book’s structure. Lin’s characters explicitly fear that technology will begin to resemble ­Richard Dawkins’s “selfish gene,” turning humans into mere pawns for its own propagation: “Technology, an abstraction, undetectable in concrete reality, was accomplishing its concrete task … by way of an increasingly committed and multiplying workforce of humans, who receive, over hundreds of generations, a certain kind of advancement (from feet to bicycles to cars, faces to bulletin boards to the internet) in exchange for converting a sufficient amount of matter into computerized matter for computers to be able to build themselves” (T, 166). The risk society appears in the passage from the novel quoted above when Paul goes out on the fire escape. He was shown to be uninterested in anything hidden. Risk is not concealed somewhere out in the jungle, behind a tree, waiting to pounce. Instead risk is a nonsecret, a management decision. Drugs are one of Lin’s key figures for examining the openness of the risk society because for Lin, drugs encourage a sense of

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230  Brian Willems openness and sincerity that corresponds to the nonsecretive nature of the risk society. However, while in Beck’s risk society the nonsecret is the way that risk is both caused and managed by conscious decision, in Taipei openness takes the form of a strategy for resisting the securitization that the risk society enacts. A strategy of resistance is developed by Lin in the way that drugs enact sincerity; via drugs, the nonsecret of security culture is examined through the tropes of both exposure and disclosure. In an example of exposure, Paul meticulously manages a drug experiment while he is on his book tour, taking specific quantities of different drugs in different cities in order to test out their effects. In one city, after ingesting “two capsules of MDMA and a green smoothie” (T, 119), he steps on stage to give his ­reading. His audience expects him to make a fool of himself as at his other readings: “For one or two seconds, with tepid disappointment toward himself, before ­moving nearer to the stage, Paul dimly believed people had ignored him because they knew he was on drugs and were afraid he might say more things that would humiliate and further expose himself, in a ­completely non-funny way, as pathetic and troubling and drug-addled and sad” (T, 120). Paul exposes himself during this book tour because his guard is lowered by the drugs he takes. The “non-funny” humiliation he experiences is a form of sincerity because he is, at least momentarily, removed from his stance of postmodern irony toward life.14 This drug-induced sincerity functions as a resistance to the risk society because rather than being an openness defined by managerial decisions and technological breakthroughs, in Taipei the openness of exposure is really a risk: Paul never knows what humiliating things he is going to do or say while on drugs. In this sense, the exposure Paul experiences is genuinely unpredictable rather than planned or managed. Although in the above scene, Paul was seen to have been exposing himself in a humiliating manner, he was not necessarily disclosing himself. When disclosure is seen in the novel, it functions differently to exposure in that it is a trope of absoluteness, rather than of randomness. For example, Paul, Erin, and their friends Maggie and Calvin decide to snort heroin, take Adderall, go to a movie theater, and “group livetweet” their viewing of X-Men: First Class. They sit separately and try to remember to add the hashtag #xmenlivetweet to their tweets, in order to group their comments on the movie together. During the group livetweet, the characters not only expose themselves to each other in humiliating situations, but they also disclose feelings, thoughts, and actions that would usually only appear in the novel in the form of Paul’s internal monologue. For example, Maggie writes “‘feeling lonely #xmenlivetweet’”—but she forgets to add the hashtag to “‘I am in the bathroom contemplating chugging my beer’” (T, 234). Both tweets simply disclose the kinds of thoughts and feelings that she has not shared earlier in the novel. Paul eventually leaves the theater, sits down on the floor, and posts “‘where is everyone … i’m sitting in darkness near the women’s bathroom #xmenlivetweet’” and Calvin writes “‘just stood up, lost ‘all control’ of left leg and fell into an

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Hospitality and Risk Society in Tao Lin’s Taipei  231 arcade game, making a loud noise and ‘yelping’ #xmenlivetweet’” (234). Taipei is full of such instances of disclosure, and in particular disclosures that would qualify as “high disclosure” on Sarah and Fred Vondrack’s ­classic Self-disclosure Scale, because they include sensitive information, meaning “personal characteristics, problematic behaviors, physical appearance and wishful ideas.”15 In Lin’s novel, high disclosure means an hospitality to disclose absolutely everything to anyone, no matter how humiliating. Because these disclosures can be made to anyone, in Taipei, full personal disclosure comes to function as a reimagining of hospitality. This is important within the economics of the risk society because the exposure demanded by securitization is stymied in the face of absolute hospitality. As Jacques Derrida has argued, the kind of hospitality that can be called “absolute” should mean receiving any guest whatsoever, without qualification: “absolute hospitality requires that I open up my home and that I give not only to the foreigner (provided with a family name, with the social status of being a foreigner, etc.), but to the absolute, unknown, anonymous other.”16 Derrida’s definition of absolute hospitality centers on the act of receiving a guest when that guest has no right to ask to be received, of extending the right of hospitality “to all mankind.”17 As he argues, such a right is paramount in the figure of the Eleatic Stranger from Plato’s Sophist, where the stranger is not just a foreigner but is referred to as xenos, meaning a foreigner who has the right to be received as a foreigner.18 This right is based on the visitor having a family name, of being or having been a citizen elsewhere. Giving hospitality to such a person carries little risk, since the person is “vouched for” by their social status. Absolute hospitality, on the other hand, is demanded by an absolute guest. The absolute guest is not only profoundly unknown, but specifically unanticipated: in a sense, the host is waiting, before the host is defined as a host and before the guest is defined as a guest. This “waiting without waiting-for” affects the threshold over which a guest must pass in order for hospitality to take place.19 As Derrida says: I am talking about the absolute arrivant, who is not even a guest. He surprises the host – who is not yet a host or an inviting power – enough to call into question, to the point of annihilating or rendering indeterminate, all the distinctive signs of a prior identity, beginning with the very border that delineated a legitimate home and assured lineage, names and language, nations, families and genealogies. The absolute arrivant does not yet have a name or an identity.20 The absoluteness that Derrida assigns to both the host and guest is an openness or plurality that does not lie prior to identity but is rather in a “pact” with it. The definition of absolute hospitality is also based on the ­assumption that a choice can be made between offering hospitality or not, depending (or not) on whether the foreigner is xenos. Yet this choice is at

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232  Brian Willems the heart of why the law of hospitality is paradoxical, in that the “pact” of providing hospitality to those who have the right to it must be broken in order to provide hospitality to all; in this structure the subject is reimagined as an intertwined dyad of host and guest: “The one who invites and receives truly begins by receiving hospitality from the guest to whom he thinks he is giving hospitality.”21 Taipei takes up hospitality as one of its central themes by representing the ways that characters keep open the possible identity of hosts and guests. For example, at the beginning of the novel, Paul is in a short-lived relationship with Michelle. Bored at a party, Paul begins musing on why his past relationships did not work out. One reason he cites is that he was too concerned with future possibility: “In previous relationships, he knew, he has experienced dissatisfaction, to some degree, as an empirically backed enthusiasm for the future, because it implied the possibility of a more satisfying relationship with someone he hadn’t met” (T, 5). Here Lin sets up a problem. The present is explicitly ruined by a sense of enthusiasm caused by the possibility of a better relationship in the future. In other words, the possibility of a ­better future mate reaches back in time and turns into disappointment with the current relationship.22 A future with Michelle is limited by the possibility of a better partner. It is in this sense that possibility works against what the future might offer.

Possibility and Aporia The enumeration of possible futures closes down future possibilities. In other words, with possibility, what takes place in the future ends up being seen as a confirmation about past predictions. As Deleuze puts it in Bergsonism: [I]f the real is said to resemble the possible, is this not in fact because the real was expected to come about by its own means, to “project backwards” a fictitious image of it, and to claim that it was possible at any time, before it happened? In fact, it is not the real that resembles the possible, but the possible that resembles the real, because it has been abstracted from the real once made, arbitrarily extracted from the real like a sterile double.23 Deleuze’s reversal of the relationship between the real and the possible illuminates how absolute hospitality is the possibility of conditional hospitality. Absolute hospitality involves the paradox of existing within the right to hospitality of the xenos. In other words, there needs to be a pact against providing absolute hospitality in order for the chance to provide absolute hospitality to exist. Such aporatic structures, Derrida has argued, involve “radical heterogeneity, but also indissociability.”24 From this point of view, to think an aporia involves elements of both openness and foreclosure, both possibility and impossibility. When things are going well between Paul and

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Hospitality and Risk Society in Tao Lin’s Taipei  233 Michelle in Taipei, it is expressed as just such a collocation of openness to the future and an experience of hospitality in another’s home: “The nothingness of the future had gained a framework-y somethingness that felt privately exciting, like entering a different family’s house as a small child” (T,  8). In this passage, the nothing-new of the future is momentarily suspended by being welcomed into another’s home; the aporia of hospitality is foregrounded by the guest being “a small child,” meaning that the person who receives hospitality is at the same time not the one for whom hospitality was primarily intended (the child’s parents). For Ulrich Beck, the discourse of risk society also has an aporetic structure centered on the concept of possibility. Beck takes up the limiting nature of future possibility in a chapter on “Opening up the Political” in Risk Society. Functionalist and neo-Marxist analyses are charged with “thinking in terms of ‘certainties’ of large organization and hierarchy” due to their ignorance of the risk and uncertainty that automation processes and other technologies demand from economic theories: “What seemed solid and mandated only a short while ago is becoming mobile: Temporal, spatial and legal standardizations of wage labor … the power hierarchy of large organizations; the possibilities of rationalization; all of these no longer conform to the traditional plans and relations.”25 As Beck stresses in an interview with Bruno Latour from 2014, when such uncertainties are incorporated into policy, then the risk society can bring hope: “To be clear: Global risk is not global catastrophe. It is the anticipation of catastrophe in the present in order to prevent it from happening. The global perception of global risk there is a huge mobilizing force, creating global publics even if only in conferences.”26 However, the twenty-first century study of risk can itself become a process of certainty rather than an openness to uncertainty; risk is quickly becoming a market, meaning merely “the sum of all uncertainties about the future.27 As Louise Amoore asks, “Confronted by a technoscientific security politics that acts on the very basis of future possibilities, indifferent to whether they come to pass, how does one begin to map the ‘condition of possibility’ of such a politics, or to show how things might be otherwise?”28 This politics of possibility thrives in the risk society, for it “appears to incorporate every element, even its own mistakes and errors are folded back into the capacity to write new code and locate new correlations.”29 Against the regime of the possible, Amoore begins to develop a manner of seeing things otherwise: A new ethics of unanticipation, which means a deportment toward “the unanticipated effect, surprise event, and chance encounter.”30 As for Lin, Amoore’s model for this ethics is the Derridean aporia, in which all attempts at decision making are deterred.31 In Taipei, Lin illustrates Amoore’s “politics of possibility” through the metaphor of multiple windows on a computer screen: Paul had begun feeling depressed without knowing why—maybe unconsciously intuiting what life would be like in a giant house with a significant other and a routine, how forty or fifty years, like windows

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on a computer screen, maximized on top of each other, could appear like a single year that would then need to be lived repeatedly, so that one felt both nearer and withheld from death—and within a few minutes was silent and visibly troubled, staring down at his salad. (T, 53) Paul’s image of the future is lodged within the same criticism he makes about his fears about his relationship with Michelle: the present is stifled and crushed by the omnipresence, in the present, of future possibilities. This fear presents itself in a number of places in the novel, although one of the most poignant occurs when Paul watches Michelle walking up to a table in a restaurant and the steps she takes seem both innumerable and inevitable, “less an accumulation of moments than a single arrangement continuously gifted from some inaccessible future” (12). Instead, Paul is filled with the desire to disperse in all directions at once: “He would want to intensely sprint in all directions simultaneously, with one unit of striving, never ­stopping” (37). Yet like Derrida, and like Amoore, Lin does not only describe the dangers of possibility. In Taipei he also searches for strategies to overcome how possibility limits the future. Ultimately, within the idea of unanticipation, Lin finds a figure for escaping the logic of the possible.

Randomness versus Unanticipation In Taipei, Lin explores two strategies of aporetic deferral. The first is to guarantee the openness of the future by setting up rules for randomness. In an early part of the novel, Paul relates that toward the end of high school, he decided that his mother should “begin disciplining him on her own volition, without his prompting, as an unpredictable … entity, convincingly not unconditionally supportive. His mother would need to create rules and punishments exceeding Paul’s expectations, to a degree that Paul would no longer feel in control” (T, 41). The goal of this exercise, to which his mother agrees, is to cut the tie of causality between present actions and possible future outcomes. This is attempted by arranging for parental punishment to be undeserved and outside any norm. However, this strategy does not work, for, as Amoore suggests, unpredictability itself can become incorporated into the rules of the game. In other words, the randomness of the event of excessive punishment itself becomes predictable. As Paul says, these punishments were “never exceeding what, by imagining their possibilities, he’d already rendered unsurprising, predictable” (42). To use Amoore’s terms, Paul has turned the situation into a “politics of possibility” rather than the intended “ethics of the unanticipated.” The second alternative functions quite differently: instead of trying to ensure randomness in the future, the meaning of the present itself is made to feel uncertain. This second strategy is extensively developed throughout Taipei. For example, Paul discusses how he only feels good with Michelle after ingesting coffee, alcohol, or prescription drugs such as methadone. Paul says that they had taken methadone “once every four

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Hospitality and Risk Society in Tao Lin’s Taipei  235 to six days for five weeks, ending three weeks ago” (T, 9). This statement of chronology stands in contrast to the sentence that follows: “One night, since then, Michelle had told Paul it seemed like he ‘hated’ her and Paul, after around ten seconds, had cited a day they’d had fun together, then had grinned and said ‘no’ illogically when Michelle correctly said they’d been on methadone that day” (9). The chronological order of the events of the story are: (1) Michelle says it seems like Paul hates her; (2) Paul mentions a day they had fun together; (3) Michelle says they had been on methadone the day Paul mentions; (4) Paul says “no,” which is illogical, because they were. However, in the plot, the order of the telling puts (4) ahead of (3); Paul’s “no” is narrated before the statement it is meant to negate. A simple representation of an unstable relationship among narrated events begins to develop. The fact that this happens during the narration of an everyday event rather than a “plot point” is a sign that a successful alternative to possibility is diffusing through the novel’s reality. In this strategy, rather than locating possibility in a risky future, everyday events are always understood to be uncertain. In Taipei, Lin also locates uncertainty not in the timeline that underlies events, but in the spaces in which events occur. In one example, a room Paul and Laura enter seems to resist being a room at all: “Paul followed a slow-moving Laura through a long, dark, almost boomerang-shaped hallway, which felt briefly room-like, as they sort of lingered in it, or like it wanted to be a room, with furniture and guests, but maybe was shy and too afraid of causing disappointment, so impaired itself with two conspicuous openings to conventionally shaped rooms, a sort of recommendation against itself” (T, 47). The ambiguous spatialization of this room renders it a kind of nonspace, neither a room nor a hallway, but a spatial example of interdeterminacy. In a similarly spatialized way, when Michelle rests her arm against a metal fence, Paul drifts into reverie, imagining that “he should console her and that maybe the discomfort of her forearms against the thin metal of the fence had created a location, accessible only to herself, toward which she could relocate, away from what she felt, in a kind of shrinking” (12). The feeling of discomfort in Michelle’s arm becomes a private place of consolation. In this example, “arm discomfort” is not only being assigned an unusual function but is being described as an unusual space. The fact that the feeling of a sore arm is imagined as a place of consolation randomizes space in that arm pain is not a predictable location for this feeling, just as “boomerang” is not a likely shape for a room. Even if cryptically, moments like these align Lin’s strategy of uncertainty with the idea of a space of refuge or asylum, a place of hospitality. This tendency is clearly on display when Paul compares Taipei, the city in which his parents were born and to which they have returned to spend their retirement, and New York, Paul’s home: On the plane, after a cup of black coffee, Paul thought of ­Taipei as a fifth season, or “otherworld,” outside, or in equal contrast with, his ­increasingly familiar and self-consciously repetitive life in

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236  Brian Willems America, where it seemed like the seasons, connecting in right angles, for some misguided reason, had formed a square, sarcastically framing ­nothing—or been melded, Paul vaguely imagined, about an hour later, facedown on his arms on his dining tray, into a door-knocker, which a child, after twenty or thirty knocks, no longer expecting an answer, has continued using, in a kind of daze, distracted by the pointlessness of his activity, looking absently elsewhere, unaware when he will abruptly, idly stop. (T, 16) In this passage, time (appearing as a “fifth season”) and space (the seasons forming the shape of a square) unfocus the meaning of everyday events and places in Paul’s life, like Taipei and New York. Paul’s unlikely transformation of places into seasons, and those seasons into a space, represent a kind of holding open of the potential meanings of everyday events. Although the passage has some indications of linearity—“after a cup of black coffee”—at the same time there are vectors of instability. These vectors lead to yet another melding, in which the seasons become a door-knocker, and Paul envisions himself as a guest, seeking the opening of the door, in the archetypal scene of hospitality. In moments like these, Lin’s novel develops an ethics of the unanticipated, which “suspends the rules on which we might rely, opening an unanticipated space for response.”32 Lin shows that unanticipation can put the “risk” back in the risk society.

Taking His Chances Lin drives toward a difficult but important insight: randomness differs from a politics of possibility. When betting on which number will come up on a roulette wheel, a bad gambler looks at the previous numbers that have won in order to see which numbers have a greater possibility to come up in the future. In this sense, the bet is situated chronologically in that if a three won the last round, it is thought to be unlikely to come up this round, twice in a row. This kind of thinking is influenced by the law of large ­numbers, which states that wild variations of local results will, in the long run, become predictable (all numbers on the roulette wheel will eventually be chosen the same number of times). The “long run” of the law of large numbers generates the notion of chronology which influences the gambler at the roulette wheel, just as Paul’s strategy of getting his mother to punish him unpredictably indicates a problem with this sense of chronological possibility: his attempt to generate randomness fell into the long run of chronology. The experiment of having his mother punish him without reason, after being repeated enough, became predictable. As quoted above, for Paul these punishments were “never exceeding what, by imagining their possibilities, he’d already rendered unsurprising, predictable.” This is what Deleuze calls being extracted from the real like a “sterile double”; it is a part of Amoore’s encroaching “politics of possibility.”

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In a real-world example, the way Lin is described at the beginning of an interview shows him both participating in the casino of possibility and shunning it: On Easter Sunday this year, 29-year-old novelist Tao Lin is playing a slot machine at Resorts World Casino in Queens, betting the maximum amount on each spin. In the parking lot outside the casino, Lin took 10 milligrams of Adderall, and now he’s trying to lose all the money he has in the slot machine so we can begin this interview exactly 30 minutes after he took the drug, which is when, he says, he’ll be at his most effusive. In five minutes, he loses his $20 and smiles, so we walk around the casino, looking for a quieter place to speak.33 In the moments before beginning an interview, Lin ingests his means for being absolutely hospitable, for being “at his most effusive”: 10 milligrams of Adderall. However, as the interviewer teases out, Lin’s demand for sincerity applies only to himself, not to others: SHAPIRO: You’re

very frank about almost every aspect of your life: Drugs, money, sex, etcetera. You don’t seem susceptible to feelings like shame or embarrassment. What kind of question would make you embarrassed or uncomfortable? LIN:  Uncomfortable? Just, like, if you asked me a question involving other peoples’ information. I don’t know if they would be okay with me talking about them or not. SHAPIRO:  Nothing personal about yourself? LIN: No.34 For Lin, the openness of both the exposure and disclosure involved in absolute hospitality only applies to the host: it does not turn into a mode of securitization that is forcefully applied to others in the name of safety. When the interview then goes on to cover how Lin recently tweeted a screenshot of his negative bank balance and how he spent the morning of the interview on Facebook selling early manuscripts of his books in order to raise the money that he then intentionally lost at the casino, we see Lin himself engaging in the kind of “high disclosure” on display in Taipei.35 Then Lin makes a complaint, also familiar from Taipei, that all of this financial planning for the future is diminishing his experience of the present: “I’ve just been investing in the future. Like, any time I get any amount of money, I take taxis and stuff. I just think, If I take this taxi, I’ll save 10 minutes. And in 20 years from now, I’ll be able to make, like, $1,000 in 10 minutes. Or $100. But now it’s only going to cost me three more dollars to take a taxi than to take the subway. I just keep investing in the future, and I haven’t reached the point where I’m not doing that.”36 The location of this scene at a casino is

238  Brian Willems not unrelated to the openness Lin is still struggling to create; spending the afternoon intentionally losing the future financial security he spent so much energy earning in the morning shows that he is still working at becoming absolutely hospitable to the future’s uncertainties.37

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Notes 1. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 25. 2. White, “Staying Up.” 3. Lin, Taipei, 61. Hereafter cited as T in the text. 4. Lin, “Dennis and Terence McKenna.” 5. Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram,” 37. Lin’s work has often been categorized as part of the “New Sincerity” movement, appropriately launched in a mock manifesto written by Joseph Massey, Andrew Mister, and Anthony Robinson in 2005: “Eat Shit! A Manifesto for the New Sincerity,” originally posted on Massey’s livejournal account but since removed. 6. Moore, “‘No Discernible Emotion.” In Taipei, drugs “nullify” irony because they nullify thought, turning Paul into a “thoughtless robot”: “The next two times they ingested ecstasy they both felt what they termed ‘overdrive,’ which for Paul was a whirring, metallic, noise-like presence that induced catatonia and rendered experience toneless—nullifying humor, irony, sarcasm, intimacy, ­meaning—so that he became like a robot that could discern (but not process, consider, or interrelate) concrete reality” (T, 203). 7. Bilgin, “Individual and Societal Dimensions,” 203–204. 8. Ibid., 207. 9. Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, 67. 10. Beck, Risk Society, 19. 11. Ibid., 183. 12. Lazzarato, The Making of the Indebted Man, 57. 13. Williams, “Words, Images, Enemies,” 516. 14. On the first page in the novel, Paul cannot even walk down the street without using scare quotes to distance himself from what he is doing: “Paul had resigned to not speaking and was beginning to feel more like he was ‘moving through the universe’ than ‘walking on a sidewall’” (T, 3). 15. Vondracek and Vondracek, “The Manipulation and Measurement of Self-­ disclosure”; Bak, Lin and Oh, “Self-disclosure Topic Model.” 16. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 25, 27. 17. Derrida, Aporias, 85n.10. 18. Castoriadis, On Plato’s Statesman, 14. 19. Derrida, Aporias, 33. 20. Ibid., 34. 21. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 25; Derrida, Aporias, 10. 22. In a later example in the novel, when Paul is unsure about his relationship with Laura, he does the same thing: “He was somewhat desperately, if maybe sarcastically, trying to direct his interest away from Laura, toward any girl he had not yet but still could, meet tonight” (T, 56). 23. Deleuze, Bergsonism, 98. 24. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 147.

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Hospitality and Risk Society in Tao Lin’s Taipei  239 25. Beck, Risk Society, 215. 26. ”Interview Ulrich Beck and Bruno Latour,” Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, May 15, 2014, http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/downloads/14-BECKInterview_Latour_SUS-BL.pdf. 27. Shaviro, Post Cinematic Affect, 32. Here Shaviro is discussing Edward LiPuma and Benjamin Lee, Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk ­(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). 28. Amoore, The Politics of Possibility, 154. 29. Ibid., 156. 30. Ibid., 161. 31. Ibid., 163. 32. Ibid., 178. 33. Shapiro, “Tao Lin.” 34. Ibid. 35. Ibid. 36. Ibid. 37. With thanks to Emily Ridge and Jeffrey Clapp for their tireless editorial work.

Bibliography Amoore, Louise. The Politics of Possibility: Risk and Security beyond Probability. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013. Bak, Jin Yeong, Chin-Yew Lin, and Alice Oh. “Self-disclosure Topic Model for ­Classifying and Analyzing Twitter Conversations.” In Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP). Doha, Qatar: Association for Computational Linguistics (2014): 1986–1996. Beck, Ulrich. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Translated by Mark Ritter. London: Sage, 1992. Bilgin, Pinar. “Individual and Societal Dimensions of Security.” International Studies Review 5, no. 2 (2003): 203–222. Castoriadis, Cornelius. On Plato’s Statesman. Translated by David Ames Curtis. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002. Deleuze, Gilles. Bergsonism. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson. New York: Zone Books, 1991. Derrida, Jacques. Aporias. Translated by Thomas Dutoit. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France 1978– 1979. Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2010. Lazzarato, Maurizio. The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition. Translated by Joshua David Jordan. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2012. Lin, Tao. “Dennis and Terence McKenna: Parts of an Intellectual Dyad.” Vice, ­September 2, 2014, http://www.vice.com/read/dennis-and-terence-mckenna-partsof-an-intellectual-dyad-902. Lin, Tao. Taipei. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate, 2013.

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240  Brian Willems Moore, Jennifer. “‘No Discernible Emotion and No Discernible Lack of Emotion’: On Tao Lin.” The Offending Adam 53 (March 2011), http://theoffendingadam. com/2011/03/16/no-discernable-emotion-and-no-discernable-lack-of-emotionon-tao-lin. Shapiro, David, Jr. “Tao Lin,” Interview, April 2013, http://www.interviewmagazine. com/culture/tao-lin-1. Shaviro, Steven. Post Cinematic Affect. Hants, UK: Zero Books, 2010. Vondracek, Sarah I., and Fred W. Vondracek. “The Manipulation and Measurement of Self-Disclosure in Preadolescents.” Merrill-Palmer Quarterly of Behavior and Development 17, no. 1 (January 1971): 51–58. Wallace, David Foster. “E unibus pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction.” The Review of Contemporary Fiction 13, no.2 (1993): 151–194. White, Rachel. “Staying Up All Night With an Adderall’d Tao Lin.” Vulture, June 5, 2013, http://www.vulture.com/2013/06/tao-lin-profile-taipei-drugs-adderall.html. Williams, Michael. “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International P ­ olitics.” International Studies Quarterly 47, no.4 (2003): 511–531.

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Part VIII

Terror

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16 Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland” in Michael Haneke’s Caché Downloaded by [University of California, San Diego] at 22:58 04 May 2017

Susana Araújo

The opening sequence of the film Caché (Hidden) by Michael Haneke, released in 2005, offers a long shot of a Parisian street leading to the front door of a discreet upper middle-class house. People walk, cycle, or drive by, unaware that they are being filmed. The opening shot does not offer any information about what the viewer should be paying attention to. After three long minutes, we hear the voice of two characters—a man and a woman—commenting on the same image, the same image the viewer is seeing, and the nature of the opening shot is revealed. We are watching a video, which is also being watched by the film’s main characters: Georges Laurent, the presenter of a literary talk show, and his wife, Anne, a publisher. The elegant house, recorded in the video, is the Laurents’s family home. The viewer soon finds out that the videotape, which contains that first shot, is one of many sinister parcels (including other videos as well as childish drawings) that Georges’s family is being sent anonymously and that have disturbed the already tense, guarded, and secretive family life of the Laurents. At one level, the film functions as a thriller, revolving around the mystery of the images received by Georges and his family. What do they mean? Who has sent them? Why? But the film will never give clear answers to these questions. The viewers have been invited to enter a narrative in which the plot is unclear, and a film in which the detached perspective and uncooperative camera work only reinforces their uncertainty regarding the images they are summoned to recognize. As many reviewers were quick to note, Haneke’s film questions the ethics of surveillance in relation to ideas of authorship and spectatorship. By focusing on the image of home that emerges as a major theme in the film, Haneke introduces the concepts of hospitality and insecurity simultaneously. The film explores the relationship between these concepts, examining how insecurity is seen to haunt not only the space of home, but also—as we will see next—its geopolitical projection, the homeland.

Colonial Guilt: Into the Seine Much has been written about Caché since its 2005 premiere at the Cannes film festival. Most studies on the film have focused on the idea of postcolonial guilt and the hidden violence of colonial history.1 Indeed, we find out that

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244  Susana Araújo soon after receiving the first parcels of tapes and drawings, Georges begins to suspect that these unwelcome gifts have been sent by Majid, an Algerian man with whom he had temporarily lived with as a boy. Georges recollects an episode in his childhood when an act of hospitality, attempted by his parents, was ultimately miscarried: when Majid’s parents—who worked as farmhands on the Laurents’s estate—died, Georges’s parents intended to adopt the young boy. However, driven by jealousy and his unwillingness to share his own space with the boy, the 7-year-old Georges tells a series of lies that turns his parents against Majid, who is instead sent to an orphanage. This story of failed domestic hospitality exposes one of French c­ olonial history’s deepest wounds: The massacre of hundreds of Algerians who participated in a demonstration organized by the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale) in Paris in 1961. It was precisely on the day of the demonstration that Majid’s parents disappeared. The facts that surround these historical events were kept secret by French authorities for decades—a silence that resonates with Georges’s reluctance to  remember his past. Only in 1998, 37 years later, did the French ­government officially acknowledge the massacre. It became known that under the command of Maurice Papon, who had been an officer in the Vichy ­government during the Second World War, police officers attacked the demonstrators. Several demonstrators were killed within the courtyard of the Paris police headquarters (after being arrested and delivered there in police buses), whereas many others died when they were violently driven by police into the River Seine.2 These events are evoked by many reviewers and critics of Caché, such as the author and director Babak Amou’oghli. In his analysis of the film, Amou’oghli deploys the intricate relation between hospitality and hostility developed in Jacques Derrida’s seminal work on hospitality to decode the historical ciphers at the core of the film’s narrative.3 Derrida shows that an important nexus exists between the word “hospitality” and the word “hostility.”4 Although opposite in meaning, the words share the same origin: “Hospitality” is derived from the Latin word  hospes  (host), which is formed from the combination of the word hostis (originally meaning foreigner and later corresponding to the idea of hostile foreigner or enemy) and pets (potis, potes, potentia; meaning to have power). In this sense, as Amou’oghli suggests, ­Georges’s inhospitality toward Majid can be read historically, as it resonates with the anxieties of those who saw themselves as “masters of the house” in Paris in the 1960s: Parisians were shaken to witness a demonstration that brought together thousands of Algerians, advocating the independence of Algeria, in the streets of Paris. The French had been trying to crush any attempts for Algerian independence, and here was the “enemy” marching down the streets of their “home” town. Throughout the war, the Parisian authorities had done a good job of isolating Algerian immigrants in

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Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland”  245 the more secluded parts of Paris. The Parisian police were never shy to use violence to uphold this policy of segregation and repression. … The demonstration by the Algerians was more than just showing support for the FLN (already a challenging move); it was questioning the authority and power of the host nation over the guests. France the host was exercising its power to the maximum, putting forward many conditions, and therefore limiting the hospitality received by the Algerians.5 Amou’oghli goes on to examine the dilemma central to Derrida’s aporia, the paradox between the law of unlimited hospitality and the laws of hospitality. In fact, Derrida pertinently refers to the recent history of Algeria from the point of view of the conditions that both refute and frame the “law of hospitality.”6 To understand the neocolonial implications of Haneke’s movie, an insight into the way hospitality has been shaped by former colonial legacies should be established. As the analysis of the film will reveal, colonial history and its legacy of segregation will contribute greatly to ongoing social predicaments. This troublesome history contributed to, among other things, the strengthening of fundamentalist terrorist groups that spread not only in Africa but in Europe. In this interview, Derrida states that [Algerian history’s] impacts upon the present life of two countries, Algeria and France, are still acute, and in fact still to come. In what had been, under French law, not a protectorate but a group of French departments, the history of the foreigner, so to speak, the history of citizenship, the future of borders separating complete citizens from second-zone or non-citizens, from 1830 until today, has a complexity, a mobility, an en-tanglement that are unparalleled, as far as I know, in the world and in the course of the history of humanity.7 Derrida’s argument that Algeria’s French history is “still to come” is manifested in Haneke’s film, which tracks one protest, one moment in that history, into the present. From the period of colonization to the end of the Second World War, Algerian Muslims were considered “French nationals” but not “French citizens”; they were not foreigners, but they did not have citizenship either. Derrida goes on to discuss how the First and ­Second World Wars created changes in the rights acquired by Algerian people. Although Algerians’ participation in civil society was expanded by the offer of French citizenship to Algerian Muslims, they were also discouraged from maintaining their culture and religion.8 Furthermore, after the War of Independence (1954–1962), new conditions were enforced through a series of anti-­immigration laws that deprived Algerians of the special entry visas granted to them after World War II. Most arresting in Derrida’s semi-autobiographical exegesis is the acknowledgment of war as the common denominator of both progressive

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246  Susana Araújo and regressive variations in the relationship between France and Algeria: “It is always war that makes things change.”9 Derrida’s emphasis on the effects of war on the meanings of hospitality can also, however, be reversed because the rhetoric of war itself depends on the mobilization of ideas of home and homeland. By looking closely at the way “domestic space” is staged in Caché, this chapter will demonstrate how, not only colonial legacies, but neocolonial enterprises, particularly the continuing War on Terror, have mobilized and exploited images of home and hospitality. Indeed, references to French colonialism should not preclude us from finding forward-looking meanings in Haneke’s film—meanings that go far beyond the context of French colonizations and are not limited to the colonial chronology described above. Elizabeth Ezra and Jane Sillars have pointed out that the dominant response to the film in the United Kingdom and the United States “has been the attempt to limit its exploration of colonial culpabilities to its French setting […] a symptomatic acting out of the film’s themes of displacement, avoidance and the refusal to look close to home.”10 Jennifer Burris also highlights how the film’s references to Algeria symbolize security paranoia in the post–9/11 context: “This critical impulse towards the displacement of responsibility, both geographic (it happened in France) and temporal (it happened in the 1960s), is all the more notable because of Caché’s implicit and explicit referencing of contemporary political situations.”11 As I will show here, Caché explicitly and implicitly alludes to the War on Terror by focusing on the way security and securitization have shaped not only the images of home in the United States, but also Europe’s domestic self-portraits. Let us consider the following sequence. First, we watch Anne and Pierre, her boss, sitting in a café, as Anne cries and complains about her husband Georges’s secretive behavior and the lack of trust between them. The film then cuts abruptly to news footage that is being watched elsewhere. When we rejoin Anne, she is arriving home but realizes that their son has not yet arrived. Anne and Georges worriedly bicker about their son’s disappearance. Haneke uses intermedia references to comment on the scene, through images from the Euronews bulletin, which is broadcast across Europe. From the Laurents’s TV we hear an interview with Barbara Contini, who served as Governor of Nasiriya with the Coalition Provisional Authority. She is is demanding a “unified set of rules for engagement for all occupying forces in Iraq.” Contini’s use of the expression “rules of engagement,” the directives that regulate the employment of military force in a theater of operations, resonates strongly with the problems of communication that exist within the Laurent family. While the TV shows images of war, Georges and Anne argue nervously, and Anne makes a phone call in order to find out where her son is. The ­Laurents begin, wrongly, to believe that Pierrot may have been kidnapped. On TV we see images of prisoners tortured at the American Abu Ghraib

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Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland”  247

Figure 16.1  Georges and Anne search for Pierrot, who has not returned home.

prison, which are followed by images of the West Bank, where ­Palestinians are being injured and killed. As the news switches from one conflict to another, and as Anne and Georges play out their own anxieties, Haneke seems to question our ability to view, let alone remember, the worldwide violence in which Europe is implicated. The Laurents’s television set stands between the two characters as if commenting on their dialogue (Fig. 16.1). Despite the gruesome images of bodies killed, injured and displaced, the Laurents’s attention is focused on the ­disappearance of their son, Pierrot. Through the intermedia p ­ arallel ­established between the minor box, known as television, and that other ­container, known as home, the film comments on the relation between spectatorship, testimony, and passivity. More than simply a medium, the TV is a home of images through which spectators regulate their homeliness. It allows us to domesticate the images around us: To create hierarchies, to organize and control our visual environment, but also to keep, erase, or hide images so as to sustain the neatness of our domestic spaces. Haneke’s film, in its clear engagement with the thriller genre, nods to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, a film that is also about concealed actions staged within domestic spaces and the possibility of seeing what has been hidden. But this open allusion is also conveyed to destabilize viewers’ expectations, through crucial differences raised by a comparison between the two films. While Hitchcock offers the viewer a rear view, where the secret is buried, Haneke offers us a front view, in which the secret is hidden in plain sight. The opening sequence of Rear Window is a theatrical curtain raiser: The camera, inside the apartment, looks out of the window and the credits are shown, as the three blinds behind them are slowly raised one by one. Outside, we see a large, bright, and pleasant courtyard. As per the protocol of the thriller, the initial sense of security invoked by this image will be dismantled through the film and then restored in its conclusion. As the first blind goes up, the name of the main actor and director are conveyed in large letters, and the names of the other actors follow them, hierarchically presented (Fig. 16.2).

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248  Susana Araújo

Figure 16.2  Rear Window’s opening credits.

In Caché’s opening, these logics and conventions are evoked but reworked. Haneke’s film also offers a view of a nice neighborhood, ­European rather than American: A classy Parisian street. The opening credits (Fig. 16.3), including the names of actors and directors, are presented as a block of ­ ackground, names. The white translucent font, projected against a very light b where windows of several buildings can be seen, reinforce the overall sense of transparency.

Figure 16.3  Caché’s opening credits.

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Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland”  249 Robin Wood points out that while Caché alludes directly to Rear W ­ indow, it also differentiates itself from Hitchcock’s film: in Hidden the act of “watching” is clearly replaced by the sense of “being watched.”12 If in Rear Window we have a strong sense of the subject behind the gaze, in Caché the anonymous gaze dominates the viewing: The sense of the person doing the watching is, simply, left outside Caché’s frame. Furthermore, if in the collective space of Rear Window we find a vibrant community, where everyday life is “infused with the possibilities of the social,”13 in Caché, social space is experienced as pervasively fractured, only glued together through constant surveillance. In Caché security is no longer a disciplinarian strategy aimed to reform or punish a certain type of behavior, but an ongoing, circuitous, and self-regulated system, aimed to predict and control, if not determine, social behavior.14 Caché’s opening shot deserves our attention, not only because of the way it forces the viewer to engage with an ambiguous image of surveillance, whose status remains unresolved until the end of the film, but because it focuses, both literally and metaphorically, on a façade. The word “façade” from the French through postclassical Latin facia refers to the front of a building (a side of a building facing a public space and finished accordingly), but it can also signify the superficial appearance of something: A stance, a posture. It is precisely that posturing, as well as the implicit superficiality of many well-meaning social and political gestures, that the film wrestles with as it attempts to probe that which has been historically hidden. The Laurents are mainly portrayed in an open space that functions as living room, dining room, and study, and the focus of many interior scenes is a glass dining table where they have dinner, gather with friends, and work. The see-through table conveys an elegant, relaxed look to the room, and again suggests transparency and clarity in a domestic space that is actually quite tense and opaque. Despite the causal and understated look, the Laurents’s household is the product of a careful design and a robust security structure. The viewer is offered several shots of the entrance hall, which reveal a strong lock attached to the main door. Underneath the discreet and casual surface, which composes this homely façade, we find a very secure and self-conscious space. Indeed, as Ezra and Sillars assert, the Laurents’s home resembles a fortress in which the main characters are themselves confined: “Both Georges and Anne are depicted, visually at least, as prisoners of their own making, or at least of their own circumstances—a message that is encoded in the film’s use of setting and costume. … Georges’ and Anne’s grey, shapeless clothes are reminiscent of prison uniforms, and have nothing of the chic glamour of outfits worn by French characters of their milieu in countless other contemporary films.”15 If Georges and Anne are staged as prisoners, Haneke seems to suggest that, rather than being the “masters” in their home, they may be participating in a discourse of security that holds them hostage. Indeed, if their home is a “fortress,” the Laurents’s home can

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250  Susana Araújo be seen to evoke “Fortress Europe”—a term used pejoratively by politicians, global movements, and associations such as Amnesty I­nternational—to describe Europe’s recent policies and general attitude toward immigration.16 Although the film does not openly dwell on current issues of immigration, it offers several instances where second- or third-generation immigrants are felt to be potentially threatening to the Laurents. In this sense, the carefully designed, protected house of the Laurents, a proudly European household, can also be seen to comment on Europe’s ambivalent images of itself as host. Although the European Union (EU) defines itself as a “community,” it has been, and continues to be, troubled by questions of inclusion and exclusion,17 and France can be seen as representative of a troublesome legacy of postcolonial guilt, which is also shared by other EU member states.18 In October 2004, the same year Caché was released, the EU published a C ­ ouncil ­Regulation establishing Frontex, a European agency whose purpose is described on the Frontex website as the “Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States.” Although many of its policies were not particularly new, Frontex enforces rules on external border controls and coordinates operational cooperation between member states in the field of external border management and surveillance. Despite its claims to fair and objective policies, Frontex functions as a deterrence campaign through which asylum seekers are prevented from claiming protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. According to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and the British Refugee Council, Frontex fails to demonstrate adequate attention to international and European asylum and human rights law.19 Frontex unveils a façade that is not very different from that put forward by the Laurents: presenting itself as a transparent and humane organization (whose logo is accompanied by the inscription ­“Libertas, Securitas, Justitia,”) the agency is, nevertheless, ruled by what a European Parliament study called “a culture of secrecy and lack of transparency”—an ethos that conflates irregular migration with “insecurity” and “threat.”20 Despite its effort to secure borders and police frontiers, Europe has not been able to keep other forms of international pressure at bay. In fact, it has been a key player in the projection of US-led fantasies of a global homeland, a project that can only undermine a specific and autonomous approach to European security moved by “Liberty” and “Justitia.” As Haneke’s film also subtly conveys, Europe is more often than not responding to, and defining itself, according to US culture and politics. Despite its cultural h ­ eritage, Caché’s Europe is as autonomous and authentic as Georges’s literary talk show (whose setting is a clone of his own library at home). Like the ­Laurents’s household, the European home seems to be built upon a number of easily falsifiable images and perceptions. Georges’s unwillingness to address his past derives from the fear that the images of home that he has so carefully erected and secured may fracture. The opaque and tense communication between Georges and Anne, and the secretive actions and friendships of Pierrot and

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Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland”  251 Anne’s possible love affair with her boss and friend, Pierre (a relation that is not only suggested visually but also verbally by her son), are emblematic elements of an uncommunicative and fragile set of relations. As the master of the house, Georges is well aware of this frailty. Not unlike the image of Europe as a Union that aims to keep different countries together under common economic and social policies, Georges’s home depends on a number of “rules of engagement” that are not always respected. Georges labels the mysterious messages, testimonies of a hidden history of violence and oppression, as acts of terrorism (“[Majid’s] campaign of terror”). This tag is meant to reduce and minimize their logic. Yet, these images force the Laurents to face past and present facts that will disturb the routines of a superficially wellkept household. Behind the graceful well-blended façade of their home, we find a growing lack of unity and the deterioration of shared values.

(In)security and Hospitality in the Global Homeland In the last scene of Caché we have again, as in the film’s first scene, a static wide shot that focuses on the main entrance to a building, Pierrot’s high school. More than 30 teenagers, chatting in small groups, are spread around the large steps, while some parents wait for their children by the metal barriers that separate the pavement from the road. Some people leave while many others enter the screen. With so many movements covered by a single wide shot, it becomes difficult to identify particular characters. However, if we look closely at the final shot we find both Pierrot and Majid’s son. Majid’s son walks up the stairs from the lower right corner of the screen to the upper left corner. Pierrot is with a group of colleagues but strays behind to meet Majid’s son. They go down some stairs together and chat, before Pierrot goes up again to be reunited with his friends. Because of the collective murmur of voices, it is impossible to hear the conversation between the two characters. Although this final shot of his film evokes hopes and expectations about the future, the wide flight of stairs implies the perpetuation of hierarchical differences. No parents awaited Majid when he was a child. The viewer already knows Majid’s son from previous scenes, but we do not know his name, and Haneke never depicts this character in his own space. We first see his face when he opens the door to his father’s modest house, the day when Pierrot goes missing. We fleetingly see Majid’s son’s upper body, mirroring that of his father, as both men are sitting in the police van, when they are arrested under suspicion of abducting Pierrot. But despite his fragmentary appearances in the film, Majid’s son utters one of the film’s most important lines. After Majid’s suicide, the son appears in Georges’s office. When Georges asks him what he is doing there, Majid says merely: “Would you have let me into your house?” Georges’s violation of the law of hospitality is far from resolved. Although Majid’s son remains inaccessible to the viewer, his conversation with Pierrot at the end of the film seems to indicate a prior relation

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252  Susana Araújo between the two. One possible reading is that Majid’s son could be the mysterious swimming instructor who is teaching Pierrot how to swim in two earlier scenes. We hear the instructor’s voice, but his body is never depicted. In this reading, the beautiful swimming scenes in the film would gain further significance because they would respond, once more, to the drowning of Algerian bodies in the Seine in 1961. In one of these striking scenes, the instructor, who is preparing the students for a competition, considers ­Pierrot’s dive to be too “shallow on the turn” and demands “more depth” from the white boy. In Caché, the demand for depth is made, not only to the characters, but by extension to the viewer. In a film that is, to a great extent, about what is hidden, Majid’s son seems to function as a cypher for a transgenerational secret. But he is not the only enigmatic character in the film. Pierrot himself is the furtive inheritor of a bourgeois household where secrets proliferate; we know very little about him.21 As a typical teenager, Pierrot seems to be reluctant to have long conversations with his parents. In Haneke’s films, from Benny’s Video (1992) to Funny Games (1997) to White Ribbon (2009), children are portrayed as active players in a long history of violence. In these films children are, simultaneously, victims of a vicious past and perpetrators of present or future crimes, and generational conflict is often tied up with the fetishization of violence. This connection is clearly hinted at, in Caché, through the posters of Eminem, hanging in Pierrot’s room, on which Haneke’s camera dwells at length. Eminem, who personifies both an unresolved generational conflict and an affiliation with black culture, offers Pierrot a white narrative of identification with oppression. This narrative will later be developed in the film through Pierrot’s cryptic relationship with Majid—a haunting connection that will ultimately disturb the European white middle-class household. Thus, the film’s ending invites us to think about the notion of transgenerational phantom, as worked out by Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok. For Abraham and Torok, family secrets pass down from generation to g­ eneration, creating a transgenerational haunting: “It is a fact that the ‘phantom,’ whatever its form, is nothing but an invention of the living … meant to objectify, even if under the guise of individual or collective hallucinations, the gap that the concealment of some part of a loved one’s life produced in us.”22 According to this theory, “what haunts are not the dead, but the gaps left within us by the secrets of others.”23 Georges’s family secret is, as we have seen, tied by to a collective concealment (the massacre of 1961), which in turn, can be said to question the canons of French history and to problematize contemporary and global configurations. By evoking this transgenerational haunting, the film also seems to predict future predicaments such as the events for which the Kouachi brothers became known on January 7, 2015. Saïd Kouachi and Chérif Kouachi, the two French Muslim brothers of Algerian descent, attacked the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people; they identified themselves as belonging to the Islamist Terrorist group Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, who

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Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland”  253 took responsibility for the attack. The Kouachi brothers had much in common with the character of Majid in Caché: Of Algerian descent, they were born in France and lost their parents when they were young. Like Majid, they were placed in an orphanage and lacked a stable sense of home, a wound that, no doubt, resonated with the violent history of their parents’ country of origin. In 2004 in the aftermath of the Iraq War, the two brothers met a charismatic guru figure at a local mosque, Farid Benyettou, who held discussion groups about jihadi fighting in his flat. In January 2005, one of the Kouachi brothers was arrested on his way to catch a flight to Damascus; according to the French authorities, he was ultimately heading for Iraq.24 It is not surprising that groups like Al-Qaeda, partly the fruits of Western imperialism, should find followers in these alienated youths, the direct inheritors of a long history of colonial violence and racism. The film carefully stages this narrative of concealed truths and hidden violence in a specific time and place: Paris in 2004. This time and space beg to be read in the context of a global history. Whereas Europe is the privileged setting of the narrative, its place in the world cannot be understood without reference to global charts, nor can its colonial history be disconnected from other world conflicts, such as the Cold War and the War on Terror. By evoking both the Algerian War and the current situation in Iraq, Caché moves within a circum-atlantic circuit, whereby ideas about security that once traveled from colonial Europe to the United States now move from America’s military empire back to Fortress Europe. The film invites us to remember the Algerian War and its legacy, at a time when the War on Terror dominates international politics. A vision of hospitality, then, is key both to Caché and to its transatlantic vision. The very notion of “home” which the film explores is shaped by references to “the homeland,” a notion that traveled from the United States to European countries after reemerging in the political discourse of the Bush Administration. As Amy Kaplan has shown, by evoking ancestry, stability, and homogeneity, on the one hand, and boundless reterritorialization, on the other, the idea of home leverages immense transnational capital.25 Breaking with other US presidents, the Bush Administration passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to justify more supple military interventions, as Amy Kaplan shows: The conception of homeland security goes hand in hand with a more flexible multifront mobile role for the armed forces abroad, as one department of a globalized police force. Advocates of homeland security argue for the need for more government, military, and intelligence coordination, for the armed forces to be involved in this country as well, and for the government through surveillance and policing to intrude into more areas of civil life at home. In the words of a homeland security policy group, “homeland security consists of those private and public actions at every level that ensure the ability

254  Susana Araújo

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of Americans to live their lives the way they wish, free from fear of organized attack.26 Homeland security therefore depends on a radical insecurity, where the home becomes an ever-expandable battleground. Since every aspect of civilian life is subject to terrorist attack, homeland security calls for interventions from government, military, and intelligence. It aims “to become an integral part of the workings of home, a home in a continual state of emergency.”27 This ongoing state of emergency implies, as Donald Pease points out, an approach to home that is extraterritorial and no longer rooted in geography, and it is this extraterritoriality that allows the homeland to become a “security state”: When President Bush declared a state of emergency, the national peoples were rendered nonsynchronous with the state and relocated within an extraterritorial space that the emergency state called the ­“Homeland.” The Homeland Security State that emerged in the wake of the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center was not identical with the landmass of the continental United States. The “Homeland” referred to the unlocatable order that emerged through and by way of the US people’s generalized dislocation from the nation as a shared form of life.28 In this sense, homeland does not designate a territory or a community; instead, it “redescribe[s] the entire planet as the space that the US security apparatus was required to police in its war against global terrorism” (18). This security state not only justifies the exclusion of certain nations and people from their land as a necessary condition of Homeland security, but also allows the US government unlimited policing power worldwide. Fearing to fail in their role as “masters” of the house, both US and European governments in the post–9/11 period—the period of “homeland insecurity”—have also been ever less hospitable to those who seek refuge at their borders. Ideas of “home” remain complex in Europe, which is still troubled by the memory of World Wars and by the fragility of its treaties and unions. ­Lacking a clear political strategy regarding a number of issues, not least military policy, Europe also became highly permeable to the ideology behind the US-led global homeland. As an economic and political Union, the boundaries of European space, which have been cautiously managed by a FrancoGerman axis, were never entirely solid.29 Nor have these boundaries ever been fully independent of NATO’s priorities. Indeed, after the attacks on September 11, 2001, under the same logic of expansion of the homeland state, the “Atlantic Alliance,” the NATO coalition, intended to secure the North Atlantic, has been expanded into the Mediterranean. It was the first time that this alliance had ever acted beyond the North Atlantic area.30

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Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland”  255 The US homeland security state has expanded across continents and oceans, and it has left Europe—including countries like France and G ­ ermany, who opposed the invasion of Iraq—in an awkward, paradoxical position. Not only theorists but also artists, like Haneke, have increasingly begun to reflect on Europe’s fragile or inflated images of “home,” forcing Europe to rethink its own limits. Europe knows only too well that its own frontiers are entangled with the bequests of its colonial history, therefore it is not surprising that US-led neocolonial enterprises should reawaken collective nightmares and open old wounds that national administrations have attempted to tame or conceal. The tense self-consciousness of the Laurents’s household in Caché dramatizes how older ideological investments have been translated into the logic of the global security state, thus complicating Europe’s ideas of home and homeland. As states increasingly reimagine home as a moveable home front, old and new colonial ventures intersect, blurring Europe’s political boundaries even further. Caché invites Europe to face crucial questions about itself and its capacity to run its own household in the face of US pressures. By focusing on the Laurents’s imprisonment inside their “fortress,” the film seems to suggest that the hosts’ major threat is not the appearance of old/new guests, but their own lack of control over the images they have ­carefully erected and aim to project to the world. The enigma that is at the core of the film (“Who is the author of the images?”) ultimately leads to a different, but not unrelated, interrogation: who are the masters of the house? Under the burden of transgenerational ghosts, on the one hand, and the persuasiveness of renewed transnational hosts, on the other, Europe’s borders within the global homeland become spectral and diffuse. Only if the European ­“family” is capable of reading the various messages it has received and of decoding the ciphers it has hidden away can it regain control of the images it wants to project.

Notes 1. Silverman, “The Empire Looks Back”; Saxton “Secrets and Revelations.” For a critique of the film that is sensitive to felt complacency, indifference, and ultimate resignation regarding the colonial past conveyed by the film, see Gilroy, “Shooting Crabs.” Further readings are in Catherine Wheatley, Caché (Hidden). 2. Einaudi, La Bataille de Paris. 3. Amou’oghli, “Caché (Hidden).” 4. Derrida and Dufourmantelle Of Hospitality, 44. See also Still, Derrida and ­Hospitality, and Rosello, Postcolonial Hospitality. 5. Amou’oghli, “Caché (Hidden),” 45–46. 6. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 141, 143, 145, 147. 7. Ibid., 141–143. 8. Ibid., 143, 145. 9. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 143–145. 10. Ezra and Sillars, “Hidden in plain sight,” 215.

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256  Susana Araújo 11. Burris, “Surveillance and the Indifferent Gaze,” 151. 12. Wood, “Hidden in Plain Sight.” 13. Wojcik, The Apartment Plot, 87. 14. Deleuze, “Postscript,” 3–7. 15. Ezra and Sillars, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” 215–221. 16. The phrase “Fortress Europe” was used in British military propaganda to describe operations against Nazi-occupied zones in the continent. But it was also used by Nazi propagandists: “Festung Europa” referred to Hitler’s project of fortifying the whole of occupied Europe, as a response to the failure of the German campaign in Russia. Francesco Tava argues that this “ambiguity of the phrase ‘Fortress Europe’ is still with us,” explaining that “The idea of Europe as a ‘Festung,’ for example, recently became a slogan of the far right Freedom Party of Austria.” See Tava, “The brave struggle.” 17. Not least in terms of the role of Islam in European culture, which has come to the surface in the debate over whether Turkey should be allowed to join as a member state. 18. I thank the editors for their comments; their suggestions helped me illustrate this argument. 19. Both councils have expressed concerns regarding Frontex opacity and lack of independent monitoring and democratic accountability. See European Council on Refugees and Exiles, “ECRE/BRC Joint Response.” 20. This study states among other issues that the “conflation of irregular migration with ‘insecurity’ and ‘threat’ legitimizes the adoption of coercive policies which, together with a culture of secrecy and lack of transparency, exacerbates the vulnerable status of individuals targeted by the actions of these agencies.” EU Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Study on Implementation, 8. 21. Moreover, as Catherine Wheatley noticed, the film offers a significant cameo from a French celebrity who also comments on the burden of family secrets. Mazarine Pingeot, the illegitimate daughter of former president François ­Mitterrand whose existence was for a long time hidden from the press, is one of the guests in Georges’s literary talk show. See Wheatley, Caché (Hidden), 68. 22. Abraham and Torok, The Shell, 171. 23. Ibid., 171. 24. Chrisafis, “Charlie Hebdo Attackers.” 25. Kaplan, “Homeland Insecurities,” 82–93. 26. Ibid., 90. 27. Ibid. 28. Pease, “Extraterritoriality,” 16–17. 29. Beck, German Europe. 30. “NATO’s Operations 1949–Present.”

Bibliography Abraham, Nicolas, and Maria Torok. The Shell and the Kernel: Renewals of P ­ sychoanalysis. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1994. Amou’oghli, Babak. “Caché (Hidden).” Philosophy Now 84 (2011): 44–46. Beck, Ulrich. German Europe. London: Polity Press, 2014. Burris, Jennifer. “Surveillance and the Indifferent Gaze in Michael Haneke’s Caché.” Studies in French Cinema 11, no. 2 (2011): 151.

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Inhospitality, Security, and the Global “Homeland”  257 Chrisafis, Angelique. “Charlie Hebdo Attackers: Born, Raised, and Radicalised in Paris.” The Guardian, January 12, 2015. Accessed April 20, 2015, http://www. theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/12/-sp-charlie-hebdo-attackers-kids-franceradicalised-paris. Deleuze, Gilles. “Postscript on the Societies of Control.” October 59 (Winter 1992): 3–7. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Einaudi, Jean-Luc. La Bataille de Paris: 17 Octobre 1961. Paris: Le Seuil, 1991. Ezra, Elizabeth, and Jane Sillars. “Hidden in Plain Sight: Bringing Terror Home.” Screen 48, no. 2 (2007): 215. EU Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Study on Implementation of EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Its Impact on EU Home Affairs Agencies. Brussels: European Parliament, 2011. European Council on Refugees and Exiles, “ECRE/BRC Joint Response to House of Lords inquiry on Frontex.” September 24, 2007. Accessed March 10, 2015, http://www.ecre.org/topics/areas-of-work/access-to-europe/96-ecre-a-brc-jointresponse-to-house-of-lords-inquiry-on-frontex.html. Gilroy, Paul. “Shooting Crabs in a Barrel.” Screen 48, no. 2 (2007): 233–235. Kaplan, Amy. “Homeland Insecurities: Some Reflections on Language and Space.” Radical History Review 85 (Winter 2003): 82–93. “NATO’s Operations 1949–Present.” January 22, 2010. Accessed September 4, 2013, http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/21/NATO%20Operations,%201949-Present. pdf. Pease, Donald E. “The Extraterritoriality of the Literature for Our Planet.” ESQ 50 nos.1–3 (2004). Accessed March 10, 2010, http://www.unibg.it/dati/corsi/57002/ 15045-Planetary%20Literature.pdf. Rosello, Mireille. Postcolonial Hospitality: The Immigrant as Guest. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015. Still, Judith. Derrida and Hospitality. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2010. Pease, Donald E. “The Extraterritoriality of the Literature for Our Planet.” ESQ 50 nos.1–3 (2004). Accessed March 10, 2010. http://www.unibg.it/dati/ corsi/57002/15045-Planetary%20Literature.pdf. Saxton, Libby. “Secrets and Revelations: Off Screen Space in Michael Haneke’s Caché.” Studies in French Cinema 7, no. 1 (2007): 5–17. Silverman, Max. “The Empire Looks Back.” Screen 48, no. 2 (2007): 245–249. Tava, Francesco. “The Brave Struggle: An Insight into Europe from Its Future.” Open Democracy. July 16, 2014. Accessed April 20, 2015, https://www.opendemocracy. net/can-europe-make-it/francesco-tava/brave-struggle-insight-into-europe-fromits-future. Wheatley, Catherine. Caché (Hidden). BFI Classics. London: Palgrave, 2011. Wojcik, Pamela Robertson. The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945–1975. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010. Wood, Robin. “Hidden in Plain Sight.” Art Forum Magazine, January 2006. Accessed March 9, 2013, https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-141095853/hidden-inplain-sight-robin-wood-on-michael-haneke-s.

17 Cosmopolitan Testimony

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Engaging Radical Alterity on The Road to Guantánamo Terri Tomsky

The covert assassination of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan by United States Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011 provided a symbolic climax to the War on Terror but little, if any, closure. Even the facts surrounding the event, let alone the narratives that have emerged from them, are still being contested. The triumphant headlines in the international media elided the concerns of many for whom the assassination signaled the Obama administration’s disregard of international human rights law and the principle of due process. Given that Bin Laden’s body was, according to the official reports, hastily disposed of in the north Arabian Sea, documentary images have assumed a central position in the debate in what could be described as a belated habeas corpus plea.1 Although select members of the US Congress have reportedly seen photographs of Bin Laden’s death, and details of those photographs have been described by Matt Bissonette, one of the Navy SEALs involved in the operation, there are still calls from across the political spectrum for the release of visual proof.2 As the conclusion to a conflict that began so spectacularly, with attacks on the symbols of American prosperity, the controversy over the absent photographs reveals the challenges identified by scholars working on the securitization culture of the War on Terror. For example, cultural theorist W.J.T. Mitchell has described the conflict as “a war of images,” in which the circulation of iconic photos in both mainstream and social media has proved a powerful directive to endless war. For Mitchell, iconic images, like those of the burning Twin Towers, deploy an aestheticized terror that has “infect[ed] the collective imaginary of global populations.”3 Thinking of the conflict in the terms Mitchell suggests helps explain why certain visual images were amplified for political purposes, just as others were redacted, as in the case of the Bin Laden assassination. Among the many fronts and conflict zones in the War on Terror, few have had their images so contested, so repressed, and so securitized as those of the Guantánamo military complex at Cuba, where, as of April 2015, 122 men remain incarcerated.4 In the years since 2001, the use of images to manage public fear has played a central role in the US security regime and its internationalized detention apparatus. The attack on US soil galvanized a collective impulse to increase national security, resulting in rushed reactions to the inchoate but anticipated

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Cosmopolitan Testimony  259 threat of further attacks, in acts of what legal scholar Fiona de Londras calls “panic-related law-making.”5 The most important legislation, the Patriot Act, was signed into law in October 2001, asserting the nearly unlimited power of the US executive and engendering a profound shift in the United States’ “security imaginary.” Scholars in international relations use the idea of the security imaginary to describe a mode of interpreting and organizing the world in relation to the management of insecurity, understood not only as actual realities, but rather as enculturated conceptions of threatening identities, interests, and authorities.6 Key to this endeavor in the US War on Terror was the way the George W. Bush administration divided the world into a contest between “us” and “them,” with the “terrorist” ­represented as an antithetical Other to the American subject. In the US security imaginary, the “enemy combatant”—a new category of prisoner, suspected of terrorist activities and stripped of legal rights—represents a new threat that legally could and ideologically should be detained indefinitely.7 This chapter examines one form of resistance to the excesses of securitization, particularly to the desubjectification experienced by the “enemy combatant” under a regime of securitization. I focus on a close reading of Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross’s 2006 docudrama, The Road to ­Guantánamo (hereafter The Road), which details the extraordinary rendition of the so-called Tipton Three—Asif Iqbal, Ruhel Ahmed, and Shafiq Rasul, three British-born citizens from the midlands town of ­Tipton. The three were “rendered” (i.e., kidnapped) from Afghanistan to the G ­ uantánamo military complex, where they were held as terrorists for 29 months until their release without charge in March 2004.8 The critique leveled at the Bush administration’s security imaginary is manifest in the film’s trailer, which asks its viewers: “How far will we go in the name of ­security?”9 Clearly, the film’s dramatized account of the journey to G ­ uantánamo is intended to heighten awareness about the abuses perpetrated (and made possible) in the new normal inaugurated by the War on Terror. In particular, as I will argue, the film circulates as a form of cosmopolitan testimony, mediating the witnesses’ accounts of their experience by invoking an ethic of hospitality. Hospitality functions in two distinct but complementary ways in the film. First, it works to frame the testimonial content in contradistinction to the profound inhospitality of the security apparatuses of the War on Terror. But equally, the film is made to circulate along networks that are sympathetic to its political message. The Road’s international reception, especially within film festivals and human rights activist networks, suggests that its creators anticipated and indeed depended on a hospitable, rather than a hostile, reception of its cosmopolitan testimony. The film’s genre is important to its activation of the ethics of hospitality at each of these levels. The Road is a docudrama, a hybrid genre that mixes the style of documentary realism with dramatic representation. Docudrama operates through historical reconstruction, often using historical footage to create an aura of verisimilitude and credibility to open up debate around the

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260  Terri Tomsky historical past. Though it relies on actors to portray the Tipton Three, The Road incorporates actual interviews with and uses voiceovers from the real prisoners, to dramatic effect. Additionally, it integrates archival TV journalism about the US military intervention in Afghanistan from the Associated Press, BBC, ITN, and Al Jazeera. The film’s use of hand-held cinematography in the reconstructions conveys the grit and raw commotion of many scenes; together with the integrated media footage, the cinematography evokes a strong sense of realism. The testimonial dimensions of the film challenge the dominant narrative around the war, its presumed agents, and the sense of risk that has been cultivated in the public through the mainstream media. As Winterbottom has emphasized, “[A]ll of us saw what was happening in Afghanistan through the news”; this perspective of the mainstream news aligns the viewer with the Allies and their victory over alleged Al-Qaeda operatives, and reaffirms the reductive narrative offered by the Bush administration.10 In contrast, Winterbottom’s cosmopolitan testimony situates his audience in relation to the forced extradition and systemic abjection of human subjects, in order to implicate the viewer in what Jacques Derrida calls “the experience of hospitality.”11 For Winterbottom, as for Derrida, hospitality becomes an antithesis to contemporary securitization practices. The principle of true hospitality is unconditional, signifying a leap into openness to a foreigner or a stranger, who may well represent a risk or “hostile subject.”12 The enemy combatant who embodies this danger thus becomes a way to conceptualize the possibility of hospitality in an age of terror. The Road scrutinizes the security imaginary produced around the figure of the enemy combatant, representing those securitized spaces of the War on Terror that are (mostly) concealed, as well as the transnational figures shuttled through them. The film reaches not only into Afghanistan’s volatile territory; it also offers crucial representations of the off-limits international complex of prisons, detention centers, and military facilities used to interrogate and hold suspects. In depicting what occurs in this system, The Road details the processes of dehumanization to suggest not only the ways in which the “risk” of terrorism is managed, but also the ways in which alterity itself is produced through the bodies of the Guantánamo prisoners. The film contends that in the War on Terror, hospitality is purposefully abandoned in order to produce the objects necessary to the dominant narrative. That dominant narrative requires that prisoners are hardened terrorists, and the War on Terror enables this transformation, in order to justify the existence of a hidden, extralegal “supermax” detention facility like Guantánamo. Furthermore, I demonstrate how an encounter with hospitality is made possible through the film’s dramatic reconstruction of testimony—through a series of visual close-ups of bodies and faces—as well as through voiceover testimony from the former prisoners. Both techniques make visible and visceral the experiences of extraordinary rendition, interrogation, torture, and isolated confinement endured by Guantánamo inmates. Through such

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Cosmopolitan Testimony  261 affective possibilities contained in the medium of film, we see how hospitality to the stranger is communicated to an audience. Finally, I ­conclude by investigating the cosmopolitanization of this testimony. Testimony is a complex genre, a mode of communication that speaks with authority derived from the experiential to an authority (a judge; an interviewer; a public).13 Since testimony is always given with reference to an actual or implied set of laws and principles, it is therefore always political. Cosmopolitan testimony, as the Greek root of the word cosmopolitan implies, seeks its audience in the polity of world citizens. Cosmopolitan testimony, I argue, disseminates testimony upon a world stage, reaching out to a global audience on the presumed basis of a shared sense of “human” identity. As with sociologists Natan Sznaider and Daniel Levy’s concept of “cosmopolitan memory,” cosmopolitan testimony facilitates the international transmission and mediation of an atrocity to different cultures.14 The Road’s dissemination is of particular interest here. Released in March 2006, The Road screened in theatres in 18 countries and was simultaneously released on multiple platforms—including DVD, television, and the Internet, a day after it was broadcast on British television’s Channel Four—a strategy that sought access to a large, diverse audience.15 Among those multiple platforms, the film’s circulation along established human rights circuits shows how the film is designed partly to animate viewers who are already mobilized to engage with rights issues. In this sense, cosmopolitan testimony invokes the principle of hospitality that underlies such communities: Those who are willing to engage with the alterity represented by the Guantánamo prisoners.

Security and Abjection The Road dramatizes what happens to a human under the regime of securitization developed in the War on Terror. The film begins in October 2001 in the United Kingdom, as Asif Iqbal, Ruhel Ahmed, and Shafiq Rasul (along with a fourth British citizen, Munir Ali) travel to Pakistan to plan for Iqbal’s wedding. Once in Pakistan, the men hear about the American-led assault on the Taliban and the emerging refugee crisis, and they decide to set out for Afghanistan with the ostensible aim of helping locals. They find a bus that takes them across the Afghan border to the city of Kandahar, which the US military is already bombing. Then they travel on to Kabul, but again they find little to do. After a few weeks of waiting, they decide to return to ­Pakistan. Unable to communicate in Pashto, they are driven in the wrong direction, not to Pakistan but north to Kunduz, a city near the Tajik border, which is full of Taliban fighters and under siege by American allies in Afghanistan, the Islamic United Front.16 In the chaos of what a BBC report (excerpted in the film) describes as “the largest single surrender of Taliban forces,” the men hurriedly evacuate Kunduz. At this point, Munir Ali is separated from the others and disappears.17 The departing convoys are aerially bombed, presumably by NATO forces, and then intercepted by the United

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262  Terri Tomsky Front. The Tipton Three survive and are separated out as foreign fighters by US Special Forces, under suspicion of being Al-Qaeda recruits. They are flown to Kandahar airbase, interrogated, and then flown on to ­Guantánamo. After 29 months of imprisonment, evidence surfaces that discredits the most serious claims against them—that they attended Taliban training camps and personally met both Osama Bin Laden and the leader of the 9/11 attacks, Mohammad Atta—so they are released without any charge.18 Winterbottom’s docudrama begins prior to the departure of the ­Tipton Three, with a return to the point at which the War on Terror began. The film’s opening shot is from a press conference held by British Prime ­Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush. This footage, lifted from an actual mainstream news source, announces what is to be the overarching narrative of the War on Terror: The urgent need for preemptive security, and in particular the need for a special overseas facility like G ­ uantánamo, earmarked for what the Bush administration has elsewhere called “highvalue detainees.”19 Speaking about the terrorist suspects rounded up and sent to Guantánamo, Bush announces that “the only thing I know for certain is that these are bad people.” Such declarative statements of certainty typify the rhetoric of the war aesthetic, complementing the images of threat and spectacle used in the mainstream news to galvanize support and create legitimacy for the state’s counterterror policies. In a 2006 interview, ­Winterbottom criticized the representation of these purportedly “bad people”: “So much of the imagery, so much of the way the situation was handled by the American authorities was to make them anonymous.”20 Winterbottom is referring to the dominant images in newspapers and news channels of enemy combatants, including the set of images released by the ­American authorities in January 2002, displayed as orange-clad prisoners viewed from a distance behind the wire cages of Guantánamo’s Camp X-Ray.21 These images, in other words, are constructed to imply that the prison’s secure design was necessary because of the imagined status of its prisoners (as opposed to their proven crimes); yet, this high-level security design in turn designates the detainee as a high-level security risk so as to justify this treatment of the prisoner.22 Winterbottom emphasizes how physical distance (and arm’s-length media coverage) were important to sustaining public fear of the prisoners: “all were kept so far away … we were always told that they were the worst of the worst, the most dangerous terrorists in the world, who are such a big threat.”23 The Road’s use of actual media footage alongside the highly detailed testimony of the Tipton Three captures the inadequacy of the news. This juxtaposition generates questions about the gaps in condensed news broadcasts and governmental press briefs, as well as fleshing out the fuller human identity of those hitherto “disappeared” terrorist suspects. Winterbottom’s specific focus on the Tipton Three’s personal encounters with the US military reveals particular elements of the counter-terror strategies of the US security regime. While the security state seeks to detect

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Cosmopolitan Testimony  263 and remove both identifiable and unknowable risks, it faces a particular challenge to do so in a war that is global in scope and open-ended. Joseph Masco has outlined this problem of the “unlocatable menace” in his study of the US counterterrorism apparatus, claiming that, “there is no space, object, or person that cannot be construed in some fashion as on the front line of this new conflict.”24 Yet, The Road demonstrates how the security imaginary marks out the foreign as a particular threat. Rather than simply excluding the foreigner, the security imaginary seeks to locate and contain the Other and so master the threat posed. In this sense the men’s Britishness signifies the fact that they are out of place in Afghanistan, and The Road proposes that their foreignness is the determining factor in their rendition to Guantánamo. In its representation of the evacuation at Kunduz, as the city is being bombed by the allies, The Road shows the capture of the three British men along with the fleeing locals by the United Front. The film cuts to BBC media footage, with a reporter describing the surrender at Kunduz. He explains that the “United Front knows that the eyes of the outside world are upon them and especially on how they treat their prisoners, Afghans, but especially those from outside the country.” Here, the emphasis on prisoners “from outside the country” conveys the special status of those prisoners as purported foreign fighters and radicals. Their foreignness is understood as subversive, since their presence in Afghanistan, fighting as volunteers in a place where they have no citizenship, family, or affiliations, implies their commitment to an ominous “Global Islam.”25 In The Road, the three Britons are repeatedly told by the other prisoners, who are primarily Afghans, not to divulge their nationality and pose instead as Pakistanis. Foreignness—construed as beyond the regional—has a special place in the fears and fantasies produced under the security imaginary. And yet, the reporter’s brief commentary on the outside world and the treatment of prisoners strikes a reassuring tone: first, the reporter asserts the moral high ground to his viewers, suggesting that the “eyes of the outside world” (i.e., the West) will not allow the mistreatment of prisoners of war, an irony considering the film’s later depiction of the Guantánamo military complex and the interrogation techniques used on its inmates; second, the reporter reasserts the presumed hegemony of the West in his assumption of the efficacy of their monitoring, if not their prevention, of atrocities that might (putatively) be expected of an Afghan military organization. In this scene, Winterbottom exposes the contradictions of the security regime; the BBC footage projects an ideal of human rights and accountability to international organizations; yet, what follows in the dramatic reconstruction is a negation of hospitality toward the stranger. The Tipton Three are stigmatized and singled out because, and not in spite of, their foreign status. While Derrida urges an ethos of unconditional hospitality toward the stranger; The Road presents viewers with a counter image: The stranger who must be managed and controlled indefinitely.

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264  Terri Tomsky Winterbottom’s film traces a movement away from hospitality, into an increasing estrangement from the Other, by anatomizing the brutal processes through which Guantánamo’s prisoners are dehumanized. Initially, Iqbal, Ahmed, and Rasul are relieved when the US military separates them from the local Afghans held in the United Front prison; indeed, they anticipate that their status as British citizens will afford them a level of protection, if not welcome. Their experiences up to this point have shattered their naïve beliefs about their treatment as prisoners of the United Front troops. For example, The Road portrays the United Front stripping their ­prisoners—including the Tipton Three—of all valuables, including their shoes. As they are herded together onto a convoy of trucks bound for Sheberghan prison, we see the dead and the injured being thrown into a mass grave. During the long journey, many prisoners suffocate in the sealed truck containers. The men’s arrival at Sheberghan prison signals an improvement in events, though Rasul tells the camera how the prisoners go “for days without water or food.” At this point, Winterbottom again incorporates news footage that corroborates this account of the prison as having “extremely overcrowded conditions.” The news footage, however, justifies this inhumane situation by adding that the prison is “full of ­Taliban fighters, presumed highly dangerous.” When we return to the Three, they are picked out from the prison by the US commanding officer, who consoles them with the statement, “You’re in US custody now. It’s OK.” At this point, the film cuts to the present day, to Iqbal (and not the actor who plays him), who recalls his thoughts at the time and speaks to his sense of solidarity with the Americans: “Them’s all alright … I thought I am alright now, nothing’s going to happen.” But as events progress, the three men realize that their British citizenship affords them no protection, despite Britain’s status as an ally of the United States. Instead, the men are first flown over 900 kilometers from Sheberghan to Kandahar’s military base and then on to Guantánamo, described by the BBC footage in The Road as “a prison for Al-Qaeda’s most dangerous fighters.” By representing the arrival of the Tipton Three at Guantánamo, Winterbottom probes the War on Terror’s closed network of prisons and military bases. The desubjectification of these individuals, which begins with the United Front, is perfected by the US military, first at Kandahar prison and then in Guantánamo. Iqbal, Ahmed, and Rasul are induced into a strategy and routine of domination that asserts US sovereignty over their bodies. Indeed, the military personnel affirm as much to the prisoners: “You are now the property of the US marine corps” (emphasis added). Through this assertion, the film signals the negation of hospitality in a symbolic shift that transforms the three men from rights-bearing humans into abjects— literally, those cast out of society. The flight to Kandahar, the point where they enter officially into US custody, marks the turning point in the film, where the three young men are rendered (and renditioned) into the abject.

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Cosmopolitan Testimony  265 In preparation for their flight, their arms are tightly shackled and their faces are hooded (with the hoods taped). At Kandahar, they are made to run blindfolded, naked, and with arms shackled within the prison complex. In the outdoor prisoner compound, where temperatures are extreme and shelter is inadequate, they are constantly restrained, frequently kicked by American soldiers, and subjected to sleep deprivation via hourly headcounts throughout the night. During their interrogations, they are beaten when they answer in the negative to charges of “You’re Al-Qaeda.” Their refusal to accept subjectification within the symbolic order that underwrites the US security imaginary, and the state’s refusal to recognize them any other way, confirm their abjection. Julia Kristeva has described the abject as “a threat, something ejected beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, the thinkable.”26 The film’s depiction of abjection helps viewers conceptualize the classification of the Tipton Three as “exceptional prisoners” and how that appellation warrants the excessive, militarized security processes of the War on Terror. While the men are described as “exceptional,” their designation as enemy combatants in fact normalizes their unprecedented “national security-related confinement outside the criminal justice system.”27 This status scuttles the Geneva protections normally afforded to prisoners of war and enables the new security infrastructure set up to manage those Muslim individuals who supposedly embody the “purest form of threat … imaginable.”28 Subjected to a process of symbolic and physical exclusion, the men are brutalized by the military, casting them beyond the remit of human rights and so too, the human. The excessive punishment meted out is vindicated by the men’s exceptional status as an extraordinary threat. The Road details the transformation from individual subjects into abject prisoners to be indefinitely incarcerated in Guantánamo, what the US military—in The Road’s dramatization—calls their “final destination.” The film depicts the process of abjection, as the prisoners have their heads shaved; are photographed and outfitted into an orange jump suit; are equipped with giant black-out goggles and noise-canceling headphones over black hoods; and chained en masse, before being flown to Guantánamo. Deprived of sight, hearing, and movement, the men are forced into a zone of exclusion, a violent sundering from the world around them, while constantly surveilled by the US guards. In a similar way, the interrogation techniques initiate further detachments. The Road dramatizes how the three men are asked “the same questions over and over again.” When they deny they are working for alQaeda, the men are shackled in stress positions and placed in isolation cells for months. While the dramatic reconstruction represents this subjugation, The Road incorporates documentary news footage of President Bush justifying G ­ uantánamo on the basis that its inmates are “killers … [who] don’t share the same values we share.” In this way, the film exploits the generic conventions of the docudrama to underscore the unmaking of

266  Terri Tomsky these “same values”: Imposing moments of cognitive dissonance among its viewership, and challenging them to confront the possibility that the violent and humiliating processes at Guantánamo instead enforce different, even inhuman, values.

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Hospitality and Encounters with the Other Winterbottom probes the way the dominant securitization narrative of the Bush administration is created through the War on Terror, but he refuses to accede to its logic. Throughout the film, Winterbottom produces ­powerful ­re-humanizations of the prisoners, directly engaging the principle of hospitality through points of sensory contact, including vocal and visual representations of pain. These are not always represented together. For ­ instance, throughout the Guantánamo scenes in the film, the image of the detainee often appears to fit the paranoid projections of the security regime; yet, instead of presenting the audience with a mute or silenced prisoner, The Road provides an aural component that vocalizes the men’s suffering. The film often elicits the men’s discomfort and fear through sound, including the deafening pitch of the cargo planes in which the men are transported, or through the amplified sounds of breathing and groans, as they are shackled in stress positions. Such witness accounts that appeal to modes of sensation transform “communities of viewing” into what media theorist Lilie ­Chouliaraki calls “imagined communities of feeling,” as the audience is implicated in the experience of vulnerability on the screen.29 Winterbottom’s film also stages encounters with the Other through images of the human face. In pointed contrast to the anonymity conferred by the masks and black-out goggles, Winterbottom reinstates the sense of human solidarity by allowing his camera to dwell on the prisoners’ faces and their expressions of concern and fear. As the enemy combatants arrive at ­Guantánamo, the camera follows military personnel as they kick the hooded prisoners and force them to their knees. Later, as the soldiers force the prisoners into the separate outdoor cells of Camp X-Ray, the camera peers through the wire-link fence and lingers on the unmasked face of Rasul, who is recognizable despite his shaved head. His expression, one of disbelief and curiosity, takes in the other inert and silent prisoners. Throughout Rasul’s effort to establish a fleeting connection with the other prisoners, Winterbottom’s camera focuses on the human face, offering viewers a ­ humanist coda. In these extreme conditions, the face—much like the voice— represents an “epiphany,” to use Emmanuel Lévinas’s description, that sets into motion an ethical relationship between the viewer and the Other.30 In The Road, Winterbottom’s camera does important work in framing the encounter between the film’s subjects and its viewers as an encounter of hospitality. More generally, Winterbottom adopts the genre of docudrama to stage this ethical encounter. Like documentary and journalism, docudrama tends to deal with iconic historical events, particularly those that

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Cosmopolitan Testimony  267 have been understood through popular culture, and it frequently draws on actual images and documents in order to produce new kinds of historical claims about particular events. Steve Lipkin has argued that docudramas are “melodramas incorporating ‘true,’ documentary materials” that ­“perform their subjects” in re-creating their life stories.31 Certainly, Winterbottom deploys the oral testimony of Iqbal, Ahmed, and Rasul as a voice-over narrative, spoken by the eye-witnesses, at strategic points throughout. The docudrama’s reconstruction of events creates what Paul Frosh has described as a “testimonial immediacy,” as the audience gains both proximity and insight into the traumatic experience of the Tipton Three.32 The film evokes immediacy by foregrounding the prisoners’ perspective, for example, in the Tipton Three’s use of the first-person pronoun, their direct eye contact with the audience, by their articulateness and their calm, as well as in the way the actors, who play them, represent their reactions to the sequence of events. The visual reenactment of such events establishes a temporary identification with the Tipton Three in (reconstructed) real time, producing “liveness, immediacy, and co-presence,” and positioning the audience as witnesses as they, see, hear, and even share the men’s feelings as mediated on the screen.33 This real-time witnessing means that Guantánamo is no longer just a news event, a sound-byte that quickly recedes into the past. Instead, the film’s urgent dramatization of the extralegal treatment of terrorist suspects substitutes the pervasive hostility of the US security imaginary for a connection between the subjects of the film and their audience. Winterbottom’s substitution of hospitality for hostility foregrounds how recognition is intrinsic to an ethical relationship. The British Tipton Three are ideal protagonists for Winterbottom’s film and its Western audience in that they resemble Westerners in their native use of English, their familiar emotions, and their use of identifiable cultural references, like rap music or pizza—in contrast, for example, to the Chinese Uyghurs or the Pashtospeaking Afghans incarcerated at Guantánamo. The film’s reliance on recognition, in terms of the likeness between viewers and the film’s subjects, might be criticized, yet it is crucial to the film’s attempt to expand its audience’s capacity for hospitality. That is to say, an audience’s sympathy for three men who are “like us” can serve as a fulcrum upon which to leverage sympathies for even more radically alien others. The film’s focus on the brutal process of abjection paves the way to a new awareness, and critique, of the production of political Others.

Cosmopolitan Testimony and Hospitable Communities Although the film has much more to say about the extreme conditions endured by the Tipton Three, relayed visually and aurally through the spoken testimony of Iqbal, Ahmed, and Rasul, I want to conclude by turning to the extensive, global circulation of Winterbottom’s docudrama and what this “cosmopolitanization” of testimony demonstrates about audience

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268  Terri Tomsky disposition toward hospitality in relation to the War on Terror.34 I call this strategic distribution of witness accounts a “cosmopolitan testimony” as a way to capture the activist practices that underlie the production, utilization, framing, and travel of eyewitness testimony in a multimedia age to reach a global audience. This cosmopolitanization of testimony is key to the docudrama’s attempt to challenge reductive understandings of the War on Terror, particularly by the mainstream media, and to animate a public critique of increasing securitization practices. In theorizing cosmopolitan testimony, I build on Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider’s seminal concept of “cosmopolitan memory.” In their account, Levy and Sznaider demonstrate how a public memory of the Holocaust becomes available to audiences who have not experienced the event. As the memory travels, it encounters different cultures and “evolves from the encounter of global interpretations and local sensibilities.”35 These are dialectical encounters, with both the audience and the memory itself affected by the contact. One result is that the historical specificity of the Holocaust is partially lost as the associated, i­ndividual memories of Jewish survivors are reconfigured into an iconic “shared memory,” a symbol of “global solidarity.”36 The memory is “shared,” in other words, not only by its producers (the survivors whose individual remembrances have been collected into a Holocaust memory) but also its consumers, the groups or communities, who are removed from the event, yet who recognize and memorialize the images, memories, and suffering of the Holocaust. Through this process, Holocaust memory gains efficacy as a strategy for promoting and shaping universal moral obligations and human-rights advocacy. Levy and Sznaider’s account captures how a modern global human rights regime gradually emerged, and became normative, even if it remained “rather fragile.”37 In particular, Levy and Sznaider’s emphasis on interlinked processes ­identifies a basis for conceptualizing the operation of cosmopolitan testimony: first, the transcultural dissemination and the mediation of a group’s memory to those outside of the group; and, second, the creation of a public consensus on human rights via the public remembrance of a historically significant atrocity. For Levy and Sznaider, cosmopolitan memory is cosmopolitan precisely because it opens a way to bypass the sovereignty that the nation-state claims over the interpretation of history.38 In other words, in its recognition of Othered histories, cosmopolitan memory attempts to shape “new cosmopolitan sensibilities and moral-political obligations.”39 In Levy and Sznaider’s account, the institutionalization (and indeed the commercialization) of the Holocaust enables a larger public human rightsoriented c­ommunity to emerge, a scattered, yet institutionalized social consensus, which would enable the emergence and dissemination of other non-­Holocaust ­testimonies, like those about Guantánamo. Within the context of the War on Terror, cosmopolitan testimony— rather than cosmopolitan memory—suggests a way to account for the historical proximity of the war, as well as to respond to the post–9/11 security

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Cosmopolitan Testimony  269 imaginary, with its proliferation of hegemonic narratives about the alleged terrorists held at the Guantánamo complex. Public remembrance of something as nebulous as the War on Terror has not yet been (and perhaps will never be) institutionalized, since many of its global victims remain scattered or invisible, anonymous “collateral damage” of retaliatory terrorist and military violence.40 But if the War on Terror lacks the sites of public remembrance, it in no way lacks for sights. The Twin Towers; the Mission Accomplished photo-op; the Abu Ghraib prison; the black-hooded orangeclad Guantánamo prisoners all emphasize the prominence of visual symbols within this “war of images.”41 While acknowledging that practically all wars are invested in images, W.J.T. Mitchell observes that images acquired a new significance in the context of a war conducted in the digital age where, “the whole meaning of spectacle and surveillance is being re-fashioned.”42 Mitchell explains how a complex emergent media ecology—which includes both mainstream networks and less coherent social media and where individual images are subject to democratic resistance, disruption, and detournement—lends agency to images. Images act and work independently of their creators and intermediators as they become vehicles for the transmission of affect. At stake, according to Mitchell and other theorists of the visual, is not so much the image but the operation of power upon the image. Power structures how we view, or read, images, denoting what is to be seen and what is to remain invisible.43 In the context of a media ecology, where state and corporate powers dominate but do not determine, testimony plays an important role in recalibrating our attention. Testimony invites a return to things passed over, elided, and overlooked in hegemonic versions of history. Testimony thus takes on an important role in refuting the War on Terror’s aesthetic of ellipses and discrepancies, offering a “war of images,” which takes place “on behalf of radically different images of possible futures.”44 Cosmopolitan testimony enables subjects to call for attention, and receive recognition, on an international stage. As with cosmopolitan memory, which circumvents the state’s interpretation of the past, cosmopolitan testimony travels through international communication networks that aim to reach new communities while contesting the hegemonic narrative of events. Whereas the Holocaust’s cosmopolitan memory has been enabled by the geopolitical coordinates of the Jewish diaspora and the judicial response to Nazi perpetrators in the 1960s, today’s cosmopolitan testimonies are facilitated by an human rights public culture extant largely as a consequence of the cosmopolitization of the Holocaust.45 The Road anticipates this sympathetic community of viewers in the way it was disseminated along similar networks, through international film festivals and on university campuses, as well as through free digital media, whether hosted and promoted within online and alternative news networks, or through digital video channels. As film scholar Yosefa Loshitzky explains, “In an attempt to partially ameliorate the invisibility of American-run extrajudicial black holes, Winterbottom’s

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270  Terri Tomsky guerrilla style of global distribution and exhibition made sure that 1.6 ­million people watched the film on its first day of release.”46 This kind of mass distribution adheres to the film’s explicit human rights imperative, an orientation that presupposes that audiences will want to engage with—and indeed willingly seek out—new representations of Guantánamo. The fact that The Road continues to circulate along human rights networks at universities and film festivals is heartening, not least because the film enables public scrutiny of the torture policies and practices carried out in the War on Terror. To this end, Winterbottom’s film deliberately addresses an audience whose political sensibilities and subjectivities have been called into being by the War on Terror. But it is important to note that these networks and their venues predate the production of the film; they comprise the already-existing infrastructure that a film like The Road can utilize to l­everage its representation of a particular trauma to a global audience. Yet The Road does not provide the call to action that characterizes so many of the films that run on these circuits. Instead, with a conscious awareness of the legal black hole created by the US program of extraordinary rendition and exceptional detention, the film produces not a definitive truth about these alleged enemy combatants, but rather provokes questions, i­ntroducing reasonable doubt of their guilt into a public forum. Such a maneuver implicitly calls attention to the absence of the rule of law and the transgression of international treaties. Winterbottom’s cosmopolitan testimony does not ask viewers to believe the explanations offered by the Tipton Three for why they ended up in US custody. Instead by representing their abjection while in that custody, by affectively communicating their vulnerability, The Road reaches out to forge sympathetic bonds between the men who became enemy combatants against their will and their worldwide audience. The hope is that after watching The Road, the audience will be challenged into a shared ethical and political commitment, of viewing the world differently, much as Iqbal does when he affirms that his experience has “changed the way I see the world.” The narrative of The Road, in other words, does not end with the ­redemptive exculpation of the three men or a sense of closure. Instead, the film ends on a note of openness, articulated through a renewed ­obligation to welcome the alterity of the nameless Other, while remaining vigilant to the concealed despotism of the War on Terror as it is fought on a global stage and finessed within invisible sites.

Notes 1. Ben Hazell, “Osama Bin Laden Buried,” The Telegraph, May 2, 2011, http:// www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8488271/Osama-binLaden-buried-in-North-Arabian-sea-from-deck-of-aircraft-carrier-USS-CarlVinson.html. 2. “Osama Bin Laden’s Death,” The Guardian, May 4, 2011, http://www.the guardian.com/world/blog/2011/may/04/osama-bin-laden-death-aftermath; Bill

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Cosmopolitan Testimony  271 Mears, “Conservative Group Sues Over Bin Laden Photos,” CNN, May 13, 2011, http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/05/13/bin.laden.photos.lawsuit/. See also Bowden, The Finish. 3. Mitchell, Cloning Terror, 2. 4. “Guantánamo by the Numbers,” Human Rights First, April 17, 2015, accessed April 25, 2015, https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/sites/default/files/gtmo-by-thenumbers.pdf. There is currently much scholarship on Guantánamo’s history and its current status. For a brief overview see Kaplan, “Where Is Guantánamo?”; and Fletcher, “Black Hole.” 5. de Londras, Detention, 9. 6. Muppidi, “Postcoloniality,” 123–125. 7. “Unlawful” and “enemy” were the (interchangeable) qualifiers added to the term “combatant” by the Bush administration in order to circumvent the rights of combatants, understood as prisoners-of-war under the Geneva ­Conventions. As Jonathan Hafetz observes, this neologism meant the prisoner had “no legal protection under any body of law, civilian, or military, domestic or international.” See Jonathan Hafetz, Habeas Corpus after 9/11, 186. The lack of habeas rights was successfully challenged in the US Supreme Court, in Rasul v. Bush (2004). 8. According to most legal historians, the concept of extraordinary rendition is a rhetorical fig leaf developed by the Reagan administration in the 1980s and placed over the practice of state-sanctioned kidnapping. See Satterthwaite, “Rendered Meaningless”; see also Weissbrodt and Bergquist, “Extraordinary Renditions.” 9. All quotations from The Road to Guantánamo are my own transcriptions from the film. 10. McFarlane and Williams, Michael Winterbottom, 45. 11. Derrida and Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality, 133. 12. Ibid., 55. 13. The scholarship on testimony and its tradition and epistemology is diverse. For my purposes, I draw on scholars who view testimony as the demand to be heard and to testify to—and indeed signify—a particular experience. For instance, Anne Cubilié and Carl Good write that testimony represents “a resistance to effacement from juridical, literary, psychic and cultural fields.” See Cubilié and Good, “The Future of Testimony,” 7. Sue Tait suggests that testimony “moralize[s] public action.” See Tait, “Bearing Witness,” 1233. 14. Levy and Sznaider, “Memory Unbound,” 88. 15. For the film’s simultaneous distribution on multiple platforms, see David Rose, “Using Terror to Fight Terror,” The Observer, February 26, 2006, http://www. theguardian.com/film/2006/feb/26/features.review. The Road premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear prize for Best Director. The Road has since been hosted on websites such as Top Documentary Films, Information Clearing House, Documentary Wire, Forced Migration.org, and Veoh.com; screened at major film festivals including Tribeca and Sundance; and featured in a series devoted to human rights issues, such as the Portland Art Museum’s “Human Rights on Film” series, the “Human Rights Film Series” at Nottingham University, United Kingdom, the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas at UC Davis, and multiple Amnesty International events.

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272  Terri Tomsky 16. The Islamic United Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan is more commonly known as the Northern Alliance, but the term “United Front” is used in The Road. 17. Ali continues to be missing; his body has never been recovered, but BBC reports (not shown in The Road) suggest he was killed in Afghanistan. 18. This claim of exculpatory evidence has neither been confirmed nor denied by the US government. However, according to a dossier provided by Tania ­Branigan and Vikram Dodd for The Guardian newspaper, the information that ­discredited American claims against the Tipton Three was provided by MI5. See “Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay,” The Guardian, August 4, 2004, http://www. theguardian.com/world/2004/aug/04/afghanistan.usa. 19. The quotation is attributed to Major General Donald J. Ryder. See Hafetz, Habeas Corpus, 62. 20. D’Arcey, “Michael Winterbottom’s Road Movie,” 110. 21. “In Pictures: Camp X-Ray Prisoners,” BBC News, January 20, 2002, http:// news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1771816.stm. 22. For the production of insecurity through security design, see Weber and Lacy, “Securing by Design.” 23. D’Arcey, “Michael Winterbottom’s Road Movie,” 110. 24. Masco, The Theatre of Operations, 27, 35. 25. According to Thomas Hegghammer, the Muslim foreign fighters “matter because they can affect the conflicts they join, as they did in post-2003 Iraq by promoting sectarian violence. … Perhaps more important, [they] empower transnational terrorist groups, such as al-Qaida, because volunteering for war is the principal stepping-stone for individual involvement in more extreme forms of militancy.” See Thomas Hegghammer, “The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters,” 53. Darryl Li also notes the pejorative labeling of foreignness applied to “outof-place” Muslim fighters as part of the effort to police transnational ­Muslim populations. See Li, “A Universal Enemy?” 359. 26. Kristeva, Powers of Horror, 1. 27. Hafetz, “Military Detention,” 37. 28. Masco, The Theatre of Operations, 27. 29. Chouliaraki, “Ordinary Witnessing,” 113. 30. Levinas, Totality, 75, 199. 31. Lipkin, “This Time It’s Personal,” 122. 32. Frosh, “Telling Presences, 50. 33. Ibid., 52. 34. Levy and Sznaider, “Memory Unbound,” 92. 35. Ibid. 36. Levy and Sznaider, The Holocaust and Memory, 4, 54. 37. Ibid., 17. 38. Ibid., 197. 39. Levy and Sznaider, “Memory Unbound,” 103. 40. While public remembrance nonetheless exists, albeit structured unevenly. For instance, there is a singular focus on spectacular sites of traumatic events, such as New York City’s 9/11 memorial, which commemorates the 2,983 victims of the attack on the World Trade Centre, but which elides the everyday xenophobia that this event galvanized toward ethnic minorities and Muslims, especially. 41. Mitchell, Cloning Terror, 2. 42. Mitchell, “Image War.”

Cosmopolitan Testimony  273 43. See, especially, recent work on the “distribution of the sensible.” See Rancière, Dissensus, 36. 44. Mitchell, Cloning Images, 2. 45. Levy and Sznaider, The Holocaust and Memory, 52–53, 105–112. 46. Loshitzky, Screening Strangers, 138.

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Bibliography Bowden, Mark. The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden. New York: Atlantic Books, 2012. Chouliaraki, Lilie. “Ordinary Witnessing in Post-Television News: Towards a New Moral Imagination.” In Self-Mediation: New Media, Citizenship, and Civil Selves. Edited by Lilie Chouliaraki, 113–127. New York: Routledge, 2012. Cubilié, Anne, and Carl Good. “Introduction: The Future of Testimony,” Discourse 25, nos. 1/2 (2003): 4–18. D’Arcey, David. “Michael Winterbottom’s Road Movie.” In Michael W ­ interbottom: Interviews. Edited by Damon Smith, 106–116. Jackson: University Press of M ­ ississippi, 2011. de Londras, Fiona. Detention in the “War on Terror.” Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle. Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond. Translated by Rachel Bowlby. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. Fletcher, George P. “Black Hole in Guantánamo Bay.” Journal of International ­Criminal Justice 2, no.1 (2004): 121–132. Frosh, Paul. “Telling Presences: Witnessing, Mass Media, and the Imagined Lives of ­ ommunication. Strangers.” In Media Witnessing: Testimony in the Age of Mass C Edited by Paul Frosh and Amit Pinchevski, 49–72. New York: Palgrave M ­ acmillan, 2009. Hafetz, Jonathan. Habeas Corpus After 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System. New York: New York University Press, 2011. Hafetz, Jonathan. “Military Detention in the ‘War on Terrorism’: Normalizing the Exceptional after 9/11.” Columbia Law Review 112 (2012): 31–46. Hegghammer, Thomas. “The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the ­Globalization of Jihad.” International Security 35, no. 3 (2010/11): 53–94. Human Rights First. “Guantánamo by the Numbers.” April 17, 2015. Accessed April 25, 2015. https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/sites/default/files/gtmo-by-thenumbers.pdf. Kaplan, Amy. “Where Is Guantánamo?” American Quarterly 57, no. 3 (2005): 831–858. Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. Translated by Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press, 1982. Levinas, Emmanuel. Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Translated by Alphonso Lingis. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer, 1991. Levy, Daniel, and Natan Sznaider. The Holocaust and Memory in the Global Age. Translated by Assenka Oksiloff. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006. Levy, Daniel, and Natan Sznaider. “Memory Unbound: The Holocaust and the ­Formation of Cosmopolitan Memory.” European Journal of Social Theory 5, no.1 (2002): 87–106.

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274  Terri Tomsky Li, Darryl. “A Universal Enemy?: ‘Foreign Fighters’ and the Legal Regimes of ­Exclusion and Exemption under the ‘Global War on Terror’.” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 41, no. 2 (2010): 355–427. Lipkin, Steve. “This Time It’s Personal: The Ethics of 9/11 Docudrama.” In E ­ thics and Entertainment: Essays on Media Culture and Media Morality. Edited by Howard Good and Sandra L. Borden, 120–134. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. Loshitzky, Yosefa. Screening Strangers: Migration and Diaspora in Contemporary European Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. Masco, Joseph. The Theatre of Operations: National Security Affect from the Cold War to the War on Terror. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014. McFarlane, Brian, and Deane Williams. Michael Winterbottom. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2009. Mitchell, W.J.T. Cloning Terror: The War of Images: 9/11 to the Present. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. Mitchell, W.J.T. “Image War.” nomadikon.net. July 23, 2012. Accessed February 16, 2014, http://www.nomadikon.net/contentitem.aspx?ci=320. Muppidi, Himadeep. “Postcoloniality and the Production of International I­nsecurity: The Persistent Puzzle of U.S.-Indian Relations.” In Cultures of Insecurity: States, Communities, and the Production of Danger. Edited by Jutta Weldes et al., 123–125. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Rancière, Jacques. Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics. Translated by Steven Corcoran. London: Continuum, 2010. The Road to Guantánamo. DVD. Directed by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross. Sony, 2006. Satterthwaite, Margaret L. “Rendered Meaningless: Extraordinary Rendition and the Rule of Law.” George Washington Law Review 75 (2007): 1333–1420. Tait, Sue. “Bearing Witness, Journalism and Moral Responsibility.” Media, Culture and Society 33, no.8 (2011): 1220–1235. Weber, Cynthia, and Mark Lacy, “Securing by Design.” Review of International Studies 37, no. 3 (2011): 1021–1043. Weissbrodt, David S., and Amy Bergquist. “Extraordinary Renditions: A Human Rights Analysis.” Harvard Human Rights Journal 19 (2006): 123–160.

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List of Contributors

Susana Araújo is a Senior Researcher and Vice-Director of the Centre for Comparative Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Lisbon. She is the author of a poetry book, Dívida Soberana (Sovereign Debt, 2012), and her monograph, Transatlantic Fictions of 9/11 and the War on ­Terror, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury. She is the co-editor of the books, Trans/ American, Trans/oceanic, Trans/lation: Issues in International American Studies  (2010) and  (In)seguranças no Espaço Urbano  (2012), a reader on the relations between urban space and dominant notions of insecurity, and the book Fear and Fantasy in a Global World forthcoming with Rodopi. She edited the special double issue on “Terror and Security” for the Review of International American Studies (2008/2009) and coedited a special issue entitled “(In)securities” in Reconstruction: Studies in ­Contemporary Culture. She has published widely in recognized peerreviewed journals (such as Atlantic Studies, Studies in the Novel, and Symbiosis) as well as in many edited books and anthologies. Irina Aristarkhova is the author of Hospitality of the Matrix: Philosophy, Biomedicine, and Culture and editor of the Russian translation of Luce Irigaray’s An Ethics of Sexual Difference. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Design, Women’s Studies and History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her latest project deals with practices of hospitality in contemporary art, and she also writes for her blog at www.russianfeminist.com. Rebecca Bowler is Research Associate on the Dorothy Richardson Editions Project at Keele University. She gained her PhD from the University of Sheffield in 2013 and has published on Dorothy Richardson, observation and negative self-fashioning, and on Richardson, fashion and poverty in Pilgrimages: The Journal of Dorothy Richardson Studies; on ­Mansfield, Sinclair, and Richardson and the cultural status of the short story in British Women Short Story Writers: The New Woman to Now; and on Katherine Mansfield and the double impression in Katherine ­Mansfield Studies. This essay won the Katherine Mansfield Essay Prize. She has recently been awarded the H.D. Fellowship in British and American ­Literature from Yale University and is co-founder of the May Sinclair

276  List of Contributors

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Society. Rebecca is currently working on a monograph, to be entitled “Focus from a Distance”: Vision and Memory in Literary Impressionism, which looks at the visual aesthetics of Dorothy Richardson, Ford Madox Ford, H.D., and May Sinclair. Jeffrey Clapp is Lecturer in the Department of Literature and Cultural ­Studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. His present book project focuses on how North American literature represents, performs, and resists surveillance, and other security practices, from the early Cold War to the present. His previous work may be found in the journals Post45, Textual Practice, and Partial Answers. Jason M. Coats is Assistant Professor in the University College at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he teaches writing and modernist literature; he received his PhD from the University of Virginia in 2008. He has published articles on Pound, Eliot, Yeats, Conrad, Auden, and H.D., most recently in Narrative, Modernism/Modernity, and ­Kaleidoscope. His current book project theorizes narrative progression through modernist poetic sequences by Auden, Eliot, H.D., Pound, and Stevens, in order to account for their rhetorical and political ambitions. Minesh Dass is a Lecturer in the English Department at Rhodes ­University in South Africa. His doctoral research focused on representations of home and hospitality in post-Apartheid South African literature. He has published articles on the work of Zoë Wicomb and Phaswane Mpe. His other areas of interest include American literature and popular culture, postmodernism, and poststructuralism. Mica Hilson is an Assistant Professor of English at Francis Marion ­University, specializing in twentieth-century literature, popular culture, and queer theory. His recent publications include pieces in The Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader and the journals Bookbird and Doris Lessing Studies. He is currently working on a project entitled Queer Family Trees: Evolutionary Biology for Degenerates, which will include a chapter on the representation of little people and hospitality in modern literature and film. Melissa Karmen Lee is a faculty member of the English Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Lee has published on the diaspora, transnational literature, and visual art in publications, including “The Politics of Fiction: A Response to New Orientalism in Type” in Journal of Multicultural Discourse (Routledge Press, 2011), “Diasporic ­Literature: The Politics of Identity and Language” in  Journal of Asian Pacific ­Communications  (John Benjamins Publishing, 2011); “Blunt ­Constructions: Métis Literature in Canada” (Guernica Press, 2012), and “Captivity and Hospitality in the New Americas” in  Hospitality and Society  (Intellect Journals, 2013). She is the founder of two ongoing research projects: Temporary Migrations and Transnationalism Research, an understanding of the evolution of the Chinese Diaspora identity

List of Contributors  277

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as it builds toward a transcultural network between Hong Kong and ­Vancouver, and Fairytale Project, a multidisciplinary research and translation archive investigating artist Ai Weiwei’s 2007 Fairytale exhibition. She has been an invited and keynote speaker at numerous panels and conferences, including “Women in the Arts” at the Asia Society Museum, (Hong Kong, 2013), and the “Arts Writers Convening” at the Warhol Foundation / Creative Capital (Philadelphia, 2011). Mike Marais teaches English literature at Rhodes University in South Africa. His recent publications include Secretary of the Invisible: The Idea of Hospitality in the Fiction of J. M. Coetzee (2009); “Violence, Postcolonial Fiction, and the Limits of Sympathy” (Studies in the Novel 43.1 [2011]); and “The Augenblick of Reading in the Writing of J. M. Coetzee and Michael Ondaatje” (in Levinas and Twentieth-Century Literature: Ethics and the Reconstitution of Subjectivity [2013]). Naomi Marklew received her PhD from Durham University in 2012 with a thesis entitled “Northern Irish Elegy,” which looked at the work of nine Northern Irish poets from across three generations, and proposed that ­ Northern Irish elegy is a distinctive genre of contemporary poetry, arising in part from the impact of political conflict and violence, but continuing as a powerful poetic form in the aftermath of the Troubles. It explored the contention that elegy has a clear social and political function, helping to process some of the losses experienced by a community over the past half-century. Her postdoctoral research has broadened her interest in the links between poetry and bereavement, and she is developing a project that investigates the interdisciplinary relationships between the literature and the psychology of grief. Recent or forthcoming publications on Northern Irish poetry and on the elegy can be found in Irish University Review, English Academy Review, and Scintilla journals. She teaches on several undergraduate modules at D ­ urham University, including a core Introduction to Poetry module. Michael Perfect is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at Bilkent University in Ankara. His main research and teaching interests are in ­ twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and culture, with particular emphases on contemporary literature, postcolonial studies, and adaptation. His book Contemporary Fictions of Multiculturalism: Diversity and the Millennial London Novel was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014. This study analyzes a number of key contemporary texts (including White Teeth, Brick Lane, Small Island, and Pigeon English) that engage with questions about ethnic and cultural diversity in London. It argues that in recent years the most successful and engaging works of literature about the city have attempted to assert its diversity as undeniable while also challenging the notion that London is an inclusive utopia that offers sanctuary and prosperity to its migrants. He has also published journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, and has taught at the University of Cambridge—where he obtained his PhD in 2011—as well as in London.

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278  List of Contributors Emily Ridge is a Lecturer in English Literature at the Hong Kong ­Institute of Education. Her articles have been published in Journeys: The ­International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing (2015), Modernism/Modernity (2014), Textual Practice (2013), Katherine Mansfield Studies (2013), and Kaleidoscope (2010). She is currently completing a monograph—­Portable Modernisms: The Art of Travelling Light—which traces the rise of a new culture of portability from the Victorian to the modern period. She is also developing a second book-length project with a focus on depictions of problematic host–guest relations in late modernist and postwar writing. Arthur Rose is a Postdoctoral Researcher based at the University of  Leeds. His first monograph, Cynical Cosmopolitans: Negotiating Late ­Modernist Celebrity in Borges, Beckett and Coetzee, is forthcoming with B ­ loomsbury Academic (2016). Tony Simoes da Silva teaches in the English literatures program at the ­University of Tasmania, where he is Head of the School of Humanities. His research encompasses postcolonial writing and theory, Afro-­diasporic literature and theory, and specifically African literature in English and Portuguese. Terri Tomsky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. Her research examines the politics of memory in postcolonial and postsocialist literatures. Her essays on cultural memory, trauma, and postcolonial studies have appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Life Writing, Canadian Literature, parallax, and Biography, as well as in book volumes on Transcultural Memory (de Gruyter, 2014), and on C ­ osmopolitan ­Animals (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Her current book project, ­Narrating Guantánamo: Cosmopolitanism, Abjection and Global Belonging, theorizes the interplay of cosmopolitanism and abjection within the context of global terrorism, and focuses in particular on the figure of the enemy combatant. She is also editing a volume of essays with Eddy Kent ­(University of Alberta); Negative Cosmopolitanism: Abjection, Power, Biopolitics (McGill-Queen’s University Press, forthcoming) investigates the relationship between cosmopolitanism, neoimperialism, and the unequal effects of a globalized political economy. Johannes Voelz teaches American Studies at Goethe-Universität ­Frankfurt, Germany. He is the author of Transcendental Resistance: The New Americanists and Emerson’s Challenge (University Press of New ­ ­England, 2010), and Fictions of Security: American Literature and the Uses of Uncertainty (forthcoming). His articles have appeared in journals such as American Literary History, Telos, and Religion & ­Literature. He is the co-editor of three essay collections, most recently The I­ maginary and Its Worlds: American Studies after the Transnational Turn (with Laura Bieger and Ramón Saldívar, University Press of New England,

List of Contributors  279

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2010), and he has edited an issue of the critical theory journal Telos on ­“Security and L ­ iberalism” (Spring 2015) and a forthcoming special issue of A ­ merikastudien/American Studies on “Cultures of Uncertainty in American Literature: Chance, Risk, Security.” He is at work on a new monograph project, which inquires into the changing conceptions of privacy in contemporary fiction. Brian Willems is assistant professor of literature and film theory at the University of Split, Croatia. He is the author of Hopkins and Heidegger ­(Continuum, 2009), Facticity, Poverty and Clones: On Kazuo I­ shiguro’s Never Let Me Go (Atropos, 2010), and Shooting the Moon (Zero Books, 2015). His essays have appeared in From A to : Keywords in Markup (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), Battlestar Galactica and ­Philosophy (Blackwell, 2008), Symposium, Poiesis, Electronic Book Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, ArtUS and elsewhere. He has curated exhibitions of new media art in Croatia and Slovenia.

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Index

abjection 260–1, 264 Abraham, Nicolas 252 Afghanistan 117–9, 198–9, 259–60, 263 Agamben, Giorgio 7, 25–6, 28, 31, 58, 112, 115–16 Ahmed, Sara 95 Algeria 244–45 Al-Qaeda 252–3, 260 alterity see otherness Amar, Paul 7–8 Amoore, Louise 6, 194–95, 200, 227–28, 233–34 Amou’oghli, Babak 244–45 Anderson, Wes 2–3 Apartheid (South Africa) 132, 134, 135; post-Apartheid (South Africa) 133 Arendt, Hannah 1–2, 95 assimilation 11, 104–5, 161–65, 169 autofiction 212–14, 216–17 Bacca, Pippa 9–10, 64–74 Baker, Gideon 4, 112, 191–92 Barris, Ken 10, 127–28, 130, 133, 138–39 Barthes, Roland 82, 88–9, 213, 223n Baudrillard, Jean 161 Bauman, Zygmunt 111–3, 115 Beck, Ulrich 12, 228–229, 233 Bel Geddes, Norman 96–8 Benveniste, Émile 4, 53 Bhabha, Homi 165 Bible 64; Genesis 66; Judges 66 Big House (Irish) 19, 23, 32 binaries 190–1, 202 biopolitics 24–5, 82 borders (national) 6, 111–2, 122–3, 161, 167, 245, 250 Bowen, Elizabeth 47 Brothers, Caroline 10, 112–14, 116–19, 122–23

Burgess, J. Peter 28, 188n, 193–94 Butler, Judith 7–8, 10, 127–28, 132–34, 136–37 Cantonese (language) 168–69 capitalism 102, 162, 164, 200 care 7, 10, 54, 81–4, 87, 90; ethics of 91 Cheah, Pheng 209 Christianity 67, 201 citizenship 4, 11, 65–6, 73, 122–3, 159, 161–66, 245, 264; world citizenship 70–1, 261 class 1, 32, 37–8, 43, 44–5, 97, 101,128–31, 243 Cleave, Chris 10, 112–23 Coetzee, J.M. 5, 10, 81–84, 86–92 Cold War 175–76, 181, 228 community: assimilation into 11, 168–9; as audience 266–9; and codes of recognition 127–32; and conflict 11, 149, 168; in the European Union 250; and gender 66–8; versus individualism 22, 55, 149, 155; and Otherness 85; and refugees 114; and religious affiliation 145; as tribe 198 Conrad, Joseph 55, 58 cosmopolitanism 65–6, 68, 72–4, 86; and cities 119, 196; “cosmopolitan humanism” 137; in Kant 4, 64, 70, 83; and testimony 12, 258, 261; and travel 143 Curtz, Joël 65, 75n Defoe, Daniel 10, 55–57, 88 Deleuze, Gilles 177, 185, 232, 236 Derrida, Jacques 4; on the Abrahamic tradition of hospitality 66–8; on absolute versus conditional hospitality 28, 41, 72, 102, 127, 137, 161, 191–2, 222n, 231, 263; on Algeria

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282 Index 245–6; on aporia 232–3, 245; on the arrivant 231; on cosmopolitanism 74, 83; on death 31; on the etymology of hospitality 53, 244; on the foreigner 11, 41, 44, 116, 159–61, 163, 191, 210; on forgiveness 69–70; on hospitality as antithesis to security 260; on “hostipitality” 54, 84; on the interchangeability of host and guest 30, 94, 166; on the law 135; on the paradoxical nature of hospitality 54, 83, 161, 244; on phonocentrism 224n; on Plato’s pharmacy 82; on reciprocity 166; on the sovereignty of the home 43; on the stranger as Messiah 64; on trembling 27; on violence 163 diaspora 160,167–8 Dillon, Michael 6, 36, 37 disability 94–5 discipline 6, 11, 176–9, 181, 222, 249 displacement 35, 38 111–12, 122, 123–4 docudrama 259, 266–7 domesticity 5, 20, 28, 39–41, 47, 66, 68, 73–4, 246–7 Doubrovsky, Serge 213 drugs 227–8, 229–30 Dunham, Lena 217, 223n dwarfism 94–97 economy 83, 89–90, 91, 164, 200 Eggers, Dave 223n English (language) 162, 169 ethics 5, 12, 28, 72, 84, 91, 160–1, 221, 227–8, 259, 266–7 Europe 246–8 European Union 250 exclusion 1, 95–6, 127, 133, 139, 250, 265; of dwarfs 104–06; “inclusive exclusion” 164, 263; as violence 7, 41–2; of women 72–3 family 10, 12, 23–4, 43, 95–8, 102–6, 135–6, 243, 252 finance 88–9, 194, 199–202 financial crisis of 2008 152, 154, 155 Flynn, Leontia 11, 143–45, 148–49, 150–52, 155 Ford, Ford Madox 9, 37–8, 40, 42 Foucault, Michel 6, 95–6, 113, 176, 188n, 193, 211, 222n, 228 freedom 9, 40, 47, 57–8, 83–4, 113, 139 Freud, Sigmund 135

Fu, Geling 160 Fu, Kim 159–60; 168–69 fundamentalism 199–200, 201 future 6, 127, 154–6, 199, 232–7 gardening 10, 23, 81, 86–7, 88, 92 Gardiner, Michael 56–7, 59 gender 4–5, 9–10, 20; distinctions 60, 159–60, 168; expectations 40, 44, 68, 169; femininity 5, 54, 58–9, 72; and hospitality 68–70, 73; language 44; masculinity 60, 73, 169; patriarchy 10, 61; sexual difference 10, 40, 66, 72–3; and space 68, 73–4; transgender 169 gift economy 9, 29–32, 99, 138 globalization 70, 111–12; 113–14, 119, 120, 123, 190, 233, 250, 253–4, 263, 268 Gordimer, Nadine 55, 86 Gregory, Augusta 19–20, 32 Guantánamo 7, 258–62, 264–7, 269–270 guest 3–4, 8–9; absolute 231; alterity of 138; as arrivant 231; as beneficiary 53, 60, 203; as child 233; versus citizen 164; class of 41–2; conformity of 60, 166; cosmopolitan 72; discrimination against the 54; as disruptive 55–6; dwarf as 99–100; etiquette 29, 39; as foreigner 166; gender of 9, 10, 59, 68; as god or goddess 66, 192; immigrant as 4, 164; as narrator 54; as parasite 86, 100, 166, 184; recognizable versus unrecognizable 1–2, 137; versus resident 164, 196, 198; rights of 137, 164; role reversal with host 30, 54; versus squatter 105; as threat 30, 57, 61, 94, 203, 209, 211; as unexpected 53, 97; as unknown 94; as unwelcome intruder 53, 60, 104; as usurper 53–4, 94, 166, 209; as vulnerable 30 Habermas, Jürgen 211, 222n Hamid, Mohsin 11, 190–1, 191, 193, 203 Hamilton, John T. 7, 54, 58, 61, 83 hands 90–2 Haneke, Michael 12, 243, 245–52 Heaney, Seamus 19, 31–2 Heffernan, James A. W. 5, 209 Heti, Sheila 214–5

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Index  283 Hitchcock, Alfred 247, 249 Hobbes, Thomas 212 Holocaust 268 home 9; ancestral 97, 98; and belonging 131, 160, 195–7; and class 39; and control 135; definition of 160, 161; and diaspora 160; and dwelling 92; exclusions of 133; as fortress 249–50; and gender 72–3; and homeland 3, 70–1, 116, 123, 160, 162, 163, 165–7, 244–6, 250, 253–5; versus homelessness 2; homesickness 167; intrusion upon 168; and nostalgia 47; ownership 102, 106, 162; and privacy 39, 169, 209–10; and reader 114; as refuge 68, 209; renovation 19; security of 36, 38, 46, 85, 95–6, 104, 106, 132, 243, 249; as site of conflict 145, 148; sovereignty of 41, 43; text as 83; threshold of 209; as traditional 35–6; and the unhomely 132; as unsafe 123, 243; value of 47; world as 64, 65 hospitality: Abrahamic 64, 66 70; absolute versus conditional 4, 28, 41, 54, 72, 127, 137, 161, 191, 192, 231, 245; and benefaction 53, 115; and charity 10, 81, 82, 84, 86, 89–90; as control 113; cross-cultural 190–1, 192–3, 203; as dialectical 73, 121, 122; as duty 39, 44, 60, 191; and the enemy 2, 4, 84, 161, 166, 259–60; etiquette of 29–30, 39, 40–1; etymology of 53, 209, 244; and exclusion 10, 41–2, 112; financial resources required for 38, 41, 47; and food 42, 191–2, 193; as hierarchical 94–103; and hostility 53, 61, 69, 94, 197; industry 145, 149–50; inhospitality 55, 186, 197, 199, 259; limit of 127, 133; as paradox 54; in a public space 40; between reader and text 5, 83, 88, 114, 127, 209–12; and recognizability 3; and religion 64, 66, 192, 198; as right 41, 54; and role reversal 120; and sacrifice 65, 68; and sociability 40–1, 44; as threatening 193; and xenos (foreigner/stranger) 2–4, 41, 43–4, 61, 64–5, 70, 83–4, 159–61, 167–8, 209–10, 231–2 host: absence of 61; angelic 198; author as host 221; as benefactor 53; as benevolent 203; death of the 31, 53–4; with disability 94; duties of 192; dwarf as 94, 101–2; etymology of 4,

209, 244; exploitation of 166; gender of 60–1; as hostage 30, 94, 249; as impeccable 191–2; interchangeability with guest 9, 94, 120, 166, 210; language of the 44, 161, 163, 166; as master 28, 44, 54, 66, 68, 96–8,161, 249, 251, 255; military connotations of 197–8; nation as 11, 164, 195–6, 198, 245, 250; as patriarch 10, 23, 61, 98; power of the 39, 41, 161; as proprietor 21, 38–40, 41, 47, 61, 102; reluctant 54, 55; rights of the 159; security of 84–5, 137; as threatening 53, 193; transnational 255; unconditional 116; vulnerability of the 30, 39, 53–4, 94, 137, 209, 211, 221, 255 hostess 5, 39–41, 42 human rights 268–70 Huxley, Aldous 94, 96, 99, 102 identity 38, 58, 99, 164, 218 immigration 4, 159, 164; authorities 136, 194, 203, 250 imperialism 12, 37, 55, 88, 116, 120, 130, 200–1, 252 information 138, 181 invitation 29–30, 196 irony 21, 24, 215–221, 228, 230 Islam 190, 256n, 263 Jeffers, Alison 4, 120, 122 Jin, Ha 11, 159–161,167 July, Miranda 11, 212–13, 217–221 Kant, Immanuel 4, 64–65, 70–2, 75n, 83–4, 210 Knausgaard, Karl Ove 11, 213–4, 216–7, 219 Kouachi, Saїd and Chérif 252–3 Lagerkvist, Pär 94, 99–102 language 44, 91, 121, 128, 131, 134, 161–62; 168; and social institutions 130 Lerner, Ben 213–4, 216–7 Lessing, Doris 10, 95, 101–02, 105 Levinas, Emmanuel 4, 55, 57, 62n, 69, 88, 116, 266 Levy, Daniel 261, 268 Leys, Ruth 131, 218, 224n Li, Yiyun 160, 170n liberalism 6, 57, 210–2, 221, 228 Lin, Tao 12, 223n, 227–230, 232–38 Locke, John 57

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284 Index Mandarin (language) 163, 168 Marais, Mike 10–11, 83, 87–88, 90 Masco, Joseph 263 McCarthy, Joseph 175–76, 181 McNulty, Tracy 5, 53, 59, 61 media 111–12, 114, 119–20, 246, 258, 260, 262, 269–70 Miller, J. Hillis 166 Mitchell, W.J.T. 258, 269 mobility 21, 35–6, 112, 117–18, 120 modernity 1, 20, 29, 36–8, 46–7, 95, 115, 176 Moro, Silvia 9, 65–68, 70, 72–74 Morrissey, Sinéad 11, 143–5, 148–9, 149–51, 155 mourning 127, 133 Nabokov, Vladimir 11, 176–79, 181–186 nationalism 19, 20, 136, 201 Neocleous, Mark 24–5, 57, 211 Nordau, Max 96 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 254, 261 nostalgia 2, 37–8, 47, 198, 214 Nyers, Peter 112, 116 openness 9, 11–2, 65, 185, 211, 227, 230, 232–3 otherness 11, 121, 138, 163–4, 191, 198, 263–4, 266–7; and Eurocentrism 116, 118; as the Other 5–6, 59–61, 65, 159, 167; and the same 55, 84–5, 114; and shame 132 ownership 38, 39–40, 55, 57, 81, 85, 87–8, 91, 145 passport 70, 162 Pease, Donald 254 perversion 54, 60, 69, 72, 81, 84 postcolonialism 120, 130, 161, 243 postmodernism 214, 216 precarity see vulnerability privacy 38–9, 46, 97, 106, 210–2, 227, 235 privilege against self-incrimination 175, 177 queerness 54, 60–1, 73 race and racism 100, 103, 128, 135, 168, 194, 200, 252–3 randomness 21, 25, 230, 234, 236 realism 56–7, 59, 214, 260

recognition 2–4, 59, 74, 127, 267; codes of 130, 133, 136, 138, 139; and naming 136–7; and reading 134; versus unrecognizability 2, 10, 128, 132, 133 refugee 1–3, 6, 10; conflicting definitions of 112, 114–16, 122; representation of 10, 111, 113–14, 115; treatment of 111, 113, 122, 250 responsibility 27, 82–3, 86, 131–3, 145 Rhys, Jean 55 Richardson, Dorothy 9, 35–41, 43–4, 46–7 risk 6–7, 12, 64–6, 68, 100, 103, 193–5, 209, 228, 260; acceptance of 31, 58, 116, 211; and finance 199–200; management of 58, 64, 66, 95–6, 193, 220; “risk society” (Beck) 12, 227–9, 233, 236; of violence 73,111; and war 20–2, 24 Rosello, Mireille 4, 161, 170n sacrifice 21, 28, 31, 64, 209 Sartre, Jean Paul 132 Saunders, George 220 Schmitt, Carl 85 security 6–9, 41, 54, 65, 60–1, 73, 83–4, 193–4, 209, 211–2; checkpoints 136, 178, 194; and control 58, 81, 112, 133, 177; and data 94, 176, 181, 194–5; versus discipline 6, 95, 102, 176–7, 249; etymology of 54; financial 41, 153, 198–201, 237–8, 209; and foreignness 3, 85; and freedom 57–8; homeland 11, 253–4; human 7–8, 12, 124; and insecurity 37, 58, 84, 91, 153–4, 193–4, 211, 217; and mortality 61, 117; and movement 21, 95, 123, 200, 249; national 11, 258–9; and passwords 177, 183; and possessions 87–90; and securitization 6–7, 10–11, 159,161, 200, 203, 229–30, 237; “security state” 95–6, 254, 262; and visibility 135, 136; of women 65 shame 127, 131–2, 137, 138, 217–221 Shukri, Ishtiyak 10, 127, 133–135, 138–39 signature 177–8, 183 sincerity 12, 215–217, 230; as “New Sincerity” 215, 221, 223n, 238n sovereignty 6–7, 25, 27, 36, 41, 59, 71–2, 112, 133, 200–1, 268

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Spark, Muriel 10, 53–55, 57–8, 60–2 state of exception 25, 28, 81, 112, 254 Still, Judith 4, 54, 114, 116–18, 123 stranger see xenos surveillance 21, 27, 36, 95, 135, 185, 222n, 243, 249 Sznaider, Natan 261, 268 television 197, 246–7, 260 terrorism 12, 25, 145, 150, 176, 190, 202–3, 245, 251–2, 259 testimony 259–60, 267–70 theoxeny 192 threshold 43, 118, 121, 177, 181, 209, 231 “Tipton Three” (Asif Iqbal, Ruhel Ahmed, Shafiq Rasul) 259, 261–5 Torok, Maria 252 tourism 11, 143–4; “dark tourism” 143, 145–6, 147, 148; poverty tourism 129; tourism industry 144, 150–1, 153–4 transgender 168–69 transnationalism 4, 11, 159–60, 255, 260 uncertainty 26–7, 36–8, 47, 192–4, 198, 233–5 United States 11, 94, 160–67, 175, 191–92, 195–96, 201–3; and the War on Terror 12, 106, 117, 134, 198–99, 253–54, 258–60, 264

United States Constitution 167, 175 United States Supreme Court 175, 180 violence 23–8, 30, 32, 59, 100–2, 111, 134; dehumanization as 7, 11, 135, 265–6; and finance 202; in history 147–8, 153–4, 154–5, 252–3; and language 44, 136, 163; and the state 137–8, 247; and women 67–9, 73–4, 122 visitor 127, 145, 150, 161–3, 166 vulnerability 10, 28–9, 31–2, 118, 132–3, 212, 270; as hospitality 9, 20–2; as inherent 7, 21, 61; and precarity 1, 127–8, 135–7, 138, 139; radical 65 Wainaina, Binyavanga 115–16, 118–19, 121 Wallace, David Foster 223n, 228 War on Terror 6, 12, 133–34, 176–77, 198, 246, 253–54, 258–262, 264–66, 268–70 Winterbottom, Michael 12, 259–60, 262–64, 266–67, 269–70 World Trade Center, attack on 113, 119, 190, 197–98, 200 World War Two 3, 47, 228, 244–45 Yeats, W. B. 9, 19–32 Žižek, Slavoj 114–15 Zweig, Stefan 1–4