Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens

ISBN: 978-0-76231-151-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-304-4

ISSN: 1059-4337

Publication date: 30 December 2004


What may be another kinship of law and death? To suggest that death is a work may allow us (I hope misleadingly) to suggest, by way of something more than coincidence – but less than perfect parallel – that law is the very definition of absolute limit. In this sense law would be death’s shadow, a shadow cast by the sun of life as it shines on death, a sun toward which Giorgio Agamben seems to have been moving in his recent writing. (1998) And yet, as if in presumptive rebuttal, Michel Foucault convincingly suggested years before Agamben’s intervention, in a meditation on Maurice Blanchot, that “The law is the shadow toward which every gesture necessarily advances; it is itself the shadow of the advancing gesture” (Foucault, 1987, p. 35). Every gesture directs our attention away from the sun’s light and toward the cave of the everyday, where the fire may come, when it comes and if it comes, from places otherwise.


Dumm, T. (2004), "12. UNWORKING DEATH IN “UNFORGIVEN”: LAW, ETHOS, VIOLENCE", Kenyon, A. and Rush, P. (Ed.) Aesthetics of Law and Culture: Texts, Images, Screens (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 34), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 257-268. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1059-4337(04)34012-3

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