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|Title: ||The Eye and the Pyramid: The Economy of Death in Melville’s‘Bartleby﹐the Scrivener.|
|Keywords: ||建築;消費;凝視;金字塔;死亡;經濟;Architecture;Bartleby;Expenditure;Gaze;Panopticon;Pyramid;The economy of death|
|Issue Date: ||2010-05-05 10:09:17 (UTC+8)|
|Publisher: ||Asia University|
The homogeneity of the world, which is the dream of Western philosophy, science, and technology, is a nightmare. What confronts Bartleby, the scrivener in the Wall Street, is the same nightmarish world in which capitalist system attempts to master every heterogeneous element by incorporating, assimilating, or digesting all differences. Bartleby’s resistance to the system exposes a radical otherness that can never by domesticated or redeemed by the system. In other word, he is the irreducible waste product of various systematic operations or the excrement of the system that constitutes its blind spot. Imprisoned by the surrounding walls in the Wall Street and under the constant surveillance of the narrator’s eye, the copyists work diligently, complying with the economic rationality (of which the narrator is the agent) that must calculate the penalty and the reward and prescribe the appropriate techniques. Their bodies are then directly involved in the political field, as power relations have an immediate hold upon them, mark them, train them, and force them to carry out tasks and emit signs. However, the perverse Bartleby refuses to work. His existence constitutes an affront to the dominant metapsychology of Western civilization (at least, since the eighteenth century) and the assumption that we understand and control all men by self-interest. Marxism as well as “classical” politico-economic theory, utilitarian ethics as well as applied Christian morality, largely depend on the appeals to an organizable form of selfishness. But the man-from-the-underground a a Bartleby militantly denies all such appeals, and with absurd arrogance and the wisdom of failure refuses the motivations and resists the ethics of self-interest. The outrageousness of the act puts a grim cast of repression on all of the ostensibly rational orders. The psychological and ethical tactics lose their benevolent appearance and reveal a tyrannical warping of the human and a destruction of freedom, as those lonely creatures like Barley who insist on the primacy of preference and will end their subterranean lives in perversity and self-destruction. A sardonic pathos qualifies their exalted claims to individuality and unconditioned freedom.
|Relation: ||Chung Hsing Journal of HUMANITIES, NCHU 33:381-404.|
|Appears in Collections:||[外國語文學系] 期刊論文|
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