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Modernism’s Other WorkThe Art Object’s Political Life$
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Lisa Siraganian

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199796557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796557.001.0001

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Universal Breath

(p.168) Coda
Modernism’s Other Work

Lisa Siraganian

Oxford University Press

The coda extends Olson’s and Baraka’s theories of breath and bodily incorporation from the previous chapter to quite different forms of contemporary writing, ranging from Native American Leslie Marmon Silko’s photo-poems, Sacred Water (1993), Juliana Spahr’s post-9/11 poem, This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (2005), to the various theoretical reappraisals of universalism in Judith Butler’s political theory and in Alain Badiou’s Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (2003). We see that Olson and Baraka anticipate various recent attempts in art, literature, and critical theory to depict communitarian or other forms of social connection via breath or particularity in order to avoid universalism. This attempt is examined, critiqued, and contextualized. The Coda suggests that the aesthetic and political debates that Modernism’s Other Work explores continue in various texts and theoretical discussions ongoing today.

Keywords:   Spahr, Juliana, This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (2005), Silko, Leslie Marmon, Sacred Water (1993), Badiou, Alain, Butler, Judith, universalism, particularity, incorporation, 9/11 literature

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