The Politics of Cruelty: Essay on the Literature of Political Imprisonment
by Kate Millett
This work sets out a new theory of politics for today, and offers a harrowing view of the modern state based on the practice of torture as a method ... Show synopsis This work sets out a new theory of politics for today, and offers a harrowing view of the modern state based on the practice of torture as a method of rule, as conscious policy. In assuming the power of torture over its citizens, government has made itself omnipotent, threatening the social and political progress of centuries. In many places throughout the world, the individual is faced with monumental force - fear of the state has become the condition of the present day. This book analyzes that fear through the literature of its expression, a mixture of literary text, the reports of witnesses, legal theory and historical account. Included are Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "The First Circle", Claude Lanzmann's "Shoah", Mark Mathabane's "Kaffir Boy" and Radha Bharadwaj's film, "Closet Land". But it is the literary version of experience that prevails and persuades with the greatest effect - the reality of the victim, the social and psychological climate of life under dictatorship, the moment of arrest and capture, the moment when one falls down the rabbit hole and disappears, the pivotal electronic second after which nothing is ever the same. Kate Millet is the author of "Sexual Politics", "The Prostitution Papers", "Flying Sita", "The Basement", "Going to Iran" and "The Loony Bin Trip".
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