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Nov To be a refugee is always only a temporary condition. Does this renewal remain within sovereignty? Does it break with sovereignty altogether and propose something else? Not to be naturalized. Not to be repatriated. Inside or outside the categories of sovereignty. I would claim that it is the latter: Agamben is so enamored with the scrivener that he forgets about the story. Importantly, however, even that leaves us with something that can still be recognized as a story — and perhaps, given that the narrator is also a lawyer, also as a law.
Philosophically, we can consider them as figures of statelessness, posing a challenge to any political organization. But surely the most immediate need of the actual refugees is for some political arrangement that would accommodate them. In that concrete sense, a renewed sovereignty may be a better place to start than no sovereignty at all. Share Bartleby, Refugee, Sovereignty. The Author. Arne de Boever. He is also a member of the boundary 2 collective and an Advisory Editor for the Oxford Literary Review.
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The important point is not the image of the scribe of nature, but that nous , mind, is compared to an ink pot. The ink is thought itself. So thought is linked to the act of writing. The image is ambiguous, and this ambiguity no doubt contributed to its widespread success. If thought already had a form, like a tablet has a form, then it would appear in the intelligible object and thinking could not take place. Aristotle insists that nous has no nature other than being potential, and before thinking, it is nothing.
Bartleby, Refugee, Sovereignty
‘I Would Prefer Not To’: Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby and the Potentiality of the Law