A Triumph of Black Life?
Keats-Shelley Association of America
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Nabugodi, M. A Triumph of Black Life?. Keats-Shelley Journal https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.78501
“Philosophy, which once seemed obsolete, lives on because the moment to realize it was missed”—this is the opening sentence of Theodor Adorno’s Negative Dialectics (1973) (p. 3). Similarly, anti-racist activism, which should have become obsolete a long time ago, lives on because we continually fail to realize racial justice. “Living On” (1979) is also the title of Jacques Derrida’s reading of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s unfinished last poem, “The Triumph of Life” (comp. 1822), where he theorises textual afterlife as a kind of “triumphant translation [that] is neither the life nor the death of the text, only or already its living on, its life after life, its life after death” (pp. 102–3). Although Derrida here privileges translation, critical interpretation is another example of how texts live on by becoming subsumed into new texts. Thus, this present reading, if successful, will enable “The Triumph of Life” to live on as a contribution to a debate on the possibility of an anti-racist, undisciplined Romanticism. “A Triumph of Black Life,” as it were. So, what kind of insight can Shelley’s poetry offer into the workings of racism?
Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship
Leverhulme Trust (ECF-2019-309)
Isaac Newton Trust (19.08(r))
Embargo Lift Date
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.78501
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/331056
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