The great Yorkshire fugue: bare life in the Red Riding Quartet

Lockwood, Dean (2011) The great Yorkshire fugue: bare life in the Red Riding Quartet. In: Analysing David Peace. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 41-60. ISBN 9781443829908

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Where the fiction of J.G. Ballard tends to stress a certain fullness, a plenum, in the congealing and crystallization of time and space, David Peace’s Red Riding Quartet constantly turns around the missing, the absence, the silence, the shutting down of affective transmissions. Clearly, his novels deal in failure. We could understand Peace’s narratives of absence and collapse in terms of an ethico-aesthetic strategy of ‘failed performance’ which renders the noise of antagonistic beliefs audible. It is in their failure and expulsion, in their fugues, that characters become political subjects. The Red Riding ‘experience books’ – the chapter focuses on Nineteen Eighty in particular - seek the foundation for a new political identity in fugitive protagonists. In their performance of failure, their emphasis on the besieged outcast, the novels suggest the applicability of Giorgio Agamben’s notion of ‘bare life’, and the idea that the prevalent logic is now one of the state of exception in which urban spaces are given over to ‘zones of indistinction’, Agamben’s ‘ground zero’ of civilization.

Keywords:David Peace, J.G.Ballard, Red Riding Quartet, Giorgio Agamben, bare life, zones of indistinction
Subjects:L Social studies > L290 Politics not elsewhere classified
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q322 English Literature by author
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:7970
Deposited On:09 Mar 2013 18:23

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