Paragraph 39 (3):287-304 (2016)

My article analyses the political power of the utopian imaginary through the concepts of actuality, potentiality and possibility. Tracing the tensions of a critical model of utopia as both a form of thought and a form of the sensible, it links Louis Marin's concept of the utopic imaginary as a common sensorium that is reconfigured through the play of a mobile figure with Jacques Rancière's formulation of the partition of the sensible. Studying the critical reception of Melville's Bartleby in Deleuze, Rancière and Agamben, it proposes that the space of literary potentiality, where the past could not have been or retains its possibility to be otherwise, where the actual can not be and the potential and the possible have a right to be and exist, forms the spatio-temporal configuration of the utopian imaginary of literature. Potentiality offers a key to understanding the politics of the ontology constructed by aesthetics.
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DOI 10.3366/para.2016.0202
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