Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses: Reading Scandalous by Jeremiah L. Alberg

By Jeremiah L. Alberg

Jeremiah Alberg’s attention-grabbing e-book explores a phenomenon virtually each information reader has skilled: the curious tendency to skim over dispatches from warfare zones, political battlefields, and financial facilities, simply to be drawn in through headlines saying a late-breaking scandal. Rationally we might agree that the previous are of extra value and value, yet they don't pique our interest in relatively an analogous manner. The affective response to scandal is one either one of curiosity and of embarrassment or anger on the curiosity. The reader is even as interested in and repulsed via it. Beneath the Veil of the unusual Verses describes the roots out of which this conflicted wish grows, and it explores how this hope mirrors the violence that undergirds the scandal itself. The ebook exhibits how readers appear to be faced with a stark selection: both draw back from scandal thoroughly or turn into enthralled and hence trapped by means of it. utilizing examples from philosophy, literature, and the Bible, Alberg leads the reader on a street out of this fake dichotomy. by way of its nature, the writer argues, scandal is the root of our examining; it's the resource of the stumbling blocks that hinder us from knowing what we learn, and of the bridges that result in a deeper clutch of the truth.

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Extra resources for Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses: Reading Scandalous Texts (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture)

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What previously revealed reality and made it accessible now swallows it up. ”13 It becomes merely a particular instance of a more general concept, with the latter assuming priority. It seems, then, that there is a duality and a duplicity built into language and its relation to reality. The way in which language informs reality is such that both are rendered deeply ambiguous and unstable. For words to lose their meaning implies that we, as language-users, also lose the reality to which they grant access.

Destruction of a bearer of meaning (the signifier) in order to release its meaning (the signified) is grounded in this ancient, sacrificial view of meaning: the destruction of the victim brings blessings from the gods. The victim, whose death reconciles the community with the gods and each other, is the universal signifier of violence and peace, life and death. Violence becomes a method for generating significance even in the modern world. We see this when the reaction to the scandal that something is being hidden or withheld by the cultural signifier that promised access leads to the destruction of the signifier in the hope of releasing meaning.

The women are exiled from Thebes, and thus Dionysus’s revenge is exacted. Like Pentheus, we want to look at the sacred mysteries of this orgiastic cult, but these mysteries are so constructed that they distract us from their reality. To see the reality, we would have to get beneath the surface, but tragedy is designed (at least before the appearance of Euripides) to prevent that. It keeps the viewer in subjugation without ever revealing the real mystery. The viewing itself becomes the reason why one cannot see.

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