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Critical Directions in Comics Studies$
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Thomas Giddens

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496828996

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496828996.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Politicization of Life and Auto-Thanatopolitics in V for Vendetta

Politicization of Life and Auto-Thanatopolitics in V for Vendetta

(p.195) 9 Politicization of Life and Auto-Thanatopolitics in V for Vendetta
Critical Directions in Comics Studies

Vladislav Maksimov

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter offers a biopolitical reading of V for Vendetta using Giorgio Agamben’s topology of sovereign power and bare life. The chapter problematizes the boundaries of sovereign power, arguing that in the zone of indistinction, where bare life and the sovereign come closest to one another in an inextricable bond, by the inability to complete a thanatopolitical act bare life can absorb the potentiality of sovereign violence. Bare life cannot be liberated in the proper sense because its appearance is tied to the politicization of animal life through sovereign power. However, as violence reaches its apogee and biopolitics become thanatopolitics, bare life comes closest to the source of its creation. The chapter concludes by arguing that as the camp encompasses all aspects of life, the dynamics between sovereign power and bare life turn not dis-uniting or emancipatory, but rather “transformative,” “transfigurative” and ultimately, auto-destructive.

Keywords:   Sovereign power, Bare life, Thanatopolitics, Sovereign violence, Camp

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