Rose-Anne Gush: Artistic Labour on Violence: the work of Elfriede Jelinek

Teilaspekt des Forschungsprojekts
(für den Nachwuchsworkshop 2018)

This paper will explore the nexus of violence and labour as they appear in relation to the body in Elfriede Jelinek’s oeuvre. It will do this by first, examining the differential but overlapping forms of violence found in her work: sexual violence, fascistic, or racialized violence and linguistic violence in texts such as: Lust (1989), Totenauberg (1991) and essays such as, Der Krieg mit Anderen Mitteln (1983), Was zu fürchten vorgegeben wird (1999) and Das Weibliche Nicht-Opfer (2004). Secondly, rather than solely focusing on representation: how the Other is posited in Jelinek’s texts, I will argue that they demonstrate a relation to labour both in terms of their process of making (through a mimetic relation to the world), and what they represent: violent processes of construction, expropriation and destruction of the Other. Through close reading of the above texts I will attempt to show how violence in Jelinek’s constructions, often in historically and culturally specific manifestations, both returns to and exceeds the mode of production: capitalism. Finally, I will argue that it is Jelinek’s incisive linguistic critiques of capitalist social relations, which, I posit as the continuity between ‘democracy’ and ‘fascism’, which renders her works most urgent in the present, in Austria, Europe and beyond.

Informationen zu Rose-Anne Gush