Proof-texting Capital via the ‘short-circuit’: a religious text?
Drawing on Benjamin, Agamben expresses the central importance and function of citation: Just as through citation a secret meeting takes place between past generations and ours, so too between the writing of the past and present a similar kind of meeting transpires; citations function as go-betweens in this encounter. Zizek’s notion of the short-circuit, its ‘secret meeting’ occurs in this interchange. A major text and or author is ‘short-circuited’ by reading via: a ‘minor’ author, text or conceptual apparatus…If the minor reference is well chosen, such a procedure can lead to insights which completely shatter and undermine our common perceptions. It is also important, in such a reading strategy, to remember that for Benjamin, “to quote involves the interruption of its context” What follows is a deliberate short-circuiting of Capital, reading it as a religious text, seeking the proof-texts and annotating responses. The proof-texted passages, in their interruption and then their annotation by me as ‘minor author’ do have the intention of offering a type of secret meeting and short-circuit. What follows is therefore a proof-texted, annotative reading, a short-circuiting of Marx’s Capital.
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