In the Antechamber:Sovereign Divisibility from Schiller to Schmitt

Bradley, Arthur (2022) In the Antechamber:Sovereign Divisibility from Schiller to Schmitt. Political Theology. ISSN 1462-317X (In Press)

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In this article, I offer a political architectonic of what Carl Schmitt calls the “antechamber of power [Vorraum der macht]” from Friedrich Schiller, through Franz Kafka, to Walter Benjamin. To summarize my argument, I seek to contend that the “antechamber of power” has always been a marginal or supplementary space within the conceptual imaginary of sovereignty, but Schiller, Kafka, Benjamin, and Schmitt re-imagine it as the privileged space of an originary or constitutive partage, sharing or division of power. If Jean Bodin famously defines sovereign power as “indivisible,” I instead trace a certain inevitable or ineluctable self-division of sovereignty into what Jacques Derrida famously calls “plus d’un” — more than one, no more one — sources or places of power. In a series of readings of philosophical, historical, and literary representations of the antechamber, I show how the allegedly private chamber of power occupied by the sovereign alone constitutively divides or exteriorizes itself into a — potentially infinite — series of new political antechambers occupied by a new class of political bodies: Schiller’s counsellor, Kafka’s bureaucrat, Benjamin’s clerk

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Journal Article
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Political Theology
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25 Jul 2022 08:55
In Press
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:39