By Paula Martín Salván, Gerardo Rodríguez Salas, Julián Jiménez Heffernan (eds.)
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Extra info for Community in Twentieth-Century Fiction
This logic implies the superimposition on previously existing subjects of a supposedly intersubjective nature that would glue them together sealing their political identity. Instead, communicative compearance “is of a more originary order than the bond” (29). This order is again ontological. 32 All previous categories are called to bear on this motif: “Communication is the constitutive fact of an exposition to the outside that defines singularity” (29). And this exposition of singularities, as noted above, has the capacity to unwork.
32 All previous categories are called to bear on this motif: “Communication is the constitutive fact of an exposition to the outside that defines singularity” (29). And this exposition of singularities, as noted above, has the capacity to unwork. With the Bataillean motif of ecstatic communication we seem to have come full circle. In the precise modality of a “predicament of being, as ‘transcendental,’” communication, as community, occurs as “being-outside itself ” (24). Hence its immense yet passive productivity: as “the unworking of work that is social, economic, technical, and institutional” (31), communication is indeed community.
Tönnies shared with Marx a strong nostalgia for the historical Stadt (the ancient polis, the Germanic free city), the town or city produced by Gemeinschaft, as opposed to the Grosstadt (big city or metropolis) which is a product of Gesellschaft. He also shared the belief that metropolitan society was contaminated by separation: “In Gemeinschaft people stay together in spite of everything that separates them; in Gesellschaft they remain separate in spite of everything that unites them” (52). That much was true for Morris, for whom cities were “enormous unmanageable aggregations” (30), and for Rilke, who in 1903 wrote that all “big cities are untrue”—“Die großen Städte sind nicht wahr” (Das Stundenbuch).