The Radicalization of Space: Michel de Certeau, Imagination, Destruction, and Retroactive Terror

By Emmanouil Aretoulakis.

Published by The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 5, 2015 $US5.00

In this essay, I am inquiring into the relationship between creativity and radical violence, by exploring the affinity between radical imagination, that breaks artistic and social norms, therefore “terrorizes” its own nature as art through entering the realm of reality, and terrorism. The basic question to be answered is twofold: “Does radical imagination make inherently ‘terrorist’ claims?”; “does such an imagination preempt or prefigure (future) acts of terrorism and real scenes of catastrophe?” I will employ Michel de Certeau’s vision of the World Trade Center in New York in his essay “Walking in the City” (from his 1974 book "The Practice of Everyday Life") to show how radical imagination may open conceptual spaces for violence and destruction rather than creation and art.

Keywords: Imagination, Terrorism, Michel de Certeau, World Trade Center, Art, Aesthetics, Space, Lacan

The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review, Volume 12, pp.11-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 511.756KB)).

Dr. Emmanouil Aretoulakis

Lecturer, Department of Literature and Culture, Faculty of English Language and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, Athens, Greece