Prodigious son

By CHRIS THOMPSON  |  August 22, 2007

That such intrigue can, by sleight of script, be captured and apparently neutralized as a single term — Fraternity — all but guarantees that this word will forever be explosive enough to disrupt any attempt to build a stable politics out of it. And since Fraternity, no matter the gender of those who enact it, is ultimately the key to the whole republican triad, though we might enshrine these Enlightenment concepts in our founding documents, we are all but fated to fall short and cock up when it comes to living them out in practice.

We might imagine fraternity more productively to the extent that we are willing to think of it in the terms provided by Richel; it is precisely this mix of sensitivity and violence that his work enacts.

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Chris Thompson teaches at Maine College of Art. He can be reached at:


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