Carl Schmitt and The Buribunks : Technology, Law, Literature book cover
1st Edition

Carl Schmitt and The Buribunks
Technology, Law, Literature

ISBN 9780367548872
Published April 7, 2022 by Routledge
378 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In 1918 a young Carl Schmitt published a short satirical fiction entitled The Buribunks. He imagined a future society of beings who consistently wrote and disseminated their personal diaries. Schmitt would go on to become the infamous philosopher of the exception and for a while the ‘Crown Jurist of the Third Reich’. The Buribunks – ironically for beings that lived only for self-memorialisation – has been mostly lost to history. However, the digital realm, with its emphasis on the informatic traces generated by human doing, and the continual interest in Schmitt’s work to explain and criticise contemporary constellations of power, suggests that The Buribunks is a text whose epoch has come.

This volume includes the first full translation into English of The Buribunks and a selection of critical essays on the text, its meanings in the digital present, its playing with and criticism of the literary form, and its place within Schmitt’s life and work. The Buribunks and the essays provide a complex, critical and provocative invitation to reimagine the relations between the human and their imprint and legacy within archives and repositories. There is a fundamental exploration of what it means to be a being intensely aware of ‘writing itself’.

This is not just a volume for critical lawyers, literary scholars and the Schmitt literati. It is a volume that challenges a broad range of disciplines, from philosophy to critical data studies, to reflect on the digital present and its assembled and curated beings. It is a volume that provides a set of fantastically located concepts, images and histories that traverse ideas and practices, play and politics, power and possibility.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introducing The Buribanks

1 The Buribunks as law, technology and literature

Kieran Tranter and Edwin Bikundo

2 The Buribunks: An essay on the philosophy of history

Carl Schmitt, translated from the German by Gert Reifarth and Laura Petersen

3 Behind the words of Die Buribunken: Translators’ comments

Laura Petersen and Gert Reifarth

Part II: The Buribunks as typeset

4 The Buribunks, post-truth and a tentative cartography of informational existence

Kieran Tranter

5 The theological-bureaucratic science fiction of Philip K. Dick and Carl Schmitt: An economic theology of omniscience in The Buribunks

Timothy D. Peters

6 Inauthentic temporality and the age of hyperburibunkism

Richard Polt

7 Megarianism, emancipation and the (im)potentiality of political ontology: A commentary on freedom in Schmitt’s dystopia

Michael P.A. Murphy

8 The challenges of anti-intellectual parody

Karen Petroski

9 ‘Quantity turns into quality’: Breathing life into dead scholasticism

Francine Rochford

Part III: The Buribunks as writing

10 On writing. Under control. The Buribunks and the autographic society of control

Vittorio Lubrano

11 Modernist life-writing and early cinema in Carl Schmitt’s The Buribunks

Joseph Owen

12 ‘Die Buribunken’ – a pastiche: A mechanised modernity failing Hegel and Kierkegaard

Nour Benghellab

13 Sola scriptura: Doubling of life and critique of modernity in The Buribunks

Ernesto C. Sferrazza Papa

14 Schmitt’s Roman links in The Buribunks: Enriching the satire

Karen Schultz

Part IV: The Buribanks as part of Schmitt’s wider oeuvre

15 Mephistophelean irony in Carl Schmitt’s Political Romanticism, The Buribunks and Ex Captivitate Salus

Desmond Manderson and Edwin Bikundo

16 Imagined facts, actual enemies: The Buribunks and the political

Attila Gyulai

17 Between The Buribunks and the Christian Epimetheus

Fabrizio Grasso and Matteo Negro, translated by Carla Biondi

18 Schmitt’s life within the academy since 2001

Lachlan Robb, Charles Lawson, Catherine Pickering and Edwin Bikundo

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Kieran Tranter is chair of law, technology and future in the School of Law, Queensland University of Technology. Kieran researches the legalities of technology and the technologies of legality. His current projects concern the motor vehicle in the governance of the Australian settler state, mobile connectivity and everyday life in the Global South.

Edwin Bikundo is a senior lecturer in the Law Futures Centre, Griffith Law School, Griffith University. Edwin’s research addresses international and comparative law, legal theory, and law and the humanities. He is currently finalising a book about Giorgio Agamben, international law and JohanWolfgang von Goethe’s Faust.