Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu


This thesis is an attempt to grapple with and make sense of a particular type of violence which forms an integral part of contemporary aesthetics. This multifarious violence strives, and often fails, to transgress conventions of form and content through appealing to what Deleuze calls the violence of sensation, as opposed to the violence of representation or the sensational. Taking Walter Benjamin’s distinction between mythic and divine violence as an entry to discussion concerning the poetic possibilities of the transgression of and redemption from violence, British playwright Sarah Kane and Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño will be read not only as exemplifications of certain manifestations of the violence of aesthetics, but also as theorists of aesthetics in their own right.