Schmitt’s satire in The Buribunks: intertextual links in diary-writing’s dystopia

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Schultz, Karen
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2019
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This article explores the intertextual links between The Buribunks and two of Schmitt’s early texts, Dictatorship and Political Romanticism, to instance his satiric method and critique of diary-writing’s romantic and historical philosophy. First, key aspects of the substance of The Buribunks (1918) within the satiric form are briefly situated. Second, The Buribunks’s links with Tacitus and Juvenal, both referenced in Dictatorship (1921), are explored. Schmitt’s satire can be enriched by understanding how Tacitus’s irony casts doubt on the historical narrator’s reliability, and how Juvenal’s satire traverses the plight of intellectuals and historians. Third, The Buribunks’s links with Schmitt’s polemics in Political Romanticism (1919) are considered – Schmitt’s treatment of diary-writing partially illustrates his concerns with political romanticism’s passivity and sterility, and enlivens his rejection of romanticism. Fourth, this intertextuality is examined in light of The Buribunks’s admonitory implications of these dystopian images. Ultimately, the satiric impulse in this speculative text is not too distant from the polemical force in Schmitt’s non-speculative political and conceptual texts. What may differ is the interpretation of The Buribunks’s ‘admonitory function’ – that is, the message to be gleaned from this future fantasy world’s ‘rising terror in the medium of writing’.

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Griffith Law Review

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29

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Law in context

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Government & Law

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Schultz, K, Schmitt’s satire in The Buribunks: intertextual links in diary-writing’s dystopia, Griffith Law Review, 2019, 29, pp. 1-25

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