Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Karmakar, G., Sarkar, J.
Virus and Visible Reality: Biopolitics, Crime, and Disability in Peter May’s Lockdown (2021) NALANS: Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 9 (18), pp. 306-323.

This paper examines Peter May’s crime novel Lockdown (2020) to explain how a bioengineered virus cripples London and results in a crime, the denouement of which reveals a nefarious, capitalist purpose that is a stark reflection of the world we live in. The plan to use an artificially engineered virus as a bioweapon to profit wreaks havoc in London, resulting in several deaths, fear, panic, civil disorder, a spike in crime, and a string of anarchy throughout the city. By examining Michel Foucault’s concept of biopower and Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Žižek’s perspectives on the ethics and politics of the virus, the paper aims to demonstrate how a virus transforms London into the centre of a global pandemic, compelling the officials to implement a lockdown. The paper also discusses how Lockdown (2020) can be viewed as a hard-boiled crime narrative due to the urban setting of London, the sensational and violent crime, the true-to-life description of events, and the male protagonist’s visible dominance. Additionally, the paper endeavours to depict how the disabilities of certain characters are inextricably linked to the frozen state of the city under lockdown. © 2021 Karadeniz Technical University. All rights reserved.

Author Keywords
Biopolitics; Crime; Lockdown; Pandemic; Quarantine; Virus

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