Liminal Mimes, Masks and Schismogenic Technology: The Trickster Motives in the Renaissance

  • Agnes Horvath
Part of the Modernism and … book series (MAND)


Technology is more than a simple device: its products look, and are perceived, as unnatural and false, as indeed they are artificial and forged. For anything that moves from non-being into being passes through technology, which fashions it into a new shape and form and identity. Technology composes new entities in space and time, thus defrauding reality by giving a new centre of gravity to life, pushing units out of self-support, and repositioning them into relativity — without doubt into a submissive and schismatic state of deprivation. This happens in the same way in politics, in the life of the state, very visible in the dual-faceted character of the modern state: on one side it tries to elevate its subjects out of their supposed crude humanity, leading them to brotherly, heavenly lights, into universal happiness, but combines this with an iron fist for subordination. Trickster motives are traditionally connected to Machiavelli’s famous work, The Prince (1513), which gives advice to the political ruler about how to gain control over his subjects by changing their mode of thinking. Machiavelli’s Prince is the hero of political games, accumulating political power, the Janus-faced politician who is guided exclusively by ice-cold calculations based on actually believed truths.


Twelfth Century Sexual Ambivalence Crooked Nose Popular Entertainment Deep Historical Root 
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© Agnes Horvath 2013

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  • Agnes Horvath

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