Homines Sacri of Eskibahçe: An Agambenian Reading of Louis de Bernières’ Birds without WingsTuğçe Özdinç
This study aims to provide a political criticism of the 2004 novel Birds without Wings by the English author Louis de Bernières, as the political background and overtly political subplot of the novel render it open to one. In order to develop its own argument the study reads Bernières’ novel through the political concepts of the contemporary Italian thinker Giorgio Agamben, focusing mainly on two of them that can be found in Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life of Agamben, and created by the sovereign in relation with the sovereign exception or ban: The first concept is an indistinct concept of life, namely a naked or as Agamben puts it, a bare life. And the second is the homo sacer (sacred man), the one who dwells in this naked life. Living in a small village named Eskibahçe, the characters in Louis de Bernières’ novel are described as birds without wings that “are always confined to earth, no matter how much [they] climb to the high places and flap [their] arms” by the author himself (2005, p.621) and they are turned into homines sacri (sacred men) during a state of political emergency as the footfall of the upcoming change. Therefore, the study aims to examine all the homines sacri in Birds without Wings of Louis de Bernières by an Agambenian reading.