The Labor of Job was first published in Italy in 1990. Negri began writing it in the early 1980s, while he was a political prisoner in Italy, and it was the first book he completed during his exile in France (1983-97). As he writes in the preface, understanding suffering was for him in the early 1980s "an essential element of resistance. . . . It was the problem of liberation, in prison and in exile, from within the absoluteness of Power." Negri presents a Marxist interpretation of Job's story. He describes it as a parable of human labor, one that illustrates the impossibility of systems of measure, whether of divine justice (in Job's case) or the value of labor (in the case of late-twentieth-century Marxism). In the foreword, Michael Hardt elaborates on this interpretation. In his commentary, Roland Boer considers Negri's reading of the book of Job in relation to the Bible and biblical exegesis. The Labor of Job provides an intriguing and accessible entry into the thought of one of today's most important political philosophers.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 168
Weight: 227 g
Dimensions: 216 x 156 x 13 mm
"Job regards God, according to Negri, not as judge or father or even as the source of discipline and mediation, but merely as antagonist, the locus of an empty, unjust command. There is no more question of measure-equating sins and punishment or virtues and rewards-that could support a conception of divine justice. But Job is not powerless. . . . According to Negri's reading he stands before God angry, indignant, unrepentant, and rebellious."-from the foreword by Michael Hardt, co-author, with Antonio Negri, of Empire and Multitude
"The book of Job is the first (and, in many ways, still unsurpassed) exemplary case of the critique of ideology, teaching us how to resist legitimizing our misfortunes with any kind of 'deeper meaning'--and who is more suitable to actualize this book for our times as Antoni Negri? In his hands, The book of Job turns into a revolutionary text, into a true manual of resistance."-Slavoj Zizek