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Kirchmeier, Christian (2016): The President’s Address. Zur politischen Parabase in House of Cards. In: Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik : Lili, Vol. 46, No. 3: pp. 369-383
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Abstract

The present paper examines the Netflix series HOUSE OF CARDS (2013 ff.) for a political critique of situations of exception. In opposition to Oliver Jahraus' article in the same issue, this text argues that the series (at least until the end of season 4) deals solely with hybrid situations of exception. These hybrids generate extra-normative moments of decision making that are embedded into normative frames and suspend these very frames at the same time. Due to this paradox, decision-makers are exposed to the moral accusation of hypocrisy. The cinematic parabasis, which HOUSE OF CARDS uses intensively, proves itself to be an aesthetic technique to communicate sincereness - albeit in the medium of art. The tradition of U.S. Presidents who communicate with the public in weekly radio (and recently: video) addresses shall illustrate how this aesthetic strategy is being instrumentalized by current politics.