The Snake and the Falcon

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 23 Number 2

The Snake and the Falcon
Leah Modigliani pages -


The Snake and the Falcon is an adapted version of Emma Goldman’s 1933 speech ‘An Anarchist Looks at Life’, edited to conform to contemporary parlance and inclusive of contemporary political references. Goldman’s message of believing in a freedom unencumbered by dogma and financial servitude remains relevant nearly eighty-five years later and inspires anew. A work of personal reflection and political quotation, this new text cannot easily be characterised as art or scholarship, but nonetheless exists as labour in the present and begs for continuity with such labours of the past. Readers are challenged to imagine whether they, as artists and intellectuals, are the snake or the falcon in the twenty-first century parable suggested by Goldman’s ongoing speech act, itself an appropriation of Gorky’s poetics. If the snake represents an acceptance of the world as-is, and the falcon is the image of a risky and idealistic drive towards a better future, the text asks: What work does our collective labour perform? What work does criticism do? What can art be?

SORRY - you are not registered as being permitted online access to the full text of this article

You have the following options:

  1. If you are viewing this via an institution or academic library you can ask that your institution takes out a Subscription to this journal.
  2. If you already have a Personal Subscription please login below

    Forgotten your username / password? Click here to locate

  3. Purchase an annual Personal Subscription
    PRINT + DIGITAL personal subscription (£35 / year)
    DIGITAL personal subscription (£30 / year)
    A Personal Subscription provides immediate access not only to the single article you are seeking, but also to all past and future articles in this journal up to the expiry of your annual (calendar year) subscription.
  4. Purchase immediate access to this single article (UK£7.00) - Buy article Coming Soon

To cite this article
Leah Modigliani (2015) The Snake and the Falcon, Anarchist Studies, 23(2), -

Share this