Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (The Wellek by Judith Butler

By Judith Butler

The prestigious writer of Gender hassle right here redefines Antigone's legacy, improving her progressive importance and freeing it for a revolutionary feminism and sexual politics. Antigone has lengthy been a feminist icon of defiance. yet what has remained uncertain is whether or not she escapes from the sorts of strength that she opposes, because the kind of defiance she exemplifies additionally ends up in her loss of life. Butler argues that Antigone represents a sort of feminist and sexual employer that's fraught with threat. furthermore, Antigone exhibits how a tradition of normative heterosexuality obstructs our capability to determine what sexual freedom and political service provider might be.

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By Judith Butler

The prestigious writer of Gender hassle right here redefines Antigone's legacy, improving her progressive importance and freeing it for a revolutionary feminism and sexual politics. Antigone has lengthy been a feminist icon of defiance. yet what has remained uncertain is whether or not she escapes from the sorts of strength that she opposes, because the kind of defiance she exemplifies additionally ends up in her loss of life. Butler argues that Antigone represents a sort of feminist and sexual employer that's fraught with threat. furthermore, Antigone exhibits how a tradition of normative heterosexuality obstructs our capability to determine what sexual freedom and political service provider might be.

Show description

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Additional resources for Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (The Wellek Library Lectures)

Sample text

18 Hegel makes the most dramatic of such gestures when he insists that there is only absence of desire between brother and sister. 19 And Lacan claims of course that it is not the brother in his content whom she loves, but his being as such—but where does that leave us? What kind of place or position is this? For Lacan, Antigone pursues a desire that can only lead to death precisely because it 17 Antigone’s claim seeks to defy symbolic norms. But is this the right way to interpret her desire? Or has the symbolic itself produced a crisis for its own intelligibility?

Antigone does not appear to feel guilt, though she does assert her right, even as she acknowledges that the “law” that justifies her act is one that Creon can regard only as a sign of criminality. For Hegel, the unconscious, or what he describes as “nonexisting,” emerges in the claim of entitlement, the act that 32 02ch 12/3/01 12:16 PM Page 33 L Box HD/Columba/Butler/138797 Unwritten Laws, Aberrant Transmissions grounds itself in a law that counts as no law within the realm of law. There is no justification for the claim Antigone makes.

Its “contingency” describes the way in which it remains incommensurable with any subject who inhabits its terms, and the lack of any final transcendental ground for its operation. In no way, however, is the universalizing effect of its own operation called into question by the assertion of contingency here. Thus structures of kinship cast as symbolic continue to produce a universalizing effect. 44 02ch 12/3/01 12:16 PM Page 45 L Box HD/Columba/Butler/138797 Unwritten Laws, Aberrant Transmissions How, under these conditions, does the very effect of universality become rendered as contingent, much less undermined, rewritten, and subject to transformation?

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