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BODIES THAT MATTER

BODIES THAT MATTER

ON THE DISCURSIVE LIMITS OF "SEX"

JUDITH BUTLER

Routledge New Yor ! Lo"do"

Published in 1993 by Roudedge


29 West 35 Street

New York, NY 10001 Published in Great Britain by Roudedge 11 New Fetter Lane London !"P" !o#yright$ 1993 by Roudedge Printed in the %nited &tates on a'id (ree #a#er) *ll rights reser+ed) No #art o(this book ,ay be re#rinted or re#rodu'ed or utili.ed in any (or, or by any ele'troni', ,e'hani'al or other ,eans, now known or herea(ter in+ented, in'luding #hoto'o#ying and re'ording, or in any in(or,ation storage or retrie+al syste,, without #er,ission in writing (ro, the #ublishers) Library o( !ongress !ataloging-Ln-Publi'ation /ata Butler, 0udith P) Bodies that ,atter, on the dis'ursi+e li,its o( "sex" 1 0udith Butler) #) ',) 2n'ludes inde3 4#) 5) 2&BN 0-"16-90376-3 4!L5) 8 2&BN 0-"16-90377-1 4PB5 2 1) Fe,inist theory) 9) &e3 role8Philoso#hy) 3) &e3 di((eren'es 4Psy'hology5 ") &e3ual orientation8Philoso#hy 6) 2dentity 4Psy'hology5 7) Fe,ininity 4Psy'hology5 L :itle) ;<2190)B== 1993 306)38>l'90 93-?77? CIP British Library !ataloguing-in-Publi'ation /ata also a+ailable)

CONTENTS

*'knowledg,ents vii Pre(a'e ix 2ntrodu'tion 1 P*R: @N 1 Bodies that Aatter 21 9 :he Lesbian Phallus and the Aor#hologi'al 2,aginary 51 3 Phantas,ati' 2denti(i'ation and the *ssu,#tion o( &e3 93 " Gender 2s BurningB <uestions o( *##ro#riation and &ub+ersion 121 P*R: :C@ 6 D/angerous !rossingDB Cilla !atherEs Aas'uline Na,es 143 7 Passing, <ueeringB Nella LarsenEs Psy'hoanalyti' !hallenge 161 1 *rguing with the Real 181 = !riti'ally <ueer 223 Notes 243 2nde3 285

vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

2 thank Aaureen Aa'Grogan on'e again (or soli'iting and sustaining this book with her 'hara'teristi' generosity and intelligen'e) Ay enduring a##re'iation also goes to 0oan C) &'ott (or the in'isi+e way she gras#s the #roFe't (irst, (or her e3'ellent reading o( the entire te3t, and (or her (ine (riendshi#) 2 ha+e been +ery lu'ky to ha+e e3'ellent readers in /ru'illa !ornell, li.abeth Gros., and Aargaret Chit(ordG their 'riti'is,s o( earlier dra(ts were enor,ously use(ul) 2 thank as well ,y se,inar at !ornell %ni+ersity (or engaging 'on+ersations in the (all o( 1991 when this #roFe't began to take sha#e) :he #rodu'tion sta(( at Routledge was also enor,ously hel#(ul throughout this #ro'ess) * nu,ber o( 'olleagues and students ha+e hel#ed in thinking about the te3t, so,eti,es reading dra(ts and o((ering e3'ellent 'riti'is, or hel#ing with the #rodu'tion o( the ,anus'ri#tB li.abeth *bel, Bi'e Ben+enuto, :eresa Brennan, *le3andra uben, !arla Fre''ero, Nelly !hasin, Cillia, !onnolly, Harin !o#e, Peter

Fur,an, 0onathan Goldberg, &i,on Goldhill, /onna ;araway, &usan ;arding, Gail ;ershatter, Aorris Ha#lan, /ebra Heates, Biddy Aartin, Bridget A'/onald, Aandy Aer'k, Ai'hael Aoon, Nao,i &'hor, Cittenberg, and li.abeth Ceed) 2 thank +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k, 0osh &ha#iro, 0a,es &wenson, 0en :ho,as, :i, Calters, /a+e loise Aoore *gger, (or her s.ti Iotaw (or their disar,ing waysG Linda L) *nderson, 2nes *.ar, Fran Bartkowski, Robert Gooding-Cillia,s, 0e(( Nunokawa, Aary Poo+ey, and indis#ensable (riendshi#G and Cendy Brown (or engaging ,y thinking thoroughly and 'riti'ally, and (or the 'are(ul #ersuasion whi'h hel#ed ,e to see how re+isions o( so,e o( ,y earlier #ositions ,ight better suit and 'lari(y ,y ai,s) :his #roFe't was assisted through +arious highly a##re'iated (or,s o( institutional su##ort) :hree o( these 'ha#ters were #resented in shorter +ersions as the Be'k,an Le'tures (or the /e#art,ent o( nglish at the %ni+ersity o( !ali(ornia at Berkeley during the s#ring o( 1999)1 a, +ery glad to ha+e had su'h an o##ortunity to learn (ro, 'olleagues and

viii

students at %!-Berkeley) *s a senior (ellow at the &o'iety (or the ;u,anities at !ornell %ni+ersity in the (all o( 1991, 2 gained in+aluable 'o,,entary on the #roFe't (ro, (a'ulty and students alike) 2 thank 0onathan !uller (or su##orting ,y resear'h in +arious ways, in'luding his in+itation to the ;u,anities Resear'h 2nstitute at the %ni+ersity o( !ali(ornia at 2r+ine in *#ril o( 1999) Ay students at 0ohns ;o#kins %ni+ersity ha+e been in+aluable interlo'utors) *nd ,y 'olleagues at the ;u,anities !enter at 0ohns ;o#kins %ni+ersity not only su##orted ,y resear'h, but #ro+ided a ri'h, interdis'i#linary intelle'tual li(e (or whi'h 2 a, ,ost grate(ul) :his book is written in the ,e,ory o( those (riends and (a,ily 2 ha+e lost in re'ent yearsB ,y (ather, /an ButlerG ,y grand,other, ;elen Greenberger Le(kowi'hG ,y (riends, Linda &inger and Hathy Natanson) *nd it is written (or the 'o,#any o( 'olleagues who in(or,, sustain, and re'ei+e this labor, su'h as it is)

ix

PREFACE

2 began writing this book by trying to 'onsider the ,ateriality o( the body only to (ind that the thought o( ,ateriality in+ariably ,o+ed ,e into other do,ains) 2 tried to dis'i#line ,ysel( to stay on the subFe't, but (ound that 2 'ould not fix bodies as si,#le obFe'ts o( thought Not only did bodies tend to indi'ate a world beyond the,sel+es, but this ,o+e,ent beyond their own boundaries, a ,o+e,ent o( boundary itsel(, a##eared to be Juite 'entral to what bodies Dare)D 2 ke#t losing tra'k o( the subFe't 2 #ro+ed resistant to dis'i#line) 2ne+itably, 2 began to 'onsider that #erha#s this resistan'e to (i3ing the subFe't was essential to the ,atter at hand) &till doubt(ul, though, 2 re(le'ted that this wa+ering ,ight be the +o'ational di((i'ulty o( those trained in #hiloso#hy, always at so,e distan'e (ro, 'or#oreal ,atters, who try in that dise,bodied way to de,ar'ate bodily terrainsB they in+ariably ,iss the body or, worse, write against it &o,eti,es they (orget that DtheD body 'o,es in genders) But #erha#s there is now another di((i'ulty a(ter a generation o( (e,inist writing whi'h tried, with +arying degrees o( su''ess, to bring the (e,inine body into writing, to write the (e,inine #ro3i,ately or dire'tly, so,eti,es without e+en the hint o( a #re#osition or ,arker o( linguisti' distan'e between the writing and the written) 2t ,ay be only a Juestion o( learning how to read those troubled translations, but so,e o( us ne+ertheless (ound oursel+es returning to #illage the Logos (or its use(ul re,ains) :heori.ing (ro, the ruins o( the Logos in+ites the (ollowing JuestionB DChat about the ,ateriality o( the bodyKD *'tually, in the re'ent #ast, the Juestion was re#eatedly (or,ulated to ,e this wayB DChat about the ,ateriality o( the body, Judy}" 2 took it that the addition o( D0udyD was an e((ort to dislodge ,e (ro, the ,ore (or,al D0udithD and to re'all ,e to a bodily li(e that 'ould not be theori.ed away) :here was a 'ertain e3as#eration in the deli+ery o( that (inal di,inuti+e, a 'ertain #atroni.ing Juality whi'h 4re5'onstituted ,e as an unruly 'hild, one who needed to be brought to task, restored to that bodily being whi'h is, a(ter all, 'onsidered to be ,ost

real, ,ost #ressing, ,ost undeniable) Perha#s this was an e((ort to re'all ,e to an a##arently e+a'uated (e,ininity, the one that was 'onstituted at that ,o,ent in the ,id-E60s when the (igure o( 0udy Garland inad+ertently #rodu'ed a string o( D0udysD whose later a##ro#riations and derail,ents 'ould not ha+e been #redi'ted) @r #erha#s so,eone (orgot to tea'h ,e Dthe (a'ts o( li(eDK Cas 2 lost to ,y own i,aginary ,usings as that +ital 'on+ersation was taking #la'eK *nd i( 2 #ersisted in this notion that bodies were in so,e way constructed, #erha#s 2 really thought that words alone had the #ower to 'ra(t bodies (ro, their own linguisti' substan'eK !ouldnEt so,eone si,#ly take ,e asideK 2 Aatters ha+e been ,ade e+en worse, i( not ,ore re,ote, by the Juestions raised by the notion o( gender #er(or,ati+ity introdu'ed in Gender Trouble 1 For i( 2 were to argue that genders are #er(or,ati+e, that 'ould ,ean that 2 thought that one woke in the ,orning, #erused the 'loset or so,e ,ore o#en s#a'e (or the gender o( 'hoi'e, donned that gender (or the day, and then restored the gar,ent to its #la'e at night) &u'h a will(ul and instru,ental subFe't, one who de'ides on its gender, is 'learly not its gender (ro, the start and (ails to reali.e that its e3isten'e is already de'ided by gender) !ertainly, su'h a theory would restore a (igure o( a 'hoosing subFe't8hu,anist8at the 'enter o( a #roFe't whose e,#hasis on 'onstru'tion see,s to be Juite o##osed to su'h a notion) But i( there is no subFe't who de'ides on its gender, and i(, on the 'ontrary, gender is #art o( what de'ides the subFe't, how ,ight one (or,ulate a #roFe't that #reser+es gender #ra'ti'es as sites o( 'riti'al agen'yK 2( gender is 'onstru'ted through relations o( #ower and, s#e'i(i'ally, nor,ati+e 'onstraints that not only #rodu'e but also regulate +arious bodily beings, how ,ight agen'y be deri+ed (ro, this notion o( gender as the e((e't o( #rodu'ti+e 'onstraintK 2( gender is not an arti(i'e to be taken on or taken o(( at will and, hen'e, not an e((e't o( 'hoi'e, how are we to understand the 'onstituti+e and 'o,#elling status o( gender nor,s without (alling into , the tra# o( 'ultural deter,inis,K ;ow #re'isely are we to understand the rituali.ed re#etition by whi'h su'h nor,s #rodu'e and stabili.e not only the e((e'ts o( gender but the ,ateriality o( se3K *nd 'an this re#etition, this rearti'ulation, also 'onstitute the o''asion (or a 'riti'al reworking o( - a##arently 'onstituti+e gender nor,sK :o 'lai, that the ,ateriality o( se3 is 'onstru'ted through a rituali.ed re#etition o( nor,s is hardly a sel(-e+ident 'lai,) 2ndeed, our 'usto,ary

xi

notions o( D'onstru'tionD see, to get in the way o( understanding su'h a 'lai,) For surely bodies li+e and dieG eat and slee#G (eel #ain, #leasureG endure illness and +iolen'eG and these D(a'ts,D one ,ight ske#ti'ally #ro'lai,, 'annot be dis,issed as ,ere 'onstru'tion) &urely there ,ust be so,e kind o( ne'essity that a''o,#anies these #ri,ary and irre(utable e3#erien'es) *nd surely there is) But their irre(utability in no way i,#lies what it ,ight ,ean to a((ir, the, and through what dis'ursi+e ,eans) Aoreo+er, why is it that what is 'onstru'ted is understood as an arti(i'ial and dis#ensable 'hara'terK Chat are we to ,ake o( 'onstru'tions without whi'h we would not be able to think, to li+e, to ,ake sense at all, those whi'h ha+e a'Juired (or us a kind o( ne'essityK *re 'ertain 'onstru'tions o( the body 'onstituti+e in this senseB that we 'ould not o#erate without the,, that without the, there would be no D2,D no DweDK :hinking the body as 'onstru'ted de,ands a rethinking o( the ,eaning o( 'onstru'tion itsel() *nd i( 'ertain 'onstru'tions a##ear 'onstituti+e, that is, ha+e this 'hara'ter o( being that Dwithout whi'hD we 'ould not think at all, we ,ight suggest that bodies only a##ear, only endure, only li+e within the #rodu'ti+e 'onstraints o( 'ertain highly gendered regulatory s'he,as) Gi+en this understanding o( 'onstru'tion as 'onstituti+e 'onstraint, is it still #ossible to raise the 'riti'al Juestion o( how su'h 'onstraints not only #rodu'e the do,ain o( intelligible bodies, but #rodu'e as well a do,ain o( unthinkable, abFe't, unli+able bodiesK :his latter do,ain is not the o##osite o( the (or,er, (or o##ositions are, a(ter all, #art o( intelligibilityG the latter is the e3'luded and illegible do,ain that haunts the (or,er do,ain as the s#e'tre o( its own i,#ossibility, the +ery li,it to intelligibility, its 'onstituti+e outside) ;ow, then, ,ight one alter the +ery ter,s that 'onstitute the Dne'essaryD do,ain o( bodies through rendering unthinkable and unli+able another do,ain o( bodies, those that do not ,atter in the sa,e way) :he dis'ourse o( D'onstru'tionD that has (or the ,ost #art 'ir'ulated in (e,inist theory is #erha#s not Juite adeJuate to the task at hand) 2t is not enough to argue that there is no #redis'ursi+e Dse3D that a'ts as the stable #oint o( re(eren'e on whi'h, or in relation to whi'h, the 'ultural 'onstru'tion o( gender #ro'eeds) :o 'lai, that se3 is already gendered, already 'onstru'ted, is not yet to e3#lain in whi'h way the D,ateriality o( se3 is (or'ibly #rodu'ed) Chat are the 'onstraints by whi'h bodies are ,ateriali.ed as Dse3ed,D and how are we to understand the D,atterD o( se3,

xii

and o( bodies ,ore generally, as the re#eated and +iolent 'ir'u,s'ri#tion o( 'ultural intelligibilityK Chi'h bodies 'o,e to ,atter8and whyK :his te3t is o((ered, then, in #art as a rethinking o( so,e #arts o( Gender Trouble that ha+e 'aused 'on(usion, but also as an e((ort to think (urther about the workings o( heterose3ual hege,ony in the 'ra(ting o( ,atters se3ual and #oliti'al) *s a 'riti'al rearti'ulation o( +arious theoreti'al #ra'ti'es, in'luding (e,inist and Jueer studies, this te3t is not intended to be #rogra,,ati') *nd yet, as an atte,#t to 'lari(y ,y Dintentions,D it a##ears destined to #rodu'e a new set o( ,isa##rehensions) 2 ho#e that they #ro+e, at least, to be #rodu'ti+e ones)

INTRODUCTION
Chy should our bodies end at the skin, or in'lude at best other beings en'a#sulated by skinK -/onna ;araway, ! "#nifesto fir $ybor%s 2( one really thinks about the body as su'h, there is no #ossible outline o( the body as su'h) :here are thinkings o( the syste,ati'ity o( the body, there are +alue 'odings o( the body) :he body, as su'h, 'annot be thought, and 2 'ertainly 'annot a##roa'h it) -Gayatri !hakra+orty &#i+ak, D2n a Cord,D inter+iew with llen Rooney :here is no nature, only the e((e'ts o( natureB denaturali.ation or naturali.ation) -0a'Jues /errida, &or'er le Te'(s

%s there a way to link the Juestion o( the ,ateriality o( the body to the #er(or, ati+ity o( genderK *nd how does the 'ategory o( Dse3D (igure within su'h a relationshi#K !onsider (irst that se3ual di((eren'e is o(ten in+oked as an issue o( ,aterial di((eren'es) &e3ual di((eren'e, howe+er, is ne+er si,#ly a (un'tion o( ,aterial di((eren'es whi'h are not in so,e way both ,arked and (or,ed by dis'ursi+e #ra'ti'es) Further, to 'lai, that se3ual di((eren'es are indisso'iable (ro, dis'ursi+e de,ar'ations is not the sa,e as 'lai,ing that dis'ourse 'auses se3ual di((eren'e) :he 'ategory o( Dse3D is, (ro, the start, nor,ati+eG it is what Fou'ault has 'alled a Dregulatory ideal)D 2n this sense, then, Dse3D not only (un'tions as a nor,, but is #art o( a regulatory #ra'ti'e that #rodu'es the bodies it go+erns, that is, whose regulatory (or'e is ,ade 'lear as a kind o( #rodu'ti+e #ower, the #ower to #rodu'e8de,ar'ate, 'ir'ulate, di((erentiate8the bodies it 'ontrols) :hus, Dse3D is a regulatory ideal whose ,ateriali.ation is 'o,#elled, and this ,ateriali.ation takes #la'e 4or (ails to take #la'e5 through 'ertain highly regulated #ra'ti'es) 2n other words, Dse3D is an ideal 'onstru't whi'h is (or'ibly ,ateriali.ed through ti,e) 2t is not a

BODIES THAT MATTER

si,#le (a't or stati' 'ondition o( a body, but a #ro'ess whereby regulatory nor,s ,ateriali.e Dse3D and a'hie+e this ,ateriali.ation through a (or'ible reiteration o( those nor,s) :hat this reiteration is ne'essary is a sign that ,ateriali.ation is ne+er Juite 'o,#lete, that bodies ne+er Juite 'o,#ly with the nor,s by whi'h their ,ateriali.ation is i,#elled) 2ndeed, it is the instabilities, the #ossibilities (or re,ateriali.ation, o#ened u# by this #ro'ess that ,ark one do,ain in whi'h the (or'e o( the regulatory law 'an be turned against itsel( to s#awn rearti'ulations that 'all into Juestion the hege,oni' (or'e o( that +ery regulatory law) But how, then, does the notion o( gender #er(or,ati+ity relate to this 'on'e#tion o( ,ateriali.ationK 2n the (irst instan'e, #er(or,ati+ity ,ust be understood not as a singular or deliberate Da't,D but, rather, as the reiterati+e and 'itational #ra'ti'e by whi'h dis'ourse #rodu'es the e((e'ts that it na,es) Chat will, 2 ho#e, be'o,e 'lear in what (ollows is that the regulatory nor,s o( Dse3D work in a #er(or,ati+e (ashion to 'onstitute the ,ateriality o( bodies and, ,ore s#e'i(i'ally, to ,ateriali.e the bodyEs se3, to ,ateriali.e se3ual di((eren'e in the ser+i'e o( the 'onsolidation o( the heterose3ual i,#erati+e) 2n this sense, what 'onstitutes the (i3ity o( the body, its 'ontours, its ,o+e,ents, will be (ully ,aterial, but ,ateriality will be rethought as the e((e't o( #ower, as #owerEs ,ost #rodu'ti+e e((e't) *nd there will be no way to understand DgenderD as a 'ultural 'onstru't whi'h is i,#osed u#on the sur(a'e o( ,atter, understood either as Dthe bodyD or its gi+en se3) Rather, on'e Dse3D itsel( is understood in its nor,ati+ity, the ,ateriality o( the body will not be thinkable a#art (ro, the ,ateriali.ation o( that regulatory nor,) D&e3D is, thus, not si,#ly what one has, or a stati' des'ri#tion o( what one isB it will be one o( the nor,s by whi'h the DoneD be'o,es +iable at all, that whi'h Juali(ies a body (or li(e within the do,ain o( 'ultural intelligibility)1 *t stake in su'h a re(or,ulation o( the ,ateriality o( bodies will be the (ollowingB 415 the re'asting o( the ,atter o( bodies as the e((e't o( a dyna,i' o( #ower, su'h that the ,atter o( bodies will be indisso'iable (ro, the regulatory nor,s that go+ern their ,ateriali.ation and the signi(i'ation o( those ,aterial e((e'tsG 495 the understanding o( #er(or,ati+ity not as the a't by whi'h a subFe't brings into being what she1he na,es, but, rather, as that reiterati+e #ower o( dis'ourse to #rodu'e the #heno,ena that it regulates and 'onstrainsG 435 the 'onstrual o( Dse3D no longer as a bodily

2N:R@/%!:2@N

gi+en on whi'h the 'onstru't o( gender is arti(i'ially i,#osed, but as a 'ultural nor, whi'h go+erns the ,ateriali.ation o( bodiesG 4"5 a rethinking o( the #ro'ess by whi'h a bodily nor, is assu,ed, a##ro#riated, taken on as not, stri'tly s#eaking, undergone by # sub)ect, but rather that the subFe't, the s#eaking D2,D is (or,ed by +irtue o( ha+ing gone through su'h a #ro'ess o( assu,ing a se3G and 465 a linking o( this #ro'ess o( Dassu,ingD a se3 with the Juestion o( identific#tion, and with the dis'ursi+e ,eans by whi'h the heterose3ual i,#erati+e enables 'ertain se3ed identi(i'ations and (ore'loses and1or disa+ows other identi(i'ations) :his e3'lusionary ,atri3 by whi'h subFe'ts are (or,ed thus reJuires the si,ultaneous #rodu'tion o( a do,ain o( abFe't beings, those who are not yet DsubFe'ts,D but who (or, the 'onstituti+e outside to the do,ain o( the subFe't :he abFe't9 desig-nates here #re'isely those Dunli+ableD and DuninhabitableD .ones o( so'ial li(e whi'h are ne+ertheless densely #o#ulated by those who do not enFoy the status o( the subFe't, but whose li+ing under the sign o( the Dunli+ableD is reJuired to 'ir'u,s'ribe the do,ain o( the subFe't :his .one o( uninhab-itability will 'onstitute the de(ining li,it o( the subFe'tEs do,ainG it willL 'onstitute that site o( dreaded identi(i'ation against whi'h8and by +irtue o( whi'h8the do,ain o( the subFe't will 'ir'u,s'ribe its own 'lai, to autono,y and to li(e) 2n this sense, then, the subFe't is 'onstituted through the (or'e o( e3'lusion and abFe'tion, one whi'h #rodu'es a 'onstituti+e outside to the subFe't, an abFe'ted outside, whi'h is, a(ter all, DinsideD the subFe't as its own (ounding re#udiation) :he (or,ing o( a subFe't reJuires an identi(i'ation with the nor,ati+e #hantas, o( Dse3,D and this identi(i'ation takes #la'e through a re#udiation whi'h #rodu'es a do,ain o( abFe'tion, a re#udiation without whi'h the subFe't 'annot e,erge) :his is a re#udiation whi'h 'reates the +alen'e o( DabFe'tionD and its status (or the subFe't as a threatening s#e'tre) Further, the ,ateriali.ation o( a gi+en se3 will 'entrally 'on'ern t*e re%ul#tion of identific#tory (r#ctices su'h that the identi(i'ation with the abFe'tion o( se3 will be #ersistently disa+owed) *nd yet, this disa+owed abFe'tion will threaten to e3#ose the sel(-grounding #resu,#tions o( the se3ed subFe't, grounded as that subFe't is in a re#udiation whose 'onseJuen'es it 'annot (ully 'ontrol) :he task will be to 'onsider this threat and disru#tion not as a #er,anent 'ontestation o( so'ial nor,s 'onde,ned to the #athos o( #er#etual (ailure, but rather as a 'riti'al resour'e in the struggle to rearti'ulate the +ery ter,s o( sy,boli' legiti,a'y and intelligibility)

BODIES THAT MATTER

Lastly, the ,obili.ation o( the 'ategories o( se3 within #oliti'al dis'ourse will be haunted in so,e ways by the +ery instabilities that the 'ategories e((e'ti+ely #rodu'e and (ore'lose) *lthough the #oliti'al dis'ourses that ,obili.e identity 'ategories tend to 'ulti+ate identi(i'ations in the ser+i'e o( a #oliti'al goal, it ,ay be that the #ersisten'e o( disidenti(i'ation is eJually 'ru'ial to the rearti'ulation o( de,o'rati' 'ontestation) 2ndeed, it ,ay be #re'isely through #ra'ti'es whi'h unders'ore disidenti(i'ation with those regulatory nor,s by whi'h se3ual di((eren'e is ,ateriali.ed that both (e,inist and Jueer #oliti's are ,obili.ed) &u'h 'olle'ti+e disidenti(i'ations 'an (a'ilitate a re'on'e#tuali.ation o( whi'h bodies ,atter, and whi'h bodies are yet to e,erge as 'riti'al ,atters o( 'on'ern)
FROM CONSTRUCTION TO MATERIALIZATION

:he relation between 'ulture and nature #resu##osed by so,e ,odels o( gender D'onstru'tionD i,#lies a 'ulture or an agen'y o( the so'ial whi'h a'ts u#on a nature, whi'h is itsel( #resu##osed as a #assi+e sur(a'e, outside the so'ial and yet its ne'essary 'ounter#art) @ne Juestion that (e,inists ha+e raised, then, is whether the dis'ourse whi'h (igures the a'tion o( 'onstru'tion as a kind o( i,#rinting or i,#osition is not ta'itly ,as'ulinist, whereas the (igure o( the #assi+e sur(a'e, awaiting that #enetrating a't whereby ,eaning is endowed, is not ta'itly or8#erha#s8 Juite ob+iously (e,inine) 2s se3 to gender as (e,inine is to ,as'ulineK3 @ther (e,inist s'holars ha+e argued that the +ery 'on'e#t o( nature needs to rethought, (or the 'on'e#t o( nature has a history, and the (iguring o( nature as the blank and li(eless #age, as that whi'h is, as it were, always already dead, is de'idedly ,odern, linked #erha#s to the e,ergen'e o( te'hnologi'al ,eans o( do,ination) 2ndeed, so,e ha+e argued that a rethinking o( DnatureEE as a set o( dyna,i' interrelations suits both (e,inist and e'ologi'al ai,s 4and has (or so,e #rodu'ed an otherwise unlikely allian'e with the work o( Gilles /eleu.e5) :his rethinking also 'alls into Juestion the ,odel o( 'onstru'tion whereby the so'ial unilaterally a'ts on the natural and in+ests it with its #ara,eters and its ,eanings) 2ndeed, as ,u'h as the radi'al distin'tion between se3 and gender has been 'ru'ial to the de Beau+oirian +ersion o( (e,inis,, it has 'o,e under 'riti'is, in ,ore re'ent years (or degrading the natural as that whi'h is Dbe(oreD intelligibility, in need o( the ,ark, i( not the ,ar, o( the so'ial to signi(y, to be

INTRODUCTION

known, to a'Juire +alue :his ,isses the #oint that nature has a history, and not ,erely a so'ial one, but, also, that se3 is #ositioned a,biguously in relation to that 'on'e#t and its history) :he 'on'e#t o(Ese3D is itsel( troubled terrain, (or,ed through a series o( 'ontestations o+er what ought to be de'isi+e 'riterion (or distinguishing between the two se3esG the 'on'e#t o( se3 has a history that is 'o+ered o+er by the (igure o( the site or sur(a'e o( ins'ri#tion) Figured as su'h a site or sur(a'e, howe+er, the natural is 'onstrued as that whi'h is also without +alueG ,oreo+er, it assu,es its +alue at the sa,e ti,e that it assu,es its so'ial 'hara'ter, that is, at the sa,e ti,e that nature relinJuishes itsel( as the natural) *''ording to this +iew, then, the so'ial 'onstru'tion o( the natural #resu##oses the 'an'ellation o( the natural by the so'ial) 2nso(ar as it relies on this 'onstruaL, the se31gender distin'tion (ounders along #arallel linesG i( gender is the so'ial signi(i'an'e that se3 assu,es within a gi+en 'ulture8and (or the sake o( argu,ent we will let Dso'ialD and D'ulturalD stand in an uneasy inter-'hangeability8then what, i( anything, is le(t o( Dse3D on'e it has assu,ed its so'ial 'hara'ter as genderK *t issue is the ,eaning o( Dassu,#tion,D where to be Dassu,edD is to be taken u# into a ,ore ele+ated s#here, as in Ethe *ssu,#tion o( the Iirgin)D 2( gender 'onsists o( the so'ial ,eanings that se3 assu,es, then se3 does not #ccrue so'ial ,eanings as additi+e #ro#erties but, rather, is re(l#ced by the so'ial ,eanings it takes onG se3 is relinJuished in the 'ourse o( that assu,#tion, and gender e,erges, not as a ter, in a 'ontinued relationshi# o( o##osition to se3, but as the ter, whi'h absorbs and dis#la'es Dse3,D the ,ark o( its (ull substantiation into gender or what, (ro, a ,aterialist #oint o( +iew, ,ight 'onstitute a (ull desubstanti ation) Chen the se31gender distin'tion is Foined with a notion o( radi'al linguisti' 'onstru'ti+is,, the #roble, be'o,es e+en worse, (or the Dse3D whi'h is re(erred to as #rior to gender will itsel( be a #ostularion, a 'onstru'tion, o((ered within language, as that whi'h is #rior to language, #rior to 'onstru'tion) But this se3 #osited as #rior to 'onstru'tion will, by +irtue o( being #osited, be'o,e the e((e't o( that +ery #ositing, the 'onstru'tion o( 'onstru'tion) 2( gender is the so'ial 'onstru'tion o( se3, and i( there is no a''ess to this Dse3D e3'e#t by ,eans o( its 'onstru'tion, then it a##ears not only that se3 is absorbed by gender, but that Dse3D be'o,es so,ething like a (i'tion, #erha#s a (antasy, retroa'ti+ely installed at a #relinguisti' site to whi'h there is no dire't a''ess)

BODIES THAT MATTER

But is it right to 'lai, that "sex" +anishes altogether, that it is a (i'tion o+er and against what is true, that it is a (antasy o+er and against what is realityK @r do these +ery o##ositions need to be rethought su'h that i( Dse3D is a (i'tion, it is one within whose ne'essities we li+e, without whi'h li(e itsel( would be unthinkableK *nd i( "sex" is a (antasy, is it #erha#s a #hantas,ati' (ield that 'onstitutes the +ery terrain o( 'ultural intelligibilityK Could su'h a rethinking o( su'h 'on+entional o##ositions entail a rethinking o( D'onstru'ti+is,D in its usual senseK :he radi'al 'onstru'ti+ist #osition has tended to #rodu'e the #re,ise that both re(utes and 'on(ir,s its own enter#rise) 2( su'h a theory 'annot take a''ount o( se3 as the site or sur(a'e on whi'h it a'ts, then it ends u# #resu,ing se3 as the un'onstru'ted, and so 'on'edes the li,its o( linguisti' 'onstru'ti+is,, inad+ertently 'ir'u,s'ribing that whi'h re,ains una''ountable within the ter,s o( 'onstru'tion) 2(, on the other hand, se3 is a 'ontri+ed #re,ise, a (i'tion, then gender does not #resu,e a se3 whi'h it a'ts u#on, but rather, gender #rodu'es the ,isno,er o( a #redis'ursi+e Dse3,D and the ,eaning o( 'onstru'tion be'o,es that o( linguisti' ,onis,, whereby e+erything is only and always language) :hen, what ensues is an e3as#erated debate whi'h ,any o( us ha+e tired o( hearingB ither 415 'onstru'ti+is, is redu'ed to a #osition o( linguisti' ,onis,, whereby linguisti' 'onstru'tion is understood to be generati+e and deter,inisti') !riti's ,aking that #resu,#tion 'an be heard to say, D2( e+erything is dis'ourse, what about the bodyKD or 495 when 'onstru'tion is (igurati+ely redu'ed to a +erbal a'tion whi'h a##ears to #resu##ose a subFe't, 'riti's working within su'h a #resu,#tion 'an be heard to say, D2( gender is 'onstru'ted, then who is doing the 'onstru'tingKDG though, o( 'ourse, 435 the ,ost #ertinent (or,ulation o( this Juestion is the (ollowingB D2( the subFe't is 'onstru'ted, then who is 'onstru'ting the subFe'tKD 2n the (irst 'ase, 'onstru'tion has taken the #la'e o( a godlike agen'y whi'h not only 'auses but 'o,#oses e+erything whi'h is its obFe'tG it is the di+ine #er(or,ati+e, bringing into being and e3hausti+ely 'onstituting that whi'h it na,es, or, rather, it is that kind o( transiti+e re(erring whi'h na,es and inaugurates at on'e) For so,ething to be 'onstru'ted, a''ording to this +iew o( 'onstru'tion, is (or it to be 'reated and deter,ined through that #ro'ess) 2n the se'ond and third 'ases, the sedu'tions o( gra,,ar a##ear to hold swayG the 'riti' asks, Aust there not be a hu,an agent, a subFe't, i(

INTRODUCTION

you will, who guides the 'ourse o( 'onstru'tionK 2( the (irst +ersion o( 'onstru'ti+is, #resu,es that 'onstru'tion o#erates deter,inisti'ally ,aking a ,o'kery o( hu,an agen'y, the se'ond understands 'onstru'ti+is, as #resu##osing a +oluntarist subFe't who ,akes its gender through an instru,ental a'tion) * 'onstru'tion is understood in this latter 'ase to be a kind o( ,ani#ulable arti(i'e, a 'on'e#tion that not only #resu##oses a subFe't, but rehabilitates #re'isely the +oluntarist subFe't o( hu,anis, that 'onstru'ti+is, has, on o''asion, sought to #ut into Juestion) 2( gender is a 'onstru'tion, ,ust there be an D2D or a DweD who ena'ts or #er(or,s that 'onstru'tionK ;ow 'an there be an a'ti+ity, a 'onstru'ting, without #resu##osing an agent who #re'edes and #er(or,s that a'ti+ityK ;ow would we a''ount (or the ,oti+ation and dire'tion o( 'onstru'tion without su'h a subFe'tK *s a reFoinder, 2 would suggest that it takes a 'ertain sus#i'ion toward gra,,ar to re'on'ei+e the ,atter in a di((erent light) For i( gender is 'onstru'ted, it is not ne'essarily 'onstru'ted by an D2D or a DweD who stands be(ore that 'onstru'tion in any s#atial or te,#oral sense o( Dbe(ore)D 2ndeed, it is un'lear that there 'an be an D2D or a DweD who has not been sub,itted, subFe'ted to gender, where gendering is, a,ong other things, the di((erentiating relations by whi'h s#eaking subFe'ts 'o,e into being) &ubFe'ted to gender, but subFe'ti+ated by gender, the D2D neither #re'edes nor (ollows the #ro'ess o( this gendering, but e,erges only within and as the ,atri3 o( gender relations the,sel+es) :his then returns us to the se'ond obFe'tion, the one whi'h 'lai,s that 'onstru'ti+is, (ore'loses agen'y, #ree,#ts the agen'y o( the subFe't, and (inds itsel( #resu##osing the subFe't that it 'alls into Juestion) :o 'lai, that the subFe't is itsel( #rodu'ed in and as a gendered ,atri3 o( relations is not to do away with the subFe't, but only to ask a(ter the 'onditions o( its e,ergen'e and o#eration) :he Da'ti+ityD o( this gendering 'annot, stri'tly s#eaking, be a hu,an a't or e3#ression, a will(ul a##ro#riation, and it is 'ertainly not a Juestion o( taking on a ,askG it is the ,atri3 through whi'h all willing (irst be'o,es #ossible, its enabling 'ultural 'ondition) 2n this sense, the ,atri3 o( gender relations is #rior to the e,ergen'e o( the Dhu,anD) !onsider the ,edi'al inter#ellation whi'h 4the re'ent e,ergen'e o( the sonogra, notwithstanding5 shi(ts an in(ant (ro, an DitD to a DsheD or a Dhe,D and in that na,ing, the girl is Dgirled,D brought into the do,ain o( language and kinshi# through the inter#ellation o( gender) But that DgirlingD o( the girl does not end thereG on the 'ontrary,

BODIES THAT MATTER

that (ounding inter#ellation is reiterated by +arious authorities and throughout +arious inter+als o( ti,e to reen(or'e or 'ontest this naturali.ed e((e't) :he na,ing is at on'e the setting o( a boundary, and also the re#eated in'ul'ation o( a nor,) &u'h attributions or inter#ellations 'ontribute to that (ield o( dis'ourse and #ower that or'hestrates, deli,its, and sustains that whi'h Juali(ies as Dthe hu,an)D Ce see this ,ost 'learly in the e3a,#les o( those abFe'ted beings who do not a##ear #ro#erly genderedG it is their +ery hu,anness that 'o,es into Juestion) 2ndeed, the 'onstru'tion o( gender o#erates through exclusion#ry ,eans, su'h that the hu,an is not only #rodu'ed o+er and against the inhu,an, but through a set o( (ore'losures, radi'al erasures, that are, stri'tly s#eaking, re(used the #ossibility o( 'ultural arti'ulation) ;en'e, it is not enough to 'lai, that hu,an subFe'ts are 'onstru'ted, (or the 'onstru'tion o( the hu,an is a di((erential o#eration that #rodu'es the ,ore and the less Dhu,an,D the inhu,an, the hu,anly unthinkable) :hese e3'luded sites 'o,e to bound the Dhu,anD as its 'onstituti+e outside, and to haunt those boundaries as the #ersistent #ossibility o( their disru#tion and rearti'ulation)" Parado3i'ally, the inJuiry into the kinds o( erasures and e3'lusions by whi'h the 'onstru'tion o( the subFe't o#erates is no longer 'onstru'ti+is,, but neither is it essentialis,) For there is an DoutsideD to what is 'onstru'ted by dis'ourse, but this is not an absolute Doutside,D an ontologi'al there-ness that e3'eeds or 'ounters the boundaries o( dis'ourseG6 as a 'onstituti+e Doutside,D it is that whi'h 'an only be thought8when it 'an8in relation to that dis'ourse, at and as its ,ost tenuous borders) :he debate between 'onstru'ti+is, and essentialis, thus ,isses the #oint o( de'onstru'tion altogether, (or the #oint has ne+er been that De+erything is dis'ursi+ely 'onstru'tedDG that #oint, when and where it is ,ade, belongs to a kind o( dis'ursi+e ,onis, or linguisti'is, that re(uses the 'onstituti+e (or'e o( e3'lusion, erasure, +iolent (ore'losure, abFe'tion and its disru#ti+e return within the +ery ter,s o( dis'ursi+e legiti,a'y) *nd to say that there is a ,atri3 o( gender relations that institutes and sustains the subFe't is not to 'lai, that there is a singular ,atri3 that a'ts in a singular and deter,inisti' way to #rodu'e a subFe't as its e((e't) :hat is to install the D,atri3D in the subFe't-#osition within a gra,,ati'al (or,ulation whi'h itsel( needs to be rethought) 2ndeed, the #ro#ositional (or, D/is'ourse 'onstru'ts the subFe'tD retains the subFe't-#osition o( the

INTRODUCTION

gra,,ati'al (or,ulation e+en as it re+erses the #la'e o( subFe't and dis'ourse) !onstru'tion ,ust ,ean ,ore than su'h a si,#le re+ersal o( ter,s) :here are de(enders and 'riti's o( 'onstru'tion, who 'onstrue that #osition along stru'turalist lines) :hey o(ten 'lai, that there are stru'tures that 'onstru't the subFe't, i,#ersonal (or'es, su'h as !ulture or /is'ourse or Power, where these ter,s o''u#y the gra,,ati'al site o( the subFe't a(ter the Dhu,anD has been dislodged (ro, its #la'e) 2n su'h a +iew, the gra,,ati'al and ,eta#hysi'al #la'e o( the subFe't is retained e+en as the 'andidate that o''u#ies that #la'e a##ears to rotate) *s a result, 'onstru'tion is still understood as a unilateral #ro'ess initiated by a #rior subFe't, (orti(ying that #resu,#tion o( the ,eta#hysi's o( the subFe't that where there is a'ti+ity, there lurks behind it an initiating and will(ul subFe't) @n su'h a +iew, dis'ourse or language or the so'ial be'o,es #ersoni(ied, and in the #ersoni(i'ation the ,eta#hysi's o( the subFe't is re'onsolidated) 2n this se'ond +iew, 'onstru'tion is not an a'ti+ity, but an a't, one whi'h ha##ens on'e and whose e((e'ts are (ir,ly (i3ed) :hus, 'onstru'ti+is, is redu'ed to deter,inis, and i,#lies the e+a'uation or dis#la'e,ent o( hu,an agen'y) :his +iew in(or,s the ,isreading by whi'h Fou'ault is 'riti'i.ed (or D#ersoni(yingD #owerB i( #ower is ,is'onstrued as a gra,,ati'al and ,eta#hysi'al subFe't, and i( that ,eta#hysi'al site within hu,anist dis'ourse has been the #ri+ileged site o( the hu,an, then #ower a##ears to ha+e dis#la'ed the hu,an as the origin o( a'ti+ity) But i( Fou'aultEs +iew o( #ower is understood as the disru#tion and sub+ersion o( this gra,,ar and ,eta#hysi's o( the subFe't, i( #ower or'hestrates the (or,ation and sustenan'e o( subFe'ts, then it 'annot be a''ounted (or in ter,s o( the DsubFe'tD whi'h is its e((e't) *nd here it would be no ,ore right to 'lai, that the ter, D'onstru'tionD belongs at the gra,,ati'al site o( subFe't, (or 'onstru'tion is neither a subFe't nor its a't, but a #ro'ess o( reiteration by whi'h both DsubFe'tsD and Da'tsD 'o,e to a##ear at all) :here is no #ower that a'ts, but only a reiterated a'ting that is #ower in its #ersisten'e and instability) Chat 2 would #ro#ose in #la'e o( these 'on'e#tions o( 'onstru'tion is a return to the notion o( ,atter, not as site or sur(a'e, but as # (rocess of '#teri#li+#tion t*#t st#bili+es over ti'e to (roduce t*e effect of bound#ry, fixity, #nd surf#ce ,e c#ll '#tter :hat ,atter is always ,ateriali.ed has, 2 think, to be thought in relation to the #rodu'ti+e and, indeed, ,ateriali.ing e((e'ts o(

10

BODIES THAT MATTER

regulatory #ower in the Fou'aultian sense) 7 :hus, the Juestion is no longer, ;ow is gender 'onstituted as and through a 'ertain inter#retation o( se3K 4a Juestion that lea+es the D,atterD o( se3 untheori.ed5, but rather :hrough what regulatory nor,s is se3 itsel( ,ateriali.edK *nd how is it that treating the ,ateriality o( se3 as a gi+en #resu##oses and 'onsolidates the nor,ati+e 'onditions o( its own e,ergen'eK !ru'ially, then, 'onstru'tion is neither a single a't nor a 'ausal #ro'ess initiated by a subFe't and 'ul,inating in a set o( (i3ed e((e'ts) !onstru'tion not only takes #la'e in ti,e, but is itsel( a te,#oral #ro'ess whi'h o#erates through the reiteration o( nor,sG se3 is both #rodu'ed and destabili.ed in the 'ourse o( this reiteration)? *s a sedi,ented e((e't o( a reiterati+e or ritual #ra'ti'e, se3 a'Juires its naturali.ed e((e't, and, yet, it is also by +irtue o( this reiteration that ga#s and (issures are o#ened u# as the 'onstituti+e instabilities in su'h 'onstru'tions, as that whi'h es'a#es or e3'eeds the nor,, as that whi'h 'annot be wholly de(ined or (i3ed by the re#etiti+e labor o( that nor,) :his instability is the Re'onstituting #ossibility in the +ery #ro'ess o( re#etition, the #ower that undoes the +ery e((e'ts by whi'h Dse3D is stabili.ed, the #ossibility to #ut the 'onsolidation o( the nor,s o( Dse3D into a #otentially #rodu'ti+e 'risis)= !ertain (or,ulations o( the radi'al 'onstru'ti+ist #osition a##ear al,ost 'o,#ulsi+ely to #rodu'e a ,o,ent o( re'urrent e3as#eration, (or it see,s that when the 'onstru'ti+ist is 'onstrued as a linguisti' idealist, the 'onstru'ti+ist re(utes the reality o( bodies, the rele+an'e o( s'ien'e, the alleged (a'ts o( birth, aging, illness, and death) :he 'riti' ,ight also sus#e't the 'onstru'ti+ist o( a 'ertain so,ato#hobia and seek assuran'es that this abstra'ted theorist will ad,it that there are, ,ini,ally, se3ually di((erentiated #arts, a'ti+ities, 'a#a'ities, hor,onal and 'hro,oso,al di((eren'es that 'an be 'on'eded without re(eren'e to D'onstru'tion)D *lthough at this ,o,ent 2 want to o((er an absolute reassuran'e to ,y interlo'utor, so,e an3iety #re+ails) :o D'on'edeD the undeniability o( Dse3D or its D,aterialityD is always to 'on'ede so,e +ersion o( Dse3,D so,e (or,ation o( D,ateriality)D 2s the dis'ourse in and through whi'h that 'on'ession o''urs8and, yes, that 'on'ession in+ariably does o''ur8not itsel( (or,ati+e o( the +ery #heno,enon that it 'on'edesK :o 'lai, that dis'ourse is (or,ati+e is not to 'lai, that it originates, 'auses, or e3hausti+ely 'o,#oses that whi'h it 'on'edesG rather, it is to 'lai, that there is no re(eren'e to a #ure body whi'h is not at the sa,e ti,e a (urther (or,ation o( that body) 2n this sense,

INTRODUCTION

11

the linguisti' 'a#a'ity to re(er to se3ed bodies is not denied, but the +ery ,eaning o( Dre(erentialityD is altered) 2n #hiloso#hi'al ter,s, the 'onstati+e 'lai, is always to so,e degree #er(or,ati+e) 2n relation to se3, then, i( one 'on'edes the ,ateriality o( se3 or o( the body, does that +ery 'on'eding o#erate8#er(or,ati+ely8to ,ateriali.e that se3K *nd (urther, how is it that the reiterated 'on'ession o( that se3MMMM one whi'h need not take #la'e in s#ee'h or writing but ,ight be DsignaledD in a ,u'h ,ore in'hoate way8'onstitutes the sedi,entation and #rodu'tion o( that ,aterial e((e'tK :he ,oderate 'riti' ,ight 'on'ede that so'e (#rt of "sex" is 'onstru'ted, but so,e other is 'ertainly not, and then, o( 'ourse, (ind hi, or hersel( not only under so,e obligation to draw the line between what is and is not 'onstru'ted, but to e3#lain how it is that Dse3D 'o,es in #arts whose di((erentiation is not a ,atter o( 'onstru'tion) But as that line o( de,ar'ation between su'h ostensible #arts gets drawn, the Dun'onstru'tedD be'o,es bounded on'e again through a signi(ying #ra'ti'e, and the +ery boundary whi'h is ,eant to #rote't so,e #art o( se3 (ro, the taint o( 'onstru'ti+is, is now de(ined by the anti-'onstru'ti+istEs own 'onstru'tion) 2s 'onstru'tion so,ething whi'h ha##ens to a ready-,ade obFe't, a #regi+en thing, and does it ha##en in de%rees} @r are we #erha#s re(erring on both sides o( the debate to an ine+itable #ra'ti'e o( signi(i'ation, o( de,ar'ating and deli,iting that to whi'h we then Dre(er,D su'h that our Dre(eren'esD always #resu##ose8and o(ten 'on'eal8this #rior deli,itationK 2ndeed, to Dre(erD nai+ely or dire'tly to su'h an e3tra-dis'ursi+e obFe't will always reJuire the #rior deli,itation o( the e3tra-dis'ursi+e) *nd inso(ar as the e3tra-dis'ursi+e is deli,ited, it is (or,ed by the +ery dis'ourse (ro, whi'h it seeks to (ree itsel() :his deli,itation, whi'h o(ten is ena'ted as an untheori.ed #resu##osition in any a't o( des'ri#tion, ,arks a boundary that in'ludes and e3'ludes, that de'ides, as it were, what will and will not be the stu(( o( the obFe't to whi'h we then re(er) :his ,arking o(( will ha+e so,e nor,ati+e (or'e and, indeed, so,e +iolen'e, (or it 'an 'onstru't only through erasingG it 'an bound a thing only through en(or'ing a 'ertain 'riterion, a #rin'i#le o( sele'ti+ity) Chat will and will not be in'luded within the boundaries o( Dse3D will be set by a ,ore or less ta'it o#eration o( e3'lusion) 2( we 'all into Juestion the (i3ity o( the stru'turalist law that di+ides and bounds the Dse3esD by +irtue o( their dyadi' di((erentiation within the heterose3ual ,atri3, it

!2

BODIES THAT MATTER

will be (ro, the e3terior regions o( that boundary 4not (ro, a D#osition,D but (ro, the dis'ursi+e #ossibilities o#ened u# by the 'onstituti+e outside o( hege,oni' #ositions5, and it will 'onstitute the disru#ti+e return o( the e3'luded (ro, within the +ery logi' o( the heterose3ual sy,boli' :he traFe'tory o( this te3t, then, will #ursue the #ossibility o( su'h disru#tion, but #ro'eed indire'tly by res#onding to two interrelated Juestions that ha+e been #osed to 'onstru'ri+ist a''ounts o( gender, not to de(end 'onstru'ti+is, #er se, but to interrogate the erasures and e3'lusions that 'onstitute its li,its) :hese 'riti'is,s #resu##ose a set o( ,eta#h+si'al o##ositions between ,aterialis, and idealis, e,bedded in re'ei+ed gra,,ar whi'h, 2 will argue, are 'riti'ally rede(ined by a #oststru'ruralist rewriting o( dis'ursi+e #er(or,ati+ity as it o#erates in the ,ateriali.ation o( se3)

PERFORMATMT" AS C#TAT$ONAUT"

Chen, in La'anian #arlan'e, one is said to assu,e a Dse3,D the gra,,ar o( the #hrase 'reates the e3#e'tation that there is a DoneD who, u#on waking, looks u# and deliberates on whi'h Dse3D it will assu,e today, a gra,,ar in whi'h Dassu,#tionN is Jui'kly assi,ilated to the notion o( a highly re(le'ti+e 'hoi'e) But i( this Dassu,#tionN is co'(elled by a regulatory a##aratus o( heterose3uality, one whi'h reiterates itsel( through the (or'ible #rodu'tion o( Dse3,D then the Dassu,#tionD o( se3 is 'onstrained (ro, the start) *nd i( there is #%ency, it is to be (ound, #arado3i'ally, in the #ossibilities o#ened u# in and by that 'onstrained a##ro#riation o( the regulatory law, by the ,ateriali.ation o( that law, the 'o,#ulsory a##ro-#riation and identi(i'ation with those nor,ati+e de,ands) :he (or,ing, 'ra(ting, bearing, 'ir'ulation, signi(i'ation o( that se3ed body will not be a set o( a'tions #er(or,ed in 'o,#lian'e with the lawG on the 'ontrary, they will be a set o( a'tions ,obili.ed by the law, the 'itational a''u,ulation and dissi,ulation o( the law that #rodu'es ,aterial e((e'ts, the li+ed ne'essity o( those e((e'ts as well as the li+ed 'ontestation o( that ne'essity) Per(or,ati+ity is thus not a singular Da't,D (or it is always a reiteration o( a nor, or set o( nor,s, and to the e3tent that it a'Juires an a'tlike status in the #resent, it 'on'eals or dissi,ulates the 'on+entions o( whi'h it is a re#etition) Aoreo+er, this a't is not #ri,arily theatri'alG indeed, its a##arent theatri'ality is #rodu'ed to the e3tent that its histori'ity re,ains dissi,ulated 4and, 'on+ersely, its theatri'ality gains O 'ertain ine+itability

INTRODUCTION

13

gi+en the i,#ossibility o( a (ull dis'losure o( its histori'ity5) Cithin s#ee'h a't theory, a #er(or,ati+e is that dis'ursi+e #ra'ti'e that ena'ts or #rodu'es that whi'h it na,es) 9 *''ording to the bibli'al rendition o( the #er(or,ati+e, i)e), DLet there be lightP,D it a##ears that it is by +irtue of t*e (o,er of # sub)ect or its ,ill that a #heno,enon is na,ed into being) 2n a 'riti'al re(or,ulation o( the #er(or,ati+e, /errida ,akes 'lear that this #ower is not the (un'tion o( an originating will, but is always deri+ati+eB !ould a #er(or,ati+e utteran'e su''eed i( its (or,ulation did not re#eat a D'odedD or iterable utteran'e, or in other words, i( the (or,ula 2 #ronoun'e in order to o#en a ,eeting, laun'h a shi# or a ,arriage were not identi(iable as 'on(or,ing with an iterable ,odel, i( it were not then identi(iable in so,e way as a D'itationDK)) )in su'h a ty#ology, the 'ategory o( intention will not disa##earG it will ha+e its #la'e, but (ro, that #la'e it will no longer be able to go+ern the entire s'ene and syste, o( utteran'e -./enonci#tion0 11 :o what e3tent does dis'ourse gain the authority to bring about what it na,es through 'iting the 'on+entions o( authorityK *nd does a subFe't a##ear as the author o( its dis'ursi+e e((e'ts to the e3tent that the 'itational #ra'ti'e by whi'h he1she is 'onditioned and ,obili.ed re,ains un,arkedK 2ndeed, 'ould it be that the #rodu'tion o( the subFe't as originator o( his1her e((e'ts is #re'isely a 'onseJuen'e o( this dissi,ulated 'itationalityK Further, i( a subFe't 'o,es to be through a subFe'tion to the nor,s o( se3, a subFe'tion whi'h reJuires an assu,#tion o( the nor,s o( se3, 'an we read that Dassu,#tionD as #re'isely a ,odality o( this kind o( 'itationalityK 2n other words, the nor, o( se3 takes hold to the e3tent that it is D'itedD as su'h a nor,, but it also deri+es its #ower through the 'itations that it 'o,#els) *nd how it is that we ,ight read the D'itingD o( the nor,s o( se3 as the #ro'ess o( a##ro3i,ating or Didenti(ying withD su'h nor,sK Further, to what e3tent within #sy'hoanalysis is the se3ed body se'ured through identi(i'atory #ra'ti'es go+erned by regulatory s'he,asK 2denti(i'ation is used here not as an i,itati+e a'ti+ity by whi'h a 'ons'ious being ,odels itsel( a(ter anotherG on the 'ontrary, identi(i'ation is the assi,ilating #assion by whi'h an ego (irst e,erges) 11 Freud argues that Dthe ego is (irst and (ore,ost a bodily ego,D that this ego is, (urther, Da #roFe'tion o( a sur(a'e,D 19 what we ,ight redes'ribe as an i,aginary ,or#hology) Aoreo+er, 2 would argue, this i,aginary ,or#hology is not a #reso'ial or

14

BODIES THAT MATTER

#resy,boli' o#eration, but is itsel( or'hestrated through regulatory s'he,as that #rodu'e intelligible ,or#hologi'al #ossibilities :hese regulatory s'he,as are not ti,eless stru'tures, but histori'ally re+isable 'riteria o( intelligibility whi'h #rodu'e and +anJuish bodies that ,atter) 2( the (or,ulation o( a bodily ego, a sense o( stable 'ontour, and the (i3ing o( s#atial boundary is a'hie+ed through identi(i'atory #ra'ti'es and i( #sy'hoanalysis do'u,ents the hege,oni' workings o( those identi(i'ations, 'an we then read #sy'hoanalysis (or the in'ul'ation o( the heterose3ual ,atri3 at the le+el o( bodily ,or#hogenesisK Chat La'an 'alls the Dassu,#tionD or Da''essionD to the sy,boli' law 'an be read as a kind o( citin% of the law, and so o((ers an o##ortunity to link the Juestion o( the ,ateriali.ation o( Dse3D with the reworking o( #er(or,ati+ity as 'itationality) *lthough La'an 'lai,s that the sy,boli' law has a se,i-autono,ous status #rior to the assu,#tion o( se3ed #ositions by a subFe't, these nor,ati+e #ositions, i)e), the Dse3es,D are only known through the a##ro3i,ations that they o''asion) :he (or'e and ne'essity o( these nor,s 4Dse3D as a sy,boli' (un'tion is to be understood as a kind o( 'o,,and,ent or inFun'tion5 is thus (un'tionally de(endent on the a##ro3i,ation and 'itation o( the lawG the law without its a##ro3i,ation is no law or, rather, it re,ains a go+erning law only (or those who would a((ir, it on the basis o( religious (aith) 2( Dse3D is assu,ed in the sa,e way that a law is 'ited8an analogy whi'h will be su##orted later in this te3t8then Dthe law o( se3D is re#eatedly (orti(ied and ideali.ed as the law only to the e3tent that it is reiterated as the law, #rodu'ed as the law, the anterior and ina##ro3i,able ideal, by the +ery 'itations it is said to 'o,,and) Reading the ,eaning o( Dassu,#tionD in La'an as 'itation, the law is no longer gi+en in a (i3ed (or, (rior to its 'itation, but is #rodu'ed through 'itation as that whi'h #re'edes and e3'eeds the ,ortal a##ro3i,ations ena'ted by the subFe't) 2n this way, the sy,boli' law in La'an 'an be subFe't to the sa,e kind o( 'ritiJue that Niet.s'he (or,ulated o( the notion o( GodB the #ower attributed to this #rior and ideal #ower is deri+ed and de(le'ted (ro, the attribution itsel()13 2t is this insight into the illegiti,a'y o( the sy,boli' law o( se3 that is dra,ati.ed to a 'ertain degree in the 'onte,#orary (il, 2#ris .s 3urnin%4 the ideal that is ,irrored de#ends on that +ery ,irroring to be sustained as an ideal) *nd though the sy,boli' a##ears to be a (or'e that 'annot be 'ontra+ened without #sy'hosis, the sy,boli' ought to be rethought as a series o( nor,ati+i.ing inFun'tions that se'ure the borders

INTRODUCTION

I5

o( se3 through the threat o( #sy'hosis, abFe'tion, #sy'hi' unli+ability) *nd (urther, that this DlawD 'an only re,ain a law to the e3tent that it 'o,#els the di((erentiated 'itations and a##ro3i,ations 'alled D(e,inineD and D,as'uline)D :he #resu,#tion that the sy,boli' law o( se3 enFoys a se#arable ontology #rior and autono,ous to its assu,#tion is 'ontra+ened by the notion that the 'itation o( the law is the +ery ,e'hanis, o( its #rodu'tion and arti'ulation) Chat is D(or'edD by the sy,boli', then, is a 'itation o( its law that reiterates and 'onsolidates the ruse o( its own (or'e) Chat would it ,ean to D'iteD the law to #rodu'e it di((erently, to D'iteD the law in order to reiterate and 'oo#t its #ower, to e3#ose the heterose3ual ,atri3 and to dis#la'e the e((e't o( its ne'essityK :he #ro'ess o( that sedi,entation or what we ,ight 'all '#teri#li+#tion will be a kind o( 'itationality, the a'Juisition o( being through the 'iting o( #ower, a 'iting that establishes an originary 'o,#li'ity with #ower in the (or,ation o( the D2)D 2n this sense, the agen'y denoted by the #er(or, ati+ity o( Dse3D will be dire'tly 'ounter to any notion o( a +oluntarist subFe't who e3ists Juite a#art (ro, the regulatory nor,s whi'h she1he o##oses) :he #arado3 o( subFe'ti+ation 5#ssu)etisse'ent6 is #re'isely that the subFe't who would resist su'h nor,s is itsel( enabled, i( not #rodu'ed, by su'h nor,s) *lthough this 'onstituti+e 'onstraint does not (ore'lose the #ossibility o( agen'y, it does lo'ate agen'y as a reiterati+e or rearti'ulatory #ra'ti'e, i,,anent to #ower, and not a relation o( e3ternal o##osition to #ower) *s a result o( this re(or,ulation o( #er(or,ati+ity, 4a5 gender #er(or,ati+ity 'annot be theori.ed a#art (ro, the (or'ible and reiterati+e #ra'ti'e o( regulatory se3ual regi,esG 4b5 the a''ount o( agen'y 'onditioned by those +ery regi,es o( dis'ourse1#ower 'annot be 'on(lated with +oluntaris, or indi+idualis,, ,u'h less with 'onsu,eris,, and in no way #resu##oses a 'hoosing subFe'tG 4'5 the regi,e o( heterose3uality o#erates to 'ir'u,s'ribe and 'ontour the D,aterialityD o( se3, and that D,aterialityD is (or,ed and sustained through and as a ,ateriali.ation o( regulatory nor,s that are in #art those o( heterose3ual hege,onyG 4d5 the ,ateriali.ation o( nor,s reJuires those identi(i'atory #ro'esses by whi'h nor,s are assu,ed or a##ro#riated, and these identi(i'ations #re'ede and enable the (or,ation o( a subFe't, but are not, stri'tly s#eaking, #er(or,ed by a subFe'tG and 4e5 the li,its o( 'onstru'ti+is, are e3#osed at those boundaries o( bodily li(e where abFe'ted or delegiti,ated bodies (ail to 'ount as Dbodies)D 2( the

16

BODIES THAT MATTER

,ateriality o( se3 is de,ar'ated in dis'ourse, then this de,ar'ation will #rodu'e a do,ain o( e3'luded and delegiti,ated Dse3)D ;en'e, it will be as i,#ortant to think about how and to what end bodies are 'onstru'ted as is it will be to think about how and to what end bodies are not 'onstru'ted and, (urther, to ask a(ter how bodies whi'h (ail to ,ateriali.e #ro+ide the ne'essary Doutside,D i( not the ne'essary su##ort, (or the bodies whi'h, in ,ateriali.ing the nor,, Juali(y as bodies that ,atter) ;ow, then, 'an one think through the ,atter o( bodies as a kind o( ,ateriali.ation go+erned by regulatory nor,s in order to as'ertain the workings o( heterose3ual hege,ony in the (or,ation o( what Juali(ies as a +iable bodyK ;ow does that ,ateriali.ation o( the nor, in bodily (or,ation #rodu'e a do,ain o( abFe'ted bodies, a (ield o( de(or,ation, whi'h, in (ailing to Juali(y as the (ully hu,an, (orti(ies those regulatory nor,sK Chat 'hallenge does that e3'luded and abFe'ted real, #rodu'e to a sy,boli' hege,ony that ,ight (or'e a radi'al rearti'ulation o( what Juali(ies as bodies that ,atter, ways o( li+ing that 'ount as Dli(e,D li+es worth #rote'ting, li+es worth sa+ing, li+es worth grie+ingK

TRA%ECTOR" OF THE TE&T

:he te3ts that (or, the (o'us o( this inJuiry 'o,e (ro, di+erse traditions o( writingB PlatoEs :i,aeus, FreudEs D@n Nar'issis,,D writings by 0a'Jues La'an, stories by Cilla !ather, Nella LarsenEs no+ella 2#ssin%, 0ennie Li+ingstonEs (il, 2#ris .s 3urnin%, and essays in re'ent se3ual theory and #oliti's, as well as te3ts in radi'al de,o'rati' theory) :he histori'al range o( ,aterials is not ,eant to suggest that a single heterose3uali.ing i,#erati+e #ersists in ea'h o( these 'onte3ts, but only that the instability #rodu'ed by the e((ort to (i3 the site o( the se3ed body 'hallenges the boundaries o( dis'ursi+e intelligibility in ea'h o( these 'onte3ts) :he #oint here is not only to re,ark u#on the di((i'ulty o( deli+ering through dis'ourse the un'ontested site o( se3) Rather, the #oint is to show that the un'ontested status o( Dse3D within the heterose3ual dyad se'ures the workings o( 'ertain sy,boli' orders, and that its 'ontestation 'alls into Juestion where and how the li,its o( sy,boli' intelligibility are set) Part @ne o( the te3t 'entrally 'on'erns the #rodu'tion o( se3ed ,or#hologies through regulatory s'he,as) :hroughout these 'ha#ters 2 seek to show how #ower relations work in the +ery (or,ation o( Dse3D and its

INTRODUCTION

17

D,aterialityD :he (irst two essays are di((erent genealogi'al e((orts to tra'e the #ower relations that 'ontour bodiesB DBodies :hat AatterD suggests how 'ertain 'lassi'al tensions are taken u# in 'onte,#orary theoreti'al #ositions) :he essay brie(ly 'onsiders *ristotle and Fou'ault, but then o((ers a re+ision o( 2rigarayEs reading o( Plato through a 'onsideration o( the c*or# in PlatoEs Ti'#eus :he c*or# is that site where ,ateriality and (e,ininity a##ear to ,erge to (or, a ,ateriality #rior to and (or,ati+e o( any notion o( the e,#iri'al 2n D:he Lesbian Phallus and the Aor#hologi'al 2,aginaryD 2 atte,#t to show how nor,ati+e heterose3uality sha#es a bodily 'ontour that +a'illates between ,ateriality and the i,aginary, indeed, that is that +ery +a'illation) Neither o( these essays is ,eant to dis#ute the ,ateriality o( the body, on the 'ontrary, together they 'onstitute #artial and o+erla##ing genealogi'al e((orts to establish the nor,ati+e 'onditions under whi'h the ,ateriality o( the body is (ra,ed and (or,ed, and, in #arti'ular, how it is (or,ed through di((erential 'ategories o( se3) 2n the 'ourse o( the se'ond essay, another set o( Juestions e,erges 'on'erning the #roble,ati' o( ,or#hogenesisB how do identi(i'ations (un'tion to #rodu'e and 'ontest what Freud has 'alled Dthe bodily egoDK *s a #roFe'ted #heno,enon, the body is not ,erely the sour'e (ro, whi'h #roFe'tion issues, but is also always a #heno,enon in the world, an estrange,ent (ro, the +ery D2D who 'lai,s it 2ndeed, the assu,#tion o( "se3," the assu,#tion o( a 'ertain 'ontoured ,ateriality, is itsel( a gi+ing (or, to that body, a ,or#hogenesis that takes #la'e through a set o( identi(i'atory #roFe'tions) :hat the body whi'h one DisD is to so,e degree a body whi'h gains its se3ed 'ontours in #art under s#e'ular and e3teriori.ing 'onditions suggests that identi(i'atory #ro'esses are 'ru'ial to the (or,ing o( se3ed ,ateriality)1" :his re+ision o( Freud and La'an 'ontinues in the third 'ha#ter, DPhantas,ati' 2denti(i'ation and the *ssu,#tion o( &e3)D ;ere, two 'on'erns o( so'ial and #oliti'al signi(i'an'e e,ergeB 415 i( identi(i'atory #roFe'tions are regulated by so'ial nor,s, and i( those nor,s are 'onstrued as heterose3ual i,#erati+es, then it a##ears that nor,ati+e heterose3uality is #artially res#onsible (or the kind o( (or, that 'ontours the bodily ,atter o( se3G and 495 gi+en that nor,ati+e heterose3uality is 'learly not the only regulatory regi,e o#erati+e in the #rodu'tion o( bodily 'ontours or setting the li,its to bodily intelligibility, it ,akes sense to ask what other regi,es o( regulatory #rodu'tion 'ontour the ,ateriality o( bodies)

18

BODIES THAT MATTER

;ere it see,s that the so'ial regulation o( ra'e e,erges not si,#ly as another, (olly se#arable, do,ain o( #ower (ro, se3ual di((eren'e or se3uality, but that its DadditionD sub+erts the ,onolithi' workings o( the heterose3ual i,#erati+e as 2 ha+e des'ribed it so (ar) :he sy,boli'8that register o( regulatory ideality8is also and always a ra'ial industry, indeed, the reiterated #ra'ti'e o( r#ci#li+in% inter#ellations) Rather than a''e#t a ,odel whi'h understands ra'is, as dis'ri,ination on the basis o( a #re-gi+en ra'e, 2 (ollow those re'ent theories whi'h ha+e ,ade the argu,ent that the Dra'eD is #artially #rodu'ed as an e((e't o( the history o( ra'is,, that its boundaries and ,eanings are 'onstru'ted o+er ti,e not only in the ser+i'e o( ra'is,, but also in the ser+i'e o( the 'ontestation o( ra'is,) 16 ReFe'ting those ,odels o( #ower whi'h would redu'e ra'ial di((eren'es to the deri+ati+e e((e'ts o( se3ual di((eren'e 4as i( se3ual di((eren'e were not only autono,ous in relation to ra'ial arti'ulation but so,ehow ,ore #rior, in a te,#oral or ontologi'al sense5, it see,s 'ru'ial to rethink the s'enes o( re#rodu'tion and, hen'e, o( se3ing #ra'ti'es not only as ones through whi'h a heterose3ual i,#erati+e is in'ul'ated, but as ones through whi'h boundaries o( ra'ial distin'tion are se'ured as well as 'ontested) s#e'ially at those Fun'tures in whi'h a 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality works in the ser+i'e o( ,aintaining hege,oni' (or,s o( ra'ial #urity, the DthreatD o( ho,ose3uality takes on a distin'ti+e 'o,#le3ity) 2t see,s 'ru'ial to resist the ,odel o( #ower that would set u# ra'is, and ho,o#hobia and ,isogyny as #arallel or analogi'al relations) :he assertion o( their abstra't or stru'tural eJui+alen'e not only ,isses the s#e'i(i' histories o( their 'onstru'tion and elaboration, but also delays the i,#ortant work o( thinking through the ways in whi'h these +e'tors o( #ower reJuire and de#loy ea'h other (or the #ur#ose o( their own arti'ulation) 2ndeed, it ,ay not be #ossible to think any o( these notions or their interrelations without a substantially re+ised 'on'e#tion o( #ower in both its geo#oliti'al di,ensions and in the 'onte,#orary tributaries o( its F interse'ting 'ir'ulation) 17 @n the one hand, any analysis whi'h (oregrounds one +e'tor o( #ower o+er another will doubtless be'o,e +ulnerable to 'riti'is,s that it not only ignores or de+alues the others, but that its own 'onstru'tions de#end on the e3'lusion o( the others in order to #ro'eed) @n the other hand, any analysis whi'h #retends to be able to en'o,#ass e+ery +e'tor o( #ower runs the risk o( a 'ertain e#iste,ologi'al i,#erialis, whi'h 'onsists in the #resu##osition that any gi+en writer ,ight (ully stand

INTRODUCTION

19

(or and e3#lain the 'o,#le3ities o( 'onte,#orary #ower) No author or te3t 'an o((er su'h a re(le'tion o( the world, and those who 'lai, to o((er su'h #i'tures be'o,e sus#e't by +irtue o( that +ery 'lai,) :he (ailure o( the ,i,eti' (un'tion, howe+er, has its own #oliti'al uses, (or the #rodu'tion o( te3ts 'an be one way o( re'on(iguring what will 'ount as the world) Be'ause te3ts do not re(le't the entirety o( their authors or their worlds, they enter a (ield o( reading as #artial #ro+o'ations, not only reJuiring a set o( #rior te3ts in order to gain legibility, but8at best8initiating a set o( a##ro#riations and 'riti'is,s that 'all into Juestion their (unda,ental #re,ises) :his de,and to think 'onte,#orary #ower in its 'o,#le3ity and interarti'ulations re,ains in'ontro+ertibly i,#ortant e+en in its i,#ossibility) *nd yet it would be a ,istake to i,#ose the sa,e 'riteria on e+ery 'ultural #rodu't, (or it ,ay be #re'isely the #artiality o( a te3t whi'h 'onditions the radi'al 'hara'ter o( its insights) :aking the heterose3ual ,atri3 or heterose3ual hege,ony as a #oint o( de#arture will run the risk o( narrowness, but it will run it in order, (inally, to 'ede its a##arent #riority and autono,y as a (or, o( #ower) :his will ha##en within the te3t, but #erha#s ,ost su''ess(ully in its +arious a##ro#riations) 2ndeed, it see,s to ,e that one writes into a (ield o( writing that is in+ariably and #ro,isingly larger and less ,asterable than the one o+er whi'h one ,aintains a #ro+isional authority, and that the unanti'i#ated rea##ro#riations o( a gi+en work in areas (or whi'h it was ne+er 'ons'iously intended are so,e o( the ,ost use(ul) :he #oliti'al #roble,ati' o( o#erating within the 'o,#le3ities o( #ower is raised toward the end o( DPhantas,ati' 2denti(i'ation and the *ssu,#tion o( &e3,D and (urther #ursued in the reading o( the (il, 2#ris .s 3urnin% in the (ourth 'ha#ter, DGender 2s BurningB <uestions o( *##ro#iation and &ub+ersion,D and again in 'ha#ter si3, DPassing, <ueeringB Nella LarsenEs Psy'hoanalyti' !hallenge)D 2n Part :wo o( the te3t, 2 turn (irst to sele'tions (ro, Cilla !atherEs (i'tion, where 2 'onsider how the #aternal sy,boli' #er,its sub+ersi+e reterritoriali.ations o( both gender and se3uality) @+er and against the +iew that se3uality ,ight be (ully disFoined (ro, gender, 2 suggest that !atherEs (i'tion ena'ts a 'ertain gender tres#ass in order to (a'ilitate an otherwise uns#eakable desire) :he brie( readings o( !atherEs (i'tion, in #arti'ular D:o,,y the %nsenti,ental,D DPaulEs !ase,D and #ortions of "y !ntoni#, take u# the Juestion o( the resigni(iability o( the #aternal law as it

21

B@/2 & :;*: A*:: R

destabili.es the o#eration o( na,es and body #arts as sites o( 'rossed identi(i'ation and desire) 2n !ather, the na,e e((e'ts a destabili.ation o( 'on+entional notions o( gender and bodily integrity that si,ultaneously de(le't and e3#ose ho,ose3uality) :his kind o( te3tual 'unning 'an be read as a (urther instan'e o( what +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k has de(tly analy.ed as Dthe e#iste,ology o( the 'loset)D1? 2n !ather, howe+er the dis'ursi+e arti'ulation o( gender is linked to the narration and narrati+i.ability o( lesbian desire su'h that her (i'tion i,#li'itly 'alls into Juestion the s#e'i(i' ways in whi'h &edgwi'k, in relation to !ather, has suggested a disFoining o( se3uality (ro, gender)1= :he reading o( Nella LarsenEs 2#ssin% 'onsiders how a redes'ri#tion o( the sy,boli' as a +e'tor o( gendered and ra'ial i,#erati+es 'alls into Juestion the assertion that se3ual di((eren'e is in so,e sense #rior to ra'ial di((eren'es) :he ter, DJueeringD in LarsenEs te3t rallies both ra'ial and se3ual an3ieties, and 'o,#els a reading whi'h asks how se3ual regulation o#erates through the regulation o( ra'ial boundaries, and how ra'ial distin'tions o#erate to de(end against 'ertain so'ially endangering se3ual transgressions) LarsenEs no+ella o((ers a way to retheori.e the sy,boli' as a ra'ially arti'ulated set o( se3ual nor,s, and to 'onsider both the histori'ity o( su'h nor,s, their sites o( 'on(li't and 'on+ergen'e, and the li,its on their rearti'ulation) 2( #er(or,ati+ity is 'onstrued as that #ower o( dis'ourse to #rodu'e e((e'ts through reiteration, how are we to understand the li,its o( su'h #rodu'tion, the 'onstraints under whi'h su'h #rodu'tion o''ursK *re these so'ial and #oliti'al li,its on the resigni(iability o( gender and ra'e, or are these li,its that are, stri'tly s#eaking, outside the so'ialK *re we to understand this DoutsideD as that whi'h #er,anently resists dis'ursi+e elaboration, or is it a +ariable boundary set and reset by s#e'i(i' #oliti'al in+est,entsK :he inno+ati+e theory o( #oliti'al dis'ourse o((ered by &la+oF Qi.ek in T*e 7ubli'e 8b)ect of .deolo%y takes u# the Juestion o( se3ual di((eren'e in La'an in relation to the #er(or,ati+e 'hara'ter o( #oliti'al signi(iers) :he reading o( his work, and the subseJuent essay on the resigni(i'ation o( DJueerD are inJuiries into the uses and li,its o( a #sy'hoanalyti' #ers#e'ti+e (or a theory o( #oliti'al #er(or,ati+es and de,o'rati' 'ontestation) Qi.ek de+elo#s a theory o( #oliti'al signi(iers as #er(or,ati+es whi'h, through be'o,ing sites o( #hantas,ati' in+est,ent, e((e't the #ower to

INTRODUCTION

21

,obili.e 'onstituen'ies #oliti'ally) !entral to Qi.ekEs (or,ulation o( the #oliti'al #er(or,ati+e is a 'ritiJue o( dis'ourse analysis (or its (ailure to ,ark that whi'h resists sy,boli.ation, what he +ariously 'alls a Dtrau,aD and Dthe real)D *n instru'ti+e and inno+ati+e theory, it ne+ertheless tends to rely on an un#roble,ati.ed se3ual antagonis, that unwittingly installs a heterose3ual ,atri3 as a #er,anent and in'ontestable stru'ture o( 'ulture in whi'h wo,en o#erate as a DstainD in dis'ourse) :hose who try to 'all this stru'ture into Juestion are thus arguing with the real, with what is outside all argu,entation, the trau,a and the ne'essity o( oedi#ali.arion that 'onditions and li,its all dis'ourse) Qi.ekEs e((orts to link the #er(or,ati+e 'hara'ter o( dis'ourse to the #ower o( #oliti'al ,obili.ation are ne+ertheless Juite +aluable) ;is e3#li'it linking o( the theory o( #er(or,ati+ity to that o( hege,ony as it is arti'ulated in the radi'al de,o'rati' theory o( rnesto La'lau and !hantal Aou((e o((ers insights into #oliti'al ,obili.ation through re'ourse to a #sy'hoanalyti'ally in(or,ed theory o( ideologi'al (antasy) :hrough a 'riti'al engage,ent with his theory, then, 2 'onsider how #er(or,ati+ity ,ight be rethought as 'itationality and resigni(i'ation, and where #sy'hoanalysis ,ight retain its e3#lanatory (or'e in a theory o( hege,ony whi'h rei(ies neither the heterose3ual nor, nor its ,isogynist 'onseJuen'e) 2n the (inal 'ha#ter, then, 2 suggest that the 'ontentious #ra'ti'es o( DJueernessD ,ight be understood not only as an e3a,#le o( 'itational #oliti's, but as a s#e'i(i' reworking o( abFe'tion into #oliti'al agen'y that ,ight e3#lain why D'itationalityD has 'onte,#orary #oliti'al #ro,ise) :he #ubli' assertion o( DJueernessD ena'ts #er(or,ati+ity as 'itationality (or the #ur#oses o( resigni(ying the abFe'tion o( ho,ose3uality into de(ian'e and legiti,a'y) 2 argue that this does not ha+e to be a Dre+erse-dis'ourseD in whi'h the de(iant a((ir,ation o( Jueer diale'ti'ally reinstalls the +ersion it seeks to o+er'o,e) Rather, this is the #oliti'i.ation o( abFe'tion in an e((ort to rewrite the history o( the ter,, and to (or'e it into a de,anding resigni(i'ation) &u'h a strategy, 2 suggest, is 'ru'ial to 'reating the kind o( 'o,,unity in whi'h sur+i+ing with *2/& be'o,es ,ore #ossible, in whi'h Jueer li+es be'o,e legible, +aluable, worthy o( su##ort, in whi'h #assion, inFury, grie(, as#iration be'o,e re'ogni.ed without (i3ing the ter,s o( that re'ognition in yet another 'on'e#tual order o( li(elessness and rigid e3'lusion) 2( there is a Dnor,ati+eD di,ension to this work, it 'onsists #re'isely

22

BODIES THAT MATTER

in assisting a radi'al resigni(i'ation o( the sy,boli' do,ain, de+iating the 'itational 'hain toward a ,ore #ossible (uture to e3#and the +ery ,eaning o( what 'ounts as a +alued and +aluable body in the world) :o re'ast the sy,boli' as 'a#able o( this kind o( resigni(i'ation, it will be ne'essary to think o( the sy,boli' as the te,#orali.ed regulation o( signi(i'ation, and not as a Juasi-#er,anent stru'ture) :his rethinking o( the sy,boli' in ter,s o( the te,#oral dyna,i's o( regulatory dis'ourse will take seriously the La'anian 'hallenge to *nglo-*,eri'an a''ounts o( gender, to 'onsider the status o( Dse3D as a linguisti' nor,, but will re'ast that nor,ati+ity in Fou'aultian ter,s as a Dregulatory ideal)D /rawing (ro, the *nglo-*,eri'an a''ounts o( gender as well, this #roFe't seeks to 'hallenge the stru'tural stasis o( the heterose3uali.ing nor, within the #sy'hoanalyti' a''ount without dis#ensing with what is 'learly +aluable in #sy'hoanalyti' #ers#e'ti+es) 2ndeed, Dse3D is a regulatory ideal, a (or'ible and di((erential ,ateriali.ation o( bodies, that will #rodu'e its re,ainder, its outside, what one ,ight 'all its Dun'ons'ious)D :his insisten'e that e+ery (or,ati+e ,o+e,ent reJuires and institutes its e3'lusions takes seriously the #sy'hoanalyti' +o'abulary o( both re#ression and (ore'losure) 2n this sense, 2 take issue with Fou'aultEs a''ount o( the re#ressi+e hy#othesis as ,erely an instan'e o( Furidi'al #ower, and argue that su'h an a''ount does not address the ways in whi'h Dre#ressionD o#erates as a ,odality o( #rodu'ti+e #ower) :here ,ay be a way to subFe't #sy'hoanalysis to a Fou'aultian redes'ri#tion e+en as Fou'ault hi,sel( re(used that #ossibility) 19 :his te3t a''e#ts as a #oint o( de#arture Fou'aultEs notion that regulatory #ower #rodu'es the subFe'ts it 'ontrols, that #ower is not only i,#osed e3ternally, but works as the regulatory and nor,ati+e ,eans by whi'h subFe'ts are (or,ed) :he return to #sy'hoanalysis, then, is guided by the Juestion o( how 'ertain regulatory nor,s (or, a Dse3edD subFe't in ter,s that establish the indistinguishability o( #sy'hi' and bodily (or,ation) *nd where so,e #sy'hoanalyti' #ers#e'ti+es lo'ate the 'onstitution o( Dse3D at a de+elo#,ental ,o,ent or as an e((e't o( aF Juasi-#er,anent sy,boli' stru'ture, 2 understand this 'onstituting e((e'tP o( regulatory #ower as reiterated and reiterable) :o this understanding o(R #ower as a 'onstrained and reiterati+e #rodu'tion it is 'ru'ial to add that #ower also works through the (ore'losure o( e((e't, the #rodu'tion o( an Doutside,D a do,ain o( unli+abihty and unintelligibly that bounds the do,ain o( intelligible e((e'ts)

INTRODUCTION

23

:o what e3tent is Dse3D a 'onstrained #rodu'tion, a (or'ible e((e't, one whi'h sets the li,its to what will Juali(y as a body by regulating the ter,s by whi'h bodies are and are not sustainedK Ay #ur#ose here is to understand how what has been (ore'losed or banished (ro, the #ro#er do,ain o( Dse3D8where that do,ain is se'ured through a heterose3uali.ing i,#erati+e8,ight at on'e be #rodu'ed as a troubling return, not only as an i'#%in#ry 'ontestation that e((e'ts a (ailure in the workings o( the ine+itable law, but as an enabling disru#tion, the o''asion (or a radi'al rearti'ulation o( the sy,boli' hori.on in whi'h bodies 'o,e to ,atter at all)

BODIES THAT MATTER


2( 2 understand de'onstru'tion, de'onstni'tion is not an e3#osure o( error, 'ertainly not other #eo#leEs error) :he 'ritiJue in de'onstru'tion, the ,ost serious 'ritiJue in de'onstru'tion, is the 'ritiJue o( so,ething that is e3tre,ely use(ul, so,ething without whi'h we 'annot do anything) 8Gayatri !hakra+orty &#i+ak, D2n a Cord,D inter+iew with llen Rooney

)))the ne'essity o( Dreo#eningD the (igures o( #hiloso#hi'al dis'ourse))) @ne way is to interrogate the 'onditions under whi'h syste,ati'ity itsel( is #ossibleB what the 'oheren'e o( the dis'ursi+e utteran'e 'on'eals o( the 'onditions under whi'h it is #rodu'ed, whate+er it ,ay say about these 'onditions in dis'ourse) For e3a,#le the D,atterD (ro, whi'h the s#eaking subFe't draws nourish,ent

in order to #rodu'e itsel(, to re#rodu'e itsel(, the sceno%r#(*y that ,akes re#resentation (easible, re#resentation as de(ined in #hiloso#hy, that is, the ar'hite'toni's o( its theatre, its (ra,ing in s#a'e-ti,e, its geo,etri' organi.ation, its #ro#s, its a'tors, their res#e'ti+e #ositions, their dialogues, indeed their tragi' relations, without o+erlooking the 'irror, ,ost o(ten hidden, that allows the logos, the subFe't, to redu#li'ate itsel(, to re(le't itsel( by itsel() *ll these are inter+entions on the s'eneG they ensure its 'oheren'e so long as they re,ain uninter#reted) :hus they ha+e to be reena'ted, in ea'h (igure o( dis'ourse away (ro, its ,ooring in the +alue o( D#resen'e)D For ea'h #hiloso#her, beginning with those whose na,es de(ine so,e age in the history o( #hiloso#hy, we ha+e to #oint out how the break with ,aterial 'ontiguity is ,ade 4il (aut re#erer 'o,,ent sEo#ere la 'ou#ure dEa+e' la 'ontiguite ,aterielle5, how the syste, is #ut together, how the s#e'ular e'ono,y works) 8Lu'e 2rigaray, D:he Power o( /is'ourseD Cithin so,e Juarters o( (e,inist theory in re'ent years, there ha+e been 'alls to retrie+e the

body (ro, what is o(ten 'hara'teri.ed as the linguisti' idealis, o( #oststru'turalis,) 2n another Juarter, #hiloso#her Gianni Iatti,o has argued that #oststru'turalis,, understood as te3tual #lay, ,arks the dissolution o( '#tter as a 'onte,#orary 'ategory) *nd it is

28

BODIES THAT MATTER

this lost ,atter, he argues, whi'h ,ust now be re(or,ulated in order (or #oststru'turalis, to gi+e way to a #roFe't o( greater ethi'al and #oliti'al +alue)1 :he ter,s o( these debates are di((i'ult and unstable ones, (or it is di((i'ult to know in either 'ase who or what is designated by the ter, D#oststru'turalis,,D and #erha#s e+en ,ore di((i'ult to know what to retrie+e under the sign o( Dthe body)D *nd yet these two signi(iers ha+e (or so,e (e,inists and 'riti'al theorists see,ed (unda,entally antagonisti') @ne hears warnings like the (ollowingB 2( e+erything is dis'ourse, what ha##ens to the bodyK 2( e+erything is a te3t, what about +iolen'e and bodily inFuryK /oes anything '#tter ' or (or #oststru'turalis,K 2t has see,ed to ,any, 2 think, that in order (or (e,inis, to #ro'eed as a 'riti'al #ra'ti'e, it ,ust ground itsel( in the se3ed s#e'i(i'ity o( the (e,ale body) +en as the 'ategory o( se3 is always reins'ribed as gender, that se3 ,ust still be #resu,ed as the irredu'ible #oint o( de#arture (or the +arious 'ultural 'onstru'tions it has 'o,e to bear) *nd this #resu,#tion o( the ,aterial irredu'ibility o( se3 has see,ed to ground and to authori.e (e,inist e#iste,ologies and ethi's, as well as gendered analyses o( +arious kinds) 2n an e((ort to dis#la'e the ter,s o( this debate, 2 want to ask how and why D,aterialityD has be'o,e a sign o( irredu'ibility, that is, how is it that the ,ateriality o( se3 is understood as that whi'h only bears 'ultural 'onstru'tions and, there(ore, 'annot be a 'onstru'tionK Chat is the status o( this e3'lusionK 2s ,ateriality a site or sur(a'e that is e3'luded (ro, the #ro'ess o( 'onstru'tion, as that through whi'h and on whi'h 'onstru'tion worksK 2s this #erha#s an enabling or 'onstituti+e e3'lusion, one without whi'h 'onstru'tion 'annot o#erateK Chat o''u#ies this site o( un'on-stru'ted ,aterialityK *nd what kinds o( 'onstru'tions are (ore'losed through the (iguring o( this site as outside or beneath 'onstru'tion itsel(K 2n what (ollows, what is at stake is less a theory o( 'ultural 'onstru'tion than a 'onsideration o( the s'enogra#hy and to#ogra#hy o( 'onstru'tion) :his s'enogra#hy is or'hestrated by and as a ,atri3 o( #ower that re,ains disarti'ulated i( we #resu,e 'onstru'tedness and ,ateriality as ne'essarily o##ositional notions) 2n the #la'e o( ,ateriality, one ,ight inJuire into other (oundationalist #re,ises that o#erate as #oliti'al Dirredu'ibles)D 2nstead o( rehearsing the theoreti'al di((i'ulties that e,erge by #resu,ing the notion o( the subFe't as a (oundational #re,ise or by trying to ,aintain a stable distin'tion between se3 and gender, 2 would like to raise the Juestion o( whether

BODIES THAT MATTER

29

re'ourse to ,atter and to the ,ateriality o( se3 is ne'essary in order to establish that irredu'ible s#e'i(i'ity that is said to ground (e,inist #ra'ti'e) *nd here the Juestion is not whether or not there ought to be re(eren'e to ,atter, Fust as the Juestion ne+er has been whether or not there ought to be s#eaking about wo,en) :his s#eaking will o''ur, and (or (e,inist reasons, it ,ustG the 'ategory o( wo,en does not be'o,e useless through de'onstru'tion, but be'o,es one whose uses are no longer rei(ied as Dre(erents,D and whi'h stand a 'han'e o( being o#ened u#, indeed, o( 'o,ing to signi(y in ways that none o( us 'an #redi't in ad+an'e) &urely, it ,ust be #ossible both to use the ter,, to use it ta'ti'ally e+en as one is, as it were, used and #ositioned by it, and also to subFe't the ter, to a 'ritiJue whi'h interrogates the e3'lusionary o#erations and di((erential #ower-relations that 'onstru't and deli,it (e,inist in+o'ations o( Dwo,en)D :his is, to #ara#hrase the 'itation (ro, &#i+ak abo+e, the 'ritiJue o( so,ething use(ul, the 'ritiJue o( so,ething we 'annot do without) 2ndeed, 2 would argue that it is a 'ritiJue without whi'h (e,inis, loses its de,o'rati.ing #otential through re(using to engage8take sto'k o(, and be'o,e trans(or,ed by8the e3'lusions whi'h #ut it into #lay) &o,ething si,ilar is at work with the 'on'e#t o( ,ateriality, whi'h ,ay well be Dso,ething without whi'h we 'annot do anything)D Chat does it ,ean to ha+e re'ourse to ,ateriality, sin'e it is 'lear (ro, the start that ,atter has a history 4indeed, ,ore than one5 and that the history o( ,atter is in #art deter,ined by the negotiation o( se3ual di((eren'e) Ce ,ay seek to return to ,atter as #rior to dis'ourse to ground our 'lai,s about se3ual di((eren'e only to dis'o+er that ,atter is (ully sedi,ented with dis'ourses on se3 and se3uality that #re(igure and 'onstrain the uses to whi'h that ter, 'an be #ut) Aoreo+er, we ,ay seek re'ourse to ,atter in order to ground or to +eri(y a set o( inFuries or +iolations only to (ind that '#tter itself is founded t*rou%* # set of viol#tions, ones whi'h are unwittingly re#eated in the 'onte,#orary in+o'ation) 2ndeed, i( it 'an be shown that in its 'onstituti+e history this Dirredu'ibleD ,ateriality is 'onstru'ted through a #roble,ati' gendered ,atri3, then the dis'ursi+e #ra'ti'e by whi'h ,atter is rendered irredu'ible si,ultaneously ontologi.es and (i3es that gendered ,atri3 in its #la'e) *nd i( the 'onstituted e((e't o( that ,atri3 is taken to be the indis#utable ground o( bodily li(e, then it see,s that a genealogy o( that ,atri3 is (ore'losed (ro, 'riti'al inJuiry) *gainst the 'lai, that #oststru'turalis, redu'es all

30

BODIES THAT MATTER

,ateriality to linguisti' stu((, an argu,ent is needed to show that to de'onstru't ,atter is not to negate or do away with the use(ulness o( the ter,) *nd against those who would 'lai, that the bodyEs irredu'ible ,ateriality is a ne'essary #re'ondition (or (e,inist #ra'ti'e, 2 suggest that that #ri.ed ,ateriality ,ay well be 'onstituted through an e3'lusion and degradation o( the (e,inine that is #ro(oundly #roble,ati' (or (e,inis,) ;ere it is o( 'ourse ne'essary to state Juite #lainly that the o#tions (or theory are not e3hausted by (resu'in% ,ateriality, on the one hand, and ne%#tin% ,ateriality, on the other) 2t is ,y #ur#ose to do #re'isely neither o( these) :o 'all a #resu##osition into Juestion is not the sa,e as doing away with itG rather, it is to (ree it (ro, its ,eta#hysi'al lodgings in order to understand what #oliti'al interests were se'ured in and by that ,eta#hysi'al #la'ing, and thereby to #er,it the ter, to o''u#y and to ser+e +ery di((erent #oliti'al ai,s) :o #roble,ati.e the ,atter o( bodies ,ay entail an initial loss o( e#iste,ologi'al 'ertainty, but a loss o( 'ertainty is not the sa,e as #oliti'al nihilis,) @n the 'ontrary, su'h a loss ,ay well indi'ate a signi(i'ant and #ro,ising shi(t in #oliti'al thinking) :his unsettling o( D,atterD 'an be understood as initiating new #ossibilities, new ways (or bodies to ,atter) :he body #osited as #rior to the sign, is always (osited or si%nified #s (rior :his signi(i'ation #rodu'es as an effect o( its own #ro'edure the +ery body that it ne+ertheless and si,ultaneously 'lai,s to dis'o+er as that whi'h (recedes its own a'tion) 2( the body signi(ied as #rior to signi(i'ation is an e((e't o( signi(i'ation, then the ,i,eti' or re#resentational status o( language, whi'h 'lai,s that signs (ollow bodies as their ne'essary ,irrors, is not ,i,eti' at all) @n the 'ontrary, it is #rodu'ti+e, 'onstituti+e, one ,ight e+en argue (erfor'#tive, inas,u'h as this signi(ying a't deli,its and 'ontours the body that it then 'lai,s to (ind #rior to any and all signi(i'ation) 9 :his is not to say that the ,ateriality o( bodies is si,#ly and only a linguisti' e((e't whi'h is redu'ible to a set o( signi(iers) &u'h a distin'tion o+erlooks the ,ateriality o( the signi(ier itsel() &u'h an a''ount also (ails to understand ,ateriality as that whi'h is bound u# with signi(i'ation (ro, the startG to think through the indissolubility o( ,ateriality and signi(i'ation is no easy ,atter) :o #osit by way o( language a ,ateriality outside o( language is still to #osit that ,ateriality, and the ,ateriality so #osited will retain that #ositing as its 'onstituti+e 'ondition) /errida negotiates the Juestion o( ,atterEs radi'al alterity with the (ollowing re,arkB D2 a,

BODIES THAT MATTER

31

not e+en sure that there 'an be a E'on'e#tE o( an absolute e3terior)D 3 :o ha+e the 'on'e#t o( ,atter is to lose the e3teriority that the 'on'e#t is su##ose to se'ure) !an language si,#ly re(er to ,ateriality, or is language also the +ery 'ondition under whi'h ,ateriality ,ay be said to a##earK 2( ,atter 'eases to be ,atter on'e it be'o,es a 'on'e#t, and i( a 'on'e#t o( ,atterEs e3teriority to language is always so,ething less than absolute, what is the status o( this DoutsideDK 2s it #rodu'ed by #hiloso#hi'al dis'ourse in order to e((e't the a##earan'e o( its own e3hausti+e and 'oherent syste,ati'ityK Chat is 'ast out (ro, #hiloso#hi'al #ro#riety in order to sustain and se'ure the borders o( #hiloso#hyK *nd how ,ight this re#udiation returnK
MATTERS OF FEMININIT"

:he 'lassi'al asso'iation o( (e,ininity with ,ateriality 'an be tra'ed to a set o( ety,ologies whi'h link ,atter with '#ter and '#trix 4or the wo,b5 and, hen'e, with a #roble,ati' o( re#rodu'tion) :he 'lassi'al 'on(iguration o( ,atter as a site o( %ener#tion or ori%in#tion be'o,es es#e'ially signi(i'ant when the a''ount o( what an obFe't is and ,eans reJuires re'ourse to its originating #rin'i#le) Chen not e3#li'itly asso'iated with re#rodu'tion, ,atter is generali.ed as a #rin'i#le o( origination and 'ausality) 2n Greek, *yle is the wood or ti,ber out o( whi'h +arious 'ultural 'onstru'tions are ,ade, but also a #rin'i#le o( origin, de+elo#,ent, and teleology whi'h is at on'e 'ausal and e3#lanatory) :his link between ,atter, origin, and signi(i'an'e suggests the indissolubility o( 'lassi'al Greek notions o( ,ateriality and signi(i'ation) :hat whi'h ,atters about an obFe't is its ,atter)" 2n both the Latin and the Greek, ,atter 9'#teri# and *yle6 is neither a si,#le, brute #ositi+ity or re(erent nor a blank sur(a'e or slate awaiting an e3ternal signi(i'ation, but is always in so,e sense te,#orali.ed) :his is true (or Aar3 as well, when D,atterD is understood as a #rin'i#le of tr#ns: for'#tion, #resu,ing and indu'ing a (uture)6 :he ,atri3 is an originating and (or,ati+e #rin'i#le whi'h inaugurates and in(or,s a de+elo#,ent o( so,e organis, or obFe't) ;en'e, (or *ristotle, D,atter is #otentiality -dyn#'eos0, (or, a'tualityD7 2n re#rodu'tion, wo,en are said to 'ontribute the ,atterG ,en, the (or,)? :he Greek *yle is wood that already has been 'ut (ro, trees, instru,entali.ed and instru,entali.able, arti(a'tual, on the

32

BODIES THAT MATTER

way to being #ut to use) "#teri# in Latin denotes the stu(( out o( whi'h things are ,ade, not only the ti,ber (or houses and shi#s but whate+er ser+es as nourish,ent (or in(antsB nutrients that a't as e3tensions o( the ,otherEs body) 2nso(ar as ,atter a##ears in these 'ases to be in+ested with a 'ertain 'a#a'ity to originate and to 'o,#ose that (or whi'h it also su##lies the #rin'i#le o( intelligibility, then ,atter is 'learly de(ined by a 'ertain #ower o( 'reation and rationality that is (or the ,ost #art di+ested (ro, the ,ore ,odern e,#iri'al de#loy,ents o( the ter,) :o s#eak within these 'lassi'al 'onte3ts of bodies t*#t '#tter is not an idle #un, (or to be ,aterial ,eans to ,ateriali.e, where the #rin'i#le o( that ,ateriali.ation is #re'isely what D,attersD about that body, its +ery intelligibility) 2n this sense, to know the signi(i'an'e o( so,ething is to know how and why it ,atters, where Dto ,atterD ,eans at on'e Dto ,ateriali.eD and Dto ,ean)D @b+iously, no (e,inist would en'ourage a si,#le return to *ristotleEs natural teleologies in order to rethink the D,aterialityD o( bodies) 2 want to 'onsider, howe+er, *ristotleEs distin'tion between body and soul to e((e't a brie( 'o,#arison between *ristotle and Fou'ault in order to suggest a #ossible 'onte,#orary rede#loy,ent o( *ristotelian ter,inology) *t the end o( this brie( 'o,#arison, 2 will o((er a li,ited 'riti'is, o( Fou'ault, whi'h will then lead to a longer dis'ussion o( 2rigarayEs de'onstru'tion o( ,ateriality in PlatoEs Ti'#eus 2t is in the 'onte3t o( this se'ond analysis that 2 ho#e to ,ake 'lear how a gendered ,atri3 is at work in the 'onstitution o( ,ateriality 4although it is ob+iously #resent in *ristotle as well5, and why (e,inists ought to be interested, not in taking ,ateriality as an irredu'ible, but in 'ondu'ting a 'riti'al genealogy o( its (or,ulation)
ARISTOTLE'FOUCAULT

For *ristotle the soul designates the a'tuali.ation o( ,atter, where ,atter is understood as (ully #otential and una'tuali.ed) *s a result, he ,aintains in de !ni'# that the soul is Dthe (irst grade o( a'tuality o( a naturally organi.ed body)D ;e 'ontinues, D:hat is why we 'an wholly dis,iss as unne'essary the Juestion whether the soul and the body are oneB it is as ,eaningless to ask whether the wa3 and the sha#e gi+en to it by the sta,# are one, or generally the ,atter -*yle0 o( a thing and that o( whi'h it is the ,atter -byle0 "; 2n the Greek, there is no re(eren'e to Dsta,#s,D but the #hrase, Dthe sha#e gi+en by the sta,#D is 'ontained in the single ter,,

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33

" sc*e'# " 7c*e'# ,eans (or,, sha#e, (igure, a##earan'e, dress, gesture, (igure o( a syllogis,, and gra,,ati'al (or,) 2( ,atter ne+er a##ears without its sc*e'#, that ,eans that it only a##ears under a 'ertain gra,,ati'al (or, and that the #rin'i#le o( its re'ogni.ability, its 'hara'teristi' gesture or usual dress, is indissoluble (ro, what 'onstitutes its ,atter) 2n *ristotle, we (ind no 'lear #heno,enal distin'tion between ,ateriality and intelligibility, and yet (or other reasons *ristotle does not su##ly us with the kind o( DbodyD that (e,inis, seeks to retrie+e) :o install the #rin'i#le o( intelligibility in the +ery de+elo#,ent o( a body is #re'isely the strategy o( a natural teleology that a''ounts (or (e,ale de+elo#,ent through the rationale o( biology) @n this basis, it has been argued that wo,en ought to #er(or, 'ertain so'ial (un'tions and not others, indeed, that wo,en ought to be (ully restri'ted to the re#rodu'ti+e do,ain) Ce ,ight histori'i.e the *ristotelian notion o( the sc*e'# in ter,s o( 'ulturally +ariable #rin'i#les o( (or,ati+ity and intelligibility) :o understand the sc*e'# o( bodies as a histori'ally 'ontingent ne3us o( #ower1dis'ourse is to arri+e at so,ething si,ilar to what Fou'ault des'ribes in &isci(line #nd 2unis* as the D,ateriali.ationD o( the #risonerEs body) :his #ro'ess o( ,ateriali.ation is at stake as well in the (inal 'ha#ter o( the (irst +olu,e o( T*e <istory of 7exu#lity when Fou'ault 'alls (or a Dhistory o( bodiesD that would inJuire into Dthe ,anner in whi'h what is ,ost ,aterial and +ital in the, has been in+ested)D9 *t ti,es it a##ears that (or Fou'ault the body has a ,ateriality that is ontologi'ally distin't (ro, the #ower relations that take that body as a site o( in+est,ents) *nd yet, in &isci(line #nd 2unis*, we ha+e a di((erent 'on(iguration o( the relation between ,ateriality and in+est,ent) :here the soul is taken as an instru,ent o( #ower through whi'h the body is 'ulti+ated and (or,ed) 2n a sense, it a'ts as a #ower-laden s'he,a that #rodu'es and a'tuali.es the body itsel() Ce 'an understand Fou'aultEs re(eren'es to the DsoulD as an i,#li'it reworking o( the *ristotelian (or,ulation) Fou'ault argues in &isci(line #nd 2unis* that the DsoulD be'o,es a nor,ati+e and nor,ali.ing ideal a''ording to whi'h the body is trained, sha#ed, 'ulti+ated, and in+estedG it is an histori'ally s#e'i(i' i,aginary ideal 5ide#ls(ecul#tif6 under whi'h the body is e((e'ti+ely ,ateriali.ed) !onsidering the s'ien'e o( #rison re(or,, Fou'ault writes, D:he ,an des'ribed (or us, who, we are in+ited to (ree, is already in hi,sel( the e((e't o( a subFe'tion -#ssu)ettisse'ent0 ,u'h ,ore

34

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#ro(ound than hi,sel() * EsoulE inhabits hi, and brings hi, to e3isten'e, whi'h is itsel( a (a'tor in the ,astery that #ower e3er'ises o+er the body) :he soul is the e((e't and instru,ent o( a #oliti'al anato,yG the soul is the #rison o( the body)D10 :his DsubFe'tion,D or #ssu)ettisse'ent, is not only a subordination but a se'uring and ,aintaining, a #utting into #la'e o( a subFe't, a subFe'ti+arion) :he Dsoul brings Sthe #risonerR to e3isten'eDG and not (ully unlike *ristotle, the soul des'ribed by Fou'ault as an instru,ent o( #ower, (or,s and (ra,es the body, sta,#s it, and in sta,#ing it, brings it into being) ;ere DbeingD belongs in Juotation ,arks, (or ontologi'al weight is not #resu,ed, but always 'on(erred) For Fou'ault, this 'on(erral 'an take #la'e only within and by an o#eration o( #ower) :his o#eration #rodu'es the subFe'ts that it subFe'tsG that is, it subFe'ts the, in and through the 'o,#ulsory #ower relations e((e'ti+e as their (or,ati+e #rin'i#le) But #ower is that whi'h (or,s, ,aintains, sustains, and regulates bodies at on'e, so that, stri'tly s#eaking, #ower is not a subFe't who a'ts on bodies as its distin't obFe'ts) :he gra,,ar whi'h 'o,#els us to s#eak that way en(or'es a ,eta#hysi's o( e3ternal relations, whereby #ower a'ts on bodies but is not understood to (or, the,) :his is a +iew o( #ower as an e3ternal relation that Fou'ault hi,sel( 'alls into Juestion) Power o#erates (or Fou'ault in the constitution o( the +ery ,ateriality o( the subFe't, in the #rin'i#le whi'h si,ultaneously (or,s and regulates the DsubFe'tD o( subFe'ti+ation) Fou'ault re(ers not only to the ,ateriality o( the body o( the #risoner but to the ,ateriality o( the body o( the #rison) :he ,ateriality o( the #rison, he writes, is established to the e3tent that -d#ns l# 'esure ou0 it is a +e'tor and instru,ent o( #ower)11 ;en'e, the #rison is '#teri#li+ed to the e3tent that it is invested ,it* (o,er, or, to be gra,,ati'ally a''urate, there is no #rison #rior to its ,ateriali.ation) 2ts ,ateriali.ation is 'oe3tensi+e with its in+estiture with #ower relations, and ,ateriality is the e((e't and gauge o( this in+est,ent) :he #rison 'o,es to be only within the (ield o( #ower relations, but ,ore s#e'i(i'ally, only to the e3tent that it is in+ested or saturated with su'h relations, that su'h a saturation is itsel( (or,ati+e o( its +ery being) ;ere the body is not an inde#endent ,ateriality that is in+ested by #ower relations e3ternal to it, but it is that (or whi'h ,ateriali.ation and in+estiture are 'oe3tensi+e) DAaterialityD designates a 'ertain e((e't o( #ower or, rather, is #ower in its (or,ati+e or 'onstituting e((e'ts) 2nso(ar as #ower o#erates su''ess(ully

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35

by 'onstituting an obFe't do,ain, a (ield o( intelligibility, as a taken-(orgranted ontology, its ,aterial e((e'ts are taken as ,aterial data or #ri,ary gi+ens) :hese ,aterial #ositi+ities a##ear outside dis'ourse and #ower, as its in'ontestable re(erents, its trans'endental signi(ieds) But this a##earan'e is #re'isely the ,o,ent in whi'h the #ower1dis'ourse regi,e is ,ost (ully dissi,ulated and ,ost insidiously e((e'ti+e) Chen this ,aterial e((e't is taken as an e#iste,ologi'al #oint o( de#arture, a sine =u# non o( so,e #oliti'al argu,entation, this is a ,o+e o( e,#iri'ist (oundarionalis, that, in a''e#ting this 'onstituted e((e't as a #ri,ary gi+en, su''ess(ully buries and ,asks the genealogy o( #ower relations by whi'h it is 'onstituted)19 2nso(ar as Fou'ault tra'es the #ro'ess o( ,ateriali.ation as an in+estiture o( dis'ourse and #ower, he (o'uses on that di,ension o( #ower that is #rodu'ti+e and (or,ati+e) But we need to ask what 'onstrains the do,ain o( what is ,ateriali.able, and whether there are 'od#lities o( ,ateriali.ation8 as *ristotle suggests, and *lthusser is Jui'k to 'ite)13 :o what e3tent is ,ateriali.ation go+erned by #rin'i#les o( intelligibility that reJuire and institute a do,ain o( radi'al unintelli%ibility that resists ,ateriali.ation altogether or that re,ains radi'ally de,ateriali.edK /oes Fou'aultEs e((ort to work the notions o( dis'ourse and ,ateriality through one another (ail to a''ount (or not only what is excluded *orn, the e'ono,ies o( dis'ursi+e intelligibility that he des'ribes, but what *#s to be excluded for those e'ono,ies to (un'tion as sel(-sustaining syste,sK :his is the Juestion i,#li'itly raised by Lu'e 2rigarayEs analysis o( the (or,1,atter distin'tion in Plato) :his argu,ent is #erha#s best known (ro, the essay DPlatoEs ;ystera,D in 7(eculu' of t*e 8t*er >o'#n, but is tren'hantly arti'ulated as well in the less well-known essay, D%ne Aere de Gla'e,D also in 7(eculu' 2rigarayEs task is to re'on'ile neither the (or,1,atter distin'tion nor the distin'tions between bodies and souls or ,atter and ,eaning) Rather, her e((ort is to show that those binary o##ositions are (or,ulated through the e3'lusion o( a (ield o( disru#ti+e #ossibilities) ;er s#e'ulati+e thesis is that those binaries, e+en in their re'on'iled ,ode, are #art o( a #hallogo-'entri' e'ono,y that #rodu'es the D(e,inineD as its 'onstituti+e outside) 2rigarayEs inter+ention in the history o( the (or,1,atter distin'tion unders'ores D,atterD as the site at whi'h the (e,inine is e3'luded (ro, #hiloso#hi'al binaries) 2nas,u'h as 'ertain #hantas,ati' notions o( the (e,inine are traditionally asso'iated with ,ateriality, these are s#e'ular

36

BODIES THAT MATTER

e((e'ts whi'h 'on(ir, a #hallogo'entri' #roFe't o( autogenesis) *nd when those s#e'ular 4and s#e'tral5 (e,inine (igures are taken to be the (e,inine, the (e,inine is, she argues, (ully erased by its +ery re#resentation) :he e'ono,y that 'lai,s to in'lude the (e,inine as the subordinate ter, in a binary o##osition o( ,as'uline1(e,inine e3'ludes the (e,inine #rodu'es the (e,inine as that whi'h ,ust be e3'luded (or that e'ono,y to o#erate) 2n what (ollows, 2 will 'onsider (irst 2rigarayEs s#e'ulati+e ,ode o( engaging with #hiloso#hi'al te3ts and then turn to her rude and #ro+o'ati+e reading o( PlatoEs dis'ussion o( the re'e#ta'le in the Ti'#eus 2n the (inal se'tion o( this essay, 2 will o((er ,y own rude and #ro+o'ati+e reading o( the sa,e #assage)
IRIGARA"'PLATO

:he largeness and s#e'ulati+e 'hara'ter o( 2rigarayEs 'lai,s ha+e always #ut ,e a bit on edge, and 2 'on(ess in ad+an'e that although 2 'an think o( no (e,inist who has read and reread the history o( #hiloso#hy with the kind o( detailed and 'riti'al attention that she has, 1" her ter,s tend to ,i,e the grandiosity o( the #hiloso#hi'al errors that she unders'ores) :his ,i,ing is, o( 'ourse, ta'ti'al, and her reena't,ent o( #hiloso#hi'al error reJuires that we learn how to read her (or the di((eren'e that her reading #er(or,s) /oes the +oi'e o( the #hiloso#hi'al (ather e'ho in her, or has she o''u#ied that +oi'e, insinuated hersel( into the +oi'e o( the (atherK 2( she is DinD that +oi'e (or either reason, is she also at the sa,e ti,e DoutsideD itK ;ow do we understand the being Dbetween,D the two #ossibilities as so,ething other than a s#atiali.ed entre that lea+es the #hallogo'entri' binary o##osition inta'tK16 ;ow does the di((eren'e (ro, the #hiloso#hi'al (ather resound in the ,i,e whi'h a##ears to re#li'ate his strategy so (aith(ullyK :his is, 'learly, no #la'e between DhisD language and Dhers,D but only a disru#ti+e 'ove'ent whi'h unsettles the to#ogra#hi'al 'lai,)17 :his is a taking o( his #la'e, not to assu,e it, but to show that it is occu(i#ble, to raise the Juestion o( the 'ost and ,o+e,ent o( that assu,#tion) 1? Chere and how is the 'riti'al de#arture (ro, that #atrilin-eage #er(or,ed in the 'ourse o( the re'itation o( his ter,sK 2( the task is not a loyal or #ro#er DreadingD of Plato, then #erha#s it is a kind o( o+erreading whi'h ,i,es and e3#oses the s#e'ulati+e e3'ess in Plato) :o the e3tent that 2 re#li'ate that s#e'ulati+e e3'ess here, 2 a#ologi.e, but

BODIES THAT MATTER

37

only hal(-heartedly, (or so,eti,es a hy#erboli' reFoinder is ne'essary when a gi+en inFury has re,ained uns#oken (or too long) Chen 2rigaray sets out to reread the history o( #hiloso#hy, she asks how its borders are se'uredB what ,ust be e3'luded (ro, the do,ain o( #hiloso#hy (or #hiloso#hy itsel( to #ro'eed, and how is it that the e3'luded 'o,es to 'onstitute negati+ely a #hiloso#hi'al enter#rise that takes itsel( to be sel(-grounding and sel(-'onstitutingK 2rigaray then isolates the (e,inine as #re'isely this 'onstituti+e e3'lusion, whereu#on she is 'o,#elled to (ind a way o( reading a #hiloso#hi'al te3t (or what it re(uses to in'lude) :his is no easy ,atter) For how 'an one read a te3t (or what does not a##ear within its own ter,s, but whi'h ne+ertheless 'onstitutes the illegible 'onditions o( its own legibilityK 2ndeed, how 'an one read a te3t (or the ,o+e,ent o( that disa##earing by whi'h the te3tual DinsideD and DoutsideD are 'onstitutedK *lthough (e,inist #hiloso#hers ha+e traditionally sought to show how the body is (igured as (e,inine, or how wo,en ha+e been asso'iated with ,ateriality 4whether inert8always already dead8or (e'und8e+er-li+ing and #ro'reati+e5 where ,en ha+e been asso'iated with the #rin'i#le o( rational ,astery,1= 2rigaray wants to argue that in (a't the (e,inine is #re'isely what is e3'luded in and by su'h a binary o##osition) 2n this sense, when and where wo,en are re#resented within this e'ono,y is #re'isely the site o( their erasure) Aoreo+er, when ,atter is des'ribed within #hiloso#hi'al des'ri#tions, she argues, it is at on'e a substitution (or and dis#la'e,ent o( the (e,inine) @ne 'annot inter#ret the #hiloso#hi'al relation to the (e,inine through the (igures that #hiloso#hy #ro+ides, but, rather, she argues, through siting the (e,inine as the uns#eakable 'ondition of (iguration, as that whi'h, in (a't, 'an never be (igured within the ter,s o( #hiloso#hy #ro#er, but whose e3'lusion (ro, that #ro#riety is its enabling 'ondition) No wonder then that the (e,inine a##ears (or 2rigaray only in c#t#c*resis, that is, in those (igures that (un'tion i,#ro#erly, as an i,#ro#er trans(er o( sense, the use o( a #ro#er na,e to des'ribe that whi'h does not #ro#erly belong to it, and that return to haunt and 'oo#t the +ery language (ro, whi'h the (e,inine is e3'luded) :his e3#lains in #art the radi'al 'itational #ra'ti'e o( 2rigaray, the 'ata'hresti' usur#ation o( the D#ro#erD (or (ully i,#ro#er #ur#oses)19 For she ,i,es #hiloso#hy8as well as #sy'hoanalysis 8and, in the ,i,e, takes on a language that e((e'ti+ely 'annot belong

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to her, only to 'all into Juestion the e3'lusionary rules o( #ro#rietariness that go+ern the use o( that dis'ourse) :his 'ontestation o( #ro#riety and #ro#erty is #re'isely the o#tion o#en to the (e,inine when it has been 'onstituted as an e3'luded i,#ro#riety, as the i,#ro#er, the #ro#ertyless 2ndeed, as 2rigaray argues in "#rine ?over -!'#nte '#rine0, her work on Niet.s'he, Dwo,an neither is nor has an essen'e,D and this is the 'ase (or her #re'isely be'ause Dwo,anD is what is e3'luded (ro, the dis'ourse o( ,eta#hysi's)90 2( she takes on a #ro#er na,e, e+en the #ro#er na,e o( Dwo,anD in the singular, that 'an only be a kind o( radi'al ,i,e that seeks to Far the ter, (ro, its ontologi'al #resu##ositions) 0ane Gallo# ,akes this brilliantly 'lear in her reading o( the two li#s as both syne'do'he and 'ata'hresis, a reading whi'h o((ers an inter#retation o( 2rigarayEs language o( biologi'al essentialis, as rhetori'al strategy) Gallo# shows that 2rigarayEs (igural language 'onstitutes the (e,inine in language as a #ersistent linguisti' i,#ro#riety)91 :his e3'lusion o( the (e,inine (ro, the #ro#rietary dis'ourse o( ,eta#hysi's takes #la'e, 2rigaray argues, in and through the (or,ulation o( D,atter)D 2nas,u'h as a distin'tion between (or, and ,atter is o((ered within #hallogo'entris,, it is arti'ulated through a (urther ,ateriality) 2n other words, e+ery e3#li'it distin'tion takes #la'e in an ins'ri#tional s#a'e that the distin'tion itsel( 'annot a''o,,odate) Aatter as a site o( ins'ri#tion 'annot be e3#li'itly the,ati.ed) *nd this ins'ri#tional site or s#a'e is, (or 2rigaray, a '#teri#lity that is not the sa,e as the 'ategory o( D,atterD whose arti'ulation it 'onditions and enables) 2t is this unthe,ati-.able ,ateriality that 2rigaray 'lai,s be'o,es the site, the re#ository, indeed, the re'e#ta'le o( and (or the (e,inine ,it*in # #hallogo'entri' e'ono,y) 2n an i,#ortant sense, this se'ond inarti'ulate D,atterD designates the 'onstituti+e outside o( the Platoni' e'ono,yG it is what ,ust be e3'luded (or that e'ono,y to #osture as internally 'oherent)99 :his e3'essi+e ,atter that 'annot be 'ontained within the (or,1,atter distin'tion o#erates like the su##le,ent in /erridaEs analysis o( #hiloso#hi'al o##ositions) 2n /erridaEs 'onsideration o( the (or,1,atter distin'tion in 2ositions, he suggests as well that ,atter ,ust be redoubled, at on'e as a #ole within a binary o##osition, and as that whi'h e3'eeds that binary 'ou#ling, as a (igure (or its nonsyste,ati.ability) !onsider /erridaEs re,ark in res#onse to the 'riti' who wants to 'lai, that ,atter denotes the radi'al outside to languageB D2t (ollows that i(, and in

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39

the e3tent to whi'h, '#tter in this general e'ono,y designates, as you said, radi'al alterity 42 will s#e'i(yB in relation to #hiloso#hi'al o##ositions5, then what 2 write 'an be 'onsidered E,aterialistED93 For both /errida and 2rigaray, it see,s, what is e3'luded (ro, this binary is also (roduced by it in the ,ode of e3'lusion and has no se#arable or (ully inde#endent e3isten'e as an absolute outside) * 'onstituti+e or relati+e outside is, o( 'ourse, 'o,#osed o( a set o( e3'lusions that are ne+ertheless intern#l to that syste, as its own nonthe,ati.able ne'essity) 2t e,erges within the syste, as in'oheren'e, disru#tion, a threat to its own syste,ati'ity) 2rigaray insists that this e3'lusion that ,obili.es the (or,1,atter binary is the di((erentiating relation between ,as'uline and (e,inine, where the ,as'uline o''u#ies both ter,s o( binary o##osition, and the (e,inine 'annot be said to be an intelligible ter, at all) Ce ,ight understand the (e,inine (igured within the binary as the s(ecul#r (e,inine and the (e,inine whi'h is erased and e3'luded (ro, that binary as the excessive (e,inine) *nd yet, su'h no,inations 'annot work, (or in the latter ,ode, the (e,inine, stri'tly s#eaking, 'annot be na,ed at all and, indeed, is not a ,ode) For 2rigaray, the D(e,inineD whi'h 'annot be said to be anything, to #arti'i#ate in ontology at all, is8and here gra,,ar (ails us8set under erasure as the i,#ossible ne'essity that enables any ontology) :he (e,inine, to use a 'ata'hresis, is do,esti'ated and rendered unintelligible within a #hallogo'entris, that 'lai,s to be sel(-'onstituting) /isa+owed, the re,nant o( the (e,inine sur+i+es as the inscri(tion#ls(#ceo(Ethat #hallogo'entris,, the s#e'ular sur(a'e whi'h re'ei+es the ,arks o( a ,as'uline signi(ying a't only to gi+e ba'k a 4(alse5 re(le'tion and guarantee o( #hallogo'entri' sel(-su((i'ien'y, without ,aking any 'ontribution o( its own) *s a to#os o( the ,eta#hysi'al tradition, this ins'ri#tional s#a'e ,akes its a##earan'e in PlatoEs Ti'#eus as the re'e#ta'le 9*y(odoc*e6, whi'h is also des'ribed as the c*or# *lthough e3tensi+e readings o( the c*or# ha+e been o((ered by /errida and 2rigaray, 2 want to re(er here to only one #assage whi'h is about the +ery #roble, o( #assageB na,ely, that #assage by whi'h a (or, 'an be said to generate its own sensible re#resentation) Ce know that (or Plato any ,aterial obFe't 'o,es into being only through #arti'i#ating in a For, whi'h is its ne'essary #re'ondition) *s a result, ,aterial obFe'ts are 'o#ies o( For,s and e3ist only to the e3tent that they instantiate For,s) *nd yet, where does this instantiation take #la'eK 2s there a #la'e, a site, where this re#rodu'tion o''urs, a ,ediu, through whi'h the

40

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trans(or,ation (ro, (or, to sensible obFe't o''ursK 2n the 'os,ogony o((ered in the Ti'#eus, Plato re(ers to three natures that ,ust be taken into a''ount the (irst, whi'h is the #ro'ess o( generationG the se'ond, that in whi'h the generation takes #la'eG and the third that o( whi'h the thing generated is a rese,blan'e naturally #rodu'ed) :hen in what a##ears to be an aside, we ,ay Dliken the re'ei+ing #rin'i#le to a ,other, and the sour'e or s#ring to a (ather, and the inter,ediate nature to a 'hildD460d5) 9" Prior to this #assage, Plato re(ers to this re'ei+ing #rin'i#le as a DnurseD 4"0b5 and then as Dthe uni+ersal nature whi'h re'ei+es all bodies,D a''ording to the ;a,ilton1!airns translation) But this latter #hrase ,ight be better translated as Dthe dyna,i' nature 5(*ysis6 that re'ei+es 4dec*est*#i6 all the bodies that there are 5t#(#nt# so'#t#6" 460b5)96 @( this all-re'ei+ing (un'tion, Plato argues, she D,ust always be 'alled the sa,e, (or inas,u'h as she always re'ei+es all things, she ne+er de#arts at all (ro, her own nature 5dyn#'is6 and ne+er, in any way or at any ti,e, assu,es a (or, 5eile(*en6 like that o( any o( the things whi'h enter into her)) )the (or,s that enter into and go out o( her are the likenesses o( eternal realities ,odeled a(ter their own #atterns 5di#sc*e'#ti+o'enon6 ) )D460'5)97 ;ere her #ro#er (un'tion is to re'ei+e, dec*est*#i, to take, a''e#t, wel'o,e, in'lude, and e+en 'o,#rehend) Chat enters into this *y(odoc*e is a set o( (or,s or, better, sha#es 5'or(*e6, and yet this re'ei+ing #rin'i#le, this (*ysis, has no #ro#er sha#e and is not a body) Like *ristotleEs *yle, (*ysis 'annot be de(ined)9? 2n e((e't, the re'ei+ing #rin'i#le #otentially in'ludes all bodies, and so a##lies uni+ersally, but its uni+ersal a##li'ability ,ust not rese,ble at all, e+er, those eternal realities 5eidos6 whi'h in the Ti'#eus #re(igure uni+ersal (or,s, and whi'h #ass into the re'e#ta'le) :here is here a #rohibition on rese,blan'e 5'i'et#6, whi'h is to say that this nature 'annot be said to be like either the eternal For,s or their ,aterial, sensible, or i,aginary 'o#ies) But in #arti'ular, this (*ysis is only to be entered, but ne+er to enter) ;ere the ter, eisien#i denotes a going toward or into, an a##roa'h and #enetrationG it also denotes going into a (l#ce, so that the c*or#, as an en'losure, 'annot be that whi'h enters into another en'losureG ,eta#hori'ally, and #erha#s 'oin'identally, this #rohibited (or, o( entry also ,eans Dbeing brought into 'ourtD, i)e), subFe't to #ubli' nor,s, and D'o,ing into ,indD or Dbeginning to think)D ;ere there is also the sti#ulation not Dto assu,e a (or, like those that enter her)D !an this re'e#ta'le, then, be likened to any body, to that o( the

BODIES THAT MATTER

41

,other, or to the nurseK *''ording to PlatoEs own sti#ulation, we 'annot de(ine this Dnature,D and to know it by analogy is to know it only by Dbastard thinking)D 2n this sense the hu,an who would know this nature is dis#ossessed o(1by the #aternal #rin'i#le, a son out o( wedlo'k, a de+iation (ro, #atrilineality and the analogi'al relation by whi'h #atrony,i' lineage #ro'eeds) ;en'e, to o((er a ,eta#hor or analogy #resu##oses a likeness between that nature and a hu,an (or,) 2t is this last #oint that /errida, a''e#ting PlatoEs di'tu,, takes as salient to the understanding o( the c*or#, arguing that it 'an ne+er be 'olla#sed into any o( the (igures that it itsel( o''asions) *s a result, /errida argues, it would be wrong to take the asso'iation o( the 'hora with (e,ininity as a de'isi+e 'olla#se)9= 2n a sense, 2rigaray agrees with this 'ontentionB the (igures o( the nurse, the ,other, the wo,b 'annot be (ully identi(ied with the re'e#ta'le, (or those are s#e'ular (igures whi'h dis#la'e the (e,inine at the ,o,ent they #ur#ort to re#resent the (e,inine) :he re'e#ta'le 'annot be e3hausti+ely the,ati.ed or (igured in PlatoEs te3t, #re'isely be'ause it is that whi'h 'onditions and es'a#es e+ery (iguration and the,ati.ation) T*is
rece(t#cle@nurse is not # 'et#(*or b#sed on liAeness to # *u'#n for', but # disfi%u: r#tion t*#t e'er%es #t t*e bound#ries of t*e *u'#n bot* #s its very condition #nd #s t*e insistent t*re#t of its defor'#tionB it c#nnot t#Ae # for', # 'or(*e, #nd in t*#t sense, c#nnot be # body

2nso(ar as /errida argues that the re'e#ta'le 'annot be identi(ied with the (igure o( the (e,inine, 2rigaray would see, to be in agree,ent) But she takes the analysis a ste# (urther, arguing that the (e,inine e3'eeds its (iguration, Fust as the re'e#ta'le does, and that this unthe,ati.ability 'onstitutes the (e,inine as the i,#ossible yet ne'essary (oundation o( what 'an be the,ati.ed and (igured) &igni(i'antly, 0ulia Hriste+a #cce(ts t*is 'olla#se o( the c*or# and the ,aternal1nurse (igure, arguing in Cevolution in 2oetic ?#n%u#%e that DPlato leads usD to this D#ro'ess))) So(R rhyth,i' s#a'e)D 99 2n 'ontrast with 2rigarayEs re(usal o( this 'on(lation o( the c*or# and the (e,inine1,aternal, Hriste+a a((ir,s this asso'iation and (urther asserts her notion o( the se,ioti' as that whi'h D#re'edesD4975 the sy,boli' lawB D:he ,otherEs body is there(ore what ,ediates the sy,boli' law organi.ing so'ial relations and be'o,es the ordering #rin'i#le o( the se,ioti' c*or#"
52D6

Chereas Hriste+a insists u#on this identi(i'ation o( the c*or# with the ,aternal body, 2rigaray asks how the dis'ourse whi'h #er(or,s that

(2

BODIES THAT MATTER

'on(lation in+ariably #rodu'es an DoutsideD where the (e,inine whi'h is not 'a#tured by the (igure o( the c*or# #ersists) ;ere we need to ask, ;ow is this assignation o( a (e,inine DoutsideD #ossible within languageK *nd is it not the 'ase that there is within any dis'ourse and thus within 2rigarayEs as well, a set o( 'onstituti+e e3'lusions that are ine+itably #rodu'ed by the 'ir'u,s'ri#tion o( the (e,inine as that whi'h ,ono#oli.es the s#here o( e3'lusionK 2n this sense, the re'e#ta'le is not si,#ly a (igure for the e3'luded, but, taken as a (igure, stands (or the e3'luded and thus #er(or,s or ena'ts yet another set o( e3'lusions o( all that re,ains un(igurable under the sign o( the (e,inine8that in the (e,inine whi'h resists the (igure o( the nursere'e#ta'le) 2n other words, taken as a (igure, the nurse-re'e#ta'le (ree.es the (e,inine as that whi'h is ne'essary (or the re#rodu'tion o( the hu,an, but whi'h itsel( is not hu,an, and whi'h is in no way to be 'onstrued as the (or,ati+e #rin'i#le o( the hu,an (or, that is, as it were, #rodu'ed through it)30 :he #roble, is not that the (e,inine is ,ade to stand (or ,atter or (or uni+ersalityG rather, the (e,inine is 'ast outside the (or,1,atter and uni+ersal1#arti'ular binaris,s) &he will be neither the one nor the other, but the #er,anent and un'hangeable 'ondition o( both8what 'an be 'onstrued as a nonthe,ati.able ,ateriality) 31 &he will be entered, and will gi+e (orth a (urther instan'e o( what enters her, but she will ne+er rese,ble either the (or,ati+e #rin'i#le or that whi'h it 'reates) 2rigaray insists that here it is the (e,ale #ower o( re#rodu'tion that is taken o+er by the #hal-logo'entri' e'ono,y and re,ade into its own e3'lusi+e and essential a'tion) Chen (*ysis is arti'ulated as c*or#, as it is in Plato, so,e o( the dyna,is, and #oten'y in'luded in the ,eaning o( (*ysis is su##ressed) 2n the #la'e o( a (e,ininity that ,akes a 'ontribution to re#rodu'tion, we ha+e a #halli' For, that re#rodu'es only and always (urther +ersions o( itsel(, and does this through the (e,inine, but with no assistan'e (ro, her) &igni(i'antly, this trans(er o( the re#rodu'ti+e (un'tion (ro, the (e,inine to the ,as'uline entails the to#ogra#hi'al su##ression o( (*ysis, the dissi,ulation o( (*ysis as c*or#, as #la'e) :he word ,atter does not o''ur in Plato to des'ribe this c*or# or *y(odoc*e, and yet *ristotle re,arks in T*e "et#(*ysicsthat this se'tion o( the Ti'#eus arti'ulates ,ost 'losely his own notion o( *yle :aking u# this suggestion, Plotinus wrote the &i3th :ra'tate o( the Enne#ds, D:he

BODIES THAT MATTER

43

2,#assi+ity o( the %ne,bodied,D an e((ort to a''ount (or PlatoEs notion o( the *y(odoc*e as *yle or ,atter)39 2n a twist that the history o( #hiloso#hy has #erha#s rarely undergone, 2rigaray a''e#ts and re'ites Ploti,isEs e((ort to read Plato through *ristotelian D,atterD in D%ne Aere de Gla'e)D 2n that essay, she writes that (or Plato ,atter is Dsterile,D D(e,ale in re'e#ti+ity only, not in #regnan'y)) )'astrated o( that i,#regnating #ower whi'h belongs only to the un'hangeably ,as'uline)D 33 ;er reading establishes the 'os,ogony o( the For,s in the Ti'#eus as a #halli' #hantasy o( a (ully sel(-'onstituted #atrilineality, and this (antasy o( autogenesis or sel(-'onstitution is e((e'ted through a denial and 'oo#tation o( the (e,ale 'a#a'ity (or re#rodu'tion) @( 'ourse, the DsheD who is the Dre'e#ta'leD is neither a uni+ersal nor a #arti'ular, and be'ause (or Plato anything that 'an be na,ed is either a uni+ersal or a #arti'ular, the re'e#ta'le 'annot be na,ed) :aking s#e'ulati+e li'ense, and wandering into what he hi,sel( 'alls Da strange and unwonted inJuiryD 4"=d5, Plato ne+ertheless #ro'eeds to na,e what 'annot be #ro#erly na,ed, in+oking a 'ata'hresis in order to des'ribe the re'e#ta'le as a uni+ersal re'ei+er o( bodies e+en as it 'annot be a uni+ersal, (or, i( it were, it would #arti'i#ate in those eternal realities (ro, whi'h it is e3'luded) 2n the 'os,ogony #rior to the one whi'h introdu'es the re'e#ta'le, Plato suggests that i( the a##etites, those tokens o( the soulEs ,ateriality, are not su''ess(ully ,astered, a soul, understood as a ,anEs soul, risks 'o,ing ba'k as a wo,an, and then as a beast) 2n a sense wo,an and beast are the +ery (igures (or un,asterable #assion) *nd i( a soul #arti'i#ates in su'h #assions, it will be e((e'ti+ely and ontologi'ally trans(or,ed by the, and into the +ery signs, wo,an and beast, by whi'h they are (igured) 2n this #rior 'os,ogony, wo,an re#resents a des'ent into ,ateriality) But this #rior 'os,ogony 'alls to be rewritten, (or i( ,an is at the to# o( an ontologi'al hierar'hy, and wo,an is a #oor or debased 'o#y o( ,an, and beast is a #oor or debased 'o#y o( both wo,an and o( ,an, then there is still a rese'bl#nce between these three beings, e+en as that rese,blan'e is hierar'hi'ally distributed) 2n the (ollowing 'os,ogony, the one that introdu'es the re'e#ta'le, Plato 'learly wants to disallow the #ossibility o( a rese,blan'e between the ,as'uline and the (e,inine, and he does this through introdu'ing a (e,ini.ed re'e#ta'le that is #rohibited (ro, rese,bling any (or,) @( 'ourse, stri'tly s#eaking, the re'e#ta'le 'an ha+e no ontologi'al status, (or ontology is 'onstituted by (or,s, and the re'e#ta'le

44

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'annot be one) *nd we 'annot s#eak about that (or whi'h there is no ontologi'al deter,ination, or i( we do, we use language i,#ro#erly, i,#uting being to that whi'h 'an ha+e no being) &o, the re'e#ta'le see,s (ro, the start to be an i,#ossible word, a designation that 'annot be designated) Parado3i'ally, Plato #ro'eeds to tell us that this +ery re'e#ta'le ,ust always be 'alled the sa,e)3" Pre'isely be'ause this re'e#ta'le 'an only o''asion a radi'ally i,#ro#er s#ee'h, that is, a s#ee'h in whi'h all ontologi'al 'lai,s are sus#ended, the ter,s by whi'h it is na,ed ,ust be 'onsistently a##lied, not in order to ,ake the na,e (it the thing na,ed but #re'isely be'ause that whi'h is to be na,ed 'an ha+e no #ro#er na,e, bounds and threatens the s#here o( linguisti' #ro#riety, and, there(ore, ,ust be 'ontrolled by a (or'ibly i,#osed set o( no,inati+e rules) ;ow is it that Plato 'an 'on'ede the undesignatable status o( this re'e#ta'le and #res'ribe (or it a 'onsistent na,eK 2s it that the re'e#ta'le, designated as the undesignatable, c#nnot be designated, or is it rather that this D'annotD (un'tions as an Dought not to beDK &hould this li,it to what is re#resentable be read as a #rohibition against a 'ertain kind o( re#resentationK *nd sin'e Plato does o((er us a re#resentation o( the re'e#ta'le, one that he 'lai,s ought to re,ain a singularly authoritati+e re#resentation 4and ,akes this o((er in the +ery sa,e #assage in whi'h he 'lai,s its radi'al unre#resentability5, ought we not to 'on'lude that Plato, in authori.ing a single re#resentation o( the (e,inine, ,eans to #rohibit the +ery #roli(eration o( no,inati+e #ossibilities that the undesignatable ,ight #rodu'eK Perha#s this is a re#resentation within dis'ourse that (un'tions to #rohibit (ro, dis'ourse any (urther re#resentation, one whi'h re#resents the (e,inine as unre#resentable and unintelligible, but whi'h in the rhetori' o( the 'onstati+e 'lai, de(eats itsel() *(ter all, Plato (osits that whi'h he 'lai,s 'annot be (osited *nd he (urther 'ontradi'ts hi,sel( when he 'lai,s that that whi'h 'annot be)#osited ought to be #osited in only one way) 2n a sense, this authoritati+e na,ing o( the re'e#ta'le as the unna,eable 'onstitutes a #ri,ary or (ounding ins'ri#tion that se'ures this #la'e as an ins'ri#tional s#a'e) :his na,ing o( what 'annot be na,ed is itsel( a #enetration into this re'e#ta'le whi'h is at on'e a +iolent erasure, one whi'h establishes it as an i,#ossible yet ne'essary site (or all (urther ins'ri#tions) 36 2n this sense, the +ery tellin% o( the story about the #hallo-,or#hi' genesis o( obFe'ts en#cts that #hallo,or#hosis and be'o,es an allegory o( its own #ro'edure)

BODIES THAT MATTER

45

2rigarayEs res#onse to this e3'lusion o( the (e,inine (ro, the e'ono,y o( re#resentation is e((e'ti+ely to say, Fine, 2 donEt want to be in your e'ono,y anyway, and 2Ell show you what this unintelligible re'e#ta'le 'an do to your syste,G 2 will not be a #oor 'o#y in your syste,, but 2 will rese,ble you ne+ertheless by 'i'in% the te3tual #assages through whi'h you 'onstru't your syste, and showing that what 'annot enter it is already inside it 4as its ne'essary outside5, and 2 will ,i,e and re#eat the gestures o( your o#eration until this e,ergen'e o( the outside within the syste, 'alls into Juestion its syste,ati' 'losure and its #retension to be sel(-grounding) :his is #art o( what Nao,i &'hor ,eans when she 'lai,s that 2rigaray ,i,es ,i,esis itsel()37 :hrough ,i,ing, 2rigaray transgresses the #rohibition against rese,blan'e at the sa,e ti,e that she re(uses the notion o( rese,blan'e as 'o#y) &he 'ites Plato again and again, but the 'itations e3#ose #re'isely what is e3'luded (ro, the,, and seek to show and to reintrodu'e the e3'luded into the syste, itsel() 2n this sense, she #er(or,s a re#etition and dis#la'e,ent o( the #halli' e'ono,y) T*is is cit#tion, not #s ensl#ve'ent or si'(le reiter#tion of t*e ori%in#l, but #s #n insubordin#tion t*#t #((e#rs to t#Ae (l#ce ,it*in t*e very ter's of t*e ori%in#l, #nd ,*ic* c#lls into =ues: tion t*e (o,er of ori%in#tion t*#t 2l#to #((e#rs to cl#i' for*i'self ;er ,i,ing has the e((e't o( re#eating the origin only to dis#la'e that origin #s an origin) *nd inso(ar as the Platoni' a''ount o( the origin is itsel( a dis(l#ce'ent o( a ,aternal origin, 2rigaray ,erely ,i,es that +ery a't o( dis#la'e,ent, dis#la'ing the dis#la'e,ent, showing that origin to be an De((e'tD o( a 'ertain ruse o( #hallogo'entri' #ower) 2n line with this reading o( 2rigaray, then, the (e,inine as ,aternal does not o((er itsel( as an alternati+e origin) For i( the (e,inine is said to be anywhere or anything, it is that whi'h is #rodu'ed through dis#la'e,ent and whi'h returns as the #ossibility o( a re+ersedis#la'e,ent) 2ndeed, one ,ight re'onsider the 'on+entional 'hara'teri.ation o( 2rigaray as an un'riti'al ,aternalist, (or here it a##ears that the reins'ri#tion o( the ,aternal takes #la'e by writing with and through the language o( #halli' #hiloso#he,es) :his te3tual #ra'ti'e is not grounded in a ri+al ontology, but inhabits8indeed, #enetrates, o''u#ies, and rede#loys8the #aternal language itsel() @ne ,ight well ask whether this kind o( #enetrati+e te3tual strategy does not suggest a di((erent te3tuali.ation o( eroti'is, than the rigorously anti#enetrati+e eros o( sur(a'es that a##ears in 2rigarayEs DChen @ur

46

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Li#s &#eak :ogetherDB DYou are not in 'e 2 do not 'ontain you or retain you in ,y sto,a'h, ,y ar,s, ,y head) Nor in ,y ,e,ory, ,y ,ind, ,y language) You are there, like ,y skin)D3? :he re(usal o( an eroti'is, o( entry and 'ontain,ent see,s linked (or 2rigaray with an o##osition to a##ro#riation and #ossession as (or,s o( eroti' e3'hange) *nd yet the kind o( reading that 2rigaray #er(or,s reJuires not only that she enter the te3t she reads, but that she work the inad+ertent uses o( that 'ontain,ent, es#e'ially when the (e,inine is sustained as an internal ga# or (issure in the #hiloso#hi'al syste, itsel() 2n su'h a##ro#riati+e readings, 2rigaray a##ears to ena't the +ery s#e'tre o( a #enetration in re+erse8or a #enetration elsewhere8that PlatoEs e'ono,y seeks to (ore'lose 4Dthe EelsewhereE o( (e,inine #leasure 'an be (ound only at the #ri'e of crossin% b#cA 5retr#versee6 through the ,irror that subtends all s#e'ulationD 3=5) *t the le+el o( rhetori' this D'rossing ba'kD 'onstitutes an eroti'is, that 'riti'ally ,i,es the #hallus8an eroti'is, stru'tured by re#etition and dis#la'e,ent, #enetration and e3#osure8that 'ounters the eros o( sur(a'es that 2rigaray e3#li'itly a((ir,s) :he o#ening Juotation o( 2rigarayEs essay 'lai,s that #hiloso#hi'al syste,s are built on Da break with ,aterial 'ontiguity,D and that the 'on'e#t o( ,atter 'onstitutes and 'on'eals that ru#ture or 'ut 5l# cou(ure6 :his argu,ent a##ears to #resu,e so,e order o( 'ontiguity that is #rior to the 'on'e#t, #rior to ,atter, and whi'h ,atter works to 'on'eal) 2n 2rigarayEs ,ost syste,ati' reading o( the history o( ethi'al #hiloso#hy, Et*i=ue de l# difference sexuelle, she argues that ethi'al relations ought to be based on relations o( 'loseness, #ro3i,ity, and inti,a'y that re'on(igure 'on+entional notions o( re'i#ro'ity and res#e't) :raditional 'on'e#tions o( re'i#ro'ity e3'hange su'h relations o( inti,a'y (or those 'hara'teri.ed by +iolent erasure, substitutability, and a##ro#riation)39 Psy'hoanalyri'ally, that ,aterial 'loseness is understood as the un'ertain se#aration o( boundaries between ,aternal body and in(ant, relations that ree,erge in language as the ,etony,i' #ro3i,ity o( signs) 2nso(ar as 'on'e#ts, like ,atter and (or,, re#udiate and 'on'eal the ,etony,i' signi(ying 'hains (ro, whi'h they are 'o,#osed, they ser+e the #hallogo'entri' #ur#ose o( breaking with that ,aternal1,aterial 'ontiguity) @n the other hand, that 'ontiguity 'on(ounds the #hallogo'entri' e((ort to set u# a series o( substitutions through ,eta#hori'al eJui+alen'es or 'on'e#tual unities)"0 :his 'ontiguity that e3'eeds the 'on'e#t o( ,atter is, a''ording to

BODIES THAT MATTER

Aargaret Chit(ord, not itsel( a natural relation, but a sy'bolic arti'ulation #ro#er to wo,en) Chit(ord takes Dthe two li#sD as a (igure (or ,etony,y, "1 Da (igure (or the +erti'al and hori.ontal relationshi#s between wo,en)))wo,enEs so'ialityD)"9 But Chit(ord also #oints out that (e,inine and ,as'uline e'ono,ies are ne+er (ully se#arableG as a result, it see,s, relations o( 'ontiguity subsist bet,een those e'ono,ies and, hen'e, do not belong e3'lusi+ely to the s#here o( the (e,inine) ;ow, then, do we understand 2rigarayEs te3tual #ra'ti'e o( lining u# alongside PlatoK :o what e3tent does she re#eat his te3t, not to aug,ent its s#e'ular #rodu'tion, but to 'ross ba'k o+er and through that s#e'ular ,irror to a (e,inine DelsewhereD that ,ust re,ain #roble,ati'ally within 'itation ,arksK :here is (or 2rigaray, always, a ,atter that e3'eeds ,atter, where the latter is disa+owed (or the autogeneti' (or,1,atter 'ou#ling to thri+e) Aatter o''urs in two ,odalitiesB (irst, as a ,eta#hysi'al 'on'e#t that ser+es a #hallogo'entris,G se'ond, as an ungrounded (igure, worriso,ely s#e'ulati+e and 'ata'hresti', that ,arks (or her the #ossible linguisti' site o( a 'riti'al ,i,e) :o #lay with ,i,esis is thus, (or a wo,an, to try to re'o+er the #la'e o( her e3#loitation by dis'ourse, without allowing hersel( to be si,#ly redu'ed to it) 2t ,eans to resub,it hersel(8inas,u'h as she is on the side o( the D#er'e#tible,D o( D,atterD8to Dideas,D in #arti'ular to ideas about hersel(, that are elaborated in1by a ,as'uline logi', but so as to ,ake D+isible,D by an e((e't o( #lay(ul re#etition, what was su##osed to re,ain in+isibleB the 'o+er u# o( a #ossible o#eration o( the (e,inine in language "3 &o #erha#s here is the return o( essentialis,, in the notion o( a D(e,inine in languageDK *nd yet, she 'ontinues by suggesting that 'i'in% is that +ery o#eration o( the (e,inine in language) :o ,i,e ,eans to #arti'i#ate in #re'isely that whi'h is ,i,ed, and i( the language ,i,e is the language o( #hallogo'entris,, then this is only a s#e'i(i'ally (e,inine language to the e3tent that the (e,inine is radi'ally i,#li'ated in the +ery ter,s o( a #hallogo'entris, it seeks to rework) :he Juotation 'ontinues, DSto #lay with ,i,esis ,eansR Eto un+eilE the (a't that, i( wo,en are su'h good ,i,i's, it is be'ause they are not si,#ly resorbed in this (un'tion) T*ey #lso re'#in else,*ere, another 'ase o( the #ersisten'e o( E,atterE)))D

48

BODIES THAT MATTER

:hey ,i,e #hallogo'entris,, but they also e3#ose what is 'o+ered o+er by the ,i,eti' sel(-re#li'ation o( that dis'ourse) For 2rigaray, what is broken with and 'o+ered o+er is the linguisti' o#eration o( ,etony,y, a 'loseness and #ro3i,ity whi'h a##ears to be the linguisti' residue o( the initial #ro3i,ity o( ,other and in(ant) 2t is this ,etony,i' e3'ess in e+ery ,i,e, indeed, in e+ery ,eta#hori'al substitution, that is understood to disru#t the sea,less re#etition o( the #hallogo'entri' nor,) :o 'lai,, though, as 2rigaray does, that the logi' o( identity is #otentially disru#rible by the insurgen'e o( ,etony,y, and then to identi(y this ,etony,y with the re#ressed and insurgent (e,inine is to 'onsolidate the #la'e o( the (e,inine in and as the irru#ti+e 'hora, that whi'h 'annot be (igured, but whi'h is ne'essary (or any (iguration) :hat is, o( 'ourse, to (igure that 'hora ne+ertheless, and in su'h a way that the (e,inine is DalwaysD the outside, and the outside is DalwaysD the (e,inine) :his is a ,o+e that at on'e #ositions the (e,inine as the unthe,ati.able, the non(igurable, but whi'h, in identi(ying the (e,inine with that #osition, the,ati.es and (igures, and so ,akes use o( the #hallogo'entri' e3er'ise to #rodu'e this identity whi'h DisD the non-identi'al) :here are good reasons, howe+er, to reFe't the notion that the (e,inine ,ono#oli.es the s#here o( the e3'luded here) 2ndeed, to en(or'e su'h a ,ono#oly redoubles the e((e't o( (ore'losure #er(or,ed by the #hallogo'entri' dis'ourse itsel(, one whi'h D,i,esD its (ounding +iolen'e in a way that works against the e3#li'it 'lai, to ha+e (ound a linguisti' site in ,etony,y that works as disru#tion) *(ter all, PlatoEs s'enogra#hy o( intelligibility de#ends on the e3'lusion o( wo,en, sla+es, 'hildren, and ani,als, where sla+es are 'hara'teri.ed as those who do not s#eak his language, and who, in not s#eaking his language, are 'onsidered di,inished in their 'a#a'ity (or reason) :his 3eno#hobi' e3'lusion o#erates through the #rodu'tion o( ra'iali.ed @thers, and those whose DnaturesD are 'onsidered less rational by +irtue o( their a##ointed task in the #ro'ess o( laboring to re#rodu'e the 'onditions o( #ri+ate li(e) :his do,ain o( the less than rational hu,an bounds the (igure o( hu,an reason, #rodu'ing that D,anD as one who is without a 'hildhoodG is not a #ri,ate and so is relie+ed o( the ne'essity o( eating, de(e'ating, li+ing and dyingG one who is not a sla+e, but always a #ro#erty holderG one whose language re,ains originary and untranslatable) :his is a (igure o( dise,bodi,ent, but one whi'h is ne+ertheless a (igure o( a body, a bodying (orth o( a ,as'ulini.ed

BODIES THAT MATTER

49

rationality, the (igure o( a ,ale body whi'h is not a body, a (igure in 'risis, a (igure that ena'ts a 'risis it 'annot (ully 'ontrol) :his (iguration o( ,as'uline reason as dise,bodied body is one whose i,aginary ,or#hology is 'ra(ted through the e3'lusion o( other #ossible bodies) :his is a ,ateriali.ation o( reason whi'h o#erates through the de,ateriali.ation o( other bodies, (or the (e,inine, stri'tly s#eaking, has no ,or#he, no ,or#hology, no 'ontour, (or it is that whi'h 'ontributes to the 'ontouring o( things, but is itsel( undi((erentiated, without boundary) :he body that is reason de,ateriali.es the bodies that ,ay not #ro#erly stand (or reason or its re#li'as, and yet this is a (igure in 'risis, (or this body o( reason is itsel( the #hantas,ati' de,ateriali.ation o( ,as'ulinity, one whi'h reJuires that wo,en and sla+es, 'hildren and ani,als be the body, #er(or, the bodily (un'tions, that it will not #er(or,)"" 2rigaray does not always hel# ,atters here, (or she (ails to (ollow through the ,etony,i' link between wo,en and these other @thers, ideali.ing and a##ro#riating the DelsewhereD as the (e,inine) But what is the DelsewhereD o( 2rigarayEs DelsewhereDK 2( the (e,inine is not the only or #ri,ary kind o( being that is e3'luded (ro, the e'ono,y o( ,as'ulinist reason, what and who is e3'luded in the 'ourse o( 2rigarayEs analysisK
IMPROPER ENTR") PROTOCOLS OF SE&UAL DIFFERENCE

:he abo+e analysis has 'onsidered not the ,ateriality o( se3, but the se3 o( ,ateriality) 2n other words, it has tra'ed ,ateriality as the site at whi'h a 'ertain dra,a o( se3ual di((eren'e #lays itsel( out) :he #oint o( su'h an e3#osition is not only to warn against an easy return to the '#teri#lity o( the body or the ,ateriality o( se3, but to show that to in+oke ,atter is to in+oke a sedi,ented history o( se3ual hierar'hy and se3ual erasures whi'h should surely be an ob)ect o( (e,inist inJuiry, but whi'h would be Juite #roble,ati' as a %round o( (e,inist theory) :o return to ,atter reJuires that we return to ,atter as a si%n whi'h in its redoublings and 'ontradi'tions ena'ts an in'hoate dra,a o( se3ual di((eren'e) Let us then return to the #assage in the Ti'#eus in whi'h ,atter redoubles itsel( as a #ro#er and i,#ro#er ter,, di((erentially se3ed, thereby 'on'eding itsel( as a site o( a,bi+alen'e, as a body whi'h is no body, in its ,as'uline (or,, as a ,atter whi'h is no body, in its (e,inine) :he re'e#ta'le, she, Dalways re'ei+es all things, she ne+er de#arts at all

50

BODIES THAT MATTER

(ro, her own nature and, ne+er, in any way or any ti,e, assu,es a (or, like that o( any o( the things that enter into herD 460b5) Chat a##ears to be #rohibited here is #artially 'ontained by the +erb eile(*enFto assu,e, as in to assu,e a (or,8whi'h is at on'e a 'ontinuous a'tion, but also a kind o( re'e#ti+ity) :he ter, ,eans, a,ong other #ossibilities, to gain or #ro'ure, to take, to re'ei+e hos#itality, but also to *#ve # ,ife, and of # ,o'#n to conceive 45 :he ter, suggests a #ro'ure,ent, but also both a 'a#a'ity to 'on'ei+e and to take a wi(e) :hese a'ti+ities or endow,ents are #rohibited in the #assage abo+e, thus setting li,its on the kinds o( Dre'e#ti+ityD that this re'ei+ing #rin'i#le 'an undertake) :he ter, (or what she is ne+er to do 4i)e), Dde#art (ro, her own natureD5 is exist*#t*#i dyn#'eos :his i,#lies that she ought ne+er to arise out o(, be'o,e se#arated (ro,, or be dis(l#ced fro' her own natureG as that whi'h is 'ontained in itsel(, she is that whi'h, Juite literally, ought not to be disordered in dis(l#ce'ent :he sie'(re, the Dne+er,D and the Din no wayD are insistent re#etitions that gi+e this Dnatural i,#ossibilityD the (or, o( an i,#erati+e, a #rohibition, a legislation and allo'ation o( #ro#er #la'e) Chat would ha##en i( she began to rese,ble that whi'h is said only and always to enter into herK !learly, a set o( #ositions is being se'ured here through the e3'lusi+e allo'ation o( #enetration to the (or,, and #enetrability to a (e,ini.ed ,ateriality, and a (ull disso'iation o( this (igure o( #enetrable (e,ininity (ro, the being resulting (ro, re#rodu'tion)"7 2rigaray 'learly reads the Dassu,e a (or,1sha#eD in this #assage as Dto 'on'ei+e,D and understands Plato to be #rohibiting the (e,inine (ro, 'ontributing to the #ro'ess o( re#rodu'tion in order to 'redit the ,as'uline with gi+ing birth) But it see,s that we ,ight 'onsider another sense o( Dto assu,eD in Greek, na,ely, Dto ha+e or take a wi(e)D "? For she will ne+er rese,ble8and so ne+er enter into8another ,ateriality) :his ,eans that he8re,e,ber the For,s are likened to the (ather in this triad8will ne+er be entered by her or, in (a't, by anything) For he is the i,#enetrable #enetrator, and she, the in+ariably #enetrated) *nd DheD would not be di((erentiated (ro, her were it not (or this #rohibition on rese,blan'e whi'h establishes their #ositions as ,utually e3'lusi+e and yet 'o,#le,entary) 2n (a't, i( she were to #enetrate in return, or #enetrate elsewhere, it is un'lear whether she 'ould re,ain a DsheD and whether DheD 'ould #reser+e his own di((erentially established identity) For the logi' o( non-'ontradi'tion that 'onditions this distribution o( #ronouns is one whi'h establishes the DheD

B@/2 & :;*: A*:: R

61

through this e3'lusi+e #osition as #enetrator and the DsheD through this e3'lusi+e #osition as #enetrated) *s a 'onseJuen'e, then, without this heterose3ual '#trix, as it were, it a##ears that the stability o( these gendered #ositions would be 'alled into Juestion) @ne ,ight read this #rohibition that se'ures the i,#enetrability o( the ,as'uline as a kind o( #ani', a #ani' o+er be'o,ing DlikeD her, e((e,ini.ed or a #ani' o+er what ,ight ha##en i( a ,as'uline #enetration o( the ,as'uline were authori.ed, or a (e,inine #enetration o( the (e,inine or a (e,inine #enetration o( the ,as'uline or a re+ersibility o( those #ositions 8not to ,ention a (ull-s'ale 'on(usion o+er what Juali(ies as D#enetrationD anyway) Could the ter,s D,as'ulineD and D(e,inineD still signi(y in stable ways, or would the rela3ing o( the taboos against stray #enetration destabili.e these gendered #ositions in serious waysK 2( it were #ossible to ha+e a relation o( #enetration between two ostensibly (e,inine gendered #ositions, would this be the kind o( rese,blan'e that ,ust be #rohibited in order (or Cestern ,eta#hysi's to get goingK *nd would that be 'onsidered so,ething like a 'oo#tation and dis#la'e,ent o( #halli' autono,y that would under,ine the #halli' assuran'e o+er its own e3'lusi+e rightsK 2s this a re+erse ,i,e that 2rigaray does not 'onsider, but whi'h is ne+ertheless 'o,#atible with her strategy o( a 'riti'al ,i,eK !an we read this taboo that ,obili.es the s#e'ulati+e and #hantas,ati' beginnings o( Cestern ,eta#hysi's in ter,s o( the s#e'tre o( se3ual e3'hange that it #rodu'es through its own #rohibition, as a #ani' o+er the lesbian or, #erha#s ,ore s#e'i(i'ally, o+er the #halli'i.ation o( the lesbianK @r would this kind o( rese,blan'e so disturb the 'o,#ulsory gendered ,atri3 that su##orts the order o( things that one 'ould not 'lai, that these se3ual e3'hanges that o''ur outside or in the intersti'es o( the #halli' e'ono,y are si,#ly D'o#iesD o( the heterose3ual originK For 'learly, this legislation o( a #arti'ular +ersion o( heterose3uality attests (ull well to its non-originary status) @therwise there would be no ne'essity to install a #rohibition at the outset against ri+al #ossibilities (or the organi.ation o( se3uality) 2n this sense, those i,#ro#er rese,blan'es or i,itations that Plato rules out o( the do,ain o( intelligibility do not rese,ble the ,as'uline, (or that would be to #ri+ilege the ,as'uline as origin) 2( a rese,blan'e is #ossible, it is be'ause the DoriginalityD o( the ,as'uline is 'ontestableG in other words, the ,i,ing o( the ,as'uline, whi'h is ne+er resorbed into it, 'an

52

BODIES THAT MATTER

e3#ose the ,as'ulineEs 'lai, to originality as sus#e't 2nso(ar as the ,as'uline is (ounded here through a #rohibition whi'h outlaws the s#e'tre o( a lesbian rese,blan'e, that ,as'ulinist institution8and the #hallogo'entrie ho,o#hobia it en'odes8is not an origin, but only the effect oi that +ery #rohibition, (unda,entally de#endent on that whi'h it ,ust e3'lude)"= &igni(i'antly, this #rohibition e,erges at the site where ,ateriality is being installed as a double instan'e, as the 'o#y o( the For,, and as the non'ontributing ,ateriality in whi'h and through whi'h that sel(-'o#ying ,e'hanis, works) 2n this sense, ,atter is either #art o( the s#e'ular s'enogra#hy o( #halli' ins'ri#tion or that whi'h 'annot be rendered intelligible within its ter,s) :he +ery (or,ulation o( ,atter takes #la'e in the ser+i'e o( an organi.ation and denial o( se3ual di((eren'e, so that we are 'on(ronted with an e'ono,y o( se3ual di((eren'e as that whi'h de(ines, instru,entali.es, and allo'ates ,atter in its own ser+i'e) :he regulation o( se3uality at work in the arti'ulation o( the For,s suggests that se3ual di((eren'e o#erates in the +ery (or,ulation o( ,atter) But this is a ,atter that is de(ined not only against reason, where reason is understood as that whi'h a'ts on and through a 'ounter+ailing ,ateriality, and ,as'uline and (e,inine o''u#y these o##ositional #ositions) &e3ual di((eren'e also o#erates in the (or,ulation, the staging, o( what will o''u#y the site o( ins'ri#tional s#a'e, that is, as what ,ust re,ain outside these o##ositional #ositions as their su##orting 'ondition) :here is no singular outside, (or the For,s reJuire a nu,ber o( e3'lusionsG they are and re#li'ate the,sel+es through what they e3'lude, through not being the ani,al, not being the wo,an, not being the sla+e, whose #ro#riety is #ur'hased through #ro#erty, national and ra'ial boundary, ,as'ulinis,, and 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality) :o the e3tent that a set o( re+erse-,i,es e,erge (ro, those Juarters, they will not be the sa,e as ea'h otherG i( there is an o''u#ation and re+ersal o( the ,asterEs dis'ourse, it will 'o,e (ro, ,any Juarters, and those resigni(ying #ra'ti'es will 'on+erge in ways that s'ra,ble the sel(-re#li'ating #resu,#tions o( reasonEs ,astery) For i( the 'o#ies s#eak, or i( what is ,erely ,aterial begins to signi(y, the s'enogra#hy o( reason is ro'ked by the 'risis on whi'h it was always built) *nd there will be no way (inally to deli,it the elsewhere o( 2rigarayEs elsewhere, (or e+ery o##ositional dis'ourse will #rodu'e its outside, an outside that risks be'o,ing installed as its non-signi(ying ins'ri#tional s#a'e)

BODIES THAT MATTER

53

*nd whereas this 'an a##ear as the ne'essary and (ounding +iolen'e o( any truth-regi,e, it is i,#ortant to resist that theoreti'al gesture o( #athos in whi'h e3'lusions are si,#ly a((ir,ed as sad ne'essities o( signi(i'ation) :he task is to re(igure this ne'essary DoutsideD as a (uture hori.on, one in whi'h the +iolen'e o( e3'lusion is #er#etually in the #ro'ess o( being o+er'o,e) But o( eJual i,#ortan'e is the #reser+ation o( the outside, the site where dis'ourse ,eets its li,its, where the o#a'ity o( what is not in'luded in a gi+en regi,e o( truth a'ts as a disru#ti+e site o( linguisti' i,#ro#riety and unre#resentability, illu,inating the +iolent and 'ontingent boundaries o( that nor,ati+e regi,e #re'isely through the inability o( that regi,e to re#resent that whi'h ,ight #ose a (unda,ental threat to its 'ontinuity) 2n this sense, radi'al and in'lusi+e re#resentability is not #re'isely the goalB to in'lude, to s#eak as, to bring in e+ery ,arginal and e3'luded #osition within a gi+en dis'ourse is to 'lai, that a singular dis'ourse ,eets its li,its nowhere, that it 'an and will do,esti'ate all signs o( di((eren'e) 2( there is a +iolen'e ne'essary to the language o( #oliti's, then the risk o( that +iolation ,ight well be (ollowed by another in whi'h we begin, without ending, without ,astering, to own8and yet ne+er (ully to own8the e3'lusions by whi'h we #ro'eed)
FORMLESS FEMININIT"

*wkwardly, it see,s, PlatoEs #hantas,ati' e'ono,y +irtually de#ri+es the (e,inine o( a 'or(*e, a sha#e, (or as the re'e#ta'le, the (e,inine is a #er,anent and, hen'e, non-li+ing, sha#eless non-thing whi'h 'annot be na,ed) *nd as nurse, ,other, wo,b, the (e,inine is syne'do'hally 'olla#sed into a set o( (igural (un'tions) 2n this sense, PlatoEs dis'ourse on ,ateriality 4i( we 'an take the dis'ourse on the *y(odoc*e to be that5, is one whi'h does not #er,it the notion o( the (e,ale body as a hu,an (or,) ;ow 'an we legiti,ate 'lai,s o( bodily inFury i( we #ut into Juestion the ,ateriality o( the bodyK Chat is here ena'ted through the Platoni' te3t is a +iolation that (ounds the +ery 'on'e#t o( ,atter, a +iolation that ,obili.es the 'on'e#t and whi'h the 'on'e#t sustains) Aoreo+er, within Plato, there is a disFun'tion between a ,ateriality whi'h is (e,inine and (or,less and, hen'e, without a body, and bodies whi'h are (or,ed through8but not o(8 that (e,inine ,ateriality) :o what e3tent in in+oking re'ei+ed notions o( ,ateriality, indeed, in insisting that those notions

S4

BODIES THAT MATTER

Fun'tion as Dirredu'ibles,D do we se'ure and #er#etuate a 'onstituti+e +iolation o( the (e,inineK Chen we 'onsider that the +ery 'on'e#t o( ,atter #reser+es and re'ir'ulates a +iolation, and then in+oke that +ery 'on'e#t in the ser+i'e o( a 'o,#ensation (or +iolation, we run the risk o( re#rodu'ing the +ery inFury (or whi'h we seek redress) :he Ti'#eus does not gi+e us bodies, but only a 'olla#se and dis#la'e,ent o( those (igures o( bodily #osition that se'ure a gi+en (antasy o( heterose3ual inter'ourse and ,ale autogenesis) For the re'e#ta'le is not a wo,an, but it is the (igure that wo,en be'o,e within the drea,-world o( this ,eta#hysi'al 'os,ogony, one whi'h re,ains largely in'hoate in the 'onstitution o( ,atter) 2t ,ay be, as 2rigaray a##ears to suggest, that the entire history o( ,atter is bound u# with the #roble,ati' o( re'e#ti+ity) 2s there a way to disso'iate these i,#li'it and dis(iguring (igures (ro, the D,atterD that they hel# to 'o,#oseK *nd inso(ar as we ha+e barely begun to dis'ern the history o( se3ual di((eren'e en'oded in the history o( ,atter, it see,s radi'ally un'lear whether a notion o( ,atter or the ,ateriality o( bodies 'an ser+e as the un'ontested ground o( (e,inist #ra'ti'e) 2n this sense, the *ristotelian #un still works as a re,inder o( the doubleness o( the ,atter o( ,atter, whi'h ,eans that there ,ay not be a ,ateriality o( se3 that is not already burdened by the se3 o( ,ateriality) &o,e o#en-ended Juestions re,ainB ;ow is it that the #resu,#tion o( a gi+en +ersion o( ,atter in the e((ort to des'ribe the ,ateriality o( bodies #re(igures in ad+an'e what will and will not a##ear as an intelligible bodyK ;ow do ta'it nor,ati+e 'riteria (or, the ,atter o( bodiesK *nd 'an we understand su'h 'riteria not si,#ly as e#iste,ologi'al i,#ositions on bodies, but as the s#e'i(i' so'ial regulatory ideals by whi'h bodies are trained, sha#ed, and (or,edK 2( a bodily s'he,a is not si,#ly an i,#osition on already (or,ed bodies, but #art o( the (or,ation o( bodies, how ,ight we be able to think the #rodu'tion or (or,ati+e #ower o( #rohibition in the #ro'ess o( ,or#hogenesisK ;ere the Juestion is not si,#ly what Plato thought bodies ,ight be, and what o( the body re,ained (or hi, radi'ally unthinkableG rather, the Juestion is whether the (or,s whi'h are said to #rodu'e bodily li(e o#erate through the #rodu'tion o( an e3'luded do,ain that 'o,es to bound and to haunt the (ield o( intelligible bodily li(e) :he logi' o( this o#eration is to a 'ertain e3tent #sy'hoanalyti' inas,u'h as the (or'e o( #rohibition #rodu'es the s#e'tre o( a terri(ying return) !an we, then, turn to #sy'hoanalysis itsel(

BODIES THAT MATTER 55

to ask how the boundaries o( the body are 'ra(ted through se3ual tabooK"9 :o what e3tent does the Platoni' a''ount o( the #hallogenesis o( bodies #re(igure the Freudian and La'anian a''ounts whi'h #resu,e the #hallus as the syne'do'hal token o( se3ed #ositionalityK 2( the bounding, (or,ing, and de(or,ing o( se3ed bodies is ani,ated by a set o( (ounding #rohibitions, a set o( en(or'ed 'riteria o( intelligibility, then we are not ,erely 'onsidering how bodies a##ear (ro, the +antage #oint o( a theoreti'al #osition or e#iste,i' lo'ation at a distan'e (ro, bodies the,sel+es) @n the 'ontrary, we are asking how the 'riteria o( intelligible se3 o#erates to 'onstitute a (ield o( bodies, and how #re'isely we ,ight understand s#e'i(i' 'riteria to #rodu'e the bodies that they regulate) 2n what #re'isely does the 'ra(ting #ower o( #rohibition 'onsistK /oes it deter,ine a #sy'hi' e3#erien'e o( the body whi'h is radi'ally se#arable (ro, so,ething that one ,ight want to 'all the body itsel(K @r is it the 'ase that the #rodu'ti+e #ower o( #rohibition in ,or#hogenesis renders the +ery distin'tion between 'or(*e and (syc*e unsustainableK

2
THE LESBIAN PHALLUS AND THE MORPHOLOGICAL IMAGINAR"
:he La'anianEs desire 'learly to se#arate (*#llus (ro, (enis, to 'ontrol the ,eaning o( the signi(ier (*#llus, is #re'isely sy,#to,ati' o( their desire to ha+e the #hallus, that is, their desire to be at the 'enter o( language, at its origin) *nd their inability to 'ontrol the ,eaning o( the word (*#llus is e+iden'e o( what La'an 'alls sy,boli' 'astration) 80ane Gallo#, DBeyond the PhallusD *ll sorts o( things in the world beha+e like ,irrors) 80a'Jues La'an, 7e'in#r .. l(ter su'h a #ro,ising title, 2 knew that 2 'ould not #ossibly o((er a satis(ying essayG but #erha#s the #ro,ise o( the #hallus is always dissatis(ying in so,e way) 2 would like, then, to a'knowledge that (ailure (ro, the start and to work that (ailure (or its uses and to suggest that so,ething ,ore interesting than satis(ying the #halli' ideal ,ay 'o,e o( the analysis that 2 #ro#ose) 2ndeed, #erha#s a 'ertain wariness with res#e't to that allure is a good thing) Chat 2 would like to do instead is ,ake a 'riti'al return to Freud, to his essay D@n Nar'issis,B *n 2ntrodu'tion,D and 'onsider the te3tual 'ontradi'tions he #rodu'es as he tries to de(ine the boundaries o( erotogeni' body #arts) 2t ,ay not see, that the lesbian #hallus has ,u'h to do with what you are about to read, but 2 assure you 4#ro,ise youK5 that it 'ouldnEt ha+e been done without it) :he essay D@n Nar'issis,B *n 2ntrodu'tionD 4191"51 is an e((ort to e3#lain the theory o( libido in ter,s o( those e3#erien'es whi'h see, at (irst to be ,ost i,#robably 'ondu'i+e to its ter,s) Freud begins by 'onsidering bodily #ain, and he asks whether we ,ight understand the obsessi+e sel(#reo''u#ations o( those who su((er #hysi'al illness or inFury to be a kind o( libidinal in+est,ent in #ain) *nd he asks (urther whether this negati+e in+est,ent in oneEs own bodily dis'o,(ort 'an be understood as a kind o( nar'issis,) For the ,o,ent 2 want to sus#end the Juestion o(

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why it is that Freud 'hooses illness and then hy#o'hondria as the e3a,#les o( bodily e3#erien'e that nar'issis, des'ribes and, indeed, why it see,s that nar'issis, see,s to be negati+e nar'issis, (ro, the startG 2 will, howe+er, return to this Juestion on'e the relationshi# between illness and erotogeni'ity is established) 2n the essay on nar'issis,, then, Freud (irst 'onsiders organi' disease as that whi'h Dwithdraws libido (ro, lo+e obFe'ts, SandR la+ishes libido on itsel(D 4=95) *s the (irst in what will be'o,e a string o( e3a,#les, he 'ites a line o( #oetry (ro, Cilhel, Bus'hEs 3#lduin 3#bl#'in on the eroti's o( the tootha'heB D'on'entrated is his soul))) in his ,olarEs SFaw-toothEsR a'hing holeEE 4=95)9 *''ording to the theory o( libido, the 'on'entration eroti'i.es that hole in the ,outh, that 'a+ity within a 'a+ity, redoubling the #ain o( the #hysi'al as and through a #sy'hi'ally in+ested #ain8a #ain o( or (ro, the soul, the #sy'he) Fro, this e3a,#le o( libidinal sel(-in+est,ent, Freud e3tra#olates to other e3a,#lesB slee# and then drea,s, both 'onsidered as e3er'ises in sustained sel(#reo''u#ation, and then to hy#o'hondria) :he e3a,#le o( #hysi'al #ain thus gi+es way, through a te3tual detour through slee#, drea,s, and the i,aginary, to an analogy with hy#o'hondria and (inally to an argu,ent that establishes the theoreti'al indissolubility o( #hysi'al and i,aginary inFury) :his #osition has 'onseJuen'es (or deter,ining what 'onstitutes a body #art at all, and, as we shall see, what 'onstitutes an erotogeni' body #art in #arti'ular) 2n the essay on nar'issis,, hy#o'hondria la+ishes libido on a body #art, but in a signi(i'ant sense, that body #art does not e3ist (or 'ons'iousness #rior to that in+estitureG indeed, that body #art is delineated and be'o,es knowable (or Freud only on the 'ondition o( that in+estiture) Nine years later, in T*e E%o #ndt*e .d4199353 Freud will state Juite 'learly that bodily #ain is the #re'ondition o( bodily sel(-dis'o+ery) 2n this te3t he asks how one 'an a''ount (or the for'#tion o( the ego, that bounded sense o( sel(, and 'on'ludes that it is di((erentiated (ro, the id #artially through #ainB Pain see,s to #lay a #art in the #ro'ess, and the way in whi'h we gain new knowledge o( our organs during #ain(ul illnesses is #erha#s a ,odel o( the way by whi'h in general we arri+e at the idea o( our own body 496-75) 2n a ,o+e that #re(igures La'anEs argu,ent in D:he Airror &tage,D

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Freud 'onne'ts the (or,ation o( oneEs ego with the e3ternali.ed idea one (or,s o( oneEs own body) ;en'e, FreudEs 'lai,, D:he ego is (irst and (ore,ost a bodily egoG it is not ,erely a sur(a'e entity, but is itsel( the #roFe'tion o( a sur(a'eD4975)" Chat is ,eant by the i,aginary 'onstru'tion o( body #artsK 2s this an idealist thesis or one whi'h asserts the indissolubility o( the #sy'hi' and #hysi'al bodyK6 !uriously, Freud asso'iates the #ro'ess o( erotogeni'ity with the 'ons'iousness o( bodily #ainB DLet us now, taking any #art o( the body, des'ribe its a'ti+ity o( sending se3ually e3'iting sti,uli to the ,ind as its Eerotogeni'ityED 4Freud 191", ="5) ;ere, howe+er, it is (unda,entally un'lear, e+en unde'idable, whether this is a 'ons'iousness that i,#utes #ain to the obFe't, thereby delineating it8as is the 'ase in hy#o'hondria8 or whether it is a #ain 'aused by organi' disease whi'h is retros#e'ti+ely registered by an attending 'ons'iousness) :his a,biguity between a real and 'onFured #ain, howe+er, is sustained in the analogy with erotogeni'ity, whi'h see,s de(ined as the +ery +a'illation between real and i,agined body #arts) 2( erotogeni'ity is #rodu'ed through the 'on+eying o( a bodily a'ti+ity through an idea, then the idea and the 'on+eying are #heno,enologi'ally 'oin'ident *s a result, it would not be #ossible to s#eak about a body #art that #re'edes and gi+es rise to an idea, (or it is the idea that e,erges si,ultaneously with the #heno,enologi'ally a''essible body, indeed, that guarantees its a''essibility) *lthough FreudEs language engages a 'ausal te,#orality that has the body #art #re'ede its Didea,D he ne+ertheless 'on(ir,s here the indissolubility o( a body #art and the #hantas,ati' #artitioning that brings it into #sy'hi' e3#erien'e) Later, in the (irst 7e'in#r, La'an will read Freud along these latter lines, arguing in his dis'ussion on D:he :wo Nar'issis,sD that Dthe libidinal dri+e is 'entred on the (un'tion o( the i,aginary)D7 *lready in the essay on nar'issis,, howe+er, we (ind the beginnings o( this latter (or,ulation in the dis'ussion o( the erotogeni'ity o( body #arts) /ire'tly (ollowing his argu,ent in (a+or o( hy#o'hondria as an3iety-neurosis, Freud argues that libidinal sel(-attention is #re'isely what delineates a body #art as a #art DNow the (a,iliar #rototy#e -Gorbil#0 o( an organ sensiti+e to #ain, in so,e way 'hanged and yet not diseased in the ordinary sense, is that o( the genital organ in a state o( e3'itation)))D 4Freud 191",="5) !learly there is an assu,#tion here o( a singular genital organ, the se3 whi'h is one, but as Freud 'ontinues to write about it, it a##ears to lose its

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#ro#er #la'e and #roli(erate in une3#e'ted lo'ations) :his e3a,#le at (irst #ro+ides the o''asion (or the de(inition o( erotogeni'ity 2 already 'ited, Dthat a'ti+ity o( a gi+en bodily area whi'h 'onsists in 'on+eying se3ually e3'iting sti,uli to the ,ind)EE Freud then #ro'eeds to 'o,,uni'ate as already a''e#ted knowledge Dthat 'ertain other areas o( the body8the eroto%enic .ones8,ay a't as substitutes (or the genitals and beha+e analogously to the,D 4Freud 191", ="5) ;ere it see,s that Dthe genitals,D #resu,ed to be ,ale genitals, are at (irst an e3a,#le o( body #arts delineated through an3iety-neurosis, but, as a D#rototy#e,D they are the e3a,#le o( e3a,#les o( that #ro'ess whereby body #arts be'o,e e#iste,ologi'ally a''essible through an i,aginary in+estiture) *s an e3e,#lar or #rototy#e, these genitals ha+e already within FreudEs te3t substituted not only for a +ariety o( other body #arts or ty#es, but (or the e((e'ts o( other hy#o'hondria'al #ro'esses as well) :he ga#ing hole in the ,outh, the #ano#ly o( organi' and hy#o'hondria'al ail,ents are synthesi.ed in and su,,ari.ed by the #rototy#i'al ,ale genitals) :his 'olla#se o( substitutions #er(or,ed by these genitals is, howe+er, re+ersed and erased in the senten'e that (ollows in whi'h the erotogeni' .ones are said to a't as substitutes f#r the genitals) 2n the latter 'ase, it see,s that these sel(-sa,e genitals8the result or e((e't o( a set o( substitutions8 are t*#t for ,*ic* other body #arts a't as substitutes) 2ndeed, the ,ale genitals are suddenly the,sel+es an originary site o( erotogeni.ation whi'h then subseJuently be'o,es the o''asion (or a set o( substitutions or dis#la'e,ents) *t (irst, it see,s logi'ally in'o,#atible to assert that these genitals are at on'e a 'u,ulati+e e3a,#le #nd # #rototy#e or originary site whi'h o''asions a #ro'ess o( se'ondary e3e,#li(i'ations) 2n the (irst 'ase, they are the e((e't and su, o( a set o( substitutions, and in the se'ond, they are an origin (or whi'h substitutions e3ist) But #erha#s this logi'al #roble, only sy,#to,i.es a wish to understand these genitals as an originating ideali.ation, that is, as the sy,boli'ally en'oded #hallus) :he #hallus, whi'h Freud in+okes in T*e .nter(ret#tion of &re#'s, is 'onsidered the #ri+ileged signi(ier by La'an, that whi'h originates or generates signi(i'ations, but is not itsel( the signi(ying e((e't o( a #rior signi(ying S'hain) :o o((er a de(inition o( the #hallus8indeed, to atte,#t denotati+ely to (i3 its ,eaning8is to #osture as i( one *#s the #hallus and, hen'e, to #resu,e and ena't #re'isely what re,ains to be e3#lained) ? 2n a sense, FreudEs essay ena'ts the #arado3i'al #ro'ess by whi'h the #hallus as the

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#ri+ileged and generati+e signi(ier is itsel( generated by a string o( e3a,#les o( erotogeni' body #arts) :he #hallus is then set u# as that whi'h 'on(ers erotogeni'ity and signi(i'ation on these body #arts, although we ha+e seen through the ,etony,i' slide o( FreudEs te3t the way in whi'h the #hallus is installed as an DoriginD #re'isely to su##ress the a,bi+alen'e #rodu'ed in the 'ourse o( that slide) 2( Freud is here endea+oring to 'ir'u,s'ribe the #halli' (un'tion and #ro#osing a 'on(lation o( the #enis and the #hallus, then the genitals would ne'essarily (un'tion in a double wayB as the 4sy,boli'5 ideal that o((ers an i,#ossible and originary ,easure (or the genitals to a##ro3i,ate, and as the 4i,aginary5 anato,y whi'h is ,arked by the (ailure to a''o,#lish that return to that sy,boli' ideal) 2nso(ar as the ,ale genitals be'o,e the site o( a te3tual +a'illation, they ena't the i,#ossibility o( 'olla#sing the distin'tion between #enis and #hallus) 4Note that 2 ha+e 'onsigned the #enis, 'on+entionally des'ribed as Dreal anato,yD to the do,ain o( the i,aginary) = 2 will #ursue the 'onseJuen'es o( this 'onsign,ent Sor liberationR toward the end o( this essay)5 *s i( (oundering a,id a set o( 'onstituti+e a,bi+alen'es out o( his 'ontrol, Freud (ollows his #arado3i'al arti'ulation o( the ,ale genitals as #rototy#e and origin by adding yet another in'onsistent 'lai, to the list DCe 'an de'ide to regard,D he 'lai,s, Derotogeni'ity as a general 'hara'teristi' o( all organs and ,ay then s#eak o( an in'rease or de'rease o( it in a #arti'ular #art o( the bodyD 4Freud 191", ="5) 2n this last re,ark, whi'h, it see,s, Freud ,ust (or'e hi,sel( to ,ake8 as i( #ure 'on+i'tion will issue (orth its own truth8re(eren'e to the te,#oral or ontologi'al #ri,a'y o( any gi+en body #art is sus#ended) :o be a #ro#erty o( all organs is to be a #ro#erty ne'essary 1 to no organ, a #ro#erty de(ined by its very (l#sticity, tr#nsfer#bility, and ex(ro(ri#bility 2n a sense, we ha+e been (ollowing the ,etony,i' 'hain o( this ro+ing #ro#erty (ro, the start) FreudEs dis'ussion began with the line (ro, Cilhel, Bus'h, Dthe Faw-toothEs a'hing hole,D a (igure that stages a 'ertain 'ollision o( (igures, a #un'tured instru,ent o( #enetration, an in+erted +agina dentata, anus, ,outh, ori(i'e in general, the s#e'tre o( the #enetrating instru,ent #enetrated)9 2nso(ar as the tooth, as that whi'h bites, 'uts, breaks through, and enters is that whi'h is itsel( already entered, broken into, it (igures an a,bi+alen'e that, it see,s, be'o,es the sour'e o( #ain analogi.ed with the ,ale genitals a (ew #ages later) :his (igure is i,,ediately likened to other

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body #arts in real or i,agined #ain, and is then re#la'ed and erased by the #rototy#i'al genitals) :his wounded instru,ent o( #enetration 'an only su((er under the ideal o( its own in+ulnerability, and Freud atte,#ts to restore its i,aginary #ower by installing it (irst as #rototy#e and then as originary site o( erotogeni.ation) 2n the 'ourse o( restoring this #halli' #ro#erty to the #enis, howe+er, Freud enu,erates a set o( analogies and substitutions that rhetori'ally a((ir, the (unda,ental trans(erability o( that #ro#erty) 2ndeed, the #hallus is neither the i,aginary 'onstru'tion o( the #enis nor the sy,boli' +alen'e (or whi'h the #enis is a #artial a##ro3i,ation) For that (or,ulation is still to a((ir, the #hallus as the #rototy#e or ideali.ed #ro#erty o( the #enis) *nd yet it is 'lear (ro, the ,etony,i' traFe'tory o( FreudEs own te3t, the a,bi+alen'e at the 'enter o( any 'onstru'tion o( the #hallus belongs to no body #art, but is (unda,entally trans(erable and is, at least within his te3t, the +ery #rin'i#le o( erotogeni' trans(erability) Aoreo+er, it is through this trans(er, understood as a substitution o( the #sy'hi'al (or the #hysi'al or the ,eta#hori.ing logi' o( hy#o'hondria, that body #arts be'o,e #he-no,enologi'ally a''essible at all) ;ere we ,ight understand the #ain1#leasure ne3us that 'onditions erotogeni'ity as #artially 'onstituted by the +ery ideali.ation o( anato,y designated by the #hallus) @n this reading, then, FreudEs te3tuali.ed e((ort to resol+e the (igure o( the Faw-toothEs a'hing hole into the #enis as #rototy#e and then as #hallus rhetori'ally ena'ts the +ery #ro'ess o( nar'issisti' in+est,ent and ideali.ation that he seeks to do'u,ent, o+er'o,ing that a,bi+alen'e through the 'onFuring o( an ideal) @ne ,ight want to read the #sy'hi' ideali.ation o( body #arts as an e((ort to resol+e a #rior, #hysi'al #ain) 2t ,ay be, howe+er, that the ideali.ation #rodu'es erotogeni'ity as a s'ene o( ne'essary (ailure and a,bi+alen'e, one that then #ro,#ts a return to that ideali.ation in a +ain e((ort to es'a#e that 'on(li'ted 'ondition) :o what e3tent is this 'on(li'ted 'ondition #re'isely the re#etiti+e #ro#ulsionality o( se3ualityK *nd what does D(ailure to a##ro3i,ateD ,ean in the 'onte3t in whi'h e+ery body does #re'isely thatK @ne ,ight also argue that to 'ontinue to use the ter, D#hallusD (or this sy,boli' or ideali.ing (un'tion is to #re(igure and +alori.e whi'h body #art will be the site o( erotogeni.ationG this is an argu,ent that deser+es a serious res#onse) :o insist, on the 'ontrary, on the trans(erability o( the #hallus, the #hallus as trans(erable or #lasti' #ro#erty, is to

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destabili.e the distin'tion between bein% and *#vin% the #hallus, and to suggest that a logi' o( non-'ontradi'tion does not ne'essarily hold between those two #ositions) 2n e((e't, the Dha+ingD is a sy,boli' #osition whi'h, (or La'an, institutes the ,as'uline #osition within a heterose3ual ,atri3, and whi'h #resu,es an ideali.ed relation o( #ro#erty whi'h is then only #artially and +ainly a##ro3i,ated by those ,arked ,as'uline beings who +ainly and #artially o''u#y that #osition within language) But i( this attribution o( #ro#erty is itsel( i,#ro#erly attributed, i( it rests on a denial o( that #ro#ertyEs trans(erability 4i)e), i( this is a trans(er into a nontrans(erable site or a site whi'h o''asions other trans(ers, but whi'h is itsel( not trans(erred (ro, anywhere5, then the re#ression o( that denial will 'onstitute that syste, internally and, there(ore, #ose as the #ro,ising s#e'tre o( its destabili.ation) 2nso(ar as any re(eren'e to a lesbian #hallus a##ears to be a s#e'tral re#resentation o( a ,as'uline original, we ,ight well Juestion the s#e'tral #rodu'tion o( the #utati+e DoriginalityD o( the ,as'uline) 2n this sense, FreudEs te3t ,ight be read as the (or'ible #rodu'tion o( a ,as'ulinist DoriginalD in ,u'h the sa,e way as PlatoEs Ti'#eus was read) 2n FreudEs te3t, this 'lai, to originality is 'onstituted through a re+ersal and erasure o( a set o( substitutions #rodu'ed in a,bi+alen'e) 2t see,s that this i,aginary +alori.ation o( body #arts is to be deri+ed (ro, a kind o( eroti'i.ed hy#o'hondria) ;y#o'hondria is an i,aginary in+est,ent whi'h, a''ording to the early theory, 'onstitutes a libidinal #roFe'tion o( the body-sur(a'e whi'h in turn establishes its e#iste,ologi'al a''essibility) ;y#o'hondria here denotes so,ething like a t*e#tric#l delineation or #rodu'tion o( the body, one whi'h gi+es i,aginary 'ontours to the ego itsel(, #roFe'ting a body whi'h be'o,es the o''asion o( an identi(i'ation whi'h in its i,aginary or #roFe'ted status is (ully tenuous) But so,ething is 'learly awry in FreudEs analysis (ro, the start) For how is it that the sel(-#reo''u#ation with bodily su((ering or illness be'o,es the analogy (or the erotogeni' dis'o+ery and 'onFuring o( body #artsK 2n T*e E%o #nd t*e .d, Freud hi,sel( suggests that to (igure se3uality #s illness is sy,#to,ati' o( the stru'turing #resen'e o( a ,oralisti' (ra,ework o( guilt) 2n this te3t, Freud argues that nar'issis, ,ust gi+e way to obFe'ts, and that one ,ust (inally lo+e in order not to (all ill) 2nso(ar as there is a (ro*ibition on love a''o,#anied by threats o( i,agined death, there is a great te,#tation to re(use to lo+e, and so to be taken in

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by that #rohibition and 'ontra't neuroti' illness) @n'e this #rohibition is installed, then, body #arts e,erge as sites o( #unishable #leasure and hen'e, o( #leasure and #ain) 2n this kind o( neuroti' illness, then, guilt is ,ani(est as #ain that su((uses the bodily sur(a'e, and 'an a##ear as #hysi'al illness) Chat (ollows, then, if it is t*is kind o( guilt-indu'ed bodily su((ering whi'h is, as Freud 'lai,ed o( other kinds o( #ain, analogous to the way in whi'h we a'hie+e an DideaD o( our own bodyK 2( #rohibitions in so,e sense 'onstitute #roFe'ted ,or#hologies, then reworking the ter,s o( those #rohibitions suggests the #ossibility o( +ariable #roFe'tions, +ariable ,odes o( delineating and theatri'ali.ing body sur(a'es) :hese would be DideasD o( t*e body without whi'h there 'ould be no ego, no te,#orary 'entering o( e3#erien'e) :o the e3tent that su'h su##orting DideasD are regulated by #rohibition and #ain, they 'an be understood as the (or'ible and ,ateriali.ed e((e'ts o( regulatory #ower But #re'isely be'ause #rohibitions do not always Dwork,D that is, do not always #rodu'e the do'ile body that (ully 'on(or,s to the so'ial ideal, they ,ay delineate body sur(a'es that do not signi(y 'on+entional heterose3ual #olarities) :hese +ariable body sur(a'es or bodily egos ,ay thus be'o,e sites o( trans(er (or #ro#erties that no longer belong #ro#erly to any anato,y) 2Ell ,ake al,ost 'lear what this ,eans (or thinking through alternati+e i,aginaries and the lesbian #hallus, but (irst a 'autionary note on Freud) :he #athologi.ation o( erotogeni' #arts in Freud 'alls to be read as a dis'ourse #rodu'ed in guilt, and although the i,aginary and #roFe'ti+e #ossibilities o( hy#o'hondria are use(ul, they 'all to be disso'iated (ro, the ,eta#hori's o( illness that #er+ade the des'ri#tion o( se3uality) :his is es#e'ially urgent now that the #athologi.ation o( se3uality generally, and the s#e'i(i' des'ri#tion o( ho,ose3uality as the #aradig, (or the #athologi'al as su'h, are sy,#to,ati' o( ho,o#hobi' dis'ourse on *2/&) 2nso(ar as Freud a''e#ts the analogy between erotogeni'ity and illness, he #rodu'es a #athologi'al dis'ourse on se3uality that allows (igures (or organi' disease to 'onstru't (igures (or erotogeni' body #arts) :his 'on(lation has a long history, no doubt, but it (inds one o( its 'onte,#orary #er,utations in the ho,o#hobi' 'onstru'tion o( ,ale ho,ose3uality as always already #athologi'al8an argu,ent re'ently ,ade by 0e(( Nunokawa108su'h that *2/& is #hantas,ati'ally 'onstrued as the #athology o( ho,ose3uality itsel() !learly, the #oint is to read Freud not

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(or the ,o,ents in whi'h illness and se3uality are 'on(lated, but, rather, (or the ,o,ents in whi'h that 'on(lation (ails to sustain itsel(, and where he (ails to read hi,sel( in #re'isely the ways he tea'hes us to read 4D!o,,enting on a te3t is like doing an analysisD SLa'an, 1, ?3R5) Prohibitions, whi'h in'lude the #rohibition on ho,ose3uality, work through the #ain o( guilt Freud o((ers this link at the end o( his essay when he a''ounts (or the genesis o( 'ons'ien'e, and its sel(-#oli'ing #ossibilities, as the introFe'tion o( the ho,ose3ual 'athe3is) 2n other words, the ego-ideal whi'h go+erns what Freud 'alls the egoEs Dsel(-res#e'tD reJuires the #rohibition on ho,ose3uality) :his #rohibition against ho,ose3uality is ho,ose3ual desire turned ba'k u#on itsel(, the sel(berate,ent o( 'ons'ien'e is the re(le3i+e rerouting o( ho,ose3ual desire) 2(, then, as Freud 'ontends, #ain has a delineating e((e't, i)e), ,ay be one way in whi'h we 'o,e to ha+e an idea o( our body at all, it ,ay also be that gender-instituting #rohibitions work through su((using the body with a #ain that 'ul,inates in the #roFe'tion o( a sur(a'e, that is, a se3ed ,or#hology whi'h is at on'e a 'o,#ensatory (antasy and a (etishisti' ,ask) *nd i( one ,ust either lo+e or (all ill, then #erha#s the se3uality that a##ears as illness is the insidious e((e't o( a su'h a 'ensoring o( lo+e) !an the +ery #rodu'tion o( the 'or(*e be read as an allegory o( #rohibited lo+e, the incor(or#tion o( lossK :he relation between in'or#oration and ,elan'holy is a 'o,#li'ated one to whi'h we will return in the (inal 'ha#ter) &u((i'e it to say that the boundaries o( the body are the li+ed e3#erien'e o( di((erentiation, where that di((erentiation is ne+er neutral to the Juestion o( gender di((eren'e or the heterose3ual ,atri3) Chat is e3'luded (ro, the body (or the bodyEs boundary to (or,K *nd how does that e3'lusion haunt that boundary as an internal ghost o( sorts, the in'or#oration o( loss as ,elan'holiaK :o what e3tent is the body sur(a'e the dissi,ulated e((e't o( that lossK Freud o((ers so,ething like a ,a# o( this #roble,ati' without (ollowing through on the analysis that it reJuires) 2( this e((ort to rethink the #hysi'al and the #sy'hi'al works well, then it is no longer #ossible to take anato,y as a stable re(erent that is so,ehow +alori.ed or signi(ied through being subFe'ted to an i,aginary s'he,a) @n the 'ontrary, the +ery a''essibility o( anato,y is in so,e sense de#endent on this s'he,a and 'oin'ident with it) *s a result o( this 'oin'iden'e, it is un'lear to ,e that lesbians 'an be said to be Do(D the

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sa,e se3 or that ho,ose3uality in general ought to be 'onstrued as 2o+e o( the sa,e) 2( se3 is always s'he,ati.ed in this sense, then there is no ne'essary reason (or it to re,ain the sa,e (or all wo,en) :he indissolubility o( the #sy'hi' and the 'or#oreal suggests that any des'ri#tion o( the body, in'luding those that are dee,ed 'on+entional within s'ienti(i' dis'ourse, takes #la'e through the 'ir'ulation and +alidation o( su'h an i,aginary s'he,a) But i( the des'ri#tions o( the body take #la'e in and through an i,aginary s'he,a, that is, i( these des'ri#tions are #sy'hi'ally and #hantas,ati'ally in+ested, is there still so,ething we ,ight 'all the body itsel( whi'h es'a#es this s'he,ati.ationK *t least two res#onses 'an be o((ered to this Juestion) First, #sy'hi' #roFe'tion 'on(ers boundaries and, hen'e, unity on the body, so that the +ery 'ontours o( the body are sites that +a'illate between the #sy'hi' and the ,aterial) Bodily 'ontours and ,or#hology are not ,erely i,#li'ated in an irredu'ible tension between the #sy'hi' and the ,aterial but #re that tension) ;en'e, the #sy'he is not a grid through whi'h a #regi+en body a##ears) :hat (or,ulation would (igure the body as an ontologi'al in-itsel( whi'h only be'o,es a+ailable through a #sy'he whi'h establishes its ,ode o( a##earan'e as an e#iste,ologi'al obFe't) 2n other words, the #sy'he would be an e#iste,i' grid through whi'h the body is known, but the sense in whi'h the #sy'he is (or,ati+e o( ,or#hology, that is, is so,ati'i.ing, would be lost)11 :hat Hantian (or,ulation o( the body reJuires to be reworked, (irst, in a ,ore #heno,enologi'al register as an i,aginary (or,ation and, se'ond, through a theory o( signi(i'ation as an e((e't and token o( se3ual di((eren'e) *s (or the #heno,enologi'al sense, whi'h is sustained in the se'ond, we ,ight understand the #sy'he in this 'onte3t as that whi'h 'onstitutes the ,ode by whi'h that body is gi+en, the 'ondition and 'ontour o( that gi+enness) ;ere the ,ateriality o( the body ought not to be 'on'e#tuali.ed as a unilateral or 'ausal effect o( the #sy'he in any sense that would redu'e that ,ateriality to the #sy'he or ,ake o( the #sy'he the ,onisti' stu(( out o( whi'h that ,ateriality is #rodu'ed and1or deri+ed) :his latter alternati+e would 'onstitute a 'learly untenable (or, o( idealis,) 2t ,ust be #ossible to 'on'ede and a((ir, an array o( D,aterialitiesD that #ertain to the body, that whi'h is signi(ied by the do,ains o( biology, anato,y, #hysiology, hor,onal and 'he,i'al 'o,#osition, illness, age, weight, ,etabolis,, li(e and death) None o( this 'an be denied)

THE LESBIAN PHALLUS

67

But the undeniability o( these D,aterialitiesD in no way i,#lies what it ,eans to a((ir, the,, indeed, what inter#reti+e ,atri'es 'ondition enable and li,it that ne'essary a((ir,ation) :hat ea'h o( those 'ategories ha+e a history and a histori'ity, that ea'h o( the, is 'onstituted through the boundary lines that distinguish the, and, hen'e, by what they e3'lude, that relations o( dis'ourse and #ower #rodu'e hierar'hies and o+erla##ings a,ong the, and 'hallenge those boundaries, i,#lies that these are bot* #ersistent and 'ontested regions) Ce ,ight want to 'lai, that what #ersists within these 'ontested do,ains is the D,aterialityD o( the body) But #erha#s we will ha+e (ul(illed the sa,e (un'tion, and o#ened u# so,e others, i( we 'lai, that what #ersists here is # de'#nd in #nd for l#n%u#%e, a Dthat whi'hD whi'h #ro,#ts and o''asions, say, within the do,ain o( s'ien'e, 'alls to be e3#lained, des'ribed, diagnosed, altered or within the 'ultural (abri' o( li+ed e3#erien'e, (ed, e3er'ised, ,obili.ed, #ut to slee#, a site o( ena't,ents and #assions o( +arious kinds) :o insist u#on this de,and, this site, as the Dthat without whi'hD no #sy'hi' o#eration 'an #ro'eed, but also as that on whi'h and through whi'h the #sy'he also o#erates, is to begin to 'ir'u,s'ribe that whi'h is in+ariably and #ersistently the #sy'heEs site o( o#erationG not the blank slate or #assi+e ,ediu, u#on whi'h the #sy'he a'ts, but, rather, the 'onstituti+e de,and that ,obili.es #sy'hi' a'tion (ro, the start, that is that +ery ,obili.ation, and, in its trans,uted and #roFe'ted bodily (or,, re,ains that #sy'he) ;ow, then, to answer the se'ond reJuire,ent to 'ast the notion o( DbodiesD as a ,atter o( signi(i'ationK
*ARE BODIES PUREL" DISCURSI+E,*

:he linguisti' 'ategories that are understood to DdenoteD the ,ateriality o( the body are the,sel+es troubled by a re(erent that is ne+er (ully or #er,anently resol+ed or 'ontained by any gi+en signi(ied) 2ndeed, that re(erent #ersists only as a kind o( absen'e or loss, that whi'h language does not 'a#ture, but, instead, that whi'h i,#els language re#eatedly to atte,#t that 'a#ture, that 'ir'u,s'ri#tion8and to (ail) :his loss takes its #la'e in language as an insistent 'all or de,and that, while in language, is ne+er (ully o1language) :o #osit a ,ateriality outside o( language is so to #osit that ,ateriality, and the ,ateriality so #osited will retain that

68

BODIES THAT MATTER

#ositing as its 'onstituti+e 'ondition) :o #osit a ,ateriality outside o( language, where that ,ateriality is 'onsidered ontologi'ally distin't (ro, language, is to under,ine the #ossibility that language ,ight be able to indi'ate or 'orres#ond to that do,ain o( radi'al alterity) ;en'e the absolute distin'tion between language and ,ateriality whi'h was to se'ure the re(erential (un'tion o( language under,ines that (un'tion radi'ally) :his is not to say that, on the one hand, the body is si,#ly linguisti' stu(( or, on the other, that it has no bearing on language) 2t bears on language all the ti,e) :he ,ateriality o( language, indeed, o( the +ery sign that atte,#ts to denote D,ateriality,D suggests that it is not the 'ase that e+erything, in'luding ,ateriality, is always already language) @n the 'ontrary, the ,ateriality o( the signi(ier 4a D,aterialityD that 'o,#rises both signs and their signi(i'atory e((i'a'y5 i,#lies that there 'an be no re(eren'e to a #ure ,ateriality e3'e#t +ia ,ateriality) ;en'e, it is not that one 'annot get outside o( language in order to gras# ,ateriality in and o( itsel(G rather, e+ery e((ort to re(er to ,ateriality takes #la'e through a signi(ying #ro'ess whi'h, in its #heno,enality, is always already ,aterial) 2n this sense, then, language and ,ateriality are not o##osed, (or language both is and re(ers to that whi'h is ,aterial, and what is ,aterial ne+er (ully es'a#es (ro, the #ro'ess by whi'h it is signi(ied) 2 But i( language is not o##osed to ,ateriality, neither 'an ,ateriality be su,,arily 'olla#sed into an identity with language) @n the one hand, the #ro'ess o( signi(i'ation is always ,aterialG signs work by #((e#rin% 4+isibly, aurally5, and a##earing through ,aterial ,eans, although what a##ears only signi(ies by +irtue o( those non-#heno,enal relations, i)e), relations o( di((erentiation, that ta'itly stru'ture and #ro#el signi(i'ation itsel() Relations, e+en the notion o( di((eren'e, institute and reJuire relata, ter,s, #heno,enal signi(iers) *nd yet what allows (or a signi(ier to signi(y will ne+er be its ,ateriality aloneG that ,ateriality will be at on'e an instru,entality and de#loy,ent o( a set o( larger linguisti' relations) :he ,ateriality o( the signi(ier will signi(y only to the e3tent that it is i,#ure, 'onta,inated by the ideality o( di((erentiating relations, the ta'it stru'turings o( a linguisti' 'onte3t that is illi,itable in #rin'i#le) !on+ersely, the signi(ier will work to the e3tent that it is also 'onta,inated 'onstituti+ely by the +ery ,ateriality that the ideality o( sense #ur#orts to o+er'o,e) *#art (ro, and yet related to the ,ateriality o( the signi(ier is the ,ateriality o( the signi(ied as well as the re(erent a##roa'hed through

THE LESBIAN PHALLUS

69

the signi(ied, but whi'h re,ains irredu'ible to the signi(ied) :his radi'al di((eren'e between referent and si%nified is the site where the ,ateriality o( language and that o( the world whi'h it seeks to signi(y are #er#etually negotiated) :his ,ight use(ully be 'o,#ared with Aerleau-PontyEs notion o( the (lesh o( the world)19 *lthough the re(erent 'annot be said to e3ist a#art (ro, the signi(ied, it ne+ertheless 'annot be redu'ed to it) :hat re(erent, that abiding (un'tion o( the world, is to #ersist as the hori.on and the Dthat whi'hD whi'h ,akes its de,and in and to language) Language and ,ateriality are (ully e,bedded in ea'h other, 'hias,i' in their interde#enden'e but ne+er (ully 'olla#sed into one another, i)e), redu'ed to one another, and yet neither (ully e+er e3'eeds the other *lways already i,#li'ated in ea'h other, always already e3'eeding one another, language and ,ateriality are ne+er (ully identi'al nor (ully di((erent But what then do we ,ake o( the kind o( ,ateriality that is asso'iated with the body, its #hysi'ality as well as its lo'ation, in'luding its so'ial and #oliti'al lo'atedness, and that ,ateriality that 'hara'teri.es languageK /o we ,ean D,ateriality,, in a 'o,,on sense, or are these usages e3a,#les o( what *lthusser re(ers to as ,odalities o( ,atterK13 :o answer the Juestion o( the relation between the ,ateriality o( bodies and that o( language reJuires (irst that we o((er an a''ount o( how it is that bodies ,ateriali.e, that is, how they 'o,e to assu,e the 'or(be, the sha#e by whi'h their ,aterial dis'reteness is ,arked) :he ,ateriality o( the body is not to be taken (or granted, (or in so,e sense it is a'Juired, 'onstituted, through the de+elo#,ent o( ,or#hology) *nd within the La'anian +iew, language, understood as rules o( di((erentiation based on ideali.ed kinshi# relations, is essential to the de+elo#,ent o( ,or#hology) Be(ore we 'onsider one a''ount o( the de+elo#,ent o( linguisti' and 'or#oreal ,or#hology, let us turn brie(ly to Hriste+a, to #ro+ide a 'ontrast with La'an, and a 'riti'al introdu'tion) 2nso(ar as language ,ight be understood to e,erge (ro, the ,ateriality o( bodily li(e, that is, as the reiteration and e3tension o( a ,aterial set o( relations, language is a substitute satis(a'tion, a #ri,ary a't o( dis#la'e,ent and 'ondensation) Hriste+a argues that the ,ateriality o( the s#oken signi(ier, the +o'ali.ation o( sound, is already a #sy'hi' e((ort to reinstall and re'a#ture a lost ,aternal bodyG hen'e, these +o'ali.ations are te,#orarily re'a#tured in sonorous #oetry whi'h works language (or its ,ost ,aterial #ossibilities)1" +en here, howe+er, those ,aterial s#uttenngs are

70

BODIES THAT MATTER

already #sy'hi'ally in+ested, de#loyed in the ser+i'e o( a (antasy o( ,astery and restoration) ;ere the ,ateriality o( bodily relations, #rior to any indi+iduation into a se#arable body or, rather, si,ultaneous with it, is dis#la'ed onto the ,ateriality o( linguisti' relations) :he language that is the e((e't o( this dis#la'e,ent ne+ertheless 'arries the tra'e o( that loss #re'isely in the #hantas,ati' ai, o( re'o+ery that ,obili.es +o'ali.ation itsel() ;ere, then, it is the ,ateriality o( that 4other5 body whi'h is #hantas,ati'ally rein+oked in the ,ateriality o( signi(ying sounds) 2ndeed, what gi+es those sounds the #ower to signi(y is that #hantas,ati' stru'ture) :he ,ateriality o( the signi(ier is thus the dis#la'ed re#etition o( the ,ateriality o( the lost ,aternal body) 2n this sense, ,ateriality is 'onstituted in and through iterability) *nd to the e3tent that the re(erential i,#ulse o( language is to return to that lost originary #resen'e, the ,aternal body be'o,es as it were, the #aradig, or (igure (or any subseJuent re(erent) :his is in #an the (un'tion o( the Real in its 'on+ergen'e with the unthe,ati.able ,aternal body in La'anian dis'ourse) :he Real is that whi'h resists and 'o,#els sy,boli.ation) Chereas the DrealD re,ains unre#resentable within La'anian do'trine, and the s#e'tre o( its re#resentability is the s#e'tre o( #sy'hosis, Hriste+a redes'ribes and reinter#rets what is DoutsideD the sy,boli' as the se,ioti', that is, as a #oeti' ,ode o( signi(ying that, although de#endent on the sy,boli', 'an neither be redu'ed to it not (igured as its unthe,ati.able @ther) For Hriste+a, the ,ateriality o( language is in so,e sense deri+ed (ro, the ,ateriality o( in(antile bodily relationsG language be'o,es so,ething like the in(inite dis#la'e,ent o( that )ouiss#nce that is #hantas,ati'ally identi(ied with the ,aternal body) +ery e((ort to signi(y en'odes and re#eats this loss) Aoreo+er, it is only on the 'ondition o( this #ri,ary loss o( the re(erent, the Real, understood as the ,aternal #resen'e, that signi(i'ation8 and the ,ateriali.ation o( language8'an take #la'e) :he ,ateriality o( the ,aternal body is only (igurable within language 4a set o( already di((erentiated relations5 as the #hantas,ati' site o( a deindi+id-uated (usion, 21 )ouiss#nce (rior to the di((erentiation and e,ergen'e o( the subFe't16 But inso(ar as this loss is (igured ,it*in l#n%u#%e 4i)e), a##ears as a (igure in language5, that loss is also denied, (or language both #er(or,s and de(ends against the se#aration that it (iguresG as a result, any (iguration o( that loss will both re#eat and re(use the loss itsel() :he relations o( di((erentiation between #arts o( s#ee'h whi'h #rodu'e signi(i'ation are

THE LESBIAN PHALLUS

the,sel+es the reiter#tion and e3tension o( the #ri,ary a'ts o( di((erentiation and se#aration (ro, the ,aternal body by whi'h a s#eaking subFe't 'o,es into being) 2nso(ar as language a##ears to be ,oti+ated by a loss it 'annot grie+e, and to re#eat the +ery loss that it re(uses to re'ogni.e, we ,ight regard this a,bi+alen'e at the heart o( linguisti' iterability as the ,elan'holy re'esses o( signi(i'ation) :he #ostulation o( the #ri,a'y o( the ,aternal body in the genesis o( signi(i'ation is 'learly Juestionable, (or it 'annot be shown that a di((erentiation (ro, su'h a body is that whi'h #ri,arily or e3'lusi+ely inaugurates the relation to s#ee'h) :he ,aternal body #rior to the (or,ation o( the subFe't is always and only known by a subFe't who by de(inition #ostdates that hy#otheti'al s'ene) La'anEs e((ort to o((er an a''ount o( the genesis o( bodily boundaries in D:he Airror &tageD 419"95 takes the nar'issisti' relation as #ri,ary, and so dis#la'es the ,aternal body as a site o( #ri,ary identi(i'ation) :his ha##ens within the essay itsel( when the in(ant is understood to o+er'o,e with Fubilation the obstru'tion o( the su##ort whi'h #resu,ably holds the in(ant in #la'e be(ore the ,irror) :he rei(i'ation o( ,aternal de#enden'y as a Dsu##ortD and an Dobstru'tionD signi(ied #ri,arily as that whi'h, in the o+er'o,ing, o''asions Fubilation, suggests that there is a dis'ourse on the di((erentiation (ro, the ,aternal in the ,irror stage) :he ,aternal is, as it were, already #ut under erasure by the theoreti'al language whi'h rei(ies her (un'tion and ena'ts the +ery o+er'o,ing that it seeks to do'u,ent) 2nso(ar as the ,irror stage in+ol+es an i'#%in#ry relation, it is that o( #sy'hi' #roFe'tion, but not, stri'tly s#eaking, in the register o( the &y,boli', i)e), in language, the di((erentiated1ing use o( s#ee'h) :he ,irror stage is not a develo('ent#l a''ount o( how the idea o( oneEs own body 'o,es into being) 2t does suggest, howe+er, that the 'a#a'ity to #roFe't a 'or(*e, a sha#e, onto a sur(a'e is #art o( the #sy'hi' 4and #hantas,ati'5 elaboration, 'entering, and 'ontain,ent o( oneEs own bodily 'ontours) :his #ro'ess o( #sy'hi' #roFe'tion or elaboration i,#lies as well that the sense o( oneEs own body is not 4only5 a'hie+ed through di((erentiating (ro, another 4the ,aternal body5, but that any sense o( bodily 'ontour, as #roFe'ted, is arti'ulated through a ne'essary sel(-di+ision and sel(-estrange,ent) 2n this sense, La'anEs ,irror stage 'an be read as a rewriting o( FreudEs introdu'tion o( the bodily ego in T*e E%o #nd t*e .d, as well as the theory o( nar'issis,) ;ere it is not a Juestion o( whether the ,other or the i,ago 'o,es (irst or

D2

BODIES THAT MATTER

whether they are (ully distin't (ro, one another, but, rather, how to a''ount (or indi+iduation through the unstable dyna,i's o( se3ual di((erentiation and identi(i'ation that take #la'e through the elaboration o( i,aginary bodily 'ontours) For La'an, the body or, rather, ,or#hology is an i,aginary (or,ation, 17 but we learn in the se'ond se,inar that this #er'i#i or +isual #rodu'tion, the body, 'an be sustained in its #hantas,ati' integrity only through sub,itting to language and to a ,arking by se3ual di((eren'eB Dthe #er'i#i o( ,an 4si'5 'an only be sustained within a .one o( no,ination 5$/est (#r l# no'in#tion =ue G*o''e f#it subsister les ob)ets d#ns une cert#ine consist#ncef 4La'an, ..,1??19095) Bodies only be'o,e whole, i)e), totalities, by the ideali.ing and totali.ing s#e'ular i,age whi'h is sustained through ti,e by the se3ually ,arked na,e) :o ha+e a na,e is to be #ositioned within the &y,boli', the ideali.ed do,ain o( kinshi#, a set o( relationshi#s stru'tured through san'tion and taboo whi'h is go+erned by the law o( the (ather and the #rohibition against in'est) For La'an, na,es, whi'h e,ble,ati.e and institute this #aternal law, sust#in the integrity o( the body) Chat 'onstitutes the integral body is not a natural boundary or organi' telos, but the law o( kinshi# that works through the na,e) 2n this sense, the #aternal law #rodu'es +ersions o( bodily integrityG the na,e, whi'h installs gender and kinshi#, works as a #oliti'ally in+ested and in+esting #er(or,ati+e) :o be na,ed is thus to be in'ul'ated into that law and to be (or,ed, bodily, in a''ordan'e with that law)1?
REWRITING THE MORPHOLOGICAL IMAGINAR"

!ons'iousness o''urs ea'h ti,e there is a sur(a'e su'h that it 'an #rodu'e what is 'alled an i,age) :hat is a ,aterialist de(inition) 4La'an, 11, "91765 :here is so,ething originally, inaugurally, #ro(oundly wounded in the hu,an relation to the world)) )that is what 'o,es out o( the theory o( nar'issis, Freud ga+e us, inso(ar as this (ra,ework introdu'es an inde(inable, a no exit, ,arking all relations, and es#e'ially the libidinal relations o( the subFe't) 4La'an, 11, 17?11995

:he (ollowing sele'ti+e reading o( La'an will e3#lore the 'onseJuen'es o( the theory o( nar'issis, (or the (or,ation o( the bodily ego and its

THE LESBIAN PHALLUS

,arking by se3) 2nso(ar as the ego is (or,ed (ro, the #sy'he through #roFe'ting the body, and the ego is that #roFe'tion, the 'ondition o( re(le3i+e 4,is5knowing, it is in+ariably a bodily ego) :his #roFe'tion o( the body, whi'h La'an narrates as the ,irror stage, rewrites FreudEs theory o( nar'issis, through the dyna,i's o( #roFe'tion and ,isre'ognition 5'econ: n#iss#nce6 2n the 'ourse o( that rewriting, La'an establishes the ,or#hology o( the body as a #sy'hi'ally in+ested #roFe'tion, an ideali.ation or D(i'tionD o( the body as a totality and lo'us o( 'ontrol) Aoreo+er, he suggests that this nar'issisti' and ideali.ing #roFe'tion that establishes ,or#hology 'onstitutes the 'ondition (or the generation o( obFe'ts and the 'ognition o( other bodies) :he ,or#hologi'al s'he,e established through the ,irror stage 'onstitutes #re'isely that reser+e o( ,or#he (ro, whi'h the 'ontours o( obFe'ts are #rodu'edG both obFe'ts and others 'o,e to a##ear only through the ,ediating grid o( this #roFe'ted or i,aginary ,or#hology) :his La'anian traFe'tory will be shown to be'o,e #roble,ati' on 4at least5 two 'ountsB 415 the ,or#hologi'al s'he,e whi'h be'o,es the e#iste,i' 'ondition (or the world o( obFe'ts and others to a##ear is ,arked as ,as'uline, and, hen'e, be'o,es the basis (or an anthro#o'entri' and andro'entri' e#iste,ologi'al i,#erialis, 4this is one 'riti'is, o( La'an o((ered by Lu'e 2rigaray and su##lies the 'o,#elling reason (or her #roFe't to arti'ulate a (e,inine i,aginary1=5G and 495 the ideali.ation o( the body as a 'enter o( 'ontrol sket'hed in D:he Airror &tageD is rearti'ulated in La'anEs notion o( the #hallus as that whi'h 'ontrols signi(i'ations in dis'ourse, in D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusD 4196=5) *lthough La'an e3#li'itly denoun'es the #ossibility that the #hallus is a body #art or an i,aginary e((e't, that re#udiation will be read as 'onstituti+e o( the +ery sy,boli' status he 'on(ers on the #hallus in the 'ourse o( the later essay) *s an ideali.ation o( a body #art, the #hantas,ati' (igure o( the #hallus within La'anEs essay undergoes a set o( 'ontradi'tions si,ilar to those whi'h unsettled FreudEs analysis o( erotogeni' body #arts) :he lesbian #hallus ,ay be said to inter+ene as an une3#e'ted 'onseJuen'e o( the La'anian s'he,e, an a##arently 'ontradi'tory signi(ier whi'h, through a 'riti'al ,i,esis,19 'alls into Juestion the ostensibly originating and 'ontrolling #ower o( the La'anian #hallus, indeed, its installation as the #ri+ileged signi(ier o( the sy,boli' order) :he ,o+e e,ble,ati.ed by the lesbian #hallus 'ontests the relationshi# between the logi' o( non-'ontradi'tion

74

B@/2 & :;*: A*:: R

and the legislation o( 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality at the le+el o( the sy,boli' and bodily ,or#hogenesis) !onseJuently, it seeks to o#en u# a dis'ursi+e site (or re'onsidering the ta'itly #oliti'al relations that 'onstitute and #ersist in the di+isions between body #arts and wholes, anato,y and the i,aginary, 'or#oreality and the #sy'he) 2n his se,inar o( 1963, La'an argued that Dthe ,irror stage is not si,#ly a ,o,ent in de+elo#,ent 2t also has an e3e,#lary (un'tion, be'ause it re+eals so,e o( the subFe'tEs relations to his i,age, in so (ar as it is the Hrbild of t*e egoD 4La'an, 1, ?"1==5) 2n D:he Airror &tage,D #ublished (our years earlier, La'an argues that Dwe ha+e)) )to understand the ,irror stage #s #n identific#tion )),D and then slightly later in the essay suggests that the ego is the 'u,ulati+e e((e't o( its (or,ati+e identi(i'ations)90 Cithin the *,eri'an re'e#tion o( Freud, es#e'ially in ego #sy'hology and 'ertain +ersions o( obFe't relations, it is #erha#s 'usto,ary to suggest that the ego #ree3ists its identi(i'ations, a notion 'on(ir,ed by the gra,,ar that insists that Dan ego identi(ies with an obFe't outside itsel()D :he La'anian #osition suggests not only that identi(i'ations (recede the ego, but that the identi(i'atory relation to the i,age establishes the ego) Aoreo+er, the ego established through this identi(i'atory relation is itsel( a relation, indeed, the 'u,ulati+e history o( su'h relations) *s a result, the ego is not a sel(-identi'al substan'e, but a sedi,ented history o( i,aginary relations whi'h lo'ate the 'enter o( the ego outside itsel(, in the e3ternali.ed i'#%o whi'h 'on(ers and #rodu'es bodily 'ontours) 2n this sense, La'anEs ,irror does not re(le't or re#resent a #ree3isting ego, but, rather, #ro+ides the (ra,e, the boundary, the s#atial delineation (or the #roFe'ti+e elaboration o( the ego itsel() ;en'e, La'an 'lai,s, Dthe i,age o( the body gi+es the subFe't the (irst (or, whi'h allows hi, to lo'ate what #ertains to the ego SD'e Jui est du ,oiDR and what does notD 4La'an, 1, ?919"5) &tri'tly s#eaking, then, the ego 'annot be said to identi(y with an obFe't outside itsel(G rather, it is through an identi(i'ation with an i,ago, whi'h is itsel( a relation, that the DoutsideD o( the ego is (irst a,biguously de,ar'ated, indeed, that a s#atial boundary that negotiates DoutsideD and DinsideD is established in and as the i,aginaryB Dthe (un'tion o( the ,irror stage SisR a #arti'ular 'ase o( the (un'tion o( the i'#%o, whi'h is to establish a relation between the organis, and its reality8or, as they say, between the .nnen,elt and the H',elt"21 :he s#e'ular i,age that the 'hild sees, that is, the i,agining that the 'hild #rodu'es, 'on(ers a +isual integrity and 'oheren'e on

THE LESBIAN PHALLUS

his own body 4a##earing as other5 whi'h 'o,#ensates (or his li,ited and #re-s#e'ular sense o( ,otility and unde+elo#ed ,otor 'ontrol) La'an goes on to identi(y this s#e'ular i,age with the ego-ideal 9)e:ide#l6 and with the subFe't, although these ter,s will in his later le'tures be distinguished (ro, one another on other grounds)99 &igni(i'antly, this ideali.ed totality that the 'hild sees is a ,irror i,age) @ne ,ight say that it 'on(ers an ideality and integrity on his body, but it is #erha#s ,ore a''urate to 'lai, that the +ery sense o( the body is generated through this #roFe'tion o( ideality and integrity) 2ndeed, this ,irroring trans(or,s a li+ed sense o( disunity and loss o( 'ontrol into an ideal o( integrity and 'ontrol 4Dla #uissan'eD5 through that e+ent o( s#e'ulari.ation) &hortly, we will argue that this ideali.ation o( the body arti'ulated in D:he Airror &tageD ree,erges unwittingly in the 'onte3t o( La'anEs dis'ussion o( the #hallus as the ideali.ation and sy,boli.ation o( anato,y *t this #oint, it is #erha#s enough to note that the i'#%o o( the body is #ur'hased through a 'ertain lossG libidinal de#enden'y and #ow-erlessness is #hantas,ati'ally o+er'o,e by the installation o( a boundary and, hen'e, a hy#osta'i.ed 'enter whi'h #rodu'es an ideali.ed bodily egoG that integrity and unity is a'hie+ed through the ordering o( a wayward ,otility or disaggregated se3uality not yet restrained by the boundaries o( indi+iduationB Dthe hu,an obFe't -./ob)et *u'#in0 always 'onstitutes itsel( through the inter,ediary o( a (irst loss8nothing (ruit(ul takes #la'e in ,an -rien de econd n/# lieu (our l*o''e0 sa+e through the inter,ediary o( a loss o( an obFe'tD 4La'an, 11, 1371F1765)93 La'an re,arks in the se'ond se,inar that Dthe body in #ie'es -le cor(s 'orcele0 (inds its unity in the i,age o( the @ther, whi'h is its own anti'i#ated i,age8a dual situation in whi'h a #olar, but non-sy,,etri'al relation, is sket'hed outD 4La'an, .., 6"1?95) :he ego is (or,ed around the s#e'ular i,age o( the body itsel(, but this s#e'ular i,age is itsel( an #ntici: (#tion, a subFun'ti+e delineation) :he ego is (irst and (ore,ost an obFe't whi'h 'annot 'oin'ide te,#orally with the subFe't, a te,#oral eA:st#sts: the egoEs te,#oral (uturity, and its e3teriority as a (erci(i establish its alterity to the subFe't) But this alterity is a,biguously lo'atedB (irst, within the 'ir'uit o( a #sy'he whi'h 'onstitutes1(inds the ego as a ,istaken and de'entering token o( itsel( 4hen'e, an interior alterity5G se'ond, as an obFe't o( #er'e#tion, like other obFe'ts, and so at a radi'al e#iste,i' distan'e (ro, the subFe'tB D:he ego)))is a #arti'ular obFe't within

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e3#erien'e o( the subFe't Literally, the ego is an obFe't8an obFe't whi'h (ills a 'ertain (un'tion whi'h we here 'all the i,aginary (un'tionD 4La'an, 11, ""1705)9" *s i,aginary, the ego as obFe't is neither interior nor e3terior to the subFe't, but the #er,anently unstable site where that s#atiali.ed distin'tion is #er#etually negotiatedG it is this a,biguity that ,arks the ego as i'#%o, that is, as an identi(i'atory relation) ;en'e, identi(i'ations are ne+er si,#ly or de(initi+ely '#de or #c*ieved, they are insistendy 'onstituted, 'ontested, and negotiated) :he s#e'ular i,age o( the body itsel( is in so,e sense the i,age o( the @ther) But it is only on the 'ondition that the anti'i#ated, a,biguously lo'ated body (urnishes an i'#%o and a boundary (or the ego that obFe'ts 'o,e into #er'e#tion) D:he obFe't is always ,ore or less stru'tured as the i,age o( the body o( the subFe't :he re(le'tion o( the subFe't, its ,irror stage -i'#%e s(ecul#ire0, is always (ound so,ewhere in e+ery #er'e#tual #i'ture -t#ble#u (erce(tifI, and that is what gi+es it a Juality, a s#e'ial inertiaD 4La'an, 11, 17?11995) ;ere we not only ha+e an a''ount o( the so'ial 'onstitution o( the ego, but the ,odes by whi'h the ego is di((erentiated (ro, its @ther, and how that i'#%o that sustains and troubles that di((erentiation #t t*e s#'e ti'e generates obFe'ts o( #er'e#tion) D@n the libidinal le+el, the obFe't is only e+en a##rehended through the grid o( the nar'issisti' relationD 4La'an, 11, 17?5) *nd this is ,ade all the ,ore 'o,#le3 when we see that the re(le3i+e relation to1o( the ego is always a,biguously related to a relation to the D@ther)D Far (ro, being a ,erely nar'issisti' #re'ondition o( obFe't genesis, this 'lai, o((ers instead an irredu'ible eJui+o'ation o( nar'issis, and so'iality whi'h be'o,es the 'ondition o( the e#iste,ologi'al generation o( and a''ess to obFe'ts) :he ideali.ation o( the body as a s#atially bounded totality, 'hara'teri.ed by a 'ontrol e3er'i.ed by the ga.e, is lent out to the body as its own sel('ontrol) :his will be'o,e 'ru'ial to the understanding o( the #hallus as a #ri+ileged signi(ier that a##ears to 'ontrol the signi(i'ations that it #rodu'es) La'an suggests as ,u'h in the se'ond se,inarB D:he issue is knowing whi'h organs 'o,e into #lay in -entrent en )eu d#ns0 the nar'issisti' i,aginary relation to the other whereby the ego is (or,ed, bildet :he i,aginary stru'turation o( the ego (or,s around the s#e'ular i,age o( the body itsel(, o( the i,age o( the @therD 4La'an, 11, 9"-9611195) But so,e #arts o( the body be'o,e the tokens (or the 'entering and 'ontrolling (un'tion o( the bodily i'#%o D'ertain organs are 'aught u# in

THE LESBIAN PHALLUS

-sont interessts d#ns0 the nar'issisti' relation, inso(ar as it stru'tures both the relation o( the ego to the other and the 'onstitution o( the world o( obFe'tsD 4La'an, 11, 9611195) *lthough these organs are not na,ed, it see,s that they are, (irst o( all, organs -les or%#nes0 and that they enter into #lay in the nar'issisti' relationG they are that whi'h a't as the token or 'onFe'tured basis (or nar'issis,) 2( these organs are the ,ale genitals, they (un'tion as both the site and token o( a s#e'i(i'ally ,as'uline nar'issis,) Aoreo+er, inso(ar as these organs are set into #lay by a nar'issis, whi'h is said to #ro+ide the stru'ture o( relations to the @ther and to the world o( obFe'ts, then these organs be'o,e #art o( the i,aginary elaboration o( the egoEs bodily boundary, token and D#roo(D o( its integrity and 'ontrol, and the i,aginary e#iste,i' 'ondition o( its a''ess to the world) By entering into that nar'issisti' relation, the organs 'ease to be organs and be'o,e i,aginary e((e'ts) @ne ,ight be te,#ted to argue that in the 'ourse o( being set into #lay by the nar'issisti' i,aginary, the #enis be'o,es the #hallus) *nd yet, 'uriously and signi(i'antly, in La'anEs essay on D:he &igni(i'ation o( the Phallus,D he will deny that the #hallus is either an organ or an i,aginary e((e'tG it is instead a D#ri+ileged signi(ier)D 96 Ce will turn to the te3tual knots that those series o( denials #rodu'e in La'anEs essay, but here it is #erha#s i,#ortant to note that these nar'issisti'ally engaged organs be'o,e #art o( the 'ondition and stru'ture o( e+ery obFe't and @ther that 'an be #er'ei+ed) DChat did 2 try to get a'ross with the ,irror stageK))):he i,age o( S,anEsR body is the #rin'i#le o( e+ery unity he #er'ei+es in obFe'ts)))all the obFe'ts o( his world are always stru'tured around the wandering shadow o( his own ego -c/est tou)ours #utour de ./o'bre err#nte de son(ro(re 'ot =ue se structureront tous les ob)ets de son 'onde0" 4La'an, 11, 177119=5) :his e3tra#olating (un'tion o( nar'issis, be'o,es #hallogo'entris, at the ,o,ent in whi'h the a(ore,entioned organs, engaged by the nar'issisti' relation, be'o,e the ,odel or #rin'i#le by whi'h any other obFe't or @ther is known) *t this #oint, the organs are installed as a D#ri+ileged signi(ier)D Cithin the orbit o( this e,erging #hallogo'entris,, "Gerliebt*eit Sbeing in lo+eR is (unda,entally nar'issisti') @n the libidinal le+el, the obFe't is only e+en a##rehended through the grid o( the nar'issisti' relation -l# %rille du r#((ort n#rcissi=ue0 D 4La'an, 11, 17?11995) La'an 'lai,s that the organs are Dtaken u#D by a nar'issisti' relanon, and that this nar'issisti'ally in+ested anato,y be'o,es the stru'ture,

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#rin'i#le, the grid o( all e#iste,i' relations) 2n other words, it is the nar'issisti'ally i,bued organ whi'h is then ele+ated to a stru'turing #rin'i#le whi'h (or,s and gi+es a''ess to all knowable obFe'ts) 2n the (irst #la'e, this a''ount o( the genesis o( e#iste,ologi'al relations i,#lies that all knowable obFe'ts will ha+e an anthro#o,or#hi' and andro'entri' 'hara'ter) 9= &e'ondly, this andro'entri' 'hara'ter will be #halli') *t this Fun'ture it ,akes sense to 'onsider the relation between the a''ount o( s#e'ular relations in D:he Airror &tage,D the argu,ent that ,or#hology #re'onditions e#iste,ologi'al relations, and the later ,o+e in D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusD whi'h asserts that the #hallus is a #ri+ileged signi(ies :he di((eren'es between the language and ai,s o( the two essays are ,arkedB the earlier essay 'on'erns e#iste,ologi'al relations whi'h are not yet theori.ed in ter,s o( signi(i'ationG the latter a##ears to ha+e e,erged a(ter a shi(t (ro, e#iste,ologi'al to signi(i'atory ,odels 4or, rather, an e,bedding o( the e#iste,ologi'al within the sy,boli' do,ain o( signi(i'ation5) *nd yet, there is another di((eren'e here, one whi'h ,ight be understood as a re+ersal) 2n the earlier essay, the DorgansD are taken u# by the nar'issisti' relation and be'o,e the #hantas,ati' ,or#hology whi'h generates, through a s#e'ular e3tra#olation, the stru'ture o( knowable obFe'ts) 2n the later essay, La'an introdu'es the #hallus whi'h (un'tions as a #ri+ileged signi(ier and deli,its the do,ain o( the signi(iable) 2n a li,ited sense, the nar'issisti'ally in+ested organs in D:he Airror &tageD ser+e a (un'tion #arallel to that o( the #hallus in D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusDB the (or,er establish the 'onditions (or knowabilityG the latter establish the 'onditions (or signi(iability) Further, the theoreti'al 'onte3t in whi'h D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusD o''urs is one in whi'h signi(i'ation is the 'ondition o( all knowability, and the i,age 'an be sustained only by the sign 4the i,aginary within the ter,s o( the sy,boli'5G it a##ears to (ollow that the nar'issisti'ally in+ested organs in the (or,er essay are in so,e way ,aintained in and by the notion o( the #hallus) +en i( we were to argue that D:he Airror &tageD do'u,ents an i,aginary relation, whereas D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusD is 'on'erned with signi(i'ation at the le+el o( the sy,boli', it is un'lear whether the (or,er 'an be sustained without the latter and, #erha#s ,ore signi(i'antly, the latter 4i)e), the &y,boli'5, without the (or,er) *nd yet this logi'al 'on'lusion is thwarted by La'an hi,sel( in his insisten'e that the #hallus

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79

is neither an anato,i'al #art nor an i,aginary relation) 2s this re#udiation o( the anato,i'al and i,aginary origins o( the #hallus to be read as a re(usal to a''ount (or the +ery genealogi'al #ro'ess o( ideali.ing the body that La'an hi,sel( #ro+ided in D:he Airror &tageDK *re we to a''e#t the #riority o( the #hallus without Juestioning the nar'issisti' in+est,ent by whi'h an organ, a body #art, has been ele+ated1ere'ted to the stru'turing and 'entering #rin'i#le o( the worldK 2( D:he Airror &tageN re+eals how through the syne'do'hal (un'tion o( the i,aginary, #arts 'o,e to stand (or wholes and a de'entered body is trans(igured into a totality with a 'enter, then we ,ight be led to ask whi'h organs #er(or, this 'entering and syne'do'hal (un'tion) D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusD e((e'ti+ely re(uses the Juestion that the (or,er essay i,#li'itly raised) For i( the #hallus in its sy,boli' (un'tion is neither an organ nor an i,aginary e((e't, then it is not 'onstru'ted through the i,aginary, and ,aintains a status and integrity inde#endent o( it) :his 'orres#onds, o( 'ourse, to the distin'tion that La'an ,akes throughout his work between the i,aginary and the sy,boli') But i( the #hallus 'an be shown to be a syne'do'hal e((e't, i( it both stands (or the #art, the organ, and is the i,aginary trans(iguration o( that #art into the 'entering and totali.ing (un'tion o( the body, then the #hallus a##ears #s sy'bolic only to t*e extent t*#t its construc: tion t*rou%* t*e tr#nsfi%ur#tive #nd s(ecul#r 'ec*#nis's of t*e i'#%in#ry is denied 2ndeed, i( the #hallus is an i,aginary e((e't, a wish(ul trans(iguration, then it is not ,erely the sy'bolic status o( the #hallus that is 'alled into Juestion, but the +ery distin'tion between the sy,boli' and the i,aginary) 2( the #hallus is the #ri+ileged signi(ier o( the sy,boli', the deli,iting and ordering #rin'i#le o( what 'an be signi(ied, then this signi(ier gains its #ri+ilege through be'o,ing an i,aginary e((e't that #er+asi+ely denies its own status as both i,aginary and an e((e't) 2( this is true o( the signi(ier that deli,its the do,ain o( the signi(iable within the sy,boli', then it is true o( all that is signi(ied as the sy,boli') 2n other words, what o#erates under the sign o( the sy,boli' ,ay be nothing other than #re'isely that set o( i,aginary e((e'ts whi'h ha+e be'o,e naturali.ed and rei(ied as the law o( signi(i'ation) D:he Airror &tageD and D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusD (ollow 4at least5 two +ery di((erent narrati+e traFe'toriesB the (irst (ollows the #re,ature and i,aginary trans(or,ation o( a de'entered body8a body in #ie'es -le cor(s 'orcele0Finto the s#e'ular body, a ,or#hologi'al totality

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in+ested with a 'enter o( ,otor 'ontrolG the se'ond (ollows the di((erential Da''essionD o( bodies to se3ed #ositions within the sy,boli') 2n the one instan'e, there is narrati+e re'ourse to a body be(ore the ,irrorG in the other, a body be(ore the law) &u'h a dis'ursi+e re(eren'e is one whi'h within La'anEs own ter,s, is to be 'onstrued less as a de+elo#,ental e3#lanation than as a ne'essary heuristi' (i'tion) 2n D:he Airror &tage,D that body is (igured Din #ie'esD -une i'#%e 'orcelee du cor(s}B2D in La'anEs dis'ussion o( the #hallus, the body and anato,y are des'ribed only through negationB anato,y and, in #arti'ular anato,i'al #arts, are not t*e (*#llus, but only t*#t ,*ic* t*e (*#llus sy'boli+es 5.. est encore bien tnoins ./or%#ne, (enis ou clitoris, =uil sy'bolise S790R5) 2n the (or,er essay, then 4shall we 'all it a D#ie'eDK5, La'an narrates the o+er'o,ing of the #artitioned body through the s#e'ular and #hantas,ati' #rodu'tion o( a ,or#hologi'al whole) 2n the latter essay, that dra,a is ena'ted8or sy,#to,ati.ed8by the narrati+e ,o+e,ent o( the theoreti'al #er(or,an'e itsel(, what we will 'onsider brie(ly as the #er(or,ari+ity o( the #hallus) But i( it is #ossible to read D:he &igni(i'ation o( the PhallusD as sy,#to,ati.ing the s#e'ular #hantas, des'ribed in D:he Airror &tage,D it is also #ossible, and use(ul, to reread D:he Airror &tageD as o((ering an i,#li'it theory o( D,irroringD as a signi(ying #ra'ti'e) 2( the body is Din #ie'esD be(ore the ,irror, it (ollows that the ,irroring works as a kind o( syne'do'hal e3tra#olation by whi'h those #ie'es or #arts 'o,e to stand 4in and by the ,irror5 (or the wholeG or, #ut di((erently, the #art substitutes (or the whole and thereby be'o,es a token (or the whole) 2( this is right, then #erha#s D:he Airror &tageD #ro'eeds through a syne'do'hal logi' that institutes and ,aintains a #hantas, o( 'ontrol) 2t ,akes sense to ask, then, whether the theoreti'al 'onstru'tion o( the #hallus is su'h a syne'do'hal e3tra#olation) By 'hanging the na,e o( the #enis to Dthe #hallus,D is the #art status o( the (or,er #hantas,ati'ally and syne'do'hally o+er'o,e through the inauguration o( the latter as Dthe #ri+ileged signi(ierDK *nd does this na,e, like #ro#er na,es, se'ure and sustain the ,or#hologi'al distin'tness o( the ,as'uline body, sustaining the (erci(i through no,inationK 2n La'anEs dis'ussion o( what the #hallus is, to be distinguished (ro, his dis'ussion o( who DisD the #hallus, he Juarrels with +arious #sy'hoanalyti' #ra'titioners about who is entitled to na,e the #hallus, who knows where and how the na,e a##lies, who is in the #osition to na,e the

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na,e) ;e obFe'ts to the relegation o( the #hallus to a D#halli' stageD or to the 'on(lation and di,inution o( the #hallus to a D#artial obFe't)D La'an (aults Harl *braha, in #arti'ular (or introdu'ing the notion o( the #artial obFe't, but it is 'lear that he is ,ost strongly o##osed to Aelanie HleinEs theory o( introFe'ted body #arts and with rnest 0onesEs in(luential a''e#tan'e o( these #ositions) La'an asso'iates the nor,ali.ation o( the #hallus as #artial obFe't with the degradation o( #sy'hoanalysis on *,eri'an soil, ul# de%r#d#tion de l# (syc*#n#lyse, consecutive # s# tr#ns(l#nt#tion #'eric#ini1 4La'an, tcrits, ??17=?5) @ther theoreti'al tenden'ies asso'iated with this degradation are ter,ed D'ulturalistD and D(e,inistD 2n #arti'ular, he is o##osed to those #sy'hoanalyti' #ositions whi'h 'onsider the #halli' #hase to be an e((e't o( re#ression, and the #halli' obFe't as a sy,#to,) ;ere the #hallus is negati+ely de(ined through a string o( attributesB not #artial, not an obFe't, not a sy,#to,) Aoreo+er, the DnotD whi'h #re'edes ea'h o( these attributes is DnotD to be read as a "refoule'enf 4re#ression5G in other words, negation in t*ese textu#l inst#nces is not to be read #sy'hoana-lyri'ally 4La'an, tcrits, ?917=?5) ;ow, then, 'an we read the sy,#to,ati' di,ension o( La'anEs te3t hereK /oes the reFe'tion o( the #halli' #hase and, in #arti'ular, o( the (iguration o( the #hallus as a #artial or a##ro3i,ati+e obFe't, seek to o+er'o,e a degradation in (a+or o( an ideali.ation, a s#e'ular oneK /o these #sy'hoanalyti' te3ts (ail to ,irror the #hallus as s#e'ular 'enter, and do they threaten to e3#ose the syne'do'hal logi' by whi'h the #hallus is installed as #ri+ileged signi(ierK 2( the #osition (or the #hallus ere'ted by La'an sy,#to,ati.es the s#e'ular and ideali.ing ,irroring o( a de'entered body in #ie'es be(ore the ,irror, then we 'an read here the #hantas,ati' rewriting o( an organ or body #art, the #enis, as the #hallus, a ,o+e e((e'ted by a trans+aluati+e denial o( its substirutability, de#enden'y, di,inuiti+e si.e, li,ited 'ontrol, #artiality) :he #hallus would then e,erge as a sy,#to,, and its authority 'ould be established only through a ,etale#ti' re+ersal o( 'ause and e((e't) Rather than the #ostulated origin o( signi(i'ation or the signi(iable, the #hallus would be the e((e't o( a signi(ying 'hain su,,arily su##ressed) But this analysis still needs to take into a''ount why it is that the body is in #ie'es be(ore the ,irror and be(ore the law) Chy should the body be gi+en in #arts be(ore it is s#e'ulari.ed as a totality and 'enter o( 'ontrolK ;ow did this body 'o,e to be in #ie'es and #artsK :o ha+e a sense o( a

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#ie'e or a #art is to ha+e in ad+an'e a sense (or the whole to whi'h they belong) *lthough D:he Airror &tageD atte,#ts to narrate how a body 'o,es to ha+e a sense o( its own totality (or the (irst ti,e, the +er+ des'ri#tion o( a body be(ore the ,irror as being in #arts or #ie'es takes as its own #re'ondition an #lre#dy established sense o( a whole or integral ,or#hology) 2( to be in #ie'es is to be without 'ontrol, then the body be(ore the ,irror is without the #hallus, sy,boli'ally 'astratedG and by gaining s#e'ulari.ed 'ontrol through the ego 'onstituted in the ,irror, that body Dassu,esD or D'o,es to ha+eD the #hallus) But the #hallus is, as it were, already in #lay in the +ery des'ri#tion o( the body in #ie'es be(ore the ,irrorG as a result, the #hallus go+erns the des'ri#tion o( its own genesis and, a''ordingly, wards o(( a genealogy that ,ight 'on(er on it a deri+ati+e or #roFe'ted 'hara'ter) *lthough La'an 'lai,s Juite e3#li'itly that the #hallus Dis not an i,aginary e((e't,D9= that denial ,ight be read as 'onstituti+e o( the +ery (or,ation o( the #hallus as #ri+ileged signi(ierG that denial a##ears to (a'ilitate that #ri+ileging) *s an i,aginary e((e't, the #hallus would be as de'entered and tenuous as the ego) 2n an e((ort to re'enter and ground the #hallus, the #hallus is ele+ated to the status o( the #ri+ileged signi(ier, and it is o((ered at the end o( a long list o( i,#ro#er usages (or the ter,, ways in whi'h the ter, has gotten out o( hand, signi(ied where it ought not to ha+e and in ways that are wrongB )))the #hallus is not a (antasy, i( what is understood by that is an i,aginary e((e't) Nor is it an obFe't 4#art, internal, good, bad, et'))5 in so (ar as this ter, tends to a''entuate the reality in+ol+ed in a relationshi#) 2t is e+en less the organ, #enis or 'litoris, whi'h it sy,boli.es) *nd it is not by a''ident that Freud took his re(eren'e (or it (ro, the si,ula'ru, whi'h it re#resented (or the *n'ients) For the #hallus is a signi(ier))) SRose, ?9R99 2n this last #ronoun'e,ent, La'an seeks to relie+e the ter, o( its 'ata'hresti' wanderings, to reestablish the #hallus as a site o( 'ontrol 4as that whi'h is Dto designate as a whole the e((e't o( there being a signi(iedD5 and hen'e to #osition La'an hi,sel( as the one to 'ontrol the ,eaning o( the #hallus) *s 0ane Gallo# has argued 4to 'ite her is #erha#s to trans(er the #hallus (ro, hi, to her, but also then a((ir,s ,y #oint that the #hallus is

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(unda,entally trans(erable5B D*nd their inability to 'ontrol the ,eaning o( the word (*#llus is e+iden'e o( what La'an 'alls sy,boli' 'astrationD 41975) 2( not being able to 'ontrol the signi(i'ations that (ollow (ro, the signi(ier #hallus is e+iden'e o( sy,boli' 'astration, then the body Din #ie'esD and out o( 'ontrol be(ore the ,irror ,ay be understood as sy,boli'ally 'astrated, and the s#e'ular and syne'do'hal ideali.ation o( the 4#halli'5 body ,ay be read as a 'o,#ensatory ,e'hanis, by whi'h this #hantas,ati' 'astration is o+er'o,e) Not unlike FreudEs e((orts to #ut a sto# to the #roli(eration o( erotogeni' body #arts in his te3t, #arts whi'h were also sites o( #ain, La'an stalls the sliding o( the signi(ier into a #roli(erati+e 'ata'hresis through a #ree,#ti+e assertion o( the #hallus as #ri+ileged signi(ier) :o 'lai, (or the #hallus the status o( a #ri+ileged signi(ier #er(or,ati+ely #rodu'es and e((e'ts this #ri+ilege) :he announ'e,ent o( that #ri+ileged signi(ier is its #er(or,an'e) :hat #er(or,ati+e assertion #rodu'es and ena'ts the +ery #ro'ess o( #ri+ileged signi(i'ation, one whose #ri+ilege is #otentially 'ontested by the +ery list o( alternati+es it dis'ounts, and the negation o( whi'h 'onstitutes and #re'i#itates that #hallus) 2ndeed, the #hallus is not a body #art 4but the whole5, is not an i,aginary e((e't 4but the origin o( all i,aginary e((e'ts5) :hese negations are 'onstituti+eG they (un'tion as disa+owals that #re'i#itate8and are then erased by-the ideali.ation o( the #hallus) :he #arado3i'al status o( the negation that introdu'es and institutes the #hallus be'o,es 'lear in the gra,,ar itsel(B u.. est encore 'oins ./or%#ne, (enis ou clitoris, =u/il sy'bolise " ;ere the senten'e suggests that the #hallus, De+en lessD than an i,aginary e((e't, is not an organ) ;ere La'an thus suggests gradations o( negationB the #hallus is ,ore likely to be an i,aginary e((e't than an organG i( it is either one, it is ,ore o( an i,aginary e((e't than an organ) :his is not to say that it is not at all an organ, but that the D'o#ulaD8that whi'h asserts a linguisti' and ontologi'al identity8is the least adeJuate way o( e3#ressing the relation between the,) 2n the +ery senten'e in whi'h the ,ini,i.ation o( any #ossible identity between #enis and #hallus is asserted, an alternati+e relation between the, is o((ered, na,ely, the relation o( sy'boli+#tion :he #hallus sy'boli+es the#enisG and inso(ar as it sy,boli.es the #enis, retains the #enis as that whi'h it sy,boli.esG it is not the #enis) :o be the obFe't o( sy,boli.ation is #re'isel not to be that whi'h sy,boli.es) :o the e3tent that the #hallus sy,boli.es the #enis, it is not that whi'h it sy,boli.es) :he ,ore sy,boli.ation o''urs,

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the less ontologi'al 'onne'tion there is between sy,bol and sy,boli.ed &y,boli.ation #resu,es and #rodu'es the ontologi'al di((eren'e between that whi'h sy,boli.es8or signi(ies8and that whi'h is sy,boli.ed8or signi(ied) &y,boli.ation de#letes that whi'h is sy,boli.ed o( its ontologi'al 'onne'tion with the sy,bol itsel() But what is the status o( this #arti'ular assertion o( ontologi'al di((eren'e i( it turns out that this sy,bol, the #hallus, always takes the #enis as that whi'h it sy,boli.esK30 Chat is the 'hara'ter o( this bind whereby the #hallus sy,boli.es the #enis to the e3tent that it di((erentiates itsel( (ro, the #enis, where the #enis be'o,es the #ri+ileged re(erent to be negatedK 2( the #hallus 'ust ne%#te the #enis in order to sy,boli.e and signi(y in its #ri+ileged way, then the #hallus is bound to the #enis, not through si,#le identity, but through deter,inate negation) 2( the #hallus only signi(ies to the e3tent that it is not the #enis, and the #enis is Juali(ied as that body #art that it ,ust not be, then the #hallus is (unda,entally de#endent u#on the #enis in order to sy,boli.e at all) 2ndeed, the #hallus would be nothing without the #enis) *nd in that sense in whi'h the #hallus reJuires the #enis (or its own 'onstitution, the identity o( the #hallus in'ludes the #enis, that is, a relation o( identity holds between the,) *nd this is, o( 'ourse, not only a logi'al #oint, (or we ha+e seen that the #hallus not only o##oses the #enis in a logi'al sense, but is itsel( instituted through the re#udiation o( its #artial, de'entered, and substitutable 'hara'ter) 2 :he Juestion, o( 'ourse, is why it is assu,ed that the #hallus reJuires that #arti'ular body #art to sy,boli.e, and why it 'ould not o#erate through sy,boli.ing other body #arts) :he +iability o( the lesbian #hallus de#ends on this dis#la'e,ent @r, to #ut it ,ore a''urately, the dis#la'e-ability o( the #hallus, its 'a#a'ity to sy,boli.e in relation to other body #arts or other body-like things, o#ens the way (or the lesbian #hallus, an otherwise 'ontradi'tory (or,ulation) *nd here it should be 'lear that the lesbian #hallus 'rosses the orders o( *#vin% and bein%, it both wields the threat o( 'astration 4whi'h is in that sense a ,ode o( DbeingD the #hallus, as wo,en DareD5 and su((ers (ro, 'astration an3iety 4and so is said Dto ha+eD the #hallus, and to (ear its loss5) :o suggest that the #hallus ,ight sy,boli.e body #arts other than the #enis is 'o,#atible with the La'anian s'he,e) But to argue that 'ertain body #arts or body-like things other than the #enis are sy,boli.ed as Dha+ingD the #hallus is to 'all into Juestion the ,utually e3'lusi+e traFe'tories

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o( 'astration an3iety and #enis en+y) 31 2ndeed, i( ,en are said to Dha+eD the #hallus sy,boli'ally, their anato,y is also a site ,arked by ha+ing lost itG the anato,i'al #art is ne+er 'o,,ensurable with the #hallus itsel() 2n this sense, ,en ,ight be understood to be both 'astrated 4already5 and dri+en by #enis en+y 4,ore #ro#erly understood as #hallus en+y5) 39 !on+ersely, inso(ar as wo,en ,ight be said to Dha+eD the #hallus and (ear its loss 4and there is no reason why that 'ould not be true in both lesbian and heterose3ual e3'hange, raising the Juestion o( an i,#li'it heterose3-uality in the (or,er, and ho,ose3uality in the latter5, they ,ay be dri+en by 'astration an3iety)33 *lthough a nu,ber o( theorists ha+e suggested that lesbian se3uality is outside the e'ono,y o( #hallogo'entris,, that #osition has been 'riti'ally 'ountered by the notion that lesbian se3uality is #s 'onstru'ted as any other (or, o( se3uality within 'onte,#orary se3ual regi,es) @( interest here is not whether the #hallus #ersists in lesbian se3uality as a stru'turing #rin'i#le, but *o, it #ersists, how it is 'onstru'ted, and what ha##ens to the D#ri+ilegedD status o( that signi(ier within this (or, o( 'onstru'ted e3'hange) 2 a, not arguing that lesbian se3uality is only or e+en #ri,arily stru'tured by the #hallus, or e+en that su'h an i,#ossible ,onolith as Dlesbian se3ualityD e3ists) But 2 do want to suggest that the #hallus 'onstitutes an a,bi+alent site o( identi(i'ation and desire that is signi(i'antly di((erent (ro, the s'ene o( nor,ati+e heterose3uality to whi'h it is related) 2( La'an 'lai,ed that the #hallus only o#erates as D+eiled,D we ,ight ask in return what kind o( D+eilingD the #hallus in+ariably #er(or,s) *nd what is the logi' o( D+eilingD and, hen'e, o( De3#osureD that e,erges within lesbian se3ual e3'hange in relation to the Juestion o( the #hallusK !learly, there is no single answer, and the kind o( 'ulturally te3tured work that ,ight a##ro3i,ate an answer to this Juestion will doubtless need to take #la'e elsewhereG indeed, DtheD lesbian #hallus is a (i'tion, but #erha#s a theoreti'ally use(ul one, (or there are Juestions o( i,itation, sub+ersion, and the re'ir'ulation o( #hantas,ati' #ri+ilege that a #sy'ho-analyti'ally in(or,ed reading ,ight attend) 2( the #hallus is that whi'h is e3'o,,uni'ated (ro, the (e,inist orthodo3y on lesbian se3uality as well as the D,issing #art,D the sign o( an ine+itable dissatis(a'tion that is lesbianis, in ho,o#hobi' and ,isogynist 'onstru'tions, then the ad,ission o( the #hallus into that e3'hange (a'es two 'on+ergent #rohibitionsB (irst, the #hallus signi(ies the #ersisten'e o(

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the Dstraight ,ind,D a ,as'uline or heterose3ist identi(i'ation and, hen'e, the de(ile,ent or betrayal o( lesbian s#e'i(i'ityG se'ondly, the #hallus signi(ies the insu#erability o( heterose3uality and 'onstitutes lesbianis, as a +ain and1or #atheti' e((ort to ,i,e the real thing) :hus, the #hallus enters lesbian se3ual dis'ourse in the ,ode o( a transgressi+e D'on(essionD 'onditioned and 'on(ronted by both the (e,inist and ,isogynist (or,s o( re#udiationB itEs not the real thing 4the lesbian thing5 or itEs not the real thing 4the straight thing5) Chat is Dun+eiledD is #re'isely the re#udiated desire, that whi'h is abFe'ted by heterose3ist logi' and that whi'h is de(ensi+ely (ore'losed through the e((ort to 'ir'u,s'ribe a s#e'i(i'ally (e,inine ,or#hology (or lesbianis,) 2n a sense, what is un+eiled or e3#osed is a desire that is #rodu'ed through a #rohibition) *nd yet, the #hantas,ati' stru'ture o( this desire will o#erate as a IeilD #re'isely at the ,o,ent in whi'h it is Dre+ealed)D :hat #hantas,ati' trans(iguration o( bodily boundaries will not only e3#ose its own tenuousness, but will turn out to de(end on that tenuousness and transien'e in order to signi(y at all) :he #hallus as signi(ier within lesbian se3uality will engage the s#e'tre o( sha,e and re#udiation deli+ered by that (e,inist theory whi'h would se'ure a (e,inine ,or#hology in its radi'al distin'tness (ro, the ,as'uline 4a binaris, that is se'ured through heterose3ual #resu,#tion5, a s#e'tre deli+ered in a ,ore #er+asi+e way by the ,as'ulinist theory whi'h would insist on the ,ale ,or#hology as the only #ossible (igure (or the hu,an body) :ra+ersing those di+isions, the lesbian #hallus signi(ies a desire that is #rodu'ed histori'ally at the 'rossroads o( these #rohibitions, and is ne+er (ully (ree o( the nor,ati+e de,ands that 'ondition its #ossibility and that it ne+ertheless seeks to sub+ert) 2nso(ar as the #hallus is an ideali.ation o( ,or#hology, it #rodu'es a ne'essary e((e't o( inadeJuation, one whi'h, in the 'ultural 'onte3t o( lesbian relations, 'an be Jui'kly assi,ilated to the sense o( an inadeJuate deri+ation (ro, the su##osedly real thing, and, hen'e, a sour'e o( sha,e) But #re'isely bec#use it is an ideali.ation, one whi'h no body 'an adeJuately a##ro3i,ate, the #hallus is a trans(erable #hantas,, and its naturali.ed link to ,as'uline ,or#hology 'an be 'alled into Juestion through an aggressi+e reterritoriali.ation) :hat 'o,#le3 identi(i'atory (antasies in(or, ,or#hogenesis, and that they 'annot be (ully #redi'ted, suggests that ,or#hologi'al ideali.ation is both a ne'essary and un#redi'table ingredient in the 'onstitution o( both the bodily ego and the dis#ositions o( desire)

BODIES THAT MATTER

the Dstraight ,ind,D a ,as'uline or heterose3ist identi(i'ation and, hen'e, the de(ile,ent or betrayal o(lesbian s#e'i(i'ityG se'ondly, the #hallus sig ni(ies the insu#erability o( heterose3uality and 'onstitutes lesbianis, as a +ain and1or #atheti' e((ort to ,i,e the real thing) :hu s, the #hallus enters lesbian se3ual dis'ourse in the ,ode o( a transgressi+e D'on(essionD 'onditioned and 'on(ronted by both the (e,inist and ,isogynist (or,s o( re#udiationB itEs not the real thing 4the lesbian thing5 or itEs not the real thing 4the straight thing5) Chat is Dun+eiledD is #re'isely the re#udiated desire, that whi'h is abFe'ted by heterose3ist logi' and that whi'h is de(ensi+ely (ore'losed through the e((ort to 'ir'u,s'ribe a s#e'i(i'ally (e,inine ,or#hology (or lesbianis,) 2n a sense, what is un+eiled or e3#osed is a desire that is #rodu'ed through a #rohibition) *nd yet, the #hantas,ati' stru'ture o( this desire will o#erate as a D+eilN #re'isely at the ,o,ent in whi'h it is Dre+ealed)D :hat #hantas,ati' trans(iguration o( bodily boundaries will not only e3#ose its own tenuousness) but will turn out to de(end on that tenuousness and transien'e in order to signi(y at all) :he #hallus as signi(ier within lesbian se3uality will engage the s#e'tre o( sha,e and re#udiation deli+ered by that (e,inist theory whi'h would se'ure a (e,inine ,or#hology in its radi'al distin'tness (ro, the ,as'uline 4a binaris, that is se'ured through heterose3ual #resu,#tion5, a s#e'tre deli+ered in a ,ore #er+asi+e way by the ,as'ulinist theory whi'h would insist on the ,ale ,or#hology as the only #ossible (igure (or the hu,an body) :ra+ersing those di+isions, the lesbian #hallus signi(ies a desire that is #rodu'ed histori'ally at the 'rossroads o( these #rohibitions, and is ne+er (ully (ree o( the nor,ati+e de,ands that 'ondition its #ossibility and that it ne+ertheless seeks to sub+ert) 2nso(ar as the #hallus is an ideali.ation o( ,or#hology, it #rodu'es a ne'essary e((e't o( inadeJuation, one whi'h, in the 'ultural 'onte3t o( lesbian relations, 'an be Jui'kly assi,ilated to the sense o( an inadeJuate deri+ation (ro, the su##osedly real thing, and, hen'e, a sour'e o( sha,e) But #re'isely bec#use it is an ideali.ation, one whi'h no body 'an adeJuately a##ro3i,ate, the #hallus is a trans(erable #hantas,, and its naturali.ed link to ,as'uline ,or#hology 'an be 'alled into Juestion througn an aggressi+e reterritoriali.ation) :hat 'o,#le3 identi(i'atory (antasies in(or, ,or#hogenesis, and that they 'annot be (ully #redi'ted, suggests that ,or#hologi'al ideali.ation is both a ne'essary and un#redi'table ingredient in the 'onstitution o( both the bodily ego and the dis#ositions o( desir)

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2t also ,eans that there is not ne'essarily one i,aginary s'he,a (or the bodily e%o, and that 'ultural 'on(li'ts o+er the ideali.ation and degradation o( s#e'i(i' ,as'uline and (e,inine ,or#hologies will be #layed out at the site o( the ,or#hologi'al i,aginary in 'o,#le3 and 'on(li'ted ways) 2t ,ay well be through a degradation o( a (e,inine ,or#hology, an i,aginary and 'athe'ted degrading o( the (e,inine, that the lesbian #hallus 'o,es into #lay, or it ,ay be through a 'astrating o''u#ation o( that 'entral ,as'uline tro#e, (ueled by the kind o( de(ian'e whi'h seeks to o+erturn that +ery degradation o( the (e,inine) 2t is i,#ortant to unders'ore, howe+er, the way in whi'h the stability o( both D,as'ulineD and D(e,inineD ,or#hologies is 'alled into Juestion by a lesbian resigni(i'ation o( the #hallus whi'h de#ends on the 'rossings o( #hantas,ati' identi(i'ation) 2( the ,or#hologi'al distin'tness o( Dthe (e,inineD de#ends on its #uri(i'ation o( all ,as'ulinity, and i( this bodily boundary and distin'tness is instituted in the ser+i'e o( the laws o( a heterose3ual sy,boli', then that re#udiated ,as'ulinity is (resu'ed by the (e,ini.ed ,or#hology, and will e,erge either as an i,#ossible ideal that shadows and thwarts the (e,inine or as a dis#araged signi(ier o( a #atriar'hal order against whi'h a s#e'i(i' lesbian-(e,inis, de(ines itsel() 2n either 'ase, the relation to the #hallus is 'onstituti+eG an identi(i'ation is ,ade whi'h is at on'e disa+owed) 2ndeed, it is this disa+owed identi(i'ation that enables and in(or,s the #rodu'tion o( a Ddistin'tD (e,inine ,or#hology (ro, the start 2t is doubdess #ossible to take a''ount o( the stru'turing #resen'e o( 'ross-identi(i'ations in the elaboration o( the bodily ego, and to (ra,e these identi(i'ations in a dire'tion beyond a logi' o( re#udiation by whi'h one identi(i'ation is always and only worked at the e3#ense o( another) For the Dsha,eD o( the lesbian #hallus #resu,es that it will 'o,e to re#resent the DtruthD o( lesbian desire, a truth whi'h will be (igured as a (alsehood, a +ain i,itation or deri+ation (ro, the heterose3ual nor,) *nd the 'ounterstrategy o( 'on(essional de(ian'e #resu,es as well that what has been e3'luded (ro, do,inant se3ual dis'ourses on lesbianis, thereby 'onstitutes its Dtruth)D But i( the DtruthD is, as Niet.s'he suggests, only a series o( ,istakes 'on(igured in relation to one another or, in La'anian ter,s, a set o( 'onstituting 'econn#iss#nces, then the #hallus is but one signi(ier a,ong others in the 'ourse o( lesbian e3'hange, neither the originating signi(ier nor the uns#eakable outside) :he #hallus will thus always o#erate as both +eil and 'on(ession, a de(le'tion (ro, an erotogeni'ity that

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in'ludes and e3'eeds the #hallus, an e3#osure o( a desire whi'h attests to a ,or#hologi'al transgression and, hen'e, to the instability o( the i,aginary , , ) r boundanes o( se3)
CONCLUSION

2( the #hallus is an i,aginary e((e't 4whi'h is rei(ied as the #ri+ileged si ni(ier o( the sy,boli' order5, then its stru'tural #la'e is no longer dete ,ined by the logi'al relation o( ,utual e3'lusion entailed by heterose3ist +ersion o( se3ual di((eren'e in whi'h ,en are said to Dha+eD and wo,en to DbeD the #hallus) :his logi'al and stru'tural #la'e is se'ured through the ,o+e that 'lai,s that by +irtue o( the #enis, one is sy,boli.ed as Dha+ingDG that stru'tural bond 4or bind5 se'ures a relation o( identity between the #hallus and the #enis that is e3#li'idy denied 4it also #er(or,s a syne'do'hal 'olla#se o( the #enis and the one who has it5) 2( the #hallus only sy,boli.es to the e3tent that there is a #enis there to be sy,boli.ed, then the #hallus is not only (unda,entally de#endent u#on the #enis, but 'annot e3ist without it) But is this trueK kG) 2( the #hallus o#erates as a signi(ier whose #ri+ilege is under 'ontest, i( its #ri+ilege is shown to be se'ured #re'isely through the rei(i'ation o( logi'al and stru'tural relations within the sy,boli', then the stru'tures within whi'h it is #ut into #lay are ,ore +arious and re+isable than the La'anian s'he,e 'an a((ir,) !onsider that Dha+ingD the #hallus 'an be sy,boli.ed by an ar,, a tongue, a hand 4or two5, a knee, a thigh, a #el+i' bone, an array o( #ur#ose(ully instru,entali.ed body-like things) *nd that this Dha+ingD e3ists in relation to a Dbeing the #hallusD whi'h is both #art o( its own signi(ying e((e't 4the #halli' lesbian as #otentially 'astrating5 and that whi'h it en'ounters in the wo,an who is desired 4as the one who, o((ering or withdrawing the s#e'ular guarantee, wields the #ower to 'astrate5) :hat this s'ene 'an re+erse, that being and ha+ing 'an be 'on(ounded, u#sets the logi' o( non-'ontradi'tion that ser+es the either-or o( nor,ati+e heterose3ual e3'hange) 2n a sense, the si,ultaneous a'ts o( de#ri+ileging the #hallus and re,o+ing it (ro, the nor,ati+e heterose3ual (or, o( e3'hange, and re'ir'ulating and re#ri+ileging it between wo,en de#loys the #hallus to break the signi(ying 'hain in whi'h it 'on+entionally o#erates) 2( a lesbian DhasD it, it is also 'lear that she does

not Dha+eD it in the traditional senseG her a'ti+ity (urthers a 'risis in the sense o( what it ,eans

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to Dha+eD one at all) :he #hantas,ati' status o( Dha+ingD is redelineated, rendered trans(erable, substitutable, #lasti'G and the eroti'is, #rodu'ed within su'h an e3'hange de#ends on the dis#la'e,ent (ro, traditional ,as'ulinist 'onte3ts as well as the 'riti'al rede#loy,ent o( its 'entral (igures o( #ower) !learly, the #hallus o#erates in a #ri+ileged way in 'onte,#orary se3ual 'ultures, but that o#eration is se'ured by a linguisti' stru'ture or #osition that is not inde#endent o( its #er#etual re'onstitution) 2nas,u'h as the #hallus signi(ies, it is also always in the #ro'ess o( being signi(ied and resigni(ied) 2n this sense, it is not the in'i#ient ,o,ent or origin o( a signi(ying 'hain, as La'an would insist, but #art o( a reiterable signi(ying #ra'ti'e and, hen'e, o#en to resigni(i'ationB signi(ying in ways and in #la'es that e3'eed its #ro#er stru'tural #la'e within the La'anian sy,boli' and 'ontest the ne'essity o( that #la'e) 2( the #hallus is a #ri+ileged signi(ier, it gains that #ri+ilege through being reiterated) *nd i( the 'ultural 'onstru'tion o( se3uality 'o,#ells a re#etition o( that signi(ier, there is ne+ertheless in the +ery (or'e o( re#etition, understood as resigni(i'ation or re'ir'ulation, the #ossibility o( de#ri+ileging that signi(ier) 2( what 'o,es to signi(y under the sign o( the #hallus are a nu,ber of body #arts, dis'ursi+e #er(or,ati+es, alternati+e (etishes, to na,e a (ew, then the sy,boli' #osition o( Dha+ingD has been dislodged (ro, the #enis as its #ri+ileged anato,i'al 4or non-anato,i'al5 o''asion) :he #hantas,ati' ,o,ent in whi'h a #art suddenly stands (or and #rodu'es a sense o( the whole or is (igured as the 'enter o( 'ontrol, in whi'h a 'ertain kind o( D#halli'D deter,ination is ,ade by +irtue o( whi'h ,eaning a##ears radi'ally generated, unders'ores the +ery #lasti'ity o( the #hallus, the way in whi'h it e3'eeds the stru'tural #la'e to whi'h it has been 'onsigned by the La'anian s'he,e, the way in whi'h that stru'ture, to re,ain a stru'ture, has to be reiter#ted and, as reiterable, be'o,es o#en to +ariation and #lasti'ity) 3" Chen the #hallus is lesbian, then it is and is not a ,as'ulinist (igure o( #owerG the signi(ier is signi(i'antly s#lit, (or it both re'alls and dis#la'es the ,as'ulinis, by whi'h it is i,#elled) *nd inso(ar as it o#erates at the site o( anato,y, the #hallus 4re5#rodu'es the s#e'tre o( the #enis only to ena't its +anishing, to reiterate and e3#loit its #er#etual +anishing as the +ery o''asion o( the #hallus) :his o#ens u# anato,y8and se3ual di((eren'e itsel(8as a site o( #roli(erati+e resig-ni(i'ations)

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2n a sense, the #hallus as 2 o((er it here is both o''asioned by La'an and e3'eeds the #ur+iew o( that (or, o( heterose3ist stru'turalis,) 2t is not enough to 'lai, that the signi(ier is not the sa,e as the sign(ied 4#hallus1#enis5, i( both ter,s are ne+ertheless bound to ea'h other by an essential relation in whi'h that di((eren'e is 'ontained) :he o((ering o( the lesbian #hallus suggests that the signi(ier 'an 'o,e to signi(y in excess o( its stru'turally ,andated #ositionG indeed, the signi(ier 'an be re#eated in 'onte3ts and relations that 'o,e to dis(l#ce t*e #ri+ileged status o( that signi(ier- :he Dstru'tureD by whi'h the #hallus signi(ies the #enis as its #ri+ileged o''asion e3ists only through being instituted and reiterated and, by +irtue o( that te,#orali.ation, is unstable and o#en to sub+ersi+e re#etition) Aoreo+er, i( the #hallus sy,boli.es only through taking anato,y as its o''asion, then the ,ore +arious and unanti'i#ated the anato,i'al 4and non-anato,i'al5 o''asions (or its sy,boli.ation the ,ore unstable that signi(ier be'o,es) 2n other words, the #hallus has no e3isten'e se#arable (ro, the o''asions o( its sy,boli.ationG it 'annot sy,boli.e without its o''asion) ;en'e, the lesbian #hallus o((ers the o''asion 4a set o( o''asions5 (or the #hallus to signi(y di((erently, and in so signi(ying, to resigni(y, unwittingly, its own ,as'ulinist and heterose3ist #ri+ilege) :he notion o( the bodily ego in Freud and that o( the #roFe'ti+e ideali.ation o( the body in La'an suggest that the +ery 'ontours o( the body, the deli,itations o( anato,y, are in #art the 'onseJuen'e o( an e3ternali.ed identi(i'ation) :hat identi(i'atory #ro'ess is itsel( ,oti+ated by a trans(igurati+e wish) *nd that wish(ulness #ro#er to all ,or#hogenesis is itsel( #re#ared and stru'tured by a 'ulturally 'o,#le3 signi(ying 'hain that not only 'onstitutes se3uality, but establishes se3uality as a site where bodies and anato,ies are #er#etually re'onstituted) 2( these 'entral identi(i'ations 'annot be stri'tly regulated, then the do,ain o( the i,aginary in whi'h the body is #artially 'onstituted is ,arked by a 'onstituti+e +a'illation) :he anato,i'al is only Dgi+enD through its signi(i'ation, and yet it a##ears to e3'eed that signi(i'ation, to #ro+ide the elusi+e re(erent in relation to whi'h the +ariability o( signi(i'ation #er(or,s) *lways already 'aught u# in the signi(ying 'hain by whi'h se3ual di((eren'e is negotiated, the anato,i'al is ne+er gi+en outside its ter,s, and yet it is also that whi'h e3'eeds and 'o,#els that signi(ying 'hain, that reiteration di((eren'e, an insistent and ine3haustible de,and)

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2( the heterose3uali.ation o( identi(i'ation and ,or#hogenesis is histori'ally 'ontingent, howe+er hege,oni', then identi(i'ations, whi'h are always already i,aginary, as they 'ross gender boundaries, reinstitute se3ed bodies in +ariable ways) 2n 'rossing these boundaries, su'h ,or#hogeneti' identi(i'ations re'on(igure the ,a##ing o( se3ual di((eren'e itsel() :he bodily ego #rodu'ed through identi(i'ation is not 'i'etic#Hy related to a #ree3isting biologi'al or anato,i'al body 4that (or,er body 'ould only be'o,e a+ailable through the i,aginary s'he,a 2 a, #ro#osing here, so that we would be i,,ediately 'aught u# in an in(inite regress or +i'ious 'ir'le5) :he body in the ,irror does not re#resent a body that is, as it were, be(ore the ,irrorB the ,irror, e+en as it is instigated by that unre#resentable body Dbe(oreD the ,irror, #rodu'es that body as its delirious e((e't8a deliriu,, by the way, whi'h we are 'o,#elled to li+e) 2n this sense, to s#eak o( the lesbian #hallus as a #ossible site o( desire is not to re(er to an i'#%in#ry identi(i'ation and1or desire that 'an be ,easured against a re#l oneG on the 'ontrary, it is si,#ly to #ro,ote an alternati+e i'#%in#ry to a hege,oni' i,aginary and to show, through that assertion, the ways in whi'h the hege,oni' i,aginary 'onstitutes itsel( through the naturali.ation o( an e3'lusionary heterose3ual ,or#hology) 2n this sense, it is i,#ortant to note that it is the lesbian (*#llus and not the (enis that is 'onsidered here) For what is needed is not a new body #art, as it were, but a dis#la'e,ent o( the hege,oni' sy,boli' o( 4heterose3ist5 se3ual di((eren'e and the 'riti'al release o( alternati+e i,aginary s'he,as (or 'onstituting sites o( erotogeni' #leasure)

3
PHANTASMATIC IDENTIFICATION AND THE ASSUMPTION OF SE& ;ow does it ha##en that the hu,an subFe't ,akes hi,sel( Ssi'R into an obFe't o( #ossible knowledge, through what (or,s o( rationality, through what histori'al ne'essities, and at what #ri'eK Ay Juestion is thisB ;ow ,u'h does it 'ost the subFe't to be able to tell the truth about itsel(K 8Ai'hel Fou'ault, D;ow Au'h /oes 2t !ost to :ell the :ruthKD Chen one asks whether or not se3ual identities are 'onstru'ted, a ,ore or less ta'it set o( Juestions is i,#li'itly raisedB 2s se3uality so highly 'onstrained (ro, the start that it ought to be 'on'ei+ed as (i3edK 2( se3uality is so 'onstrained (ro, the start, does it not 'onstitute a kind o( essentialis, at the le+el o( identityK *t stake is a way to des'ribe this dee#er and #erha#s irre'o+erable sense o( constitutedness #nd constr#int in the (a'e o( whi'h the notions o( D'hoi'eD or D(ree #layD a##ear not only (oreign, but unthinkable and so,eti,es e+en 'ruel) :he 'onstru'ted 'hara'ter o( se3uality has been in+oked to 'ounter the 'lai, that se3uality has a natural and nor,ati+e sha#e and ,o+e,ent, that is, one whi'h a##ro3i,ates the nor,ati+e #hantas, o( a 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality) :he e((orts to denaturali.e se3uality and gender ha+e taken as their ,ain ene,y those nor,ati+e (ra,eworks o( 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality that o#erate through the naturali.ation and rei(i'ation o( heterose3ist nor,s) But is there a risk in the a((ir,ation o( den#tur#li+#tion as a strategyK :he turn to #hylogeneti' essentialis, a,ong so,e gay theorists ,arks a desire to take a''ount o( a do,ain o( 'onstituti+e 'onstraints, a do,ain that the dis'ourse on denaturali.ation has a##eared in #art to o+erlook) 2n this 'ha#ter, 2 will try to lo'ate the sense o( 'onstraint in se3uality in ter,s o( the logi' o( re#udiation by whi'h the nor,ali.ation o( 4hetero5se3uality is instituted) 2n the ne3t 'ha#ter, DGender 2s Burning,D 2 will 'onsider the li,its o( denaturali.ation as a 'riti'al strategy) 2t ,ay be use(ul to shi(t the ter,s o( the debate (ro, 'onstru'ti+is,

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+ersus essentialis, to the ,ore 'o,#le3 Juestion o( how Ddee#-seatedD or 'onstituti+e 'onstraints 'an be #osed in ter,s o( sy,boli' li,its i their intra'tability and 'ontestability) Chat has been understood as the #er(or,ati+ity o( gender8(ar (ro, the e3er'ise o( an un'onstrained +oluntaris,8will #ro+e to be i,#ossible a#art (ro, notions o( su'h #oliti'al 'onstraints registered #sy'hi'ally) 2t ,ay well be use(ul to se#arate the notion o( 'onstraints or li,its (ro, the ,eta#hysi'al endea+or to ground those 'onstraints in a biologi'al or #sy'hologi'al essentialis,) :his latter e((ort seeks to establish a 'ertain D#roo( o( 'onstraint o+er and against a 'onstru'ti+is, whi'h is illogi'ally identi(ied with +oluntaris, and (ree #lay) :hose essentialist #ositions whi'h seek re'ourse to a se3ual nature or to a #re'ultural stru'turing o( se3uality in order to se'ure a ,eta#hysi- 'al site or 'ause (or this sense o( 'onstraint be'o,e highly 'ontestable e+en on their own ter,s)1 &u'h e((orts to unders'ore the (i3ed and 'onstrained 'hara'ter o( se3uality, howe+er, need to be read 'are(ully, es#e'ially by those who ha+e insisted on the 'onstru'ted status o( se3uality) For se3uality 'annot be su,,arily ,ade or un,ade, and it would be a ,istake to asso'iate D'onstru'ti+is,D with Dthe (reedo, o( a subFe't to (or, her1his se3uality as s1he #leases)D * 'onstru'tion is, a(ter all, not the sa,e as an arti(i'e) @n the 'ontrary, 'onstru'ti+is, needs to take a''ount o( the do,ain o( 'onstraints without whi'h a 'ertain li+ing and desiring being 'annot ,ake its way) *nd e+ery su'h being is 'onstrained by not only what is di((i'ult to i,agine, but what re,ains radi'ally unthinkableB in the do,ain o( se3uality these 'onstraints in'lude the radi'al unthinkability o( desiring otherwise, the radi'al unendurability o( desiring otherwise, the absen'e o( 'ertain desires, the re#etiti+e 'o,#ulsion o( others, the abiding re#udiation o( so,e se3ual #ossibilities, #ani', obsessional #ull, and the ne3us o( se3uality and #ain) :here is a tenden'y to think that se3uality is either 'onstru'ted or deter,inedG to think that i( it is 'onstru'ted, it is in so,e sense (ree, and i( it is deter,ined, it is in so,e sense (i3ed) :hese o##ositions do not des'ribe the 'o,#le3ity o( what is at stake in any e((ort to take a''ount o( the 'onditions under whi'h se3 and se3uality are assu,ed) :he D#er(or,ati+eD di,ension o( 'onstru'tion is #re'isely the (or'ed reiteration o( nor,s) 2n this sense, then, it is not only that there are 'onstraints to #er(or,ati+ityG rather, 'onstraint 'alls to be rethought as the +ery 'ondition

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o( #er(or,ati+ity) Per(or,ati+ity is neither (ree #lay nor theatri'al sel(#resentationG nor 'an it be si,#ly eJuated with #er(or,an'e) Aoreo+er, 'onstraint is not ne'essarily that whi'h sets a li,it to #er(or,ati+ityG 'onstraint is, rather, that whi'h i,#els and sustains #er(or,ati+ity) ;ere, at the risk o( re#eating ,ysel(, 2 would suggest that #er(or,ati+ity 'annot be understood outside o( a #ro'ess o( iterability, a regulari.ed and 'onstrained re#etition o( nor,s) *nd this re#etition is not #er(or,ed f# a subFe'tG this re#etition is what enables a subFe't and 'onstitutes the te,#oral 'ondition (or the subFe't) :his iterability i,#lies that D#er(or,an'eEE is not a singular Da'tD or e+ent, but a rituali.ed #rodu'tion, a ritual reiterated under and through 'onstraint, under and through the (or'e o( #rohibition and taboo, with the threat o( ostra'is, and e+en death 'ontrolling and 'o,#elling the sha#e o( the #rodu'tion, but not, 2 will insist, deter,ining it (ully in ad+an'e) ;ow are we to think through this notion o( #er(or,ati+ity as it relates to #rohibitions that e((e'ti+ely generate san'tioned and unsan'tioned se3ual #ra'ti'es and arrange,entsK 2n #arti'ular, how do we #ursue the Juestion o( se3uality and the law, where the law is not only that whi'h re#resses se3uality, but a #rohibition that %ener#tes se3uality or, at least, 'o,#els its dire'tionalityK Gi+en that there is no se3uality outside o( #ower, and that #ower in its #rodu'ti+e ,ode is ne+er (ully (ree (ro, regulation, how 'an regulation itsel( be 'onstrued as a #rodu'ti+e or generati+e 'onstraint on se3ualityK &#e'i(i'ally, how does the 'a#a'ity o( the law to #rodu'e and 'onstrain at on'e #lay itsel( out in the se'uring (or e+ery body a se3, a se3ed #osition within language, a se3ed #osition whi'h is in so,e sense #resu,ed by any body who 'o,es to s#eak as a subFe't, an D2,D one who is 'onstituted through the a't o( taking its se3ed #la'e within a language that insistently (or'es the Juestion o( se3K
IDENTIFICATION. PROHIB/ON. AND THE INSTABILIT" OF *POSITIONS*

:he introdu'tion o( a #sy'hoanalyti' dis'ourse on se3ual di((eren'e, and the turn the work o( 0a'Jues La'an by (e,inists, has been in #art an e((ort to reassert the kinds o( sy,boli' 'onstraints under whi'h be'o,ing Dse3edD o''urs) @+er and against those who argued that se3 is a si,#le Juestion o( anato,y, La'an ,aintained that se3 is a sy,boli' #osition

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that one assu,es under the threat o( #unish,ent, that is, a #osition one is 'onstrained to assu,e, where those 'onstraints are o#erati+e in the +ery stru'ture o( language and, hen'e, in the 'onstituti+e relations o( 'ultural li(e) &o,e (e,inists ha+e turned to La'an in an e((ort to te,#er a 'ertain kind o( uto#ianis, that held that the radi'al reorgani.ation o( kinshi# relations 'ould i,#ly the radi'al reorgani.ation o( the #sy'he, se3uality, and desire) :he sy,boli' do,ain whi'h 'o,#elled the assu,#tion o( a se3ed #osition within language was held to be ,ore (unda,ental than any s#e'i(i' organi.ation o( kinshi#) &o that one ,ight rearrange kinshi# relations outside o( the (a,ily s'ene, but still dis'o+er oneEs se3uality to be 'onstru'ted through ,ore dee#-seated 'onstraining and 'onstituti+e sy,boli' de,ands) Chat are these de,andsK *re they #rior to the so'ial, to kinshi#, to #oliti'sK 2( they do o#erate as 'onstraints, are they (or that reason (i3edK 2 #ro#ose to 'onsider the sy,boli' de,and to assu,e a se3ed #osition and what is i,#lied by that de,and) *lthough this 'ha#ter will not 'onsider the (ull do,ain o( 'onstraints on se3 and se3uality 4a li,idess task5, it does #ro#ose in a general way to take a''ount o( 'onstraints as the li,its o( what 'an and 'annot be 'onstru'ted) 2n the oedi#al s'enario, the sy,boli' de,and that institutes Dse3D is a''o,#anied by the threat o( #unish,ent !astration is the (igure (or #unish,ent, the (ear o( 'astration ,oti+ating the assu,#tion o( the ,as'uline se3, the (ear o( not being 'as trated ,oti+ating the assu,#tion o( the (e,inine) 2,#li'it in the (igure o( 'astration, whi'h o#erates di((erentially to 'onstitute the 'onstraining (or'e o( gendered #unish,ent, are at least two inarti'ulate (igures o( abFe't ho,ose3uality, the (e,ini.ed (ag and the #halli'i.ed dykeG the La'anian s'he,e #resu,es that the terror o+er o''u#ying either o( these #ositions is what 'o,#els the assu,#tion o( a se3ed #osition within language, a se3ed #osition that is se3ed by +irtue o( its heterose3ual #osi tioning, and that is assu,ed through a ,o+e that e3'ludes and abFe'ts gay and lesbian #ossibilities) :he #oint o( this analysis is not to a((ir, the 'onstraints under whi'h se3ed #ositions are assu,ed, but to ask how the (i3ity o( su'h 'onstraints is established, what se3ual 4i,5#ossibiliries ha+e ser+ed as the 'onstituti+e 'onstraints o( se3ed #ositionality, and what #ossibilities of reworking those 'onstraints arise (ro, within its own ter,s) 2( to assu,e a se3ed #osition is to identi(y with a #osition ,arked out within the sy,boli'

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do,ain, and i( to identi(y in+ol+es (antasi.ing the #ossibility o( a##ro3i,ating that sy,boli' site, then the heterose3ist 'onstraint that 'o,#els the assu,#tion o( se3 o#erates through the regulation o( #hantas,ati' identi(i'ation)9 :he oedi#al s'enario de#ends (or its li+elihood on the threatening #ower o( its threat, on the resistan'e to identi(i'ation with ,as'uline (e,ini.ation and (e,inine #halli'i.ation) But what ha##ens i( the law that de#loys the s#e'tral (igure o( abFe't ho,ose3uality as a threat be'o,es itsel( an inad+ertent site o( eroti'i.ationK 2( the taboo be'o,es eroti'i.ed #re'isely (or the transgressi+e sites that it #rodu'es, what ha##ens to oedi#us, to se3ed #ositionality, to the (ast distin'tion between an i,aginary or (antasi.ed identi(i'ation and those so'ial and linguisti' #ositions o( intelligible Dse3D ,andated by the sy,boli' lawK /oes the re(usal to 'on'ur with the abFe'tion o( ho,ose3uality ne'essitate a 'riti'al rethinking o( the #sy'hoanalyti' e'ono,y o( se3K :hree 'riti'al #oints ,ust (irst be ,ade about the 'ategory o( se3 and the notion o( se3ual di((eren'e in La'an) First, the use o( Dse3ual di((eren'eD to denote a relation si,ultaneously anato,i'al and linguisti' i,#li'ates La'an in a tautologi'al bind) &e'ond, another tautology a##ears when he 'lai,s that the subFe't e,erges only as a 'onseJuen'e o( se3 and se3ual di((eren'e, and yet insists that the subFe't ,ust a''o,#lish and assu,e its se3ed #osition within language) :hird, the La'anian +ersion o( se3 and se3ual di((eren'e i,#li'ates his des'ri#tions o( anato,y and de+elo#,ent in an une3a,ined (ra,ework o( nor,ati+e heterose3uality) *s (or the 'lai, that La'an o((ers a tautologi'al a''ount o( the 'ategory o( Dse3,D one ,ight well re#ly that of course that is trueG indeed, that tautology 'onstitutes the +ery s'ene o( a ne'essary redoubling in whi'h se3D is assu,ed) @n the one hand, the 'ategory o( se3 is assu,edG there are se3ed #ositions that #ersist within a sy,boli' do,ain whi'h #ree3ist their a##ro#riation by indi+iduals and 'annot be redu'ed to the +arious ,o,ents in whi'h the sy,boli' subFe'ts and subFe'ti+ates indi+idual bodies a''ording to se3) @n the other hand, the 'ategory o( se3 is #resu,ed already to ha+e ,arked that indi+idual body whi'h is, as it were, deli+ered u# to the sy,boli' law to re'ei+e its ,ark) ;en'e, Dse3D is that whi'h ,arks the body #rior to its ,ark, staging in ad+an'e whi'h sy,boli' #osition will ,ark it, and it is this latter D,arkD whi'h a##ears to #ostdate the body, retroa'ti+ely attributing a se3ual #osition to a body) :his ,ark and #osition 'onstitute that sy,boli' 'ondition through whi'h the body

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be'o,es signi(iable at all) But here there are at least two 'on'e#tual knotsB (irst, the body is ,arked by se3, but the body is ,arked #rior to that ,ark, (or it is the (irst ,ark that #re#ares the body (or the se'ond one, and, se'ond, the body is only signi(iable, only o''urs as that whi'h 'an be signi(ied within language, by being ,arked in this se'ond sense) :his ,eans that any re'ourse to the body be(ore the sy,boli' 'an take #la'e only within the sy,boli', whi'h see,s to i,#ly that there is no body #rior to its ,arking) 2( this last i,#li'ation is a''e#ted, we 'an ne+er tell a story about how it is that a body 'o,es to be ,arked by the 'ategory o( se3, (or the body be(ore the ,ark is 'onstituted as signi(iable only t*rou%* the ,ark) @r, rather, any story we ,ight tell about su'h a body ,aking its way toward the ,arker o( se3 will be a (i'tional one, e+en i(, #erha#s, a ne'essary (i'tion) For La'an, se3ual desire is initiated through the (or'e o( #rohibition) 2ndeed, desire is ,arked o(( (ro, )ouiss#nce #re'isely through the ,ark o( the law) /esire tra+els along ,etony,i' routes, through a logi' o( dis#la'e,ent, i,#elled and thwarted by the i,#ossible (antasy o( re'o+ering a (ull #leasure be(ore the ad+ent o( the law) :his return to that site o( #hantas,ati' abundan'e 'annot take #la'e without risking #sy'hosis) But what is this #sy'hosisK *nd how is it (iguredK Psy'hosis a##ears not only as the #ros#e't o( losing the status o( a subFe't and, hen'e, o( li(e within language, but as the terrori.ing s#e'tre o( 'o,ing under an unbearable 'ensor, a death senten'e o( sorts) :he breaking o( 'ertain taboos brings on the s#e'tre o( #sy'hosis, but to what e3tent 'an we understand D#sy'hosisD as relati+e to the +ery #rohibitions that guard against itK 2n other words, what #re'ise 'ultural #ossibilities threaten the subFe't with a #sy'hoti' dissolution, ,arking the boundaries o( li+able beingK :o what e3tent is the (antasy o( #sy'hoti' dissolution itsel( the e((e't o( a 'ertain #rohibition against those se3ual #ossibilities whi'h abrogate the heterose3ual 'ontra'tK %nder what 'ondi tions and under the sway o( what regulatory s'he,es does ho,ose3uality itsel( a##ear as the li+ing #ros#e't o( deathK 0 :o what e3tent do de+iations (ro, oedi#ali.ed identi(i'ations 'all into Juestion the stru'tural stasis o( se3ual binaris,s and their relation to #sy'hosisK Chat ha##ens when the #ri,ary #rohibitions against in'est #rodu'e dis#la'e,ents and substitutions whi'h do not 'on(or, to the ,odels outlined abo+eK 2ndeed, a wo,an ,ay (ind the #hantas,ati' re,ainder o(

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her (ather in another wo,an or substitute her desire (or her ,other in a ,an, at whi'h #oint a 'ertain 'rossing o( heterose3ual and ho,ose3ual desires o#erates at on'e) 2( we grant the #sy'hoanalyti' #resu,#tion that #ri,ary #rohibitions not only #rodu'e de(le'tions o( se3ual desire but 'onsolidate a #sy'hi' sense o( Dse3D and se3ual di((eren'e, then it a##ears to (ollow that the 'oherently heterose3uali.ed de(le'tions reJuire that identi(i'ations be e((e'ted on the basis o( si,ilarly se3ed bodies and that desire be de(le'ted a'ross the se3ual di+ide to ,e,bers o( the o##osite se3 But i( a ,an 'an identi(y with his ,other, and #rodu'e desire (ro, that identi(i'ation 4a 'o,#li'ated #ro'ess, no doubt, that 2 'annot Fustly delineate here5, he has already 'on(ounded the #sy'hi' des'ri#tion o( stable gender de+elo#,ent) *nd i( that sa,e ,an desires another ,an, or a wo,an, is his desire ho,ose3ual, heterose3ual, or e+en lesbianK *nd what is to restri't any gi+en indi+idual to a single identi(i'ationK 2denti(i'ations are ,ulti#le and 'ontestatory, and it ,ay be that we desire ,ost strongly those indi+iduals who re(le't in a dense or saturated way the #ossibilities o( ,ulti#le and si,ultaneous substitutions, where a substitution engages a (antasy o( re'o+ering a #ri,ary obFe't o( a lo+e lost8and #rodu'ed8 through #rohibition) 2nso(ar as a nu,ber o( su'h (antasies 'an 'o,e to 'onstitute and saturate a site o( desire, it (ollows that we are not in the #osition o( eit*er identi(ying with a gi+en se3 or desiring so,eone else o( that se3G indeed, we are not, ,ore generally, in a #osition o( (inding identi(i'ation and desire to be ,utually e3'lusi+e #heno,ena) @( 'ourse, 2 use the gra,,ar o( an D2D or a DweD as i( these subFe'ts #re'ede and a'ti+ate their +arious identi(i'ations, but this is a gra,,ati'al (i'tion8one 2 a, willing to use e+en though it runs the risk o( en(or'ing an inter#retation 'ounter to the one that 2 want to ,ake) For there is no DF #rior to its assu,#tion o( se3, and no assu,#tion that is not at on'e an i,#ossible yet ne'essary identi(i'ation) *nd yet, 2 use the gra,,ar that denies this te,#orality8as 2 a, doubtless used by it8only be'ause 2 'annot (ind in ,ysel( a desire to re#li'ate too 'losely La'anEs so,eti,es tortured #rose 4,y own is di((i'ult enough5) :o identi(y is not to o##ose desire) 2denti(i'ation is a #hantas,ati' traFe'tory and resolution o( desireG an assu,#tion o( #la'eG a territoriali.ing o( an obFe't whi'h enables identity through the te,#orary resolution o( desire, but whi'h re,ains desire, i( only in its re#udiated (or,) Ay re(eren'e to ,ulti#le identi(i'ation does not ,ean to suggest that

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e+eryone is 'o,#elled by being or ha+ing su'h identi(i'atory (luidity) &e3uality is as ,u'h ,oti+ated by the (antasy o( retrie+ing #rohibited obFe'ts as by the desire to re,ain #rote'ted (ro, the threat o( #unish,ent that su'h a retrie+al ,ight bring on) 2n La'anEs work, this threat is sually designated as the Na,e o( the Father, that is, the (atherEs law as it deter,ines a##ro#riate kinshi# relations whi'h in'lude a##ro#riate and ,utually e3'lusi+e lines o( identi(i'ation and desire) Chen the threat o( #unish,ent wielded by that #rohibition is too great, it ,ay be that we desire so,eone who will kee# us (ro, e+er seeing the desire (or whi'h we are #unishable, and in atta'hing oursel+es to that #erson, it ,ay be that we e((e'ti+ely #unish oursel+es in ad+an'e and, indeed, generate desire in and through and (or that sel(-#unish,ent)

@r it ,ay be that 'ertain identi(i'ations and a((iliations are ,ade 'ertain sy,#atheti' 'onne'tions a,#li(ied, #re'isely in order to institute a disidenti(i'ation with a #osition that see,s too saturated with inFury or aggression, one that ,ight, as a 'onseJuen'e, be o''u#iable only through i,agining the loss o( +iable identity altogether) ;en'e, the #e'uliar logi' in the sy,#atheti' gesture by whi'h one obFe'ts to an inFury done to another to de(le't attention (ro, an inFury done to onesel(, a gesture that then be'o,es the +ehi'le o( dis#la'e,ent by whi'h one (eels (or onesel( t*rou%* #nd #s t*e ot*er 2nhibited (ro, #etitioning the inFury in oneEs own na,e 4(or (ear o( being (urther stee#ed in that +ery abFe'tion and1or laun'hed in(eli'itously into rage5, one ,akes the #etition in the na,e o( another, #erha#s going as (ar as denoun'ing those who would turn the tables and ,ake the 'lai, (or onesel() 2( this Daltruis,D 'onstitutes the dis#la'e,ent o( nar'issis, or sel(-lo+e, then the e3terior site o( identi(i'ation ine+itably be'o,es saturated with the resent,ent that a''o,#anies the e3#ro#riation, the loss o( nar'issis,) :his a''ounts (or the a,bi+alen'e at the heart o( #oliti'al (or,s o( altruis,) 2denti(i'ations, then, 'an ward o(( 'ertain desires or a't as +ehi'les (or desireG in order to (a'ilitate 'ertain desires, it ,ay be ne'essary to ward o(( othersB identi(i'ation is the site at whi'h this a,bi+alent #rohibition and #rodu'tion o( desire o''urs) 2( to assu,e a se3 is in so,e sense an Didenti(i'ation,D then it see,s that identi(i'ation is a site at whi'h #rohibition and de(le'tion are insistently negotiated) :o identi(y with a se3 is to stand in so,e relation to an i,aginary threat, i,aginary and (or'e(ul,) (or'e(ul #re'isely be'ause it is i,aginary)

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2n D:he &igni(i'ation o( the Phallus,D a(ter an aside on 'astration, La'an re,arks that ,an 9"ensc*6 is 'on(ronted with an antino,y internal to the assu,#tion o( his se3) *nd then he o((ers a JuestionB DChy ,ust he take u# its Sse3EsR attributes only by ,eans o( a threat, or e+en in the guise o( a #ri+ationKD 4Rose, ?65)" :he sy,boli' ,arks the body by se3 through threatening that body, through the de#loy,ent1#rodu'tion o( an i,aginary threat, a 'astration, a #ri+ation o( so,e bodily #artB this ,ust be the ,as'uline body that will lose the ,e,ber it re(uses to sub,it to the sy,boli' ins'ri#tionG without sy,boli' ins'ri#tion, that body will be negated) *nd so, to who, is this threat deli+eredK :here ,ust be a body tre,bling be(ore the law, a body whose (ear 'an be 'o,#elled by the law, a law that #rodu'es the tre,bling body #re#ared (or its ins'ri#tion, a law that ,arks the body first with (ear only then to ,ark it again with the sy,boli' sta,# o( se3) :o assu,e the law, to a''ede to the law is to #rodu'e an i,aginary align,ent with the se3ual #osition ,arked out by the sy,boli', but also always to (ail to a##ro3i,ate that #osition, and to (eel the distan'e between that i,aginary identi(i'ation and the sy,boli' as the threat o( #unish,ent, the (ailure to 'on(or,, the s#e'tre o( abFe'tion) 2t is said, o( 'ourse, that wo,en are always already #unished, 'astrated, and that their relation to the #halli' nor, will be #enis en+y) *nd this ,ust ha+e ha##ened (irst, sin'e ,en are said to look o+er and see this (igure o( 'astration and (ear any identi(i'ation there) Be'o,ing like her, be'o,ing her, that is the (ear o( 'astration and, hen'e, the (ear o( (alling into #enis en+y as well) :he sy,boli' #osition that ,arks a se3 as ,as'uline is one through whi'h the ,as'uline se3 is said to Dha+eD the #hallusG it is one that 'o,#els through the threat o( #unish,ent, that is, the threat of (e,ini.ation, an i,aginary and, hen'e, inadeJuate identi(i'ation) ;en'e, there is then (resu((osed in the i,aginary ,as'uline e((ort to identi(y with this #osition o( ha+ing the #hallus, a 'ertain ine+itable (ailure, a (ailure to ha+e and a yearning to ha+e a #enis en+y whi'h is not the o((osite of t*e (ear o( 'astration, but its very (resu((osition !astration 'ould not be (eared i( the #hallus were not already deta'hable, already elsewhere, already dis#ossessedG it is not si,#ly the s#e'tre that it will be'o,e lost that 'onstitutes the obsessi+e #reo''u#ation o( 'astration an3iety) .t is t*e s(ectre of
t*e reco%nition t*#t it ,#s #l,#ys #lre#dy lost, t*e v#n=uis*in% of t*e f#nt#sy t*#t it 'i%*t ever *#ve been (ossessed 8t*e loss of nost#l%i# s referent 2( the #hallus

e3'eeds e+ery e((ort to identi(y with it, then this (ailure to a##ro3i,ate

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the #hallus 'onstitutes the ne'essary relation o( the i,aginary to the #hallus 2n this sense, the #hallus is always already lost, and the (ear o( 'astration is a (ear that #hantas,ati' identi(i'ation will 'ollide with and dissol+e against the sy,boli', a (ear o( the re'ognition that there 'an be no (inal obedien'e to that sy,boli' #ower, and this ,ust be a re'ognition that, in so,e already o#erati+e way, one already has ,ade) :he sy,boli' ,arks a body as (e,inine through the ,ark o( #ri+ation and 'astration, but 'an it 'o,#el that a''ession to 'astration through the threat o( #unish,entK 2( 'astration is the +ery (igure (or the #unish,ent with whi'h the ,as'uline subFe't is threatened, it see,s that assu,ing the (e,inine #osition is not only 'o,#elled by the threat o( #unish,ent 4her (ate is a##arendy the alternati+e that (ollows the disFun'ti+e Dor,D but the Fren'h D+oireD is less o##ositional than e,#hati', better translated as De+enD or DindeedD5) :he (e,inine #osition is 'onstituted as the (igural ena't,ent o( that #unish,ent, the +ery (iguration o( that threat and, hen'e, is #rodu'ed as a la'k only in relation to the ,as'uline subFe't) :o assu,e the (e,inine #osition is to take u# the (igure o( 'astration or, at least, to negotiate a relation to it, sy,boli.ing at on'e the threat to the ,as'uline #osition as well as the guarantee that the ,as'uline DhasD the #hallus) Pre'isely be'ause the guarantee 'an be relinJuished (or the threat o( 'astration, the (e,inine #osition ,ust be taken u# in its reassuring ,ode) :his Didenti(i'ationD is thus re(e#tedly #rodu'ed, and in the de,and that the identi(i'ation be reiter#ted #ersists the #ossibility, the threat, that it will f#il to re#eat) But how, then, is the assu,#tion o( (e,inine 'astration 'o,#elledK Chat ser+es as a #unish,ent (or the one who re(uses to a''ede to #unish,entK Ce ,ight e3#e't that this re(usal or resistan'e would be (igured as a #unishable #halli'is,) :he (ailure to a##ro3i,ate the sy,boli' #osition o( the (e,inine8a (ailure that would 'hara'teri.e any i,aginary e((ort to identi(y with the sy,boli'8would be 'onstrued as a (ailure to sub,it to 'astration and to e((e't the ne'essary identi(i'ation with the 4'astrated5 ,other and, through that identi(i'ation, to #rodu'e a dis#la'ed +ersion o( the 4i,aginary5 (ather to desire) :he (ailure to sub,it to 'astration a##ears 'a#able o( #rodu'ing only its o##osite, the s#e'tral (igure o( the 'astrator with ;olo#hernesEs head in hand) :his (igure o( e3'essi+e #halli'is,, ty#i(ied by the #halli' ,other, is de+ouring and destru'ti+e, the negati+e (ate o( the #hallus when atta'hed to the (e,inine #osition) &igni(i'ant in its

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,isogyny, this 'onstru'tion suggests that Dha+ing the #hallusD is ,u'h ,ore destru'ti+e as a (e,inine o#eration than as a ,as'uline one, a 'lai, that sy,#to,ati.es the dis#la'e,ent o( #halli' destru'ti+eness and i,#lies that there is no other way (or wo,en to assu,e the #hallus e3'e#t in its ,ost killing ,odalities) :he DthreatD that 'o,#els the assu,#tion o( ,as'uline and (e,inine attributes is, (or the (or,erG a des'ent into (e,inine 'astration and abFe'tion and, (or the latter, the ,onstrous as'ent into #halli'is,) *re both o( these (igures o( hell, (igures whi'h 'onstitute the state o( #unish,ent threatened by the law, in #art (igures o( ho,ose3ual abFe'tion, a gendered a(terli(eK :he (e,ini.ed D(agD and the #halli'i.ed DdykeDK *nd are these undelin-eated (igures the stru'turing absen'es o( sy,boli' de,andK 2( a ,an re(uses too radi'ally the Dha+ing o( the #hallus,D he will be #unished with ho,ose3uality, and i( a wo,an re(uses too radi'ally her #osition as 'astration, she will be #unished with ho,ose3uality) ;ere the se3ed #ositions that are said to inhere in language are stabili.ed through a hierar'hi.ed and di((erentiated s#e'ular relation 4he DhasDG she Dre(le'ts his ha+ingD and has the #ower to o((er or withdraw that guaranteeG there(ore, she DisD the #hallus, 'astrated, #otentially threatening 'astration5) :his s#e'ular relation, howe+er, is itsel( established through the e3'lusion and abFe'tion o( a do,ain o( relations in whi'h all the wrong identi(i'ations are #ursuedG ,en wishing to DbeD the #hallus (or other ,en, wo,en wishing to Dha+eD the #hallus (or other wo,en, wo,en wishing to DbeD the #hallus (or other wo,en, ,en wishing both to ha+e and to be the #hallus (or other ,en in a s'ene in whi'h the #hallus not only trans(ers between the ,odalities o( being and ha+ing, but between #artners within a +olatile 'ir'uit o( e3'hange, ,en wishing to DbeD the #hallus (or a wo,an who DhasD it, wo,en wishing to Dha+e itD (or a ,an who DisD it) *nd here it is i,#ortant to note that it is not only that the #hallus 'ir'ulates out o( line, but that it also 'an be an absent, indi((erent, or otherwise di,inished stru'turing #rin'i#le o( se3ual e3'hange) Further, 2 do not ,ean to suggest that there are only two (igures o( abFe'tion, the in+erted +ersions o( the heterose3uali.ed ,as'ulinity and (e,ininityG on the 'ontrary, these (igures o( abFe'tion, whi'h are inarti'ulate yet organi.ing (igures within the La'anian sy,boli', (ore'lose #re'isely the kind o( 'o,#le3 'rossings o( identi(i'ation and desire whi'h ,ight e3'eed and 'ontest the binary (ra,e itsel() 2ndeed, it is this range o( identi(i'atory

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'ontestation that is (ore'losed (ro, the binary (iguration o( nor,ali.ed heterose3uality and abFe'ted ho,ose3uality) :he binaris, o( (e,ini.ed ,ale ho,ose3uality, on the one hand, and ,as'ulini.ed (e,ale ho,ose3uality, on the other, is itsel( #rodu'ed as the restri'ti+e s#e'tre that 'onstitutes the de(ining li,its o( sy,boli' e3'hange) 2,#ortantly, these are s#e'tres #rodu'ed by that sy,boli' as its threatening outside to sa(eguard its 'ontinuing hege,ony) *ssu,ing the ,ark o( 'astration, a ,ark whi'h is a(ter all a la'k, a la'k whi'h designates absently the do,ain o( the (e,inine, 'an #re'i#itate a set o( 'rises that 'annot be #redi'ted by the sy,boli' s'he,e that #ur#orts to 'ir'u,s'ribe the,) 2( identi(i'ation with the sy,boli' #osition o( 'astration is bound to (ail, i( it 'an only (igure re#eatedly and +ainly a #hantas, ati' a##ro3i,ation o( that #osition and ne+er (ully bind itsel( to that de,and, then there is always so,e 'riti'al distan'e between what the law 'o,#els and the identi(i'ation that the (e,inine body o((ers u# as the token o( her loyalty to the law) :he body ,arked as (e,inine o''u#ies or inhabits its ,ark at a 'riti'al distan'e, with radi'al unease or with a #hantas, ati' and tenuous #leasure or with so,e ,i3ture o( an3iety and desire) 2( she is ,arked as 'astrated, she ,ust ne+ertheless #ssu'e that ,ark, where Dassu,#tionD 'ontains both the wish (or an identi(i'ation as well as its i,#ossibility) 6 For i( she ,ust assu,e, a''o,#lish, a''ede to her 'astration, there is at the start so,e f#ilure o( so'iali.ation here, so,e e3'essi+e o''urren'e o( that body outside and beyond its ,ark, in relation to that ,ark) 7 :here is so,e body to whi'h1to who, the threat or #unish,ent en'oded and ena'ted by the ,ark is addressed, in who, so,e (ear o( #unish,ent is insistently 'o,#elled, who is not yet or not e+er a (igure o( stri't 'o,#lian'e) 2ndeed, there is a body whi'h has (ailed to #er(or, its 'astration in a''ord with the sy,boli' law, so,e lo'us o( resistan'e, so,e way in whi'h the desire to ha+e the #hallus has not been renoun'ed and 'ontinues to #ersist) 2( this analysis in+ites the 'harge o( #enis en+y, it also (or'es a re'onsideration o( the unstable status o( identi(i'ation in any en+ious a'tB there is in the +ery stru'ture o( en+y the #ossibility o( an i,aginary identi(i'aoon, a 'rossing o+er into a Dha+ingD o( the #hallus that is both a'knowledged and blo'ked) *nd i( there is a law that ,ust 'o,#el a (e,inine identi(i'ation with a #osition o( 'astration, it a##ears that this law Dknows that identi(i'ation 'ould (un'tion di((erently, that a (e,inine e((ort to identity

PHANTASMATIC IDENTIFICATION

105

with Dha+ingD the #hallus 'ould resist its de,and, and that this #ossibility ,ust be renoun'ed) *lthough the (e,inine #osition is (igured as already 'astrated and, hen'e, subFe't to #enis en+y, it see,s that #enis en+y ,arks not only the ,as'uline relation to the sy,boli', but ,arks e+ery relation to the ha+ing o( the #hallus, that +ain stri+ing to a##ro3i,ate and #ossess what no one e+er 'an ha+e, but anyone so,eti,es 'an ha+e in the transient do,ain o( the i,aginary) But where or how does identi(i'ation o''urK Chen 'an we say with 'on(iden'e that an identi(i'ation has ha##enedK &igni(i'antly, it ne+er 'an be said to ha+e taken #la'eG identi(i'ation does not belong to the world o( e+ents) 2denti(i'ation is 'onstantly (igured as a desired e+ent or a''o,#lish,ent, but one whi'h (inally is ne+er a'hie+edG identi(i'ation is the #hantas,ati' staging o( the e+ent)? 2n this sense, identi(i'ations belong to the i,aginaryG they are #hantas,ati' e((orts o( align,ent, loyalty, a,biguous and 'ross-'or#oreal 'ohabitationG they unsettle the D2DG they are the sedi,entation o( the DweD in the 'onstitution o( any D2,D the stru'turing #resen'e o( alterity in the +ery (or,ulation o( the D2)D 2denti(i'ations are ne+er (ully and (inally ,adeG they are in'essantly re'onstituted and, as su'h, are subFe't to the +olatile logi' o( iterability) :hey are that whi'h is 'onstantly ,arshaled, 'onsolidated, retren'hed, 'ontested, and, on o''asion, 'o,#elled to gi+e way) :hat resist#nce is here linked only with the #ossibility o( f#ilure will be shown as the #oliti'al inadeJua'y o( this 'on'e#tion o( the law, (or the (or,ulation suggests that the law, the inFun'tion, that #rodu'es this (ailure 'annot itsel( be reworked or re'alled by +irtue o( the kind o( resistan'es that it generates) Chat is the status o( this law as a site o( #owerK %nderstood as a #hantas,ati' e((ort subFe't to the logi' o( iterability, an identi(i'ation always takes #la'e in relation to a law or, ,ore s#e'i(i'ally, a #rohibition that works through deli+ering a threat o( #unish,ent) :he law, understood here as the de,and and threat issued by and through the sy,boli', 'o,#els the sha#e and dire'tion o( se3uality through the instillation o( (ear) 2( identi(i'ation seeks to #rodu'e an ego, whi'h Freud insists is D(irst and (ore,ost a bodily ego,D in 'o,#lian'e with a sy,boli' #osition, then the f#ilure o( identi(i'atory #hantas,s 'onstitutes the site o( resistan'e to the law) But the (ailure or re(usal to reiterate the law does not in itsel( 'hange the stru'ture o( the de,and that the law ,akes) :he law 'ontinues to ,ake its de,and, but the (ailure to 'o,#ly with the law

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#rodu'es an instability in the ego at the le+el o( the i,aginary) /isobedien'e to the law be'o,es the #ro,ise o( the i,aginary and, in #arti'ular, o( the in'o,,ensurability o( the i,aginary with the sy,boli') But the law, the sy,boli', is le(t inta't, e+en as its authority to 'o,#el stri't 'o,#lian'e with the D#ositionsD it lays out is 'alled into Juestion) :his +ersion o( resistan'e has 'onstituted the #ro,ise o( #sy'hoanalysis to 'ontest stri'tly o##osed and hierar'hi'al se3ual #ositions (or so,e (e,inist readers o( La'an) But does this +iew o( resistan'e (ail to 'onsider the status o( the sy,boli' as i,,utable lawK = *nd would the ,utation o( that law 'all into Juestion not only the 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality attributed to the sy,boli', but also the stability and dis'reteness o( the distin'tion between sy,boli' and i,aginary registers within the La'anian s'he,eK 2t see,s 'ru'ial to Juestion whether resistan'e to an i,,utable law is sufficient as a #oliti'al 'ontestation o( 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality, where this resistan'e is sa(ely restri'ted to the i,aginary and thereby restrained (ro, entering into the stru'ture o( the sy,boli' itsel( )9 :o what e3tent is the sy,boli' unwittingly ele+ated to an in'ontestable #osition #re'isely through do,esti'ating resistan'e within the i,aginaryK 2( the sy,boli' is stru'tured by the Law o( the Father, then the (e,inist resistan'e to the sy,boli' unwittingly (rotects the (atherEs law by relegating (e,inine resistan'e to the less enduring and less e((i'a'ious do,ain o( the i,aginary) :hrough this ,o+e, then, (e,inine resistan'e is both +alori.ed in its s#e'i(i'ity and reassuringly dise,#owered) By a''e#ting the radi'al di+ide between sy,boli' and i,aginary, the ter,s o( (e,inist resistan'e re'onstitute se3ually di((erentiated and hierar'hi.ed Dse#arate s#heres)D *lthough resistan'e 'onstitutes a te,#orary es'a#e (ro, the 'onstituting #ower o( the law, it 'annot enter into the dyna,i' by whi'h the sy,boli' reiterates its #ower and thereby alter the stru'tural se3is, and ho,o#hobia o( its se3ual de,ands)10 :he sy,boli' is understood as the nor,ati+e di,ension o( the 'onstitution o( the se3ed subFe't within language) 2t 'onsists in a series o( de,ands, taboos, san'tions, inFun'tions, #rohibitions, i,#ossible ideali.ations, and threats8#er(or,ati+e s#ee'h a'ts, as it were, that wield the #ower to #rodu'e the (ield o( 'ulturally +iable se3ual subFe'tsB #er(or,ati+e a'ts, in other words, with the #ower to #rodu'e or ,ateriali.e subFe'ti+ating e((e'ts) But what 'ultural 'on(iguration o( #ower organi.es these nor,ati+e and #rodu'ti+e o#erations o( subFe't-'onstitutionK

PHANTASMATIC IDENTIFICATION

!-

D&e3D is always #rodu'ed as a reiteration o( hege,oni' nor,s) :his #rodu'ti+e reiteration 'an be read as a kind o( #er(or,ati+ity) /is'ursi+e #er(or,ati+ity a##ears to #rodu'e that whi'h it na,es, to ena't its own re(erent, to na,e and to do, to na,e and to ,ake) Parado3i'ally, howe+er, this #rodu'ti+e 'a#a'ity o( dis'ourse is deri+ati+e, a (or, o( 'ultural iterability or rearti'ulation, a #ra'ti'e o( resigni(i'ation, not 'reation e3 nihilo) Generally s#eaking, a #er(or,ati+e (un'tions to #rodu'e that whi'h it de'lares) *s a dis'ursi+e #ra'ti'e 4#er(or,ati+e Da'tsD ,ust be re(e#ted to be'o,e e((i'a'ious5, #er(or,ati+es 'onstitute a lo'us o( discursive (roduction No Da'tD a#art (ro, a regulari.ed and san'tioned #ra'ti'e 'an wield the #ower to #rodu'e that whi'h it de'lares) 2ndeed, a #er(or,ati+e a't a#art (ro, a reiterated and, hen'e, san'tioned set o( 'on+entions 'an a##ear only as a +ain e((ort to #rodu'e e((e'ts that it 'annot #ossibly #rodu'e) !onsider the rele+an'e o( the de'onstru'ti+e reading o( Furidi'al i,#erati+es to the do,ain o( the La'anian sy,boli') :he authority1the Fudge 4let us 'all hi, DheD5 who e((e'ts the law through na,ing does not harbor that authority in his #erson) *s one who e((i'a'iously s#eaks in the na,e o( the law, the Fudge does not originate the law or its authorityG rather, he D'itesD the law, 'onsults and rein+okes the law, and, in that rein+o'ation, re'onstitutes the law) :he Fudge is thus installed in the ,idst o( a signi(ying 'hain, re'ei+ing and re'iting the law and, in the re'iting, e'hoing (orth the authority o( the law) Chen the law (un'tions as ordinan'e or san'tion, it o#erates as an i,#erati+e that brings into being that whi'h it legally enFoins and #rote'ts) :he #er(or,ati+e s#eaking o( the law, an Dutteran'eD that is ,ost o(ten within legal dis'ourse ins'ribed in a book o( laws, works only by reworking a set o( already o#erati+e 'on+entions) *nd these 'on+entions are grounded in no other legiti,ating authority than the e'ho-'hain o( their own rein+o'ation) Parado3i'ally, what is invoAed by the one who s#eaks or ins'ribes the law is t*e fiction o( a s#eaker who wields the authority to ,ake his words binding, the legal in'arnation o( the di+ine utteran'e) *nd yet, i( the Fudge is 'iting the law, he is not hi,sel( the authority who in+ests the law with its #ower to bindG on the 'ontrary, he seeks re'ourse to an authoritati+e legal 'on+ention that #re'edes hi,) ;is dis'ourse be'o,es a site (or the re'onstitution and resigni(i'arion o( the law) *nd yet the already e3isting law that he 'ites, (ro, where does that law draw its authorityK 2s there an original authority, a #ri,ary sour'e, or is it, rather, in the +ery #ra'ti'e o(

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'itation, #otentially in(inite in its regression, that the ground o( authority is 'onstituted as #er#etual deferr#l} 2n other words, it is #re'isely through the in(inite de(erral o( authority to an irre'o+erable #ast that authority itsel( is 'onstituted) :hat de(erral is the re#eated a't by whi'h legiti,ation o''urs) :he #ointing to a ground whi'h is ne+er re'o+ered be'o,es authorityEs groundless ground)11 2s Dassu,ingD a se3 like a s#ee'h a'tK @r is it, or is it like, a 'itational strategy or resigni(ying #ra'ti'eK :o the e3tent that the D2D is se'ured by its se3ed #osition, this D2D and its D#ositionD 'an be se'ured only by being re(e#tedly assu,ed, whereby Dassu,#tionD is not a singular a't or e+ent, but, rather, an iterable #ra'ti'e) 2( to Dassu,eD a se3ed #osition is to seek re'ourse to a legislati+e nor,, as La'an would 'lai,, then Dassu,#tionD is a Juestion o( re(e#tin% that nor,, 'iting or ,i,ing that nor,) *nd a 'itation will be at on'e an inter#retation o( the nor, and an o''asion to e3#ose the nor, itsel( as a #ri+ileged inter#retation) :his suggests that Dse3ed #ositionsD are not lo'alities but, rather, 'itational #ra'ti'es instituted within a Furidi'al do,ain8a do,ain o( 'onstituti+e 'onstraints) :he e,bodying o( se3 would be a kind o( D'itingD o( the law, but neither se3 nor the law 'an be said to #ree3ist their +arious e,bodyings and 'itings) Chere the law a##ears to #redate its 'itation, that is where a gi+en 'itation has be'o,e established as Dthe law)D Further, the (ailure to D'iteD or instantiate it 'orre'tly or 'o,#letely would be at on'e the ,obili.ing 'ondition o( su'h a 'itation and its #unishable 'onseJuen'e) &in'e the law ,ust be re#eated to re,ain an authoritati+e law, the law #er#etually reinstitutes the #ossibility o( its own (ailure) :he e3'essi+e #ower o( the sy,boli' is itsel( (roduced by the 'itational instan'e by whi'h the law is e,bodied) 2t is not that the sy,boli' law, the nor,s that go+ern se3ed #ositions 4through threats o( #unish,ent5 are in the,sel+es larger and ,ore #ower(ul than any o( the i,aginary e((orts to identi(y with the,) For how do we a''ount (or how the sy,boli' be'o,es in+ested with #owerK :he i,aginary #ra'ti'e o( identi(i'ation ,ust itsel( be understood as a double ,o+e,entB in 'iting the sy,boli', an identi(i'ation 4re5in+okes and 4re5in+ests the sy,boli' law, seeks re'ourse to it as a 'onstituting authority that #re'edes its i,aginary instan'ing) :he #riority and the authority o( the sy,boli' is, howe+er, 'onstituted t*rou%* that re'ursi+e turn, su'h that 'itation, here as abo+e, e((e'ti+ely brings into

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being the +ery #rior authority to whi'h it then de(ers) :he subordination o( the 'itation to its 4in(initely de(erred5 origin is thus a ruse, a dissi,ulation whereby the #rior authority #ro+es to be derived fro' the 'onte,#orary instan'e o( its 'itation) :here is then no #rior #osition whi'h legislates, initiates, or ,oti+ates the +arious e((orts to e,body or instantiate that #ositionG rather, that #osition is the (i'tion #rodu'ed in the 'ourse o( its instan'ings) 2n this sense, then, the instan'e #rodu'es the (i'tion o( the #riority o( se3ed #ositions) :he Juestion suggested, then, by the abo+e dis'ussion o( #er(or,ati+i-ty is whether the sy,boli' is not #re'isely the kind o( law to whi'h the 'itational #ra'ti'e o( se3 re(ers, the kind o( D#riorD authority that is, in (a't, #rodu'ed as the e((e't o( 'itation itsel() *nd (urther, whether 'itation in this instan'e reJuires re#udiation, takes #la'e through a set o( re#udiations, in+okes the heterose3ual nor, through the e3'lusion o( 'ontestato-ry #ossibilities) 2( the (igures o( ho,ose3uali.ed abFe'tion 'ust be re#udiated (or se3ed #ositions to be assu,ed, then the return o( those (igures as sites o( eroti' 'athe3is will re(igure the do,ain o( 'ontested #ositionalities within the sy,boli') 2nso(ar as any (osition is se'ured through di((erentiation, none o( these #ositions would e3ist in si,#le o##osition to nor,ati+e hetero-se3uality) @n the 'ontrary, they would re(igure, redistribute, and resigni(y the 'onstituents o( that sy,boli' and, in this sense, 'onstitute a sub+ersi+e rearti'ulation o( that sy,boli') Fou'aultEs #oint in T*e <istory of 7exu#lity, Golu'e 8ne, howe+er, was e+en strongerB the Furidi'al law, the regulati+e law, seeks to 'on(ine, li,it, or #rohibit so,e set o( a'ts, #ra'ti'es, subFe'ts, but in the #ro'ess o( arti'ulating and elaborating that #rohibition, the law #ro+ides t*e discursive occ#sion (or a resistan'e, a resigni(i'ation, and #otential sel(-sub+ersion o( that law) Generally, Fou'ault understands the #ro'ess o( signi(i'ation that go+erns Furidi'al laws to e3'eed their #utati+e endsG hen'e, a #rohibiti+e law, by unders'oring a gi+en #ra'ti'e in dis'ourse, #rodu'es the o''asion (or a #ubli' 'ontest that ,ay inad+ertently enable, re(igure, and #roli(erate the +ery so'ial #heno,enon it seeks to restri't) 2n his words, D2n general, 2 would say that the interdi'tion, the re(usal, the #rohibition, (ar (ro, being essential (or,s o( #ower, are only its li,itsB the (rustrated or e3tre,e (or,s o( #ower) :he relations o( #ower are, abo+e all, #rodu'ti+e)D19 2n the 'ase o( se3uality, whi'h is no ordinary instan'e, the #rohibiti+e law runs the risk o(

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eroti'i.ing the +ery #ra'ti'es that 'o,e under the s'rutiny o( the law) :he enu,eration o( #rohibited #ra'ti'es not only brings su'h #ra'ti'es into a #ubli', dis'ursi+e do,ain, but it thereby #rodu'es the, as #otential eroti' enter#rises and so in+ests eroti'ally in those #ra'ti'es, e+en i( in a negati+e ,ode)13 Further, #rohibitions 'an the,sel+es be'o,e obFe'ts o( eroti'i.ation, su'h that 'o,ing under the 'ensure o( the law be'o,es what Freud 'alled a ne'essary 'ondition (or lo+e)1" 2n the abo+e analysis o( the sy,boli', we 'onsidered that 'ertain way ward identi(i'ations (un'tioned within that e'ono,y as (igures (or the +ery #unish,ents by whi'h the assu,#tion o( se3ed #ositions were 'o,#elled :he #halli'i.ed dyke and the (e,ini.ed (ag were two (igures (or this state o( gender #unish,ent, but there are 'learly ,oreB the lesbian (e,,e who re(uses ,en, the ,as'uline gay ,an who 'hallenges the #resu,#tions o( heterose3uality, and a +ariety o( other (igures whose 'hara'teri.ations by 'on+entional notions o( (e,ininity and ,as'ulinity are 'on(ounded by their ,ani(est 'o,#le3ity) 2n any 'ase, the heterose3ual #resu,#tion o( the sy,boli' do,ain is that a##arently in+erted identi(i'ations will e((e'ti+ely and e3'lusi+ely signal abFe'tion r#t*er t*#n #leasure, or signal abFe'tion without at on'e signaling the #ossibility o( a #leasurable insur re'tion against the law or an eroti' turning o( the law against itsel() :he #resu,#tion is that the law will 'onstitute se3ed subFe'ts along the heterose3ual di+ide to the e3tent that its threat o( #unish,ent e((e'ti+ely instills (ear, where the obFe't o( (ear is (igured by ho,ose3uali.ed abFe' tion) 2,#ortantly, the eroti' rede#loy,ent o( #rohibitions and the #rodu'tion o( new 'ultural (or,s (or se3uality is not a transient a((air within an i,aginary do,ain that will ine+itably e+a#orate under the #rohibiti+e (or'e o( the sy,boli') :he resigni(i'ation o( gay and lesbian se3uality through and against abFe'tion is itsel( an unanti'i#ated re(or,ulation and #roli(eration o( the sy,boli' itsel() :hat this +ision o( a di((erently legiti,ated se3ual (uture is 'onstrued by so,e as a ,erely +ain i,agining attests to the #re+alen'e o( a heterose3ual #sy'he that wishes to restri't its ho,ose3ual (antasies to the do,ain o( 'ulturally i,#ossible or transient drea,s and (an'ies) La'an #ro+ides that guarantee, #reser+ing the heterose3is, o( 'ulture through relegating ho,ose3uality to the unreali.able li(e o( #assing (antasy) :o a((ir, the unreali.ability o( ho,ose3uality as a sign o( weakness in that sy,boli'

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do,ain is, thus, to ,istake the ,ost insidious e((e't o( the sy,boli' as the sign o( its sub+ersion) @n the other hand, the entran'e o( ho,ose3uality into the sy,boli' will alter +ery little i( the sy,boli' itsel( is not radi'ally altered in the 'ourse o( that ad,ission) 2ndeed, the legiti,ation o( ho,ose3uality will ha+e to resist the (or'e o( nor,ali.ation (or a Jueer resigni-(i'ation o( the sy,boli' to e3#and and alter the nor,ati+ity o( its ter,s)
POL/CAL AFFILIATION BE"OND THE LOGIC OF REPUDIATION

2n this re(or,ulation o( #sy'hoanalyti' theory, se3ed #ositions are the,sel+es se'ured through the re#udiation and abFe'tion o( ho,ose3uality and the assu,#tion o( a nor,ati+e heterose3uality) Chat in La'an would be 'alled Dse3ed #ositions,D and what so,e o( us ,ight ,ore easily 'all Dgender,D a##ears then to be se'ured through the de#ositing o( non-heterose3ual identi(i'ations in the do,ain o( the 'ulturally i,#ossible, the do,ain o( the i,aginary, whi'h on o''asion 'ontests the sy,boli', but whi'h is (inally rendered illegiti,ate through the (or'e o( the law) Chat is then outside the law, be(ore the law, has been relegated there by and through a heterose3ist e'ono,y that dise,#owers 'ontestatory #ossibilities by rendering the, 'ulturally unthinkable and un+iable (ro, the start 2 ha+e been re(erring to Dnor,ati+eD heterose3uality in the abo+e be'ause it is not always or ne'essarily the 'ase that heterose3uality be rooted in su'h a (ull-s'ale re#udiation and reFe'tion o( ho,ose3uality) :he +ery logi' o( re#udiation whi'h go+erns and destabili.es the assu,#tion o( se3 in this s'he,e #resu##oses a heterose3ual relationality that relegates ho,ose3ual #ossibility to the transient do,ain o( the i,aginary) ;o,ose3uality is not (ully re#udiated, be'ause it is entertained, but it will always re,ain Dentertain,ent,D 'ast as the (igure o( the sy,boli'Es D(ailureD to 'onstitute its se3ed subFe'ts (ully or (inally, but also and always a subordinate rebellion with no #ower to rearti'ulate the ter,s o( the go+erning law) But what does it ,ean to argue that se3ed #ositions are assu,ed at the #ri'e o( ho,ose3uality or, rather, through the abFe'tion o( ho,ose3ualityK :his (or,ulation i,#lies that there is a linkage between ho,ose3uality and abFe'tion, indeed, a #ossible identi(i'ation ,it* an abFe't ho,ose3uality at the heart o( heterose3ual identi(i'ation) :his e'ono,y o( re#udiation suggests that heterose3uality and ho,ose3uality are ,utually

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e3'lusi+e #heno,ena, that they 'an only be ,ade to 'oin'ide through rendering the one 'ulturally +iable and the other a transient and i,aginary a((air) :he abFe'tion o( ho,ose3uality 'an take #la'e only through an identi(i'ation with that abFe'tion, an identi(i'ation that ,ust be disa+owed, an identi(i'ation that one (ears to ,ake only be'ause one has already ,ade it, an identi(i'ation that institutes that abFe'tion and sustains it :he res#onse to this s'he,a is not si,#ly to #roli(erate D#ositionsD within the sy,boli', but, rather, to interrogate the e3'lusionary ,o+es through whi'h D#ositionsD are the,sel+es in+ariably assu,edG that is, the a'ts o( re#udiation that enable and sustain the kind o( nor,ati+e D'itingD o( se3ed #ositions suggested be(ore) :he logi' o( re#udiation that go+erns this nor,ati+i.ing heterose3uality, howe+er, is one that 'an go+ern a nu,ber o( other Dse3ed #ositionsD as well) ;eterose3uality does not ha+e a ,ono#oly on e3'lusionary logi's) 2ndeed, they 'an 'hara'teri.e and sustain gay and lesbian identity #ositions whi'h 'onstitute the,sel+es through the #rodu'tion and re#udiation o( a heterose3ual @therG this logi' is reiterated in the (ailure to re'ogni.e bise3uality as well as in the nor,ati+i.ing inter#retation o( bise3uality as a kind o( (ailure o( loyalty or la'k o( 'o,,it,ent8two 'ruel strategies o( erasure) Chat is the e'ono,i' #re,ise o#erating in the assu,#tion that one identi(i'ation is #ur'hased at the e3#ense o( anotherK 2( heterose3ual identi(i'ation takes #la'e not through the re(usal to identi(y as ho,ose3ual but t*rou%* an identi(i'ation with an abFe't ho,ose3uality that ,ust, as it were, ne+er show, then 'an we e3tra#olate that nor,ati+e subFe't-#ositions ,ore generally de#end on and are arti'ulated through a region o( abFe'ted identi(i'ationsK ;ow does this work when we 'onsider, on the one hand, hege,oni' subFe't-#ositions like whiteness and heterose3uality and, on the other hand, subFe't-#ositions that either ha+e been erased or ha+e been 'aught in a 'onstant struggle to a'hie+e an arti'ulatory statusK !learly, the #ower di((erentials by whi'h su'h subFe'ts are instituted and sustained are Juite di((erent) *nd yet, there is so,e risk that in ,aking the arti'ulation o( a subFe't-#osition into t*e #oliti'al task, so,e o( the strategies o( abFe'tion wielded through and by hege,oni' subFe't-#ositions ha+e 'o,e to stru'ture and 'ontain the arti'ulatory struggles o( those in subordinate or erased #ositionalities) *lthough gay and lesbian subFe'ts do not wield the so'ial #ower, the signi(ying #ower, to abFe't heterose3uality in an e((i'a'ious way 4that

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reiteration 'annot 'o,#are with the one whi'h has regulari.ed the abFe'tion o( ho,ose3uality5, there is ne+ertheless so,eti,es within the (or,ation o( gay and lesbian identity an e((ort to disa+ow a 'onstituti+e relationshi# to heterose3uahty) :his disa+owal is ena'ted as a #oliti'al ne'essity to s(ecify %#y and lesbian identity o+er and against its ostensible o##osite, heterose3uahty) :his +ery disa+owal, howe+er, 'ul,inates #arado3i'ally in a weakening o( the +ery 'onstituen'y it is ,eant to unite) Not only does su'h a strategy attribute a (alse unity to heterose3uality, but it ,isses the #oliti'al o##ortunity to work the weakness in heterose3ual subFe'ti+ation, and to re(ute the logi' o( ,utual e3'lusion by whi'h heterose3is, #ro'eeds) Aoreo+er, a (ull-s'ale denial o( that interrelationshi# 'an 'onstitute a reFe'tion o( heterose3uality that is to so,e degree an identi(i'ation ,it* a reFe'ted heterose3uality) 2,#ortant to this e'ono,y, howe+er, is the re(usal to re'ogni.e this identi(i'ation that is, as it were, already ,ade, a re(usal whi'h absently designates the do,ain o( a s#e'i(i'ally gay ,elan'holia, a loss whi'h 'annot be re'ogni.ed and, hen'e, 'annot be ,ourned) For a gay or lesbian identity-#osition to sustain its a##earan'e as 'oherent, heterose3uality ,ust re,ain in that reFe'ted and re#udiated #la'e) Parado3i'ally, its heterose3ual re'#ins ,ust be sust#ined #re'isely through the insisten'e on the sea,less 'oheren'e o( a s#e'i(i'ally gay identity) ;ere it should be'o,e 'lear that a radi'al re(usal to identi(y with a gi+en #osition suggests that on so,e le+el an identi(i'ation has already taken #la'e, an identi(i'ation that is ,ade and disa+owed, a disa+owed identi(i'ation whose sy,#to,ati' a##earan'e is the insisten'e on, the o+erdeter,ination o(, the identi(i'ation by whi'h gay and lesbian subFe'ts 'o,e to signi(y in #ubli' dis'ourse) :his raises the #oliti'al Juestion o( the 'ost o( arti'ulating a 'oherent identity-#osition i( that 'oheren'e is #rodu'ed through the #rodu'tion, e3'lusion and re#udiation o( abFe'ted s#e'tres that threaten those +ery subFe't-#ositionsK 2ndeed, it ,ay be only by risking the inco*erence o( identity that 'onne'tion is #ossible, a #oliti'al #oint that 'orrelates with Leo BersaniEs insight that only the de'entered subFe't is a+ailable to desire) 16 For what 'annot be a+owed as a 'onstituti+e identi(i'ation o( any gi+en subFe't-#osition runs the risk o( be'o,ing not only e3ternali.ed in a degraded (or,, but re#eatedly re#udiated and subFe'ted to a #oli'y o( disa+owal) :o a 'ertain e3tent 'onstituti+e identi(i'ations are #re'isely those whi'h are always disa+owed, (or, 'ontrary to ;egel, the subFe't 'annot re(le't on the entire #ro'ess o( its (or,ation) But 'ertain (or,s o( disa+owal

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do rea##ear as e3ternal and e3ternali.ed (igures o( abFe'tion who re'ei+e he re#udiation o( the subFe't ti,e and again) 2t is this) re#eated re#udiation by whi'h the subFe't installs its boundary and 'onstru'ts the 'lai, to its DintegrityD that 'on'erns us here) :his is not a buried identi(i'ation that is le(t behind in a (orgotten #ast, but an identi(i'ation that ,ust be le+eled and buried again and again, the 'o,#ulsi+e re#udiation by whi'h the subFe't in'essantly sustains his1her boundary 4this will guide our understanding o( the o#eration by whi'h both whiteness and heterose3uahty are an3iously se'ured in Nella LarsenEs 2#ssin% in 'ha#ter si35) :he task is not, as a 'onseJuen'e, to ,ulti#ly nu,eri'ally subFe't-#ositions ,it*in the e3isting sy,boli', the 'urrent do,ain o( 'ultural +iability, e+en as su'h #ositions are ne'essary in order to o''u#y a+ailable sites o( e,#ower,ent within the liberal state8to be'o,e re'i#ients o( health 'are, to ha+e #artnershi#s honored legally, to ,obili.e and redire't the enor,ous #ower o( #ubli' re'ognition) @''u#ying su'h #ositions, howe+er, is not a ,atter o( as'ending to #ree3isting stru'tural lo'ales within a 'onte,#orary sy,boli' orderG on the 'ontrary, 'ertain Do''u#ationsD 'onstitute (unda,ental ways o( rearti'ulating, in the Gra,s'ian sense, #ossibilities o( enun'iation) 2n other words, it is not the 'ase that a DsubFe't-#ositionD #ree3ists the enun'iation that it o''asions, (or 'ertain kinds o( enun'iations dis,antle the +ery DsubFe't-#ositionsD by whi'h they are ostensibly enabled) :here is no relation o( radi'al e3teriority between D#ositionD and Denun'iationDG 'ertain 'lai,s e3tend the boundaries o( the sy,boli' itsel(, #rodu'e a dis#la'e,ent within and o( the sy,boli', te,#orali.ing the entire +o'abulary o( D#ositionD and Dstru'tural #la'e)D For what do we ,ake o( the enun'iation that est#blis*es a #osition where there was none, or that ,arks the .ones o( e3'lusion and dis#la'e,ent by whi'h a+ailable subFe't-#ositions are the,sel+es established and stabili.edK :o the e3tent that subFe't-#ositions are #rodu'ed in and through a logi' o( re#udiation and abFe'tion, the s#e'i(i'ity o( identity is #ur'hased through the loss and degradation o( 'onne'tion, and the ,a# o( #ower whi'h #rodu'es and di+ides identities di((erentially 'an no longer be read) :he ,ulti#h'ation o( subFe't-#ositions along a #luralist a3is would entail the ,ulti#li'ation o( e3'lusionary and degrading ,o+es that 'ould only #rodu'e a greater (a'tionali.ation, a #roli(eration o( di((eren'es without any ,eans o( negotiating a,ong the,) :he 'onte,#orary #oliti'al de,and on thinking is to ,a# out the interrelationshi#s that 'onne't,

PHANTASMATIC IDENTIFICATION

!!5

without si,#listi'ally uniting, a +ariety o( dyna,i' and relational #ositionalities within the #oliti'al (ield) Further, it will be 'ru'ial to (ind a way both to o''u#y su'h sites #nd to subFe't the, to a de,o'rati.ing 'ontestation in whi'h the e3'lusionary 'onditions o( their #rodu'tion are #er#etually reworked 4e+en though they 'an ne+er be (ully o+er'o,e5 in the dire'tion o( a ,ore 'o,#le3 'oalitional (ra,e) 2t see,s i,#ortant, then, to Juestion whether a #oliti'al insisten'e on 'oherent identities 'an e+er be the basis on whi'h a 'rossing o+er into #oliti'al allian'e with other subordinated grou#s 'an take #la'e, es#e'ially when su'h a 'on'e#tion o( allian'e (ails to understand that the +ery subFe't-#ositions in Juestion are the,sel+es a kind o( D'rossing,D are the,sel+es the li+ed s'ene o( 'oalitionEs di((i'ulty) :he insisten'e on 'oherent identity as a #oint o( de#arture #resu,es that what a DsubFe'tD is is already known, already (i3ed, and that that ready-,ade subFe't ,ight enter the world to renegotiate its #la'e) But i( that +ery subFe't #rodu'es its 'oheren'e at the 'ost o( its own 'o,#le3ity, the 'rossings o( identi(i'ations o( whi'h it is itsel( 'o,#osed, then that subFe't (ore'loses the kinds o( 'ontestatory 'onne'tions that ,ight de,o'rati.e the (ield o( its own o#eration) &o,ething ,ore is at stake in su'h a re(or,ulation o( the subFe't than the #ro,ise o( a kinder, gentler #sy'hoanalyti' theory) :he Juestion here 'on'erns the ta'it 'ruelties that sustain 'oherent identity, 'ruelties that in'lude sel(-'ruelty as well, the abase,ent through whi'h 'oheren'e is *'ti+ely #rodu'ed and sustained) &o,ething on this order is at work ,ost ob+iously in the #rodu'tion o( 'oherent heterose3uality, but also in the #rodu'tion o( 'oherent lesbian identity, 'oherent gay identity, and within those worlds, the 'oherent but'h, the 'oherent (e,,e) 2n ea'h o( these 'ases, i( identity is 'onstru'ted through o##osition, it is also 'onstru'ted through reFe'tion) 2t ,ay be that i( a lesbian o##oses heterose3uality absolutely, she ,ay (ind hersel( ,ore in its #ower than a straight or bise3ual wo,an who knows or li+es its 'onstituti+e instability) *nd i( but'hness reJuires a stri't o##osition to (e,,eness, is this a re(usal o( an identi(i'ation or is this an identi(i'ation with (e,,eness that has already been ,ade, ,ade and disa+owed, a disa+owed identi(i'ation that sustains the but'h, without whi'h the but'h Jua but'h 'annot e3istK :he #oint here is not to #res'ribe the taking on o( new and di((erent identi(i'ations) 2 in+est no ulti,ate #oliti'al ho#e in the #ossibility o( a+owing identi(i'ations that ha+e 'on+entionally been disa+owed) 2t is

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doubtless true that 'ertain disa+owals are (unda,entally enabling, and that no subFe't 'an #ro'eed, 'an a't, without disa+owing 'ertain #ossibilities and a+owing others) 2ndeed, 'ertain kinds o( disa+owals (un'tion as 'onstituti+e 'onstraints, and they 'annot be willed away) But here a re(or,ulation is in order, (or it is not, stri'tly s#eaking, that a subFe't disa+ows its identi(i'ations, but, rather, that 'ertain e3'lusions and (ore'losures institute the subFe't and #ersist as the #er,anent or 'onstituti+e s#e'tre o( its own destabili.ation) :he ideal o( trans(or,ing all e3'luded identi(i'ations into in'lusi+e (eatures8o( a##ro#riating all di((eren'e into unity8would ,ark the return to a ;egelian synthesis whi'h has no e3terior and that, in a##ro#riating all di((eren'e as e3e,#lary (eatures o( itsel(, be'o,es a (igure (or i,#erialis,, a (igure that installs itsel( by way o( a ro,anti', insidious, and all-'onsu,ing hu,anis,) But there re,ains the task o( thinking through the #otential 'ruelties that (ollow (ro, an intensi(i'ation o( identi(i'ation that 'annot a((ord to a'knowledge the e3'lusions on whi'h it is de#endent, e3'lusions that ,ust be re(used, identi(i'ations that ,ust re,ain as re(use, as abFe'ted, in order (or that intensi(ied identi(i'ation to e3ist) :his is an order o( re(usal whi'h not only 'ul,inates in the rigid o''u#ation o( e3'lusionary identities, but whi'h tends to en(or'e that e3'lusionary #rin'i#le on who,e+er is seen to de+iate (ro, those #ositions as well) :o #res'ribe an e3'lusi+e identi(i'ation (or a ,ulti#ly 'onstituted subFe't, as e+ery subFe't is, is to en(or'e a redu'tion and a #aralysis, and so,e (e,inist #ositions, in'luding ,y own, ha+e #roble,ati'ally #rioriti.ed gender as the identi(i'atory site o( #oliti'al ,obili.ation at the e3#ense o( ra'e or se3uality or 'lass or geo#oliti'al #ositioning1dis#la'e,ent 17 *nd here it is not si,#ly a ,atter o( honoring the subFe't as a #lurality o( identi(i'ations, (or these identi(i'ations are in+ariably i,bri'ated in one another, the +ehi'le (or one anotherB a gender identi(i'ation 'an be ,ade in order to re#udiate or #arti'i#ate in a ra'e identi(i'ationG what 'ounts as Dethni'ityD (ra,es and eroti'i.es se3uality, or 'an itsel( be a se3ual ,arking) :his i,#lies that it is not a ,atter o( relating ra'e and se3uality and gender, as i( they were (ully se#arable a3es o( #owerG the #luralist theoreti'al se#aration o( these ter,s as D'ategoriesD or indeed as D#ositionsD is itsel( based on e3'lusionary o#erations that attribute a (alse uni(or,ity to the, and that ser+e the regulatory ai,s o( the liberal state) *nd when they are 'onsidered analyti'ally as dis'rete, the #ra'ti'al 'onseJuen'e is a

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'ontinual enu,eration, a ,ulti#li'ation that #rodu'es an e+er-e3#anding list that e((e'ti+ely se#arates that whi'h it #ur#orts to 'onne't, or that seeks to 'onne't through an enu,eration whi'h 'annot 'onsider the 'rossroads, in Gloria *n.alduaEs sense, where these 'ategories 'on+erge, a 'rossroads that is not a subFe't, but, rather, the un(ul(illable de,and to rework 'on+ergent signi(iers in and through ea'h other)1? Chat a##ear within su'h an enu,erati+e (ra,ework as se#arable 'ategories are, rather, the 'onditions o( arti'ulation for ea'h otherB ;ow is ra'e li+ed in the ,odality o( se3ualityK ;ow is gender li+ed in the ,odality o( ra'eK ;ow do 'olonial and neo-'olonial nation-states rehearse gender relations in the 'onsolidation o( state #owerK ;ow ha+e the hu,iliations o( 'olonial rule been (igured as e,as'ulation 4in Fanon5, or ra'ist +iolen'e as sodo,i.ation 40anAoha,,ed5G and where and how is Dho,ose3ualityEE at on'e the i,#uted se3uality o( the 'oloni.ed, and the in'i#ient sign o( Cestern i,#erialis, 4Calter Cillia,s5K ;ow has the D@rientD been (igured as the +eiled (e,inine 4Lowe, !how5G and to what e3tent has (e,inis, #illaged the D:hird CorldD in sear'h o( e3a,#les o( (e,ale +i'ti,i.ation that would su##ort the thesis o( a uni+ersal #atriar'hal subordination o( wo,en 4Aohanty5K 1= *nd how is it that a+ailable dis'ursi+e #ossibilities ,eet their li,it in a Dsubaltern (e,inine,D understood as a 'ata'hresis, whose e3'lusion (ro, re#resentation has be'o,e the 'ondition o( re#resentation itsel( 4&#i+ak5K :o ask su'h Juestions is still to 'ontinue to #ose the Juestion o( Didentity,D but no longer as a #reestablished #osition or a uni(or, entityG rather, as #art o( a dyna,i' ,a# o( #ower in whi'h identities are 'onstituted and1or erased, de#loyed and1or #araly.ed) :he des#air e+ident in so,e (or,s o( identity #oliti's is ,arked by the ele+ation and regulation o( identity-#ositions #s a #ri,ary #oliti'al #oli'y) Chen the arti'ulation o( 'oherent identity be'o,es its own #oli'y, then the #oli'ing o( identity takes the #la'e o( a #oliti's in whi'h identity works dyna,i'ally in the ser+i'e o( a broader 'ultural struggle toward the rearti'ulation and e,#ower,ent o( grou#s that seeks to o+er'o,e the dyna,i' o( re#udiation and e3'lusion by whi'h D'oherent subFe'tsD are 'onstituted)19 None o( the abo+e is ,eant to suggest that identity is to be denied, o+er'o,e, erased) None o( us 'an (ully answer to the de,and to Dget o+er yoursel(PD :he de,and to o+er'o,e radi'ally the 'onstituti+e 'onstraints

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by whi'h 'ultural +iability is a'hie+ed would be its own (or, o( +iolen'e) But when that +ery +iability is itsel( the 'onseJuen'e o( a re#udiation, a subordination, or an e3#loitati+e relation, the negotiation be'o,es in'reasingly 'o,#le3) Chat this analysis does suggest is that an e'ono,y o( di((eren'e is in order in whi'h the ,atri'es, the 'rossroads at whi'h +arious identi(i'ations are (or,ed and dis#la'ed, (or'e a reworking o( that logi' o( non-'ontradi'tion by whi'h one identi(i'ation is always and only #ur'hased at the e3#ense o( another) Gi+en the 'o,#le3 +e'tors o( #ower that 'onstitute the 'onstituen'y o( any identity-based #oliti'al grou#, a 'oalitional #oliti's that reJuires one identi(i'ation at the e3#ense o( another thereby ine+itably #rodu'es a +iolent ri(t, a dissension that will 'o,e to tear a#art the identity wrought through the +iolen'e o( e3'lusion) /oubtlessly 'ru'ial is the ability to wield the signs o( subordinated identity in a #ubli' do,ain that 'onstitutes its own ho,o#hobi' and ra'ist hege,onies through the erasure or do,esti'ation o( 'ulturally and #oliti'ally 'onstituted identities) *nd inso(ar as it is i,#erati+e that we insist u#on those s#e'i(i'ities in order to e3#ose the (i'tions o( an i,#erialist hu,anis, that works through un,arked #ri+ilege, there re,ains the risk that we will ,ake the arti'ulation o( e+er ,ore s#e'i(ied identities into the ai, o( #oliti'al a'ti+is,) :hus e+ery insisten'e on identity ,ust at so,e #oint lead to a taking sto'k o( the 'onstituti+e e3'lusions that re'onsolidate hege,oni' #ower di((erentials, e3'lusions that ea'h arti'ulation was (or'ed to ,ake in order to #ro'eed) :his 'riti'al re(le'tion will be i,#ortant in order not to re#li'ate at the le+el o( identity #oliti's the +ery e3'lusionary ,o+es that initiated the turn to s#e'i(i' identities in the (irst #la'e) 2( through its own +iolen'es, the 'on'eits o( liberal hu,anis, ha+e 'o,#elled the ,ulti#li'ation o( 'ulturally s#e'i(i' identities, then it is all the ,ore i,#ortant not to re#eat that +iolen'e without a signi(i'ant di((eren'e, re(le3i+ely and #res'ri#ti+ely, within the arti'ulatory struggles o( those s#e'i(i' identities (orged (ro, and through a state o( siege) :hat identi(i'ations shi(t does not ne'essarily ,ean that one identi(i'ation is re#udiated (or anotherG that shi(ting ,ay well be one sign o( ho#e (or the #ossibility o( a+owing an e3#ansi+e set o( 'onne'tions) :his will not be a si,#le ,atter o( Dsy,#athyD with anotherEs #osition, sin'e sy,#athy in+ol+es a substitution o( onesel( (or another that ,ay well be a 'oloni.ation o( the otherEs #osition #s oneEs own) *nd it will not be the abstra't

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in(eren'e o( an eJui+alen'e based on an insight into the #artially 'onstituted 'hara'ter o( all so'ial identity) 2t will be a ,atter o( tra'ing the ways in whi'h identi(i'ation is i,#li'ated in what it e3'ludes, and to (ollow the lines o( that i,#li'ation (or the ,a# o( (uture 'o,,unity that it ,ight yield)

(
GENDER IS BURNING) 0UESTIONS OF APPROPRIATION AND SUB+ERSION
Ce all ha+e (riends who, when they kno'k on the door and we ask, through the doorG the Juestion, DChoEs thereK,D answer 4sin'e DitEs ob+iousD5 D2tEs ,e)D *nd we re'ogni.e that "it is *i',"or "*er" -'y e,#hasisR) 8Louis *lthusser, D2deology and 2deologi'al &tate *##aratusesD :he #ur#ose o( DlawD is absolutely the last thing to e,#loy in the history o( the origin o( lawB on the 'ontrary,))) the 'ause o( the origin o( a thing and its e+entual utility, its a'tual e,#loy,ent and #la'e in a syste, o( #ur#oses, lie worlds a#artG whate+er e3ists, ha+ing so,ehow 'o,e into being, is again and again reinter#reted to new ends, taken o+er, trans(or,ed, and redire'ted) 8Friedri'h Niet.s'he, 8n t*e Gene#lo%y of "or#ls

2n *lthusserEs notion o( inter#ellation, it is the #oli'e who initiate the 'all or address by whi'h a subFe't be'o,es so'ially 'onstituted) :here is the #oli'e,an, the one who not only re#resents the law but whose address D;ey youPD has the e((e't o( binding the law to the one who is hailed) :his DoneD who a##ears not to be in a 'ondition o( tres#ass #rior to the 'all 4(or who, the 'all establishes a gi+en #ra'ti'e as a tres#ass5 is not (ully a so'ial subFe't, is not (ully subFe'ti+ated, (or he or she is not yet re#ri,anded) :he re#ri,and does not ,erely re#ress or 'ontrol the subFe't, but (or,s a 'ru'ial #art o( the Furidi'al and so'ial for'#tion o( the subFe't) :he 'all is (or,ati+e, i( not #er(or,ati+e, #re'isely be'ause it initiates the indi+idual into the subFe'ted status o( the subFe't *lthusser 'onFe'tures this DhailingD or Dinter#ellationD as a unilateral a't, as the #ower and (or'e o( the law to 'o,#el (ear at the sa,e ti,e that it o((ers re'ognition at an e3#ense) 2n the re#ri,and the subFe't not only re'ei+es re'ognition, but attains as well a 'ertain order o( so'ial e3isten'e in being trans(erred (ro, an outer region o( indi((erent, Juestionable, or i,#ossible being to the dis'ursi+e or so'ial do,ain o( the subFe't) But does this subFe'ti+ation take #la'e as a dire't e((e't o( the re#ri,anding utteran'e

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or ,ust the utteran'e wield the #ower to 'o,#el the (ear o( #unish,ent and, (ro, that 'o,#ulsion, to #rodu'e a 'o,#lian'e and obedien'e to the lawK *re there are other ways o( being addressed and 'onstituted by the law, ways o( being o''u#ied and o''u#ying the law, that disarti'ulate the #ower o( #unish,ent (ro, the #ower o( re'ognitionK *lthusser unders'ores the La'anian 'ontribution to a stru'tural analysis o( this kind, and argues that a relation o( ,isre'ognition #ersists between the law and the subFe't it 'o,#els)1 *lthough he re(ers to the #ossibility o( Dbad subFe'ts,D he does not 'onsider the range o( disobedience that su'h an inter#ellating law ,ight #rodu'e) :he law ,ight not only be re(used, but it ,ight also be ru#tured, (or'ed into a rearti'ulation that 'alls into Juestion the ,onotheisti' (or'e o( its own unilateral o#eration) Chere the uni(or,ity o( the subFe't is e3#e'ted, where the beha+ioral 'on(or,ity o( the subFe't is 'o,,anded, there ,ight be #rodu'ed the re(usal o( the law in the (or, o( the #arodi' inhabiting o( 'on(or,ity that subtly 'alls into Juestion the legiti,a'y o( the 'o,,and, a re#etition o( the law into L hy#erbole, a rearti'ulation o( the law against the authority o( the one who deli+ers it) ;ere the #er(or,ati+e, the 'all by the law whi'h seeks to #rodu'e a law(ul subFe't, #rodu'es a set o( 'onseJuen'es that e3'eed and 'on(ound what a##ears to be the dis'i#lining intention ,oti+ating the law) 2nter#ellation thus loses its status as a si,#le #er(or,ati+e, an a't o( dis'ourse with the #ower to 'reate that to whi'h it re(ers, and 'reates ,ore than it e+er ,eant to, signi(ying in e3'ess o( any intended re(erent) 2t is this 'onstituti+e (ailure o( the #er(or,ati+e, this sli##age between dis'ursi+e 'o,,and and its a##ro#riated e((e't, whi'h #ro+ides the linguisti' o''asion and inde3 (or a 'onseJuential disobedien'e) !onsider that the use o( language is itsel( enabled by first ha+ing been c#lled # n#'e, the o''u#ation o( the na,e is that by whi'h one is, Juite without 'hoi'e, situated within dis'ourse) :his D2D whi'h is #rodu'ed through the a''u,ulation and 'on+ergen'e o( su'h D'alls,D 'annot e3tra't itsel( (ro, the histori'ity o( that 'hain or raise itsel( u# and 'on(ront that 'hain as i( it were an obFe't o##osed to ,e, whi'h is not ,e, but only what others ha+e ,ade o( ,eG (or that estrange,ent or di+ision #rodu'ed by the ,esh o( inter#ellating 'alls and the D2D who is its site is not only +iolating, but enabling as well, what Gayatri &#i+ak re(ers to as Dan enabling +iolation)D :he DF who would o##ose its 'onstru'tion is always in so,e sense drawing (ro, that 'onstru'tion to arti'ulate its o##ositionG

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(urther, the D2D draws what is 'alled its Dagen'yD in #art through being i,#li'ated in the +ery relations o( #ower that it seeks to o##ose) :o be i'(lic#ted in the relations o( #ower, indeed, enabled by the relations o( #ower that the D2D o##oses is not, as a 'onseJuen'e, to be redu'ible to their e3isting (or,s) You will note that in the ,aking o( this (or,ulation, 2 bra'ket this D2D in Juotation ,arks, but 2 a, still here) *nd 2 should add that this is an D2D that 2 #rodu'e here (or you in res#onse to a 'ertain sus#i'ion that this theoreti'al #roFe't has lost the #erson, the author, the li(eG o+er and against this 'lai,, or rather, in res#onse to ha+ing been 'alled the site o( su'h an e+a'uation, 2 write that this kind o( bra'keting o( the D2D ,ay well be 'ru'ial to the thinking through o( the 'onstituti+e a,bi+alen'e o( being so'ially 'onstituted, where D'onstitutionD 'arries both the enabling and +iolating sense o( DsubFe'tion)D 2( one 'o,es into dis'ursi+e li(e through being 'alled or hailed in inFurious ter,s, how ,ight one o''u#y the inter#ellation by whi'h one is already o''u#ied to dire't the #ossibilities o( resigni(i'ation against the ai,s o( +iolationK :his is not the sa,e as 'ensoring or #rohibiting the use o( the D2D or o( the autobiogra#hi'al as su'hG on the 'ontrary, it is the inJuiry into the a,bi+alent relations o( #ower that ,ake that use #ossible) Chat does it ,ean to ha+e su'h uses re#eated in oneEs +ery being, D,essages i,#lied in oneEs being,D as Patri'ia Cillia,s 'lai,s, only to re#eat those uses su'h that sub+ersion ,ight be deri+ed (ro, the +ery 'onditions o( +iolation) 2n this sense, the argu,ent that the 'ategory o( Dse3D is the instru,ent or e((e't o( Dse3is,D or its inter#ellating ,o,ent, that Dra'eD is the instru,ent and e((e't o( Dra'is,D or its inter#ellating ,o,ent, that DgenderD only e3ists in the ser+i'e o( heterose3is,, does not entail that we ought ne+er to ,ake use o( su'h ter,s, as i( su'h ter,s 'ould only and always re'onsolidate the o##ressi+e regi,es o( #ower by whi'h they are s#awned) @n the 'ontrary, #re'isely be'ause su'h ter,s ha+e been #rodu'ed and 'onstrained within su'h regi,es, they ought to be re#eated in dire'tions that re+erse and dis#la'e their originating ai,s) @ne does not stand at an instru,ental distan'e (ro, the ter,s by whi'h one e3#erien'es +iolation) @''u#ied by su'h ter,s and yet o''u#ying the, onesel( risks a 'o,#li'ity, a re#etition, a rela#se into inFury, but it is also the o''asion to work the ,obili.ing #ower o( inFury, o( an inter#ellation one ne+er 'hose) Chere one ,ight understand +iolation as a trau,a whi'h 'an only indu'e a

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destru'ri+e re#etition 'o,#ulsion 4and sureiy this is a #ower(ul 'onseJuen'e o( +iolation5, it see,s eJually #ossible to a'knowledge the (or'e o( re#etition as the +ery 'ondition o( an a((ir-,ati+e res#onse to +iolation) :he 'o,#ulsion to re#eat an inFury is not ne'essarily the 'o,#ulsion to re#eat the inFury in the sa,e way or to stay (ully within the trau,ati' orbit o( that inFury) :he (or'e o( re#etition in language ,ay be the #arado3i'al 'ondition by whi'h a 'ertain agen'y-not linked to a (i'tion o( the ego as ,aster o( 'ir'u,stan'e-is deri+ed (ro, the i'(ossibility o( 'hoi'e) 2t is in this sense that 2rigarayEs 'riti'al ,i,e o( Plato, the (i'tion o( the lesbian #hallus, and the rearti'ulation o( kinshi# in 2#ris .s 3urnin% ,ight be understood as re#etitions o( hege,oni' (or,s o( #ower whi'h (ail to re#eat loyally and, in that (ailure, o#en #ossibilities (or resigni(ying the ter,s o( +iolation against their +iolating ai,s) !atherEs o''u#ation o( the #aternal na,e, LarsenEs inJuiry into the #ain(ul and (atal ,i,e that is #assing (or white, and the reworking o( DJueerD (ro, abFe'tion to #oliti'i.ed a((iliation will interrogate si,ilar sites o( a,bi+alen'e #rodu'ed at the li,its o( dis'ursi+e legiti,a'y) :he te,#oral stru'ture o( su'h a subFe't is 'hias,i' in this senseB in the #la'e o( a substantial or sel(-deter,ining DsubFe't,D this Fun'ture o( dis'ursi+e de,ands is so,ething like a D'rossroads,D to use Gloria *n.alduaEs #hrase, a 'rossroads o( 'ultural and #oliti'al dis'ursi+e (or'es, whi'h she hersel( 'lai,s 'annot be understood through the notion o( the DsubFe'tD9 :here is no subFe't #rior to its 'onstru'tions, and neither is the subFe't deter,ined by those 'onstru'tionsG it is always the ne3us, the nons#a'e o( 'ultural 'ollision, in whi'h the de,and to resigni(y or re#eat the +ery ter,s whi'h 'onstitute the DweD 'annot be su,,arily re(used, but neither 'an they be (ollowed in stri't obedien'e) 2t is the s#a'e o( this a,bi+alen'e whi'h o#ens u# the #ossibility o( a reworking o( the +ery ter,s by whi'h subFe'ti+ation #ro'eeds8and (ails to #ro'eed)
AMBI+ALENT DRAG

Fro, this (or,ulation, then, 2 would like to ,o+e to a 'onsideration o( the (il, 2#ns .s 3urnin% to what it suggests about the si,ultaneous #rodu'tion and subFugation o( subFe'ts in a 'ulture whi'h a##ears to arrange always and in e+ery way (or the annihilation o( Jueers, but whi'h ne+ertheless #rodu'es o''asional s#a'es in whi'h those annihilating nor,s, those

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killing ideals o( gender and ra'e, are ,i,ed, reworked, resigni(ied) *s ,u'h as there is de(ian'e and a((ir,ation, the 'reation o( kinshi# and o( glory in that (il,, there is also the kind o( reiteration o( nor,s whi'h 'annot be 'alled sub+ersi+e, but whi'h lead to the death o( Ienus Ttra+agan.a, a Latina1#reo#erati+e transse3ual, 'ross-dresser, #rostitute, and ,e,ber o( the D;ouse o( Ttra+angan.a)D :o what set o( inter#ellating 'alls does Ienus res#ond, and how is the reiteration o( the law to be read in the ,anner o( her res#onseK Ienus, and 2#ris .s 3urnin% ,ore generally, 'alls into Juestion whether #arodying the do,inant nor,s is enough to dis#la'e the,G indeed, whether the denaturali.ation o( gender 'annot be the +ery +ehi'le (or a re'onsolidation o( hege,oni' nor,s) *lthough ,any readers understood Gender Troubleto be arguing (or the #roli(eration o( drag #er(or,an'es as a way o( sub+erting do,inant gender nor,s, 2 want to unders'ore that there is no ne'essary relation between drag and sub+ersion, and that drag ,ay well be used in the ser+i'e o( both the denaturali.ation and reideali.ation o( hy#erboli' heterose3ual gender nor,s) *t best, it see,s, drag is a site o( a 'ertain a,bi+alen'e, one whi'h re(le'ts the ,ore general situation o( being i,#li'ated in the regi,es o( #ower by whi'h one is 'onstituted and, hen'e, o( being i,#li'ated in the +ery regi,es o( #ower that one o##oses) :o 'lai, that all gender is like drag, or is drag, is to suggest that Di,itationD is at the heart o( the *eterosexu#l #roFe't and its gender binaris,s, that drag is not a se'ondary i,itation that #resu##oses a #rior and original gender, but that hege,oni' heterose3uality is itsel( a 'onstant and re#eated e((ort to i,itate its own ideali.ations) :hat it ,ust re#eat this i,itation, that it sets u# #athologi.ing #ra'ti'es and nor,ali.ing s'ien'es in order to #rodu'e and 'onse'rate its own 'lai, on originality and #ro#riety, suggests that heterose3ual #er(or,ati+ity is beset by an an3iety that it 'an ne+er (ully o+er'o,e, that its e((ort to be'o,e its own ideali.ations 'an ne+er be (inally or (ully a'hie+ed, and that it is 'onsistently haunted by that do,ain o( se3ual #ossibility that ,ust be e3'luded (or heterose3uali.ed gender to #rodu'e itsel() 2n this sense, then, drag is sub+ersi+e to the e3tent that it re(le'ts on the i,itati+e stru'ture by whi'h hege,oni' gender is itsel( #rodu'ed and dis#utes heterose3ualityEs 'lai, on naturalness and originality) But here it see,s that 2 a, obliged to add an i,#ortant Juali(i'ationB heterose3ual #ri+ilege o#erates in ,any ways, and two ways in whi'h it

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o#erates in'lude naturali.ing itsel( and rendering itsel( as the original and the nor,) But these are not the only ways in whi'h it works, (or it is dear that there are do,ains in whi'h heterose3uality 'an 'on'ede its la'k o( originality and naturalness but still hold on to its #ower) :hus, there are (or,s o( drag that heterose3ual 'ulture #rodu'es (or itsel(-we ,ight think o( 0ulie *ndrews in Gictor, Gictori# or /ustin ;o((,ann in Tootsie or 0a'k Le,,on in 7o'e ?iAe .t <ot where the an3iety o+er a #ossible ho,ose3ual 'onseJuen'e is both #rodu'ed and de(le'ted within the narrati+e traFe'tory o( the (il,s) :hese are (il,s whi'h #rodu'e and 'ontain the ho,ose3ual e3'ess o( any gi+en drag #er(or,an'e, the (ear that an a##arently heterose3ual 'onta't ,ight be ,ade be(ore the dis'o+ery o( a nona##arent ho,ose3uality) :his is drag as high het entertain,ent, and though these (il,s are surely i,#ortant to read as 'ultural te3ts in whi'h ho,o#hobia and ho,ose3ual #ani' are negotiated, 3 2 would be reti'ent to 'all the, sub+ersi+e) 2ndeed, one ,ight argue that su'h (il,s are (un'tional in #ro+iding a ritualisti' release (or a heterose3ual e'ono,y that ,ust 'onstantly #oli'e its own boundaries against the in+asion o( Jueerness, and that this dis#la'ed #rodu'tion and resolution o( ho,ose3ual #ani' a'tually (orti(ies the heterose3ual regi,e in its sel(-#er#etuating task) 2n her #ro+o'ati+e re+iew of 2#ris .s 3urnin%, bell hooks 'riti'i.ed so,e #rodu'tions o( gay ,ale drag as ,isogynist, and here she allied hersel( in #art with (e,inist theorists su'h as Aarilyn Frye and 0ani'e Ray,ond) " :his tradition within (e,inist thought has argued that drag is o((ensi+e to wo,en and that it is an i,itation based in ridi'ule and degradation) Ray,ond, in #arti'ular, #la'es drag on a 'ontinuu, with 'ross-dressing and transse3ualis,, ignoring the i,#ortant di((eren'es between the,, ,aintaining that in ea'h #ra'ti'e wo,en are the obFe't o( hatred and a##ro#riation, and that there is nothing in the identi(i'ation that is res#e't(ul or ele+ating) *s a reFoinder, one ,ight 'onsider that identi(i'ation is always an a,bi+alent #ro'ess) 2denti(ying with a gender under 'onte,#orary regi,es o( #ower in+ol+es identi(ying with a set o( nor,s that are and are not reali.able, and whose #ower and status #re'ede the identi(i'ations by whi'h they are insistently a##ro3i,ated) :his Dbeing a ,anD and this Dbeing a wo,anD are internally unstable a((airs) :hey are always beset by a,bi+alen'e #re'isely be'ause there is a 'ost in e+ery identi(i'ation, the loss o( so,e other set o( identi(i'ations, the (or'ible a##ro3i,ation o( a nor, one ne+er 'hooses, a nor, that 'hooses us, but

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whi'h we o''u#y, re+erse, resigni(y to the e3tent that the nor, (ails to deter,ine us 'o,#letely) :he #roble, with the analysis o( drag as only ,isogyny is, o( 'ourse, that it (igures ,ale-to-(e,ale transse3uality, 'ross-dressing, and drag as ,ale ho,ose3ual a'ti+ities8whi'h they are not always8and it (urther diagnoses ,ale ho,ose3uality as rooted in ,isogyny) :he (e,inist analysis thus ,akes ,ale ho,ose3uality #bout wo,en, and one ,ight argue that at its e3tre,e, this kind o( analysis is in (a't a 'oloni.ation in re+erse, a way (or (e,inist wo,en to ,ake the,sel+es into the 'enter o( ,ale ho,ose3ual a'ti+ity 4and thus to reins'ribe the heterose3ual ,atri3, #arado3i'ally, at the heart o( the radi'al (e,inist #osition5) &u'h an a''usation (ollows the sa,e kind o( logi' as those ho,o#hobi' re,arks that o(ten (ollow u#on the dis'o+ery that one is a lesbianB a lesbian is one who ,ust ha+e had a bad e3#erien'e with ,en, or who has not yet (ound the right one) :hese diagnoses #resu,e that lesbianis, is a'Juired by +irtue o( so,e (ailure in the heterose3ual ,a'hinery, thereby 'ontinuing to install heterose3uality as the D'auseD o( lesbian desireG lesbian desire is (igured as the (atal e((e't o( a derailed heterose3ual 'ausality) 2n this (ra,ework, heterose3ual desire is always true, and lesbian desire is always and only a ,ask and (ore+er (alse) 2n the radi'al (e,inist argu,ent against drag, the dis#la'e,ent o( wo,en is (igured as the ai, and e((e't o( ,ale-to-(e,ale dragG in the ho,o#hobi' dis,issal o( lesbian desire, the disa##oint,ent with and dis#la'e,ent o( ,en is understood as the 'ause and (inal truth o( lesbian desire) *''ording to these +iews, drag is nothing but the dis#la'e,ent and a##ro#riation o( Dwo,en,D and hen'e (unda,entally based in a ,isogyny, a hatred o( wo,enG and lesbianis, is nothing but the dis#la'e,ent and a##ro#riation o( ,en, and so (unda,entally a ,atter o( hating ,en8 ,isandry) :hese e3#lanations o( dis#la'e,ent 'an only #ro'eed by a''o,#lishing yet another set o( dis#la'e,entsB o( desire, o( #hantas,ati' #leasures, and o( (or,s o( lo+e that are not redu'ible to a heterose3ual ,atri3 and the logi' o( re#udiation) 2ndeed, the only #la'e lo+e is to be (ound is for the ostensibly re#udiated obFe't, where lo+e is understood to be stri'tly #rodu'ed through a logi' o( re#udiationG hen'e, drag is nothing but the e((e't o( a lo+e e,bittered by disa##oint,ent or reFe'tion, the in'or#oration o( the @ther who, one originally desired, but now hates) *nd lesbianis, is nothing other than the e((e't o( a lo+e e,bittered by

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disa##oint,ent or reFe'tion, and o( a re'oil (ro, that lo+e, a de(ense against it or, in the 'ase o( but'hness, the a##ro#riation o( the ,as'uline #osition that one originally lo+ed) :his logi' o( re#udiation installs heterose3ual lo+e as the origin and truth o( both drag and lesbianis,, and it inter#rets both #ra'ti'es as sy,#to,s o( thwarted lo+e) But what is dis#la'ed in this e3#lanation o( dis#la'e,ent is the notion that there ,ight be #leasure, desire, and lo+e that is not solely deter,ined by what it re#udiates)6 Now it ,ay see, at (irst that the way to o##ose these redu'tions and degradations o( Jueer #ra'ti'es is to assert their radi'al s#e'i(i'ity, to 'lai, that there is a lesbian desire radi'ally di((erent (ro, a heterose3ual one, with no relation to it, that is neither the re#udiation nor the a##ro#riation o( heterose3uality, and that has radi'ally other origins than those whi'h sustain heterose3uality) @r one ,ight be te,#ted to argue that drag is not related to the ridi'ule or degradation or a##ro#riation o( wo,enB when it is ,en in drag as wo,en, what we ha+e is the destabili.ation o( gender itsel(, a destabili.ation that is denaturali.ing and that 'alls into Juestion the 'lai,s o( nor,ati+ity and originality by whi'h gender and se3ual o##ression so,eti,es o#erate) But what i( the situation is neither e3'lusi+ely one nor the other, 'ertainly, so,e lesbians ha+e wanted to retain the notion that their se3ual #ra'ti'e is rooted in #art in a re#udiation o( heterose3uality, but also to 'lai, that this re#udiation does not a''ount (or lesbian desire, and 'annot there(ore be identi(ied as the hidden or original DtruthD o( lesbian desire) *nd the 'ase o( drag is di((i'ult in yet another way, (or it see,s 'lear to ,e that there is both a sense o( de(eat and a sense o( insurre'tion to be had (ro, the drag #ageantry in 2#ris .s 3urnin%, that the drag we see, the drag whi'h is a(ter all (ra,ed (or us, (il,ed (or us, is one whi'h both a##ro#riates and sub+erts ra'ist, ,isogynist, and ho,o#hobi' nor,s o( o##ression) ;ow are we to a''ount (or this a,bi+alen'eK :his is not (irst an a##ro#riation and then a sub+ersion) &o,eti,es it is both at on'eG so,eti,es it re,ains 'aught in an irresol+able tension, and so,eti,es a (atally unsub+ersi+e a##ro#riation takes #la'e) 2#ris .s 3u'in% 5199l6 is a (il, #rodu'ed and dire'ted by 0ennie Li+ingston about drag balls in New York !ity, in ;arle,, attended by, #er(or,ed by D,enD who are either *(ri'an-*,eri'an or Latino) :he balls are 'ontests in whi'h the 'ontestants 'o,#ete under a +ariety o( 'ategories) :he 'ategories in'lude a +ariety o( so'ial nor,s, ,any o( whi'h are estab-

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lished in white 'ulture as signs o( 'lass, like that o( the De3e'uti+eD and the 2+y League studentG so,e o( whi'h are ,arked as (e,inine, ranging (ro, high drag to but'h JueenG and so,e o( the,, like that o( the Dbangie,D are taken (ro, straight bla'k ,as'uline street 'ulture) Not all o( the 'ategories, then, are taken (ro, white 'ultureG so,e o( the, are re#li'ations o( a straightness whi'h is not white, and so,e o( the, are (o'used on 'lass, es#e'ially those whi'h al,ost reJuire that e3#ensi+e wo,enEs 'lothing be D,o##edD or stolen (or the o''asion) :he 'o,#etition in ,ilitary garb shi(ts to yet another register o( legiti,a'y, whi'h ena'ts the #er(or,ati+e and gestural 'on(or,ity to a ,as'ulinity whi'h #arallels the #er(or,ati+e or reiterati+e #rodu'tion o( (e,ininity in other 'ategories) DRealnessD is not e3a'tly a 'ategory in whi'h one 'o,#etesG it is a standard that is used to Fudge any gi+en #er(or,an'e within the established 'ategories) *nd yet what deter,ines the e((e't o( realness is the ability to 'o,#el belie(, to #rodu'e the naturali.ed e((e't :his e((e't is itsel( the result o( an e,bodi,ent o( nor,s, a reiteration o( nor,s, an i,#ersonation o( a ra'ial and 'lass nor,, a nor, whi'h is at on'e a (igure, a (igure o( a body, whi'h is no #arti'ular body, but a ,or#hologi'al ideal that re,ains the standard whi'h regulates the #er(or,an'e, but whi'h no #er(or,an'e (ully a##ro3i,ates) &igni(i'antly, this is a #er(or,an'e that works, that e((e'ts realness, to the e3tent that it c#nnot be read) For DreadingD ,eans taking so,eone down, e3#osing what (ails to work at the le+el o( a##earan'e, insulting or deriding so,eone) For a #er(or,an'e to work, then, ,eans that a reading is no longer #ossible, or that a reading, an inter#retation, a##ears to be a kind o( trans#arent seeing, where what a##ears and what it ,eans 'oin'ide) @n the 'ontrary, when what a##ears and how it is DreadD di+erge, the arti(i'e o( the #er(or,an'e 'an be read as arti(i'eG the ideal s#lits o(( (ro, its a##ro#riation) But the i,#ossibility o( reading ,eans that the arti(i'e works, the a##ro3i,ation o( realness a##ears to be a'hie+ed, the body #er(or,ing and the ideal #er(or,ed a##ear indistinguishable) But what is the status o( this idealK @( what is it 'o,#osedK Chat reading does the (il, en'ourage, and what does the (il, 'on'ealK /oes the denaturali.ation o( the nor, su''eed in sub+erting the nor,, or is this a denaturali.ation in the ser+i'e o( a #er#etual reideali.ation, one that 'an only o##ress, e+en as, or #re'isely when, it is e,bodied ,ost e((e'ti+elyK !onsider the di((erent (ates o( Ienus Ttra+agan.a) &he D#assesD as a lightskinned wo,an, but is8by +irtue o( a 'ertain (ailure to #ass 'o,#letely8

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'learly +ulnerable to ho,o#hobi' +iolen'eG ulti,ately, her li(e is taken #resu,ably by a 'lient who, u#on the dis'o+ery o( what she 'alls her Dlittle se'ret,D ,utilates her (or ha+ing sedu'ed hi,) @n the other hand, Cilli NinFa 'an #ass as straightG his +oguing be'o,es (oregrounded in het +ideo #rodu'tions with Aadonna et al), and he a'hie+es #ost-legendary status on an international s'ale) :here is #assing and then there is #assing, and it is8as we used to say8Dno a''identD that Cilli NinFa as'ends and Ienus Ttra+agan.a dies) Now Ienus, Ienus Ttra+agan.a, she seeks a 'ertain transubstantiation o( gender in order to (ind an i,aginary ,an who will designate a 'lass and ra'e #ri+ilege that #ro,ises a #er,anent shelter (ro, ra'is,, ho,o#hobia, and #o+erty) *nd it would not be enough to 'lai, that (or Ienus gender is '#rAed byra'e and 'lass, (or gender is not the substan'e or #ri,ary substrate and ra'e and 'lass the Juali(ying attributes) 2n this instan'e, gender is the +ehi'le (or the #hantas,ati' trans(or,ation o( that ne3us o( ra'e and 'lass, the site o( its arti'ulation) 2ndeed, in 2#ris .s 3urnin%, be'o,ing real, be'o,ing a real wo,an, although not e+eryoneEs desire 4so,e 'hildren want ,erely to DdoD realness, and that, only within the 'on(ines o( the ball5, 'onstitutes the site o( the #hantas,ati' #ro,ise o( a res'ue (ro, #o+erty, ho,o#hobia, and ra'ist delegiti,ation) :he 'ontest 4whi'h we ,ight read as a D'ontesting o( realnessD5 in+ol+es the #hantas,ati' atte,#t to a##ro3i,ate realness, but it also e3#oses the nor,s that regulate realness as t*e'selves #hantas,ati'ally instituted and sustained) :he rules that regulate and legiti,ate realness 4shall we 'all the, sy,boli'K5 'onstitute the ,e'hanis, by whi'h 'ertain san'tioned (antasies, san'tioned i,aginaries, are insidiously ele+ated as the #ara,eters o( realness) Ce 'ould, within 'on+entional La'anian #arlan'e, 'all this the ruling o( the sy,boli', e3'e#t that the sy,boli' assu,es the #ri,a'y o( se3ual di((eren'e in the 'onstitution o( the subFe't Chat 2#ris .s 3urnin% suggests, howe+er, is that the order o( se3ual di((eren'e is not #rior to that o( ra'e or 'lass in the 'onstitution o( the subFe'tG indeed, that the sy,boli' is also and at on'e a ra'iali.ing set o( nor,s, and that nor,s o( realness by whi'h the subFe't is #rodu'ed are ra'ially in(or,ed 'on'e#tions o( Dse3D 4this unders'ores the i,#ortan'e o( subFe'ting the entire #sy'hoanalyti' #aradig, to this insight5)7 :his double ,o+e,ent o( a##ro3i,ating and e3#osing the #hantas,ati' status o( the realness nor,, the sy,boli' nor,, is rein(or'ed by the

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diageti' ,o+e,ent o( the (il, in whi'h 'li#s o( so-'alled DrealD #eo#le ,o+ing in and out o( e3#ensi+e stores are Fu3ta#osed against the ballroo, drag s'enes) 2n the drag ball #rodu'tions o( realness, we witness and #rodu'e the #hantas,ati' 'onstitution o( a subFe't, a subFe't who re#eats and ,i,es the legiti,ating nor,s by whi'h it itsel( has been degraded, a subFe't (ounded in the #roFe't o( ,astery that 'o,#els and disru#ts its own re#etitions) :his is not a subFe't who stands ba'k (ro, its identi(i'ations and de'ides instru,entally how or whether to work ea'h o( the, todayG on the 'ontrary, the subFe't is the in'oherent and ,obili.ed i,bri'ation o( identi(i'ationsG it is 'onstituted in and through the iterability o( its #er(or,an'e, a re#etition whi'h works at on'e to legiti,ate and delegiti,ate the realness nor,s by whi'h it is #rodu'ed) 2n the #ursuit o( realness this subFe't is #rodu'ed, a #hantas,ati' #ursuit that ,obili.es identi(i'ations, unders'oring the #hantas,ati' #ro,ise that 'onstitutes any identi(i'atory ,o+e8a #ro,ise whi'h, taken too seriously, 'an 'ul,inate only in disa##oint,ent and disidenti(i'ation) * (antasy that (or Ienus, be'ause she dies8killed a##arently by one o( her 'lients, #erha#s a(ter the dis'o+ery o( those re,aining organs8'annot be translated into the sy,boli') :his is a killing that is #er(or,ed by a sy,boli' that would eradi'ate those #heno,ena that reJuire an o#ening u# o( the #ossibilities (or the resigni(i'ation o( se3) 2( Ienus wants to be'o,e a wo,an, and 'annot o+er'o,e being a Latina, then Ienus is treated by the sy,boli' in #re'isely the ways in whi'h wo,en o( 'olor are treated) ;er death thus testi(ies to a tragi' ,isreading o( the so'ial ,a# o( #ower, ) a ,isreading or'hestrated by that +ery ,a# a''ording to whi'h the sites (or a #hantas,ati' sel(-o+er'o,ing are 'onstantly resol+ed into disa##oint,ent) 2( the signi(iers o( whiteness and (e,aleness8as well as so,e (or,s o( hege,oni' ,aleness 'onstru'ted through 'lass #ri+ilege8are sites o( #hantas,ati' #ro,ise, then it is 'lear that wo,en o( 'olor and lesbians are not only e+erywhere e3'luded (ro, this s'ene, but 'onstitute a site o( identi(i'ation that is 'onsistently re(used and abFe'ted in the 'olle'ti+e #hantas,ati' #ursuit o( a transubstantiation into +arious (or,s o( drag, transse3ualis,, and un'riti'al ,i,ing o( the hege,oni') :hat this (antasy in+ol+es be'o,ing in #art like wo,en and, (or so,e o( the 'hildren, be'o,ing like bla'k wo,en, (alsely 'onstitutes bla'k wo,en as a site o( #ri+ilegeG they 'an 'at'h a ,an and be #rote'ted by hi,, an i,#ossible

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ideali.ation whi'h o( 'ourse works to deny the situation o( the great nurn bers o( #oor bla'k wo,en who are single ,others without the su##ort o( ,en) 2n this sense, the Didenti(i'ationD is 'o,#osed o( ade,al, an en+y, whi'h is the en+y o( a #hantas, o( bla'k wo,en, an ideali.ation that #rodu'es a denial) @n the other hand, inso(ar as bla'k ,en who are Jueer 'an be'o,e (e,ini.ed by hege,oni' straight 'ulture, there is in the #er(or,ati+e di,ension o( the ball a signi(i'ant ,orAin% of t*#t (e,ini.ation, an o''u#ation o( the identi(i'ation that is, as it were, #lre#dy ,ade between (aggots and wo,en, the (e,ini.ation o( the (aggot, the (e,ini.ation o( the bla'k (aggot, whi'h is the bla'k (e,ini.ation o( the (aggot) :he #er(or,an'e is thus a kind o( talking ba'k, one that re,ains largely 'onstrained by the ter,s o( the original assail,entB 2( a white ho,o#hobi' hege,ony 'onsiders the bla'k drag ball Jueen to be a wo,an, that wo,an, 'onstituted already by that hege,ony, will be'o,e the o''asion (or the rearti'ulation o( its ter,sG e,bodying the e3'ess o( that #rodu'tion, the Jueen will out-wo,an wo,en, and in the #ro'ess 'on(use and sedu'e an audien'e whose ga.e ,ust to so,e degree be stru'tured through those hege,onies, an audien'e who, through the hy#erboli' staging o( the s'ene, will be drawn into the abFe'tion it wants both to resist and to o+er'o,e) :he #hantas,ati' e3'ess o( this #rodu'tion 'onstitutes the site o( wo,en not only as ,arketable goods within an eroti' e'ono,y o( e3'hange,? but as goods whi'h, as it were, are also #ri+ileged 'onsu,ers with a''ess to wealth and so'ial #ri+ilege and #rote'tion) :his is a (ull-s'ale #hantas,ati' trans(iguration not only o( the #light o( #oor bla'k and Latino gay ,en, but o( #oor bla'k wo,en and Latinas, who are the (igures (or the abFe'tion that the drag ball s'ene ele+ates as a site o( ideali.ed identi(i'ation) 2t would, 2 think, be too si,#le to redu'e this identi(i'atory ,o+e to bla'k ,ale ,isogyny, as i( that were a dis'rete ty#ology, (or the (e,ini.ation o( the #oor bla'k ,an and, ,ost tren'hantly, o( the #oor, bla'k, gay ,an, is a strategy o( abFe'tion that is already underway, originating in the 'o,#le3 o( ra'ist, ho,o#hobi', ,isogynist, and 'lassist 'onstru'tions that belong to larger hege,onies o( o##ression) :hese hege,onies o#erate, as Gra,s'i insisted, though re#rticul#tion, but ere ,s where the a''u,ulated (or'e o( a histori'al), entren'hed and entren'hing rearti'ulation o+erwhel,s the ,ore (ragile e((ort to build an alternati+e 'ultural 'on(iguration (ro, or against that ,ore #ower(ul

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regi,e) 2,#ortantly, howe+er, that #rior hege,ony also works through and as its Dresistan'eD so that the relation between the ,arginali.ed 'o,,unity and the do,inati+e is not, stri'tly s#eaking, o##ositional) :he 'iting o( the do,inant nor, does not, in this instan'e, dis#la'e that nor,G rather, it be'o,es the ,eans by whi'h that do,inant nor, is ,ost #ain(ully reiterated as the +ery desire and the #er(or,an'e o( those it subFe'ts) !learly, the denaturali.ation o( se3, in its ,ulti#le senses, does not i,#ly a liberation (ro, hege,oni' 'onstraintB when Ienus s#eaks her desire to be'o,e a whole wo,an, to (ind a ,an and ha+e a house in the suburbs with a washing ,a'hine, we ,ay well Juestion whether the denaturali.ation o( gender and se3uality that she #er(or,s, and #er(or,s well, 'ul,inates in a reworking o( the nor,ati+e (ra,ework o( heterose3uality) :he #ain(ullness o( her death at the end o( the (il, suggests as well that there are 'ruel and (atal so'ial 'onstraints on denaturali.ation) *s ,u'h as she 'rosses gender, se3uality, and ra'e #er(or,ati+ely, the hege,ony that reins'ribes the #ri+ileges o( nor,ati+e (e,ininity and whiteness wields the (inal #ower to raiaturali.e IenusEs body and 'ross out that #rior 'rossing, an erasure that is her death) @( 'ourse, the (il, brings Ienus ba'k, as it were, into +isibility, although not to li(e, and thus 'onsti tutes a kind o( 'ine,ati' #er(or,ati+ity) Parado3i'ally, the (il, brings (a,e and re'ognition not only to Ienus but also to the other drag ball 'hildren who are de#i'ted in the (il, as able only to attain lo'al legendary status while longing (or wider re'ognition) :he 'a,era, o( 'ourse, #lays #re'isely to this desire, and so is i,#li'itly installed in the (il, as the #ro,ise o( legendary status) *nd yet, is there a (il,i' e((ort to take sto'k o( the #la'e o( the 'a,era in the traFe'tory o( desire that it not only re'ords, but also in'itesK 2n her 'riti'al re+iew o( the (il,, bell hooks raises the Juestion not only o( the #la'e o( the 'a,era, but also that o( the (il,,aker, 0ennie Li+ingston, a white lesbian 4in other 'onte3ts 'alled Da white 0ewish lesbian (ro, Yale,D an inter#ellation whi'h
also i,#li'ates this author in its swee#5, in relation to the drag ball 'o,,unity that she entered and (il,ed, hooks re,arks that, 0ennie Li+ingston a##roa'hes her subFe't ,atter as an outsider looking in) &in'e her #resen'e as white wo,an1lesbian (il,,aker is DabsentD (ro, 2#ris .s 3urnin%, it is easy (or +iewers to i,agine that they are wat'hing an ethnogra#hi' (il, do'u,enting the li(e o(

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bla'k gay Dnati+esD and not re'ogni.e that they are wat'hing a work sha#ed and (or,ed (ro, a #ers#e'ti+e and stand#oint s#e'i(i' to Li+ingston) By 'ine,ati'ally ,asking this reality 4we hear her ask Juestions but ne+er see her5 Li+ingston does not o##ose the way hege,oni' whiteness Dre#resentsD bla'kness, but rather assu,es an i,#erial o+erseeing #osition that is in no way #rogressi+e or 'ounterhege,oni')

Later in the sa,e essay, hooks raises the Juestion o( not ,erely whether or not the 'ultural lo'ation o( the (il,,aker is absent (ro, the (il,, but whether this absen'e o#erates to (or, ta'itly the (o'us and e((e't o( the (il,, e3#loiting the 'olonialist tro#e o( an Dinno'entD ethnogra#hi' ga.eB D:oo ,any 'riti's and inter+iewers,D hooks argues, D)))a't as though she so,ehow did this ,arginali.ed bla'k gay sub'ulture a (a+or by bringing their e3#erien'e to a wider #ubli') &u'h a stan'e obs'ures the substantial rewards she has re'ei+ed (or this work) &in'e so ,any o( the bla'k gay ,en in the (il, e3#ress the desire to be big stars, it is easy to #la'e Li+ingston in the role o( bene(a'tor, o((ering these E#oor bla'k soulsE a way to reali.e their drea,sD 4735) *lthough hooks restri'ts her re,arks to bla'k ,en in the (il,, ,ost o( the ,e,bers o( the ;ouse o( Ttra+agan.a, are Latino, so,e o( who, are lightskinned, so,e o( who, engage in 'rossing and #assing, so,e o( who only do the ball, so,e who are engaged in li(e #roFe'ts to e((e't a (ull transubstantiation into (e,ininity and1or into whiteness) :he DhousesD are organi.ed in #art along ethni' lines) :his see,s 'ru'ial to unders'ore #re'isely be'ause neither Li+ingston nor hooks 'onsiders the #la'e and (or'e o( ethni'ity in the arti'ulation o( kinshi# relations) :o the e3tent that a transubstantiation into legendary status, into an ideali.ed do,ain o( gender and ra'e, stru'tures the #hantas,ati' traFe'tory o( the drag ball 'ulture, Li+ingstonEs 'a,era enters this world as the #ro,ise o( #hantas,ati' (ul(ill,ent a wider audien'e, national and international (a,e) 2( Li+ingston is the white girl with the 'a,era, she is both the obFe't and +ehi'le o( desireG and yet, as a lesbian, she a##arently ,aintains so,e kind o( identi(i'atory bond with the gay ,en in the (il, and also, it see,s, with the kinshi# syste,, re#lete with Dhouses,D D,others,D and D'hildren,D that sustains the drag ball s'ene and is itsel( organi.ed by it) :he one instan'e where Li+ingstonEs body ,ight be said

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to a##ear allegon'ally on 'a,era is when @'ta+ia &t) Laurent is #osing (or the 'a,era, as a ,o+ing ,odel would (or a #hotogra#her) Ce hear a +oi'e tell her that sheEs terri(i', and it is un'lear whether it is a ,an shooting the (il, as a #ro3y (or Li+ingston, or Li+ingston hersel() Chat is suggested by this sudden intrusion o( the 'a,era into the (il, is so,ething o( the 'a,eraEs desire, the desire that ,oti+ates the 'a,era, in whi'h a white lesbian #halli'ally organi.ed by the use o( the 'a,era 4ele+ated to the status o( dise,bodied ga.e, holding out the #ro,ise o( eroti' re'ognition5 eroti'i.es a bla'k ,ale-to-(e,ale transse3ual8#resu,ably #reo#erati+e8who DworksD #er'e#tually as a wo,an) Chat would it ,ean to say that @'ta+ia is 0ennie Li+ingstonEs kind o( girlK 2s the 'ategory or, indeed, Dthe #ositionD o( white lesbian disru#ted by su'h a 'lai,K 2( this is the #rodu'tion o( the bla'k transse3ual (or an e3oti'i.ing white ga.e, is it not also the transse3uali.ation o( lesbian desireK Li+ingston in'ites @'ta+ia to be'o,e a wo,an (or Li+ingstonEs own 'a,era, and Li+ingston thereby assu,es the #ower o( Dha+ing the #hallus,D i)e), the ability to 'on(er that (e,ininity, to anoint @'ta+ia as ,odel wo,an) But to the e3tent that @'ta+ia re'ei+es and is #rodu'ed by that re'ognition, the 'a,era itsel( is e,#owered as #halli' instru,ent) Aoreo+er, the 'a,era a'ts as surgi'al instru,ent and o#eration, the +ehi'le through whi'h the transubstantiation o''urs) Li+ingston thus be'o,es the one with the #ower to turn ,en into wo,en who, then, de#end on the #ower o( her ga.e to be'o,e and re,ain wo,en) ;a+ing asked about the transse3uali.ation o( lesbian desire, then, it (ollows that we ,ight ask ,ore #arti'ularlyB what is the status o( the desire to (e,ini.e bla'k and Latino ,en that the (il, ena'tsK /oes this not ser+e the #ur#ose, a,ong others, o( a +isual #a'i(i'ation o( subFe'ts by who, white wo,en are i,agined to be so'ially endangeredK /oes the 'a,era #ro,ise a transubstantiation o( sortsK 2s it the token o( that #ro,ise to deli+er e'ono,i' #ri+ilege and the trans'enden'e o( so'ial abFe'tionK Chat does it ,ean to eroti'i.e the holding out o( that #ro,ise, as hooks asks, when the (il, will do well, but the li+es that they re'ord will re,ain substantially unalteredK *nd i( the 'a,era is the +ehi'le (or that transubstantiation, what is the #ower assu,ed by the one who wields the 'a,era, drawing on that desire and e3#loiting itK 2s this not its own (antasy, one in whi'h the (il,,aker wields the #ower to trans(or, what she re'ordsK *nd is this (antasy o( the 'a,eraEs #ower not dire'tly

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'ounter to the ethnogra#hi' 'on'eit that stru'tures the (il,K hooks is right to argue that within this 'ulture the ethnogra#hi' 'on'eit o( a neutral ga.e will always be a white ga.e, an un,arked white F ga.e, one whi'h #asses its own #ers#e'ti+e o(( as the o,nis'ient, one whi'h #resu,es u#on and ena'ts its own #ers#e'ti+e as i( it were no #ers#e'ti+e at all) But what does it ,ean to think about this 'a,era as an instru,ent and e((e't o( lesbian desireK 2 would ha+e liked to ha+e seen the Juestion o( Li+ingstonEs 'ine,ati' desire re(le3i+ely the,ati.ed in the (il, itsel(, her intrusions into the (ra,e as Dintrusions,D the 'a,era i'(lic#tedin the traFe'tory o( desire that it see,s 'o,#elled to in'ite) :o the e3tent that the 'a,era (igures ta'itly as the instru,ent o( transubstantiation, it assu,es the #la'e o( the #hallus, as that whi'h 'ontrols the (ield o( signi(i'ation) :he 'a,era thus trades on the ,as'uline #ri+ilege o( the dise,bodied ga.e, the ga.e that has the #ower to #rodu'e bodies, but whi'h is itsel( no body) But is this 'ine,ati' ga.e only white and #halli', or is there in this (il, a de'entered #la'e (or the 'a,era as wellK hooks #oints to two 'o,#eting narrati+e traFe'tories in the (il,, one that (o'uses on the #ageantry o( the balls and another that (o'uses on the li+es o( the #arti'i#ants) &he argues that the s#e'ta'le o( the #ageantry arri+es to Juell the #ortraits o( su((ering that these ,en relate about their li+es outside the ball) *nd in her rendition, the #ageantry re#resents a li(e o( #leasurable (antasy, and the li+es outside the drag ball are the #ain(ul DrealityN that the #ageantry seeks #hantas,ati'ally to o+er'o,e, hooks 'lai,s that Dat no #oint in Li+ingstonEs (il, are the ,en asked to s#eak about their 'onne'tions to a world o( (a,ily and 'o,,unity beyond the drag ball) :he 'ine,ati' narrati+e ,akes the ball the 'enter o( their li+es) *nd yet who deter,ines thisK 2s this the way the bla'k ,en +iew their reality or is this the reality that Li+ingston 'onstru'tsKD !learly, this 1U the way that Li+ingston 'onstru'ts their Dreality,D and the insights into their li+es that we do get are still tied in to the ball) Ce hear about the ways in whi'h the +arious houses #re#are (or the ball, we see D,o##ingGD and we see the di((eren'es a,ong those who walk in the ball as ,en, those who do drag inside the #ara,eters o( the ball, those who 'ross-dress all the ti,e in the ball and on the street and, a,ong the 'ross-dressers, those who resist transse3uality, and those who are transse3ual in +arying degrees) Chat be'o,es 'lear in the enu,eration o(

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the kinshi# syste, that surrounds the ball is not only that the DhousesD and the D,othersD and the D'hildrenD sustain the ball, but that the ball is itsel( an o''asion (or the building o( a set o( kinshi# relations that ,anage and sustain those who belong to the houses in the (a'e o( dislo'ation, #o+erty, ho,elessness) :hese ,en D,otherD one another, DhouseD one another, DrearD one another, and the resigni(i'ation o( the (a,ily through these ter,s is not a +ain or useless i,itation, but the so'ial and dis'ursi+e building o( 'o,,unity, a 'o,,unity that binds, 'ares, and tea'hes, that shelters and enables) :his is doubtless a 'ultural reelaboration o( kinshi# that anyone outside o( the #ri+ilege o( heterose3ual (a,ily 4and those Ewithin those D#ri+ilegesD who su((er there5 needs to see, to know, and to learn (ro,, a task that ,akes none o( us who are outside o( heterose3ual D(a,ilyD into absolute outsiders to this (il,) &igni(i'antly, it is in the elaboration o( kinshi# (orged through a resigni(i'ation o( the +ery ter,s whi'h e((e't our e3'lusion and abFe'tion that su'h a resigni(i'ation 'reates the dis'ursi+e and so'ial s#a'e (or 'o,,unity, that we see an a##ro#riation o( the ter,s o( do,ination that turns the, toward a ,ore enabling (uture) 2n these senses, then, 2#ris .s 3urnin% do'u,ents neither an e((i'a'ious insurre'tion nor a #ain(ul resubordination, but an unstable 'oe3isten'e o( both) :he (il, attests to the #ain(ul #leasures o( eroti'i.ing and ,i,ing the +ery nor,s that wield their #ower by (ore'losing the +ery re+erseo''u#ations that the 'hildren ne+ertheless #er(or,) :his is not an a##ro#riation o( do,inant 'ulture in order to re,ain subordinated by its ter,s, but an a##ro#riation that seeks to ,ake o+er the ter,s o( do,ination, a ,aking o+er whi'h is itsel( a kind o( agen'y, a #ower in and as dis'ourse, in and as #er(or,an'e, whi'h re#eats in order to re,ake8and so,eti,es su''eeds) But this is a (il, that 'annot a'hie+e this e((e't without i,#li'ating its s#e'tators in the a'tG to wat'h this (il, ,eans to enter into a logi' o( (etishi.ation whi'h installs the a,bi+alen'e o( that D#er(or,an'eD as related to our own) 2( the ethnogra#hi' 'on'eit allows the #er(or,an'e to be'o,e an e3oti' (etish, one (ro, whi'h the audien'e absents itsel(, the 'o,,odi(i'ation o( heterose3ual gender ideals will be, in that instan'e, 'o,#lete) But i( the (il, establishes the a,bi+alen'e o( e,bodying8and (ailing to e,body8that whi'h one sees, then a distan'e will be o#ened u# bet,een that hege,oni' 'all to nor,ati+i.ing gender and its 'riti'al a##ro#riation)

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S"MBOLIC RErTERAT$ONS

:he )signi(i'ation o( the sy,boli' ter,s o( kinshi# in 2#ris 3urnin% #nd in the 'ultures o( se3ual ,inorities re#resented and o''luded by the (il, raises the Juestion o( how #re'isely the a##arently stati' workings o( the sy,boli' order be'o,e +ulnerable to sub+ersi+e re#etition and resigni(i-'ation) :o understand how this )signi(i'ation works in the (i'tion o( Cilla !ather, a re'a#itulation o( the #sy'hoanalyti' a''ount o( the (or,ation o( se3ed bodies is needed) :he turn to !atherEs (i'tion in+ol+es bringing the Juestion o( the bodily ego in Freud and the status o( se3ual di((erentiation in La'an to bear on the Juestion o( na,ing and, #arti'ularly, the (or'e o( the na,e in (i'tion) FreudEs 'ontention that the ego is always a bodily ego is elaborated with the (urther insight that this bodily ego is #roFe'ted in a (ield o( +isual alterity) La'an insists that the body as a +isual #roFe'tion or i,aginary (or,ation 'annot be sustained e3'e#t through sub,itting to the na,e, where the Dna,eD stands (or the Na,e o( the Father, the law o( se3ual di((erentiation) 2n D:he Airror &tage,D La'an re,arks that the ego is #rodu'ed Din a (i'tional dire'tion,D that its 'ontouring and #roFe'tion are #sy'hi' works o( (i'tionG this (i'tional dire'tionality is arrested and i,,obili.ed through the e,ergen'e o( a sy,boli' order that legiti,ates se3ually di((erentiated (i'tions as D#ositions)D *s a +isual (i'tion, the ego is ine+itably a site o( 'econn#iss#nceB the se3ing o( the ego by the sy,boli' seeks to subdue this instability o( the ego, understood as an i,aginary (or,ation) ;ere it see,s 'ru'ial to ask where and how language e,erges to e((e't this stabili.ing (un'tion, #arti'ularly (or the (i3ing o( se3ed #ositions) :he 'a#a'ity o( language to (i3 su'h #ositions, that is, to ena't its sy,boli' e((e'ts, de#ends u#on the #er,anen'e and (i3ity o( the sy,boli' do,ain itsel(, the do,ain o( signi(iability or intelligibility)= 2(, (or La'an, the na,e se'ures the bodily ego in ti,e, renders it identi'al through ti,e, and this 'on(erringD #ower o( the na,e is deri+ed (ro, the 'on(erring #ower o( the sy,boli' ,ore generally, then it (ollows that a 'risis in the sy,boli' will entail a 'risis in this identity-'on(erring (un'tion o( the na,e, and in the stabili.ing o( bodily 'ontours a''ording to se3 allegedly #er(or,ed by the sy,boli') T*e crisis in t*e sy'bolic underst#nds #s # crisis over ,*#t constitutes , t*e li'its of intelli%ibility ,ill re#icter #s # crisis ' t*e n#'e #nd in t*e 'or(*o: lo%ic#l st#bility t*#t t*e n#'e is s#id to confer

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:he #hallus (un'tions as a syne'do'he, (or inso(ar as it is a (igure o( the #enis, it 'onstitutes an ideali.ation and isolation o( a body #art and, (urther, the in+est,ent o( that #art with the (or'e o( sy,boli' law) 2( bodies are di((erentiated a''ording to the sy,boli' #ositions that they o''u#y, and those sy,boli' #ositions 'onsist in either ha+ing or being the #hallus, bodies are thus di((erentiated and sustained in their di((erentiation by being subFe'ted to the Law o( the Father whi'h di'tates the DbeingD and Dha+ingD #ositionsG ,en be'o,e ,en by a##ro3i,ating the Dha+ing o( the #hallus,D whi'h is to say they are 'o,#elled to a##ro3i,ate a D#ositionD whi'h is itsel( the result o( a syne'do'hal 'olla#se o( ,as'ulinity into its D#artD and a 'orollary ideali.ation o( that syne'do'he as the go+erning sy,bol o( the sy,boli' order) *''ording to the sy,boli', then, the assu,#tion o( se3 takes #la'e through an a##ro3i,ation o( this syne'do'hal redu'tion) :his is the ,eans by whi'h a body assu,es se3ed integrity as ,as'uline or (e,inineB the se3ed integrity o( the body is #arado3i'ally a'hie+ed through an identi(i'ation with its redu'tion into ideali.ed syne'do'he 4Dha+ingD or DbeingD the #hallus5) :he body whi'h (ails to sub,it to the law or o''u#ies that law in a ,ode 'ontrary to its di'tate, thus loses its sure (ooting8its 'ultural gra+ity8in the sy,boli' and rea##ears in its i,aginary tenuousness, its (i'tional dire'tion) &u'h bodies 'ontest the nor,s that go+ern the intelligibility o( se3) 2s the distin'tion between the sy,boli' and the i,aginary a stable distin'tionK *nd what o( the distin'tion between the na,e and the bodily egoK /oes the na,e, understood as the linguisti' token whi'h designates se3, only work to cover over its (i'ti+eness, or are there o''asions in whi'h t*efictive #nd unst#ble st#tus of t*#t bodily e%o trouble t*e n#'e, ex(ose t*e n#'e #s # crisis in referenti#lityJ Further, i( body #arts do not redu'e to their #halli' ideali.ations, that is, i( they be'o,e +e'tors (or other sorts o( #hantas,at-i' in+est,ents, then to what e3tent does the syne'do'hal logi' through whi'h the #hallus o#erates lose its di((erentiating 'a#a'ityK 2n other words, the #hallus itsel( #resu##oses the regulation and redu'tion o( #hantas,ati' in+est,ent su'h that the #enis is either ideali.ed as the #hallus or ,ourned as the s'ene o( 'astration, and desired in the ,ode o( an i,#ossible 'o,#ensation) 2( these in+est,ents are deregulated or, indeed, di,inished, to what e3tent 'an ha+ing1being the #hallus still (un'tion as that whi'h se'ures the di((erentiation o( the se3esK 2n !atherEs (i'tion, the na,e not only designates a gender un'ertainty,

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but #rodu'es a 'risis in the (iguration o( se3ed ,or#hology as well) 2n this sense, !atherEs (i'tion 'an be read as the (oundering and unra+eling o( the sy,boli' on its own i,#ossible de,ands) Chat ha##ens when the na,e and the #art #rodu'e di+ergent and 'on(li'ting sets o( se3ual e3#e'tationsK :o what e3tent do the unstable des'ri#tions o( gendered bodies and body #arts #rodu'e a 'risis in the re(erentiality o( the na,e, the na,e itsel( as the +ery (i'tion it seeks to 'o+erK 2( the heterose3is, o( the La'anian sy,boli' de#ends on a set o( rigid and #res'ribed identi(i'ations, and i( those identi(i'ations are #re'isely what GatherEs (i'tion works through and against the sy,boli'ally in+ested na,e, then the 'ontingen'y o( the sy,boli'8and the heterose3ist #ara,eters o( what Juali(ies as Dse3D8undergo a rearti'ulation that works the (i'ti+e grounding o( what only a##ears as the (i3ed li,its o( intelligibility) !ather 'ites the #aternal law, but in #la'es and ways that ,obili.e a sub+ersion under the guise o( loyalty) Na,es (ail (ully to gender the 'hara'ters whose (e,ininity and ,as'ulinity they are e3#e'ted to se'ure) :he na,e (ails to sustain the identity o( the body within the ter,s o( 'ultural intelligibilityG body #arts disengage (ro, any 'o,,on 'enter, #ull away (ro, ea'h other, lead se#arate li+es, be'o,e sites o( #hantas,ati' in+est,ents that re(use to redu'e to singular se3ualities) *nd though it a##ears that the nor,ati+i.ing law #re+ails by (or'ing sui'ide, the sa'ri(i'e o( ho,ose3ual eroti'is,, or 'loseting ho,ose3uality, the te3t e3'eeds the te3t, the li(e o( the law e3'eeds the teleology o( the law, enabling an eroti' 'ontestation and disru#ti+e re#etition o( its own ter,s)

5
*DANGEROUS CROSSING*) WILLA CATHER1S MASCULINE NAMES
D/angerous !rossingDG itEs #ainted on signboards all o+er the worldP 8Cilla !ather, D:o, @utlandEs &toryD

2t is not easy to know how to read gender or se3uality in Cilla !atherEs (i'tion) !ather has a##eared not to #la'e hersel( in a legible relation to wo,en or to lesbianis,) For her reader, then, to #la'e or a((ir, her with a na,e engages a 'ertain +iolen'e against her te3ts, te3ts whi'h ha+e as one o( their #ersistent (eatures the destabili.ation o( gender and se3uality through the na,e) *t issue is how to read the na,e as a site o( identi(i'ation, a site where the dyna,i' o(

identi(i'ation is at #lay, and to read the na,e as an o''asion (or the retheori.ation o( 'rossidenti(i'ation or, rather, the 'rossing that is, it see,s, at work in e+ery identi(i'atory #ra'ti'e) :his Juestion o( how to read identi(i'ation in relation to the (i'tional na,e is (or the ,ost #art un#roble,ati.ed in the re'e#tion o( !ather) &o,e (e,inists ha+e argued that she is a ,ale-identi(ied writer, one whose stories #resu,e a ,as'uline narrator or (oreground a ,as'uline #rotagonist) Fe,inist biogra#her &haron @EBrien argues that !ather ,o+es (ro, an early ,ale identi(i'ation 4when she 'alls hersel( DCillD5 to a (e,ale identi(i'ation through the 'ourse o( her literary #rodu'tion, and that the early !atherEs loyalty to her (ather and un'le is re#la'ed in ti,e with a loyalty to and identi(i'ation with her ,aternal (orebears)1 :he intensi(i'ation o( this #utati+e identi(i'atory bond with her ,other a''ounts (or @EBrienEs assertion that the traFe'tory o( !atherEs 'areer 'an be read as a growing a((ir,ation o( hersel( not only as a wo,an, but as a wo,an writer) @EBrien tra'es this #sy'hologi'al shi(t by ,obili.ing the #resu,#tion that #sy'hi' identi(i'ations

be'o,e legible through the 'hara'ters that the author #rodu'es, that 'hara'ters are the ,i,eti' re(le'tions o( these identi(i'ations, and that identi(i'ation is a sign o( loyalty and a((iliation rather than, say, unresol+ed aggression or, ,ini,ally,

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a,bi+alen'e) *lthough @EBrien a((ir,s the i,#ortan'e of !atherEs lesbianis, to her authorshi#, she does not 'onsider the #la'e o( 'ross-identi(i'ation in the arti'ulation o( that se3ualityG indeed, she #resu,es that lesbianis, is not only the lo+e o( wo,en, but the intensi(i'ation o( a ,aternal identi(i'atory bond) 2n the re'ent biogra#hy written by ;er,ione Lee, howe+er, 'ross-identi(i'ation and 'ross-dressing be'o,e #art o( the s#e'ta'le o( the literary !ather, but 'ross-gendered identi(i'ation is (or'e(ully disengaged (ro, the Juestion o( !atherEs se3uality) 9 ;ere it see,s that 'ross-dressing and 'ross-writing are not to be read as se3ual ena't,ents, but al,ost e3'lusi+ely as a +oluntarist #rodu'tion o( a s#e'ta'ular sel() +e &edgwi'k o((ers a ,ore 'o,#le3 reading o( 'ross-identi(i'ation in !atherEs no+el T*e 2rofessors <ouse 519256, in whi'h a ho,oeroti' relationshi# between two ,en is Juite literally 'ontained within the narrati+e (ra,e o( a heterose3ual (a,ily arrange,ent, arid al,ost to the #oint o( death) 3 *''ording to &edgwi'k, !ather ,akes two D'ross-translations,D one a'ross gender and another a'ross se3ualityD 47=5G !ather assu,es the #osition o( ,en and that o( ,ale ho,ose3uality) ;ow are we to understand this assu,#tionG at what 'ost is it #er(or,edK &edgwi'k writesB Dwhat be'o,es +isible in this double re(ra'tion are the shadows o( the brutal su##ressions by whi'h a lesbian lo+e did not in Cill a !atherEs ti,e and 'ulture (reely be'o,e +isible as itsel(D 4795) ;ere &edgwi'k o((ers us the 'hoi'e between a re(ra'ted lo+e, one whi'h is arti'ulated through a double-translation, and one whi'h has the #ossibility o( a dire't and trans#arent +isibility, what she re(ers to as Dlesbian truthsD whi'h a##ear to e3ist #rior to the #ossibility o( their 'onstitution in a legiti,ating histori'al dis'ourse 4795) *nd yet it is &edgwi'k who also argues in T*e E(iste'olo%y of t*e $loset that su'h absen'es, 'onstituting the a##aratus o( the 'loset, are not only the site o( brutal su##ressions, but #ersist in 'onseJuen'e o( their #rohibition as an array o( indire'tions, substitutions, and te3tual +a'illations that 'all (or a s#e'i(i' kind o( reading)" 2n inter#reting !ather to be #er(or,ing a translation into the ,as'uline gender through the 'hara'ter o( :o, @utland in T*e 2rofessor/s <ouse, &edgwi'k o+erlooks another :o,,y, the one in 1=97 who a##ears as a young wo,an, a to,boy to be #re'ise, in !atherEs D:o,,y the %nsenti,entalDG in that te3t the na,e does not re(le't a gender, but be'o,es the site o( a 'ertain 'rossing, a trans(er o( gender, whi'h raises the Juestion o( whether (or !ather the na,e stages an

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e3'hange o( gender identi(i'ations that the substantiali.ing o( gender and se3uality 'on'eal) :he #ostulation o( an original DtruthD o( lesbian se3uality whi'h awaits its adeJuate histori'al re#resentation #resu,es an ahistori'al se3uality 'onstituted and inta't #rior to the dis'ourses by whi'h it is re#resented) :his s#e'ulation rests on a ,issed o##ortunity to read lesbian se3uality #s a s#e'i(i' #ra'ti'e o( dissi,ulation #rodu'ed through the +ery histori'al +o'abularies that seek to e((e't its erasure) :he #rohibition that is said to work e((e'ti+ely to Juell the arti'ulation o( lesbian se3uality in !atherEs (i'tion is, 2 would argue, #re'isely the o''asion o( its 'onstitution and e3'hange) 2t is #erha#s less that the legibility o( lesbianis, is #er#etually endangered in !atherEs te3t than that lesbian se3uality within the te3t is #rodu'ed as a #er#etual 'hallenge to legibility) *drienne Ri'h re,arks on this 'hallenge when she writes,D)) )(or Cilla !ather, lesbian8 the ,arker is ,ute)D6 2n this sense, the Dre(ra'tionD that &edgwi'k isolates in !ather is a sign o( not only a +iolation o( lesbianis,, but the +ery 'ondition and #ossibility o( lesbianis, as a re(ra'ted se3uality, 'onstituted in translation and dis#la'e,ent) Cithin !atherEs te3t, this se3uality ne+er Juali(ies as a truth, radi'ally distin't (ro, heterose3uality) 2t is al,ost nowhere (igured nu,eri'ally, but is to be read as an e3'hange in whi'h sa'ri(i'e and a##ro#riation 'on+erge, and where the na,e be'o,es the a,bi+alent site o( this #rohibited taking, this anguished gi+ing away)
BURDENSOME NAMES

2n 191=, !ather began her no+el "y !ntoni# with a #rologue in whi'h an D2D e,erges, a narrating (igure, who is ne+er introdu'ed, indeed, ne+er na,ed) 7 :his #rologue is in (a't 'alled an Dintrodu'tion,D as i( written by so,eone other than the author, #erha#s as an introdu'tion to the author hi,sel(, 0i, Burden) :his installation o( 0i, Burden as author takes #la'e through the #rodu'tion and gradual e((a'e,ent the anony,ous D2D 41-95) 2ndeed, what !ather 'ou#les (or us at the outset o( her te3t is an anony,ous narrator and a na,ed one, two (igures who 'oin'ide, indeed, who Dare old (riends,D and who, within a single senten'e, a##ear to tra+erse the 'on+entions o( #ast and #resent tense) DLast su,,er, in a season o( intense heat, 0i, Burden and 2 ha##ened to be 'rossing 2owa on the sa,e train)D :here is 'ir'u,stan'e and already a Juestion o( 'rossing, and then the un'ertainty re#eats itsel( in the ne3t senten'e, whi'h slides al,ost

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eerily (ro, the 'ertain #resent o( the relationshi# to the Juestion o( whether it is only ,e,oryB D;e and 2 are old (riends, we grew u# together in the sa,e Nebraska town, and we had a great deal to say to one another)D :he relationshi#, we learn, does not sur+i+e into the #resent tense where ea'h li+es in New York, and where 0i, Burden a##ears to ha+e a wi(e who, the anony,ous narrator dislikes) :his wi(e, we learn, is handso,e but Duni,#ressionable,D energeti', but Din'a#able o( enthusias,)D But this (igure who se#arates the, is re#la'ed in the 'ourse o( the #age by another who binds the,B *ntonia, who 0i, at the window a##ears to 'onFure (ro, the burning lands'a#e) :he burning hori.on resol+es into a burning (igure, a (igure o( desire who not only Foins the D2D and D0i,,D but be'o,es the o''asion (or the dis#la'e,ent o( the D2D by 0i,B DAore than any other #erson we re,e,bered, this girl see,ed to ,ean to us the 'ountry, the 'onditions, the whole ad+enture o( our 'hildhoodD 495) *nd it is, then, through the #hantas,ati' retrie+al o( *ntonia that 0i, is said to renew a (riendshi# with our na,eless narrator, a (riendshi# that the narrator, right be(ore +anishing altogether, 'lai,s was in+aluable) *nd this narrating D2,D re'eding in a''elerated (ashion into an al,ost illegible anony,ity, thus #arallels the state o( Nebraska, a re'eding #ers#e'ti+e (ro, the #oint o( +iew o( the train burning its way toward New York) :he D2D dissi,ulated as (ading hori.on be'o,es the storyEs nonthe,ari' 'onditionG this 'ondition is installed through the trans(erring o( narrati+e authority (ro, the shi(ting #ronoun to the (igure o( 0i,) *nd this trans(er is thus the te,#orary resolution o( the a,biguously re(erring D2D in and by a ,as'uline (igure su##orted by a ,as'uline na,e, but a na,e, D0i, Burden,D that announ'es the burdenso,e Juality o( 'arrying the weight o( that resolution and whose 'a#a'ity to re(er will be inter,ittently disru#ted by the traFe'tory o( the narrati+e that it a##ears to ground) ;ow are we to read this trans(er o( authority and desire in the na,eK Ce ,ight read the #re'i#itating D2D o( "y !ntoni# as a site in whi'h the 'on+entions o( anony,ity are negotiated with the 'on+entions o( traditional ,as'uline authorshi#) :his D2D is a re'eding ,ark, one whi'h ena'ts the withdrawal into anony,ity, a #rono,inal ,ark whi'h 'o,es to erase itsel(, thereby be'o,ing the uns#oken 'ondition that rea##ears as a nonthe,ati' te3tual disru#tion within the +ery ,atri3 o( heterose3ual 'on+ention) 2n gi+ing o+er narrati+e authority, the D2D (igures the ideal reader as

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one whose enFoy,ent is a'hie+ed through a dis#la'ed identi(i'ation) 0i,Es #assion (or the (igure o( *ntonia is thus relayed to the D2D whose #assion (or her is reawakened through hisB D2 had lost sight o( her altogether, but 0i, had (ound her again a(ter long years, and had renewed a (riendshi# that ,eant a great deal to hi,) ;is ,ind was (ull o( her that day) ;e ,ade ,e see her again, (eel her #resen'e, re+i+ed all ,y old a((e'tion (or herD 495) ;ere it is 0i,Es (iguration o( *ntonia that a##ears to be the o''asion (or the D2DEs desire, an enabling dis#la'e,ent that ostensibly trans(ers desire (ro, hi, to the anony,ous reader) :he #assion o( this na,eless D2D thus a##ears to (ollow 0i,Es, and yet at the ,o,ent a(ter this D2D narrates the D2DEs own a((e'tion, 0i, s#eaks (or the (irst ti,e, assu,ing the authorial (un'tion that will be'o,e e3'lusi+ely his in the 'ourse o( the ne3t two #aragra#hs and throughout the te3t that (ollows) ;en'e, the ,arking o( the D2DEs desire, whi'h is attributed to the #ower o( 0i,Es #hantas,, is thus dire'tly e'li#sed through the installation o( 0i, as the sour'e and origin o( the desirous re+ery that will 'onstitute the te3t /oes 0i, e'li#se this desire, or is this an e'li#se o( the D2D whi'h then 'arries, as it were, the burden o( that D2DEs desireK Chen 0i, s#eaks, it is a dis'ourse without address, a re+ery indi((erent to its listener, 'asting the on'e narrating D2D into the #osition o( an i,#ressionable reader within the te3t, but inad+ertently strengthening the narrati+e authority o( the te3tB DEFro, ti,e to ti,e 2E+e been writing down what 2 re,e,ber about *ntonia,E he told ,e)))D :he D2D now (un'tions as the +ehi'le o( di'tation, but here the D2,D (ully dissi,ulated as a 'itational strategy, re'ords his s#ee'h, and thus 'on(ers an un,arked authority on that s#ee'h) *s 0i, a##ears to e'li#se the D2D as the narrator, the D2D be'o,es the illegible 'ondition o( 0i,Es narration) ;is narration, on the other hand, is now a 'itation whi'h thus a'Juires its origin and its ground retros#e'ti+ely in the one who 'ites, the na,eless one who, in the 'iting, or, rather, #s the 'iting, is dis#la'ed in the a't) 2ndeed, the anony,ous narrator (igures an ideal reader (or this (uture te3t, and 0i, ad+ises this D2,D in what ,ay be the only o''asion o( dire't address, that she1he Dshould 'ertainly see it,D re(erring to the te3t, a Foke worthy o( Ha(ka, 'asting the author as a wanting reader, denying the 'rossing o( 0i, with that sel(-sa'ri(i'ial author and thereby #rodu'ing 0i,, the na,e, as the e((e't and token o( that sa'ri(i'e) *nd yet, it is un'lear whether 0i, has taken the #la'e o( this narrator or whether the narrator now ,ore (ully #ossesses 0i,, a

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#ossession whi'h is ena'ted through the +ery logi' o( sa'ri(i'e) Ce learn in the 'ourse o( this introdu'tion that another reason (or the e,otional distan'e between the anony,ous narrator and 0i, Burden is that 0i, be'a,e legal 'ounsel (or one o( the Cestern railways, and tins see,s to suggest that the anony,ous narrator takes so,e distan'e (ro, the law or is hersel( under a kind o( 'ensor) 0i,, on the other hand, re#resents the lawB his legal status returns at the end o( the introdu'non when he arri+es at the narratorEs a#art,ent with the ,anus'ri#t en'ased in legal 'o+er, wearing the sta,# o( the law, with 0i, as the signatory, 'arrying the weight o( legiti,ation) D;ere is the thing about *ntonia)D D2 si,#ly wrote down #retty ,u'h all that her na,e re'alls to ,eDB D2 su##ose it hasnEt any (or,D he re,arks, and then, D2t hasnEt any title either)D *nd then in the #resen'e o( the narratorG 0i, writes the title D*ntonia,D erases it with a (rown and, then, with Dsatis(a'tion,D lays 'lai, to the #ro#er na,eB DAy *ntonia,D he writes 495) 0i,Es title thus 'on+erges with GatherEs, and the re#etition dis#la'es the a't by whi'h 0i, a##eared to ha+e su##lanted the narrator in the te3t) Ce know that this is, a(ter all, !atherEs te3t, whi'h i,#lies that she is #erha#s the anony,ous one who di'tates what 0i, narrates) Figured as an Di,#ressionableD reader, an i,#ressionability whi'h re'alls an ideali.ed (e,inine reader, the one who re'ei+es and di'tates the te3t written by a ,an, !ather (irst dissi,ulates through this (e,inine 'on+ention, then disa##ears in order (inally to D#ossessD the te3t that she a##ears to gi+e away) 2n other words, she stages the laying o( the 'lai, to authorial rights by trans(erring the, to the one who re#resents the law, a trans(er that, in its redoubling, is a kind o( (raud, one whi'h (a'ilitates the 'lai, to the te3t that she only a##ears to gi+e away) :he (alse trans(er is, 2 think, a re'urring ,o+e,ent within her te3ts, a (igure (or the 'rossing o( identi(i'ation whi'h both enables and 'on'eals the workings o( desire) :his is a 'rossing that 2 will 'onsider soon in the 'onte3t o( her short story D:o,,y the %nsenti,entalD where identi(i'ation is always an a,bi+alent #ro'ess, a taking on o( a #osition that is at on'e a taking o+er, a dis#ossession, and a sa'ri(i'e)E 2ndeed, this is a (raudulent gi(t, an a##arent sa'ri(i'e, in whi'h a (e,inine authorshi# a##ears to yield in (a+or o( a ,as'uline one) a signing-o+er that, 2 will try to show, resol+es into an e3a'ting e3'hange, and, in D:o,,y the %nsenti,ental,D be'o,es the #rodu'tion o( a ,as'uline debt 2( !atherEs te3ts o(ten a##ear

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to ideali.e ,as'uline authorshi# through a dis#la'ed identi(i'ation, it ,ay be that the dis#la'e,ent o( identi(i'ation is the +ery 'ondition (or the #ossibility o( her (i'tion) 0i,Es authorshi# is assu,ed only through a literal re#etition o( !atherEs own title, whi'h suggests that !ather in so,e sense retains the title in both its literary and legal ter,s and, there(ore, retains the title to the authorshi# that is 0i,Es burden to 'arry) *s a re#etition and 'itation, 0i,Es authorshi# is thus understood to be deri+ed, and the i,#ressionable (e,inine listener retains (ull 'ontrol) But what about the deri+ed status o( the (i'tional author is a burdenK Chat is the weight or 'urse o( this authorshi#K *nd what 'an we ,ake o( 0i, as both !atherEs designated re#resentati+e and as e,ble, o( the law, the (or'e o( #rohibition whi'h ne'essitates that +ery substitutionK *ntonia is Bohe,ian, and like other Bohe,ian girls in !atherEs (i'tion, she belongs to the Ger,an-s#eaking 'o,,unities deri+ed (ro, a land 'alled DBohe,iaD in the *ustrian ,#ire who settled in Nebraska a(ter the wars o( 1="=) :he nglish ter, Dbohe,ianD is tra'ed to a Fren'h usage that began in the (i(teenth 'entury when gy#sies, re#utedly (ro, Bohe,ia, started to arri+e in western regions o( uro#e) 2n 1="=, :ha'keray began to trans(er the sense o( the ter, to anyone who is in e3ile within a gi+en 'o,,unityG writing in G#nity K#ir, he a##lied the ter, to young wo,en who were 'onsidered DwildD and Dro+ing)D ;e a##lied the ter, again in the 1=70s to re(er to Dliterary gy#seys,D who, in a no+el trans#osition o( !i+il Car rhetori', he des'ribed as Dse'edingD (ro, 'on+entionality) :he ter, was subseJuently e3tended to a##ly to anyone who holds 'onte,#t (or so'ial 'on+ention or, as the 8E& e3#lains, Done who leads a (ree, +agabond, or irregular li(e)D= *ntonia is (irst introdu'ed in !atherEs te3t in a situation o( linguisti' e3ile and disorientation, (ull o( hunger to learn nglish and, in #arti'ular, how na,es re(er) Chen *ntonia ,eets 0i, she tou'hes his s*oulder and asks, DNa,eK Chat Na,eKD 4195 in order to know 0i,Es na,e, but also to signal the syne'do'hal 'olla#se o( 0i, into his shoulder, the site on whi'h burdens are 'arried) *ntonia then turns to trees and to the lands'a#e, reiterating the Juestion, DNa,e) Chat Na,eKD But no na,e a##ears to satis(y) ;ow are we to read *ntoniaEs in'essant #ursuit o( na,es whi'h #roli(erate sites o( linguisti' dissatis(a'tion, as i( what 'annot be na,ed or na,ed with satis(a'tion e3'eeds e+ery a##arently satis(ying a't o(

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no,ination, as i( *ntonia, rather than a na,e #rodu'ed and #ossessed by 0i, Burden, be'o,es hersel( a (igure (or an un,asterable e3'ess #rodu'ed by the 'on'eits o( no,ination, one whi'h #roli(erates into an in(inite hunger (or na,es that ne+er Juite satis(y)9 0i, tries to assuage this linguisti' need by (eeding *ntonia with nglish words) But this a##ro#riation does not Juite work, #rodu'ing a situation that leads to greater 'on(usion rather than the a'Juisition o( 'on'e#tual ,astery) 3#loring what ,ight be read as a (igure (or this ,is'onne'tion, 0i, and *ntonia en'ounter a Dgra+el bedD riddled with holes 4315) 0i, then re#orts what e,erges (ro, these ga#s in the +isible lands'a#eB D2 was walking ba'kward, in a 'rou'hing #osition, when 2 heard *ntonia s'rea,) &he was standing o##osite ,e, #ointing behind ,e and shouting so,ething in Bohe,ian) 2 whirled around, and there, on one o( those dry gra+el beds, was the biggest snake 2 had e+er seen) ;e was sunning hi,sel(, a(ter the 'old night, and he ,ust ha+e been aslee# when *ntonia s'rea,ed) Chen 2 turned, he was lying in loose wa+es, like a letter ECE) ;e twit'hed and began to 'oil slowly) ;e was not ,erely a big snake, 2 thought8he was a 'ir'us ,onstrosityD 4315) :he trun'ated DCD introdu'es an abbre+iated Cilla into the te3t, and 'onne'ts her with the loose wa+es o( the letter, linking the Juestion o( gra,,ati'al ,or#hology with the ,or#hologi'al (igure o( the snake that bears the ,o+e,ents o( desire)10 But this #artial e,ergen'e (ro, the hole, this breaking through o( the su##orting (i'tion o( thisP narrati+e, 'an be only a D'ir'us ,onstrosity,D a s#e'ta'le, entertaining and terri(ying) Aoreo+er, the e,ergen'e o( the snake o''asions a restaging o( the s#litting o( the D2D (ro, the Dhe,D this ti,e between the D2D o( 0i, and the DheD o( the snake) 0i, narrates the ,o+e,ents o( the snake with a (as'ination and horror that #uts into Juestion the di((eren'e between the,B D;is abo,inable ,us'ularity, his loathso,e, (luid ,otion, so,ehow ,ade ,e si'k) ;e was as thi'k as ,y leg, and looked as i( ,illstones 'ouldnEt 'rush the disgusting +itality out o( hi,)D 2n the (iguring o( 0i,Es leg as an instru,ent o( disgusting +itality, the loathing o( the snake is thus trans(erred to the narrati+e D2,D #resu,ably still 0i,, who thereby (igures his own body as an obFe't o( sel(loathing and sel(-destru'tion) But be'ause this D'ir'us ,onstrosityD assu,ed the (or, o( a DC,D i,#li'ating yet 'utting short, i( not 'astrating, the ,onstrosity o( Cilla, who re,ains not Juite na,ed, e3'eeding and 'onditioning no,ination in the te3t, it a##ears that the

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snake, not unlike *ntonia in the #rologue, (a'ilitates a trans(er o( egregious #halli'is, (ro, Cilla to that disgustingly +ital leg that a##ears to belong to 0i,, but that ,ight eJually well be 'onstrued as a (ree-(loating li,b o( #hantas, a ti' #halli' trans(er) :he ter,s o( the analogy be'o,e in'reasingly unstable) :he di((erentiating distan'e between 0i, and the snake begins to 'lose as 0i, anti'i#ates the snakeB Dnow he would s#ring, s#ring his length)D Yet it is not the snake who s#rings, but 0i,, who then #er(or,s a +eritable de'a#itation o( the snake, #ree,#ting by ena'ting the +ery #halli'is, he (earsB D2 dro+e at his head with ,y s#ade, stru'k hi, (airly a'ross the ne'k, and in a ,inute he was all about ,y (eet in wa+y loo#sD 4395) 0i, 'ontinues to beat the snakeEs Dugly head (lat,D but Dhis body ke#t on 'oiling and winding, doubling and (alling ba'k on itsel()D :he snake thus resists 0i,Es ,urderous atte,#ts, and this resistan'e 'an be read as the a't by whi'h the snake 'ontinues to signi(y in that doubling and winding way, like the letter DC,D like the ,or#hologi'al ,o+e,ent o( writing itsel(, another signi(i'ant DC,D whi'h is, a(ter all, that whi'h sustains and #rodu'es 0i, as its e((e't and whi'h 0i, is (inally #owerless to destroy) 2n this sense, 0i, be'o,es the D'ir'us ,onstrosity,D and Cilla and her #otential ,onstrosity re'ede into the unobtrusi+e DC,D the undulating ,o+e,ents o( writing and, in #arti'ular, the winding, doubling, and (alling ba'k on itsel( that 'onstitutes that abbre+iated token o( her signature) *nd DCD ,ight also signi(y Dwo,an,D the ter, ,ost (ully dissi,ulated by !atherEs narrator)11 :he ttCD is 'a#itali.ed, suggesting a #ro#er na,e) :his DCD not only is a (oreshortened Cilla 4one whi'h she, earlier in her li(e, 'on+entionally #er(or,ed through taking on the na,e o( DCillD5, but ena'ts in ad+an'e the s'ene o( 'astration1de'a#itation that 0i, #er(or,s) *s an abbre+iation, it is 'learly 'ut ba'k, but this 'utting ba'k is also the 'ondition o( its dissi,ulating strategy or, rather, a s#e'i(i' kind o( narrati+e that works with and against the #rohibitions that would (igure its own enabling se3uality as a ,as'ulini.ed ,onstrosity) 0ust as the D2D in the #rologue re'edes into the Nebraska lands'a#e as 0i, is installed in the (irst-#erson #osition, this 'utting ba'k o( the #ro#er na,e is the 'ondition o( the #hantas,ati' redistribution o( the author-subFe't in and through the narrati+e) *nd it is not as i( the narrati+e thus in+ersely re#resents the D2D who is dissi,ulated in its ter,s) @n the 'ontrary, the o#a'ity o( the D2D is the #er,anent 'ondition o( this redistribution) :his is an D2D 'onstituted

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in its o#a'ity by the #rohibition set against its desire, a #rohibition that #rodu'es a set o( narrati+e dis#la'e,ents that not only #ersistently raise the Juestion o( whi'h na,e could satis(y, but whi'h also e((e't the #rohibition on the s#eaking o( the na,e that 'ould) *ntonia, the na,e that ,ight be e3#e'ted to satis(y, 'an be only the o''asion to reiterate that dis#la'e,ent DNa,eK Chat Na,eKD @( 'ourse, it was in the #rose'ution o( @s'ar Cilde that ho,ose3uality be'a,e asso'iated with the uns#oken and uns#eakable na,e) :he lo+e that dare not s#eak its na,e be'o,es (or !ather a lo+e that #roli(erates na,es at the site o( that nons#eaking, establishing a #ossibility (or (i'tion as this dis#la'e,ent, reiterating that #rohibition and at the sa,e ti,e ,orAin%, indeed, ex(loitin% t*#t (ro*ibition for t*e (ossibilities of its re(etition #nd subversion :he na,e thus (un'tions as a kind o( #rohibition, but also as an enabling o''asion) !onsider that the na,e is a token o( a sy,boli' order, an order o( so'ial law, that whi'h legislates +iable subFe'ts through the institution o( se3ual di((eren'e and 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality) 2n what ways 'an these institutions Be worked against the,sel+es to s#awn #ossibilities that begin to Juestion their hege,onyK 2n La'anEs 7e'in#r .., he re,arks that Dna,ing 'onstitutes a #a't by whi'h two subFe'ts si,ultaneously 'o,e to an agree,ent to re'ogni.e the sa,e obFe't)D :his so'ial (un'tion o( the na,e is always to so,e e3tent an e((ort to stabili.e a set o( ,ulti#le and transient i,aginary identi(i'ations, those that 'o,#ose (or La'an the 'ir'uit o( the ego, but not yet the subFe't within the sy,boli') ;e writes, D2( obFe'ts had only a nar'issisti' relationshi# with the subFe't,D that is, i( they were only sites (or an i,aginary and e'stati' identi(i'ation, Dthey would only e+er be #er'ei+ed in a ,o,entary (ashion) :he word, the word whi'h na,es, is the identi'alD 41795) :he i,aginary relation, the one 'onstituted through nar'issisti' identi(i'ation, is always tenuous #re'isely be'ause it is an e3ternal obFe't that is deter,ined to be onesel(G this (ailure to 'lose the distan'e between the ego who identi(ies elsewhere and the elsewhere whi'h is the de(ining site o( that ego haunts that identi(i'ation as its 'onstituti+e dis'ord and (ailure) :he na,e, as #art o( a so'ial #a't and, indeed, a so'ial syste, o( signs, o+errides the tenuousness o( i,aginary identi(i'ation and 'on(ers on it a so'ial durability and legiti,a'y) :he instability o( the ego is thus subsu,ed or stabili.ed by a sy,boli' (un'tion, designated through the

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na,eB the D#er,anent a##earan'e o+er ti,eD o( the hu,an subFe't is, La'an 'lai,s, Dstri'tly only re'ogni.able through the inter,ediary o( the na,e) :he na,e is the ti,e o( the obFe'tD 41795) 2t is this (un'tion o( the na,e to se'ure the identity o( the subFe't o+er ti,e that &la+oF Qi.ek unders'ores in T*e 7ubli'e 8b)ect of .deolo%y as the ideologi'al di,ension o( the na,e) Qi.ek argues that what the #hiloso#her &aul Hri#ke understands as the #ro#er na,eEs status as a rigid designator is #arallel to this identity-'on(erring (un'tion o( the na,e in La'an) 19 For Qi.ek, the #ro#er na,e elaborates no 'ontentG it is a (un'tion o( s#ee'h that designates an identity without #ro+iding i,#li'itly or e3#li'itly any des'ri#tion o( that identity) Like La'an, Hri#ke understands the #ro#er na,e to se'ure the identity o( the obFe't o+er ti,eG the #ro#er na,e is re(erential, and the identity to whi'h it re(ers 'annot be substituted (or by any set o( des'ri#tions) La'anEs #hrase ,ight hold (or Hri#ke as wellB D:he word, the word whi'h na,es, is the identi'al)D &igni(i'antly, both Hri#ke and La'an agree to hy#ostati.e a (#ct, a so'ial agree,ent that in+ests the na,e with its #ower to 'on(er durability and re'ogni.ability on that whi'h it na,es) *nd in both 'ases, it is always a so'ial #a't based on the Law o( the Father, a #atrilineal organi.ation that i,#lies that it is (#trony'ic na,es that endure o+er ti,e, as no,inal .ones o( #halli' 'ontrol) nduring and +iable identity is thus #ur'hased through subFe'tion to and subFe'ti+ation by the #atrony,) But be'ause this #atrony,i' line 'an only be se'ured through the ritual e3'hange o( wo,en, there is reJuired (or wo,en a 'ertain shi(ting o( #atrony,i' allian'e and, hen'e, a 'hange in na,e) For wo,en, then, #ro#riety is a'hie+ed through ha+ing a 'hangeable na,e, through the e3'hange of na,es, whi'h ,eans that the na,e is ne+er #er,anent, and that the identity se'ured through the na,e is always de#endent on the so'ial e3igen'ies o( #aternity and ,arriage) 3#ro#riation is thus the 'ondition o( identity (or wo,en) 2dentity is se'ured #re'isely in and through the trans(er o( the na,e, the na,e as a site o( trans(er or substitution, the na,e, then, as #re'isely what is always i,#er,anent, di((erent (ro, itsel(, ,ore than itsel(, the non-sel(-identi'al) !learly, neither Qi.ek nor Hri#ke ha+e this #roble,ati' in ,ind when the na,e is said to se'ure the #er,anen'e o( that whi'h it na,es) :he 'hangeableness o( the (e,inine na,e is essential to the #er,anent a##earan'e o( the #atrony,, indeed, to the se'uring o( an illusory #er,anen'e

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through a 'ontinuing #atrilineality) Aoreo+er, the #ro#er na,e 'an be 'on'ei+ed as re(erential and not des'ri#ti+e only to the e3tent that the so'ial #a't whi'h 'on(ers legiti,a'y on the na,e re,ains uninterrogated (or its ,as'ulinis, and heterose3ual #ri+ilege) @n'e the #ro#er na,e is elaborated as a #atrony,, then it 'an be read as an abbre+iation (or a so'ial #a't or sy,boli' order that stru'tures the subFe'ts na,ed through their #osition in a #atrilineal so'ial stru'ture) :he durability o( the subFe't na,ed is not, then, a (un'tion o( the #ro#er na,e, but a (un'tion o( a #atrony,, the abbre+iated instan'e o( a hierar'hi'al kinshi# regi,e) :he na,e as #atrony, does not only bear the law, but institutes the law) 2nso(ar as the na,e se'ures and stru'tures the subFe't na,ed, it a##ears to wield the #ower o( subFe'ti+ationB #rodu'ing a subFe't on the basis o( a #rohibition, a set o( laws that di((erentiates subFe'ts through the 'o,#ulsory legislation of se3ed so'ial #ositionalities) Chen 0i, Burden writes on his legal #ort(olio the title o( his writings, DAy *ntonia,D he 'ou#les the na,e with the #ossessi+e, rendering e3#li'it what is usually i,#lied by the ,issing #atrony,) ;is own #atrony, is itsel( the burden o( the na,e, the burdenso,e in+est,ent that the #atrony, 'arries) :his is not unlike :o, @utland o( T*e 2rofessor/s <ouse, whose #atrilineage is unknown and whose last na,e substitutes a tro#e o( e3ile and e3'ess at the site where a #atrony,i' token o( so'ial 'ohesion ,ight be e3#e'ted) :he a##ro#riation and dis#la'e,ent o( the #atrony, in !ather dis#la'es the so'ial basis o( its identity-'on(erring (un'tion and lea+es the Juestion o( the re(erent o#en as a site o( 'ontested gendered and se3ual ,eanings) :he title o( !atherEs short story D:o,,y the %nsenti,ental,D #ublished in 1=97, is itsel( an in+ersion o( the title o( 0)A) BarrieEs no+el, 7enti'ent#l To''y, signaling a 'ertain in+ersion o( BarrieEs in+ersion, working a tradition o( Din+ersionD against that o( the senti,ental no+el and its asso'iations with (e,ininity) 13 !ather wrote her story about :o,,y &hirley, a young wo,an whose +ery na,e in+erts the #atrony,i' e3#e'tation not only by #la'ing the boyEs na,e (irst, but by taking !harlotte BronteEs 'oinage o( D&hirleyD as a girlEs na,e and 'oining it again as a #atrony,)1" :he ter,s D:o,D and D:o,,yD had a''rued a nu,ber o( ,eanings by the ti,e !ather used the na,e in her story) 16 &in'e the si3teenth 'entury, D:o,D had (un'tioned as a Juasi-#ro#er na,e (or what is ,as'uline, as in D:o, *ll-:hu,bsD or D:o, :rue-:ongue)D 2n the nineteenth 'entury, D:o,D was also the na,e (or a 'lown, (or one who

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dissi,ulates or (latters 4as in the ra'ial ,arking o( a D:o,D as in D%n'le :o,D5, and also (or a #rostitute or (or a girl who resists 'on+ention) :hese last two senses are related to the notion o( the to,boy, a ter, reser+ed (or boys in the si3teenth 'entury, but whi'h 'a,e to 'hara'teri.e girls in the se+enteenth 'entury, es#e'ially ro,#ing ones) :hen, in the early nineteenthth 'entury, the #hysi'al wildness o( the to,boy was asso'iated with Dwo,en who tres#ass against the deli'a'y o( their se3D 58E&6, and, by 1===, the to,boy be'a,e linked to those who show other girls Dun'outh signs o( a((e'tion)D :here were also :o,,y sho#s in the 1=70s in whi'h wages (or labor were #aid in goods rather than ,oney, D:o,,yD being the na,e (or su'h an e3'hange) *nd in 1=96, it a##ears that the de(ian'e o( 'on+ention asso'iated with (e,ale :o,s8that is, to,boys and #rostitutes 8led the $*ic#%o !dv#nce to de'lai,, D* whole s'hool o( what has been hu,orously 'alled eroti' and to,,yroti' realists SareR)))asserting that #rogress in art reJuires the eli,ination o( ,oral ideas)D17 :he history o( these shi(ts resonates in the na,e, and !ather begins her story with a 'on+ersation in whi'h two +oi'es ,use o+er the relati+e inabilities o( a 'ertain ,an) Na,es e,erge in the 'ourse o( the #aragra#h, but :o,,yEs gender is le(t un,arked, that is, she is assu,ed to be a ,an s#eaking within a heterose3ual set o( 'on+entions) :he 'on+ersation 'on'erns 0essi'aEs desire, whether she (inds the ,an under 'onsideration, 0ay, re#rehensible, and in the 'ourse o( saying that she does, she suggests that she doesnEt at all) *t the end o( the #aragra#h, :o,,y turns away (ro, her, Dba((ledD by the 'ontradi'tion whi'h a##ears to be her desire, but also by the toiletries that engage 0essi'a, toiletries that a##ear to 'onstitute so,ething like the e#iste,i' li,it to :o,,yEs 'o,#rehension o( (e,inine 'on+entions) 2t is only at the outset o( the ne3t #aragra#h that what is not at all ob+ious is ,ade disingenuously to a##ear as i( it isB DNeedless to say, :o,,y was not a boy, although her keen gray eyes and wide (orehead were s'ar'ely girlish, and she had the lank (igure o( an a'ti+e hal(-grown lad) ;er real na,e is :heodosia, but during :ho,as &hirleyEs (reJuent absen'es (ro, the bank she had attended to his business and 'orres#onden'e signing hersel( D:) &hirley,D until e+eryone in &outhdown 'alled her E:o,,yED 4735) :he (ather is only #resent in this story as a na,eG in assu,ing his na,e, :o,,y assu,es and 'o+ers o+er his absent #la'e) :he na,e be'o,es

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not only a site o( a 4dissi,ulated5 #hantas,ati' trans(er o( #atrilineal authority, but this na,e, :ho,as &hirley, #er(or,s the +ery in+ersion and a##ro#riation that it ,asks) For this is not a si,#le identi(katory loyalty o( daughter to (ather, but an aggressi+e a##ro#riation as wellB the re#etition o( the na,e (e,ini.es the #atrony,, #ositioning the ,as'uline as subordinate, 'ontingent, and subFe't to e3'hange) :his is not a na,e that se'ures the singularity o( identity o+er ti,e, but, rather, it (un'tions as a shi(ting +e'tor o( #rohibition, #ro#riety, and 'ross-gender a##ro#riations) :he na,e takes the #la'e o( an absen'e, 'o+ers that absen'e, and reterritoriali.es that +a'ated #osition) 2nas,u'h as the na,e e,erges as a site o( loss, substitution, and #hantas,ati' identi(i'ation, it (ails to stabili.e identity) :he absen'e o( :o,,yEs (ather ne'essitates that she sign in his #la'e, a##ro#riate his signature, whi'h #rodu'es :o,,yEs (is'al authorshi# through the 'ourse o( that dis#la'e,ent) 1? 2n+ersions, howe+er, do not sto# there, (or :o,,yEs identi(i'ation is not without its 'osts) &he is hersel( des'ribed as enor,ously (ond o( 0ay llington ;ar#er, but also as knowing that she is (oolish (or this (ondnessB D*s she e3#ressed it, she was not o( his sort, and ne+er would be)D :he se+en @ld Boys o( the town, elders who are des'ribed as ha+ing Dtaken the #la'e o( :o,,yEs ,other,D a##ear to ha+e this uns#oken knowledge as well) *nd while they a##ear to trust her not to o+erride her good sense and (all in with 0ay, they are ne+ertheless distraught with what a##ears to be the other alternati+e, the one that ,akes itsel( a##arent when :o,,y returns (ro, s'hool in the ast with 0essi'a in towB :he only unsatis(a'tory thing about :o,,yEs return was that she brought with her a girl she had grown (ond o( at s'hool, a dainty, white, languid bit o( a thing, who used +iolet #er(u,es and 'arried a sunshade) :he @ld Boys said it was a bad sign when a rebellious girl like :o,,y took to being sweet and gentle to one o( her own se3, the worst sign in the world -660

;ere the third #erson narrati+e +oi'e and that o( the @ld Boys begin to ,erge, lea+ing i,#re'ise who regards 0essi'a as a Dlanguid bit o( a thing)D Fro, the start, howe+er, :o,,y holds 0essi'a in 'onte,#t, and it a##ears that whate+er the (ondness between the,, there is (ro, the start a #ersistent re#udiation8the working o( #rohibition in desire, the working o( a #rohibition in desire that ne'essitates the sa'ri(i'e o( desire) arlier

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:o,,y hersel( 'lai,s that it is di((i'ult to (ind wo,en with who, she 'ould s#eak in &outhdown, (or they see, only to be 'on'erned with Dbabies and saladsDG and Aiss 0essi'aEs toiletries are an o''asion (or ba((le,ent and a 'ertain turning away) 0essi'a is de+alued not only by the narrator and the @ld Boys, but by :o,,y hersel(G indeed, there is no te3tual e+iden'e (or this sweetness and kindness) :hroughout the 'ourse o( the story, 0essi'a be'o,es in'reasingly degraded by :o,,y) :he Fudg,ent o( the @ld Boys is reiterated as :o,,yEs own Fudg,entG indeed, her degradation a##ears to be both the 'ondition o( :o,,yEs desire, the guarantor o( that desireEs transien'e, and the narrati+e grounds (or the sa'ri(i'e o( her that :o,,y e+entually ena'ts) 0ay llington a##ears to 'onstitute his desire (or 0essi'a on the o''asion o( :o,,yEs bringing her into town) /is#la'ed at the bank by :o,,y, who see,s able to a,ass 'a#ital ,ore e((e'ti+ely, 0ay de+elo#s his interest in 0essi'a at the sa,e ti,e that he loses 'ontrol o+er his bankEs assets) ;is in+estors, the Bohe,ians again, arri+e at the door one ,orning, and 0ay wires :o,,y to sa+e the day) &igni(i'antly, :o,,y has sa+ed enough in her own bank to ,ake the loan whi'h will +ou'h (or 0ayEs bankG she arri+es with the 'ash and a+oids a 'losingG she a'ts as his guarantor and his signatory) 2ndeed, :o,,y now signs (or both her (ather and 0ay) 0ay is under siege by the Bohe,ians, and :o,,y, sustaining so,e uns#oken a((iliation with the,, has the #e'uliar #ower to turn ba'k the de,ands that would de#lete hi, o( his resour'es) :o,,y Dsa+esD hi,, not only (ro, losing the bank, but (ro, losing 0essi'a as well) :o,,y dire'ts hi, to the #la'e in the road where he le(t the girl, and ad+ises hi, to lea+e Jui'kly to retrie+e her) 2n !atherEs story, the su''ess o( 'a#ital a##ears to reJuire the sa'ri(i'e o( ho,ose3uality or, rather, an e3'hange that :o,,y ena'ts of ho,ose3uality (or 'a#ital, a sel(-absenting o( :o,,yEs desire whi'h a'ts as the guarantor (or both the sol+en'y o( the bank and the (uture o( nor,ati+e heterose3uality) :o,,y Dsa+esD and (ails to s#end, holds ba'k both ,oney and desire, but enhan'es her 'redit, strengthening the #ower o( her signature) Chat will be owed this na,eK *nd i( :o,,y sa'ri(i'es 0essi'a, what does she re'ei+e in returnK But be(ore we 'onsider this 'urious e3'hange, let us return to the triangular s'ene in whi'h 0essi'aEs desire be'o,es the site o( a 'onseJuential s#e'ulation) 2n (a't, her desire is (igured as ins'rutable, and although the story #ro'eeds as i( the reader will dis'o+er whi'h one 0essi'a #re(ers, in

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an i,#ortant way her desire is 'onstituted as the e((e't o( the e3'hange) @ne o( the @ld Boys des'ribes the #roble, this wayB D:he heart o( the 'ad S0ayR is gone out to the little ,u((, as is right and #ro#er and in a''ordan'e with the eternal (itness o( things) But thereEs the other girl who has the blindness that ,ay not be 'ured, and she gets all the rub o( it) 2tEs no use, 2 'anEt hel# her)))D 5666 * year a(ter the trial o( @s'ar Cilde in whi'h the#rose'ution asks hi, whether he is guilty o( Dthe lo+e that dare not s#eak its na,e,D !ather restages the gra,,ati'al 'aden'e o( that a''usation in Dthe blindness that ,ay not be 'ured)D But !atherEs restaging introdu'es an indeter,ina'y that the #rose'utorial #hrase 'learly la'ks) :his is a blindness that ,ay or ,ay not be aired)1= :o,,yEs desire is (igured less as a (atality than as a wager, the out'o,e o( whi'h is un'ertain) *nd that un'ertainty is unders'ored by the #hrase that is su##osed to (ore'ast :o,,yEs ine+itable inFury, but that also 'on'edes the bene(its o( tribadi' #leasureB a(ter all, she Dgets all the rub o( itD 0ay sends a telegra, asking :o,,y to re#resent 0ay to :o,,yEs (ather, but the (ather is, as i( by de(inition, #er,anently absent, so :o,,y as'ends to his #la'e) :o,,y a,asses the 'ash and ,ounts her bi'y'le, the only way to get to 0ayEs (orsaken abode on ti,e) 0essi'a begs to ride on the bike as well, and :o,,y allows it, but then #ro'eeds to ignore her and (inally dri+es 0essi'a to the #oint o( unendurable #ainB D0essi'a soon (ound that with the #edaling that had to be done there was little ti,e le(t (or e,otion o( any sort, or little sensibility (or anything but the throbbing, da..ling heat that had to be endured)))0essi'a began to (eel that unless she 'ould sto# and get so,e water she was not ,u'h longer (or this +ale o( tears) &he suggested this #ossibility to :o,,y, but :o,,y only shook her head, Etake too ,u'h ti,e,E and bent o+er her handle bars, ne+er li(ting her eyes (ro, the road in (ront o( herD 47=5) 2( 0essi'aEs desire were not already de'ided, :o,,yEs 'y'ling be'o,es the argu,ent by whi'h 0essi'aEs desire, i( it was e+er (or :o,,y, be'o,es su''ess(ully de(le'tedB 2t (lashed u#on Aiss 0essi'a that :o,,y was not only +ery unkind, but that she sat +ery badly on her wheel and looked aggressi+ely ,as'uline and #ro(essional when she bent her shoulders and #u,#ed like that) But Fust then Aiss 0essi'a (ound it harder than e+er to breathe, and the blu((s a'ross the ri+er began doing ser#entines and skirt dan'es, and ,ore i,#ortant and #ersonal 'onsiderations o''u#ied the young lady)

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Pre'isely at the ,o,ent when Aiss 0essi'a, in what is des'ribed in ter,s nearly orgas,i', (inds it harder than e+er to breathe, she is #ro#elled by that strength in :o,,y that she does not like seeing, but one whi'h she rides ne+ertheless to ,ake the de(le'tion away (ro, her) 2ndeed, it is the strength o( :o,,yEs ,o+e,ents whi'h sustain and (uel that trans#ort into +isions o( ser#entine and skirt dan'es, a (igure that e,bra'es the ,as'uline and (e,inine, reintrodu'ing that ro+ing #hallus, in the ser+i'e o( a (antasy, not o( :o,,y, but #resu,ably o( 0ay) :o,,yEs #edaling +erges on a dis'losure o( a se3uality that is too gra#hi' (or 0essi'a to bear, an unsee,ly aggression that re'alls the 'ir'us ,onstrosity o( that C-sha#ed snake, a +iolen'e that is the +erging on an e3#li'itness that threatens to re+erse the blindness that ,ay not be 'ured) 2( this a##earan'e o( se3uality is (igured as a kind o( in'urable blindness, is this a (atality +ainly denied, or is it, rather, that whi'h de(ines the ,argins o( the +isible, as that whi'h is seen and denied at on'eK /oes !ather bring us 'lose enough to that +isibility to dis'lose not the truth o( that se3uality, but the 'ultural +a'illations o( +ision through whi'h that se3uality is 'onstituted, the denial in whi'h it thri+esK *nd i( 0essi'a 'annot bear to see :o,,y in that #u,#ing #osture, does Aiss 0essi'a not ty#i(y a re(usal to see that is attributed to lesbianis, as the blindness to the eternal (itness o( things that ,ay not be 'ured, but that ,ore #ro#erly 'hara'teri.es the ho,o#hobi' (ailure o( +ision whi'h re(uses to see what it sees, and then attributes that blindness to #re'isely what it itsel( re(uses to seeK19 Parado3i'ally, 0essi'a dis,ounts (ro, #hysi'al duress, sending :o,,y on to Dsa+eD 0ay, 'onstituting hersel( as a stranded 'o,,odity, whi'h then 'onditions the e3'hange between :o,,y and 0ay o+er who will sa+or the #halli' identi(i'ation and who will get the girl) For it is here, in this story, a disFun'ti+e relation in whi'h ha+ing the #hallus designates the sa'ri(i'e o( desire, an eJuation that only works within the 'onte3t o( a ho,o#hobi' e'ono,y o( the law) :o,,yEs but'h de,eanor (ails to install her in the heterose3ual ,atri3 that ,ight legiti,ate and sustain her desire) :he ,ore e((i'a'ious :o,,y be'o,es, the ,ore she Da##ro3i,atesD the ,as'uline #osition, the ,ore her so'ial 'astration is guaranteed) :hus, :o,,y sa+es the bankG tells 0ay that 0essi'a is waiting (or hi,G takes u# a #osition behind 0ayEs desk at the bank, the #la'e o( another always absent (ather, that is, the #la'e o( a #aternal ideal (or whi'h no instan'e e3istsG and then does what (athers do and gi+es the girl away) :o,,y thus #resides o+er an e3'hange

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in whi'h her senti,entality is sa'ri(i'ed so that 0ay ,ay ha+e his) *s i( ,o'king !atherEs e((orts to 'onstru't the 'redible (i'tion o( a ,an 0ay re,arks to :o,,y be(ore lea+ing that DYou al,ost ,ade a ,an o( e+en ,e)D *nd as i( warning against a reading that would redu'e 0ay to this ,as'uline #osition, :o,,y answers, DCell, 2 'ertainly didnEt su''eedD 4?05) *(ter he is gone, :o,,y #i'ks u# a white (lower that 0ay dro##ed and the te3t gestures toward a #ossible 'on(ession o( senti,ent) But whi'h senti,entK :his is an e3#e'tation o( a 'on(ession that the te3t both #rodu'es and withdraws) :he stray (lower in !atherEs stories be'o,es a ,oti( that engages the 'on+entions o( the dandy) 2n 1906, !ather wrote DPaulEs !aseD in whi'h gender-troubled Paul is said to wear a red 'arnation in his buttonholeB D:his latter adorn,ent the (a'ulty Sat his s'hoolR so,ehow (elt was not #ro#erly signi(i'ant o( the 'ontrite s#irit be(itting a boy under the ban o( sus#ension)D 90 2n the a##endi3 to CildeEs trial it is as'ertained that in Fran'e ho,ose3uals wear green 'arnations to signal their a+ailability, and Cilde (lagrantly allies hi,sel( with this #ra'ti'e in the wearing o( su'h (lowers hi,sel() Chat does it ,ean that 0ay both wears and dro#s a white (lowerK 2s this a +eiled allusion that not e+eryone 'an readK @r is it, in (a't, the return o( 0essi'a hersel(, des'ribed by the @ld Boys as Da dainty white languid bit o( a thingDK 2( so, how do we read the (ollowingB DS:o,,yR #i'ked it u# and stood holding it a ,o,ent, biting her li#) :hen she dro##ed it into the grate and turned away, shrugging her thin shouldersD 4?15) 0ay ,ight be read as a ho,ony, (or D0,D whi'h is also the (oreshortened +ersion o( 0essi'a) 2t ,ay be that !ather here abbre+iates the grie( o+er the loss o( 0essi'a through the initial D0,D the gra,,ati'al 'loset that both de(le'ts and enables the ,o,ent o( senti,ent) :he (inal line a##ears then within Juotation ,arks, restaging the degendered +oi'e that o#ens the storyB there is so,e Juestion o+er who s#eaks itG whether it is a 'itationG whether it is 'redible, ironi', #arodi'G and to who, it is addressedB D:hey are aw(ul idiots, hal( o( the,, and ne+er think o( anything beyond their own dinner) But @, how we do like Ee,PD 4?15) :he DtheyD a##ears to be hal( o( Dthe,,D and so it 'ould be ,en or wo,enG it 'ould be ,en like ;ar#er who donEt think beyond the satis(a'tions o( the ,o,ent and 'anEt run banks, or it 'ould be wo,en who see, to think only about babies and salads) *nd who is the DweD who a##ears to like the,K 2s this wo,en who like ,en, as the @ld Boys 'lai, is right

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a''ording to the eternal (itness o( things, or is this the ,o,ent o( an identi(i'ation with ,en in whi'h wo,en are 'onstru'ted as those aw(ul idiots who :o,,ys e+erywhere are 'onde,ned to lo+eK :his is, a(ter all, an unattributed 'itation with :o,,y only i,#lied as the s#eaker, i,#lied8but at a distan'eB sus#ended gra#hi'ally as its own #aragra#h, these words are the reassuring re'ir'ulation o( lo'ally iterable truths, what we ,ight understand as the ,utterings o( the sy,boli', ,utterings in sear'h o( a subFe't to s#eak the,) :he story begins with the 'itation o( an ungendered set o( +oi'es, a 'on+ersation a,ong +oi'es in whi'h the ,as'uline obFe't re,ains unan'hored (ro, any #ro#er na,e, sliding it see,s between :o,,y and the unna,ed Dhe)D *nd it 'on'ludes, it see,s, by rendering e+en that #ronoun inde(inite, a ,o+e that one ,ight read as a retra'tion o( lesbian truth or, to #re(er &edgwi'kEs other ter,s, a re(ra'tion, a de(erral o( +ision, not Juite the blindness that ,ay not be 'ured, but a de(le'tion (ro, (iguration that enables #re'isely the se3uality it the,ati'ally (ore'loses) :o,,y is not le(t utterly bere(t) &he (inan'es the bank and heterose3uality at on'e, #ro+iding the loan that #uts both institutions in her debt Banking on heterose3ual desire as i,,ediate 'onsu,#tion, :o,,y e3'ludes hersel( (ro, the 'ir'uit o( e3'hange and #ro(its (ro, the e3'hange that her e3'lusion enables) &he is thus installed at the desk o( the (ather, the dire'tor, but this #osition o( ideali.ed 'ontrol is also at the sa,e ti,e a sa'ri(i'e o( desire, a'hie+ed at the e3#ense o( desire, 'onstituting :o,,y as the e3#endable third in this triangle, the e3#enditure without whi'h the heterose3ual s'ene 'annot take #la'e, the site o( its absenting ,ediation)91 :he narrati+e traFe'tory o( this story 'an be read as a kind o( sa'ri(i'e, one that takes #la'e (or :o,,y through the a##ro#riation o( the (atherEs #la'eG and i( there is, to re'all &edgwi'kEs #hrase, a brutal su##ression here, it is the re(le3i+e sa'ri(i'e o( desire, a double-dire'tioned ,isogyny that 'ul,inates in the degradation o( lesbian lo+e) :his ,ay be the #ri'e o( 'ross-identi(i'ation when it be'o,es the strategy (or the obliteration o( desire, but #erha#s ,ost #ain(ully, the #ri'e o( identi(ying with the (l#ce o( the (ather, when that na,e installs a #rohibition, when that #rohibition or'hestrates both identi(i'ation and the (ore'losure o( desire) ;ere D:o,,yD be'o,es a na,e that re(ers to no thing, no identity, but to the in'ite,ent to a##ro#riation and e3#ro#riation #rodu'ed by the #rohibition

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on ho,ose3uality-the na,e, then, as a site in whi'h what is taken is also gi+en away, in whi'h the i,#er,anen'e o( lesbian desire is institutionali.ed) *nd yet in ,aking the loan to 0ay, :o,,y 'ontinues to sa+e, be'o,es hersel( an o((ering o( a (uture, awaiting a return, a (uture satis(a'tion, with no guarantee, but #erha#s an e3#e'tation) BODIES UNDER THE BAN OF SUSPENSION :o read !atherEs te3t as a lesbian te3t is to initiate a set o( 'o,#li'ations that 'annot be easily su,,ari.ed, (or the 'hallenge takes #la'e, o(ten #ain(ully, within the +ery nor,s o( heterose3uality that the te3t also ,o'ks) 2( what we ,ight now be te,#ted to 'all DlesbianD is itsel( 'onstituted in and through the dis'ursi+e sites at whi'h a 'ertain trans(er o( se3uality takes #la'e, a trans(er whi'h does not lea+e inta't the se3uality that it trans(ers, then it is not so,e #ri,ary truth awaiting its ,o,ent o( true and adeJuate histori'al re#resentation and whi'h in the ,eanti,e a##ears only in substitute (or,s) Rather, substitutability is a 'ondition (or this se3uality) 2t is doubtless with any, but here, it is the histori'ally s#e'i(i' 'onseJuen'e o( a #rohibition on a 'ertain na,ing, a #rohibition against s#eaking the na,e o( this lo+e that ne+ertheless and insistently s#eaks through the +ery dis#la'e,ents that that #rohibition #rodu'es, the +ery re(ra'tions o( +ision that the #rohibition on the na,e engenders) :hat the uns#oken na,e #rodu'es, as it were, a re(ra'tion o( +ision in !ather suggests one way to read the relation between #rohibition and the 'ontouring and #artitioning o( bodies) Bodies a##ear as 'olle'tions o( #arts, and #arts a##ear in+ested with an al,ost autono,ous signi(i'an'e, thus (igurally thwarting the ideal integrity o( the body, whi'h a##ears to be a ,ale body, but whi'h also +a'illates between genders at key ,o,ents) :he introdu'tion to s'hoolboy Paul in DPaulEs !aseD ,akes 'lear that he is a (igure Dunder the ban o( sus#ension)D &us#ended, then, but not Juite e3#elled, Paul inhabits a te,#orary e3teriority to the law, he is set into that e3teriority by the law) But what is also Dsus#endedD here is so,e de'ision about his status, an allegory o( this (i'tion in whi'h what &edgwi'k 'alls PaulEs li,inal se3ual and gender status re,ains in Juestion) *s he is 'alled in (ront o( the lo'al s'hool authorities, his 'lothes are des'ribed as not Juite or, rather, no longer, (itting the body within, and this in'o,,ensurability between the body and its 'lothes is re'a#itulated

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in the une3#e'tedly Dsua+e and s,ilingD de,eanor o( the body that suggests Dso,ething o( the dandy about hi,,D and in the Dadorn,ents,D in'luding the Cilde-re,inis'ent D'arnationD whi'h Dthe (a'ulty so,ehow (elt was not #ro#erly signi(i'ant o( the 'ontrite s#irit be(itting a body under the ban o( sus#ensionD 41"95) But what would Dbe(itD this body and signi(y #ro#erlyK 2( the unbe(ittingness o( donning the red 'arnation under the ban o( sus#ension suggests an i,#ro#er kind o( signi(ying, then #erha#s that (igure 'an be read as an allegory (or the ensuing narrati+e) 2( the story is as ,u'h about the dandy as it is about the li,inal .one in whi'h the (igure o( the dandy also 'arries (or !ather the li,inal #redi'a,ent o( the lesbian, then we ,ight read DPaulD less as a ,i,eti' re(le'tion o( Dboys at the ti,eD than as a (igure with the 'a#a'ity to 'on+ey and 'on(ound what &edgwi'k has des'ribed as the #assages #cross gender and se3uality) But 2 would add that this Da'rossD ought not to be read as a Dbeyond,D that is, as a (i'tional trans'enden'e o( Dwo,enD or DlesbianD in order to ani,ate a +i'arious (igure o( the D,ale ho,ose3ual)D For the (igures o( boys and ,en in !ather retain the residue o( that 'rossing, and their o(ten brilliant resistan'e to gender and se3ual 'oheren'e results (ro, the i,#ossibility o( ,aking that Ddangerous 'rossingD8to borrow a #hrase (ro, D:o, @utlandEs &toryD8(ully or (inally)99 !onsidering the histori'al i,#ortan'e o( D'rossingD and D#assingD (or lesbians at the turn o( the 'entury8and !atherEs own early #en'hant (or #seudony,ous writing8it ,ay be that what we (ind in !ather is a narrati+e s#e'i(i'ation o( that so'ial #ra'ti'e, an authorial D#assingD that su''eeds only by #rodu'ing the (inal inde'i#herability or irredu'ibility o( the (i'tional dire'tions that it ,obili.es and sustains) 93 :he Dban o( sus#ensionD under whi'h Paul a##ears, then, #uts into doubt to whi'h gender and se3uality DPaulD re(ers, 'on(ounding a reading that 'lai,s to DsettleD the Juestion o( whi'h +e'tors o( se3uality Paul e,bodies) *s a (igure, DPaulD be'o,es the site o( that trans(eren'e as well as the i,#ossibility o( its resolution into any o( the gendered or se3ual ele,ents that it trans(ers) PaulEs body re(uses to 'ohere in an ordinary sense, and the body #arts whi'h ne+ertheless hang together a##ear dis'ordant #re'isely be'ause o( a 'ertain ha##y and an3ious re(usal to assu,e the regulatory nor,) 0ust as his 'oat in the (irst #aragra#h no longer (its, suggesting an a##earan'e outgrown, e+en D(rayed,D PaulEs body in the se'ond #aragra#h is gi+en only in #arts, inhabited, se#arated (ro, itsel(, and de#ri+ed by the DbanD

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under whi'h he a##ears) ;e is DtallD and Dthin,D Dwith high 'ra,#ed shoulders and a narrow 'hestD 41"95) * strain o( (e,ini.ing DhysteriaD is noted, but this highly sy,#to,ati' state does not, as one ,ight e3#e't, signi(y a so,ati'i.ed 'ons'iousness sei.ed by ,o+e,ents beyond its 'ontrol) @n the 'ontrary, hysteria in this te3t is a kind o( hy#er-'ons'iousnessB D;is eyes were re,arkable (or a 'ertain hysteri'al brillian'y, and he used the, in a 'ons'ious, theatri'al sort o( way, #e'uliarly o((ensi+e in a boyD 41605) ;ere the o((ense is (urther elaborated as a kind o( tri'kery or lying, in whi'h the nor,ati+e e3#e'tation o( a heterose3ual reading o( Paul is thwarted by his own de#arture (ro, that nor,) :he hysteri'al brillian'y is #resu,ably ino((ensi+e in wo,en or, at least, e3#e'ted, but that hysteria is theatri'ali.ed suggests a 'ertain rehearsing o( the (e,inine that is at on'e a distan'e (ro, its #la'e as a signi(ier o( the un'ons'ious) For this is a hysteria endowed with Dwill,D and though those sa,e eyes, Dabnor,ally large,D re'all as well Dan addi'tion to belladonna,D they are so,ehow too theatri'al, too (ull o( Dglassy glitterD (or that to be true) 2( the drug, literally Dbeauti(ul wo,an,D is the addi'tion that the large eyes re'all, it ,ay be that Paul both 'ould not #ossibly be addi'ted to beauti(ul wo,en and that the urgen'y o( his desire re'alls and re(ra'ts #re'isely the urgen'y o( that desire (or wo,en whi'h, also under the ban o( sus#ension, ,ight well be lesbian) :he DeyesD are, as it were, wat'hed with su'h 'lose s'rutiny, a##earing in'reasingly deta'hed and deta'hable (ro, a body that is otherwise 'o,#osed o( 'ra,#ed shoulders, narrow 'hest, and a #re'o'ious tallness) :he anony,ous and wat'h(ul narrator o( this story re'ords (or us the eyes whi'h are Dabnor,ally largeD and thus #arti'i#ates in the +ery wat'h(ulness it des'ribes) :he narration is a kind o( hy#er-'ons'iousness, a ,agni(ied sear'hing that s'ours e+ery 'orner o( these eyes, heightening the e3#e'tation o( a (inal de'i#hering o( DPaulD only to re(use that satis(a'tion) :he DeyesD that wat'h are thus D,irroredD in the eyes that are delineated, but this D,irroringD is less an autobiogra#hi'al 'on(ession than a reiteration o( its de(erral) ;is body is wat'hed by the narrator (or signs, but the signs a##ear illegible) *lthough his tea'hers read his body as so ,any signs o( i,#ertinen'e, the narrator re'a#itulates these signs as arbitrary and 'on(ounding in the e3tre,eB body #arts a##ear to di+erge and signi(y in stray and 'on(ounding dire'tions, as i( the 'enter o( this body does not holdB D;e stood through

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Sthe inJuisitionR s,iling, his #ale li#s #arted o+er his white teeth) 4;is li#s were 'ontinually twit'hing, and he had a habit o( raising his eyebrows that was 'onte,#tuous and irritating to the last degree5D 41605) *t on'e +oluntary and in+oluntary 4Dli#s)) )twit'hing,D Draising eyebrows,D and, then, D(ingers toyed with the buttons o( his o+er'oat, and an o''asional Ferking o( the other hand whi'h held his hatD5, like the o3y,oron o( a deliberate hysteria, PaulEs body (ra'tures in de(ense against the wat'hing o( his inJuisitors) ;is (eatures are thus both de(ense and an3iety, ani,ated by a #oli'ing ga.e that 'annot (ully 'ontrol the body it seeks to regulate) &uggesting that the di+ergently signi(ying (eatures are a kind o( de'oy and #rote'tion against an onslaught o( inJuisition, the narrator des'ribes PaulEs (a'e as a kind o( strategi' battleB Dhis set s,ile did not desert hi,)))D 41615) *s a ta'ti'al res#onse to the regulatory law, PaulEs gestures (or, against and through that law, 'o,#lying with and es'a#ing the nor, at e+ery o##ortunityB DPaul was always s,iling, always glan'ing about hi,, see,ing to (eel that #eo#le ,ight be wat'hing hi, and trying to dete't so,ethingD 41615) Like the gendered sur(a'e o( !atherEs own narrati+e, PaulEs #resentation is ,addening #re'isely (or the e3#e'tations that it de(ies) 2n des'ribing PaulEs D'ons'ious e3#ressionD as Das a(ar as #ossible (ro, boyish ,irth(ulnessD 41615, !ather suggests that the e3#ression ,ight 'orres#ond with boyish sadness or, eJually, #ossible, with (e,inine guile) :he latter reading gains so,e (urther 'redibility when that De3#ressionD is said to be Dusually attributed to insolen'e or Es,artnessED41615) Paul o((ers his enig,ati' (eatures in the #la'e o( a +erbal res#onse when the inJuisitors seek to e3tra't (ro, hi, so,e 'on(ession o( transgression) *sked whether a #arti'ular re,ark to a wo,an was #olite or i,#olite, Paul re(uses the 'hoi'e, o''u#ying the sus#ended .one o( the law, neither 'on(or,ity nor in(ra'tion) DChen he was told he 'ould go, he bowed gra'e(ully and went out) ;is bow was a like a re#etition o( the s'andalous red 'arnation)D ;is bow is s'andalous, #erha#s be'ause it is a(ter all a 'ertain de(iant raising o( the ass, in+itation to sodo,y, that takes #la'e #re'isely through the +ery D#oliteD 'on+ention o( de(erring to the law) Chat re#eats here is a gesture that both 'o+ers and de(ers so,e allegedly 'ri,inal se3uality, that takes #la'e against and through the law that #rodu'es that 'ri,inality) Chen Paul (lees to New York and takes u# brie(ly with a young ,an (ro, Yale8a 'ertain sign o( transient ho,ose3uality e+en then8he

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o''u#ies a roo, whi'h re,ains i,#er(e't until he has (lowers brought u#) :his re#etition o( the s'andalous red 'arnation a##ears ,o,entarily (ree (ro, the ban o( sus#ension) :he (lowers thus ready the s'ene (or PaulEs +ersion o( the ,irror stageB D;e s#ent nearly an hour in dressing, wat'hing e+ery stage o( his toilet 'are(ully in the ,irror) +erything was Juite #er(e'tG he was e3a'tly the kind o( boy he had always wanted to beD 417?5) :hat Paul now assu,es the #la'e o( the one who ,#tc*es hi,sel( 'onstitutes a dis#la'e,ent o( the #erse'utorial Dwat'hersD who hounded hi, in and (ro, Pittsburgh) ;is #leasure is s#lit between the wat'hing and the ,irror, the body ideali.ed, #roFe'ted, and bound within the 'ir'le o( his own, #roFe'ti+e desire) But the (antasy o( radi'al sel(-origination 'annot only be sustained at the #ri'e o( debt, be'o,ing an outlaw, and (inally (inding hi,sel( on the run) *t the end o( the story, 'arnations rea##ear, Dtheir red glory o+erD 41?"5, and Paul re'ogni.es the Dlosing ga,e)) )this re+olt against the ho,ilies by whi'h the world is run)D ;ere the ho,ileti' utteran'e that 'on'ludes D:o,,y the %nsenti,ental,D that sy,boli' ,uttering to the e((e't that wo,en Fust 'anEt do without ,en be'ause they sure do like Ee,, 'arries the (or'e o( a #rohibition, at on'e 'asual and deadly, that 'ul,inates in PaulEs death) Be(ore his Fu,# in (ront o( the train, howe+er, the wat'hing (un'tion is retaken by hounding and #erse'utorial (iguresG the 'onseJuent an3iety twists his body into di+erging #arts, as i( his li#s were seeking to abandon his teethB D;e stood wat'hing the a##roa'hing lo'o,oti+e, his teeth 'hattering, his li#s drawn away (ro, the, in a (rightened s,ileG on'e or twi'e he glan'ed ner+ously sidewise, as though he were being wat'hedD 41?"5) Paul wat'hes the #erse'utorial wat'her, and in Fu,#ing be(ore the train, destroys the D#i'ture ,aking ,e'hanis,,D Dthe disturbing +isionsD at the sa,e ti,e that he releases his body into an orgiasti' (light and rela3ationB D;e (elt so,ething strike his 'hest,8his body was being thrown swi(tly through the air, on and on, i,,easurably (ar and (ast, while his li,bs gently rela3ed)D Released (ro, #rohibiti+e s'rutiny, the body (rees itsel( only through its own dissolution) :he (inal (igure o( DPaul dro##ed ba'k into the i,,ense design o( thingsD 'on(ir,s the ulti,ate (or'e o( the law but this (or'e unwittingly sustains the eroti'is, it seeks to (ore'loseB is this his death or his eroti' releaseK DPaul dro##ed ba'kDB a,biguously dro##ed by another and by hi,sel(, his agen'y arrested and #erha#s, (inally, yielded

2
PASSING. 0UEERING) NELLA LARSEN1S PS"CHOANAL"TIC CHALLENGE
!an identity be +iewed other than as a by-#rodu't o( a ,anhandling o( li(e, one that, in (a't, re(ers no ,ore to a 'onsistent #attern o( sa,eness than to an in'onseJuential #ro'ess o( othernessK 8:rinh :) Ainh-ha * nu,ber o( theoreti'al Juestions ha+e been raised by the e((ort to think the relationshi# between (e,inis,, #sy'hoanalysis, and ra'e studies) For the ,ost #art, #sy'hoanalysis has been used by (e,inist theorists to theori.e se3ual di((eren'e as a distin't and (unda,ental set o( linguisti' and 'ultural relations) :he #hiloso#her Lu'e 2rigaray has 'lai,ed that the Juestion o( se3ual di((eren'e is t*e Juestion (or our ti,e)1 :his #ri+ileging o( se3ual di((eren'e i,#lies not only that se3ual di((eren'e should be understood as ,ore (unda,ental than other (or,s o( di((eren'e, but that other (or,s o( di((eren'e ,ight be derived (ro, se3ual di((eren'e) :his +iew also #resu,es that se3ual di((eren'e 'onstitutes an autono,ous s#here o( relations or disFun'tions, and is not to be understood as arti'ulated through or #s other +e'tors o( #ower) Chat would it ,ean, on the other hand, to 'onsider the assu,#tion o( se3ual #ositions, the disFun'ti+e ordering o( the hu,an as D,as'ulineD or D(e,inineD as taking #la'e not only through a heterose3uali.ing sy,boli' with its taboo on ho,ose3uality, but through a 'o,#le3 set o( ra'ial inFun'tions whi'h o#erate in #art through the taboo on ,is'egenation) Further, how ,ight we understand ho,ose3uality and ,is'egenation to 'on+erge at and as the 'onstituti+e outside o( a nor,ati+e heterose3uality that is at on'e the regulation o( a ra'ially #ure re#rodu'tionK :o 'oin Aar3, then, let us re,e,ber that the re#rodu'tion o( the s#e'ies will be arti'ulated as the re#rodu'tion of relations o( re#rodu'tion, that is, as the 'athe'ted site o( a ra'iali.ed +ersion o( the s#e'ies in #ursuit o( hege,ony through #er#etuity, that reJuires and #rodu'es a nor,ati+e heterose3-ualir+ in its ser+i'e)9 !on+ersely, the re#rodu'tion o( heterose3uality will

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take di((erent (or,s de#ending on how ra'e and the re#rodu'tion o( ra'e are understood) *nd though there are 'learly good histori'al reasons (or kee#ing Dra'eD and Dse3ualityD and Dse3ual di((eren'eD as se#arate analyti' s#heres, there are also Juite #ressing and signi(i'ant histori'al reasons (or asking how and where we ,ight read not only their 'on+ergen'e, but the sites at whi'h the one 'annot be 'onstituted sa+e through the other) :his is so,ething other than Fu3ta#osing distin't s#heres o( #ower, subordination, agen'y, histori'ity, and so,ething other than a list o( attributes se#arated by those #ro+erbial 'o,,as 4gender, se3uality, ra'e, 'lass5, that usually ,ean that we ha+e not yet (igured out how to think the relations we seek to ,ark) 2s there a way, then, to read Nella LarsenEs te3t as engaging #sy'hoanalyti' assu,#tions not to a((ir, the #ri,a'y o( se3ual di((eren'e, but to arti'ulate the 'on+ergent ,odalities o( #ower by whi'h se3ual di((eren'e is arti'ulated and assu,edK !onsider, i( you will, the (ollowing s'ene (ro, Nella LarsenEs 2#ssin% in whi'h 2rene des'ends the stairs o( her ho,e to (ind !lare, in her desirable way, standing in the li+ing roo,) *t the ,o,ent 2rene lights u#on !lare, Brian, 2reneEs husband, a##ears to ha+e (ound !lare as well) 2rene thus (inds !lare, (inds her beauti(ul, but at the sa,e ti,e (inds Brian (inding !lare beauti(ul as well) :he doubling will #ro+e to be i,#ortant) :he narrati+e +oi'e is sy,#atheti' to 2rene, but e3'eeds her #ers#e'ti+e on those o''asions on whi'h 2rene (inds s#eaking to be i,#ossible) &he re,e,bered her own little 'hoked e3'la,ation o( ad,iration, when, on 'o,ing downstairs a (ew ,inutes later than she had intended, she had rushed into the li+ing roo, where Brian was waiting and had (ound !lare there too) !lare, e3Juisite, golden, (ragrant, (launting, , a stately gown o( shining bla'k ta((eta, whose long (ull skirt lay , gra'e(ul (olds about her sli, golden (eetG her glistening hair drawn s,oothly ba'k into a s,all twist at the na#e o( her ne'kher eyes s#arkling like dark Fewels S933R) 2reneEs e3'la,ation o( ad,iration is ne+er +oi'ed, 'hoked ba'k it see,s, reta,ed, #reser+ed as a kind o( seeing that does not ,ake its way into s#ee'h) &he would ha+e s#oken, but the 'hoking a##ears to sti(le her +oi'eG what she (inds is Brian waiting, Brian (inding !lare as well, and !lare hersel() :he gra,,ar o( the des'rinrinn (ails to settle the Juestion ot who desires who,B Dshe had rushed into the li+ing roo, where Brian

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was waiting and had (ound !lare there tooDB is it 2rene who (inds !lare or Brian, or do they (ind her togetherK *nd what is it that they (ind in her su'h that they no longer (ind ea'h other, but ,irror ea'h otherEs desire as ea'h turns toward !lare) 2rene will sti(le the words whi'h would 'on+ey her ad,iration) 2ndeed, the e3'la,ation is 'hoked, de#ri+ed o( air the e3'la,ation (ills the throat and thwarts her s#eaking) :he narrator e,erges to s#eak the words 2rene ,ight ha+e s#okenB De3Juisite, golden, (ragrant, (launting)D :he narrator thus states what re,ains 'aught in 2reneEs throat, whi'h suggests that LarsenEs narrator ser+es the (un'tion o( e3#osing ,ore than 2rene hersel( 'an risk) 2n ,ost 'ases where 2rene (inds hersel( unable to s#eak, the narrator su##lies the words) But when it 'o,es to e3#laining e3a'tly how !lare dies at the end o( the no+el, the narrator #ro+es as s#ee'hless as 2rene) :he Juestion o( what 'an and 'annot be s#oken, what 'an and 'annot be #ubli'ly e3#osed, is raised throughout the te3t, and it is linked with the larger Juestion o( the dangers o( #ubli' e3#osure o( both 'olor and desire) &igni(i'antly, it is #re'isely what 2rene des'ribes as !lareEs (launting that 2rene ad,ires, e+en as 2rene knows that !lare, who #asses as white, not only (launts but hides8indeed, is always hiding in that +ery (launting) !lareEs disa+owal o( her 'olor 'o,#els 2rene to take her distan'e (ro, !lare, to re(use to res#ond to her letters, to try to 'lose her out o( her li(e) *nd though 2rene +oi'es a ,oral obFe'tion to !lareEs #assing as white, it is 'lear that 2rene engages ,any o( the sa,e so'ial 'on+entions o( #assing as !lare) 2ndeed, when they both ,eet a(ter a long se#aration, they are both in a roo(to# 'a(e #assing as white) *nd yet, a''ording to 2rene, !lare goes too (ar, #asses as white not ,erely on o''asion, but in her li(e, and in her ,arriage) !lare e,bodies a 'ertain kind o( se3ual daring that 2rene de(ends hersel( against, (or the ,arriage 'annot hold !lare, and 2rene (inds hersel( drawn by !lare, wanting to be her, but also wanting her) 2t is this risktaking, arti'ulated at on'e as a ra'ial 'rossing and se3ual in(idelity, that alternately entran'es 2rene and (uels her ,oral 'onde,nation o( !lare with renewed (ero'ity) *(ter 2rene 'on+in'es hersel( that Brian and !lare are ha+ing an a((air, 2rene wat'hes !lare work her sedu'tion and betrayal on an otherwise unre,arkable /a+e Freeland at a #arty) :he sedu'tion works through #utting into Juestion both the san'tity o( ,arriage and the 'larity o( ra'ial de,ar'ationsB

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&'ra#s o( their 'on+ersation, in !lareEs husky +oi'e, (loated o+er to herB D)))always ad,ired you)))so ,u'h about you long ago)))e+erybody says so)))no one but you)))D *nd ,ore o( the sa,e) :he ,an 2 hung ra#t on her words, though he was the husband o( Felise Free-land, and the author o( no+els that re+ealed a ,an o( #er'e#tion and a de+astating irony) *nd he (ell (or su'h #ish#oshP *nd all be'ause !lare had a tri'k o( sliding down i+ory lids o+er astonishing bla'k eyes and then li(ting the, suddenly and turning on a 'aressing s,ile S96"R) ;ere it is the tri'k o( #assing itsel( that a##ears to eroti'i.e !lare, the 'o+ering o+er o( astonishing bla'k by i+ory, the sudden 'on'ession o( the se'ret, the ,agi'al trans(or,ation o( a s,ile into a 'aress) 2t is the 'hangeability itsel(, the drea, o( a ,eta,or#hosis, where that 'hangeableness signi(ies a 'ertain (reedo,, a 'lass ,obility a((orded by whiteness that 'onstitutes the #ower o( that sedu'tion) :his ti,e 2reneEs own +ision o( !lare is (ollowed not only by a 'hoking o( s#ee'h, but by a rage that leads to the shattering o( her tea 'u#, and the interru#tion o( 'hatter) :he tea s#reads on the 'ar#et like rage, like blood, (igured as dark 'olor itsel( suddenly un'ontained by the stri'tures o( whitenessB DRage boiled u# in her)1:here was a slight 'rash) @n the (loor at her (eet lay the shattered 'u#) /ark stains dotted the bright rug) &#read) :he 'hatter sto##ed) Cent on) Be(ore her) Qulena gathered u# the white (rag,entsD 496"5) :his shattering #re(igures the +iolen'e that ends the story, in whi'h !lare is dis'o+ered by Bellew, her white ra'ist husband, in the 'o,#any o( *(ri'an-*,eri'ans, her 'olor Douted,D whi'h initiates her swi(t and Juite literal de,iseB with 2rene a,biguously #ositioned ne3t to !lare with a hand on her ar,, !lare (alls (ro, the window, and dies on the street below) Chether she Fu,#ed or was #ushed re,ains a,biguousB DChat ha##ened ne3t, 2rene Red(ield ne+er a(terwards allowed hersel( to re,e,ber) Ne+er 'learly) @ne ,o,ent !lare had been there, a +ital glowing thing, like a (la,e o( red and gold) :he ne3t she was goneD 49?15) Prior to this ,o,ent, Bellew 'li,bs the stairs to the ;arle, a#art,ent where the salon is taking #la'e, and dis'o+ers !lare thereG her being there is su((i'ient to 'on+in'e hi, that she is bla'k) Bla'kness is not #ri,arily a +isual ,ark in LarsenEs story, not only be'ause 2rene and !lare are both light-skinned, but be'ause what 'an be seen, what Juali(ies as a +isible ,arking, is a ,atter o( being able to read a ,arked body in relation to un,arked bodies, where un,arked bodies 'onstitute the 'urren'y o(

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nor,ati+e whiteness) !lare #asses not only be'ause she is light-skinned, but be'ause she re(uses to introdu'e her bla'kness into 'on+ersation, and so withholds the 'on+ersational ,arker whi'h would 'ounter the hege,oni' #resu,#tion that she is white) 2rene hersel( a##ears to D#assD inso(ar as she enters 'on+ersations whi'h #resu,e whiteness as the nor, without 'ontesting that assu,#tion) :his disso'iation (ro, bla'kness that she #er(or,s through silen'e is re+ersed at the end o( the story in whi'h she is e3#osed to BellewEs white ga.e in 'lear asso'iation with *(ri'an-*,eri'ans) 2t is only on the 'ondition o( an asso'iation that 'onditions a na,ing that her 'olor be'o,es legible) ;e 'annot DseeD her as bla'k be(ore that asso'iation, and he 'lai,s to her (a'e with unrestrained ra'is, that he would ne+er asso'iate with bla'ks) 2( he asso'iates with her, she 'annot be bla'k) But i( she asso'iates with bla'ks, she be'o,es bla'k, where the sign o( bla'kness is 'ontra'ted, as it were, through #ro3i,ity, where Dra'eD itsel( is (igured as a 'ontagion trans,issable through #ro3i,ity) :he added #resu,#tion is that i( he were to asso'iate with bla'ks, the boundaries o( his own whiteness, and surely that o( his 'hildren, would no longer be easily (i3ed) Parado3i'ally, his own ra'ist #assion re=uires that asso'iationG he 'annot be white without bla'ks and without the 'onstant disa+owal o( his relation to the,) 2t is only through that disa+owal that his whiteness is 'onstituted, and through the institutionali.ation o( that disa+owal that his whiteness is #er#etually8but an3iously8re'onstituted)" BellewEs s#ee'h is o+erdeter,ined by this an3iety o+er ra'ial boundaries) Be(ore he knows that !lare is bla'k, he regularly 'alls her DNig,D and it see,s that this ter, o( degradation and disa+owal is #assed between the, as a kind o( lo+e toy) &he allows hersel( to be eroti'i.ed by it, takes it on, a'ting as i( it were the ,ost i,#ossible a##ellation (or her) :hat he 'alls her DNigD suggests that he knows or that there is a kind o( knowingness in the language he s#eaks) *nd yet, i( he 'an 'all her that and re,ain her husband, he 'annot know) 2n this sense, she de(ines the (etish, an obFe't o( desire about whi'h one says, D2 know +ery well that this 'annot be, but 2 desire this all the sa,e,D a (or,ulation whi'h i,#lies its eJui+alen'eB DPre'isely be'ause this 'annot be, 2 desire it all the ,ore)D *nd yet !lare is a (etish that holds in #la'e both the rendering o( !lareEs bla'kness as an e3oti' sour'e o( e3'itation and the denial o( her bla'kness altogether) ;ere the Dna,ingD is riddled with the knowledge that he 'lai,s not to ha+eG he notes that she is be'o,ing darker all the ti,eG the ter, o( degradation

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#er,its hi, to see and not to see at the sa,e ti,e) :he ter, sustains his desire as a kind o( disa+owal, one whi'h stru'tures not only the a,bi+alen'e in his desire (or !lare, but the eroti' a,bi+alen'e by whi'h he 'onstitutes the (ragile boundaries o( his own ra'ial identity) :o re(or,ulate an earlier 'lai,, thenB although he 'lai,s that he would ne+er asso'iate with *(ri'an-*,eri'ans, he reJuires the asso'iation and its disa+owal (or an eroti' satis(a'tion that is indistinguishable (ro, his desire to dis#lay his own ra'ial #urity) 2n (a't, it a##ears that the un'ertain border between bla'k and white is #re'isely what he eroti'i.es, what he needs in order to ,ake !lare into the e3oti' obFe't to be do,inated)6 ;is na,e, Bellew, like bellow, is itsel( a howl, the long howl o( white ,ale an3iety in the (a'e o( the ra'ially a,biguous wo,an who, he ideali.es and loathes) &he re#resents the s#e'tre o( a ra'ial a,biguity that ,ust be 'onJuered) But DBellewD is also the instru,ent that (ans the (la,e, the illu,ination that !lare, literally Dlight,D in so,e sense is ;er lu,ines'en'e is de#endent on the li(e he breathes into herG her e+anes'en'e is eJually a (un'tion o( that #ower) D@ne ,o,ent !lare had been there, a +ital glowing thing, like a (la,e o( red and gold) :he ne3t she was gone)1 :here was a gas# o( horror, and abo+e it a sound not Juite hu,an, like a beast in agony) ENigP Ay GodP NigPED Bellew bellows, and at that ,o,ent !lare +anishes (ro, the window 49?15) ;is s#ee'h +a'illates between degradation and dei(i'ation, but o#ens and 'loses on a note o( degradation) :he (or'e o( that +a'illation illu,inates, in(la,es !lare, but also works to e3tinguish her, to blow her out) !lare e3#loits BellewEs need to see only what he wants to see, working not so ,u'h the a##earan'e o( whiteness, but the +a'illation between bla'k and white as a kind o( eroti' lure) ;is (inal na,ing 'loses down that +a'illation, but (un'tions also as a (atal 'onde,nation 8or so it see,s) For it is, a(ter all, 2reneEs hand whi'h is last seen on !lareEs ar,, and the narrator, who is usually able to say what 2rene 'annot, a##ears drawn into 2reneEs nonnarrati+i.able trau,a, blanking out, withdrawing at the 'ru'ial ,o,ent when we e3#e't to learn whose agen'y it was that 'ata#ulted !lare (ro, the window and to her death below) :hat 2rene (eels guilt o+er !lareEs death is not Juite reason enough to belie+e that 2rene #ushed her, sin'e one 'an easily (eel guilty about a death one ,erely wished would ha##en, e+en when one knows that oneEs wish 'ould not be the #ro3i,ate 'ause o( the death) :he ga# in the narrati+e lea+es o#en whether !lare Fu,#ed,

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2rene #ushed, or the (or'e o( BellewEs words literally bellowed her out the window) 2t is, 2 would suggest, this 'onseJuential ga#, and the triangula-tion that surrounds it, that o''asions a rethinking o( #sy'hoanalysis, in #arti'ular, o( the so'ial and #sy'hi' status o( Dkilling Fudg,ents)D ;ow are we to e3#lain the 'hain that leads (ro, Fudg,ent to e3#osure to death, as it o#erates through the interwo+en +e'tors o( se3uality and ra'eK !lareEs (allB is this a Foint e((ort, or is it at least an a'tion whose 'auses ,ust re,ain not (ully knowable, not (ully tra'eableK :his is an a'tion a,biguously e3e'uted, in whi'h the agen'y o( 2rene and !lare is signi(i'antly 'on(used, and this 'on(usion o( agen'y takes #la'e in relation to the +iolating s#ee'h o( the white ,an) Ce 'an read this D(inale,D as Larsen 'alls it, as rage boiling u#, shattering, lea+ing shards o( whiteness, shattering the +eneer o( whiteness) +en as it a##ears that !lareEs +eneer o( whiteness is shattered, it is BellewEs as wellG indeed, it is the +eneer by whi'h the white #roFe't o( ra'ial #urity is sustained) For Bellew thinks that he would ne+er asso'iate with bla'ks, but he 'annot be white without his DNig,D without the lure o( an asso'iation that he ,ust resist, without the s#e'tre o( a ra'ial a,biguity that he ,ust subordinate and deny) 2ndeed, he re#rodu'es that ra'ial line by whi'h he seeks to se'ure his whiteness through #rodu'ing bla'k wo,en as the ne'essary and i,#ossible obFe't o( desire, as the (etish in relation to whi'h his own whiteness is an3iously and #ersistendy se'ured) :here are 'learly risks in trying to think in #sy'hoanalyti' ter,s about LarsenEs story, whi'h, a(ter all, #ublished in 1999, belongs to the tradition o( the ;arle, Renaissan'e, and ought #ro#erly to be read in the 'onte3t o( that 'ultural and so'ial world) Chereas ,any 'riti's ha+e read the te3t as a tragi' story o( the so'ial #osition o( the ,ulatto, others ha+e insisted that the storyEs brillian'e is to be (ound in its #sy'hologi'al 'o,#le3ity) 2t see,s to ,e that #erha#s one need not 'hoose between the histori'al and so'ial s#e'i(i'ity o( the no+el, as it has been brought to light by Barbara !hristian, Gloria ;ull, ;a.el !arby, *,ritFit &ingh, and Aary ;elen Cashington, on the one hand, and the #sy'hologi'al 'o,#le3ity o( 'ross-identi(i'ation and Fealousy in the te3t as it has been dis'ussed by !laudia :ate, !heryl Call, Aary Aabel You,ans, and /eborah A'/owell)7 Both :ate and A'/owell suggest that 'riti's ha+e s#lit o+er whether this story ought to be read as a story about ra'e and, in #arti'ular, as #art o( the tragi' genre o( the ,ulatto, or whether it ought to be read as #sy'hologi'ally 'o,#le3 and, as both A'/owell and !arby insist, an allegory o( the di((i'ulty o( re#re-

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senring bla'k wo,enEs se3uality #re'isely when that se3uality has been e3oti'i.ed or rendered as an i'on o( #ri,iti+is,) 2ndeed, Larsen hersel( a##ears to be 'aught in that +ery dile,,a, withholding a re#resentation o( bla'k wo,enEs se3uality #re'isely in order to a+ert the 'onseJuen'e o( its be'o,ing e3oti'i.ed) 2t is this withholding that one ,ight read in LuicAs#nd, a no+ella #ublished the year be(ore 2#ssin%, where ;elgaEs abstinen'e is dire'tly related to the (ear o( being de#i'ted as belonging to Dthe Fungle)D A'/owell writes, Dsin'e the beginning o( their 130-year history, bla'k wo,en no+elists ha+e treated se3uality with 'aution and reti'en'e) :his is 'learly linked to the network o( so'ial and literary ,yths #er#etuated throughout history about bla'k wo,enEs libidinousness)D? :he 'on(li't between 2rene and !lare, one whi'h s#ans identi(i'ation, desire, Fealousy, and rage, 'alls to be 'onte3tuali.ed within the histori'ally s#e'i(i' 'onstraints o( se3uality and ra'e whi'h #rodu'ed this te3t in 1999) *nd though 2 'an only do that in a +ery 'rude way here, 2 would like brie(ly to sket'h a dire'tion (or su'h an analysis) For 2 would agree with both A'/owell and !arby not only that is it unne'essary to 'hoose whether this no+ella is DaboutD ra'e or DaboutD se3uality and se3ual 'on(li't, but that the two do,ains are ine3tri'ably linked, su'h that the te3t o((ers a way to read the ra'iali.ation o( se3ual 'on(li't) !laudia :ate argues that Dra'e)))is not the no+elEs (ore,ost 'on'ernD and that Dthe real i,#etus (or the story is 2reneEs e,otional turbulen'eD 41"95 and the #sy'hologi'al a,biguity that surrounds !lareEs death) :ate distinguishes her own #sy'hologi'al a''ount (ro, those who redu'e the no+el to a Dtrite ,elodra,aD 41"75 o( bla'k wo,en #assing (or white) By unders'oring the a,biguity o( !lareEs death, :ate brings into relie( the narrati+e and #sy'hi' 'o,#le3ity o( the no+ella) Following :ate, !heryl Call re(uses to se#arate the #sy'hologi'al a,biguity o( the story (ro, its ra'ial signi(i'an'e) *greeing that DLarsenEs ,ost striking insights are into #sy'hi' dile,,as 'on(ronting 'ertain bla'k wo,en,D she argues that what a##ear to be Dthe tragi' ,ulattoes o( literary 'on+entionD are also Dthe ,eans through whi'h the author de,onstrates the #sy'hologi'al 'osts o( ra'is, and se3is,)D For Call, the (igure o( !lare ne+er (ully e3ists a#art (ro, 2reneEs own #roFe'tions o( DothernessD 410=5) 2ndeed, a''ording to Call, 2reneEs eroti' relation to !lare #arti'i#ates in a kind o( e3oti'is, that is not (ully di((erent (ro, BellewEs) 2rene sees in !lareEs sedu'ti+e eyes Dthe un'ons'ious, the unknowable, the eroti', and the #assi+e,D

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where, a''ording to Call, DStheseR sy,boli.e those as#e'ts o( the #sy'he 2rene denies within hersel(D 410=-1095) /eborah A'/owell s#e'i(ies this a''ount o( #sy'hologi'al 'o,#le3ity and #roFe'tion by unders'oring the 'on(li'ted ho,oeroti'is, between !lare and 2rene) A'/owell writes Dthough, su#er(i'ially, 2reneEs is an a''ount o( !lareEs #assing (or white and related issues o( ra'ial identity and loyalty, underneath the sa(ety o( that sur(a'e is the ,ore dangerous story8though not na,ed e3#li'itly --o( 2reneEs awakening se3ual desire (or !lareD 433+i5) Further, A'/owell argues that 2rene e((e'ti+ely dis#la'es her own desire (or !lare in her Di,agination o( an a((air between !lare and BrianD 433+iii5, and that in the (inal s'ene D!lareEs death re#resents the death o( 2reneEs se3ual (eelings, (or !lareD 433i35) :o understand the ,uted status o( ho,ose3uality within this te3t8and hen'e the dis#la'e,ent, Fealousy, and ,urderous wish that (ollow8it is 'ru'ial to situate this re#ression in ter,s o( the s#e'i(i' so'ial 'onstraints on the de#i'tion o( bla'k (e,ale se3uality ,entioned abo+e) 2n her essay, D:he <ui'ksands o( Re#resentation,D ;a.el !arby writes, LarsenEs re#resentation o( both ra'e and 'lass are stru'tured through the #ris, o( bla'k (e,ale se3uality) Larsen re'ogni.ed that the re#ression o( the sensual in *(ro-*,eri'an (i'tion in res#onse to the long history o( the e3#loitation o( bla'k se3uality led to the re#ression o( #assion and the re#ression or denial o( (e,ale se3uality and desire) But, o( 'ourse, the re#resentation o( bla'k (e,ale se3uality ,eant risking its de(inition as #ri,iti+e and e3oti' within a ra'ist so'iety)) )Ra'ist se3ual ideologies #ro'lai,ed the bla'k wo,an to be a ra,#ant se3ual being, and in res#onse bla'k wo,en writers either (o'used on de(ending their ,orality or dis#la'ed se3uality onto another terrain S1?"R) A'/owell, on the other hand, sees Larsen as resisting the se3ual e3#li'itness (ound in bla'k (e,ale blues singers su'h as Bessie &,ith and Aa Rainey 43iii5, but ne+ertheless wrestling with the #roble, o( rendering #ubli' a se3uality whi'h thereby be'a,e a+ailable to an e3oti'i.ing e3#loitation)= 2n a sense, the 'on(li't o( lesbian desire in the story 'an be read in what is al,ost s#oken, in what is withheld (ro, s#ee'h, but whi'h always threatens to sto# or disru#t s#ee'h) *nd in this sense the ,uteness o( ho,ose3uality 'on+erges in the story with the illegibility o( !lareEs bla'kness)

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:o s#e'i(y this 'on+ergen'e let ,e turn (irst to the #eriodi' use o( the ter, DJueeringD in the story itsel(, where Jueering is linked to the eru#tion o( anger into s#ee'h su'h that s#ee'h is sti(led and broken, and then to the s'ene in whi'h !lare and 2rene (irst e3'hange their glan'es, a re'i#ro'al seeing that +erges on threatening absor#tion) !on+ersations in 2#ssin% a##ear to 'onstitute the #ain(ul, i( not re#ressi+e, sur(a'e o( so'ial relations) 2t is what !lare withholds in 'on+ersation that #er,its her to D#assDG and when 2reneEs 'on+ersation (alters, the narrator re(ers to the sudden ga# in the sur(a'e o( language as DJueerD or as DJueering)D *t the ti,e, it see,s, DJueerD did not yet ,ean ho,ose3ual, but it did en'o,#ass an array o( ,eanings asso'iated with the de+iation (ro, nor,al'y whi'h ,ight well in'lude the se3ual) 2ts ,eanings in'ludeB o( obs'ure origin, the state o( (eeling ill or bad, not straight, obs'ure, #er+erse, e''entri') *s a +erb-(or,, Dto JueerD has a history o( ,eaningB to Jui. or ridi'ule, to #u..le, but also, to swindle and to 'heat) 2n LarsenEs te3t, the aunts who raise !lare as white (orbid her to ,ention her ra'eG they are des'ribed as DJueerD 41=95) Chen Gertrude, another #assing bla'k wo,an, hears a ra'ial slur against bla'ks, Larsen writes, D(ro, GertrudeEs dire'tion 'a,e a Jueer little su##ressed sound, a snort or a giggleD 490958so,ething Jueer, so,ething short o( #ro#er 'on+ersation, #assable #rose) BrianEs longing to tra+el to Bra.il is des'ribed as an Dold, Jueer, unha##y restlessnessD 490=5, suggesting a longing to be (reed o( #ro#riety) :hat Larsen links Jueerness with a #otentially #roble,ati' eru#tion o( se3uality see,s 'learB 2rene worries about her sons #i'king u# ideas about se3 at s'hoolG 0unior, she re,arks, DE#i'ked u# so,e Jueer ideas about things8so,e things8(ro, the older boys)E E<ueer ideasKE SBrianR re#eated) E/Eyou ,ean ideas about se3, 2reneKDYe-es) Not Juite ni'e ones, dread(ul Fokes, and things like thatED 4919-9905) &o,eti,es 'on+ersation be'o,es DJueerD when anger interru#ts the so'ial sur(a'e o( 'on+ersation) %#on be'o,ing 'on+in'ed that Brian and !lare are ha+ing an a((air, 2rene is des'ribed by Larsen this wayB D2rene 'ried outB EBut Brian, 2 8E and sto##ed, a,a.ed at the (ier'e anger that had bla.ed u# in her)1 BrianEs head 'a,e round with a Ferk) ;is brows li(ted in an odd sur#rise)1 ;er +oi'e, she reali.ed *#d gone JueerD 49"95) *s a ter, (or betraying what ought to re,ain 'on'ealed, DJueeringD works as the e3#osure within language8an e3#osure that disru#ts the re#ressi+e sur(a'e o( language8 o( both se3uality and ra'e) *(ter ,eeting !lareEs husband on the street with

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her bla'k (riend Felise, 2rene 'on(esses that she has #re+iously D#assedD in (ront o( hi,) Larsen writes, DFelise drawledB E*haP Been E#assingE ha+e youK Cell, 2E+e Jueered thatND 49695) 2n the last instan'e, Jueering is what u#sets and e3#oses #assingG it is die a't by whi'h the ra'ially and se3ually re#ressi+e sur(a'e o( 'on+ersation is e3#loded, by rage, by se3uality, by the insisten'e on 'olor) 2rene and !lare (irst ,eet u# a(ter years a#art in a 'a(e where they are both #assing as white) *nd the #ro'ess by whi'h ea'h 'o,es to re'ogni.e the other, and re'ogni.e her as bla'k is at on'e the #ro'ess o( their eroti' absor#tion ea'h into the otherEs eyes) :he narrator re#orts that 2rene (ound !lare to be Dan attra'ti+e-looking wo,an)) )with those dark, al,ost bla'k, eyes and that wide ,outh like a s'arlet (lower against the i+ory o( her skin)))a shade too #ro+o'ati+eD 41??5) 2rene (eels hersel( stared at by !lare, and 'learly stares ba'k, (or she notes that !lare Dshowed SnotR the slightest tra'e o( dis'on'ert,ent at ha+ing been dete'ted in her steady s'rutiny)D 2rene then D(eel4s5 her 'olor heighten under the 'ontinued ins#e'tion, SandR slid her eyes down) Chat she wondered 'ould be the reason (or su'h #ersistent attentionK ;ad she, in her haste in the ta3i, #ut her hat on ba'kwardsKD Fro, the start, then, 2rene takes !lareEs stare to be a kind o( ins#e'tion, a threat o( e3#osure whi'h she returns (irst as s'rutiny and distrust only then to (ind hersel( thoroughly sedu'edB D&he stole another glan'e) &till looking) Chat strange languorous eyes she hadPD 2rene resists being wat'hed, but then (alls into the ga.e, a+erts the re'ognition at the sa,e ti,e that she DsurrendersD to the 'har, o( the s,ile) :he a,bi+alen'e wra'ks the ,otion o( the narrati+e) 2rene subseJuently tries to ,o+e !lare out o( her li(e, re(uses to answer her letters, +ows not to in+ite her anywhere, but (inds hersel( 'aught u# by !lareEs sedu'tion) 2s it that 2rene 'annot bear the identi(i'ation with !lare, or is it that she 'annot bear her desire (or !lareG is it that she identi(ies with !lareEs #assing but needs to disa+ow it not only be'ause she seeks to u#hold the Dra'eD that !lare betrays but be'ause her desire (or !lare will betray the (a,ily that works as the bulwark (or that u#li(ted ra'eK 2ndeed, this is a ,oral +ersion o( the (a,ily whi'h o##oses any sign o( #assion e+en within the ,arriage, e+en any #assionate atta'h,ent to the 'hildren) 2rene 'o,es to hate !lare not only be'ause !lare lies, #asses, and betrays her ra'e, but be'ause !lareEs lying se'ures a tentati+e se3ual (reedo, (or !lare, and re(le'ts ba'k to 2rene the #assion that 2rene denies hersel()

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&he hates !lare not only be'ause !lare has su'h #assion, but be'ause !lare awakens su'h #assion in 2rene, indeed, a #assion f#r !lareB D2n the look !lare ga+e 2rene, there was so,ething gro#ing, and ho#eless, and yet so absolutely deter,ined that it was like an i,age o( the (utile sear'hing and (ir, resolution in 2reneEs own soul, and in'reased the (eeling o( doubt and 'o,#un'tion that had been growing within her about !lare Hendry)D &he distrusts !lare as she distrusts hersel(, but this gro#ing is also what draws her in) :he ne3t line readsB D&he ga+e inD 49315) Chen 2rene 'an resist !lare, she does it in the na,e o( Dra'e,D where Dra'eD is tied to the /uBoisian notion o( u#li(t and denotes an idea o( D#rogressD that is not only ,as'ulinist but whi'h, in LarsenEs story, be'o,es 'onstrued as u#ward 'lass ,obility) :his ,oral notion o( Dra'eD whi'h, by the way, is o(ten 'ontested by the 'elebratory rhetori' o( D'olorD in the te3t, also reJuires the ideali.ation o( bourgeois (a,ily li(e in whi'h wo,en retain their #la'e in the (a,ily) :he institution o( the (a,ily also #rote'ts bla'k wo,en (ro, a #ubli' e3#osure o( se3uality that would be rendered +ulnerable to a ra'ist 'onstru'tion and e3#loitation) :he se3uality that ,ight Jueer the (a,ily be'o,es a kind o( dangerB BrianEs desire to tra+el, the boysE Fokes, all ,ust be unilaterally subdued, ke#t out o( #ubli' s#ee'h, not ,erely in the na,e o( ra'e, but in the na,e o( a notion o( ra'ial #rogress that has be'o,e linked with 'lass ,obility, ,as'uline u#li(t, and the bourgeois (a,ily) 2roni'ally, /u Bois hi,sel( 'a,e to #raise LarsenEs LuicAs#nd #re'isely (or ele+ating bla'k (i'tion beyond the kind o( se3ual e3oti'i.ation that #atrons su'h as !arl Ian Ie'hten sought to #ro,ote)9 Cithout re'ogni.ing that Larsen was struggling with the 'on(li't #rodu'ed, on the one hand, by su'h e3oti' and ra'ist renderings and, on the other hand, by the ,oral inFun'tions ty#i(ied by /u Bois, /u Bois hi,sel( #raises her writings as an e3a,#le o( u#li(t itsel() 10 *nd yet, one ,ight argue that 2#ssin% e3e,#li(ies #re'isely the 'ost o( u#li(t (or bla'k wo,en as an a,biguous death1sui'ide, whereas LuicAs#nd e3e,#li(ies that 'ost as a kind o( death in ,arriage, where both stories resol+e on the i,#ossibility o( se3ual (reedo, (or bla'k wo,en)11 Chat be'o,es #sy'hi'ally re#ressed in 2#ssin% is linked to the s#e'i(i'ity o( the so'ial 'onstraints on bla'k wo,enEs se3uality that in(or, LarsenEs te3t 2(, as !arby insists, the #ros#e't o( bla'k wo,enEs se3ual (reedo, at the ti,e o( LarsenEs writing rendered the, +ulnerable to #ubli' +iolations, in'luding ra#e, be'ause their bodies 'ontinued to be

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sites o( 'onJuest within white ra'is,, then the #sy'hi' resistan'e to ho,ose3uality and to a se3ual li(e outside the #ara,eters o( the (a,ily ,ust be read in #art as a resistan'e to an endangering #ubli' e3#osure) :o the e3tent that 2rene desires !lare, she desires the tres#ass that !lare #er(or,s, and hates her (or the disloyalty that that tres#ass entails) :o the e3tent that 2rene hersel( eroti'i.es !lareEs ra'ial tres#ass and !lareEs 'lear la'k o( loyalty (or (a,ily and its institutions o( ,onoga,y, 2rene hersel( is in a double bindB 'aught between the #ros#e't o( be'o,ing (ree (ro, an ideology o( Dra'eD un'riti'al in its own ,as'ulinis, and 'lassis,, on the one hand, and the +iolations o( white ra'is, that attend the de#ri+ati.a-tion o( bla'k wo,enEs se3uality, on the other) 2reneEs #sy'hi' a,bi+alen'e toward !lare, then, needs to be situated in this histori'al double-bind) 19 *t the sa,e ti,e, we 'an see ,a##ed within LarsenEs te3t the in'i#ient #ossibility o( a solidarity a,ong bla'k wo,en) :he identi(i'ation between !lare and 2rene ,ight be read as the unli+ed #oliti'al #ro,ise o( a solidarity yet to 'o,e) A'/owell #oints out that 2rene i,agines that Brian is with !lare, and that this i,agining 'oin'ides with the intensi(i'ation o( 2reneEs desire for !lare) 2rene #asses her desire (or !lare through BrianG he be'o,es the #hantas,ati' o''asion (or 2rene to 'onsu,,ate her desire (or !lare, but also to de(le't (ro, the re'ognition that it is *er desire whi'h is being arti'ulated through Brian) Brian 'arries that re#udiated ho,ose3uality, and 2reneEs Fealousy, then, 'an be understood not only as a ri+alry with hi, (or !lare, but the #ain(ul 'onseJuen'e o( a sa'ri(i'e o( #assion that she re#eatedly ,akes, a sa'ri(i'e that entails the dis#la'e,ent or rerouting o( her desire through Brian) :hat Brian a##ears to a't on 2reneEs desire 4although this, i,#ortantly, is ne+er 'on(ir,ed and, so, ,ay be nothing other than an i,aginary 'on+i'tion on 2reneEs #art5, suggests that #art o( that Fealousy is anger that he o''u#ies a legiti,ated se3ual #osition (ro, whi'h he 'an 'arry out the desire whi'h she in+ested in hi,, that he dares to a't the desire whi'h she relegated to hi, to a't on) :his is not to dis'ount the #ossibility that 2rene also desires Brian, but there is +ery little e+iden'e o( a #assionate atta'h,ent to hi, in the te3t) 2ndeed, it is against his #assion, and in (a+or o( #reser+ing bourgeois ideals that she 'la,ors to kee# hi,) ;er Fealousy ,ay well be routed along a 'on+entional heterose3ual narrati+e, but8as we saw in !ather8that is not to (ore'lose the inter#retation that a lesbian #assion runs that 'ourse)

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2 Freud writes o( a 'ertain kind o( DFealousyD whi'h a##ears at (irst to be the desire to ha+e the heterose3ual #artner whose attention has wandered, but is ,oti+ated by a desire to o''u#y the #la'e o( that wandering #artner in order to 'onsu,,ate a (ore'losed ho,ose3uality) ;e 'alls this a Ddelusional Fealousy)))what is le(t o( a ho,ose3uality that has run its 'ourse, and it rightly takes its #osition a,ong the 'lassi'al (or,s o( #aranoia) *s an atte,#t at de(en'e against an unduly strong ho,ose3ual i,#ulse it ,ay, in a ,an, be des'ribed in the (or,ulaB D. do not lo+e hi,, s*e lo+es hi,PED13 *nd, in a wo,an and in 2#ssin%, the (ollowing (or,ula ,ight a##lyB D2, 2rene, do not lo+e her, !lareB he, Brian, doesPD 2t is #re'isely here, in a''ounting (or the sa'ri(i'e, that one re(or,ulation o( #sy'hoanalysis in ter,s o( ra'e be'o,es ne'essary) 2n his essay on nar'issis,, Freud argues that a boy 'hild begins to lo+e through sa'ri(i'ing so,e #ortion o( his own nar'issis,, that the ideali.ation o( the ,other is nothing other than that nar'issis, trans(erred outward, that the ,other stands (or that lost nar'issis,, #ro,ises the return o( that nar'issis,, and ne+er deli+ers on that #ro,ise) For as long as she re,ains the ideali.ed obFe't o( lo+e, she 'arries his nar'issis,, she is his dis#la'ed nar'issis,, and, inso(ar as s*e c#rries it, she is #er'ei+ed to ,it**old it fro' *i' 2deali.ation, then, is always at the e3#ense o( the ego who ideali.es) :he ego-ideal is #rodu'ed as a 'onseJuen'e o( being se+ered (ro, the ego, where the ego is understood to sa'ri(i'e so,e #art o( its nar'issis, in the (or,ation and e3ternali.ation o( this ideal) :he lo+e o( the ideal will thus always be a,bi+alent, (or the ideal de#re'ates the ego as it 'o,#els its lo+e) For the ,o,ent, 2 would like to deta'h the logi' o( this e3#lanation (ro, the dra,a between boy 'hild and ,other whi'h is FreudEs (o'us 4not to dis'ount that (o'us, but to bring into relie( other #ossible (o'i5, and unders'ore the 'onseJuen'e o( a,bi+alen'e in the #ro'ess o( ideali.ation) :he one 2 ideali.e is the one who 'arries (or ,e the sel(-lo+e that 2 ,ysel( ha+e in+ested in that one) *nd a''ordingly, 2 hate that one, (or he1she has taken ,y #la'e e+en as 2 yielded ,y #la'e to hi,1her, and yet 2 reJuire that one, (or he1she re#resents the #ro,ise o( the return o( ,y own sel(-lo+e) &el(-lo+e, sel(-estee, is thus #reser+ed and +anJuished at the site o( the ideal ;ow 'an this analysis be related to the Juestions 'on'erning the ra'iali.ation o( se3uality 2 ha+e tried to #oseK :he ego-ideal and its deri+ati+e, the su#er-ego, are regulatory ,e'hanis,s by whi'h so'ial ideals are

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#sy'hi'ally sustained) 2n this way, the so'ial regulation o( the #sy'he 'an be read as the Fun'ture o( ra'ial and gendered #rohibitions and regulations and their (or'ed #sy'hi' a##ro#riations) Freud argues s#e'ulati+ely that this egoideal lays the groundwork (or the su#er-ego, and that the su#er-ego is li+ed as the #sy'hi' a'ti+ity o( Dwat'hingD and, (ro, the #ers#e'ti+e that is the ego, the e3#erien'e o( Dbeing wat'hedDB Dit 4the su#er-ego5 'onstantly wat'hes the real ego and ,easures it by that 4ego-5 ideal)D ;en'e, the su#er-ego stands (or the ,easure, the law, the nor,, one whi'h is e,bodied by a (abri'ation, a (igure o( a being whose sole (eature it is to wat'h, to wat'h in order to Fudge, as a kind o( #ersistent s'rutiny, dete'tion, e((ort to e3#ose, that hounds the ego and re,inds it o( its (ailures) :he ego thus designates the #sy'hi' e3#erien'e o( being seen, and the su#er-ego, that o( seeing, wat'hing, e3#osing the ego) Now, this wat'hing agen'y is not the sa,e as the ideali.ation whi'h is the ego-idealG it stands ba'k both (ro, the ego-ideal and the ego, and ,easures the latter against the (or,er and always, always (inds it wanting) :he su#er-ego is not only the ,easure o( the ego, the interiori.ed Fudge, but the a'ti+ity o( #rohibition, the #sy'hi' agen'y o( regulation, what Freud 'alls conscience} 14 For Freud, this su#erego re#resents a nor,, a standard, an ideal whi'h is in #art so'ially re'ei+edG it is the #sy'hi' agen'y by whi'h so'ial regulation #ro'eeds) But it is not Fust any nor,G it is the set o( nor,s by whi'h the se3es are di((erentiated and installed) :he su#er-ego thus (irst arises, says Freud, as a #rohibition that regulates se3uality in the ser+i'e o( #rodu'ing so'ially ideal D,enD and Dwo,en)D :his is the #oint at whi'h La'an inter+ened in order to de+elo# his notion o( the sy,boli', the set o( laws 'on+eyed by language itsel( whi'h 'o,#el 'on(or,ity to notions o( D,as'ulinityD and D(e,ininity)D *nd ,any #sy'hoanalyti' (e,inists ha+e taken this 'lai, as a #oint o( de#arture (or their own work) :hey ha+e 'lai,ed in +arious ways that se3ual di((eren'e is as #ri,ary as language, that there is no s#eaking, no writing, without the #resu##osition o( se3ual di((eren'e) *nd this has led to a se'ond 'lai, whi'h 2 want to 'ontest, na,ely, that se3ual di((eren'e is ,ore #ri,ary or ,ore (unda,ental than other kinds o( di((eren'es, in'luding ra'ial di((eren'e) 2t is this assertion o( the #riority o( se3ual di((eren'e o+er ra'ial di((eren'e that has ,arked so ,u'h #sy'hoanalyti' (e,inis, as white, (or the assu,#tion here is not only that se3ual di((eren'e is ,ore (unda,ental, but that there is a relationshi# 'alled Dse3ual di((eren'eD that is itsel( un,arked by ra'e) :hat

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whiteness is not understood by su'h a #ers#e'ti+e as a ra'ial 'ategory is 'lear it is yet another #ower that need not s#eak its na,e) ;en'e, to 'lai, that se3ual di((eren'e is ,ore (unda,ental than ra'ial di((eren'e is e((e'ti+ely to assu,e that se3ual di((eren'e is white se3ual di((eren'e, and that whiteness is not a (or, o( ra'ial di((eren'e) Cithin La'anian ter,s, the ideals or nor,s that are 'on+eyed in language are the ideals or nor,s that go+ern se3ual di((eren'e, and that go under the na,e o( the sy,boli') But what reJuires radi'al rethinking is what so'ial relations 'o,#ose this do,ain o( the sy,boli', what 'on+ergent set o( histori'al (or,ations o( ra'iali.ed gender, o( gendered ra'e, o( the se3uali.ation o( ra'ial ideals, or the ra'iali.ation o( gender nor,s, ,akes u# both the so'ial regulation o( se3uality and its #sy'hi' arti'ulations) 2(, as Nor,a *lar'on has insisted, wo,en o( 'olor are D,ulti#ly inter#ellated,D 'alled by ,any na,es, 'onstituted in and by that ,ulti#le 'alling, then this i,#lies that the sy,boli' do,ain, the do,ain o( so'ially instituted nor,s, is 'o,#osed o( r#ci#li+in% nor's, and that they e3ist not ,erely alongside gender nor,s, but are arti'ulated through one another) 16 ;en'e, it is no longer #ossible to ,ake se3ual di((eren'e #rior to ra'ial di((eren'e or, (or that ,atter, to ,ake the, into (ully se#arable a3es o( so'ial regulation and #ower) 2n so,e ways, this is #re'isely the 'hallenge to #sy'hoanalysis that Nella Larsen o((ers in 2#ssin% *nd here is where 2 would (ollow Barbara !hristianEs ad+i'e to 'onsider literary narrati+e as a #la'e where theory takes #la'e,17 and would si,#ly add that 2 take LarsenEs 2#ssin% to be in #art a theori.ation o( desire, dis#la'e,ent, and Fealous rage that has signi(i'ant i,#li'ations (or rewriting #sy'hoanalyti' theory in ways that e3#li'itly 'o,e to ter,s with ra'e) 2( the wat'hing agen'y des'ribed by Freud is (igured as a wat'hing Fudge, a Fudge who e,bodies a set o( ideals, and i( those ideals are to so,e large degree so'ially instituted and ,aintained, then this wat'hing agen'y is the ,eans by whi'h so'ial nor,s sear the #sy'he, e3#ose it to a 'onde,nation that 'an lead to sui'ide) 2ndeed, Freud re,arked that the su#erego, i( le(t (ully unrestrained, will (ully de#ri+e the ego o( its desire, a de#ri+ation whi'h is #sy'hi' death, and whi'h Freud 'lai,s leads to sui'ide) 2( we rethink FreudEs Dsu#er-egoD as the #sy'hi' (or'e o( so'ial regulation, and we rethink so'ial regulation in ter,s whi'h in'lude +e'tors o( #ower su'h as gender and ra'e, then it should be #ossible to arti'ulate the #sy'he #oliti'ally in ways whi'h ha+e

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'onseJuen'es (or so'ial sur+i+al) For !lare, it see,s, 'annot sur+i+e, and her death ,arks the su''ess o( a 'ertain sy,boli' ordering o( gender, se3uality and ra'e, as it ,arks as well the sites o( #otential resistan'e) 2t ,ay be that as Qulena, 2reneEs bla'k ser+ant, #i'ks u# the shattered whiteness o( the broken tea 'u#, she o#ens the Juestion o( what will be ,ade o( su'h shards) Ce ,ight read a te3t su'h as :oni AorrisonEs 7ul# as the #ie'ing together o( the shattered whiteness that 'o,#oses the re,ains o( both !lare and 2rene in Nella LarsenEs te3t, rewriting !lare as &ula, and 2rene as Nel, re(iguring that lethal identi(i'ation between the, as the #ro,ise o( 'onne'tion in NelEs (inal 'allB Dgirl, girl, girlgirlgirl)D1? *t the 'lose o( LarsenEs 2#ssin%, it is Bellew who 'li,bs the stairs and DseesD !lare, takes the ,easure o( her bla'kness against the ideal o( whiteness and (inds her wanting) *lthough !lare has said that she longs (or the e3#osure in order to be'o,e (ree o( hi,, she is also atta'hed to hi, and his nor, (or her e'ono,i' well-being, and it is no a''ident8e+en i( it is (igured as one8that the e3#osure o( her 'olor leads straightway to her death, the literali.ation o( a Dso'ial death)D 2rene, as well, does not want !lare (ree, not only be'ause 2rene ,ight lose Brian, but be'ause she ,ust halt !lareEs se3ual (reedo, to halt her own) !laudia :ate argues that the (inal a'tion is i,#ortantly a,biguous, that it 'onstitutes a D#sy'hologi'al deathD (or 2rene Fust as it literali.es death (or !lare) 2rene a##ears to o((er a hel#ing hand to !lare who so,ehow #asses out the window to her death) ;ere, as ;enry Louis Gates, 0r) suggests, #assing 'arries the double ,eaning o( 'rossing the 'olor line and 'rossing o+er into deathB #assing as a kind o( #assing on)1= 2( 2rene turns on !lare to 'ontain !lareEs se3uality, as she has turned on and e3tinguished her own #assion, she does this under the eyes o( the bellowing white ,anG his s#ee'h, his e3#osure, his wat'hing di+ides the, against ea'h other) 2n this sense, Bellew s#eaks the (or'e o( the regulatory nor, o( whiteness, but 2rene identi(ies with that 'onde,natory Fudg,ent) !lare is the #ro,ise o( (reedo, at too high a #ri'e, both to 2rene and to hersel() 2t is not #re'isely !lareEs ra'e that is De3#osed,D but bla'kness itsel( is #rodu'ed as ,arked and ,arred, a #ubli' sign o( #arti'ularity in the ser+i'e o( the dissi,ulated uni+ersality o( whiteness) 2( !lare betrays Bellew it is in #art be'ause she turns the #ower o( dissi,ulation against her white husband, and her betrayal o( hi,, at on'e a se3ual betrayal,

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under,ines the re#rodu'ti+e as#irations o( white ra'ial #urity, e3#osing the tenuous borders that that #urity reJuires) 2( Bellew an3iously re#rodu'es white ra'ial #urity, he #rodu'es the #rohibition against ,is'egenation by whi'h that #urity is guaranteed, a #rohibition that reJuires stri'tures o( heterose3uality, se3ual (idelity and ,onoga,y) *nd i( 2rene seeks to sustain the bla'k (a,ily at the e3#ense o( #assion and in the na,e o( u#li(t, she does it in #art to a+ert the #osition (or bla'k wo,en outside the (a,ily, that o( being se3ually degraded and endangered by the +ery ter,s o( white ,as'ulinis, that Bellew re#resents 4(or instan'e, she tells !lare not to 'o,e to the dan'e (or the Negro Cel(are Fund alone, that sheEll be taken as a #rostitute5) BellewEs wat'hing, the #ower o( e3#osure that he wields, is a histori'ally entren'hed so'ial #ower o( the white ,ale ga.e, but one whose ,as'ulinity is ena'ted and guaranteed through heterose3uality as a ritual o( ra'ial #uri(i'ation) ;is ,as'ulinity 'annot be se'ured e3'e#t through a 'onse'ration o( his whiteness) *nd whereas Bellew reJuires the s#e'tre o( the bla'k wo,an as an obFe't o( desire, he ,ust destroy this s#e'tre to a+oid the kind o( asso'iation that ,ight destabili.e the territorial boundaries o( his own whiteness) :his ritualisti' e3#ulsion is dra,ati.ed Juite 'learly at the end o( 2#ssin% when BellewEs e3#osing and endangering ga.e and !lareEs (all to death are si,ultaneous with 2reneEs o((er o( an a##arently hel#ing hand) Fearing the loss o( her husband and (earing her own desire, 2rene is #ositioned at the so'ial site o( 'ontradi'tionB both o#tions threaten to Fettison her into a #ubli' s#here in whi'h she ,ight be'o,e subFe't, as it were, to the sa,e bad winds) But 2rene (ails to reali.e that !lare is as 'onstrained as she is, that !lareEs (reedo, 'ould not be a'Juired at the e3#ense o( 2rene, that they do not ulti,ately ensla+e ea'h other, but that they are both 'aught in the +a'illating breath o( that sy,boli' bellowingB DNigP Ay GodP NigPD 2( BellewEs bellowing 'an be read as a sy,boli' ra'iali.ation, a way in whi'h both 2rene and !lare are inter#ellated by a set o( sy,boli' nor,s go+erning bla'k (e,ale se3uality, then the sy,boli' is not ,erely organi.ed by D#halli' #ower,D but by a D#halli'is,D that is 'entrally sustained by ra'ial an3iety and se3uali.ed rituals o( ra'ial #uri(i'ation) 2reneEs sel(sa'ri(i'e ,ight be understood then as an e((ort to a+oid be'o,ing the obFe't o( that kind o( se3ual +iolen'e, as one that ,akes her 'ling to an arid (a,ily li(e and destroy whate+er e,ergen'e o( #assion ,ight 'all that sa(ety into Juestion) ;er Fealousy ,ust then be read as a #sy'hi' e+ent

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or'hestrated within and by this so'ial ,a# o( #ower) ;er #assion (or !lare had to be destroyed only be'ause she 'ould not (ind a +iable #la'e (or her own se3uality to li+e) :ra##ed by a #ro,ise o( sa(ety through 'lass ,obility, 2rene a''e#ted the ter,s o( #ower whi'h threatened her, be'o,ing its instru,ent in the end) Aore troubling than a s'ene in whi'h the white ,an (inds and s'orns his D@therD in the bla'k wo,en, this dra,a dis#lays in all its #ain(ulness the ways in whi'h the inter#ellation o( the white nor, is reiterated and e3e'uted by those who, it would8 and does8+anJuish) :his is a #er(or,ati+e ena't,ent o( Dra'eD that ,obili.es e+ery 'hara'ter in its swee#) *nd yet, the story reo''u#ies sy,boli' #ower to e3#ose that sy,boli' (or'e in return, and in the 'ourse o( that e3#osure began to (urther a #ower(ul tradition o( words, one whi'h #ro,ised to sustain the li+es and #assions o( #re'isely those who 'ould not sur+i+e within the story itsel() :ragi'ally, the logi' o( D#assingD and De3#osureD 'a,e to a((li't and, indeed, to end Nella LarsenEs own authorial 'areer, (or when she #ublished a short story, D&an'tuary,D in 1930, she was a''used o( #lagiaris,, that is, e3#osed as D#assingD as the true originator o( the work)19 ;er res#onse to this 'onde,ning e3#osure was to re'ede into an anony,ity (ro, whi'h she did not e,erge) 2rene sli##ed into su'h a li+ing death, as did ;elga in LuicAs#nd Perha#s the alternati+e would ha+e ,eant a turning o( that Jueering rage no longer against hersel( or !lare, but against the regulatory nor,s that (or'e su'h a turnB against both the #assionless #ro,ise o( that bourgeois (a,ily and the bellowing o( ra'is, in its so'ial and #sy'hi' re+erberations, ,ost es#e'ially, in the deathly rituals it engages)

ARGUING WITH THE REAL


Chat is re(used in the sy,boli' order returns in the real) 80a'Jues La'an, ?es 2syc*oses &he grounds #redi'ation without stri'tly s#eaking being ,arked by itG she is not deter,ined through the a##li'ation o( su'h or su'h Juality) &he subsists Dwithin hersel( beneath dis'ourse) *s that whi'h has also been 'alled #ri,e ,atter) 8Lu'e 2rigaray, "#rine ?over

!ounter to the notion that #er(or,ati+ity is the e((i'a'ious e3#ression o( a hu,an will in language, this te3t seeks to re'ast #er(or,ati+ity as a s#e'i(i' ,odality o( #ower as dis'ourse) For dis'ourse to ,ateriali.e a set of effects, Ddis'ourseD itsel( ,ust be understood as 'o,#le3 and 'on+ergent 'hains in whi'h De((e'tsD are +e'tors o( #ower) 2n this sense, what is 'onstituted in dis'ourse is not (i3ed in or by dis'ourse, but be'o,es the 'ondition and o''asion (or a (urther a'tion) :his does not ,ean that #ny a'tion is #ossible on the basis o( a dis'ursi+e e((e't @n the 'ontrary, 'ertain reiterati+e 'hains o( dis'ursi+e #rodu'tion are barely legible as reiterations, (or the e((e'ts they ha+e ,ateriali.ed are those without whi'h no bearing in dis'ourse 'an be taken) :he #ower o( dis'ourse to ,ateriali.e its e((e'ts is thus 'onsonant with the #ower o( dis'ourse to 'ir'u,s'ribe the do,ain o( intelligibility) ;en'e, the reading o( D#er(or,ati+ityD as will(ul and arbitrary 'hoi'e ,isses the #oint that the histori'ity o( dis'ourse and, in #arti'ular, the histori'ity o( nor,s 4the D'hainsD o( iteration in+oked and dissi,ulated in the i,#erati+e utteran'e5 'onstitute the #ower o( dis'ourse to ena't what it na,es) :o think o( Dse3D as an i,#erati+e in this way ,eans that a subFe't is addressed and #rodu'ed by su'h a nor,, and that this nor,8and the regulatory #ower o( whi'h it is a token8,ateriali.es bodies as an e((e't o( that inFun'tion) *nd yet, this D,ateriali.ation,D while (ar (ro, arti(i'ial, is not (ully stable) For the i,#erati+e to be or get Dse3edD reJuires a di((erentiated #rodu'tion and regulation o( ,as'uline and (e,inine identi(i'ation that does not (ully hold and 'annot be (ully

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e3hausti+e) *nd (urther, this i,#erati+e, this inFun'tion, reJuires and institutes a D'onstituti+e outsideD-the uns#eakable, the un+iable, the nonnarrati+i.able that se'ures and, hen'e, (ails to se'ure the +ery borders o( ,ateriality) :he nor,ati+e (or'e o( #er(or,ati+ity8its #ower to establish what Juali(ies as DbeingD8works not only through reiteration, but through e3'lusion as well) *nd in the 'ase o( bodies, those e3'lusions haunt signi(i'ation as its abFe't borders or as that whi'h is stri'tly (ore'losedB the unli+able, the nonnarrati+i.able, the trau,ati') :he #oliti'al ter,s that are ,eant to establish a sure or 'oherent iden tity are troubled by this (ailure o( dis'ursi+e #er(or,ati+ity to (inally and (ully establish the identity to whi'h it re(ers) 2terability unders'ores the non-sel(-identi'al status o( su'h ter,sG the 'onstituti+e outside ,eans that identity always reJuires #re'isely that whi'h it 'annot abide) Cithin (e,inist debate, an in'reasing #roble, has been to re'on'ile the a##arent need to (or,ulate a #oliti's whi'h assu,es the 'ategory o( Dwo,enD with the de,and, o(ten #oliti'ally arti'ulated, to #roble,ati.e the 'ategory, interrogate its in'oheren'e, its internal dissonan'e, its 'onstituti+e e3'lu sions) :he ter,s o( identity ha+e in re'ent years a##eared to #ro,ise, and to #ro,ise in di((erent ways, a (ull re'ognition) Cithin #sy'hoanalyti' ter,s, the i'(ossibility o( an identity 'ategory to (ul(ill that #ro,ise is a 'onseJuen'e o( a set o( e3'lusions whi'h (ound the +ery subFe'ts whose identities su'h 'ategories are su##osed to #heno,enali.e and re#resent :o the e3tent that we understand identity-'lai,s as rallying #oints (or #oliti'al ,obili.ation, they a##ear to hold out the #ro,ise o( unity, solidarity, uni+ersality) *s a 'orollary, then, one ,ight understand the resent,ent and ran'or against identity as signs o( a dissension and dissat is(a'tion that (ollow the (ailure o( that #ro,ise to deli+er) :he re'ent work o( &la+oF Qi.ek unders'ores the (*#nt#s'#tic #ro,ise o( identity as a rallying #oint within #oliti'al dis'ourse as well as the ine+itability o( disa##oint,ent) 2n this res#e't, his work o#ens a way to rethink identity-'lai,s as #hantas,ati' sites, i,#ossible sites, and, hen'e, as alternately 'o,#elling and disa##ointing)1 Qi.ek works between the *lthusserian notion o( ideology and the La'anian sy,boli', (oregrounding the sy,boli' law and the real, and ba'kgrounding the i,aginary) ;e also ,akes 'lear that he is o##osed to #oststru'turahst a''ounts o( dis'ursi+ity and #ro#oses to rethink the La'anian sy,boli' in ter,s o( ideology) 2n this 'ha#ter, 2 will e,#loy the

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189

ter, DideologyD in the e((ort to restate Qi.ekEs #osition, but 2 will try to ,ake #lain where 2 think a rewriting o( his theory ,akes a ,o+e toward #oststru'turalis, #ossible, and where 2 understand a 'riti'al rethinking o( the D(e,inineD in relation to dis'ourse and the 'ategory o( the real is needed) 2( so,e o( the #re+ious 'ha#ters ha+e argued that #sy'hoanalysis ,ight be brought into a #rodu'ti+e relation with 'onte,#orary dis'ourses whi'h seek to elaborate the 'o,#le3ity o( gender, ra'e, and se3uality, then this 'ha#ter ,ight be read as an e((ort to unders'ore the li,itations o( #sy'hoanalysis when its (ounding #rohibitions and their heterose3uali.ing inFun'tions are taken to be in+ariant) !entral to the task will be the retheori.ation o( what ,ust be e3'luded (ro, dis'ourse in order (or #oliti'al signi(iers to be'o,e rallying #oints, sites o( #hantas,ati' in+est,ent and e3#e'tation) Ay Juestions, thenB ;ow ,ight those ostensibly 'onstituti+e e3'lusions be rendered less #er,anent, ,ore dyna,i'K ;ow ,ight the e3'luded return, not as #sy'hosis or the (igure o( the #sy'hoti' within #oliti's, but as that whi'h has been rendered ,ute, (ore'losed (ro, the do,ain o( #oliti'al signi(i'ationK ;ow and where is so'ial 'ontent attributed to the site o( the Dreal,D and then #ositioned as the uns#eakableK 2s there not a di((eren'e between a theory that asserts that, in #rin'i#le, e+ery dis'ourse o#erates through e3'lusion and a theory that attributes to that DoutsideD s#e'i(i' so'ial and se3ual #ositionsK :o the e3tent that a s#e'i(i' use o( #sy'hoanalysis works to (ore'lose 'ertain so'ial and se3ual #ositions (ro, the do,ain o( intelligibility8and (or all ti,e8#sy'hoanalysis a##ears to work in the ser+i'e o( the nor,ati+i.ing law that it interrogates) ;ow ,ight su'h so'ially saturated do,ains o( e3'lusion be re'ast (ro, their status as D'onstituti+eD to beings who ,ight be said to ,atterK
POLITICS OF THE SIGN

@##osed to what he 'alls Ddis'ourse theory,D whi'h a##ears to be a #osition attributed to a #oststru'turalis, that in'ludes Fou'ault and /errida, Qi.ek at on'e unders'ores the 'entrality o( dis'ourse in #oliti'al ,obili.ation and the li,its to any a't o( dis'ursi+e 'onstitution) Qi.ek is surely right that the subFe't is not a unilateral e((e't o( #rior dis'ourses, and that the #ro'ess o( subFe'ti+arion outlined by Fou'ault is in need o( a #sy'hoanalyti' rethinking) Following La'an, Qi.ek argues that the DsubFe'tD is #rodu'ed in

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language through an a't o( (ore'losure 5Ger,erfun%6 Chat is re(used or re#udiated in the (or,ation o( the subFe't 'ontinues to deter,ine that subFe't Chat re,ains outside this subFe't, set outside by the a't o( (ore'losure whi'h (ounds the subFe't, #ersists as a kind o( de(ining negati+ity) 9 :he subFe't is, as a result, ne+er 'oherent and ne+er sel(-identi'al #re'isely be'ause it is (ounded and, indeed, 'ontinually re(ounded, through a set o( de(ining (ore'losures and re#ressions3 that 'onstitute the dis'ontinuity and in'o,#letion o( the subFe't Qi.ek is surely right that any theory o( the dis'ursi+e 'onstitution o( the subFe't ,ust take into a''ount the do,ain o( (ore'losure, o( what ,ust be re#udiated (or the subFe't itsel( to e,erge) But how and to what end does he a##ro#riate the La'anian notion o( the real to designate what re,ains unsy,boli.able, (ore'losed (ro, sy,boli.ationK !onsider the rhetori'al di((i'ulty o( 'ir'u,s'ribing within sy,boli' dis'ourse the li,its o( what is and is not sy,boli.able) @n the one hand, the li,its to sy,boli.ation are ne'essary to sy,boli.ation itsel(, whi'h #rodu'es through e3'lusion its #ro+isional syste,ati'ity) @n the other hand, how those li,its are set by theory re,ains #roble,ati', not only be'ause there is always a Juestion o( what 'onstitutes the authority o( the one who writes those li,its, but be'ause the setting o( those li,its is linked to the 'ontingent regulation o( what will and will not Juali(y as a dis'ursi+ely intelligible way o( being) :he #rodu'tion o( the unsy,boli.able, the uns#eakable, the illegible is also always a strategy o( so'ial abFe'tion) 2s it e+en #ossible to distinguish between the so'ially 'ontingent rules o( subFe't-(or,ation, understood as regulatory #rodu'tions o( the subFe't through e3'lusion and (ore'losure, and a set o( DlawsD or Dstru'turesD that 'onstitute the in+ariant ,e'hanis,s o( (ore'losure through whi'h #ny subFe't 'o,es into beingK :o the e3tent that the law or regulatory ,e'hanis, o( (ore'losure in this latter instan'e is 'on'ei+ed as ahistori'al and uni+ersalisti', this law is e3e,#ted (ro, the dis'ursi+e and so'ial rearti'ulations that it initiates) :his e3e,#tion is, 2 would argue, highly 'onseJuential inso(ar as this law is understood to be that whi'h #rodu'es and nor,ati+i.es se3ed #ositionalities in their intelligibility) :o the e3tent that this law engages the trau,ati' #rodu'tion o( a se3ual antagonis, in its sy,boli' nor,ati+ity, it 'an do this only by barring (ro, 'ultural intelligibility8and rendering 'ulturally abFe't8'ultural organi.ations o( se3uality that e3'eed the stru'turing

ARGUING WITH THE REAL

191

#ur+iew o( that law) :he risk, o( 'ourse, is that 'ontingent regulatory ,e'hanis,s o( subFe't-#rodu'tion ,ay be rei(ied as uni+ersal laws, e3e,#ted (ro, the +ery #ro'ess o( dis'ursi+e rearti'ulation that they o''asion) :he use o( #sy'hoanalysis that re,ains ,ost #ersuasi+e in Qi.ekEs analysis, howe+er, is the linking o( #oliti'al signi(iers, rallying #oints (or ,obili.ation and #oliti'i.ation, like Dwo,en,D Dde,o'ra'y,D D(reedo,,D with the notion o( #hantas,ati' in+est,ent and #hantas,ati' #ro,ise) ;is theory ,akes 'lear the relationshi# between identific#tion with #oliti'al signi(iers and their 'a#a'ity both to uni(y the ideologi'al (ield and to 'onstitute the 'onstituen'ies they 'lai, to re#resent) Politi'al signi(iers, es#e'ially those that designate subFe't #ositions, are not des'ri#ti+eG that is, they do not re#resent #regi+en 'onstituen'ies, but are e,#ty signs whi'h 'o,e to bear #hantas,ati' in+est,ents o( +arious kinds) No signi(ier 'an be radi'ally re#resentati+e, (or e+ery signi(ier is the site o( a #er#etual 'econn#is#nceI it #rodu'es the e3#e'tation o( a unity, a (ull and (inal re'ognition that 'an ne+er be a'hie+ed) Parado3i'ally, the (ailure o( su'h signi(iers8Dwo,enD is the one that 'o,es to ,ind8(ully to des'ribe the 'onstituen'y they na,e is #re'isely what 'onstitutes these signi(iers as sites o( #hantas,ati' in+est,ent and dis'ursi+e rearti'ulation) 2t is what o#ens the signi(ier to new ,eanings and new #ossibilities (or #oliti'al resigni(i'ation) 2t is this o#en-ended and #er(or,ati+e (un'tion o( the signi(ier that see,s to ,e to be 'ru'ial to a radi'al de,o'rati' notion o( (uturity) :oward the end o( this 'ha#ter, 2 will suggest a way in whi'h the #hantas,ati' in+est,ent in the #oliti'al signi(ier needs to be thought in relation to the histori'ity o( su'h signi(iers) 2 will also o((er an argu,ent 'on'erning the status o( #er(or,ati+ity in both rnesto La'lau and Qi.ek, na,ely, that #er(or,ati+ity, i( rethought through the /erridean notion o( 'itationality, o((ers a (or,ulation o( the #er(or,ati+e 'hara'ter o( #oliti'al signi(iers that a radi'al de,o'rati' theory ,ay (ind +aluable)
DISCOURSE AND THE 0UESTION OF CONTINGENC"

!ru'ial to Qi.ekEs e((ort to work the *lthusserian theory through La'an is the #sy'hoanalyti' insight that any e((ort o( dis'ursi+e inter#ellation or 'onstitution is subFe't to (ailure, haunted by 'ontingen'y, to the e3tent

192

B@/2 & :;*: A*:: R

that dis'ourse itsel( in+ariably (ails to totali.e the so'ial (ield 2ndeed, any atte,#t to totali.e the so'ial (ield is to be read as a sy,#to,, the e((e't and re,ainder o( a trau,a that itsel( 'annot be dire'tly sy,boli.ed in language) :his trau,a subsists as the #er,anent #ossibility o( disru#ting and rendering 'ontingent any dis'ursi+e (or,ation that lays 'lai, to a 'oherent or sea,less a''ount o( reality) 2t #ersists as the real, where the real is always that whi'h any a''ount o( DrealityD (ails to in'lude) :he real 'onstitutes the 'ontingen'y or la'k in any dis'ursi+e (or,ation) *s su'h, it stands theoreti'ally as a 'ounter both to Fou'aultian linguisti'is,, 'onstrued as a kind o( dis'ursi+e ,onis, whereby language e((e'ti+ely brings into being that whi'h it na,es and to ;aber,asian rationalis, whi'h #resu,es a trans#aren'y o( intention in the s#ee'h a't that is itsel( sy,#to,ati' o( a re(usal o( the #sy'he, the un'ons'ious, that whi'h resists and yet stru'tures language #rior to and beyond any Dintention)D 2n Qi.ekEs +iew, e+ery dis'ursi+e (or,ation ,ust be understood in relation to that whi'h it 'annot a''o,,odate within its own dis'ursi+e or sy,boli' ter,s) :his trau,ati' DoutsideD #oses the threat o( #sy'hosis and be'o,es itsel( the e3'luded and threatening #ossibility that ,oti+ates and, e+entually, thwarts the linguisti' urge to intelligibility) ;is #osition is e3#li'itly linked with the 'riti'al re(or,ulation o( *lthusser #ro#osed by rnesto La'lau and !hantal Aou((e in <e%e'ony #nd 7oci#list 7tr#te%y,4 in #arti'ular, with their notion that e+ery ideologi'al (or,ation is 'onstituted through and against a 'onstituti+e antagonis, and is, there(ore, to be understood as an e((ort to 'o+er o+er or DsutureD a set o( 'ontingent relations) Be'ause this ideologi'al suturing is ne+er 'o,#lete, that is, be'ause it 'an ne+er establish itsel( as a necess#ry or co'(re*ensive set o( 'onne'tions, it is ,arked by a (ailure o( 'o,#lete deter,ination, a 'onstituti+e 'ontingen'y, that e,erges within the ideologi'al (ield as its #er,anent 4and #ro,ising5 instability) *gainst a 'ausal theory o( histori'al e+ents or so'ial relations, the theory o( radi'al de,o'ra'y insists that #oliti'al signi(ies are 'ontingently related, and that hege,ony 'onsists in the #er#etual rearti'ulation o( these 'ontingently related #oliti'al signi(ies, the wea+ing together o( a so'ial (abri' that has no ne'essary ground, but that 'onsistently #rodu'es the De((e'tD o( its own ne'essity through the #ro'ess o( rearti'ulation 2deology, then, ,ight be 'onstrued as a linking together o( #oliti'al signi(ies su'h that their unity e((e'ts the a##earan'e o( ne'essity, but where that

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'ontingen'y is a##arent in the nonidentity o( those signi(iersG the radi'al de,o'rati' re(or,ulation o( ideology 4still and always itsel( ideologi'al5 'onsists in the de,and that these signi(iers be #er#etually rearti'u-lated in relation to one another) Chat is here understood as 'onstituti+e antagonis,, the non'losure o( de(inition, is assured by a 'ontingen'y that underwrites e+ery dis'ursi+e (or,ation) :he in'o,#letion o( e+ery ideologi'al (or,ulation is 'entral to the radi'al de,o'rati' #roFe'tEs notion o( #oliti'al (uturity) :he subFe'tion o( e+ery ideologi'al (or,ation to a rearti'ulation o( these linkages 'onstitutes the te,#oral order o( de,o'ra'y as an in'al'ulable (uture, 6 lea+ing o#en the #rodu'tion o( new subFe't-#ositions, new #oliti'al signi(iers, and new linkages to be'o,e the rallying #oints (or #oliti'i.ation) For La'lau and Aou((e, this #oliti'i.ation will be in the ser+i'e o( radi'al de,o'ra'y to the e3tent that the 'onstituti+e e3'lusions that stabili.e the dis'ursi+e do,ain o( the #oliti'al8those #ositions that ha+e been e3'luded (ro, re#resentability and (ro, 'onsiderations o( Fusti'e or eJuality8are established in relation to the e3isting #olity as what 'alls to be in'luded within its ter,s, i)e), a set o( future #ossibilities (or in'lusion, what Aou((e re(ers to as #art o( the not-yet-assi,ilable *ori+on o( 'o,,unity)7 :he ideal o( a radi'al in'lusi+ity is i,#ossible, but this +ery i,#ossibility ne+ertheless go+erns the #oliti'al (ield as an ideali.ation o( the (uture that ,oti+ates the e3#ansion, linking, and #er#etual #rodu'tion o( #oliti'al subFe't-#ositions and signi(iers) Chat a##ears to guarantee this ,obili.ing in'o,#leteness o( the #oliti'al (ield is a 'ontingen'y that re,ains 'onstituti+e throughout any and all signi(ying #ra'ti'es) :his notion o( 'ontingen'y is dire'tly linked to the notion o( D'onstituti+e antagonis,s,D a notion de+elo#ed by La'lau and Aou((e in <e%e'ony #nd 7oci#list 7tr#te%y, and (urther elaborated in the (irst 'ha#ter o( La'lauEs Ceflections on t*e Cevolution of 8ur Ti'e 1 2n this last work, La'lau distinguishes between the status o( contr#dictory so'ial relations and #nt#%onistic so'ial relationsB those relations that negate one by +irtue o( a logi'al ne'essity and those relations, 'onsidered 'ontingent and based in #ower, that are in a kind o( so'ial tension whose 'onseJuen'es 'annot be #redi'ted) 2n this essay, La'lau ,akes the strong 'lai, that there are relations o( #rodu'tion that e3'eed those that 'hara'teri.e the workerEs stru'tural #osition or DidentityD and whi'h #re'lude the #ossibility o( an i,,anent or 'ausal a''ount o( how so'ial relations will #ro'eed) ;e

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re,arks that Dthis 'onstituti+e outside is inherent to any antagonisti' relationshi#D 495) ;ere it see,s that what assures that any so'ial des'ri#tion or #redi'tion will be non-totali.ing and non-#redi'ti+e are other soci#l relationshi#s that 'onstitute the DoutsideD to identityBD)))antagonis, does not o''ur ,it*in the relations o( #rodu'tion, but between the latter and the so'ial agentEs identity outside the,D 4165) 2n other words, any atte,#t to 'ir'u,s'ribe an identity in ter,s o( relations o( #rodu'tion, and solely within those ter,s, #er(or,s an e3'lusion and, hen'e, #rodu'es a 'onstituti+e outside, understood on the ,odel o( the /erridean Dsu##le,ent,D that denies the 'lai, to #ositi+ity and 'o,#rehensi+eness i,#lied by that #rior obFe'ti+ation) 2n La'lauEs ter,s, Dthe antagoni.ing (or'e denies ,y identity in the stri'test senseD 41=5) :he Juestion, then, is whether the 'ontingen'y or negati+ity ena'ted by su'h antagoni.ing (or'es is #art o( so'ial relations or whether it belongs to the real, the (ore'losure o( whi'h 'onstitutes the +ery #ossibility o( the so'ial and the sy,boli') 2n the abo+e, it see,s, La'lau links the notions o( antagonis, and 'ontingen'y to that ,it*in the so'ial (ield whi'h e3'eeds any #ositi+e or obFe'ti+ist deter,ination or #redi'tion, a su##le,ent within the so'ial but DoutsideD o( #osited identity) 2n Qi.ek, it see,s, this 'ontingen'y is linked to the La'anian real in su'h a way that it is #er,anently outside the so'ial as su'h) *nd within the sa,e essay as abo+e, La'lau also argues (or the notion o( the Dla'kD in a''ounting (or the #rodu'tion o( identi(i'ations 4""5) = 2( the DoutsideD is, as La'lau insists, linked to the /erridean logi' o( the su##le,ent 4La'lau, MCCT, =" n) 65, then it is un'lear what ,o+es ,ust be taken to ,ake it 'o,#atible with the La'anian notion o( the Dla'kDG indeed, in what (ollows, 2 will atte,#t to read the La'anian Dla'kD within Qi.ekEs te3t a''ording to the logi' o( the su##le,ent, one whi'h also entails a rethinking o( the so'ial s#e'i(i'ity o( taboo, loss, and se3uality) Chereas Qi.ek understands the ,o+e (ro, ideology to dis'ourse in La'lauEs work to 'onstitute a #artial DregressionD4La'lau, MCCT, 9605, and La'lau a##ears to take issue with Qi.ekEs #reser+ation o( ;egel 4Qi.ek, 78, 3ii5, they agree that ideology sur(a'es dis'ursi+ely as an e((ort to 'o+er o+er a 'onstituti+e Dla'kD in the subFe't, a Dla'kD that is at ti,es rendered eJui+alent to the notion o( D'onstituti+e antagonis,D and, at other ti,es, understood as a negati+ity ,ore (unda,ental than any gi+en so'ial antagonis,, as one that e+ery s#e'i(i' so'ial antagonis, #resu##oses) :he

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suturing together o( #oliti'al signi(iers within the ideologi'al do,ain ,asks and disarti'ulates the 'ontingen'y or Dla'kD by whi'h it is ,oti+ated)9 :his la'k or negati+ity is 'entral to the #roFe't o( radi'al de,o'ra'y #re'isely be'ause it 'onstitutes within dis'ourse the resistan'e to all essentialis, and all des'ri#ti+is,) :he DsubFe't-#ositionD o( wo,en, (or instan'e, is ne+er (i3ed by the signi(ier Dwo,enDG that ter, does not des'ribe a #ree3isting 'onstituen'y, but is, rather, #art o( the +ery #rodu'tion and (or,ulation o( that 'onstituen'y, one that is #er#etually renegotiated and rearti'ulated in relation to other signi(iers within the #oliti'al (ield) :his instability in all dis'ursi+e (i3ing is the #ro,ise o( a teleologi'ally un'onstrained (uturity (or the #oliti'al signi(ier) 2n this sense, the (ailure o( any ideologi'al (or,ation to establish itsel( as ne'essary is #art o( its de,o'rati' #ro,ise, the ungrounded DgroundD o( the #oliti'al signi(ier as a site o( rearti'ulation) *t stake, then, is how this D'ontingen'yD is theori.ed, a di((i'ult ,atter in any 'ase (or a theory that would a''ount (or D'ontingen'yD will doubtless also always be (or,ulated through and against that 'ontingen'y) 2ndeed, 'an there be a theory o( D'ontingen'yD that is not 'o,#elled to re(use or 'o+er o+er that whi'h it seeks to e3#lainK * nu,ber o( Juestions e,erge 'on'erning the (or,ulation o( this 'ontingen'y or negati+ityB :o what e3tent 'an the La'anian real be used to stand (or this 'ontingen'yK :o what e3tent does that +ery substitution saturate this 'ontingen'y with so'ial signi(i'ations that be'o,e rei(ied #s the #redis'ursi+eK Aore #arti'ularly, in Qi.ekEs work, ,*ic* rendition o( the real is a##ro#riated (ro, the La'anian 'or#usK 2( the real is understood as the unsy,boli.able threat o( 'astration, an originary trau,a ,oti+ating the +ery sy,boli.ations by whi'h it is in'essantly 'o+ered o+er, to what e3tent does this oedi#al logi' #re(igure any and e+ery Dla'kD in ideologi'al deter,inations as the la'k1loss o( the #hallus instituted through the oedi#al 'risisK /oes the (or,ulation o( the real in ter,s o( the threat o( 'astration establish the oedi#ally indu'ed se3ual di((erential at a #redis'ursi+e le+elK *nd is this fixin% o( a set o( se3ual #ositionalities under the sign o( a D'ontingen'yD or Dla'kD su##osed to assure the unfixity or instability o( any gi+en dis'ursi+e or ideologi'al (or,ationK By linking this D'ontingen'yD with the real, and inter#reting the real as the trau,a indu'ed through the threat o( 'astration, the Law o( the Father, this DlawD is #osited as a''ountable (or the 'ontingen'y in

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all ideologi'al deter,inations, but is ne+er subFe't to the sa,e logi' o( 'ontingen'y that it se'ures) :he DLaw of the FatherD indu'es trau,a and (ore'losure through the threat o( 'astration, thereby #rodu'ing the Dla'kD against whi'h all sy,boli.ation o''urs) *nd yet, this +ery sy,boli.ation o( the law as the law o( 'astration is not taken as a 'ontingent ideologi'al (or,ulation) *s the (i3ing o( 'ontingen'y in relation to the law o( 'astration, the trau,a and Dsubstantial identityD 10 o( the real, Qi.ekEs theory thus e+a'uates the D'ontingen'yD o( its 'ontingen'y) 2ndeed, his theory +alori.es a DlawD #rior to all ideologi'al (or,ations, one with 'onseJuential so'ial and #oliti'al i,#li'ations (or the #la'ing o( the ,as'uline within dis'ourse and the sy,boli', and the (e,inine as a Dstain,D Doutside the 'ir'uit o( dis'ourseD 4?65) 2( sy,boli.ation is itsel( 'ir'u,s'ribed through the e3'lusion and1or abFe'tion o( the (e,inine, and i( this e3'lusion and1or abFe'tion is se'ured through Qi.ekEs s#e'i(i' a##ro#riation o( the La'anian do'trine o( the real, then how is it that what Juali(ies as Dsy,boli.ableD is itsel( 'onstituted through the desy,boli.ation o( the (e,inine as originary trau,aK Chat li,its are #la'ed on Dwo,enD as a #oliti'al signi(ier by a theory that installs its +ersion o( signi(i'ation through the abFe'tion1e3'lusion o( the (e,inineK *nd what is the ideologi'al status o( a theory that identi(ies the 'ontingen'y in all ideologi'al (or,ulations as the Dla'kD #rodu'ed by the threat o( 'astration, where that threat and the se3ual di((erential that it institutes are not subFe't to the dis'ursi+e rearti'ulation #ro#er to hege,onyK 2( this law is a ne'essity, and it is that whi'h se'ures all 'ontingen'y in dis'ursi+e and ideologi'al (or,ulations, then that 'ontingen'y is legislated in ad+an'e as a nonideologi'al ne'essity and is, there(ore, no 'ontingen'y at all) 2ndeed, the insisten'e on the #reideologi'al status o( the sy,boli' law 'onstitutes a (ore'losure o( a 'ontingen'y in the na,e o( that law, one whi'h, i( ad,itted into dis'ourse and the do,ain o( the sy,boli.able, ,ight 'all into Juestion or, at least, o''asion a rearti'ulation o( the oedi#al s'enario and the status o( 'astration) !onsidering the 'entrality o( that #roFe't o( rearti'ulating the oedi#al s'enario to the +arious 'onte,#orary #roFe'ts o( (e,inist #sy'hoanalysis 4and not only to those Dhistori'i.ingD (e,inis,s S60R o##osed to #sy'hoanalysis5, this (ore'losure a##ears to be a 'onseJuential ideologi'al ,o+e with #otentially anti-(e,inist 'onseJuen'es) * nu,ber o( signi(i'ant (e,inist

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#sy'hoanalyti' re(or,ulations take the 'ontestable 'entrality o( the threat o( 'astration as a #oint o( de#artureG ,oreo+er, they also unders'ore the role o( the i'#%in#ry in La'an o+er and against the al,ost e3'lusi+e (o'us on the sy,boli' in relation to the real in Qi.ek) !onsidering as well the #er,utations o( oedi#al relations in non-heterose3ual #sy'hi' (or,ations, it see,s Juite 'ru'ial to ad,it the oedi#al s'ene into a dis'ourse that subFe'ts it to 'onte,#orary rearti'ulations) Qi.ekEs te3t a##ears in so,e ways to be ,ind(ul o( these 'hallenges to the real, and we ,ight well ask what it ,eans that the DrealD a##ears within his te3t as that whi'h needs to be #rote'ted or sa(eguarded (ro, Fou'aultian 4Qi.ek, 78, 95, (e,inist 4Qi.ek, 78, 605, and #oststru'turalist 4Qi.ek, 78, ?95 'hallenges) 2( the DrealD is itsel( threatened by these theoreti'al enter#rises, how are we to understand8#sy'hoanalyti'ally8the Dde(enseD o( the realK 2( the DrealD is under threat, but is itsel( understood #s the threat o( 'astration, to what e3tent 'an Qi.ekEs te3t be read as an e((ort to #rote't the DthreatD o( 'astration against a set o( (urther DthreatsDK /o these (urther threats 4Fou'ault, #oststru'turalis,, (e,inis,5 o#erate within his te3t as threats to the threat o( 'astration whi'h then o#erate as tokens o( the threat o( 'astration itsel(, whereby the do'trine o( the real be'o,es the token o( a #hallus 4intoned in the #hrase, the Dro'k o( the realD that re'urs throughout the te3t5 to be de(ended against a 'ertain dis#la'e,entK 2( the DthreatD o( 'astration is to be #rote'ted, what then does the threat o( 'astration secureJ :he threat is #rote'ted in order to sa(eguard the law, but i( it is in need o( #rote'tion, the (or'e o( that law is already in a 'risis that no a,ount o( #rote'tion 'an o+er'o,e) 2n D:he &igni(i'ation o( the Phallus,D that threat institutes and sustains the assu,#tion o( the ,as'uline se3 in relation to the Dha+ingD o( the #hallus, whereby the (e,inine Dse3D is assu,ed through e,bodying that threat as the DbeingD o( the #hallus, #osing as the DlossD with whi'h the ,as'uline is #er#etually threatened) :o what e3tent is the stability and (i3ity o( this di((erential threatened by those #ositions whi'h take issue with the Qi.ekian realK Further it see,s 'ru'ial to ask about the rhetori'al status o( the Qi.ekian te3t whi'h re#orts and asserts the workings o( the sy,boli' law) &igni(i'antly, La'anEs own te3tuality is not 'onsidered in the o(ten brilliant a##ro#riations to be (ound in Qi.ekEs work) ;ere it is a Juestion o( writing in l#n%u#%e o( a (ore'losure that institutes language itsel( ;ow to

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write in it and o( it, and how to write in su'h a way that what es'a#es the (ull (or'e o( (ore'losure and what 'onstitutes its dis#la'e,ents 'an be read in the ga#s, (issures, and ,etony,i' ,o+e,ents o( the te3tK !onsidering the #ersisten'e o( this linguisti' and her,eneuti' #reo''u#ation in La'anEs own theoreti'al writing, it ,akes sense to ask o( Qi.ekB Chat is the relation o( the te3tual #ro#ositions in 7ubli'e 8b)ect to the law that it enun'iates and Dde(endsDK 2s the te3tual de(ense o( originary (ore'losure, designated by the real, itsel( a 1Varti'ulation o( the sy,boli' lawG does Qi.ekEs te3t ena't an identi(i'ation with that law, and s#eak in and as that lawK :o what e3tent 'an the te3tuality o( 7ubli'e 8b)ect be read as a kind o( writing o( and as the law that it de(endsK 2s the D'ontingen'yD o( language here ,astered in and by a te3tual #ra'ti'e that s#eaks as the law, whose rhetori'ity is do,esti'ated by the de'larati+e ,odeK *nd to what
+

e3tent does this #roFe't o( ,astery rea##ear in Qi.ekEs e3#li'it a''ount o( how #oliti'al signi(iers o#erate, ,ore s#e'i(i'ally, in the rendition o( #oliti'al #er(or,ati+ity that is linked with the i,#ossible DTD o( desireK
THE ROCK OF THE REAL

Qi.ek begins his 'ritiJue o( what he 'alls D#oststru'turalis,D through the in+o'ation o( a 'ertain kind o( ,atter, a Dro'kD or a DkernelD that not only resists sy,boli.ation and dis'ourse, but is #re'isely what #oststru'turalis,, in his a''ount, itsel( resists and endea+ors to Ddissol+e)D :his solidity (igures the La'anian real, the outside to dis'ourse 'onstrued as sy,boli.ation, and so is a (igure that (orti(ies the theoreti'al de(ense o( that whi'h, (or Qi.ek, ,ust re,ain un(igurable, and so ,ight be said to #er(or, the i,#ossibility that it seeks to se'ure) :he ro'k thus (igures the un(igurable, and so e,erges not only as a 'ata'hresis, but as one that is su##osed to se'ure the borders between what he will 'all so,eti,es sy,boli.ation and so,eti,es Ddis'ourse,D on the one hand, and the Dreal,D on the other, where the latter is designated as that (or whi'h no sy,boli.ation is #ossible) &igni(i'antly, 2 think, the DrealD that is a Dro'kD or a DkernelD or so,eti,es a Dsubstan'eD is also, and so,eti,es within the sa,e senten'e, Da lossD a Dnegati+ityDG as a (igure it a##ears to slide (ro, substan'e to dissolution, thereby 'on(lating the law that institutes the Dla'kD and the Dla'kD itsel() 2( the real is the law, it is the solidity o( the law, the in'ontro+ertible status o( this law and the threat that it deli+ersG

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i( it is the loss, then it is the e((e't o( the law and #re'isely that whi'h ideologi'al deter,inations seek to 'o+erG i( it is the threatening (or'e o( the law, it is the trau,a) :he e+iden'e (or the real 'onsists in the list o( e3a,#les o( dis#la'e,ent and substitution, gi+en within the gra,,ati'al (or, o( an a##osition, that atte,#ts to show the trau,ati' origination o( all things that signi(y) :his is the trau,a, the loss, that signi(i'ation seeks to 'o+er o+er only to dis#la'e and ena't again) For Qi.ek signi(i'ation itsel( initially takes the (or, o( a (ro'ise and a return, the re'o+ery o( an unthe,ati.able loss in and by the signi(ier, whi'h along the way ,ust break that #ro,ise and (ail to return in order to re,ain a signi(ier at all) For the real is the site o( the i,#ossible (ul(ill,ent o( that #ro,ise, and the e3'lusion o( the real (ro, signi(i'ation is its +ery 'onditionG the signi(ier that 'ould deli+er on the #ro,ise to return to the site o( barred Fouissan'e would destroy itsel( as a signi(ier) Chat interests ,e is the ,o+e that Qi.ek ,akes (ro, the signi(ier as an always un'o,#leted #ro,ise to return to the real, itsel( (igured as the Dro'kD and the Dla'kD8(igured, 2 would suggest, in and as the +a'illation between substan'e and its dissolution8to the #oliti'al signi(ier, the rallying #oint (or #hantas,ati' in+est,ents and e3#e'tations) For Qi.ek, the #oliti'al signi(ier is an e,#ty ter,, a non-re#resentational ter, whose se,anti' e,#tiness be'o,es the o''asion (or a set o( #hantas,ati' in+est,ents to a''rue and whi'h, through being the site o( su'h in+est,ents, wields the #ower to rally and ,obili.e, indeed, to #rodu'e the +ery #oliti'al 'onstituen'y it a##ears to Dre#resent)D For Qi.ek, then, the #oliti'al signi(ier a''rues those #hantas,ati' in+est,ents to the e3tent that it a'ts as a #ro,ise to return to a #leasurable satis(a'tion that is (ore'losed by the onset o( language itsel(G be'ause there 'an be no return to this (antasi.ed #leasure, and be'ause su'h a return would entail the breaking o( the #rohibition that (ounds both language and the subFe't, the site o( the lost origin is a site o( unthe,ati.able trau,a) *s a result, the #ro,ise o( the signi(ier to ,ake su'h a return is always already a broken one, but one ne+ertheless stru'tured by that whi'h ,ust re,ain outside #oliri'i.ation and whi'h ,ust, (or Qi.ek, always re,ain the sa,e) ;ow are we to understand this (igure o( a ro'k whi'h is at on'e the law and the loss instituted by that lawK :he law as ro'k is to be (ound in the ;ebrew #rayer in whi'h God is D,y ro'k and ,y redee,er,D a #hrase

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that suggests that the Dro'kD is the unna,eable Yahweh, the #rin'i#le o( ,onotheis,) But this ro'k is also the (igure that e,erges at the 'on'lusion to FreudEs D*nalysis :er,inable and 2nter,inableD to denote the resistan'e o( wo,en #atients to the suggestion that they su((er (ro, #erns en+y) :here Freud re,arks, DCe o(ten (eel that, when we ha+e rea'hed the wish (or a #enis and the ,as'uline #rotest, we ha+e #enetrated all the #sy'hologi'al strata and rea'hed Ebedro'kE -der %e,#c*sener Kels0 and that our task is a''o,#lished) *nd this is #robably 'orre't, (or in the #sy'hi'al (ield the biologi'al (a'tor is really the ro'k-botto,)D 11 :his is, interestingly, a (igure o( a ground that is ne+ertheless sedi,ented through ti,e, and so not a ground, but an e((e't o( a #rior #ro'ess 'o+ered o+er by this ground) *s we will see in Qi.ek, this is a ground that 'alls to be se'ured and #rote'ted as a ground and that is always #ositioned in relation to a set o( threatsG hen'e, a 'ontingent ground, a kind o( #ro#erty or territory in need o( de(ense) 19 Qi.ek identi(ies a nu,ber o( #ositions that a##ear to destabili.e this Dro'k,D the law o( 'astration, the redee,er, and he also o((ers a list o( De3a,#lesD in whi'h this (igure o( the ro'k, the hard kernel, a##ears and rea##ears) Chat links these e3a,#les togetherK 2ndeed, what 'onstitutes the e3e,#lary, and what, the law, in this theoreti'al e((ort to kee# ba'k the (or'es o( #oststru'turalist DdissolutionDK :he list is an i,#ressi+e oneB #oststru'turalists, histori'i.ing (e,inists, sado,aso'histi' Fou'aultians, and (as'ists, where the e3e,#lary instan'e o( (as'is, is understood as anti&e,iti' (as'is,) Qi.ek re,arks that Dthe (unda,ental gesture o( #oststru'turalis, is to de'onstru't e+ery substantial identity, to denoun'e behind its solid 'onsisten'y an inter#lay o( sy,boli' o+erdeter,ination8brie(ly, to dissol+e the substantial identity into a network o( non-substantial, di((erential relationsG the notion o( sy,#to, is the ne'essary 'ounter#oint to it, the substan'e o( enFoy,ent, the real kernel around whi'h this signi(ying inter#lay is stru'turedD 4Qi.ek, 78, ?35) arlier, Qi.ek in+okes this resistant kernel in relation to Dthe Aar3ist(e,inist 'riti'is, o( #sy'hoanalysisD and in #arti'ular Dthe idea that its insisten'e on the 'ru'ial role o( the @edi#us and the nu'lear (a,ily triangle trans(or,s a histori'ally 'onditioned (or, o( #atriar'hal (a,ily into a (eature o( the uni+ersal hu,an 'onditionD 4605) Qi.ek then asks the (ollowing Juestion, but asks it through a (igure whi'h ,akes the ro'k o(

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the real s#eakB D2s not this e((ort to histori'i.e the (a,ily triangle #re'isely an atte,#t to elude the Ehard kernelE whi'h announ'es itsel( through the E#atriar'hal (a,ilyE8Sthen in 'a#sR the Real o( the Law, the ro'k o( 'astrationKD 2( the real o( the law is #re'isely what 'annot s#eak, the trau,ati' site (ore'losed (ro, sy,boli.ation, then it is with so,e interest that the real s#eaks here, Juali(ied here as the real o( the law, and that it is Qi.ek who, it see,s, re'ei+es the word (ro, the ro'k, and brings it down the ,ountain to us) ;ere it see,s that Dthe real o( the lawD is the threatening (or'e o( the law, the law itsel(, but not the loss that the law (or'ibly institutes, (or the loss 'ould not be (igured as a substan'e, sin'e the loss will be de(ined as that whi'h is always and only surre#titiously 'o+ered o+er by an a##earan'e o( substan'e, the loss being that whi'h #rodu'es the desire to 'o+er o+er that ga# through signi(ying e((e'ts whi'h 'arry the desire (or substan'e whi'h, within the so'ial (ield, is ne+er a'hie+ed) :he (igure o( substan'e, then, a##ears ,is#la'ed here, unless we take it as a (igure (or in'ontro+ertibility, s#e'i(i'ally, the unJuestionable status o( the law, where that law is understood as the law o( 'astration) 2t is, then, 'lear why this kernel e,erges 'entrally as a se3ual antagonis, that is 'onstituti+e o( the (a,ily #rior to any and all histori'al or so'ial s#e'i(i'ities) 2n re(eren'e to the #atriar'hal (a,ily, Qi.ek 'autions as well against an o+er-ra#id uni+ersali.ation that o+errides s#e'i(i' deter,inationsG his language returns ,ost a+idly to the dangers, the threats, o( an Do+er-ra#id histori'i.ation 4that5 ,akes us blind to the real kernel whi'h returns as the sa,e through di+erse histori'i.ations1sy,-boli.ations)D 2n the #aragra#h that (ollows, he o((ers another e3a,#le o( the sa,e e((ort at o+er-ra#id histori'i.ation, one that also seeks to elude the DrealD o( the law whi'h, in the abo+e, is rendered eJui+alent through a##osition to Dthe ro'k o( 'astration)D :his e3a,#le is D'on'entration 'a,#s,D and within the (or,ulation o( this e3a,#le yet another string o( e3a,#les e,erges ,eant to de,onstrate the sa,e #rin'i#le o( eJui+alen'eB D*ll the di((erent e((orts to atta'h this #heno,enon to a 'on'rete i,age 4E;olo'aust,E EGulagE)))5 Sthe three dots i,#lying a #roli(eration o( eJui+alent Ee3a,#les,E but also an indi((eren'e to the s#e'i(i'ity o( the e3a,#le, sin'e the e3a,#le is only interesting as E#roo( o( the lawR, to redu'e it to a #rodu't o( a 'on'rete so'ial order 4Fas'is,, &talinis,)))58what are they i( not so ,any atte,#ts to elude the (a't that we are dealing here with the

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ErealE o( our 'i+ili.ation whi'h returns as the sa,e trau,ati' kernel in all so'ial syste,sKD 4605) :he e((e't o( this 'itation is to 'lai, that ea'h o( these so'ial (or,ationsB the (a,ily, 'on'entration 'a,#s, the Gulag, instantiate the sa,e trau,a, and that what is histori'ally te3tured about ea'h o( these sites o( trau,a is itsel( indi((erent to and ontologi'ally distin't (ro, the lost and hidden re(erent that is their trau,ati' status) :hey are by +irtue o( this Dsa,e trau,ati' kernelD eJui+alent to one another as trau,as, and what is histori'al and what is trau,ati' are ,ade absolutely distin'tG indeed, the histori'al be'o,es what is ,ost indi((erent to the Juestion o( trau,a, and the #oliti'al or histori'al e((ort to understand the institution o( the (a,ily or the (or,ation o( 'on'entration 'a,#s or Gulags 'annot a''ount (or the Dtrau,ati'D 'hara'ter o( these (or,ationsG and, indeed, what is #ro#erly trau,ati' about the, does not belong to their so'ial (or,ation) :his is, 2 take it, what La'lau re(ers to as the contin%ency in all so'ial deter,inations, the la'k whi'h #re+ents the totali.ation o( any gi+en so'ial (or,) But inso(ar as the real se'ures this la'k, it #ostures as a sel(-identi'al #rin'i#le that redu'es any and all Jualitati+e di((eren'es a,ong so'ial (or,ations 4identities, 'o,,unities, #ra'ti'es, et')5 to a (or,al eJui+alen'e) ;ere it see,s 'ru'ial to ask whether the notion o( a la'k taken (ro, #sy'hoanalysis as that whi'h se'ures the 'ontingen'y o( #ny and #ll so'ial (or,ations is itsel( a #reso'ial #rin'i#le uni+ersali.ed at the 'ost o( e+ery 'onsideration o( #ower, so'iality, 'ulture, #oliti's, whi'h regulates the relati+e 'losure and o#enness o( so'ial #ra'ti'es) !an Qi.ekian #sy'hoanalysis res#ond to the #ressure to theori.e the histori'al s#e'i(i'ity o( trau,a, to #ro+ide te3ture (or the s#e'i(i' e3'lusions, annihilations, and unthinkable losses that stru'ture the so'ial #heno,ena ,entioned abo+eK 2t is un'lear whether the e3a,#les are ,erely illustrati+e in this 'onte3t, or whether they are the ,eans by whi'h the law orders and subordinates a set o( #heno,ena to re(le't ba'k its own enduring 'ontinuity) /o the e3a,#les de,onstrate the law, or do they be'o,e De3a,#lesD to the e3tent that they are ordered and rendered eJui+alent by the +ery law that then, as an #(res:cou( e((e't, reads ba'k the e3a,#les it itsel( has #rodu'ed as signs o( the lawEs own #ersisten'eK 2( the #riority and the uni+ersality o( the law are #rodu'ed as the e((e'ts o( these e3a,#les, then this law is (unda,entally de#endent on these e3a,#les, at whi'h #oint the law is to be understood as an effect of the list o( e3a,#les e+en as the e3a,#les are

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203

'lai,ed to be indi((erent and eJui+alent Dinstan'esD and e((e'ts o( that law) Aoreo+er, what 'ounts as an De3a,#leD is no indi((erent ,atter, des#ite the relation o( eJui+alen'e that is drawn a,ong the,) 2( the trau,a is the sa,e, and i( it is linked with the threat o( 'astration, and i( that threat is ,ade known within the (a,ily as an inter#ellation o( se3ed #ositionality 4the #rodu'tion o( DboyD and DgirlD taking #la'e through a di((erential relation to 'astration5, then it is that se3uali.ed trau,a whi'h originates in the (a,ily and rea##ears in the Gulag, in 'on'entration 'a,#s, in #oliti'al horror shows o( +arious kinds) 2n DBeyond /is'ourse-*nalysis,D Qi.ek 'ir'u,s'ribes this trau,a (urther as that whi'h is sy,#to,ati.ed in the asy,,etri'al relation to De3isten'eD 4being a subFe't, ha+ing the #hallus5 (or ,en and wo,enB D2t is no a''ident that the basi' #ro#osition of <e%e'ony -#nd 7oci#list 7tr#te%y}8D&o'iety does not e3istD8e+okes the La'anian #ro#osition Ela Fe,,e nEe3iste #asE 4ECo,an doesnEt e3ist,5),U :his non-e3isten'e is des'ribed again in the ne3t senten'e as Da 'ertain trau,ati' i,#ossibility,D and here it be'o,es 'lear that what is trau,ati' is the non-e3isten'e o( wo,an, that is, the (a't o( her 'astration) :his is Da 'ertain (issure whi'h c#nnot be sy,boli.edD 49"95) Ce ,ight well ask why the 'on+ersation about the 'astration o( wo,an ,ust sto# here) 2s this a ne'essary li,it to dis'ourse, or is it i,#osed in order to ward o(( a threatening set o( 'onseJuen'esK *nd i( one raises a Juestion about this ne'essary li,it, does one inad+ertently be'o,e the threat o( 'astration itsel(K For i( wo,an did e3ist, it see,s that, by this logi', she 'ould only e3ist to 'astrate) Qi.ekEs inter#retation o( the La'anian do'trine o( the real has at least three i,#li'ations that 2 will (or the ,ost #art only indi'ateB (irst, the real, understood as the threatening (or'e o( the law, is the threat o( #unish,ent whi'h indu'es a ne'essary loss, where that loss, a''ording to the oedi#al logi', is (igured as the (e,inine, as that whi'h is outside the 'ir'uit o( dis'ursi+e e3'hange 4what Qi.ek 'alls Dan inert stain)))whi'h 'annot be in'luded in the 'ir'uit o( dis'ourseD S?6R5, and hen'e is not a+ailable as a #oliti'al signi(ier) Chere (e,inis, is na,ed in the te3t, it is #ri,arily 'ast as an e((ort to DeludeD the kernel, sy,#to,ati.ing a 'ertain resistan'e to (e,inine 'astration) &e'ondly, whereas Qi.ek des'ribes the real as the unsy,boli.able, and #ro'eeds to in+oke the real against those who de(end dis'ourse analysis or language-ga,es, a 'onsideration o( the real in

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La'anEs third se,inar, ?es 2syc*oses, suggests a slightly di((erent reading) 2n that te3t, La'an re#eatedly re,arks that, Dwhat is re(used in the sy,boli' order returns in the realD 4995, and s#e'i(ies that that re(usal ought to be understood as Ger,erfun% 4(ore'losure or re#udiation5 4915) La'anEs (or,ulation re,ains a,biguous with res#e't to the lo'ation o( both the re(usal and that whi'h is re(usedB Dwhat is re(used in the sy,boli' orderD suggests that there are a set o( signi(iers DinD the sy,boli' order in the ,ode o( re(usal or, indeed, re(use) :he Fren'h ,akes it 'learer, (or it is not what is re(used to that order, but what in that order is re(usedB D!e Jui est re(use d#ns lEordre sy,boliJueD 4,y e,#hasis5) 2( what is re(used re#((e#rs 5resur%it S99R or re(#r#it S91R5 in the real 9d#ns le reel6, then it a##ears (irst to ha+e a##eared in the sy,boli' #rior to its re(usal and rea##earan'e in the real) 2n a #ro+o'ati+e essay by Ai'hael Calsh, DReading the Real,D the #ro'ess o( Ger,erfun% or (ore'losure that institutes the real is des'ribed as a ,atter o( Dthe e3'lusion o( (unda,ental signi(iers (ro, the &y,boli' ordering o( the subFe'tD)13 2n other words, these are signi(iers that ha+e been #art o( sy,boli.ation and 'ould be again, but ha+e been se#arated o(( (ro, sy,boli.ation to a+ert the trau,a with whi'h they are in+ested) ;en'e, these signi(iers are desy,boli.ed, but this #ro'ess o( desy,boli.a-tion takes #la'e through the #rodu'tion o( a hiatus in sy,boli.ation) Calsh also re'alls that the ter, Ger,erfun% 4whi'h La'an de#loys in the third se,inar to delineate a #sy'hosis-#rodu'ing re#udiation o+er and against a neurosis-#rodu'ing re#ression -Gerdr#n%un%06 is used by Freud to des'ribe the Col( AanEs reFe'tion o( 'astration 4Calsh, ?35) :his resistan'e to sy,boli' #aternity is sy,#to,ati.ed in the re#udiation o( signi(iers that would read,it the sy,boli' (or'e o( that #aternity) :hese are not signi(iers that are ,erely re#ressed but 'ould be worked throughG they are signi(iers whose reentry into sy,boli.ation would unra+el the subFe't itsel() :he notion o( (ore'losure o((ered here i,#lies that what is (ore'losed is a signi(ies na,ely, that whi'h has been sy,boli.ed, and that the ,e'hanis, o( that re#udiation takes #la'e within the sy,boli' order as a #oli'ing o( the borders o( intelligibility)D Chi'h signi(iers Juali(y to unra+el the subFe't and to threaten #sy'hosis re,ains un(i3ed in this analysis, suggesting that what 'onstitutes the do,ain o( what the subFe't 'an ne+er s#eak or know and still re,ain a subFe't re,ains +ariable, that is, re,ains a do,ain

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+ariably stru'tured by 'onringent relations o( #ower) Qi.ekEs rendition of the real #resu##oses that there is an in+ariant law that o#erates uni(or,ly in all dis'ursi+e regi,es to #rodu'e through #rohibition this Dla'kD that is the trau,a indu'ed by the threat o( 'astration, the threat itsel() But i( we 'on'ur that e+ery dis'ursi+e (or,ation #ro'eeds through 'onstituting an Doutside,D we are not thereby 'o,,itted to the inv#ri#nt #rodu'tion o( that outside as the trau,a o( 'astration 4nor to the generali.ation o( 'astration as the ,odel (or all histori'al trau,a5) Aoreo+er, it ,ay (urther the e((ort to think #sy'hoanalysisEs relation to histori'al trau,a and to the li,its o( sy,boli.ability i( we reali.e that 4a5 there ,ay be se+eral ,e'hanis,s o( (ore'losure that work to #rodu'e the unsy,boli.able in any gi+en dis'ursi+e regi,e, and 4b5 the ,e'hanis,s o( that #rodu'tion are8howe+er ine+itable8still and always the histori'al workings o( s#e'i(i' ,odalities o( dis'ourse and #ower) &in'e 4'5 the resistan'e to the real is a resistan'e to the (a't o( (e,inine 'astration or a denial o( the stru'turing #ower o( that threat (or ,en, those who seek to dissol+e the real 4they are re(erred to as (e,inists, #oststru'turalists, and histori'i.ers o( +arious kinds5 tend to under,ine the di((erential (or'e o( 'astration and its #er,anent status within and as the sy,boli') :his DlawD reJuires that 'astration is the Dalready ha+ing ha##enedD (or wo,en, the installation o( loss in the arti'ulation o( the (e,inine #osition, whereas 'astration signi(ies as what is always al,ost ha##ening (or ,en, as an3iety and the (ear o( losing the #hallus, where the loss that is (eared is stru'turally e,ble,ati.ed by the (e,inine and, hen'e, is a (ear o( be'o,ing (e,inine, be'o,ing abFe'ted as the (e,inineG this #ossibility o( abFe'tion thus go+erns the arti'ulation o( se3ual di((eren'e, and the real is the #er,anent stru'ture that di((erentiates the se3es in relation to the te,#oral lo'ation o( this loss) *s noted in the 'ha#ter D:he Lesbian PhallusD, the ha+ing and the being o( the #hallus are deter,ined along these lines as an o##osition) :he ,as'uline an3iety o+er loss denotes an i,#ossibility o( ha+ing, an always already ha+ing lost the #hallus whi'h ,akes the Dha+ingD into an i,#ossible ideal, and a##ro3i,ates the #hallus as the de(erral o( that ha+ing, a ha+ing to ha+e that is ne+er had) :he ha+ing o( the #hallus as a site o( an3iety is already the loss that it (ears, and it is this re'ognition o( the ,as'uline i,#li'ation in abFe'tion that the (e,inine ser+es to de(er) :he threat o( a 'olla#se o( the ,as'uline into the abFe'ted (e,inine

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threatens to dissol+e the heterose3ual a3is o( desireG it 'arries the (ear o(R o''u#ying a site o( ho,ose3ual abFe'tion) 2ndeed, we re'ei+e in the o#ening #ages o( 7ubli'e 8b)ect a (igure (or su'h abFe'tion when Fou'ault is introdu'ed and dis'ounted as one Dso (as'inated by ,arginal li(estyles 'onstru'ting their own ,ode o( subFe'ti+ityD and then, within #arenthesis, D4the sado,aso'histi' ho,ose3ual uni+erse, (or e3a,#leB see Fou'ault, 19="5)D :he (antasy o( a Duni+erseD o( sado,aso'histi' li(estyle ,ay i,#li'ate the (igure o( the sado,aso'histi' Fou'ault as #art o( the global threat whi'h, gi+en to an histori'i.ing trend and a 'ertain attenuated link with #oststru'turalis,, be'o,es #art o( this #hantas,ati' threat to the see,ingly treasured real) 2( this is a te3t that de(ends the trau,a o( the real, de(ends the threat o( #sy'hosis that the real deli+ers, and i( it de(ends this latter threat o+er and against a di((erent kind o( threat, it see,s that the te3t #roli(erates this threat by in+esting it in a +ariety o( so'ial #ositions, thereby 'onstituting the te3t itsel( as that whi'h seeks to DeludeD the 'hallenges o( D(e,inis,,D DFou'ault,D and D#oststru'turalis,)D Chat is the Dthreat,D and who is DeludingD it by what ,eansK /oes Qi.ekEs te3t rhetori'ally #er(or, an in+ersion o( this dyna,i' su'h that (e,inists and #oststru'turalists are (igured in DdenialD and Des'a#e,D and Qi.ek, as the bearer and s#okes,an (or the LawK @r is this the in+o'ation o( the law in order to kee# the se3ual di((erential in its #la'e, one in whi'h wo,en will always be the sy,#to, o( ,an 4not e3isting5, and where the *risto#hani' ,yth o( the la'k as the 'onseJuen'e o( a #ri,ary se+ering ne'essitates heterose3uality as the site o( an i,aginary 'o,#letion and returnK :o 'lai, that there is an DoutsideD to the so'ially intelligible, and that this DoutsideD will always be that whi'h negati+ely de(ines the so'ial is, 2 think, a #oint on whi'h we 'an 'on'ur) :o deli,it that outside through the in+o'ation o( a #reideologi'al Dlaw,D a #redis'ursi+e DlawD that works in+ariantly throughout all history, and (urther, to ,ake that law (un'tion to se'ure a se3ual di((erential that ontologi.es subordination, is an Dideologi'alD ,o+e in a ,ore an'ient sense, one that ,ight only be understood through a rethinking o( ideology as Drei(i'ation)D T*#t t*ere is #l,#ys #n outside" #nd, indeed, # "constitutive #nt#%onis'" see's ri%*t, but to su((ly t*e c*#r#cter #nd content to # l#, t*#t secures t*e borders bet,een t*e "inside" #nd t*e "outside" of sy'bolic intelli%ibility is to (ree'(t t*e s(ecific soci#l #nd *istoric#l #n#lysis t*#t is re=uired, to confl#te into "one" l#, t*e effect of # conver%ence of '#ny, #nd to (reclude t*e very (ossibility of # future re#rticul#tion of t*#t bound#ry

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,*ic* is centr#l to t*e de'ocr#tic (ro)ect t*#t Ni+eA, ?#cl#u, #nd "ouffe (ro'ote

2(, as Qi.ek argues, Dthe real itsel( o((ers no su##ort (or a dire't sy,boli.ation o( itD 49?5, then what is the rhetori'al status o( the ,etatheoreti'al 'lai, whi'h sy,boli.es the real (or usK Be'ause the real 'an ne+er be sy,boli.ed, this i,#ossibility 'onstitutes the #er,anent #athos o( sy,boli.ation) :his is not to 'lai, that there is no real, but, rather, that the real 'annot be signi(ied, that it stands, as it were, as the resistan'e at the 'ore o( all signi(i'ation) But to ,ake this 'lai, is to assert a relation o( radi'al in'o,,ensurability between the Dsy,boli.ationD and Dthe real,D and it is un'lear that this +ery assertion is not already i,#li'ated in the (irst ter, o( the relation) *s su'h, it is un'lear to what ,etasy,boli.ing status that +ery assertion disingenuously seeks to lay 'lai,) :o 'lai, that the real resists sy,boli.ation is still to sy,boli.e the real as a kind o( resistan'e) :he (or,er 'lai, 4the real resists sy,boli.ation5 'an only be true i( the latter 'lai, 4Dthe real resists sy,boli.ationD is a sy,boli.ation5 is true, but i( the se'ond 'lai, is true, the (irst is ne'essarily (alse) :o #resu,e the real in the ,ode o( resistan'e is still to #redi'ate it in so,e way and to grant the real its reality a#art (ro, any a+owed linguisti' 'a#a'ity to do #re'isely that) *s resistan'e to sy,boli.ation, the DrealD (un'tions in an e3terior relation to language, as the in+erse o( ,i,eti' re#resentationalis,, that is, as the site where all e((orts to re#resent ,ust (ounder) :he #roble, here is that there is no way within this (ra,ework to #oliti'i.e the relation between language and the real) Chat 'ounts as the Dreal,D in the sense o( the unsy,boli.able, is always relati+e to a linguisti' do,ain that authori.es and #rodu'es that (ore'losure, and a'hie+es that e((e't through #rodu'ing and #oli'ing a set o( 'onstituti+e e3'lusions) +en i( e+ery dis'ursi+e (or,ation is #rodu'ed through e3'lusion, that is not to 'lai, that all e3'lusions are eJui+alentB what is needed is a way to assess #oliti'ally how the #rodu'tion o( 'ultural unintelligibility is ,obili.ed +ariably to regulate the #oliti'al (ield, i)e), who will 'ount as a DsubFe't,D who will be reJuired not to 'ount) :o (ree.e the real as the i,#ossible DoutsideD to dis'ourse is to institute a #er,anently unsatis(iable desire (or an e+er elusi+e re(erentB the subli,e obFe't o( ideology) :he (i3ity and uni+ersality o( this relation between language and the real #rodu'es, howe+er, a #re#oliti'al #athos that #re'ludes the kind o( analysis that would take the real1reality distin'tion as the instru,ent and e((e't o( 'ontingent relations o( #ower)

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BODIES THAT MATTER PERFORMATI+E SIGNIFIERS. OR CALLING AN AARD+ARK*NAPOLEON*

Qi.ekEs use o( the La'anian DrealD to establish the #er,anent re'al'itran'e o( the re(erent to sy,boli.ation i,#lies that all re(erring ends u# #han-tas,ati'ally #rodu'ing 4and ,issing5 the re(erent to whi'h it as#ire, Qi.ek seeks re'ourse to the Dagen'y o( the signi(ierD in La'an to de+elo# his own theory o( the #oliti'al #er(or,ati+e) 3'hanging Hn#keEs notion o( the Drigid designatorD (or the La'anian notion o( a (oint de c#(tion, Qi.ek argues that the #ure signi(ier, e,#ty o( all ,eaning, ne+ertheless #ostures as a site o( radi'al se,anti' abundan'e) :his #ostulation o( a se,anti' e3'ess at the site o( a se,anti' +oid is the ideologi'al ,o,ent, the dis'ursi+e e+ent that Dtotali.es an ideology by bringing to a halt the ,etony,i' sliding o( its signi(iedD 4995) Qi.ek argues that these ter,s do not re(er, but1 a't rhetori'ally to #rodu'e the #heno,enon they enun'iateB 2n itsel(, it is nothing but a D#ure di((eren'eDB its role is #urely stru'tural, its nature is #urely #er(or,ati+e8its signi(i'ation 'oin'ides with its own a't o( enun'iationG in short, it is a Dsigni(ier without the signi(ied)D :he 'ru'ial ste# in the analysis o( an ideologi'al edi(i'e is thus to dete't, behind the da..ling s#lendour o( the ele,ent whi'h holds it together 4DGod,D D!ountry,D DParty,D D!lassD)))5, this sel(re(erential, tautologi'al, #er(or,ati+e o#eration S99R) :he i,#li'ation o( this anti-des'ri#ti+ist +iew o( na,ing entails both the e((e'ti+ity #nd t*e radi'al 'ontingen'y o( na,ing as an identity-'onstituting #er(or,an'e) *s a 'onseJuen'e, the na,e ,obili.es an identity at the sa,e ti,e that it 'on(ir,s its (unda,ental alterability) :he na,e orders and institutes a +ariety o( (ree-(loating signi(ies into an DidentityDG the na,e e((e'ti+ely DsuturesD the obFe't) *s a rallying #oint or #oint o( te,#orary 'losure (or a #oliti's based on DsubFe't #ositionsD 4what Qi.ek +ia La'an 'alls a nodal #oint, or (oint de c#(itonI the na,e designates a 'ontingent and o#en organi.ing #rin'i#le (or the (or,ation o( #oliti'al grou#s 2t is in this sense that anti-des'ri#ti+is, #ro+ides a linguisti' theory (or an anti-essentialist identity #oliti's) 2( signi(iers be'o,e #oliti'ally ,obili.ing by be'o,ing sites o( #hantas,al in+est,ent, then with what are they in+estedK *s #ro,issory notes (or the real'ounter(eit ones-these signi(iers be'o,e #hantas,ati'

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o''asions (or a return, a return to that whi'h ,ust be (ore'losed in order (or sy,boli.ation to o''ur, a return to a 'onFe'tured Fouissan'e whi'h 'annot be na,ed or des'ribed within language #re'isely be'ause language is itsel( based on its (ore'losure) 2ndeed, language only 'o,es into being through that (ore'losure or #ri,ary #rohibition) Language then o#erates by ,eans o( the dis(l#ce'ent of t*e re(erent, the ,ulti#li'ation o( signi(iers at the site o( the lost re(erent) 2ndeed, signi(i'ation reJuires this loss o( the re(erent, and only works as signi(i'ation to the e3tent that the re(erent re,ains irre'o+erable) Cere the re(erent to be re'o+ered, this would lead to #sy'hosis and the (ailure o( language) Chat Qi.ek o((ers us, then, is an a''ount o( #oliti'i.ation that holds out the 4i,#ossible5 #ro,ise o( a return to the re(erent within signi(i'ation, without #sy'hosis and the loss o( language itsel() 2nso(ar as #er(or,ati+es are their own referent, they a##ear both to signi(y and to re(er and hen'e to o+er'o,e the di+ide between re(erent and signi(i'ation that is #rodu'ed and sustained at the le+el o( (ore'losure) &igni(i'antly, this #hantas,ati' return to the re(erent is i,#ossible, and as ,u'h as a #oliti'al signi(ier holds out the #ro,ise o( this return without #sy'hosis, it 'annot ,ake good on its #ro,ise) Phantas,ati' in+est,ent is in+ariably (ollowed by disa##oint,ent or disidenti(i'ation) 2t a##ears to (ollow that the ,o+e,ent o( #oliti'al organi.ations in their (a'tionali.ation are those in whi'h the sign does not rally and uni(y in the way that Qi.ek des'ribes) :he ad+ent o( (a'tionali.ation 'onsists in the re'ognition that the unity #ro,ised by the signi(ier was, in (a't, #hantas,ati', and a disidenti(i'ation o''urs) :he rallying (or'e o( #oliti's is its i,#li'it #ro,ise o( the #ossibility o( a li+able and s#eakable #sy'hosis) Politi's holds out the #ro,ise o( the ,anageability o( uns#eakable loss) Following La'lau and Aou((e, Qi.ek +iews #oliti'al signi(iers as (ree(loating and dis'ontinuous within the #re#oliti'i.ed (ield o( ideology) Chen these #oliti'al signi(iers be'o,e #oliti'i.ed and #oliti'i.ing, they #ro+ide 'ontingent but e((i'a'ious #oints o( unity (or the otherwise dis#arate or (ree-(loating ele,ents o( ideologi'al li(e) Following La'anEs notion that the na,e 'on(ers legiti,a'y and duration on the ego 4re'asting the ego as subFe't in language5, Qi.ek 'onsiders these uni(ying ter,s o( #oliti's to (un'tion on the ,odel of (ro(er n#'es4 they do not, stri'tly s#eaking, des'ribe any gi+en 'ontent or obFe'ti+e 'orrelati+e, but a't as rigid designators that institute and ,aintain the so'ial #heno,ena to whi'h they

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a##ear to re(er) 2n this sense, a #oliti'al signi(ier gains its #oliti'al e((i'a'y, its #ower to de(ine the #oliti'al (ield, through 'reating and sustaining its 'onstituen'y) :he #ower o( the ter,s Dwo,enD or Dde,o'ra'yD is not deri+ed (ro, their ability to des'ribe adeJuately or 'o,#rehensi+ely a #oliti'al reality that #lre#dy e3istsG on the 'ontrary, the #oliti'al signi(ier be'o,es #oliti'ally e((i'a'ious by instituting and sustaining a set o( 'onne'tions #s a #oliti'al reality) 2n this sense, the #oliti'al signi(ier in Qi.ekEs +iew o#erates as a (erfor'#tive rather than a re(resent#tion#l ter,) Parado3i'ally, the #oliti'al e((i'a'y o( the signi(ier does not 'onsist in its re#resentational 'a#a'ity, the ter, neither re#resents nor e3#resses so,e already e3isting subFe'ts or their interests) :he signi(ierEs e((i'a'y is 'on(ir,ed by its 'a#a'ity to stru'ture and 'onstitute the #oliti'al (ield, to 'reate new subFe't-#ositions and new interests) 2n La'lauEs #re(a'e to the nglish translation o( Qi.ekEs 7ubli'e 8b)ect, he argues that Qi.ekEs theory o((ers a #er(or,ati+e theory o( na,es, and that this #er(or,ati+ity is 'ru'ial to a theory o( #oliti's and hege,ony) 2n Qi.ekEs re+ision o( Hri#ke, to be 'onsidered shortly, the na,e retroa'ti+ely 'onstitutes that to whi'h it a##ears to re(er) 2t gathers together into a unity or identity ele,ents that #re+iously 'oe3isted without any su'h relation) :he signi(iers o( DidentityD e((e'ti+ely or rhetori'ally #rodu'e the +ery so'ial ,o+e,ents that they a##ear to re#resent) :he signi(ier does not re(er to a #regi+en or already 'onstituted identity, a #ure re(erent or essential set o( (a'ts that #ree3ist the identity-signi(ier or a't as the ,easure o( its adeJua'y) *n essentialist #oliti's 'lai,s that there is a set o( ne'essary (eatures that des'ribe a gi+en identity or 'onstituen'y and that these (eatures are in so,e sense (i3ed and a+ailable #rior to the signi(ier that na,es the,) Qi.ek argues that the na,e does not refer to a #regi+en obFe'tG La'lau 'on'ludes that this non-re(erentiality i,#lies Dthe dis'ursi+e 'onstru'tion o( the obFe't itsel()D La'lau then draws the 'on'lusion (or a radi'al de,o'rati' #oliti'sB Dthe 'onseJuen'es (or a theory o( hege,ony or #oliti's are easy to see)D 2( the na,e re(erred to a #regi+en set o( (eatures #resu,ed to belong #redis'ursi+ely to a gi+en obFe't, then there 'ould be no D#ossibility o( any dis'ursi+e hege,oni' +ariation that 'ould o#en the s#a'e (or a #oliti'al 'onstru'tion o( so'ial identities) But i( the #ro'ess o( na,ing o( obFe'ts a,ounts to the +ery a't o( their 'onstitution, then their des'ri#ti+e (eatures will be (unda,entally unstable and o#en to all kinds o( hege,oni' rearti'ulations)D

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La'lau then 'on'ludes this e3#osition with a signi(i'ant re,arkB D:he essentially #er(or,ati+e 'hara'ter o( na,ing is the #re'ondition (or all hege,ony and #oliti'sD4Qi.ek, 78, DPre(a'e,D 3iii-3i+5) Chereas La'lau e,#hasi.es the #er(or,ati+e #ossibilities (or destabili.ing the already established (ield o( so'ial identities, unders'oring +ariation and rearti'ulation, Qi.ekEs own theory a##ears to e,#hasi.e the rigid and in(le3ible status o( those signi(ying na,es) Qi.ek re(ers to those (oints de c#(tion as stable uni(ying stru'tures o( the #oliti'al (ield) La'lau e,#hasi.es in Qi.ekEs theory the (erfor'#tivity o( the signi(ier, a((ir,ing the +ariability o( signi(i'ation i,#li'it in a #er(or,ati+e use o( language (reed (ro, the (i3ity o( the re(erent) But Qi.ekEs theory, a 'ross between Hri#ke and La'an, #resu,es that #oliti'al signi(iers (un'tion like #ro#er na,es, and that #ro#er na,es o#erate on the ,odel o( rigid designators) *n e3a,ination o( rigid designation, howe+er, suggests that #re'isely the +ariation and rearti'ulation a##arently #ro,ised by the #er(or,ati+ity o( the na,e is rendered i,#ossible) 2n (a't, i( #er(or,ati+es o#erate rigidly, that is, to constitute t*#t ,*ic* t*ey enunci#te re%#rdless of circu'st#nce, then su'h na,es 'onstitute a (un'tional essentialis, at the le+el o( language) Freed (ro, the re(erent, the #ro#er na,e as rigid #er(or,ati+e is no less (i3ed) 2n the end, it is #ro(oundly un'lear whether Qi.ekEs e((ort to understand #oliti'al signi(iers on the ,odel o( a #er(or,ati+e theory o( na,es 'an #ro+ide (or the kind o( +ariation and rearti'ulation reJuired (or an anti-essenrialist radi'al de,o'rati' #roFe't) 2t is o( no s,all signi(i'an'e that #ro#er na,es are deri+ed (ro, the (#tern#l dis#ensation o( its own na,e, and that the #er(or,ati+e #ower o( the #aternal signi(ier to Dna,eD is deri+ed (ro, the (un'tion o( the #atrony,) 2t is i,#ortant here in Hri#ke to distinguish between what he 'alls Drigid designatorsD and Dnonrigid or a''idental designators)D16 :he latter are designators that re(er, but 'annot be said to re(er in e+ery #ossible world, be'ause there is so,e 'han'e that the world in whi'h they o''urred 'ould ha+e been signi(i'antly di((erent in stru'ture or 'o,#osition than the ones that 'onstitute the do,ain o( D#ossible worldsD (or us) Rigid designators, on the other hand, are those whi'h re(er to a Dne'essary e3istent,D that is, re(er to an obFe't in any 'ase where it 'ould or 'ould ha+e e3istedD 4Hri#ke, MM, "=5) Chen Hri#ke then ,aintains that n#'es are rigid designators, he ,eans na,es o( #ersons, and the e3a,#le he gi+es is o( the surn#'e DNi3on)D :he e3a,#le o( Ni3on is then used to

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su##ort the thesis that D#ro#er na,es are rigid designators :he ne3t e3a,#le is D*ristotle,D (ollowed by D;es#erus)D ;en'e, not all na,es will be rigid designatorsG in (a't, those na,es that c#n be substituted for by # set of descri(tions (ail to Juali(yB D2( the na,e 'e#ns t*e s#'e +s that des'ri#tion o( 'luster o( des'ri#tions, it will not be a rigid designatorD :he dis'ussion 'ontinues to link #ro#er na,es with Dindi+idualsD +ia &trawson 4715 and D#eo#leD +ia Nagel 47=5) Between the dis'ussion o( #ro#er na,es that re(er as rigid designators to indi+iduals and the dis'ussion o( ter,s like DgoldD whi'h re(er to obFe'ts 4117-1195, Hri#ke introdu'es the notion o( the #ri,al ba#tis,) *nd it is in re(eren'e to this a'ti+ity, whi'h (or,s the #aradig, (or na,ing as su'h, that we begin to see the link, indeed, the D'ausal link,D between rigid designators that re(er to indi+iduals and those that re(er to obFe'ts) 2n (a't, the ba#tis, whi'h is originally reser+ed (or #ersons is F e3tra#olated (ro, that original 'onte3t to a##ly to things) * #ro#er na,e o( a #erson co'es to refer (irst by a #reli,inary set o( des'ri#tions that assist in the fixin% o( the re(erent, a re(erent that subseJuently 'o,es to re(er rigidly and regardless o( its des'ri#ti+e (eatures) 2t is, howe+er, only a(ter the introdu'tion o( #ro#er na,es re(erring to #ersons that we are gi+en the notion o( an Dinitial ba#tis,D 4975) !onsidered 'riti'ally, this s'ene o( ba#tis,, whi'h will retroa'ti+ely be'o,e the ,odel (or all na,ing as rigid designation, is the (i3ing o( a re(erent to a #erson through the inter#ellation o( that #erson into a religious lineage, a Dna,ingD that is at on'e an in'ul'ation into a #atrilineage that tra'es ba'k to, and reiterates, the original na,ing that God the (ather #er(or,s on *da,) :he D(i3ingD o( the re(erent is thus a D'itationD o( an original (i3ing, a reiteration o( the di+ine #ro'ess o( na,ing, whereby na,ing the son inaugurates his e3isten'e within the di+inely san'tioned 'o,,unity o( ,an) &igni(i'antly, Hri#ke 'on'edes that this notion o( an Dinitial ba#tis,D takes #la'e at no ti,e and #la'e, and in this sense the (able o( initial ba#tis, shares the (i'ti+e s#a'e o( the a't o( di+ine na,ing that it ,i,es) Hri#ke also argues that this na,ing 'annot take #la'e in #ri+ate 4in 'ontrast to what we #resu,e to be the solitary irru#tion o( GodEs a't o( no,ination5 but ,ust always ha+e a so'ial or 'o,,unal 'hara'ter) :he na,e is not (i3ed in ti,e, but be'o,es (i3ed again and again through ri,e, indeed, be'o,es (i3ed through its reiterationB DE#assed (ro, link to linkED 4975 through a D'hain o( 'o,,uni'ationD 4915) :his begins the

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'hara'teri.ation o( Hri#keEs 'ausal theory o( 'o,,uni'ation) :his also raises the Juestion o( the DlinkD between language users in Hri#keEs ,odel) Hri#ke writes, DChen the na,e is E#assed (ro, link to link,E the re'ei+er o( the na,e ,ust, 2 think, intend when he learns it to use it with the sa,e re(eren'e as the ,an (ro, who, he heard itD 4975) :his #resu,#tion o( so'ial agree,ent thus is inserted as a #rereJuisite (or the #ro#er na,e to (i3 its re(erent in the ,ode o( rigid designation) But what, we ,ight ask, guarantees this ho,ogeneity o( so'ial intentionK *nd i( there is no guarantee, as Hri#ke hi,sel( a##ears to know, what is the (i'tion o( ho,ogenous intention (ro, whi'h this theory drawsK Hri#ke a##ears to know that there is no guarantee be'ause he o((ers the e3a,#le o( an i,#ro#er or 'ata'hresti' use o( the #ro#er na,eB D2( 2 hear the na,e ENa#oleonE and de'ide it would be a ni'e na,e (or ,y #et aard+ark, 2 do not satis(y this 'ondition)D :his i,#ro#er usage, howe+er, inheres in the #ossibility o( the #ro#er usage, indeed, re,ains that o+er and against and through whi'h the #ro#er reiterates itsel( as #ro#er) 2t also signals a de#arture (ro, the ho,ogeneity o( intention that a##ears to link the 'o,,unity o( language users together) *nd yet, by +irtue o( the +ery reiterability o( the na,e 8the ne'essity that the na,e be reiterated in order to na,e, to (i3 its re(erent8 this risk o( 'ata'hresis is 'ontinually re#rodu'ed) ;en'e, the +ery iterability o( the na,e #rodu'es the 'ata'hresti' di+ergen'e (ro, the 'hain that the re(erent is ,eant to (orestall) *nd this raises the (urther and 'onseJuential Juestion o( whether the #er,anent risk o( 'ata'hresis does not Dun(i3D the re(erent 2t also raises, 2 think, the 'onseJuential Juestion o( whether the re(erent is itsel( always only tenuously (i3ed by this regulation o( its use, that is, by the outlawing o( this 'ata'hresti' di+ergen'e (ro, the 'hain o( nor,ati+e usage) Ba#tis, is an a't whi'h is DinitialD or D#ri,alD only to the e3tent that it i'it#tes the originating *da,i' a't o( na,ing, and so #rodu'es that origin #%#in through ,i,eti' reiteration) :his 'hara'ter o( reiteration a##ears in Hri#keEs notion o( the DlinkingD whi'h 'onstitutes the ho,ogeneity of 'o,,unal intention u#on whi'h the 'ausal theory o( re(eren'e de#ends) +ery language user ,ust learn the right intention (ro, a #re+ious language user, and it is only on the #resu,#tion that right intention is rightly #assed along this 'hain that the na,e 'ontinues to (un'tion as rigid designator) 2n other words, the link between a'ts o( ba#tis,, nu,eri'ally reiterating the di+ine #er(or,ati+e, is the link between ,e,bers o(

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'o,,unity, 'on'ei+ed also as a lineage, in whi'h na,es are handed down and the uni(or,ity o( intention is se'ured) :his latter set o( links, understood as the D'hain o( 'o,,uni'ation,D is not only the tea'hing o( na,es that ha##ens between ,e,bers o( a linguisti' 'o,,unity, but is itsel( the reiteration o( that DinitialD ba#tis,al ,o,ent 'on'ei+ed as ostensi+e re(eren'e, i)e), D:his is *ristotle)D Further, not only is ba#tis, an a't o( na,ing in whi'h re(eren'e is se'ured through the e3tension o( the surna,e to e,bra'e or in'lude the (irst na,e, but ba#tis, is itsel( the a'tion o( the surna,e) :he Dgi+enD or 'hristian na,e is o((ered in the na,e o( the #atrony,G the ba#tis, (i3es the na,e to the e3tent that it is brought into the #atrilineage o( the na,e) For Hri#ke, the re(erent is se'ured through su##osing a 'o,,unal ho,ogeneity o( intention) :his is a notion that sustains strong links with the notion of the 'ontinuous uni(or,ity o( the di+ine will in the *da,i' a''ount o( no,ination 4#reBabel5) But it also a##ears to (ollow, then, that the (i3ing o( the re(erent is the (or'ible #rodu'tion of t*#t (i'ti+e ho,ogeneity and, indeed, of t*#t 'o,,unityB the agree,ent by whi'h re(eren'e be'o,es (i3ed 4an agree,ent whi'h is a 'ontinual agreeing again that ha##ens through ti,e5 is itsel( re#rodu'ed on the 'ondition5 that re(eren'e is (i3ed in the sa,e way) *nd i( this reiteration is ba#tis,al, that is, the reiteration o( the di+ine #er(or,ati+e and, #erha#s also, the e3tension o( the di+ine will in its uni(or,ity, 17 then it is God the (ather who #atrony,i'ally e3tends his #utati+e kingdo, through the reiterati+e (i3ing o( the re(erent) :he e3'lusion o( 'ata'hresis, that is, the #rohibition against na,ing the aard+ark DNa#oleon,D se'ures the D'hain o( 'o,,uni'ation,D and regulates and #rodu'es the Duni(or,ityD o( intention) !ata'hresis is thus a #er#etual risk that rigid designation seeks to o+er'o,e, but always also inad+ertently #rodu'es, des#ite its best intentions) :he larger Juestion, then, is whether La'lauEs notion o( Dthe #er(or,ati+ity that is essential to all hege,ony and all #oliti'sD 'an be 'onstrued as rigid designation, as Qi.ek +ia the La'anian re+ision would suggest, without at on'e 'onstruing this #er(or,ati+ity as 'ata'hresis) 2s not the de(ile,ent o( so+ereignty, di+ine and #aternal, #er(or,ed by 'alling the aard+ark DNa#oleonD #re'isely the 'ata'hresis by whi'h hege,ony ought to #ro'eedK
1?

2n Hri#ke, then, it a##ears that any use o( the rigid designator #resu##oses that there is a language user who has been 'orre'tly initiated into

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the use o( a na,e, one DinitiatedD into the lineage o( #ro#er intention that, #assed down generationally, be'o,es the histori'al #a't that se'ures the a##ro#riate (i3ing o( the na,e) *lthough the na,e is said to "fix" its re(erent without des'ribing the re(erent, it is 'lear that the instru'tions handed down through the 'hain o( 'o,,uni'ation are #resu##osed in the a't o( (i3ing itsel(, so that the na,e re,ains (i3ed and (i3able to the e3tent that that instru'tion in right intention and right usage is in #la'e) :o be initiated into that histori'al 'hain o( language users with the right intention, one ,ust (irst be ba#ti.ed into that 'o,,unity, and it is in this sense that the ba#tis, o( the language user #re'edes the ba#tis,al designation o( any obFe't Aoreo+er, to the e3tent that the language user ,ust be installed in that 'o,,unity o( those who use language #ro#erly, the language user ,ust be linked relationally to other language users, that is, ,ust be #ositioned in so,e line o( kinshi# that se'ures the so'ial lines o( trans,ission whereby #ro#er linguisti' intentions are #assed along) :he #erson na,ed thus na,es obFe'ts, and in this way the DinitiationD into the 'o,,unity o( ho,ogenous intention is e3tendedG i( the na,e (i3es the obFe't, it also DinitiatesD the obFe't into the #atrony,i' lineage o( authority) Fi3ing thus ne+er takes #la'e without the #aternal authority to (i3, whi'h ,eans that the re(erent re,ains se'ure only to the e3tent that the #atrilineal line o( authority is there to se'ure it) ;ere the notion o( ba#tis, see,s signi(i'ant, (or inso(ar as a ba#tis, is an initiation into the kingdo, o( God, and the 'on(erring o( a D'hristian na,e,D it is the e3tension o( di+ine #aternity to the one na,ed) *nd inso(ar as the *da,i' ,ode o( no,ination is the ,odel (or ba#tis, itsel(, then it is GodEs #er(or,ati+ity that is reiterated in the (i3ing o( the re(erent through rigid designation) 2( rigid designation reJuires the #atrony,i' #rodu'tion and trans,ission o( a uni(or,ity o( intention, i)e), the intention to use language #ro#erly, it 'an se'ure the lines o( this trans,ission through ti,e through the #rodu'tion o( stable kinshi#, that is stri't lines o( #atrilineality 4it being God the FatherEs will whi'h is #assed along generationally5, and through the e3'lusion o( 'ata'hresis) :o the e3tent that a #atrilineal (or, o( kinshi# is #resu##osed here, and the #atrony, itsel( is the #aradig, (or the rigid designator, it see,s 'ru'ial to 'onsider that a rigid designator 'ontinues to D(i3D a #erson through ti,e only on the 'ondition that there is no 'hange o( na,e) *nd +et) i( the na,e is to stay the sa,e and the de,ands o( kinshi# are to ,et,

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then the institution o( e3oga,y is ne'essitated and, with it, the e3'hange o( wo,en) :he #atrony,i' o#eration se'ures its in(le3ibility and #er#etuity #re'isely by reJuiring that wo,en, in their roles as wi+es and daughters, relinJuish their na,e and se'ure #er#etuity and rigidity (or so,e other #atrony,, and daughters-in-law are i,#orted to se'ure the eternity o( this #atrony,) :he e3'hange o( wo,en is thus a #rereJuisite (or the rigid designation o( the #atrony,) :he #atrony, se'ures its own rigidity, (i3ity, and uni+ersality within a set o( kinshi# lines that designate wi+es and daughters as the sites o( its sel(#er#etuation) 2n the #atrony,i' na,ing o( wo,en, and in the e3'hange and e3tension o( #atrony,i' authority that is the e+ent o( ,arriage, the #aternal law D#er(or,sD the identity and authority o( the #atrony,) :his #er(or,ati+e #ower o( the na,e, there(ore, 'annot be isolated (ro, the #aternal e'ono,y within whi'h it o#erates, and the #ower-di((erential between the se3es that it institutes and ser+es) ;ow, then, does the abo+e analysis bear on the Juestion o( Qi.ekEs a##ro#riation o( Hri#ke, his subFe'tion o( the do'trine o( rigid designation to the La'anian (oint de c#(tion, and the (urther use o( this #oliti'al #er(or,ati+e in the notion o( hege,ony in La'lau and Aou((eK *lthough Hri#ke is an antides'ri#ti+ist in his a''ount o( how na,es re(er, he is not (or that reason in (a+or o( an a''ount o( rigid designation as #er(or,ati+ity /oes the theory o( #er(or,ati+ity based in the La'anian re+ision o( Hri#ke reins'ribe #aternal authority in another registerK *nd what alternati+es are a+ailable (or understanding the o#eration o( #er(or,ati+ity in hege,ony that do not unwittingly reins'ribe the #aternal authority o( the signi(ierK 2n Qi.ekEs words, Dwhat is o+erlooked, at least in the standard +ersion o( antides'ri#ti+is,, is that this guaranteeing the identity o( an obFe't in all 'ounter(a'tual situations8through a 'hange o( all its des'ri#ti+e (eatures is t*e retro#ctive effect of n#'in% itself, it is the na,e itsel(, the signi(ier, whi'h su##orts the identity o( the obFe'tD 4965) 1= Qi.ek thus redes'ribes the re(erential (un'tion o( the na,e as (erfor'#tive Further, the na,e, as #er(or,ati+e signi(ier, ,arks the i,#ossibility o( re(eren'e and, eJui+alently, the re(erent as the site o( an i,#ossible desire) Qi.ek writes, D:hat Esur#lusE in the obFe't whi'h stays the sa,e in all #ossible worlds is Eso,ething in it ,ore than itsel(E, that is to say the La'anian (etit ob)ect #4 we sear'h in +ain (or it in #ositi+e reality be'ause it has no #ositi+e

ARGUING WITH THE REAL

2!

'onsisten'y8be'ause it is Fust an obFe'ri(i'arion o( a +oid, a dis'ontinuity o#ened in reality by the e,ergen'e o( the signi(ied 4965) :o the e3tent that a ter, is #er(or,ati+e, it does not ,erely re(er, but a'ts in so,e way to 'onstitute that whi'h it enun'iates) :he Dre(erentD o( a #er(or,ati+e is a kind o( #ction whi'h the #er(or,ati+e itsel( 'alls (or and #arti'i#ates in) Rigid designation, on the other hand, #resu,es the alterity o( the re(erent, and the trans#aren'y o( its own inde3i'al (un'tion) :he saying o( D:his is *ristotleD does not bring *ristotle into beingG it is a saying that lays bare through ostensi+e re(eren'e an *ristotle e3terior to language) 2t is in this sense that #er(or,ati+ity 'annot be eJuated with rigid designation, des#ite the (a't that both ter,s i,#ly anti-des'ri#-ti+is,) 2n Qi.ekEs re+ison o( rigid designation through La'an, the re(erent o( rigid designation is #er,anently lost and, hen'e, 'onstituted as an i,#ossible obFe't o( desire, whereas (or Hri#ke, the re(erent is #er,anently se'ured and satis(a'tion is at hand) La'lau, on the other hand, a##ears to 'onsider the na,e in its #er(or,ati+ity to be (or,ati+e, and to lo'ate the re(erent as a +ariable e((e't o( the na,eG indeed, to re'ast the Dre(erentD as the signi(ied and thereby to o#en the ter, to the kind o( +ariability reJuired (or hege,ony) 2t is Hri#keEs #osition to argue that the na,e (i3es the re(erent, and Qi.ekEs to say that the na,e #ro,ises a re(erent that 'an ne+er arri+e, (ore'losed as the unattainable real) But i( the Juestion o( the Dre(erentD is sus#ended, then it is no longer a Juestion o( in what ,odality it e3ists8i)e), in reality 4Hri#ke5 or in the real 4Qi.ek58but rather how the na,e stabili.es its signi(ied through a set o( di((erential relations with other sign i tiers within dis'ourse) i(, as Hri#keEs te3t unwittingly de,onstrates, the re(erent is se'ured only on the 'ondition that #ro#er usage is di((erentiated (ro, i,#ro#er usage, then the re(erent is #rodu'ed in 'onseJuen'e o( that distin'tion, and the instability o( that distinguishing border between the #ro#er and the 'at a'hresti' 'alls into Juestion the ostensi+e (un'tion o( the #ro#er na,e) ;ere it see,s that what is 'alled Dthe re(erentD de#ends essentially on those 'ata'hresti' a'ts o( s#ee'h that either (ail to re(er or re(er in the wrong way) 2t is in this sense that #oliti'al signi(iers that (ail to des'ribe, nil to re(er, indi'ate less the DlossD o( the obFe't8a #osition that ne+ertheless se'ures the re(erent e+en i( as a lost re(erent8than the loss o( the lots, to rework that ;egelian (or,ulation) 2( re(erentiality is itsel( the

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e((e't o( a #oli'ing o( the linguisti' 'onstraints on #ro#er usage, then the #ossibility o( re(erentiality is 'ontested by the 'ata'hresn' use o( s#ee'h that insists on using #ro#er na,es i,#ro#erly, that e3#ands or de(iles the +ery do,ain o( the #ro#er by 'alling the aard+ark ENa#oleonE) WHEN THE LOST AND IMPROPER REFERENT SPEAKS 2( Dwo,enD within #oliti'al dis'ourse 'an ne+er (ully des'ribe that whi'h it na,es, that is neither be'ause the 'ategory si,#ly re(ers without des'rib- ing nor be'ause Dwo,enD are the lost re(erent, that whi'h Ddoes not e3ist,D but be'ause the ter, ,arks a dense interse'tion o( so'ial relations that 'annot be su,,ari.ed through the ter,s o( identity) 19 :he ter, will gain and lose its stability to the e3tent that it re,ains di((erentiated and that di((erentiation ser+es #oliti'al goals) :o the degree that that di((erentiation #rodu'es the e((e't o( a radi'al essentialis, o( gender, the ter, will work to se+er its 'onstituti+e 'onne'tions with other dis'ursi+e sites o( #oliti'al in+est,ent and under'ut its own 'a#a'ity to 'o,#el and #rodu'e the 'onstituen'y it na,es) :he 'onstituti+e instability o( the ter,, its in'a#a'ity e+er (ully to des'ribe what it na,es, is #rodu'ed #re'isely by what is e3'luded in order (or the deter,ination to take #la'e) :hat there are always 'onstituti+e e3'lusions that 'ondition the #ossibility o( #ro+isionally (i3ing a na,e does not entail a ne'essary 'olla#se o( that 'onstituti+e outside with a notion o( a lost re(erent, that DbarD whi'h is the law o( 'astration, e,ble,ati.ed by the wo,an who does not e3ist) &u'h a +iew not only rei-1 (ies wo,en as the lost re(erent, that whi'h 'annot e3istG and (e,inis,, as the +ain e((ort to resist that #arti'ular #ro'la,ation o( the law 4a (or, o( #sy'hosis in s#ee'h, a resistan'e to #enis en+y5) :o 'all into Juestion wo,en as the #ri+ileged (igure (or Dthe lost re(erent,D howe+er, is #re'isely to re'ast that des'ri#tion as a #ossible signi(i'ation, and to o#en the ter, as a site (or a ,ore e3#ansi+e rearti'ulation) Parado3i'ally, the assertion o( the real as the 'onstituti+e outside to sy,boli.ation is ,eant to su##ort anti-essentialis,, (or i( all sy,boli.ation is #redi'ated on a la'k, then there 'an be no 'o,#lete or sel(-identi'al arti'ulation o( a gi+en so'ial identity) *nd yet, i( wo,en are #ositioned as that whi'h 'annot e3ist, as that whi'h is barred (ro, e3isten'e by the law o( the (ather, then there is a 'on(lation o( wo,en with that (ore'losed e3isten'e, that lost re(erent, that is surely as #erni'ious as any (or, o(

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219

ontologi'al essentialis,) 2( essenrialis, is an e((ort to #re'lude the #ossibility o( a (uture (or the signi(ier, then the task is surely to ,ake the signi(ier into a site (or a set o( rearti'ulations that 'annot be #redi'ted or 'ontrolled, and to #ro+ide (or a (uture in whi'h 'onstituen'ies will (or, that ha+e not yet had a site (or su'h an arti'ulation or whi'h DareD not #rior to the siting o( su'h a site) ;ere it is not only e3#e'ted unity that 'o,#els #hantas,ati' in+est,ent in any su'h signi(ier, (or so,eti,es it is #re'isely the sense o( (uturity o#ened u# by the signi(ier as a site o( rearti'ulations that is the dis'ursi+e o''asion (or ho#e) Qi.ek #ersuasi+ely des'ribes how on'e the #oliti'al signi(ier has te,#orarily 'onstituted the unity that it #ro,ises, that #ro,ise #ro+es i,#ossible to (ul(ill and a >1,denti(i'ation ensues, one that 'an #rodu'e (a'tionali.ation to the #oint o( #oliti'al i,,obili.ation) But does #oliti'i.ation always need to o+er'o,e disidenti(i'ationK Chat are the #ossibilities o( #oliti'i.ing VE)Widenti(i'ation, this e3#erien'e o( 'isreco%ni:tion, this uneasy sense o( standing under a sign to whi'h one does and does not belongK *nd how are we to inter#ret this disidenti(i'ation #rodu'ed by and through the +ery signi(ier that holds out the #ro,ise o( solidarityK Lauren Berlant writes that D(e,inists ,ust e,bra'e a #oli'y o( (e,ale disidenti(i'ation at the le+el o( (e,ale essen'e)D90 :he e3#e'tation o( a (ull re'ognition, she writes, leads to a ne'essary s'ene o( D,onstrous doublingD and Dnar'issisti' horrorD 49635, a litany o( 'o,#laint and re'ri,ination in the wake o( the (ailure o( the ter, to re(le't the re'ognition it a##ears to #ro,ise) But i( the ter, 'annot o((er ulti,ate re'ognition8and here Qi.ek is +ery right to 'lai, that all su'h ter,s rest on a ne'essary 'econn#is#nce8 it ,ay be that the a((ir,ation o( that sli##age, that (ailure o( identi(i'ation is itsel( the #oint o( de#arture (or a ,ore de,o'rati.ing a((ir,ation o( internal di((eren'e)91 :o take u# the #oliti'al signi(ier 4whi'h is always a ,atter o( taking u# a signi(ier by whi'h one is onesel( already taken u#, 'onstituted, initiated5 is to be taken into a 'hain o( #rior usages, to be installed in the ,idst o( signi(i'ations that 'annot be situated in ter,s o( 'lear origins or ulti,ate goals) :his ,eans that what is 'alled agen'y 'an ne+er be understood as a 'ontrolling or original authorshi# o+er that signi(ying 'hain, and it 'annot be the #ower, on'e installed and 'onstituted in and by that 'hain, to set a sure 'ourse (or its (uture) But what is here 'alled a D'hainD o( signi(i'ation o#erates through a 'ertain insistent 'iting o( the signi(ier, an

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iterable #ra'ti'e whereby the #oliti'al signi(ier is #er#etually resigni(ied, a re#etition 'o,#ulsion at the le+el o( signi(i'ationG indeed, an iterable #ra'ti'e that shows that what one takes to be a #oliti'al signi(ier is itsel( the sedi,entation o( #rior signi(iers, the e((e't o( their reworking, su'h that a signi(ier is #oliti'al to the e3tent that it i,#li'itly 'ites the #rior instan'es o( itsel(, drawing the #hantas,ati' #ro,ise o( those #rior signi(iers, reworking the, into the #rodu'tion and #ro,ise o( Dthe new,D a DnewD that is itsel( only established through re'ourse to those e,bedded 'on+entions, #ast 'on+entions, that ha+e 'on+entionally been in+ested with the #oliti'al #ower to signi(y the (uture) 2t is in this sense, then, that #oliti'al signi(iers ,ight be a+owed as #er(or,ati+e, but that #er(or,ati+ity ,ight be rethought as the (or'e o( 'itationality) D*gen'yD would then be the double-,o+e,ent o( being 'onstituted in and by a signi(ier, where Dto be 'onstitutedD ,eans Dto be 'o,#elled to 'ite or re#eat or ,i,eD the signi(ier itsel() nabled by the +ery signi(ier that de#ends (or its 'ontinuation on the (uture o( that 'itational 'hain, agen'y is the hiatus in iterability, the 'o,#ulsion to install an identity through re#etition, whi'h reJuires the +ery 'ontingen'y, the undeter,ined inter+al, that identity insistently seeks to (ore'lose) :he ,ore insistent the (ore'losure, the ,ore e3a'erbated the te,#oral non-dentity o( that whi'h is heralded by the signi(ier o( identity) *nd yet, the (uture o( the signi(ier o( identity 'an only be se'ured through a re#etition that (ails to re#eat loyally, a re'iting o( the signi(ier that ,ust 'o,,it a disloyalty against identity8a 'ata'hresis8 in order to se'ure its (uture, a disloyalty that works the iterability o( the signi(ier (or what re,ains non-sel(-identi'al in any in+o'ation o( identity, na,ely, the iterable or te,#oral 'onditions o( its own #ossibility) For the #ur#oses o( #oliti'al solidarity, howe+er #ro+isional, Qi.ek 'alls (or a #oliti'al #er(or,ati+e that will halt the disunity and dis'ontinuity o( the signi(ied and #rodu'e a te,#orary linguisti' unity :he (ailure o( e+ery su'h unity 'an be redu'ed to a Dla'kD with no histori'ity, the 'onseJuen'e o( a transhistori'al Dlaw,D but su'h a redu'tion will ,iss the (ailures and dis'ontinuities #rodu'ed by so'ial relations that in+ariably e3'eed the signi(ier and whose e3'lusions are ne'essary (or the stabili.ation o( the signi(ier) :he D(ailureD o( the signi(ier to #rodu'e the unity it a##ears to na,e is not the result o( an e3istential +oid, but the result o( that ter,Es in'a#a'ity to in'lude the so'ial relations that it #ro+isionally stabili.es

ARGUING WITH THE REAL

221

through a set o( 'ontingent e3'lusions) :his in'o,#leteness will be the result o( a s#e'i(i' set o( so'ial e3'lusions that return to haunt the 'lai,s o( identity de(ined through negationG these e3'lusions need to be read and used in the re(or,ulation and e3#ansion o( a de,o'rati.ing reiteration o( the ter,) :hat there 'an be no (inal or 'o,#lete in'lusi+ity is thus a (un'tion o( the 'o,#le3ity and histori'ity o( a so'ial (ield that 'an ne+er be su,,ari.ed by any gi+en des'ri#tion, and that, (or de,o'rati' reasons, ought ne+er to be) Chen so,e set o( des'ri#tions is o((ered to (ill out the 'ontent o( an identity, the result is ine+itably (ra'tious) &u'h in'lusionary des'ri#tions #rodu'e inad+ertently new sites o( 'ontest and a host o( resistan'es, dis'lai,ers, and re(usals to identi(y with the ter,s) *s non-re(erential ter,s, Dwo,enD and DJueerD institute #ro+isional identities and, ine+itably, a #ro+isional set o( e3'lusions) :he des'ri#ti+ist ideal 'reates the e3#e'tation that a (ull and (inal enu,eration o( (eatures is #ossible) *s a result, it orients identity #oliti's toward a (ull 'on(ession o( the 'ontents o( any gi+en identity 'ategory) Chen those 'ontents turn out to be illi,itable, or li,ited by a #ree,#tory a't o( (ore'losure, identity #oliti's (ounders on (a'tionali.ed dis#utes o+er sel(-de(inition or on the de,and to #ro+ide e+er ,ore #ersonali.ed and s#e'i(ied testi,onies o( sel(-dis'losure that ne+er (ully satis(y the ideal under whi'h they labor) :o understand Dwo,enD as a #er,anent site o( 'ontest, 99 or as a (e,inist site o( agonisti' struggle, is to #resu,e that there 'an be no 'losure on the 'ategory and that, (or #oliti'ally signi(i'ant reasons, there ought ne+er to be) :hat the 'ategory 'an ne+er be des'ri#ti+e is the +ery 'ondition o( its #oliti'al e((i'a'y) 2n this sense, what is la,ented as disunity and (a'tionali.ation (ro, the #ers#e'ti+e in(or,ed by the des'ri#ti+ist ideal is #ffir'ed by the anti-des'ri#ti+ist #ers#e'ti+e as the o#en and de,o'rati.ing #otential o( the 'ategory) ;ere the nu,erous re(usals on the #art o( Dwo,enD to a''e#t the des'ri#tions o((ered in the na,e o( Dwo,enD not only attest to the s#e'i(i' +iolen'es that a #artial 'on'e#t en(or'es, but to the 'onstituti+e i,#ossibility o( an i,#artial or 'o,#rehensi+e 'on'e#t or 'ategory) :he 'lai, to ha+e a'hie+ed su'h an i,#artial 'on'e#t or des'ri#tion shores itsel( u# by (ore'losing the +ery #oliti'al (ield that it 'lai,s to ha+e e3hausted) :his +iolen'e is at on'e #er(or,ed and erased by a des'ri#tion that 'lai,s (inality and all-in'lusi+eness) :o a,eliorate and rework this +iolen'e, it

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is ne'essary to learn a double ,o+e,ent to in+oke the 'ategory and, hen'e, #ro+isionally to institute an identity and at the sa,e ti,e to o#en the 'ategory as a site o( #er,anent #oliti'al 'ontest :hat the ter, is Juestionable does not ,ean that we ought not to use it, but neither does the ne'essity to use it ,ean that we ought not #er#etually to interrogate the e3'lusions by whi'h it #ro'eeds, and to do this #re'isely in order to learn how to li+e the 'ontingen'y o( the #oliti'al signi(ier in a 'ulture o( de,o'rati' 'ontestation

CRITICALLY $UEER

/is'ourse is not li(eG its ti,e is not yours) 8Ai'hel Fou'ault, DPoliti's and the &tudy o( /is'ourseD :he risk o( o((ering a (inal 'ha#ter on DJueerD is that the ter, will be taken as the su,,ary ,o,ent, but 2 want to ,ake a 'ase that it is #erha#s onl+ the ,ost re'ent 2n (a't, the te,#orality o( the ter, is #re'isely what 'on'erns ,e hereB how is it that a ter, that signaled degradation has been turned 8Dre(un'tionedD in the Bre'hrian sense8to signi(y a new and a((ir,ati+e set o( ,eaningsK 2s this a si,#le re+ersal o( +aluations su'h that DJueerD ,eans either a #ast degradation or a #resent or (uture a((ir,ationK 2s this a re+ersal that retains and reiterates the abFe'ted history o( the ter,K Chen the ter, has been used as a #araly.ing slur, as the ,undane inter#ellation o( #athologi.ed se3uality, it has #rodu'ed the user o( the ter, as the e,ble, and +ehi'le o( nor,ali.ationG the o''asion o( its utteran'e, as the dis'ursi+e regulation o( the boundaries o( se3ual legiti,a'y) Au'h o( the straight world has always needed the Jueers it has sought to re#udiate through the #er(or,ati+e (or'e o( the ter,) 2( the ter, is now subFe't to a rea##ro#riation, what are the 'onditions and li,its o( that signi(i'ant re+ersalK /oes the re+ersal reiterate the logi' o( re#udiation by whi'h it was s#awnedK !an the ter, o+er'o,e its 'onstituti+e history o( inFuryK /oes it #resent the dis'ursi+e o''asion (or a #ower(ul and 'o,#elling (antasy o( histori'al re#arationK Chen and how does a ter, like DJueerD be'o,e subFe't to an a((ir,ati+e resigni(i'ation (or so,e when a ter, like Dnigger,D des#ite so,e re'ent e((orts at re'la,ation, a##ears 'a#able o( only reins'ribing its #ainK ;ow and where does dis'ourse reiterate inFury su'h that the +arious e((orts to re'onte3tuali.e and resigni(y a gi+en ter, ,eet their li,it in this other, ,ore brutal, and relentless (or, o( re#etitionK 1 Li 8< t*e Gene#lo%y of "or#ls, Niet.s'he introdu'es the notion o( the Dsign-'hainD in whi'h one ,ight read a %to#ian in+est,ent in dis'ourse, one that ree,erges within Fou'aultEs 'on'e#tion o( dis'ursi+e #ower)

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Niet.s'he writes, Dthe entire history o( a Ething1 an organ, a 'usto, 'aa be a 'ontinuous sign-'hain o( e+er new inter#retations and ada#tations whose 'auses do not e+en ha+e to be related to one another but, on the 'ontrary in so,e 'ases su''eed and alternate with one another in a #urely 'han'e (ashionD 4??5) :he De+er newD #ossibilities o( resigni(i'ation are deri+ed (ro, the #ostulated histori'al dis'ontinuity o( the ter,) But is this #ostulation itsel( sus#e'tK !an resigni(iability be deri+ed (ro, a #ure his'ori'ity o( DsignsDK @r ,ust there be a way to think about the 'onstraints on and in resigni(i'ation that takes a''ount o( its #ro#ensity to return to the De+er oldD in relations o( so'ial #owerK *nd 'an Fou'ault hel# us here or does he, rather, reiterate NEiet.'hean ho#e(ulness within the dis'ourse o( #owerK 2n+esting #ower with a kind o( +italis,, Fou'ault e'hoes Niet.s'he as he re(ers to #ower as D'easeless struggles and 'on(rontations),)#rodu'ed (ro, L one ,o,ent to the ne3t, at e+ery #oint, or rather in e+ery relation (ro, one #oint to another)D9 Neither #ower nor dis'ourse are rendered anew at e+ery ,o,entG they are not as weightless as the ato#i's of radi'al resigni(i'ation ,ight i,#ly) *nd yet how are we to understand their conver%ent force as an a''u,ulated e((e't o( usage that both 'onstrains and enables their reworkingK ;ow is it that the a##arently inFurious e((e'ts o( dis'ourse be'o,e the #ain(ul resour'es by whi'h a resigni(ying #ra'ti'e i( wroughtK ;ere k is not only a Juestion o( how dis'ourse inFures bodies, but how 'ertain inFuries establish 'ertain bodies at the li,its of #v#il#ble ontolo: (es, a+ailable s'he,es o( intelligibility *nd (urther, how is it that those who are abFe'ted 'o,e to ,ake their 'lai, through and against the dis'ourses that ha+e sought their re#udiationK
P RF@RA*:2I P@C R

+e &edgwi'kEs re'ent re(e'tions on Jueer #er(or,ari+ity ask us not only to 'onsider how a 'ertain theory o( s#ee'h a'ts a##lies to Jueer #ra'ti'es, but bow it is that EJueeringE #ersists as a definin% 'o'ent o( #er(or,ati+ity,3 :he 'entra0ity o( the '#rri#%e 'ere,ony in 0)L) *ustinEs e3a,#les o( #er(ot,ati+ity suggests that die heterose3ua0i.arioa o( the so'ial bond is the #aradig,ati' (or, (or those s#ee'h a'ts whi'h bring about what they na,e) E2 #ronoun'e you)))E #uts into e((e't the relation that it na,es) But (ro, where and when does su'h a #er(or,ati+e draw its (or'e,

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and what ha##ens to the #er(or,ati+e when its #ur#ose is #re'isely to undo the #resu,#ti+e (or'e o( the heterose3ual 'ere,onialK Per(or,ati+e a'ts are (or,s o( authoritati+e s#ee'hB ,ost #er(or,ati+es, (or instan'e, are state,ents that, in the uttering, also #er(or, a 'ertain a'tion and e3er'ise a binding #ower)" 2,#li'ated in a network o( authori.ation and #unish,ent, #er(or,ati+es tend to in'lude legal senten'es, ba#tis,s, inaugurations, de'larations o( ownershi#, state,ents whi'h not only #er(or, an a'tion, but 'on(er a binding #ower on the a'tion #er(or,ed) 2( the #ower o( dis'ourse to #rodu'e that whi'h it na,es is linked with the Juestion o( #er(or,ati+ity, then the #er(or,ati+e is one do,ain in whi'h #ower a'ts #s dis'ourse) 2,#ortantly, howe+er, there is no #ower, 'onstrued as a subFe't, that a'ts, but only, to re#eat an earlier #hrase, a reiterated a'ting that is #ower in its #ersisten'e and instability) :his is less an Da't,D singular and deliberate, than a ne3us o( #ower and dis'ourse that re#eats or ,i,es the dis'ursi+e gestures o( #ower) ;en'e, the Fudge who authori.es and installs the situation he na,es in+ariably cites the law that he a##lies, and it is the #ower o( this 'itation that gi+es the #er(or,ati+e its binding or 'on(erring #ower) *nd though it ,ay a##ear that the binding #ower o( his words is deri+ed (ro, the (or'e o( his will or (ro, a #rior authority, the o##osite is ,ore trueB it is t*rou%* the 'itation o( the law that the (igure o( the FudgeEs DwillD is #rodu'ed and that the D#riorityD o( te3tual authority is established) 6 2ndeed, it is through the in+o'ation o( 'on+ention that the s#ee'h a't o( the Fudge deri+es its binding #owerG that binding #ower is to be (ound neither in the subFe't o( the Fudge nor in his will, but in the 'itational lega'y by whi'h a 'onte,#orary Da'tD e,erges in the 'onte3t o( a 'hain o( binding 'on+entions) Chere there is an D2D who utters or s#eaks and thereby #rodu'es an e((e't in dis'ourse, there is (irst a dis'ourse whi'h #re'edes and enables that D2D and (or,s in language the 'onstraining traFe'tory o( its will :hus there is no D2N who stands be*ind dis'ourse and e3e'utes its +olition or will t*rou%* dis'ourse) @n the 'ontrary, the D2D only 'o,es into being through being 'alled, na,ed, inter#ellated, to use the *lthusserian ter,, and this dis'ursi+e 'onstitution takes #la'e #rior to the D2DG it is the transi-ti+e in+o'ation o( the D2D) 2ndeed, 2 'an only say D2D to the e3tent that 2 ha+e (irst been addressed, and that address has ,obili.ed ,y #la'e in s#ee'hG #arado3i'ally, the dis'ursi+e 'ondition o( so'ial re'ognition

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(recedes #nd conditions the (or,ation o( the subFe'tB re'ognition is not 'on(erred on a subFe't, but (or,s that subFe't Further, the i,#ossibility o( a (ull re'ognition, that is, o( e+er (ully inhabiting the na,e by whi'h oneEs so'ial identity is inaugurated and ,obili.ed, i,#lies the instability and in'o,#leteness o( subFe't-(or,ation) :he D2D is thus a 'itation o( the #la'e o( the D2D in s#ee'h, where that #la'e has a 'ertain #riority and anony,ity with res#e't to the li(e it ani,atesB it is the histori'ally re+is-able #ossibility o( a na,e that #re'edes and e3'eeds ,e, but without whi'h 2 'annot s#eak)
0UEER TROUBLE

:he ter, DJueerD e,erges as an inter#ellation that raises the Juestion o( the status o( (or'e and o##osition, o( stability and +ariability, ,it*in #er(or,ati+ity) :he ter, DJueerD has o#erated as one linguisti' #ra'ti'e whose #ur#ose has been the sha,ing o( the subFe't it na,es or, rather, the #rodu'ing o( a subFe't t*rou%* that sha,ing inter#ellation) D<ueerD deri+es its (or'e #re'isely through the re#eated in+o'ation by whi'h it has be'o,e linked to a''usation, #athologi.ation, insult) :his is an in+o'ation by whi'h a so'ial bond a,ong ho,o#hobi' 'o,,unities is (or,ed through ti,e) :he inter#ellation e'hoes #ast inter#ellations, and binds the s#eakers, as i( they s#oke in unison a'ross ti,e) 2n this sense, it is always an i,aginary 'horus that taunts DJueerPD :o what e3tent, then, has the #er(or,ati+e DJueerD o#erated alongside, as a de(or,ation o(, the D2 #ronoun'e you)))D o( the ,arriage 'ere,onyK 2( the #er(or,ati+e o#erates as the san'tion that #er(or,s the heterose3uali.ation o( the so'ial bond, #erha#s it also 'o,es into #lay #re'isely as the sha,ing taboo whi'h DJueersD those who resist or o##ose that so'ial (or, as well as those who o''u#y it without hege,oni' so'ial san'tion) @n that note, let us re,e,ber that reiterations are ne+er si,#ly re#li'as o( the sa,e) *nd the Da'tD by whi'h a na,e authori.es or deauthori.es a set o( so'ial or se3ual relations is, o( ne'essity, # re(etition, D!ould a #er(or,ati+e su''eed,D asks /errida, Di( its (or,ulation did not re#eat a 'odedE or iterable utteran'e)))i( it were not identi(iable in so,e way as a 'itationEKD7 2( a #er(or,ati+e #ro+isionally su''eeds 4and 2 will suggest that Dsu''essD is always and only #ro+isional5, then it is not be'ause an intention su''ess(ully go+erns the a'tion o( s#ee'h, but only be'ause that

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a'tion e'hoes #rior a'tions, and #ccu'ul#tes t*e force of #ut*ority t*rou%* t*e re(etition or cit#tion of # (rior, #ut*orit#tive set of (r#ctices Chat this ,eans, then, is that a #er(or,ati+e DworksD to the e3tent that it dr#,s on #nd covers over the 'onstituti+e 'on+entions by whi'h it is ,obili.ed) 2n this sense, no ter, or state,ent 'an (un'tion #er(or,ati+ely without the a''u,ulating and dissi,ulating histori'ity o( (or'e) :his +iew o( #er(or,ati+ity i,#lies that dis'ourse has a history ? that not only #re'edes but 'onditions its 'onte,#orary usages, and that this history e((e'ti+ely de'enters the #resentist +iew o( the subFe't as the e3'lusi+e origin or owner o( what is said)= Chat it also ,eans is that the ter,s to whi'h we do, ne+ertheless, lay 'lai,, the ter,s through whi'h we insist on #oliti'i.ing identity and desire, o(ten de,and a turn #%#inst this 'onstituti+e histori'ity) :hose o( us who ha+e Juestioned the #resentist assu,#tions in 'onte,#orary identity 'ategories are, there(ore, so,eti,es 'harged with de#oliti'i.ing theory) *nd yet, i( the genealogi'al 'ritiJue o( the subFe't is the interrogation o( those 'onstituti+e and e3'lusionary relations o( #ower through whi'h 'onte,#orary dis'ursi+e resour'es are (or,ed, then it (ollows that the 'ritiJue o( the Jueer subFe't is 'ru'ial to the 'ontinuing de'ocr#ti+#tion o( Jueer #oliti's) *s ,u'h as identity ter,s ,ust be used, as ,u'h as DoutnessD is to be a((ir,ed, these sa,e notions ,ust be'o,e subFe't to a 'ritiJue o( the e3'lusionary o#erations o( their own #rodu'tionB For who, is outness a histori'ally a+ailable and a((ordable o#tionK 2s there an un,arked 'lass 'hara'ter to the de,and (or uni+ersal DoutnessDK Cho is re#resented by ,*ic* use o( the ter,, and who is e3'ludedK For who, does the ter, #resent an i,#ossible 'on(li't between ra'ial, ethni', or religious a((iliation and se3ual #oliti'sK Chat kinds o( #oli'ies are enabled by what kinds o( usages, and whi'h are ba'kgrounded or erased (ro, +iewK 2n this sense, the genealogi'al 'ritiJue o( the Jueer subFe't will be 'entral to Jueer #oliti's to the e3tent that it 'onstitutes a sel(-'riti'al di,ension within a'ti+is,, a #ersistent re,inder to take the ti,e to 'onsider the e3'lusionary (or'e o( one o( a'ti+is,Es ,ost treasured 'onte,#orary #re,ises) *s ,u'h as it is ne'essary to assert #oliti'al de,ands through re'ourse to identity 'ategories, and to lay 'lai, to the #ower to na,e onesel( and deter,ine the 'onditions under whi'h that na,e is used, it is also i,#ossible to sustain that kind o( ,astery o+er the traFe'tory o( those 'ategories within dis'ourse) :his is not an argu,ent #%#inst using identity 'ategories,

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but it is a re,inder o( the risk that attends e+ery su'h use) :he e3#e'tation o( sel(-deter,ination that sel(-na,ing arouses is #arado3i'ally 'ontested by the histori'ity o( the na,e itsel( by the history o( the usages that one ne+er 'ontrolled, but that 'onstrain the +ery usage that now e,ble,ati.es autono,yG by the (uture e((orts to de#loy the ter, against the grain o( the 'urrent ones, and that will e3'eed the 'ontrol o( those who seek to set the 'ourse o( the ter,s in the #resent 2( the ter, DJueerD is to be a site o( 'olle'ti+e 'ontestation, the #oint o( de#arture (or a set o( histori'al re(le'tions and (utural i,aginings, it will ha+e to re,ain that whi'h is, in the #resent, ne+er (ully owned, but always and only rede#loyed, twisted, Jueered (ro, a #rior usage and in the dire'tion o( urgent and e3#anding #oliti'al #ur#oses) :his also ,eans that it will doubtless ha+e to be yielded in (a+or o( ter,s that do that #oliti'al work ,ore e((e'ti+ely) &u'h a yielding ,ay well be'o,e ne'essary in order to a''o,,odate8without do,esti'ating8de,o'rati.ing 'ontestations that ha+e and will redraw the 'ontours o( the ,o+e,ent in ways that 'an ne+er be (ully anti'i#ated in ad+an'e) 2t ,ay be that the 'on'eit o( autono,y i,#lied by sel(-na,ing is the #aradig,ati'ally #resenrist 'on'eit, that is, the belie( that there is a one who arri+es in the world, in dis'ourse, without a history, that this one ,akes onesel( in and through the ,agi' o( the na,e, that language e3#resses a DwillD or a D'hoi'eD rather than a 'o,#le3 and 'onstituti+e history o( dis'ourse and #ower whi'h 'o,#ose die in+ariably a,bi+alent resour'es through whi'h a Jueer and Jueering agen'y is (orged and reworked) :o re'ast Jueer agen'y in this 'hain o( histori'ity is thus to a+ow a set o( 'onstraints on the #ast and the (uture that ,ark at on'e the li'its o( agen'y and its ,ost en#blin% conditions *s e3#ansi+e as the ter, DJueerD is ,eant to be, it is used in ways that en(or'e a set o( o+erla##ing di+isionsB in so,e 'onte3ts, the ter, a##eals to a younger generation who want to resist the ,ore institutionali.ed and re(or,ist #oliti's so,eti,es signi(ied by Dlesbian and gayDG in so,e 'onte3ts, so,eti,es the sa,e, it has ,arked a #redo,inantly white ,o+e,ent that has not (ully addressed the way in whi'h DJueerD #lays8or (ails to #lay8within non-white 'o,,unitiesG and whereas in so,e instan'es it has ,obili.ed a lesbian a'ti+is,,9 in others the ter, re#resents a (alse unity o( wo,en and ,en) 2ndeed, it ,ay be that the 'ritiJue o( the ter, will initiate a resurgen'e o( both (e,inist and anti-ra'ist ,obili.ation within lesbian and gay #oliti's

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or o#en u# new #ossibilities (or 'oalitional allian'es that do not #resu,e that these 'onstituen'ies are radi'ally distin't (ro, one another) :he ter, will be re+ised, dis#elled, rendered obsolete to the e3tent that it yields to the de,ands whi'h resist the ter, #re'isely be'ause o( the e3'lusions by whi'h it is ,obili.ed) Ce no ,ore 'reate (ro, nothing the #oliti'al ter,s that 'o,e to re#resent our D(reedo,D than we are res#onsible (or the ter,s that 'arry the #ain o( so'ial inFury) *nd yet, neither o( those ter,s are as a result any less ne'essary to work and rework within #oliti'al dis'ourse) 2n this sense, it re,ains #oliti'ally ne'essary to lay 'lai, to Dwo,en,D DJueer,D Dgay,D and Dlesbian,D #re'isely be'ause o( the way these ter,s, as it were, lay their 'lai, on us #rior to our (ull knowing) Laying 'lai, to su'h ter,s in re+erse will be ne'essary to re(ute ho,o#hobi' de#loy,ents o( the ter,s in law, #ubli' #oli'y, on the street, in D#ri+ateD li(e) But the ne'essity to ,obili.e the ne'essary error o( identity 4&#i+akEs ter,5 will always be in tension with the de,o'rati' 'ontestation o( the ter, whi'h works against its de#loy,ents in ra'ist and ,isogynist dis'ursi+e regi,es) 2( DJueerD #oliti's #ostures inde#endently o( these other ,odalities o( #ower, it will lose its de,o'rati.ing (or'e) :he #oliti'al de'onstru'tion o( DJueerD ought not to #araly.e the use o( su'h ter,s, but, ideally, to e3tend its range, to ,ake us 'onsider at what e3#ense and (or what #ur#oses the ter,s are used, and through what relations o( #ower su'h 'ategories ha+e been wrought) &o,e re'ent ra'e theory has unders'ored the use o( Dra'eD in the ser+i'e o( Dra'is,,D and #ro#osed a #oliti'ally in(or,ed inJuiry into the #ro'ess o( r#ci#li+#tion, the (or,ation o( ra'e)10 &u'h an inJuiry does not sus#end or ban the ter,, although it does insist that an inJuiry into (or,ation is linked to the 'onte,#orary Juestion o( what is at stake in the ter,) :he #oint ,ay be taken (or Jueer studies as well, su'h that DJueeringD ,ight signal an inJuiry into 4a5 the for'#tion o( ho,ose3ualities 4a histori'al inJuiry whi'h 'annot take the stability o( the ter, (or granted, des#ite the #oliti'al #ressure to do so5 and 4b5 the defor'#tive and 'is#((ro(ri#tive #ower that the ter, 'urrently enFoys) *t stake in su'h a history will be the di((erential (or,ation o( ho,ose3uality a'ross ra'ial boundaries, in'luding the Juestion o( how ra'ial and re#rodu'ti+e relations be'o,e arti'ulated through one another) @ne ,ight be te,#ted to say that identity 'ategories are insu((i'ient be'ause e+ery subFe't #osition is the site o( 'on+erging relations o( #ower

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that are not utuIo'ai But su'h a (or,ulation underesti,ates the radi'al 'hallenge to the subFe't that su'h 'on+erging relations i,#ly) For there is no sel(-identi'al subFe't who houses or bears these relations, no site at whi'h su'h relations 'on+erge) :his 'on+erging and interarri'ulation it the 'onte,#orary (ate o( the subFe't 2n other words, the subFe't as a sel(identi'al entity is no ,ore) 2t is in this sense that the te,#orary totali.ation #er(or,ed by identity 'ategories is a ne'essary error) *nd i( identity is a ne'essary error, then the assertion o( DJueerD will be ne'essary as a ter, o( a((iliation, but it will not (olly des'ribe those it #ur#orts to re#resent *s a result, it will be ne'essary to a((ir, the 'ontingen'y o( the ter,B to let it be +anJuished by those who are e3'luded by the ter, but who Fusti(iably e3#e't re#resentation by it, to let it take on ,eanings that 'annot now be anti'i#ated by a younger generation whose #oliti'al +o'abulary ,ay well 'arry a +ery di((erent set o( in+est,ents) 2ndeed, the ter, DJueerD itsel( has been #re'isely the dis'ursi+e rallying #oint (or younger lesbians and gay ,en and, in yet other 'onte3ts, (or lesbian inter+entions and, in yet other 'onte3ts, (or bise3uals and straights (or who, the ter, e3#resses an a((iliation with antiho,o#hobi' #oliti's) :hat it 'an be'o,e su'h a dis'ursi+e site whose uses are not (ully 'onstrained in ad+an'e ought to be sa(eguarded not only (or the #ur#oses o( 'ontinuing to de,o'rati.e Jueer #oliti's, but also to e3#ose, a((ir,, and rework the s#e'i(i' histori'ity o( the ter,)
GENDER PERFORMATI+IT" AND DRAG

;ow, i( at all, is the notion o( dis'ursi+e resigni(i'ation linked to the notion o( gender #arody or i,#ersonationK First, what is ,eant by understanding gender as an i,#ersonationK /oes this ,ean that one #uts on a ,ask or #ersona, that there is a DoneD who #re'edes that D#utting on,D who is so,ething other than its gender (ro, the startK @r does this ,i,ing, this i,#ersonating #re'ede and (or, the Done,D o#erating as its (or,ati+e #re'ondition rather than its dis#ensable arti(i'eK :he 'onstrual o( gender-as-drag a''ording to the (irst ,odel a##ears to be the e((e't o( a nu,ber o( 'ir'u,stan'es) @ne o( the, 2 brought on ,ysel( by 'iting drag as an e3a,#le o( #er(or,ati+ity, a ,o+e that was taken then, by so,e, to be exe'(l#ry o( #er(or,ati+ity) 2( drag is #er(or,ati+e, that does not ,ean that all #er(or,ati+ity is to be understood as

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drag) :he #ubli'ation o( Gender Trouble 'oin'ided with a nu,ber o( #ubli'ations that did assert that D'lothes ,ake the wo,an,D but 2 ne+er did think that gender was like 'lothes, or that 'lothes ,ake the wo,an) *dded to these, howe+er, are the #oliti'al needs o( an e,ergent Jueer ,o+e,ent in whi'h the #ubli'i.ation o( theatri'al agen'y has be'o,e Juite 'entral)11 :he #ra'ti'e by whi'h gendering o''urs, the e,bodying o( nor,s, is a 'o,#ulsory #ra'ti'e, a (or'ible #rodu'tion, but not (or that reason (ully deter,ining) :o the e3tent that gender is an assign,ent, it is an assign,ent whi'h is ne+er Juite 'arried out a''ording to e3#e'tation, whose addressee ne+er Juite inhabits the ideal s1he is 'o,#elled to a##ro3i,ate) Aoreo+er, this e,bodying is a re#eated #ro'ess) *nd one ,ight 'onstrue re#etition as #re'isely that whi'h under'ines the 'on'eit o( +olu,arist ,astery designated by the subFe't in language) *s 2#ris .s 3urnin% ,ade 'lear, drag is not un#roble,ab'ally sub+ersi+e) 2t ser+es a sub+ersi+e (un'tion to the e3tent that it re(le'ts the ,undane i,#ersonations by whi'h heterose3ually ideal genders are #er(or,ed and naturali.ed and under,ines their #ower by +irtue o( e((e'ting that e3#osure) But there is no guarantee that e3#osing the naturali.ed status o( heterose3uality will lead to its sub+ersion) ;eterose3uality 'an aug,ent its hege,ony t*rou%* its denaturali.ation, as when we see denaturali.ing #arodies that reideali.e heterose3ual nor,s ,it*out 'alling the, into Juestion) @n other o''asions, though, the trans(erability o( a gender ideal or gender nor, 'alls into Juestion the abFe'ting #ower that it sustains) For an o''u#ation or reterritoriali.ation o( a ter, that has been used to abFe't a #o#ulation 'an be'o,e the site o( resistan'e, the #ossibility o( an enabling so'ial and #oliti'al resigni(i'ation) *nd this has ha##ened to a 'ertain e3tent with the notion o( DJueer)D :he 'onte,#orary rede#loy,ent ena'ts a #rohibition and a degradation against itsel(, s#awning a di((erent order o( +alues, a #oliti'al a((ir,ation (ro, and through the +ery ter, whi'h in a #rior usage had as it (inal ai, the eradi'ation o( #re'isely su'h an a((ir,ation) 2t ,ay see,, howe+er, that there is a di((eren'e between the e,bodying or #er(or,ing o( gender nor,s and the #er(or,ati+e use o( dis'ourse) *re these two di((erent senses o( D#er(or,ati+ity,D or do they 'on+erge as ,odes o( 'itationality in whi'h the 'o,#ulsory 'hara'ter o( 'ertain so'ial i,#erati+es be'o,es subFe't to a ,ore #ro,ising deregulationK Gender nor,s o#erate by reJuiring the e,bodi,ent o( 'ertain ideals o( (e,ininity

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and ,as'ulinity, ones that are al,ost always related to the ideali.ation o( the heterose3ual bond) 2n this sense, the initiatory #er(or,ati+e, D2tEs a girlPD anti'i#ates the e+entual arri+al o( the san'tion, D2 #ronoun'e you ,an and wi(e)D ;en'e, also, the #e'uliar #leasure o( the 'artoon stri# in whi'h the in(ant is (irst inter#ellated into dis'ourse with D2tEs a lesbianPD Far (ro, an essentialist Foke, the Jueer a##ro#riation o( the #er(or,ati+e ,i,es and e3#oses both the binding #ower o( the heterose3uali.ing law
Oniil its cx(ro(ri#bility

:o the e3tent that the na,ing o( the DgirlD is transiti+e, that is, initiates the #ro'ess by whi'h a 'ertain DgirlingD is 'o,#elled, the ter, or, rather, its sy,boli' #ower, go+erns the (or,ation o( a 'or#oreally ena'ted (e,ininity that ne+er (ully a##ro3i,ates the nor,) :his is a Dgirl,D howe+er, who is 'o,#elled to D'iteD the nor, in order to Juali(y and re,ain a +iable subFe't) Fe,ininity is thus not the #rodu't o( a 'hoi'e, but the (or'ible 'itation o( a nor,, one whose 'o,#le3 histori'ity is indisso'iable (ro, relations o( dis'i#line, regulation, #unish,ent) 2ndeed, there is no DoneN who takes on a gender nor,) @n the 'ontrary, this 'itation o( the gender nor, is ne'essary in order to Juali(y as a Done,D to be'o,e +iable as a Done,D where subFe't-(or,ation is de#endent on the #rior o#eration o( legiti,ating gender nor,s) 2t is in ter,s o( a nor, that 'o,#els a 'ertain D'itationD in order (or a +iable subFe't to be #rodu'ed that the notion o( gender #er(or,ari+ity 'alls to be rethought *nd #re'isely in relation to su'h a 'o,#ulsory 'itationality that the theatri'ality o( gender is also to be e3#lained) :heatri'ality need not be 'on(lated with sel(-dis#lay or sel(-'reation) Cithin Jueer #oliti's, indeed, within the +ery signi(i'ation that is DJueer,D we read a resigni(ying #ra'ti'e in whi'h the desan'tioning #ower o( the na,e DJueerD is re+ersed to san'tion a 'ontestation o( the ter,s o( se3ual legiti,a'y) Parado3i'ally, but also with great #ro,ise, the subFe't who is DJueeredD into #ubli' dis'ourse through ho,o#hobi' inter#ellations o( +arious kinds t#Aes u( or titer that +ery ter, as the dis'ursi+e basis (or an o##osition) :his kind o( 'itation will e,erge as t*e#tric#l to the e3tent that it 'i'es #nd renders *y(erbolic the dis'ursi+e 'on+ention that it also reverses :he hy#erboli' gesture is 'ru'ial to the e3#osure o( the ho,o#hobi' DlawD that 'an no longer 'ontrol the ter,s o( its own abFe'ting strategies) :o o##ose the theatri'al to the #oliti'al within 'onte,#orary Jueer #oliti's is, 2 would argue, an i,#ossibilityB the hy#erboli' D#er(or,an'eD

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o( death in the #ra'ti'e o( Ddie-insD and the theatri'al DoutnessD by whi'h Jueer a'ti+is, has disru#ted the 'loseting distin'tion between #ubli' and #ri+ate s#a'e ha+e #roli(erated sites o( #oliti'i.ation and *2/& awareness throughout the #ubli' real,) 2ndeed, an i,#ortant set o( histories ,ight be told in whi'h the in'reasing #oliti'i.ation 4U1Dtheatri'ality (or Jueers is at stake 4,ore #rodu'ti+e, 1 think, than an insisten'e on the two as #olar o##osites within Jueerness5) &u'h a history ,ight in'lude traditions o( 'ross-dressing, drag balls, street walking, but'h-(ern ,e s#e'ta'les, the sliding between the D,ar'hN 4New York !ity5 and the #arade 4&an Fran'is'o5G die-ins by *!: %P, kiss-ins by <ueer NationG drag #er(or,an'e bene(its (or *2/& 4by whi'h 2 would in'lude both Ly#sinkaEs and Lisa Ainnellis in whi'h she, (inally, does 0udy195G the 'on+ergen'e o( theatri'al work with theatri'al a'ti+is,G16 #er(or,ing e3'essi+e lesbian se3uality and i'onogra#hy that e((e'ti+ely 'ounters the deseriali.ation o( the lesbianG ta'ti'al interru#tions o( #ubli' (oru,s by lesbian and gay a'ti+ists in (a+or o( drawing #ubli' attention and outrage to the (ailure o( go+ern,ent (unding o( *2/& resear'h and outrea'h) :he in'reasing theatri'ali.ation o( #oliti'al rage in res#onse to the killing inattention o( #ubli' #oli'y-,akers on the issue o( *2/& is allegori.ed in the re'onte3tualiaation o( DJueerN (ro, its #la'e within a ho,o#hobi' strategy o( abFe'tion and annihilation to an insistent and #ubli' se+ering o( that inter#ellation (ro, the e((e't o( sha,e, :o the e3tent that sha,e is #rodu'ed as the stig,a not only o( *2/&, but also o( Jueerness, where the latter is understood through ho,o#hobi' 'ausalities as the D'auseD and D,ani(estationD o( the illness, theatri'al rage is #art o( the #ubli' resistan'e to that inter#ellation o( sha,e) Aobilised by the inFuries o( ho,o#hobia, theatri'al rage reiterates those inFuries #re'isely through an Da'ting out,D one that does not ,erely re#eat or re'ite those inFuries, but that also de#loys a hy#erboli' dis#lay o( death and inFury to o+erwhel, the e#iste,i' resistan'e to *2/& and to the gra#hi's o( su((ering, or a hy#erboli' dis#lay o( kissing to shatter the e#iste,i' blindness to an in'reasingly gra#hi' and #ubli' ho,ose3uality)
MELANCHOLIA AND THE LIM%TS OF &ERFORMANCE

:he 'riti'al #otential o( DdragD 'entrally 'on'erns a 'ritiJue o( a #re+ailing truth-regi,e o( Dse3,D one that 2 take to be #er+asi+ely heterose3ist the

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distin'tion between the DinsideD truth o( (e,ininity, 'onsidered as #sy'hi' dis#osition or ego-'ore, and the DoutsideD truth, 'onsidered as a##earan'e or #resentation, #rodu'es a 'ontradi'tory (or,ation o( gender in whi'h no (i3ed DtruthD 'an be established) Gender is neither a #urely #sy'hi' truth, 'on'ei+ed as DinternalD and Dhidden,D nor is it redu'ible to a sur(a'e a##earan'eG on the 'ontrary, its unde'idability is to be tra'ed as the #lay bet,een #sy'he and a##earan'e 4where the latter do,ain in'ludes what a##ears in ,ords6 Further, this will be a D#layD regulated by heterose3ist 'onstraints though not, (or that reason, (olly redu'ible to the,) 2n no sense 'an it be 'on'luded that the #art o( gender that is #er(or,ed is there(ore the DtruthD o( genderG #er(or,an'e as bounded Da'tD is distinguished (ro, #er(or,ati+ity inso(ar as the latter 'onsists in a reiteration o( nor,s whi'h #re'ede, 'onstrain, and e3'eed the #er(or,er and in that sense 'annot be taken as the (abri'ation o( the #er(or,erEs DwillD or D'hoi'eNG (urther, what is D#er(or,edD works to 'on'eal, i( not to disa+ow, what re,ains o#aJue, un'ons'ious, un#er(or,able) :he redu'tion o( #er(or,ati+ity to #er(or,an'e would be a ,istake) :he reFe'tion o( an e3#ressi+e ,odel o( drag whi'h holds that so,e interior truth is e3teriori.ed in #er(or,an'e needs, howe+er, to be re(erred to a #sy'hoanalyti' 'onsideration on the relationshi# between how gender #((e#rs and what gender si%nifies Psy'hoanalysis insists that the o#a'ity o( the un'ons'ious sets li,its to the e3teriori.ation o( the #sy'he) 2t also argues, rightly 2 think, that what is e3teriori.ed or #er(or,ed 'an only be understood through re(eren'e to what is barred (ro, the signi(ier and (ro, the do,ain o( 'or#oreal legibility) ;ow #re'isely do re#udiated identi(i'ations, identi(i'ations that do not Dshow,D 'ir'u,s'ribe and ,ateriali.e the identi(i'ations that dot ;ere it see,s use(ul to rethink the notion o( gender-as-drag in ter,s o( the analysis o( gender ,elan'holia)1" Gi+en the i'onogra#hi' (igure o( the ,elan'holi' drag Jueen, one ,ight 'onsider whether and how these ter,s work together) ;ere, one ,ight ask also a(ter the disa+owal that o''asions #er(or,an'e and that #er(or,an'e ,ight be said to ena't, where #er(or,an'e engages Da'ting ourD in the #sy'hoanalyti' sense)16 2( ,elan'holia in FreudEs sense is the e((e't o( an ungrie+ed loss (a sustaining o( the lost obFe't1@ther as a #sy'hi' (igure with the 'onseJuen'e o( heightened identi(i'ation with that @ther, sel(-berate,ent, and the a'ting out o( unresol+ed anger and lo+e5, 17 understood as Da'ting out,"
X

,ay be that #er(or,an'e,

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is signi(i'antly related to the #roble, o( una'knowledged loss) Chere there is an ungrie+ed loss in drag #er(or,an'e 4and 2 a, sure that su'h a generali.ation 'annot be uni+ersali.ed5, #erha#s it is a loss that is re(used and in'or#orated in the #er(or,ed identi(i'ation, one that reiterates a gendered ideali.ation and its radi'al uninhabitability) :his is neither a territoriali.ation o( the (e,inine by the ,as'uline nor an Den+yD o( the ,as'uline by the (e,inine, nor a sign o( the essential #lasti'ity o( gender) Chat it does suggest is that gender #er(or,an'e allegori.es a loss it 'annot grie+e, allegori.es the in'or#orati+e (antasy o( ,elan'holia whereby an obFe't is #hantas,ati'ally taken in or on as a way o( re(using to let it go) :he analysis abo+e is a risky one be'ause it suggests that (or a D,anD #er(or,ing (e,ininity or (or a Dwo,anD #er(or,ing ,as'ulinity 4the latter is always, in e((e't, to #er(or, a little less, gi+en that (e,ininity i( o(ten 'ast as the s#e'ta'ular gender5 there is an atta'h,ent to and a loss and re(usal o( the (igure o( (e,ininity by the ,an, or the (igure o( ,as'ulinity by the wo,an) :hus, it is i,#ortant to unders'ore that drag is an e((ort to negotiate 'ross-gendered identi(i'ation, but that 'ross-gendered identi(i'ation is not the e3e,#lary #aradig, (or thinking about ho,ose3uality, although it ,ay be one) 2n this sense, drag allegori.es so,e set o( ,elan'holi' in'or#orati+e (antasies that stabili.e %ender Not only are a +ast nu,ber o( drag #er(or,ers straight, but it would be a ,istake to think that ho,ose3uality is best e3#lained through the #er(or,att+ity that is drag) Chat does see, use(ul in this analysts, howe+er, is that drag e3#oses or allegori.es the ,undane #sy'hi' and #er(or,ati+e #ra'ti'es by whi'h heterose3uali.ed genders (or, the,sel+es through the renun'iation of t*e (ossibility of ho,ose3uality, a (ore'losure that #rodu'es a (ield o( heterose3ual obFe'ts at the sa,e ti,e that it #rodu'es a do,ain o( those who, it would be i,#ossible to love /rag thus allegori.es *eterosexu#l 'el#nc*oly, the ,elan'holy by whi'h a ,as'uline gender is for'ed fro' the re(usal to grie+e the ,as'uline as a #ossibility o( lo+eG a fe'inine %ender is for'ed 4taken on, assu,ed5 through the incor(or#tive (anta ry by whi'h the fe'inine is e3'luded as a #ossible obFe't o( lo+e, an e3'lusion never %rieved, but D#reser+edD through the heightening o( (e,inine identi(i'ation itsel() 2n this sense, the DtruestN lesbian ,elan'holi' is the stri'tly straight wo,an, and the DtruestD gay ,ale ,elan'holi' is the stri'tly straight ,an) Chat drag e3#oses, howe+er, is t*e "nor'#l" 'onstitution o( %ender

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#resentation in whi'h the gender #er(or,ed is in ,any ways 'onstituted by a set o( disa+owed atta'h,ents or identi(i'ations that 'onstitute a di((erent do,ain o( the Dun#er(or,able,D 2ndeed, it ,ay well be that what 'onstitutes the sexu#lly un#er(or,able is #er(or,ed instead as %ender iden: tific#tion}1 :o the e3tent that ho,ose3ual atta'h,ents re,ain una'knowledged within nor,ati+e heterose3ual ity, they are not ,erely 'onstituted as desires that e,erge and subseJuently be'o,e #rohibited) Rather, these are desires that are #ros'ribed (ro, the start) *nd when they do e,erge on the (ar side o( the 'ensor, they ,ay well 'arry that ,ark o( i,#ossibility with the,, #er(or,ing, as it were, as the i,#ossible within the #ossible) *s su'h, they will not be atta'h,ents that 'an be o#enly grie+ed) :his is, then, less t*e refus#l to grie+e 4a (or,ulation that a''ents the 'hoi'e in+ol+ed5 than a #ree,#tion o( grie( #er(or,ed by the absen'e o( 'ultural 'on+entions (or a+owing the loss o( ho,ose3ual lo+e) *nd it is this absen'e that #rodu'es a 'ulture o( heterose3ual ,elan'holy, one that 'an be read in the hy#erboli' identi(i'ations by whi'h ,undane heterose3ual ,as'ulinity and (e,ininity 'on(ir, the,sel+es) :he straight ,an beco'es 4,i,es, 'ites, a##ro#riates, assu,es the status o(5 the ,an he Dne+erD lo+ed and Dne+erD grie+edG the straight wo,an beco'es the wo,an she Dne+erD lo+ed and Dne+erD grie+ed) 2t is in this sense, then, that what is ,ost a##arently #er(or,ed as gender is the sign and sy,#to, o( a #er+asi+e disa+owal) Aoreo+er, it is #re'isely to 'ounter this #er+asi+e 'ultural risk o( gay ,elan'holia 4what the news#a#ers generali.e as Dde#ressionD5 that there has been an insistent #ubli'i.ation and #oliti'i.ation o( grie( o+er those who ha+e died (ro, *2/&G the N*A & ProFe't <uilt is e3e,#lary, rituali.ing and re#eating the na,e itsel( as a way o( #ubli'ally a+owing the li,itless loss)11 2nso(ar as grie( re,ains uns#eakable, the rage o+er the loss 'an redouble by +irtue o( re,aining una+owed) *nd i( that +ery rage o+er loss is #ubli'ally #ros'ribed, the ,elan'holi' e((e'ts o( su'h a #ros'ri#tion 'an a'hie+e sui'idal #ro#ortions) :he e,ergen'e o( 'olle'ti+e institutions (or grie+ing are thus 'ru'ial to sur+i+al, to the reasse,bling o( 'o,,unity, the reworking o( kinshi#, the rewea+ing o( sustaining relations) *nd inso(ar as they in+ol+e the #ubli'i.ation and dra,ati.ation o( death, they 'all to be read as li(e-a((ir,ing reFoinders to the dire #sy'hi' 'onseJuen'es o( a grie+ing #ro'ess 'ulturally thwarted and #ros'ribed)

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GENDERED AND SEXUAL &ERFORMATJV'r

;ow then does one link 'he tro#e by whi'h dis'ourse is des'ribed as D#er(or,ingD and that theatri'al sense o( #er(or,an'e in whi'h the hy#erboli' status o( gender nor,s see,s 'entralK Chat is D#er(or,edD in drag it, o( 'ourse, t*e fi%n o( gender, a sign that is not the sa,e as the body that it (igures, but that 'annot be read without it :he sign, understood as a gender i,#erati+e8-DgirlPD8reads less as an assign,ent than as a 'o,79 ,and and, as su'h, #rodu'es its own insubordinations) :he hy#erboli' 'on(or,ity to the 'o,,and 'an re+eal the hy#erboli' status o( the nor, itsel(( indeed, 'an be'o,e the 'ultural sign by whi'h that 'ultural i,#erati+e ,ight be'o,e legible) 2nso(ar as heterose3ual gender nor,s #rodu'e ina##ro3i,able ideals, heterose3uality 'an be said to o#erate through the regulated #rodu'tion o( hy#erboli' +ersions o( D,anD and Dwo,an)D :hese are (or the ,ost #art 'o,#ulsory #er(or,an'es, ones whi'h none o( us 'hoose, but whi'h ea'h o( us is (or'ed to negotiate) 2 write D(or'ed to negotiateD be'ause the 'o,#ulsory 'hara'ter o( these nor,s does not always ,ake the, e((i'a'ious) &u'h nor,s are 'ontinually haunted by their own ine((i'a'yG hen'e, the an3iously re#eated e((ort to install and aug,ent their Furisdi'tion) :he resigni(i'ation o( nor,s is thus a (un'tion o( their ineffic#cy, and so the Juestion o( sub+ersion, o( ,orAin% t*e ,e#Aness in t*e nor', be'o,es a ,atter o( inhabiting the #ra'ti'es o( its rearti'ulation) :he 'riti'al #ro,ise o( drag does not ha+e to do with the #roli(eration o( genders, as i( a sheer in'rease in nu,bers would do the Fob, but rather with the e3#osure or the (ailure o( heterose3ual regi,es e+er (ully to legislate or 'ontain their own ideals) ;en'e, it is not that drag o((oses heterose3uality, or that the #roli(eration o( drag will bring down heterose3uality, on the 'ontrary, drag tends to be the allegori.ation o( heterose3uality and its 'onstituti+e ,elan'holia) *s an allegory that works through the hy#erboli', drag brings into relie( what is, a(ter all, deter,ined only in relation to the hy#erboli'B the understated, taken-(or-granted Juality o( heterose3ual #er(or,ati+ity) *t its best, then, drag 'an be read (or the way in whi'h hy#erboli' nor,s are dissi,ulated as the heterose3ual ,undane) *t the sa,e ti,e these sa,e nor,s, taken not as 'o,,ands to be obeyed, but as i,#erati+es to be D'ited,D twisted, Jueered, brought into relie( as heterose3ual i,#erati+es, are not, (or that reason, ne'essarily sub+erted in the #ro'ess)

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2t ii i,#ortant to e,#hasi.e that although heterose3uality o#erates in #art through the stabili.ation o( gender nor,s, gender designates a dense site o( signi(i'ations that 'ontain and e3'eed the heterose3ual ,atri3) *lthough (or,s o( se3uality do not unilaterally deter,ine gender, a non'ausal and non-redu'ti+e 'onne'tion between se3uality and gender is ne+ertheless 'ru'ial to ,aintain) Pre'isely be'ause ho,o#hobia o(ten o#erates through the attribution o( a da,aged, (ailed, or otherwise abFe't gender to ho,ose3uals, that is, 'alling gay ,en D(e,inineD or 'alling les=9"9 bians D,as'uline,D and be'ause the ho,o#hobi' terror o+er #er(or,ing ho,ose3ual a'ts, where it e3ists, is o(ten also a terror o+er losing #ro#er gender 4Dno longer being a real or #ro#er ,anD or Dno longer being a real and #ro#er wo,anD5, it see,s 'ru'ial to retain a theoreti'al a##aratus that will a''ount (or how se3uality is regulated through the #oli'ing and the sha,ing o( gender) Ce ,ight want to 'lai, that 'ertain kinds o( se3ual #ra'ti'es link #eo#le ,ore strongly than gender a((iliation,19 but su'h 'lai,s 'an only be negotiated, i( they 'an, in relation to s#e'i(i' o''asions (or a((iliationG there is nothing in either se3ual #ra'ti'e or in gender to #ri+ilege one o+er the other) &e3ual #ra'ti'es, howe+er, will in+ariably be e3#erien'ed di((erentially de#ending on the relations o( gender in whi'h they o''ur) *nd there ,ay be (or,s o( DgenderD within ho,ose3uality whi'h 'all (or a theori.ation that ,o+es beyond the 'ategories o( D,as'ulineD and D(e,inine)D 2( we seek to #ri+ilege se3ual #ra'ti'e as a way o( trans'ending gender, we ,ight ask at what 'ost the #n#lytic se#arability o( the two do,ains is taken to be a distin'tion in (a't) 2s there #erha#s a s#e'i(i' gender #ain that #ro+okes su'h (antasies o( a se3ual #ra'ti'e that would trans'end gender di((eren'e altogether, in whi'h the ,arks o( ,as'ulinity and (e,ininity would no longer be legibleK Could this not be a se3ual #ra'ti'e #aradig,ati'ally (etishisti', trying not to know what it knows, but knowing it all the sa,eK :his Juestion is not ,eant to de,ean the (etish 4where would we be without itK5, but it does ,ean to ask whether it is only a''ording to a logi' o( the (etish that the radi'al se#arability o( se3uality and gender 'an be thought) 2n theories su'h as !atharine Aa'HinnonEs, se3ual relations o( subordination are understood to establish di((erential gender 'ategories, su'h that D,enD are those de(ined in a se3ually do,inating so'ial #osition and Dwo,enD are those de(ined in subordination) ;er highly deter,inisti'

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a''ount lea+es no roo, (or relations o( se3uality to be theori.ed a#art (ro, the rigid (ra,ework o( gender di((eren'e or (or kinds o( se3ual regulation that do not take gender as their #ri,ary obFe'ts 4i)e), the #rohibition o( sodo,y, #ubli' se3, 'onsensual ho,ose3uality5) ;en'e, Gayle RubinEs in(luential distin'tion between the do,ains o( se3uality and gender in D:hinking &e3D and &edgwi'kEs re(or,ulation o( that #osition ha+e 'onstituted i,#ortant theoreti'al o##osition to Aa'HinnonEs deter,inisti' (or, o( stru'turalis,)90 Ay sense is that now this +ery o##osition needs to be rethought in order to ,uddle the lines between Jueer theory and (e,inis,) 9E For surely it is as una''e#table to insist that relations o( se3ual subordination deter,ine gender #osition as it is to se#arate radi'ally (or,s o( se3uality (ro, the workings o( gender nor,s) :he relation between se3ual #ra'ti'e and gender is surely not a stru'turally deter,ined one, but the destabili.ing o( the heterose3ual #resu,#tion o( that +ery stru'turalis, still reJuires a way to think the two in a dyna,i' relation to one another) 2n #sy'hoanalyti' ter,s, the relation between gender and se3uality is in #art negotiated through the Juestion o( the relationshi# between identi(i'ation and desire) *nd here it be'o,es 'lear why re(using to draw lines o( 'ausal i,#li'ation between these two do,ains is as i,#ortant as kee#ing o#en an in+estigation o( their 'o,#le3 interi,#li'ation) For, i( to identi(y as a wo,an is not ne'essarily to desire a ,an, and i( to desire a wo,an does not ne'essarily signal the 'onstituting #resen'e o( a ,as'uline identi(i'ation, whate+er that is, then the heterose3ual ,atri3 #ro+es to be an i'#%in#ry logi' that insistently issues (orth its own un,anag'ability) :he heterose3ual logi' that reJuires that identi(i'ation and desire be ,utually e3'lusi+e is one o( the ,ost redu'ti+e o( heterose3is,Es #sy'hologi'al instru,entsB i( one identi(ies #s a gi+en gender, one ,ust desire a di((erent gender) @n the one hand, there is no one (e,ininity with whi'h to identi(y, whi'h is to say that (e,ininity ,ight itsel( o((er an array o( identi(katory sites, as the #roli(eration o( lesbian (e,,' #ossibilities attests) @n the other hand, it is hardly des'ri#ti+e o( the 'o,#le3 dyna,i' e3'hanges o( lesbian and gay relationshi#s to #resu,e that ho,ose3ual identi(i'ations D,irrorD or re#li'ate one another) :he +o'abulary (or des'ribing the di((i'ult #lay, 'rossing, and destabili3ation o( ,as'uline and (e,inine identi(i'ations within ho,ose3uality has only begun to e,erge within theoreti'al languageB the non-a'ade,i' language histori'ally

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e,bedded in gay 'o,,unities is here ,u'h ,ore instru'ti+e) :he thought o( se3ual di((eren'e ,it*in ho,ose3uality has yet to be theori.ed in its 'o,#le3ity) For one de'iding issue will be whether so'ial strategies o( regulation, abFe'tion, and nor,ali.ation will not 'ontinue to relink gender and se3uality su'h that the o##ositional analysis will 'ontinue to be under #ressure to theori.e their interrelations) :his will not be the sa,e as redu'ing gender to #re+ailing (or,s o( se3ual relations su'h that one DisD the e((e't o( the se3ual #osition one is said to o''u#y) Resisting su'h a redu'tion, it ought to be #ossible to assert a set o( non-'ausal and non-redu'ti+e relations between gender and se3uality, not only to link (e,inis, and Jueer theory, as one ,ight link two se#arate enter#rises, but to establish their 'onstituti+e interrelationshi#) &i,ilarly, the inJuiry into both ho,ose3uality and gender will, need to 'ede the #riority o( bot* ter,s in the ser+i'e o( a ,ore 'o,#le3 ,a##ing o( #ower that interrogates the (or,ation o( ea'h in s#e'i(ied ra'ial regi,es and geo#oliti'al s#atiali.ations) *nd the task, o( 'ourse, does not sto# here, (or no one ter, 'an ser+e as (oundational, and the su''ess o( any gi+en analysis that 'enters on any one ter, ,ay well be the ,arking o( its own li,itations as an e3'lusi+e #oint o( de#arture) :he goal o( this analysis, then, 'annot be #ure sub+ersion, as i( an under,ining were enough to establish and dire't #oliti'al struggle) Rather than denaturali.ation or #roli(eration, it see,s that the Juestion (or thinking dis'ourse and #ower in ter,s o( the (uture has se+eral #aths to (ollow, how to think #ower as resigni(i'ation together with #ower as the 'on+ergen'e or interartidilation o( relations o( regulation, do,ination, 'onstitutionK ;ow to know what ,ight Juali(y as an a((ir,ati+e resigni(i'ation8with all the weight and di((i'ulty o( that labor8and how to run the risk o( reinstalling the abFe't at the site o( its o##ositionK But how, also, to rethink the ter,s that establish and sustain bodies that ,atterK :he (il, 2#ris .s 3urnin% has been interesting to read less (or the ways in whi'h it de#loys denaturali.ing strategies to reideali.e whiteness and heterose3ual gender nor,s than (or the less stabili.ing rearti'ulations o( kinshi# it o''asioned) :he drag balls the,sel+es at ti,es #rodu'e high (e,ininity as a (un'tion o( whiteness and de(le't ho,ose3uality through a transgendering that reide#li+es 'ertain bourgeois (or,s o( heterose3ual e3'hange) *nd yet, i( those #er(or,an'es are not i,,ediately or ob+iously sub+ersi+e, it ,ay be that it is rather in the refor'ul#tion of Ains*i(, in

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#arti'ular, the rede(ining o( the DhouseD and its (or,s o( 'olle'ti+ity, ,othering, ,o##ing, reading, and be'o,ing legendary, that the a##ro#riation and rede#loy,ent o( the 'ategories o( do,inant 'ulture enable the (or,ation o( kinshi# relations that (un'tion Juite su##orti+ely as o##ositional dis'ourse) 2n this sense, it would be interesting to read 2#ris .s 3urnin% against, say, Nan'y !hodorowEs T*e Ce(roduction of "ot*erin% and ask what ha##ens to #sy'hoanalysis and kinshi# as a result) 2n the (or,er, the 'ategories like DhouseD and D,otherD are deri+ed (ro, that (a,ily s'ene, but also de#loyed to (or, alternati+e households and 'o,,unity) :his resi%nific#tion ,arks the workings o( an agen'y that is 4a5 not the sa,e as +oluntaris,, and that 4b5 though i'(lic#ted in the +ery relations o( #ower it seeks to ri+al, is not, as a 'onseJuen'e, redu'ible to those do,inant (or,s) Per(or,ati+ity des'ribes this relation o( being i,#li'ated in that whi'h one o##oses, this turning o( #ower against itsel( to #rodu'e alternati+e ,odalities o( #ower, to establish a kind o( #oliti'al 'ontestation that is not a D#ureD o##osition, a Dtrans'enden'eD o( 'onte,#orary relations o( #ower, but a di((i'ult labor o( (orging a (uture (ro, resour'es ine+itably i,#ure) ;ow will we know the di((eren'e between the #ower we #ro,ote and the #ower we o##oseK 2s it, one ,ight reFoin, a ,atter o( DknowingKD For one is, as it were, in #ower e+en as one o##oses it, (or,ed by it as one reworks it, and it is this si,ultaneity that is at on'e the 'ondition o( our #artiality, the ,easure o( our #oliti'al unknowingness, and also the 'ondition o( a'tion itsel() :he in'al'ulable e((e'ts of a'tion are as ,u'h a #art o( their sub+ersi+e #ro,ise as those that we #lan in ad+an'e) :he e((e'ts o( #er(or,ati+es, understood as dis'ursi+e #rodu'tions, do not 'on'lude at the ter,inus o( a gi+en state,ent or utteran'e, the #assing o( legislation, the announ'e,ent o( a birth) :he rea'h o( their signi(iability 'annot be 'ontrolled by the one who utters or writes, sin'e su'h #rodu'tions are not owned by the one who utters the,) :hey 'ontinue to signi(y in s#ite o( their authors, and so,eti,es against their authorsE ,ost #re'ious intentions) 2t is one o( the a,bi+alent i,#li'ations o( the de'entering o( the subFe't to ha+e oneEs writing be the site o( a ne'essary and ine+itable e3#ro#riation) But this yielding o( ownershi# o+er what one writes has an i,#ortant set o( #oliti'al 'orollaries, (or the taking u#, re(or,ing, de(or,ing o( oneEs words

B@/2 & :;*: A*:: R

does o#en u# a di((i'ult (uture terrain o( 'o,,unity, one in whi'h the ho#e o( e+er (ully re'ogni.ing onesel( in the ter,s by whi'h one signi(ies is sure to be disa##ointed) :his not owning o( oneEs words is there (ro, the start, howe+er, sin'e s#eaking is always in so,e ways the s#eaking o( a stranger through and as onesel(, the ,elan'holi' reiteration o( a language that one ne+er 'hose, that one does not (ind as an instru,ent to be used, but that one is, as it were, used by, e3#ro#riated in, as the unstable and 'ontinuing 'ondition o( the DoneD and the Dwe,D the a,bi+alent 'ondition o( the #ower that binds)

NOTES

PREFACE

1) 0udith Butler, Gender Trouble Ke'inis' #nd tbe 7ubversion of .dentity 4New YorkB Routledge, 19905)
INTRODUCTION

1) !le#rly, sex is not the only su'h nor, by whi'h bodies be'o,e ,ateriali.ed, and it i( un'lear whether Dse3D 'an o#erate as a nor, a#art (ro, other nor,ati+e reJuire,ents on bodies) :his will be'o,e 'lear in later se'tions of this te3t 1 *bFe'tion 4in latin, #b:)icere6 literally ,eans to 'ast o((, away, or out and, hen'e, #resu##oses and #rodu'es a do,ain o( agen'y (ro, whi'h it is di((erentiated) ;ere the 'asting away resonates with the #sy'hoanalyti' notion o( Ger,erfun%, i,#lying a (ore'losure whi'h (ounds the subFe't and whi'h, a''ordingly, establishes that (oundation as tenuous) Chereas the #sy'hoanalyti' notion of Ger,erfun%, translated as D(ore'losure,D #rodu'es so'iality through a re#udiation o( a #ri,ary signi(ier whi'h #rodu'es an un'ons'ious or, in La'anEs theory, the register of the real, the notion of #b)ection designates a degraded or 'ast out status within the ter,s o( so'iality) 2ndeed, what is (ore'losed or re#udiated ,it*in #sy'hoanalyti' ter,s is #re'isely what ,ay not reenter the (ield of the so'ial without threatening #sy'hosis, that is, the dissolution of the subFe't itsel() 1 want to #ro#ose that 'ertain abFe't .ones within so'iality also deli+er this threat, 'onstituting .ones o( uninhabilability whi'h a subFe't (antasi.es as threatening its own integrity with the #ros#e't of a #sy'hoti' dissolution 4D2 would rather die than do or be thatPD5) &ee the entry under DFor'lusionD in 0ean La#lan'he and 0)-B) Pon talis, Goc#bul#ire de l# (sycb#n#lyse 4ParisB Presses %ni+ersitaires de Fran'e, 197?5 ##) 173-17?) #) &ee &herry @rtner, D2s Fe,ale to Aale as Nature is to !ultureKD, in >o'#n, $ulture, #nd 7ociety, Ai'hele Rosaldo and Louise La,#here 4&tan(ordB &tan(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19?"5 ##) 7?-==)

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For di((erent but related a##roa'hes to this #roble,ati' o( e3'lusion, abFe'tion, and the 'reation o( Dthe hu,an,D see 0ulia Hriste+a, 2o,ers of <orror !n Ess#y on 9f#ction, tr) Leon Roudie. 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, 19=95G 0ohn Flet'her and *ndrew BenFa,in, eds), !b)ection, "el#nc*oli# #nd ?ove4 T*e >orA of Juli# Pristev# 4New York and LondonB Routledge, 19905G 0ean- Fran'ois Lyotard, T*e .n*u'#n4 Ceflections on Ti'e, tr) Geo((rey Bennington and Ra'hel Bowlby 4&tan(ordB &tan(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19915) For a +ery #ro+o'ati+e reading whi'h shows how the #roble, o( linguisti' re(erentiality is linked with the s#e'i(i' #roble, o( re(erring to bodies, and what ,ight be ,eant by Dre(eren'eD in su'h a 'ase, see !athy !aruth, D:he !lai,s o( Re(eren'e,D T*e Q#A Journ#l of $riticis', +ol ", no) 1 4Fall 19905B ##) 193-907) 7) *lthough Fou'ault distinguishes between Furidi'al and #rodu'ti+e ,odels o( #ower in T*t <istory of 7exu#lity Golu'e 8ne, tr) Robert ;urley 4New YorkB Iintage, 19?=5, 2 ha+e argued that the two ,odels #resu##ose ea'h other) :he #rodu'tion o( a subFe't8its subFe'tion 9#ssu)etisse'ent68is one ,eans o( its regulation) &ee ,y D&e3ual 2n+ersionsNN in /o,na &tanton, ed)) &iscourses of 7exu#lity 4*nn *rbor %ni+ersity o( Ai'higan Press, 19995, ##) 6""-371) K) 2t is not si,#ly a ,atter o( 'onstruing #er(or,ati+ity as a re#etition o( a'ts, as i( Da'tsD re,ain inta't and sel(-identi'-al as they are re#eated in ti,e, and where Dti,eD is understood as e3ternal to the Da'tsD the,sel+es) @n the 'ontrary, an a't is itsel( a re#etition, a sedi,entation, and 'ongeal,ent o( the #ast whi'h is #re'isely (ore'losed in its a't-like status) 2n this sense an Da'tD is always a #ro+isional (ailure o( ,e,ory) 2n what (ollows, 1 ,ake use o( the La'anian notion that e+ery a't is to be 'onstrued as a re#etition, the re#etition o( what 'annot be re'olle'ted, o( the irre'o+erable, and is thus the haunting s#e'tre o( the subFe'ts de'onstitution) :he /erridean notion o( irerabiliry, (or,ulated in res#onse to the theori.ation o( s#ee'h a'ts by 0ohn &earle and 0LL) *ustin, also i,#lies that e+ery a't is itsel( a re'itation, the 'iting o( a #rior 'hain o( a'ts whi'h are i,#lied in a #resent a't and whi'h #er#etually drain any D#resentD a't o( its #resentness) &ee note 9 below (or the di((eren'e between a re#etition in the ser+i'e o( the (antasy o( ,astery 4La, a re#etition o( a'ts whi'h build the subFe't, and whi'h are said to be the 'onstru'ti+e or 'onstituting a'ts o( a subFe't5 and a notion ot re#earion-'o,#ul-sio.i, taken (ro, Freud, whi'h breaks a#art that (antasy o( ,astery and sets its li,its) =) :he notion o( te,#orality ought nor to be 'onstrued as a si,#le su''ession ot distin't D,o,entsNN all o( whi'h are eJually distant (ro, one another) &u'h a s#anah.ed ,a##ing o( ti,e substitutes a 'ertain ,athe,ati'al ,odel tor the kind o( duration whi'h resists su'h s#atiali.ing ,eta#hors) ((orts to des'ribe or na,e this te,#oral s#an tend to engage s#atial ,a##ing, as

NOTES :@ 2N:R@/%!:2@N

245

#hiloso#hers (ro, Bergson through ;eidegger ha+e argued) ;en'e, it is i,#ortant to unders'ore the e((e't of sedi'ent#tion that the te,#orality o( 'onstru'tion i,#lies) ;ere what are 'alled D,o,entsEE are not distin't and eJui+alent units o( ti,e, (or the D#astD will be the a''u,ulation and 'ongealing o( su'h D,o,entsD to the #oint o( their indistinguishability) But it will also 'onsist o( that whi'h is re(used (ro, 'onstru'tion, the do,ains o( the re#ressed, (orgotten, and the irre'o+erably (ore'losed) :hat whi'h is not in'luded8 e3teriori.ed by boundary8as a #heno,enal 'onstituent o( the sedi,ented e((e't 'alled D'onstru'tionD will be as 'ru'ial to its de(inition as that whi'h is in'ludedG this e3teriority is not distinguishable as a D,o,entD 2ndeed, the notion o( the D,o,entD ,ay well be nothing other than a retros#e'ti+e (antasy o( ,athe,ati'al ,astery i,#osed u#on the interru#ted durations o( the #ast) :o argue that 'onstru'tion is (unda,entally a ,atter o( iteration is to ,ake the te,#oral ,odality o( D'onstru'tionD into a #riority) :o the e3tent that su'h a theory reJuires a s#atiali.ation o( ti,e through the #ostulation o( dis'rete and bounded ,o,ents, this te,#oral a''ount o( 'onstru'tion #resu##oses a s#atiali.ation o( te,#orality itsel(, what one ,ight, (ollowing ;eidegger, understand as the redu'tion o( te,#orality to ti,e) :he Fou'aultian e,#hasis on conver%ent relations o( #ower 4whi'h ,ight in a tentati+e way be 'ontrasted with the /erridean e,#hasis on iterability5 i,#lies a ,a##ing o( #ower relations that in the 'ourse o( a genealogi'al #ro'ess (or, a 'onstru'ted e((e't) :he notion o( 'on+ergen'e #resu##oses both ,otion and s#a'eG as a result, it a##ears to elude the #arado3 noted abo+e in whi'h the +ery a''ount o( te,#orality reJuires the s#atiali.ation o( the D,o,entD @n the other hand, Fou'aultEs a''ount o( 'on+ergen'e does not (ully theori.e what is at work in the D,o+e,entD by whi'h #ower and dis'ourse are said to 'on+erge) 2n a sense, the D,a##ingD o( #ower does not (ully theori.e te,#orality) &igni(i'antly, the /erridean analysis o( iterability is to be distinguished (ro, si,#le re#etition in whi'h the distan'es between te,#oral D,o,entsD are treated as uni(or, in their s#atial e3tension) :he DbetweennessD that di((erentiates D,o,entsD o( ti,e is not one that 'an, within /erridean ter,s, be s#atiali.ed or bounded as an identi(iable obFe't) 2t is the nonthe,ati.able di((eran'e whi'h erodes and 'ontests any and all 'lai,s to dis'rete identity, in'luding the dis'rete identity o( the D,o,ent)D Chat di((erentiates ,o,ents is not a s#atially e3tended duration, (or i( it were, it would also 'ount as a D,o,ent,D and so (ail to a''ount (or what (alls between ,o,ents) :his Dentre,D that whi'h is at on'e DbetweenD and Doutside,D is so,ething like nonthe,ati.able s#a'e and non-the,ati.able ti,e as they 'on+erge) Fou'aultEs language o( 'onstru'tion in'ludes ter,s like Daug,entation,D D#roli(eration,D and D'on+ergen'e,D all o( whi'h #resu,e a te,#oral do,ain not e3#li'itly theori.ed) Part o( the #roble, here is that whereas Fou'ault a##ears to want his a''ount o( genealogi'al e((e'ts to be histori'ally s#e'i(i', he would (a+or an a''ount o( genealogy o+er a #hiloso#hi'al a''ount o( te,#orality) 2n D:he &ubFe't and PowerD 4;ubert /rey(us and Paul Rabinow,

246

B@/2 & :;*: A*:: R

eds), "ic*el Kouc#ult4 3eyond 7tructur#lis' #nd <er'eneutics S!hi'agoB Northwestern %ni+ersity Press, 19=3R5, Fou'ault re(ers to Dthe di+ersity o()) )logi'al seJuen'eD that 'hara'teri.es #ower relations) ;e would doubtless reFe't the a##arent linearity i,#lied by ,odels o( iterability whi'h link the, with the linearity o( older ,odels o( histori'al seJuen'e) *nd yet, we do not re'ei+e a s#e'i(i'ation o( DseJuen'eDB 2s it the +ery notion o( DseJuen'eD that +aries histori'ally, or are there 'on(igurations o( seJuen'e that +ary, with seJuen'e itsel( re,aining in+ariantK :he s#e'i(i' so'ial (or,ation and (iguration o( te,#orality is in so,e ways unattended by both #ositions) ;ere one ,ight 'onsult the work o( Pierre Bourdieu to understand the te,#orality o( so'ial 'onstru'tion) 9) &ee 0)L) *ustin, <o, to &o T*in%s >it* >ords, 0)@) %r,son and Aarina &bisa, eds) 4!a,bridge, Aass)B ;ar+ard %ni+ersity Press, 19665, and 2*iloso(*ic#l 2#(ers 4@3(ordB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19715, es#e'ially ##) 933-969G &hoshana Fel,an, T*e ?iter#ry 7(eec*:!ct4 &on Ju#n ,it* J ? !ustin, or 7eduction in T,o ?#n%u#%es, tr) !atherine Porter 42tha'aB !ornell %ni+ersity Press, 19=35G Barbara 0ohnson, DPoetry and Per(or,ati+e LanguageB Aallar,e and *ustin,D in T*e $ritic#l &ifference4 Ess#ys in t*e $onte'(or#ry C*etoric of Ce#din% 4Balti,oreB 0ohns ;o#kins %ni+ersity Press, 19=05, ##) 6977G Aary Louise Pratt, ! 7(eec* !ct T*eory of ?iter#ry &iscourse 4Bloo,ingtonB 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press, 19??5G and Ludwig Cittgenstein, 2*iloso(*ic#l .nvesti%#tions, tr) G) )A) *ns'o,be 4New YorkB Aa',illan, 196=5, #art 1) 10) 0a'Jues /errida, D&ignature, +ent, !onte3t,D in ?i'ited, .nc , Gerald Gra((, ed)G tr) &a,uel Ceber and 0e((rey Aehl,an 4 +anstonB Northwestern %ni+ersity Press, 19==5, #) 1=) 11)&ee Ai'hel Bor'h-0a'obsen, T*e Kreudi#n 7ub)ect, tr) !atherine Porter 4&tan(ordB &tan(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19==5) Chereas Bor'h-0a'obsen o((ers an interesting theory o( how identi(i'ation #re'edes and (or,s the tRo, he tends to assert the #riority o( identi(i'ation to any libidinal e3#erien'e, where 2 would insist that identi(i'ation is itsel( a #assionate or libidinal assi,ilation) &ee also the use(ul distin'tion between an i,itati+e ,odel and a ,i,eti' ,odel o( identi(i'ation in Ruth Leys, D:he Real Aiss Beau'ha,#B Gender and the &ubFe't o( 2,itationD in 0udith Butler and 0oan &'ott, eds), Ke'inists T*eori+e t*e 2olitic#l 4New YorkB Routledge, 19995, ##) 17?-91"G HaFa &il+er,an, "#le 7ub)ectivity #t t*e "#r%ins 4New YorkB Routledge, 19995, ##) 979-9?0G Aary *nn /oane, DAisre'ognition and 2dentity,D in Ron Burnett, ed), Ex(lor#tions in Kil' T*eory4 7elected Ess#ys fro' $ine:Tr#cts 4Bloo,ingtonB 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press, 19915, ##) 16-96G and /iana Fuss, DFreudEs Fallen Co,enB 2denti(i'ation, /esire, and E* !ase o( ;o,ose3uality in a Co,an,ED in T*e Q#le Journ#l of $riticis', +oL 7, no) 1, 419935B ##) 1-93)

19) &ig,und Freud, T*e E%o #nd t*e .d, 0a,es &tra'hey, edG tr) 0oan Ri+iere 4New

NOTES TO INTRODUCTION

2(

YorkB Norton, 29705, #) 17) 19) Niet.s'he argues that the ideal o( God was #rodu'ed DSiRn the sa,e ,easureD as a hu,an sense o( (ailure and wret'hedness, and that the #rodu'tion o( God was, indeed, the ideali.ation whi'h instituted and reen(br'ed that wret'hednessG see Friedri'h Niet.s'he, 8' tbe Gene#lo%y of "or#ls, tr) Calter Raui,ann 4New York Iintage, 19795, se'tion 90) :hat die sy,boli' law in La'an #rodu'es D(ailureD to a##ro3i,ate the se3ed ideals e,bodied and en(or'ed by the law, is usually understood as a #ro,ising sign that the law is not (ully e((i'a'ious, that it does not e3hausti+ely 'onstitute the #sy'he o( any gi+en subFe't) *nd yet, to what e3tent does this 'on'e#tion o( the law #rodu'e the +ery (ailure that it seeks to order, and ,aintain an ontologi'al distan'e between the laws and its (ailed a##ro3i,ations su'h that the de+iant a##ro3i,ations ha+e no #ower to alter the workings o( the law itsel(K 1") 2 take seriously the 'ritiJue o( La'an whi'h unders'ores the li,ited and #hallogo'entri' i,#li'ations o( the s#e'ular ,odel in :he Airror &tageD in 'ha#ter 9) ; 16) &ee Ai'hael @,i and ;oward Cin ant) C#ci#l Kor'#tion in tbe Hnited 7t#tes4 Kro' 1961s to tbe 1981s 4New YorkB Routledge, 19=75) &ee also *nthony *##iah, D:he %n'o,#leted *rgu,ent /u Bois and the 2llusion o( Ra'e,D in ;enry Louis Gates, 0t, ed), ;C#cc/, >ritin% #nd &ifference 4!hi'agoB %ni+ersity o( !hi'ago Press, 19=75, ##) 91-3?G !olette Guillau,in, DRa'e and NatureB :he &yste, o( Aarks,D Ke'inist 7tudies, +ol =, no)9, 4Fall, 19==5B ##)96-""G /a+id Lloyd, DRa'e %nder Re#resentation,D 8xford ?iter#ry Cevie, 13 4&#ring 19915B ##) 79-9"G &yl+ia Cynter, D@n /isen'hanting /is'ourseB EAinorityE Literary !riti'is, and Beyond,D in *bdul R) 0anAoha,,ed and /a+id Lloyd, eds), Tbe 7#ture #nd $ontext of "inority &iscourse 4New YorkB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19905, ##) "39-"79) *gain, to 'lai, that ra'e is #rodu'ed, 'onstru'ted or e+en that it has a (i'-ri+e status is not to suggest that it is arti(i'ial or dis#ensable) Patri'ia Cillia,s 'on'ludes Tbe !lc*e'y of C#ce #nd Ci%*ts with a #hrase whi'h unders'ores that the rhetori'al 'onstru'tions o( ra'e are li+edB N* 'o,#le3ity o( ,essages i,#lied in our beingD 4!a,bridgeB ;ar+ard %ni+ersity Press, 19915, #) 937) 2n a #osts'ri#t entided D* Cord on !ategoriesD she re,arks, DChile being bla'k has been the ,ost #ower(ul so'ial attribution in ,y li(e, it is only one o( a nu,ber o( go+erning narrati+es or #residing (i'tions by whi'h 1 a, 'onstandy re'on(iguring ,ysel( in the worldD4#)9675) ;ere the attribution o( being bla'k 'onstitutes not only one o( ,any D#residing (i'tions,D but it is a 'obili+in% (i'tion, one Dby whi'hD her re(le3i+e re'on(iguration #ro'eeds) ;ere the attribution, howe+er (i'ti+e, is not only D#residingD, that is, a 'ontinuous and #ower(ul (ra,ework, but it is also, #arado3i'ally and with #ro,ise, a resource, the ,eans by ,*ic* her trans(or,ation be'o,es #ossible) 2 'ite these lines here to unders'ore that 'alling ra'e a 'onstru'tion or

18

BODIES THAT MATTER

an attribution in no way de#ri+es the ter, o( its (or'e in li(eG on the 'ontrary, i( be'o,es #re'isely a #residing and indis#ensable (or'e within #oliti'ally saturated dis'ourses in whi'h the ter, ,ust 'ontinually be resigni(ird #ftiinst its ra'ist usages, 17) &e' Gayatri !hakra+orty &#i+ak, D&'attered &#e'ulations on the <uestion o( IalueD and D&ubaltern &tudiesB ?99= /e'onstru'ting ;istoriogra#hy,D in .n 8t*er >orlds4 Ess#ys in $ultur#l 2olitics 4New YorkB Routledg', 19=?5G and D!an the &ubaltern &#eakKD in !ary Nelson and Lawren'e Goldberg, 'da,, "#rxis' #nd t*e .nter(ret#tion of $ulture 4%rbanaB 03 %ni+ersity of 2llinois Press, 19==5G :eFaswini NiranFana, <istory, 2ost 7tructur#lis', #nd t*e $oloni#l $ontext 4BerkeleyB %ni+ersity o( !ali(ornia Press, 19995G !handra :al#ade Aohanry, D!artogra#hies o( &truggleB :hird Corld Co,en and the Politi's o( Fe,inis,D and D%nder Cestern yesB Fe,inist &'holarshi# and !olonial /is'oursesD in !handra Aohanty, *nn Russo, and ()ourd's :orres, eds), T*ird >orld >o'en #nd t*e 2olities of Ke'inis' 4Bloo,ingtonB 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press, 19915, ##, 1-=0G Lisa Lowe, $ritic#l Terr#ins4 Krenc* #nd 3ritis* 8rient#lis's 42tha'aB !ornell 31"7 %ni+ersity Press, 19915) 1?) +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k, E(iste'olo%y of t*e $losett 4BerkeleyB %ni+ersity of !ali(ornia Press, 19905) 1=) +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k, D*'ross Gender, *'ross &e3ualityB Cills !arhet and @thers,D 7out* !tl#ntic Lu#rterly, +ol) ==B no 1 4Cinter 19=95G ##) 63-?9)
10?9

19)Fou'ault argues that #sy'hoanalysis ,aintains a re#ressi+e law whi'h i(( Furidi'al in (or,, that is, negati+e, regulatory, and restri'ti+e) *nd Fou'ault asks where the
?=

desire said to be Dre#ressedD by the law is not itsel( the e((e't, the #rodu't, the in'ited result o( that law) Fou'aultEs thinly +eiled 'hara'teri.ation o( Dthe law o( desireD in La'an (ails to take a''ount o( the generati+e e((e'ts o( that law within #sy'hoanalyti' theory) 2n the (ollowing 'hara'teri.ation o( #sy'hoanalysis, Fou'ault argues that the sa,e ,odel o( #ower is to be (ound in #sy'hoanalyti' #ositions that i,#ure a #r'dis'ursi+e srarus to 2 re#ressed se3uality and those that understand desire itsel( as the effect o( #rohibitionB Chat distinguishes the analysis ,ade in ter,s o( the re#ression of instin's (ro, that ,ade in ter,s o( the law o( desire is 'learly the way in whi'h they Ysen 'on'ei+e of #ower) :hey both rely on a 'o,,on re#resentation o( #ower whi'h, de#ending on the use ,ade of i( and the #osition 2t is a''orded with res#e't to desire, leadN ro two 'ontrary resultN either to the #ro,ise o( a Dliberation,D i( #ower is seen u ha+ing only an asternal hold on de+ire, ot, i( i( is 'onstituti+e of desire itsel(, to the #ffir'#tion4 you #te alwsys-alrsady tr#((ed

-Tbe <istory of 7exu#lity, Golu'e 8ne, ##) =9-=3R) Fou'ault then 'hirat(eri.es

NOTES TO CHAPTER I

249

the La'anian law in ter,s o( a Furidi'al #er(or,ati+eB D2t s#eaks, and that is the ruleD 4#) =35, this law is D,onotonous)))see,ingly doo,ed to re#eat itsel()D ;ere Fou'ault #resu,es that this re#etition is a re#etition o( what is sel(-identi'al) ;en'e, Fou'ault understands the #er(or,ati+e and re#etiti+e workings o( the La'anian law to #rodu'e uni(or, and ho,ogenous subFe'tsG the nor,ali.ed DsubFe'tsD o( re#ression) But re#etition is not subFe'ti+ating in La'an in the way that Fou'ault i,#lies) 2n (a't, re#etition is not only the ,ark that subFe'ti+ation has in so,e sense f#iled to o''ur, but that it is itsel( a (urther instan'e o( that (ailing) :hat whi'h re#eats in the subFe't is that whi'h is radi'ally e3'luded (ro, the (or,ation o( the subFe't, that whi'h threatens the boundary and the 'oheren'e o( the subFe't itsel() 2n this way, La'an (ollows FreudEs analysis o( re#etition 'o,#ulsion in 3eyond t*e 2le#sure 2rinci(le 2n that te3t, Freud argues that 'ertain (or,s o( re#etition 'o,#ulsion 'ould not be understood in the ser+i'e o( a (antasy o( '#sterin% trau,ati' ,aterial, but rather were in the ser+i'e o( a death dri+e whi'h sought to undo or de-'athe't the ego itsel() 2n La'an, re#etition is #re'isely that whi'h under,ines the (antasy o( ,astery asso'iated with the ego, a Dresistan'e o( the subFe'tD ;e des'ribes this e((ort to regain the (antasi.ed #la'e #rior to ego-(or,ation as the ai, o( re#etition, where re#etition is the de'onstituting o( the egoB DRe#etition (irst a##ears in a (or, that is not 'lear, that is not sel(-e+ident, like a re#rodu'tion, or a ,aking #resent, in #ct " :hat e+ery a't is in so,e sense a re#etition o( what is irrecover#ble is ,ade #lain in the (ollowingB D*n a't, a true a't, always has an ele,ent o( stru'ture, by the (a't o( 'on'erning a real that is not sel(-e+idently 'aught u# in itD 4'ited in 0a'Jues La'an, T*e Kour Kund#'ent#l $once(ts of 2syc*o#n#lysis, ed) 0a'Jues-*lain Ailler, tr) *lan &heridan SNew YorkB Norton, 19?=R, #) "9)
CHAPTER I ) BODIES THAT MATTER

1)Gianni Iatti,o, D*u dela du ,atiere et du te3t,D in "#tiere et 2*iloso(*ie 4ParisB !entre Georges Po,#idou, 19=95, #) 6) 9)For a (urther dis'ussion on how to ,ake use o( #oststru'turalis, to think about the ,aterial inFuries su((ered by wo,enEs bodies, see the (inal se'tion o( ,y D!ontingent FoundationsB Fe,inis, and the <uestion o( Post,odernis,,D in 0udith Butler and 0oan &'ott, eds), Ke'inists T*eori+e t*e 2olitic#l 4New YorkB Routledge5, 1999, ##) 1?-19G see also in that sa,e +olu,e, &haron Aar'us, DFighting Bodies, Fighting CordsB * :heory and Politi's o( Ra#e Pre+ention,D ##) 3=6-"03) 3)0a'Jues /errida, 2ositions, *lan Bass, ed) 4!hi'agoB %ni+ersity o( !hi'ago, 19?=5, #) 7") @n the (ollowing #age, he writesB D2 will not say whether the 'on'e#t o( ,atter is ,eta#hysi'al or non,eta#hysi'al) :his de#ends u#on

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the work to whi'h it yields, and you know that 2 ha+e un'easingly insisted, as 'on'erns the nonideal e3teriority o( the writing, the gra,, the tra'e, the te3t) et') u#on the ne'essity o( ne+er se#arating the, (ro, r+ri) a +alue itsel( to be thought outside its ;egelian a((iliationsD 4#)761 ") For a 'o,#elling analysis o( how the (or,, ,atter distin'tion be'o,es essential to the arti'ulation o( a ,as'ulinist #oliti's, see Cendy BrownEs dis'ussion o( Aa'hia+elli in "#n*ood #nd 2olitics 4:otowa, N) 0M Row,an Z Litde(ield) 19==T ##- =?-91) 6) &ee Aar3Es (irst thesis on Feuerba'h, in whi'h he 'alls (or a ,aterialis, whi'h 'an a((ir, the #ra'ti'al a'ti+ity that stru'tures and inheres in the obFe't as #art o( that obFe'ts obFe'ti+ity and ,aterialityB D:he 'hie( de(e't o( all #re+ious ,aterialis, 4in'luding Feuerba'hV5 is that the obFe't, a',alit+, sensuousness is 'on'ei+ed only in the (or, o( the ob)ect or (erce(tion 9!'sc*#nunS but not as sensuous *u'#n #ctivity, (r#ctice 52r#xis6; not subFe'ti+elyD 4Harl Aar3, ; /rititt%s of t*e Qoun% "#ne #' 2*iloso(*y #n) 7ociety t' Lloyd /) aston and Hurt ri Guddat SNew York /oubledNKG 197?R, #i "001 2( ,aterialis, were to take a''ount o( #ra3is as that whi'h 'onstitutes the +ery ,atter o( obFe'ts, and #ra3is is understood as so'ially trans(or,ati+e a'ti+ity, then su'h a'ti+ity is understood as 'onstituti+e o( ,ateriality itsel() :he a'ti+ity #ro#er to (r#xis, howe+er, reJuires the trans(or,ation o( so,e obFe't (ro, a (or,er state to a latter state, usually understood as its trans(or,ation (ro, a natural to a so'ial state, but also understood as a trans(or,ation o( an alienated so'ial state to a non-alienated so'ial state) 2n either 'ase) a''ording to this new kind o( ,aterialis, that Aar3 #ro#oses, the obFe't is not only trans(or,ed, but in so,e signi(i'ant sense, the obFe't is trans(or,ati+e a'ti+ity itsel( and, (urther, its ,ateriality is established through this te,#oral ,o+e,ent (ro, a #rior to a latter state) 2n other words, the obFe't '#teri#li+es to the e3tent that it is a site o( te'(or#l tr#nsf#r/'#sio' :he ,ateriality o( obFe'ts, then, is in no sense stati', s#atial, or gi+en, but is 'onstituted in and as trans(or,ati+e a'ti+ity For a (uller elaboration o( the te,#orality o( ,atter, see also rnst Bloeh, T*e 2ri'i(le of/<i;f;I tr, Ne+ille Plai'e, &te#hen Plai'e, and Paul Hnight 4!a,bridge, Aass,B A2: Press, C&o[ 0ean-Fran'ois Lyotard, T*t .n*u'#n Cefl#tions on Ti'e, ##) =-93) 7) *ristotle, N/e *ni ,a)D :he 3#sic >orAs of !ristotle, tr, Ri'hard A'Heon 4New YorkB Rando, ;ouse, 19"15, bk)0, 'h0, "19a 10, r+ 6&&) &ubseJuent 'itations (ro, *ristotle will be (ro, this edition and to standard #aragra#h nu,bering only) ?) &ee :ho,as LiJueur, "#Ain% 7ex4 3ody #nd Gender fro' t*e GneeAs to Kreud 4!a,bridge, Aass)B ;ar+ard %ni+ersity Press, 19905N #) 9Z G0%t Lloyd, 7cience, KolAlore, .deolo%y 4!a,bridgeB !a,bridge %ni+ersity Press, 19=35) &ee also +elyn Fo3 Heller, Re(le'tions on Gender #nd 7cience 4New ;a+enB Yale

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%ni+ersity Press, 19=65G Aary @EBrien, T*e 2olitics of Ce(roduction 4LondonB Routledge, 19=15) =) *ristotle, D/e *ni,a,D bk)9, 'h)l, "19b?-=) 9) Fou'ault, T*e <istory of 7exu#lity, Golu'e 8ne, #) 169) @riginalB DNon #as done Ehistoire des ,entalitesE Jui ne tiendrait 'o,#te des 'or#s Jue #ar la ,aniere dont on les a#er'ues ou dont on leur a donne sens et +aleurG ,ais Ehistoire des 'or#sE et de la ,aniere dont on a investi 'e Ju3il y a de #lus '#teri#l, de #lus +i+ant en eu3,D <istoire de l# sexu#lite 14 ?# volonte de s#voir 4ParisB Galli,ard, 19?=5, #) 900) 10)Ai'hel Fou'ault, &isci(line #nd 2unis*4 T*e 3irt* of t*e 2rison 4New YorkB Pantheon, 19??5, #) 30) @riginalB DLEho,,e dont on nous #arle et JuEon in+ite a lib7rer est deFa en lui-,e,e Ferret d 3un assuFettisse,ent bien #lus #ro(ond Jue lui) %ne Ea,eE lEhabite et le #orte a Fe3isten'e, Jui est elle-,e,e une #ie'e dans la ,aitrise Jue le #ou+oir e3er'e sur le 'or#s) LEa,e, e((et et instru,ent dEune anato,ie #olitiJueG Fa,e, #rison du 'or#s,D Ai'hel Fou'ault, 7urveill#nce et(unir 4ParisB Galli,ard, 19?65, #) 3") 11) DChat was at issue was not whether the #rison en+iron,ent was too harsh or too ase#ti', too #ri,iti+e or too e((i'ient, but its +ery ,ateriality as an instru,ent and +e'tor o( #ower SeEetait sa ,aterialite dans la ,esure ou elle est instru,ent et +e'teur de #ou+oirR,D &isci(line #nd 2unis*, #) 30 97urveill#nce et (unir, #) 365) 19) :his is not to ,ake D,aterialityD into the e((e't o( a Ddis'ourseD whi'h is its 'auseG rather, it is to dis#la'e the 'ausal relation through a reworking o( the notion o( De((e't)D Power is established in and through its e((e'ts, where these e((e'ts are the dissi,ulated workings o( #ower itsel() :here is no D#ower,D taken as a substanti+e, that has dissi,ulation as one o( its attributes or ,odes) :his dissi,ulation o#erates through the 'onstitution and (or,ation o( an e#iste,i' (ield and set o( DknowersDG when this (ield and these subFe'ts are taken (or granted as #redis'ursi+e gi+ens, the dissi,ulating e((e't o( #ower has su''eeded) /is'ourse designates the site at whi'h #ower is installed as the histori'ally 'ontingent (or,ati+e #ower o( things within a gi+en e#iste,i' (ield) :he #rodu'tion o( ,aterial e((e'ts is the (or,ati+e or 'onstituti+e workings o( #ower, a #rodu'tion that 'annot be 'onstrued as a unilateral ,o+e,ent (ro, 'ause to e((e't DAaterialityD a##ears only when its status as 'ontingently 'onstituted through dis'ourse is erased, 'on'ealed, 'o+ered o+er) Aateriality is the dissi,ulated e((e't o( #ower) Fou'aultEs 'lai, that #ower is ,ateriali.ing, that it is the #rodu'tion o( ,aterial e((e'ts, is s#e'i(ied in &isci(line #nd 2unis* in the ,ateriality o( the body) 2( D,aterialityD is an e((e't o( #ower, a site o( trans(er between #ower relations, then inso(ar as this trans(er is the subFe'tion1subFe'ti+ation o( the

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body, t*e #rin'i#le o( this #ssu)ettitse'ent i( Ethe soul,D :aken as a nor ,a(i+e1nor,ali.ing ideal, the DsoulD (un'tions as the (or,ati+e and regulatory #rin'i#le o( 'hit ,aterial body, the #ro3i,ate instru,entality o( its subordination) :he soul renders the body uni(or,G dis'i#linary regi,es train the body through a sustained re#etition o( ritualN of 'ruelty that #rodu'e o+er the ti,e the gestural (tylisti'( o( the i,#risoned body) 2n the <istory of 7exu#lity, Golu'e 8ne, Dse3D o#erates to #rodu'e a uni(or, body along di((erent a3es o( #ower, but Dse3D o( well a( Dthe soulD are understood to subFugate and sutye't(+ate the body, #rodu'e an ensla+e,ent, as it were, as the +ery #rin'i#le o( the bodyEs 'ultural (or,ation) 2t is in this sense that ,ateriali.ation 'an lwB des'ribed as die sedi,enting e((e't o( a regulated iterability, 13), ,\an ideology always e3ists in an a##aratus, and its #ra'ti'e, or #ra'ti'es) :his e3isten'e i( ,aterial, @( 'ourse, the ,aterial e3isten'e of the ideology in an a##aratus and its #ra'ti'es does not hare the sa,e ,odality as the ,aterial e3isten'e o( a #a+ing stone or a ri(le) But, at the ri'k o( being taken for a Neo-*ristotelian 4NB Aar3 had a +ery high regard (or *ristotle5, 2 shall say that E,atter is dis 'ussed in ,any i'nteNE, or r#t*er that it e3ists in di((erent ,odalities, all root/ ed in the last instan'e in E#hysi'alE ,atter Louis *lthu((er, D2deology and 2deologi'al &tate *##aratuses 4Notes towards an 2n+estigation5D in ?enin #nd 2*iloso(*y #nd 8t*er Ess#ys 4New YorkB Aonthly Re+iew Press, 19?15, #) 166/, (irst #ublished in ?# 2ensie, 19?0, 1", &e' !n Et*ics of 7exu#l &ifference, tr, !arolyn Burke 42tha'aB !ornell %ni+ersity Press, 0 ??)61, Et*i#uedel# differencesexuelle4ParisB ditions de Ainuit, 19="5, 16, Bridget A'/onald argues that (or 2rigaray, Dthe 'ire is the site o( di((eren'e where uni(or,ity be'o,es di+ided,,)e+ery entrei( a shared s#a'e where di((erentiated #oles are not only di((erentiated, but are also subFe't to ,eeting one another in order to e3ist as di((erentiated)),,D DBetween n+elo#es, un#ublished ,s, 17) 2Eor a dis'ussion o( a notion of an Dinter+alD whi'h is neither e3'lusi+ely - s#a'e nor ti,e, see 2riVarayEs reading o( *ristotleEs 2*ysics, DLe Lieu, 0Einter+alle,D uni=ue de l# &ifference, ##, "1-79, 2?) :his will be related to the o''u#ation o( the #aternal na,e in Cilla GatherEs (i'tion) &ee in #arti'ular :o,,yEs o''u#ation o( her (atherEs #la'e in Cills !itherEs D:o,,y the %nsenti,ental,D 'onsidered in 'ha#ter (i+e o( this te3t) 1=)) &ee li.abeth &#el,sn, DCo,an as BodyB *n'ient and !onte,#orary Iiews,D Ke'inist 7tudies<! 419=95B ##) 109-131,

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19) &tt lisabeth CeedEs u:he <uestion o( &tyle,D in !arolyn Burke, Nao,i N'hor, and Aargaret Chit(ord, eds), En%@t%in% ,it* .ri%#r #y 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, (orth'o,ing5G and li.abeth Gros., 7exu#l
*60B

7ii*iQnions 42 ,oiiilnnB Routledge, 19915) 90) :it is ii ,y translation e+en though it is 'lear that 2rigaray in the (ollowing uses the ter, (or DbeingD L 't re L and not (or Dessen'eD -essence0 based on the sense o( the subseJuent senten'e in whi'h the notion o( an Dessen'eD re,ains (oreign to the (e,inine and the (inal senten'e in whi'h the truth o( that being is wrought through an o##ositional logi'B DHile ne se 'onstitue #as #our autant en une Hile ne se re(er,e #as sur ou dans une +7rit7 ou une essen'e) 2 )Eessen'e dEune +erite lui teste 7trangere) lle nEa ni nEest un etre) t elle nEo##ose #as, a la +erite ,as'uline, une +erit7 (e,inine,D Lu'e 2rigaray, D2 e+res +oil7es,D *nuttte ?7 "urine tie Kriedrieb Miet+sc*e 4ParisB ditions de 2&tiuiiit, 19=05, #) 99G D&he does not set hersel( u# as the one, as a 4single5 (e,ale unit &he is not 'losed u# or around one single truth or essen'e) :he essen'e o( a truth re,ains (oreign to her) &he neither has nor is a being) *nd she does not o##ose a (e,inine truth to a ,as'uline truth,D "#rine ?over, tr) Gillian Gill 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, 19915, #) =7) Gi+en Nao,i &'horl reading o( Dessen'eD as itsel( a 'ata'hresis, one ,ight ask whether the dis'ourse o( essen'e 'annot be redoubled outside o( traditional ,eta#hysi'al #ro#rieties) :hen the (e,inine 'ould well enFoy an essen'e, but that enFoy,ent would be at the e3#ense o( ,eta#hysi's) Nao,i &'hor, D:his ]ssentialis, Chi'h 2s Not @neB !o,ing to Gri#s with 2rigara+,D Kiiffrt'tQs :i Dour'd of/Ke'inist $ultunil 7tudies 9B1 419=95B ##) 3=-6=) 91) 0ane Gallo#, ? b*tAin% d',%b tinJ 1Cy 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, 19905) 2 &tri'tly s#eaking, ,atter as hyle does not (igure 'entrally in the Platoni' 'or#us) :he ter, *yie is (or the ,ost #art *ristotelian) 2n the "et#(*ysics 41037a5, *ristotle 'lai,s 'hat *yle 'an only be known through analogy) 2t is de(ined as #oten'y Sdyn#'is* and is isolated as one o( the (our 'ausesG it is also des'ribed as the #rin'i#le o( indi+iduation) 2n *ristotle, it is so,eti,es identi(ied with the f#(tAfi't'; 52*ysicS 1, l^9a[ but it is not 'onsidered a thing) *lthough *ristotle (aults Plato (or (ailing to di((erentiate between bylt and steresis 4#ri+ation5, he ne+ertheless identi(ies the Platoni' notion o( the re'e#ta'le hy#odo'he with hyle 52*)tsi#, ", 909b5) Like *ristotelian *yle the hy#odo'he is indestru'tible, 'an only be known by ,eans o( Dbastard reasoning 4:i,aeus5, 69a-bk and is that (or whi'h no de(inition 'an be gi+en SDthere is no de(inition o( ,atter, only o( eidos" "eu(*ysis, 1066bR) 2n Plato, by(odec*t tales on the ,eaning o( #la'e or dwnt 2t is only on'e *ristode su##lies an e3#li'it #hiloso#hi'al dis'ourse on ,atter that Plorinus writes a re'ons'ru'tion ot the Platoni' do'trine o( ,atter) :his then be'o,es the o''asion (or 2rigarayEs 'riti'al 'itation o( Plato Plorinus in D%ne Aere de Gla'eD in

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7(eculu' of t*e 8t*er >o'#n, tr) Gillian Gill 42tha'aB !ornell %ni+ersity Press 19=65, ##) 17=-1?9) 93)/errida, 2ositions, #) 7") 93) *ll 'itations will be to the standard #aragra#h nu,ber and to 2l#to4 T*e $ollected &i#lo%ues, dith ;a,ilton and ;untington !airns, eds), Bollingen &eries ?1) 4Prin'etonB Prin'eton %ni+ersity Press, 19715) 9") 2n the T*e#tetus Dde'ho,enonD is des'ribed as a Dbundle o( wa3,D so *ristotleEs 'hoi'e o( the Dwa3D i,age in de!ni'# to des'ribe ,atter ,ight be read as an e3#li'it reworking o( the Platoni' dec*o'enon 96);ere di#sc*e'#ti+o'enon brings together the senses o( Dto be ,odelled a(ter a #atternD and D(or,ation,D suggesting the strong sense in whi'h s'he,as are (or,ati+e) PlatoEs language #re(igures *ristotleEs (or,ulation in this s#e'i(i' res#e't) 97)For a dis'ussion on how (*ysis or (*usis ,eant genitals, see 0ohn 0) CinklerEs dis'ussion, D 2*usis and M#tur# Aeaning EGenitals,ED in T*e $onstr#ints of &esire4 T*e !nt*ro(olo%y of 7ex #nd Gender in !ncient Greece 4New YorkB Routledge, 19905, ##) 91?-990) 9?):his +ery o##osition insists u#on the '#teri#lity o( language, what so,e will 'all the ,ateriality o( the signi(ier, and is what /errida #ro#oses to elaborate in D!hora,D 2oiAili# Etudes o)fertes # Je#n:2ierre Gern#nt 4Paris, ; &&, 19=?5) :o 'all attention, howe+er, to that wordEs ,ateriality would not be su((i'ient, (or the #oint is to gesture toward that whi'h is neither ,aterial nor ideal, but whi'h, as the ins'ri#tional s#a'e in whi'h that distin'tion o''urs, is neither1 nor) 2t is the neither1nor whi'h enables the logi' o( either1or, whi'h takes idealis, and ,aterialis, as its two #oles) /errida re(ers to this ins'ri#tional s#a'e as a third gender or genre, whi'h he asso'iates on #age 9=0 o( the abo+e te3t with a Dneutral s#a'eDG neutral be'ause #arti'i#ating in neither #ole o( se3ual di((eren'e, ,as'uline or (e,inine) ;ere the re'e#ta'le is #re'isely what destabili.es the distin'tion between ,as'uline and (e,inine) !onsider the way that this ins'ri#tional s#a'e is des'ribed, es#e'ially how the a't o( ins'ri#tion works on itB Din a third genre1gender and in the neuter s#a'e o( a #la'e without #la'e, a #la'e where e+erything ,arks it, but whi'h in itsel( is not ,arked)D Later, on #) 9=1, &o'rates will be said to rese,ble !hora inas,u'h as he is so,eone or so,ething) D2n e+ery 'ase, he takes his #la'e, whi'h is not a #la'e a,ong others, but #erha#s (l#ce itself the irre#la'able) 2rre#la'eable, and i,#la'able #la'e))) D4,y translation5) :he #olarity o( idealis,1,aterialis, has 'o,e under Juestion) But that is not to 'lai, that there are no (uture Juestions) For what do we ,ake o(

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2rigarayEs 'lai, that (or Plato, the ins'ri#tional s#a'e is a way o( (iguring and dis(iguring (e,ininity, a way o( ,uting the (e,inine, and re'asting it as ,ute, #assi+e sur(a'e) Re'all that (or Plato the re'e#ta'le re'ei+es all things, is that through whi'h a 'ertain #enetrati+e generati+ity works, but whi'h itsel( 'an neither #enetrate nor generate) 2n this sense, the re'e#ta'le 'an be read as a guarantee that there will be no destabili.ing ,i,esis o( the ,as'uline and the (e,inine will be #er,anently se'ured as the in(initely #enetrable) :his ,o+e is re#eated in /errida in his re(eren'es to Dthe #la'e without #la'e where e+erything ,arks it, but whi'h in itsel( is not ,arked)D ;a+e we dis'o+ered here the un,arked 'ondition o( all ins'ri#tion, that whi'h 'an ha+e no ,ark o( its own, no #ro#er ,ark, #re'isely be'ause it is that whi'h, e3'luded (ro, the #ro#er, ,akes the #ro#er #ossibleK @r is this un,arked ins'ri#tional s#a'e one whose ,ark has been erased, and is under 'o,#ulsion to re,ain under #er,anent erasureK D&he 4is5 nothing other than the su, or the #ro'ess o( that whi'h ins'ribes itsel( IwEher, Ea son suFet, a ,e,e son suFet,ED but she is not the sub)ect or the (resent su((ort o( all these inter#retations, and she does not redu'e to these inter#retations) :hat whi'h e3'eeds any inter#retation, but whi'h is itsel( not any inter#retation) :his des'ri#tion does not e3#lain, howe+er, why there is this #rohibition against inter#retation here) 2s this not #erha#s a +irgin s#ot in or outside o( the territory o( ,eta#hysi'sK *lthough here /errida wants to 'lai, that the re'e#ta'le 'annot be ,atter, in 2ositions he 'on(ir,s that ,atter 'an be used Dtwi'e,D and that in its redoubled e((e't, it 'an be #re'isely that whi'h exceeds the (or,1,atter distin'tion) But here, where ,atter and ,ater are linked, where there is a Juestion o( a ,ateriality in+ested with (e,ininity, and then subFe'ted to an erasure, the re'e#ta'le 'annot be ,atter, (or that would be to reinstall it in the binaris, (ro, whi'h it is e3'luded) 99) &ee 0ulia Hriste+a, D:he &e,ioti' $*or# @rdering the /ri+es,D in Cevolution in 2oetic ?#n%u#%e 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, 19="5G abridged and translated +ersion o( ?# revolution du l#n%#%e(oeti=ue 4ParisB ditions du &euil, 19?"5) 30) For a +ery interesting dis'ussion o( the to#ogra#hy o( re#rodu'tion in Plato and (or a good e3a,#le o( #sy'hoanalyti' and 'lassi'al thinking, see Page /uBoisE 7o,in% t*e 3ody 4!hi'agoB %ni+ersity o( !hi'ago Press, 19==5) 31) 2rigaray ,akes a si,ilar argu,ent in ?# $roy#nce 'e'e 4ParisB ditions Galilee, 19=35 in the 'ourse o( rereading the fort:d# scene in FreudEs 3eyond t*e 2le#sure 2rinci(le 2n that te3t she o((ers a brilliant rereading o( the a'tion o( i,aginary ,astery e((e'ted by the little boy in re#eatedly throwing his s#ool out o( the 'rib and retrie+ing the s#ool as a way o( rehearsing the de#artures and returns o( his ,other) 2rigaray 'harts the s'enogra#hy o( this ,aster(ul #lay and lo'ates the substitute (or the ,aternal in the 'urtains, the (olds o(

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the bed linen that re'ei+e, hide, and return the s#ool) Like the c*or#, DsheD MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM the dissi,ulated ,aternal su##ort (or the s'ene8is the absent but ne'essary 'ondition (or the #lay o( #resen'e and absen'eB D lle y etait et nEy etait #as, elle donnait lieu ,ais nEa+ait #as lieu, sau( son +entre et en'ore))) lle nEy etait #as dEailleurs, sau( dans 'ette in'essante trans(usion de +ie entre elle et lui, #ar un (il 'reu3) lle donne la #ossibility de 1Eentree en #resen'e ,ais nEy a #as ;euD4#) 315) 39) 2lotinus/ Enne#ds, tr) &te#hen Aa'Henna, 9nd ed) 4LondonB Faber Z Faber, 19675) 39) 2rigaray, D%ne Aere de Gla'e,D in 7(eculu', #) 1?9G original, #) 99") 33) 2rigaray ,akes a si,ilar argu,ent about the c#ve as ins'ri#tional s#a'e in 7(eculu' &he writes, D:he 'a+e is the re#resentation o( so,ething always already there, o( the original ,atri31wo,b whi'h these ,en 'annot re#resent) )),D #) 9""G original, #) 309) 33) Ay thanks to 0en :ho,as (or hel#ing ,e to think this through) 3") Nao,i &'hor, D:his ssentialis, Chi'h 2s Not @neB !o,ing to Gri#s with 2rigaray,D #) "=) 36) Lu'e 2rigaray, DChen @ur Li#s &#eak :ogether,D T*is 7ex >*ic* .s Mot 8ne, tr) !atherine Porter with !arolyn Burke 42tha'aB New York, 19=65, #) 917G $e sexe =ui n/en est (#s un, 4ParisB ditions de Ainuit, 19??5, #) 916) 3") T*is 7ex, #) ??G $esexe, #) ?6) 37) For readings in (e,inist ethi'al #hiloso#hy whi'h re(or,ulate 2rigarayEs #osition in +ery interesting ways, see /ru'illa !ornell, 3eyond !cco''od#tion: Et*ic#l Ke'inis', &econstruction, #nd t*e ?#, 4New YorkB Routledge, 19915G Gayatri !hakra+orty &#i+ak, DFren'h Fe,inis, Re+isitedB thi's and Politi's,D in Ke'inists T*eori+e t*e 2olitic#l, ##) 6"-=6) 3?) !ontiguous relations disru#t the #ossibility o( the enu,eration o( the se3es, i)e), the (irst and se'ond se3) Figuring the (e,inine as1through the 'ontiguous thus i,#li'itly 'ontests the hierar'hi'al binaris, o( ,as'uline1(e,inine) :his o##osition to the Juanti(i'ation o( the (e,inine is an i,#li'it argu,ent with La'anEs Encore ?e st'in#ire ?*re TT 4ParisB ditions du &euil, 19?65) 2t 'onstitutes one sense in whi'h the (e,inine Dis not one)D &ee !'#nte '#rine, ##) 99-93) 3=) Aargaret Chit(ord, ?uce .ri%#r#y4 2*iloso(*y in t*e Ke'inine 4LondonB Routledge, 19915, #) 1??)

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"9) 2bid, ##) 1=0-=1) "3) 2rigaray, D:he Power o( /is'ourse,D in T*is 7ex >*ic* .s Mot 8ne, #) ?7) "") /onna ; araway, res#onding to an earlier dra(t o( this #a#er in a hot tub in &anta !ru., suggested that it is 'ru'ial to read 2rigaray as rein(or'ing Plato as the origin o( Cestern re#resentation) Re(erring to the work o( Aartin Bernal, ;araway argues that the DCestD and its DoriginsD are 'onstru'ted through a su##ression o( 'ultural heterogeneity, in #arti'ular, the su##ression o( *(ri'an 'ultural e3'hange and in(luen'e) ;araway ,ay be right, but 2rigarayEs #oint is to e3#ose the +iolent #rodu'tion o( the uro#ean Dorigins in Gree'e and so is not in'o,#atible with the +iew ;araway outlines) Ay suggestion is that this +iolen'e is re,aindered within the Platoni' do'trine as the DsiteD o( re#resentational ins'ri#tion and that one way to read Plato and 2rigaray (or their (ounding e3'lusions is by asking, Chat be'o,es stored in that re'e#ta'leK "6) ;) G) Liddell and Robert &'ott, GreeA:En%lis* ?exicon, 4@3(ordB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 196?5) "7) 2t is i,#ortant to raise a 'autionary note against too Jui'kly redu'ing se3ual #ositions o( a'ti+e #enetration and #assi+e re'e#ti+ity with ,as'uline and (e,inine #ositions within the an'ient Greek 'onte3t For an i,#ortant argu,ent against su'h a 'on(lation, see /a+id ;al#erin, 8ne <undred Qe#rs of <o'osexu#lity 5Me, YorkB Routledge, 19905, #) 30) "?) Chat (ollows ,ay be an o+erreading, as so,e o( ,y 'lassi'ist readers ha+e suggested) "=) /ioti,a atte,#ts to e3#lain to an a##arently witless &o'rates that heterose3 ual #ro'reation not only 'ontains but #rodu'es the e((e'ts o( i,,ortality, thus linking heterose3ual #ro'reation with the #rodu'tion o( ti,eless truths) &ee T*e 7y'(osiu' 907b-90=b) @( 'ourse, this s#ee'h needs also to be read in the rhetori'al 'onte3t o( the dialogue whi'h ,ight be said to assert this heterose3ual nor,, only later to #rodu'e its ,ale ho,ose3ual 'ontestation) "9) &ee Aary /ouglas, 2urity #nd &#n%er 4LondonB Routledge Z Hegan Paul, 19?=5G Peter &tallybrass and *llon Chite, T*e 2olitics #nd 2oetics of Tr#ns%ression 42tha'aB !ornell %ni+ersity Press, 19=75)

CHAPTER 2) THE LESBIAN PHALLUS AND THE MORPHOLOGICAL IMAGINAR"

* +ersion o( the (irst #art o( this 'ha#ter was gi+en as D:he Lesbian PhallusB /oes ;eterose3uality 3istKD at the Aodern Language *sso'iation Aeetings

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in !hi'ago, /e'e,ber 1990) *n earlier +ersion o( this 'ha#ter was #ublished as D:he Lesbian Phallus and the Aor#hologi'al 2,aginaryN in differences4 ! Journ#l of Ke'inist $ultur#l 7tudies, +ol) ", no) 1 4&#ring, 19995, ##) 133-1?1) 1) &ig,und Freud, D@n Nar'issis,B *n 2ntrodu'tionN 4191"5, T*e 7t#nd#rd Edition of t*e $o'(lete 2syc*olo%ic#l >orAs of 7i%'und Kreud, +ol 1", tr) and ed) 0a,es &tra'hey 4LondonB ;ogarth, 19715, ##) 7?-10"G originalB DQur in run rung des Nar.iss,us,D Ges#''elte lGerAe1 +ol) 10 4LondonB 2,ago, 19"75, ##) 13?-?0) :his re(eren'e will be gi+en as D191"D in the te3t) 9) D in.ig in der engen ;ohle, des Ba'hen.ahnes weilt die &eeleD Juoted in Freud, D@n Nar'issis,,D #) =9) * better translation would beB D*lone in the narrow hole o( the Faw-tooth dwells the soul)D 3)Freud, D:he go and the 2d,D T*e 7t#nd#rd Edition, T.T, ##) 1-77) ")Freud then su##lies a (ootnoteB D2)e), the ego is ulti,ately deri+ed (ro, bodily sensations, 'hie(ly (ro, those s#ringing (ro, the sur(a'e o( the body) 2t ,ay thus be regarded as a ,ental #roFe'tion o( the sur(a'e o( the body, besides)))re#resenting the su#er(i'ies o( the ,ental a##aratusN 4Freud, *?)Y, 975) *lthough Freud is o((ering an a''ount o( the de+elo#,ent o( the ego, and 'lai,ing that the ego is deri+ed (ro, the #roFe'ted sur(a'e o( the body, he is inad+ertently establishing the 'onditions (or the arti'ulation o( the body #s 'or(*olo%y 6)For an e3tended and in(or,ati+e dis'ussion o( this #roble, in #sy'hologi'al and #hiloso#hi'al literature that bears on #sy'hoanalysis, see li.abeth Gros., Gol#tile 3odies 4Bloo,ingtonB 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press, 19935) 7)0a'Jues La'an, Tie 7e'in#r of /J#c=ues ?#c#n, 3ooA 14 Kreud/s 2#(ers e' Tec*ni=ue, 1953:54, tr) *lan &heridan 4New YorkB Norton, 19=65 #) 199G originalB ?e 7e'in#ire de J#c=ues ?#c#n, ?ivre .4 ?es ecrits tec*ni=ues de Kreud 4ParisB &euil, 19?65, #) 1"1) &ubseJuent 'itations will a##ear in the te3t as 415, and 'itations to other se,inars will a##ear in the te3t by ro,an nu,erals as well) * slash 4D1D5 se#arates nglish and Fren'h #agination res#e'ti+ely) ?) 0ane Gallo#, T*inAin% T*rou%* t*e 3ody 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, 19==5, #) 197) =)&ee HaFa &il+er,an, D:he La'anian Phallus,D differencesY ! Journ#l of Ke'inist $ultur#l 7tudies, +ol) "G no) 1 419995, ##) ="-116) 9) :his (igure o( the threatening ,outh re'alls FreudEs des'ri#tion o( 2ranEs ,outh in T*e .nter(ret#tion of &re#'s La'an re(ers to that ,outh as Dthis so,ething whi'h #ro#erly s#eaking is unna,eable, the ba'k o( this throat,

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the 'o,#le3 unlo'atable (or,, whi'h also ,akes it into the #ri,iti+e obFe't (#r excellence, the abyss o( the (e,inine organ (ro, whi'h all li(e e,erges, this gul( o( die ,outh, in whi'h e+erything is swallowed u#) and no less the i,age o( death in whi'h e+erything 'o,es to its endD 4??, 17"5) 10) 0e((Nunokawa, D2n Ae,oriu, and the 3tin'tion o( the ;o,ose3ual,D E?< 6= 4Cinter 19915B ##) 130-166) 11) *lthough so,ati'i.ation is understood as #art o( sy,#to,-(or,ation, it ,ay be that ,or#hologi'al de+elo#,ent and the assu,#tion o( se3 is the generali.ed (or, o( the so,ati' sy,#to,) Ri'hard Collhei, o((ers an e3tended dis'ussion o( the bodily ego in whi'h he ,aintains that in'or#orati+e (antasies are 'entral to 'or#oreal sel(-re#resentation and to #sy'hi' de+elo#,ent) Hleinian in a##roa'h, Collhei, argues that not only in'or#orati+e (antasyG but internali.ation as well 'asts doubt on the se#arability o( the subFe't (ro, its internali.ed obFe'ts) :he thesis o( the bodily ego is the diesis o( this inse#arability) &ee Ri'hard Collhei,, D:he Bodily goD in Ri'hard Collhei, and 0a,es ;o#kins, edsV 2*iloso(*ic#l Ess#ys on Kreud 4New York and LondonB !a,bridge %ni+ersity Press, 19=95, ##) 19"-13=) 19) &ee Aauri'e Aerleau-Ponry on Dthe (lesh o( the worldD and die intertwining o( tou'h, sur(a'e, and +ision in D:he 2ntertwining8:he !hias,,D T*e .lsibte #nd t*e .nvisible, tr) *l#honso LingisG !laude Le(ort, ed) 4 +anstonB Northwestern %ni+ersity Press, 197=5, ##) 130-66) 13) &ee Louis *lthusser, D2deology and 2deologi'al &tate *##aratuses 4Notes towards an 2n+estigation5,D #) 177) 1") 0ulia Hriste+a, &esire in ?#n%u#%e4 ! 7e'iotic !((ro#c* to ?iter#ture #nd !rt, Leon Roudie., ed)G tr) :ho,as Gor., *li'e 0ardine, and Leon Roudie. 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, 19=05, ##) 13"-37) 16) 2rigaray #re(ers to (or,ulate this #ri,ary ,aterial relation in ter,s o( ,aterial 'ontiguity or #ro3i,ity) &ee her D:he Power o( /is'ourse and the &ubordination o( the Fe,inineD in T*is 7ex >*ic* .s Mot 8ne, #) ?6) 17) 2n Dthe ,irror stageD the i,aginary is not yet distinguished (ro, the sy,boli' as it will be later (or La'an) 1?) @ne ,ight read AoniJue CitrigEs strategy with res#e't to rena,ing in T*e ?esbi#n 3ody as a reworking o( this La'anian #resu,#tion) :he na,e 'on(ers ,or#hologi'al distin'tness, and na,es whi'h e3#li'itly disa+ow the #atrony,i' lineage be'o,e the o''asions (or the disintegration o( the 4#aternal5 +ersion o( bodily integrity as well as the reintegration and re(or,ation

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o( other +ersions o( bodily 'oheren'e) 1=)&ee Aargaret Chit(ordEs re'ent e3'ellent dis'ussion on Lu'e 2rigara+ and the (e,inine i,aginary in her ?uce .ri%#r#y4 2*iloso(*y in t*e Ke'inine 4LondonB Routledge, 19915, ##) 63-?") 19)Nao,i &'hor, D:his 2rigaray,D #) "=) ssentialis, Chi'h 2s Not @ne !o,ing to Gri#s with

90)D22 y su((it de 'o,#rendre le stade du ,iroir 'o,,e une identi(i'ation au sens #lein Jue lEanalyse donne a 'e ter,e asa+oir la trans(or,ation #roduite 'he. le suFet Juand il assu,e une i,age,8dont la #redestination a 'et e((et de #hase est su((isa,,ent indiJuee #ar lEusage, dans la theorie, du ter,e antiJue dE i'#%o" 40a'Jues La'an, DLe stade du ,iroir,D Eerits, #) 905) Fro, the introdu'tion o( the i'#%o, La'an then ,o+es to the Fubilant assu,#tion by the in(ant o( his Ssi'R Di,age s#e'ulaire,D an e3e,#lary situation o( the sy,boli' ,atri3 in whi'h the DFeD or die subFe't is said to be #re'i#itated in a #ri,ordial (or,, #rior to the diale'ti' o( identi(i'ation with an other) Failing to distinguish here between the (or,ation o( the DFeD and the D,oi,N La'an #ro'eeds in the ne3t #aragra#h, with a (urther elu'idation o( D'ette (or,eD as that whi'h ,ight rather be designated as the u)e:ide#lJ the ego-ideal, a translation whi'h e((e'ts the 'on(using 'on+ergen'e o( the Fe with the 'oi :o 'lai, that this (or, 'ould be ter,ed the ")e:ide#l" is 'ontingent u#on the e3#lanatory uses that su'h a ter, authori.es) 2n this 'ase, that #ro+isional translation will #ut in a known register, Dun registre 'onnu,D that is, known (ro, Freud, that #hantas,ati' and #ri,ary identi(i'ation whi'h La'an des'ribes as Dla sou'he des identi(i'ations se'ond aires)))D ;ere it see,s that die so'ial 'onstru'tion o( the ego takes #la'e through a diale'ti' o( identi(i'ations between an already #artially 'onstituted ego and the @ther) :he ,irror-stage is #re'isely the #ri,ary identi(i'ation, #reso'ial and deter,ined Ddans une ligne de (i'tion,D along a line o( (i'tion 4i,aginary, s#e'ular5 whi'h #re'i#itates the se'ondary 4so'ial and diale'ti'al5 identi(i'ations) Later, this will be'o,e 'lear when La'an argues that the nar'issisti' relation #re(igures and sha#es so'ial relations as well as relations to obFe'ts 4whi'h are also so'ial in the sense o( linguisti'ally ,ediated5) 2n a sense, the ,irror-stage %ives for' or 'or(be to the ego through the #hantas,ati' delineation ol a body in 'ontrol) :hat #ri,ary a't o( (or,-gi+ing is then dis#la'ed or e3tra#olated onto the world o( other bodies and obFe'ts, #ro+iding the 'ondition 4Dla sou'heDB the trunk o( a tree whi'h, it a##ears, has (allen or has been 'ut down but whi'h ser+es as (ertile ground5 o( their a##earan'e :his wood (allen or 'ho##ed, ready (or use, resonates with the ,eanings o( ,atter as DhyleD 'onsidered in 'ha#ter one 2n this sense, (or La'an, #ri,ary identi(i'ations are indisso'iable (ro, ,atter 91)0a'Jues La'an, D:he Airror &tage,D "erits4 ! 7dccrion, tr) *lan &heridan, 4New

NOTES TO CHAPTER 2

261

York- Aorton 19??5, #- "G original DLa (on'tion du stade du ,iroir sEa+ere #our nous des lors 'o,,e un 'as #ara'ulier de la (on'tion de ft'#%t Jui est dEetablir une relation de 2Eorganis,e a sa realite8ou, 'o,,e on dit, de lE2nnenwelt a 2E%,welt 5Ecrits Gol . SParisB &euil, 19?1R, #) 935) 99) La'an later 'o,es to disFoin the ego (ro, the subFe't, linking the ego with the register o( the i,aginary, and the subFe't with the register o( the sy,boli' :he subFe't #ertains to the sy,boli' order and that whi'h 'onstitutes the stru'ture1language o( the un'ons'ious- 2n 7e'in#r 1he writes, D:he ego is an i,aginary (un'tion, but it is not to be 'on(used with the subFe't-D D:he un'ons'ious 'o,#letely eludes that 'ir'le o( 'ertainties by whi'h ,an re'ogni.es hi,sel( as ego) :here is so,ething outside this (ield whi'h has e+ery right to s#eak as 2)))(t is #re'isely what is ,ost ,is'onstrued by the do,ain o( the ego whi'h, in analysis, 'o,es to be (or,ulated as #ro#erly s#eaking the F 4#) 1935) 2n 7e'in#r <, he 'ontinuesB D:he ego)))is a #arti'ular obFe't within the e3#erien'e o( the subFe't Literally, the ego is an obFe't8an obFe't whi'h (ills a 'ertain (un'tion whi'h we here 'all the i,aginary (un'tionD 4#) ""5) *nd later D:he subFe't is no one 2t is de'o,#osed, in #ie'es) *nd it is Fa,,ed, su'ked in by the i,age, the de'ei+ing and realised i,age, o( the other, or e=u#lly S,y e,#hasisR, by its own s#e'ular i,ageD 4#) 6"5) 93) :he identi(i'ation with this i,ago is 'alled Danti'i#atory,D a ter, that *le3andre HoFe+e reser+es (or the stru'ture o( desire &ee *le3andre HoFe+e, .ntroduction to t*e Ce#din% o@<e%d, tr) 0a,es Ni'holsG *llan Bloo,, ed) 42tha'aB !ornell %ni+ersity Press, 19=05, #) ") *s anti'i#atory, the i'#%o is a (u rural #roFe'tion, a #role#ti' and #hantas,ati' ideali.ation o( bodily 'ontrol that 'annot yet e3ist and that in so,e sense 'an ne+er e3ist Dthis (or, situates the agen'y o( the ego, be(ore its so'ial deter,ination, in a (i'tional dire'tion)))D ;ie identi(i'ato'y #rodu'tion o( that boundary8the e((e't o( the bounded ,irror8establishes the ego as and through a (i'tional, ideali.ing, and 'entering s#atial unity) :his is the inauguration o( the bodily ego, the #heno,enologi'al a''ess to ,or#hology and to a bounded or dis'rete sense of the DLD @( 'ourse, this 'onstitutes a 'econn#iss#nce #re'isely by +irtue o( the in'o,,ensurability that ,arks the relation between that (i'tional, #roFe'ted body and the de'entered, disuni(ied bodily ,atri3 (ro, whi'h that ideali.ing ga.e e,erges) :o re#ara#hrase Freud along La'anian lines, then, the ego (irst and (ore,ost ,isre'ogni.es itsel( outside itsel( in the i'#%o as a bodily ego) :his i,age not only constitutes the ego, but 'onstitutes the ego as i'#%in#ry 4La'an re(ers ti,e and again to the Di,aginary origin o( the egoEs (un'tion,D i)e, the ego #s a 'onseJuen'e o( #ri,ary and se'ondary identi(i'ations 'onstituted in the i,aginary5) 2n other words, the ego is an i,aginary #rodu'tion, one whi'h takes #la'e (ore,ost through the #roFe'tion1#rodu'tion o( a bodily ego, and whi'h is ne'essary (or the (un'tioning o( the subFe't, but whi'h is eJually and signi(i'antly tenuous as well :he loss o( 'ontrol that in the in(ant 'hara'teri.es unde+elo#ed ,otor 'ontrol #ersists within the adult

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as that e3'essi+e do,ain o( se3uality that is stilled and de(erred through the in+o'ation o( the Dego-idealN as a 'enter o( 'ontrol) ;en'e, e+ery e((ort to inhabit (ully an identi(i'ation with the i'#%o 4where Didenti(i'ation withD 'on+erges a,biguously with D#rodu'tion o(D5 (ails be'ause the se3uality te,#orarily harnessed and bounded by that ego 4one ,ight say DFa,,edD by that ego5 'annot be (ully or de'isi+ely 'onstrained by it Chat is le(t outside the ,irror (ra,e, as it were, is #re'isely the un'ons'ious that 'o,es to 'all into Juestion the re#resentational status o( what is shown in the ,irror 2n this sense, the ego is #rodu'ed through exclusion, as any boundary is, and what is e3'luded is ne+ertheless negati+ely and +itally 'onstituti+e o( what Da##earsD bounded within the ,irror) 9") Note the #re'edent (or the (or,ulation o( the ego as estranged obFe't in 0eanPaul &artre, T*e Tr#nscendence of t*e E%o, tr) and intro), Forest Cillia,s and Robert Hirk#atri'k 4New YorkB Noonday, 196?5) 96) 0a'Jues La'an, D:he Aeaning o( the Phallus,D Ke'inine 7exu#lity4 J#c=ues ?#c#n #nd t*e Ecole Kreudienne, tr) 0a'Jueline Rose, 0uliet Ait'hell, ed) 4New YorkB Norton, 19=65, #) =9) Further 'itations in the te3t will be to DRose)D 97) For a (ine analysis o( how #hallo,or#his, works in La'an, and (or an elu'idation o( 2rigarayEs tren'hant 'ritiJue o( that #hallo,or#his,, see Chit(ord, ?uce .ri%#r#y4 2*iloso(*y in t*e Ke'inine, ##) 6=-?" and 160-169) Chit(ord reads La'anEs essay on the ,irror stage through 2rigarayEs 'ritiJue, and argues not only that the ,irror stage is itsel( de#endent u#on the #rior #resu,#tion o( the ,aternal as ground, but 'hat the #hallo,or#his, that the essay arti'ulates authorises a D,ale i,aginary Sin whi'hR ,ale nar'issis, is e3tra#olate SdR to the trans'endentalD 4#) 1695) Chit(ord also tra'es 2rigarayEs e((ort to establish a (e,ale i,aginary o+er and against the ,ale i,aginary in La'an) *lthough 2 a, 'learly in so,e sy,#athy with the #roFe't o( deautho-ri.ing the ,ale i,aginary, ,y own strategy will be to show that the #hallus 'an atta'h to a +ariety o( organs, and that the e((i'a'ious disFoining o( #hallus (ro, #enis 'onstitutes both a nar'issisti' wound to #hallo,or#his, and the #rodu'tion o( an anti-heterose3ist se3ual i,aginary) :he i,#li'ations o( ,y strategy would see, to 'all into Juestion the integrity o( either a ,as'uline or a (e,inine i,aginary) 9?) D)))le stade du ,iroir est un dra,e dont la #oussee interne se #re'i#ite de rinsu((isan'e a 4Eanti'i#ation8et Jui #our le suFet, #ris au leurre de lEidenti(i'ation s#an ale, ,a'hine les (antas,es Jui se su''edent dEune i,age ,or'elee da 'or#s a une (or,e Jue nous a##ellerons ortho#ediJue de sa rotalite,8et alEar,ure en(in assu,ee dune idenrite alien ante, Jui +a ,ar-Juer de sa stru'ture rigide tout son de+elo##e,ent ,entalD 4La'an, Ecnts 1, ##) 939"5) h is interesting that the #ie'e,eal 'hara'ter o( the body is #hantas,ati'ally o+er'o,e through the taking on o( a kind o( ar,or or ortho#e-

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die su##ort, suggesting that the arti(i'ia0 e3tension o( the body is integral to its ,aturation and enhan'ed sense of 'ontrol) :he #rote'ti+e and e3#ansi+e (igural #ossibilities o( ar,or and ortho#edi's suggest that inso(ar as a 'ertain #halli' #oten'y is the e((e't of the trans(igured body in the ,irror, this #oten'y is #ur'hased through arti(i'ial ,ethods o( #halli' enhan'e,ent, a thesis with ob+ious 'onseJuen'es (or the lesbian #hallus) 9=) D2n Freudian do'trine, the #hallus is not a (antasy, i( what is understood by that is an i,aginary e((e't))))D 4Rose, #) ?95) 99) DLe #hallus i'i sEe'laire de sa (on'rion) FLe #hallus dans la do'trine (reudienne nEest #as un (antas,e, sEil (aut entendre #ar la un e(ret i, agin aire) 22 nEest #as non #lus 'o, ,e tel un obFet 4#arrFel, interne, bon, ,au+ais et')))5 #our autant Jue 'e ter,e tend a a##re'ier la realite interessee dans une relation) 22 est en'ore ,oins 1Eorgane, #enis ou 'litoris, JuEil sy,bolise) ]t 'e nEest #as sans raison Jue Freud en a #ris la re(eren'e au si,ula're JuEil etait #our les *n'iens)D D!ar le #hallus est un signi(iant))) "5Ecrits, #) 7905) 30) !learly, La'an also re#udiates the 'litoris as an organ that ,ight be identi (ied with the #hallus) But note that the #enis and the 'litoris are always sy, boli.ed di((erentlyG the 'litoris is sy,boli.ed as #enis en+y 4not ha+ing5, whereas the #enis is sy,boli.ed as the 'astration 'o,#le3 4ha+ing with the (ear o( losing5 4Rose, #) ?65) ;en'e, the #hallus sy,boli.es the 'litoris as not ha+ing the #enis, whereas the #hallus sy,boli.es the #enis through the threat o( 'astration, understood as a kind o( dis#ossession) :o ha+e a #enis is to ha+e that whi'h the #hallus if not, but whi'h, #re'isely by +irtue o( this not-being, 'onstitutes the o''asion (or the #hallus to signi(y 4in this sense, the #hallus reJuires and re#rodu'es the di,inution o( the #enis in order to signi(y8al,ost a kind o( ,aster-sla+e diale'ti' between the,5) Not to ha+e the #enis is already to ha+e lost it and, hen'e, to be the o''a sion (or the #hallus to signi(y its #ower to 'astrateG the 'litoris will signi(y as #enis-en+y, as a la'k whi'h, through its en+y, will wield the #ower to dis#ossess) :o DbeD the #hallus, as wo,en are said to be, is to be both dis#ossessed and dis#ossessing) Co,en DareD the #hallus in the sense that they absently re(le't its #owerG this is the signi(ying (un'tion o( the la'k) *nd those (e,ale body #arts whi'h are not the #enis (ail, there(ore, to ha+e the #hallus, and so are #re'isely a set o( Dla'ks)D :hose body #arts (ail to #heno,enali.e #re'isely be'ause they 'annot #ro#erly wield the #hallus) ;en'e, the +ery des'ri#tion o( how the #hallus sy,boli.es 4Le), as #enis-en+y or 'astration5 ,akes i,#li'it re'ourse to di((erentially ,arked body #arts, whi'h i,#lies that the #hallus does not sy,boli.e #enis and 'litoris in the sa,e way) :he 'litoris 'an ne+er be said, within this +iew, to be an e3a,#le o( Dha+ingD the #hallus) 31) 2n the (ollowing 'ha#ter, DPhantas,ati' 2denti(i'ation and the *ssu,#tion o(

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&e3,D 2 atte,#t to argue that the assu,#tion o( se3ed #ositions within the sy,boli' o#erates through the threat o( 'astration, a threat addressed to a ,ale body, a body ,arked as ,ale #rior to its Dassu,#tionD o( ,as'ulinity, and that the (e,ale body ,ust be understood as the e,bodi,ent o( this threat and, ob+'rsely, the guarantee that the threat will not be reali.ed) :his oedi#al s'enario whi'h La'an understands as 'entral to the assu,#tion o( binary se3 is itsel( (ounded on the threatening #ower o( the threat, the unbearability o( d',as'ulini.ed ,anhood and #halli'i.ed (e,ininity) 2,#li'it to these two (igures, 1 argue, is the s#e'tre o( ho,ose3ual abFe'tion, one whi'h is 'learly 'ulturally #rodu'ed, 'ir'ulated, 'ontested, and 'ontingent) 39) &ee Aaria :orok, D:he Aeaning o( Penis- n+y in Co,en,D tr) Ni'holas Rand, in differences4 ! Journ#l of Ke'inist $ultur#l 7tudies, +ol) ", no)l 4&#ring 19995B ##) 1-39) :orok argues that #enis-en+y in wo,en is a D,askD whi'h sy,#to,ati.es the #rohibition on ,asturbation and e((e'ts a de(le'tion (ro, the orgas,i' #leasures o( ,asturbation) 2nas,u'h as #enis-en+y is a ,odality o( desire (or whi'h no satis(a'tion 'an be gained, it ,asks the ostensibly ,ore #rior desire (or auto-eroti' #leasures) *''ording to :orokEs highly nor,ati+e theory o( (e,ale se3ual de+elo#,ent, the ,asturbatory orgas,i' #leasures e3#erien'ed and then #rohibited 4by the ,otherEs inter+ention5 #rodu'e (irst a #enis-en+y whi'h 'annot be satis(ied and then a renun'iation o( that desire in order to redis'o+er and ree3#erien'e ,asturbatory orgas, in the 'onte3t o( adult heterose3ual relations) :orok thus redu'es #enis-en+y to a ,ask and #rohibition whi'h #resu,es that (e,ale se3ual #leasure is not only 'entered in auto-eroti'is,, but that this #leasure is #ri,arily un'edi#ted by se3ual di((eren'e) &he also redu'es all #ossibilities o( 'ross-gendered #hantas,ati' identi(i'ation to a de(le'tion (ro, the ,asturbatory heterose3ual ne3us, su'h that the #ri,ary #rohibition is against un,ediated sel(-lo+e) FreudEs own theory o( nar'issis, argues that auto-eroti'is, is always ,odeled on i,aginary obFe't-relations, and that the @ther stru'tures the ,asturbatory s'ene #hantas,ati'ally) 2n :orok, we witness the theoreti'al installation o( the Bad Aother whose #ri,ary task is to #rohibit ,asturbatory #leasures and who ,ust be o+er'o,e 4the ,other (igured, as in La'an, as obstru'tion5 in order to redis'o+er ,asturbatory se3ual ha##iness with a ,an) :he ,other thus a'ts as a #rohibition that ,ust be o+er'o,e in order (or heterose3uality to be a'hie+ed and the return to sel( and wholeness that that #ur#ortedly i,#lies (or a wo,an) :his de+elo#,ental 'elebration o( heterose3uality thus works through the i,#li'it (ore'losure o( ho,ose3uality or the abbre+iation and rerouting o( (e,ale ho,ose3uality as ,asturbatory #leasure) Penis-en+y would 'hara'teri.e a lesbian se3uality that is, as it were, stalled between the irre'o+erable ,e,ory of ,asturbatory bliss and the heterose3ual re'o+ery o( that #leasure) 2n other words, i( #enis-en+y is in #art 'ode (or lesbian #leasure, or (or other (or,s o( (e,ale se3ual #leasure that are, as it were, sto##ed along the heterose3ual de+elo#,ental traFe'tory, then lesbianis, is Den+yD and, hen'e, both a de(le'tion (ro, #leasure and

in(inite the les #leasui (ound 33) Forai :eresG 'ussi' 2r#cti

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in(initely unsatis(ying) 2n short, there 'an be lesbian #leasure (or :orok, (or i( the lesbian is Den+iousD, she e,bodies and ena'ts the +ery #rohibition on #leasure that, it see,s, only heterose3ual union 'an li(e) :hat this essay is (ound use(ul by so,e (e,inists 'ontinues to sur#rise and alar, ,e) 33) For a +ery interesting a''ount o( 'astration an3iety in lesbian subFe'ti+ity, see :eresa de LauretisEs re'ent work on the ,annish lesbian, es#e'ially her dis'ussion o( Rad'ly((e ;all Dbe(ore the ,irrorD in her (orth'o,ing book, 2r#ctices of ?ove 53loo'in%ton4 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press5) 3") ;ere it will #robably be 'lear that 2 a, in agree,ent with /erridaEs 'ritiJue o( Le+i-&traussEs ate,#orali.ed notion o( stru'ture) 2n D&tru'ture, &ign, and Play,D /errida asks what gi+es stru'ture its stru'turality, that is, the Juality o( being a stru'ture, suggesting that that status is endowed or deri+ed and, hen'e, nonoriginary) * stru'ture DisD a stru'ture to the e3tent that it #ersists as one) But how to understand how the ,anner o( that #ersisten'e inheres in the stru'ture itsel(K * stru'ture does not re,ain sel(-identi'al through ti,e, but DisD to the e3tent that it is reiterated) 2ts iterability is thus the 'ondition o( its identity, but be'ause iterability #resu##oses an inter+al, a di((eren'e, between terras, identity, 'onstituted through this dis'ontinuous te,#orality, is 'onditioned and 'ontested by this di((eren'e (ro, itsel() :his is a di((eren'e 'onstituti+e o( identity8as well as the #rin'i#le o( its i,#ossibility) *s su'h, it is di((eren'e as di((eren'e, a de(erral o( any resolution into sel(-identity)

CHAPTER 3) PHANTASMATIC IDENTIFICATION AND THE ASSUMPTION OF SE&

* #ortion o( this essay was (irst #resented at the *,eri'an Philoso#hi'al *sso'iation, !entral /i+ision, *#ril 1991G se'tions o( the (irst #ortion o( the essay a##eared in a shorter +ersion in li.abeth Cright)ed) Ke'inis' #nd 2syc*o#n#lysis4 ! $ritic#l &iction#ry 4LondonG Basil Bla'k well, 19995) 1) ;ere one ,ight (ollow a Cittgensteinian way o( thinking and 'onsider that it is +ery #ossible to assert that se3uality is 'onstrained, and to understand the sense o( that 'lai, without taking the added and unne'essary ste# o( then o((ering a ,eta#hysi's o( 'onstraint to se'ure the ,eaning(ulness o( the 'lai,) 9) 2 use the ter, D#hantas,ati'D to re'all the use o( that ter, by 0ean La#lan'he and 0)-B Pontalis in whi'h the idenri(i'atory lo'ations o( the subFe't are labile, e3#lained in endnote ? below) 2 retain the ter, D(antasyD and D(antasi.eD (or those a'ti+e i,aginings whi'h #resu##ose a relati+e lo'atedness o( the subFe't in relation to regulatory s'he,es)

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3) !learly, it is this already 'ir'ulating tro#e o( ho,ose3uality as a kind o( so'ial and #sy'hi' death that is e3#loited and strengthened in ho,o#hobi' dis'ourses whi'h understand *2/& to be the result o( ho,ose3uality 4ren dered as de(initionally unsa(e, as danger itsel(5 rather than the result o( the e3'hange o( (luids) ;ere it see,s that 0a,es AillerEs Toe 2#ssion of "ic*el Kouc#ult 4New YorkB &i,on and &'huster 19995 e3#loits the tro#e o( ho,o se3uality as itsel( a death wish and (ails to ,ake an adeJuate distin'tion between ho,ose3ual #ra'ti'es that 'onstitute sa(e se3 and those whi'h do not *lthough Ailler de'lines to draw a stri't 'ausal link between ho,ose3u ality and death, it is #re'isely the ,eta#hori'al ne3us o( the two that (o'uses his analysis and whi'h has o''asioned the a##earan'e of Dle+el-headedD re+iews in whi'h a 'ertain heterose3ual #rurien'e be'o,es (ree to e3#ress itsel( under the rubri' o( sober 'riti'is,) For one o( the fe, 'ounter-e3a, #les to this trend, se' the re+iew o( AillerEs book by Cendy Brown in differ ences4 ! Journ#l of Ke'inist $riticis' 5J#II 1993G (orth'o,ing5) &igni(i'antly, Ailler 'on(lates three se#arate 'on'e#tsB 425 a #o#ular notion o( the Ddeath wish,D understood as a desire to die, with 495 the #sy'hoanalyti' notion o( a Ddeath dri+e,D understood as a conserv#tive, regressi+e, and re#etiti+e tenden'y by whi'h an organis, stri+es toward eJuilibriu, 4di((i'ult to re'on'ile with the orgiasti' e3'esses o( sel(-obliteration without an e3tended argu,ent, of whi'h there is none5, and 435 the notion introdu'ed by Georges ;a raille o( Dthe death of the subFe'tD and Fou'aultEs Dthe death o( the author)D Ailler a##ears not to understand that this last 'on'e#t is not the sa,e as the death o( the biologi'al organis,, but o#erates (or Bataille, as it does (or Fou'ault, as a +italisti' and li(e-a((ir,ing #ossibility) 2( Dthe subFe'tD in its 'on'eit o( sel(-,astery resists and do,esti'ates li(e through its insisten'e on instru,ental 'ontrol, the subFe't is itself # sign o( death) :he de'entered or +anJuished subFe't initiates the #ossibility o( a heightened eroti'is, and an a((ir,ation o( li(e beyond the her,eti' and 'losed 'ir'uit o( the subFe't) 0ust as, (or Fou'ault, the death o( the author is in so,e ways the beginning o( a 'on'e#tion o( writing as that whi'h #re'edes and ,obili.es the one who writes, 'onne'ting the one who writes with a language whi'h DwritesD the one, so Dthe death o( the subFe'tD in Bataille is in so,e ways the beginning o( a li(e-enhan'ing eroti'is,) For Fou'aultEs e3#li'it linking o( sado,aso'histi' 'horeogra#hy and the a((ir,ation o( li(e through eroti' relationality, see D2nter+iew with Fou'ault,D 7#l'#%undi 5>inter 19=9-=35, #) 19) ") 0a'Jues La'an, D:he Aeaning o( the Phallus,D #) ?6) @riginalB D22 y a la une anti,onie interne a 2Easso,#tion #ar 2Eho,,e 5"enscb6 de son se3eG #ouJuoi doit-il nEen assu,er les attributs JuEa tra+ers une ,ena'e, +oire sous lEas#e't dEune #ri+ationKD 5Ecrits, .., #) 103-"5) 6) Note the theologi'al roots o( Dassu,eD in the notion o( Dassu,#tionD 9#sso'(: tion6 in whi'h the Iirgin is said to be Dassu,edD into hea+en) :his absor#tion into the di+ine kingdo, be'o,es the (igure in La'an (or the way in whi'h

se3 is a'Ji &igni(i'ant tra+el o( th on (e,ale se3 is at on o( (e,inine 7) &ee the i, Rose, 7extu *nn /oane $o'in% to 1 :eresa de 2 &iscourses of ?) &ee La#lani Burgin, 0 Aethuen, l1 an already 0

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se3 is a'Juired) :he agen'y o( Dassu,#tionD 'learly 'o,es (ro, the law) &igni(i'antly, though, this assu,#tion o( se3 is (igured through the u#ward tra+el o( the Iirgin, a (igure o( 'haste as'ension, thus installing a #rohibition on (e,ale se3uality at the ,o,ent o( as'ending to Dse3)D ;en'e, taking on a se3 is at on'e the regulation o( a se3uality and, ,ore s#e'i(i'ally, the s#litting o( (e,inine se3uality into the ideali.ed and the de(iled) &ee the i,#ortant use o( the notion o( identi(i'atory D(ailureN in 0a'Jueline Rose, 7exu#lity #nd t*e Kield of Gisu' 4LondonB Ierso, 19=75, ##) 90-91G Aary *nn /oane, D!o,,entaryB Post-%to#ian /i((eren'eD in li.abeth Ceed, ed)) $o'in% to Ter's4 Ke'inis', T*eory, 2olities 4New YorkB Roudedge, 19=95, #) ?7LG :eresa de Laurens, DFreud, &e3uality, Per+ersion,D in /o,na &tanton, ed) &iscoursesof/7exu#lity4*nn *rbor %ni+ersity o( Ai'higan Press, 19935, # 91?) &ee La#lan'he and Pontalis, DFantasy and the @rigins o( &e3uality,D in Ii'tor Burgin, 0a,es /onald, !ora Ha#lan, eds), Kor'#tions of K#nt#sy 4LondonB Aethuen, 19=75) Fantasy in this sense is to be understood not as an a'ti+ity of an already (or,ed subFe't, but o( the staging and dis#ersion o( the subFe't into a +ariety o( identi(i'atory #ositions) :he s'ene o( (antasy is deri+ed (ro, the i,#ossibility o( a return to #ri,ary satis(a'tionsG hen'e, (antasy rehearses that desire and its i,#ossibility, and re,ains stru'tured by a #rohibition u#on the #ossibility o( a return to origins) :he essay o((ers itsel( as an a''ount o( the DoriginD o( (antasy, but it su((ers under the sa,e #rohibition) :hus, the e((ort to des'ribe t*eoretic#lly the origins o( (antasy is always also a f#nt#sy o( origin) :he nodon o( Doriginal (antasyD whi'h La#lan'he and Pontalis des'ribe is not #n ob)ect o( desire, but the stage or setting (or desireB 2n (antasy the subFe't does not #ursue the obFe't or its signB he a##ears 'aught u# hi,sel( in the seJuen'e o( i,ages) ;e (or,s no re#resentation o( the desired obFe't, but is hi,sel( re#resented as #arti'i#ating in the s'ene although, in the earliest (or,s o( (antasy, he 'annot be assigned any (i3ed #la'e in it 4hen'e, the danger, in treat,ent o( inter#retations whi'h 'lai, to do so5) *s a result, the subFe't, although always #resent in the (antasy, ,ay be so in a desubFe'ti+i.ed (or,, that is to say, in the +ery synta3 o( the seJuen'e in Juestion) @n the other hand, to the e3tent that desire is not #urely an u#surge o( dri+es, but is arti'ulated into the (antasy, the latter is a (a+oured s#ot (or the ,ost #ri,iti+e de(ensi+e rea'tions, su'h as turning against onesel(, or into an o##osite, #roFe'tion, negationB these de(enses are e+en indissolubly linked with the #ri,ary (un'tion o( (antasy, to be a setting (or desire, in so (ar as desire itsel( originates as #rohibition, and the 'on(li't ,ay be an
original 'on(li't, 4##) 97-9?5

arlier La#lan'he and Pontalis argue that (antasy e,erges on the 'ondition that an original obFe't is lost, and that this e,ergen'e o( (antasy 'oin'ides with the e,ergen'e o( auto-eroti'is,) Fantasy originates, then, as an e((ort

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both to cover and to cont#in the se#aration (ro, an original obFe't) *s a 'onseJuen'e, (antasy is the dissi,ulation o( that loss, the i,aginary re'o+ery and arti'ulation o( that lost obFe't) &igni(i'antly, (antasy e,erges as a scene in whi'h the re'o+ery installs and distributes the DsubFe'tD in the #osition o( both desire and its obFe't 2n this way, (antasy seeks to o+erride the distin'tion between a desiring subFe't and its obFe't by staging an i,aginary s'ene in whi'h both #ositions are a##ro#riated and inhabited by the subFe't :his a'ti+ity o( Da##ro#riatingD and Dinhabiting,D what we ,ight 'all the dissi,ulation o( the subFe't in (antasy, e((e'ts a re'on(iguration o( the subFe't itsel() :he idea o( a subFe't whi'h o##oses the obFe't o( its desire, whi'h en'ounters that obFe't in its alterity, is itsel( the e((e't o( this #hantas,ati' s'ene) :he subFe't only be'o,es indi+iduated through loss) :his loss is ne+er (ully en'ountered #re'isely be'ause (antasy e,erges to take u# the #osition o( the lost obFe't, to e3#and the i,aginary 'ir'uit o( the subFe't to inhabit and in'or#orate that loss) :he subFe't thus e,erges in its indi+iduation, as a 'onseJuen'e o( se#aration, #s # scene, in the ,ode o( dis#la'e,ent Pre'isely be'ause that se#aration is a nonthe,ati.able trau,a, it initiates a subFe't in its se#arateness only through a (antasy whi'h s'atters that subFe't, si,ultaneously e3tending the do,ain o( its auto-eroti'is,) 2nso(ar as (antasy or'hestrates the subFe'tEs lo+e a((air with itself, re'o+ering and negating the alterity o( the lost obFe't through installing it as a (urther instan'e o( the subFe't, (antasy deli,its an auto-eroti' #roFe't o( in'or#oration) =) For a reading o( La'an whi'h argues that #rohibition or, ,ore #re'isely, t*e b#r is (oundational, see 0ean-Lu' Nan'y and Phili##e La'oue-Labarthe, T*e Title of t*e ?etter ! Ce#din% of ?#c#n, trs) Fran'ois Ra((oul and /a+id Petti grew 4*lbanyB &%NY Press, 19995) 9) :his is a #roble, that 2 #ursue in relation to both #sy'hoanalysis and Fou'ault in D&ubFe'tion and Resistan'eB Between Freud and Fou'ault,D in 0ohn RaF'h,an, ed), T*e Luestion of .dentity 4New YorkB Routledge, (orth'o,ing 199"5) 10) HaFa &il+er,an o((ers an inno+ati+e alternati+e to the heterose3ist i,#li'ations o( uni+ersali.ing the Law o( the Father, thus suggesting that the sy,boli' is 'a#able o( a rearti'ulation that is not go+erned by the #hallus) &he argues in (a+or o( a distin'tion between the sy,boli' law and die Law o( the Father, /rawing on Gayle RubinEs D:he :ra((i' in Co,en,D &il+er,an argues that the #rohibition on in'est ought not to be 'on(lated with the Na,e o( the FatherB DNeither Le+i-&trauss, Freud, La'an, nor Ait'hell)))addu'es any stru'tural i,#erati+e, analogous to the in'est #rohibition itsel(, whi'h di'tates that it be wo,en rather than ,en8or both wo,en and ,en8that 'ir'ulate Sas gi(ts o( e3'hangeR, nor 'an su'h an i,#erati+e be (ound) Ce ,ust 'onseJuently #ry loose the in'est #rohibition (ro, the Na,e-o(-theFather so as to insist, des#ite the #au'ity o( histori'al

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e+iden'e (or doing so, that the Law o( Hinshi# &tru'ture is not ne'essarily #halli'D 4HaFa &il+er,an, "#le 7ub)ectivity #t t*e "#r%ins #) 3?5) 2n seeking to as'ertain a way to a''ount (or sy,boli' rearti'ulations that do not re'a#itulate 'o,#ulsory heterose3uality 4and the e3'hange o( wo,en5 as the #re,ise o( 'ultural intelligibility, 2 a, in 'lear sy,#athy with &il+er,anEs #roFe't) *nd it ,ay be that the rearti'u lation o( the #hallus in lesbian do,ains 'onstitutes the Din+ersionD o( the de'onstitution o( the #hallus that she des'ribes in gay ,ale (antasy) 2 a, not sure, howe+er, that saying DnoD to the #hallus and, hen'e, to what sy,boli.es #ower 4#) 3=95 within what she 'alls, (ollowing 0a'Jues Ran'iere, Dthe do,inant (i'tion,D is not itsel( a re(or,ulation o( #ower, #ower as resistan'e) 1 do agree with &il+er,an, howe+er, that there is no ne'essary reason (or the #hallus to 'ontinue to signi(y #ower, and would only add that that signi(ying linkage ,ay well be undone in #art through the kinds o( rearti'ulations that #roli(erate and di((use the signi(ying sites o( the #hallus) 11) @ne ,ight 'onsider in this 'onne'tion the #arable by Fran. Ha(ka, D*n 2,#erial Aessage,D in whi'h the sour'e o( the law is (inally untra'eable, and in whi'h the inFun'tion o( die law be'o,es in'reasingly illegible 4Fran. Ha(ka, 2#r#"es #nd 2#r#doxes SNew YorkB &'ho'ken, 196=R, ##) 13-175) 19) Ai'hel Fou'ault, D nd o( the Aonar'hy o( &e3,D in &yl+ere Lotringer, etL, Kouc#ult ?ive, tr) 0ohn 0ohnston 4New YorkB &e,iote3r4e5, 19=95, #) 1"?) 13) &ee ,y D:he For'e o( FantasyB Aa##lethor#e, Fe,inis,, and /is'ursi+e 3'essD &iffirr'ces, 12 419905, (or an a''ount o( how the eroti'i.arion o( the law ,akes it a+ailable to a re+erse-dis'ourse in the Fou'aultian sense) 1") &ig,und Freud, D@bser+ations o( :rans(eren'e-Lo+eD 419165, 7t#nd#rd Edirit' +ol) 19G D!ontributions to the Psy'hology o( Lo+eN 419105, tr) 0oan Ri+iere, 7exu#lity #nd t*e 2syc*olo%y of ?ove 4New York !ollier, 1973 T ##) "96=) 16) Leo Bersani, Tie Kreudi#n 3ody4 2syc*o#n#lysis #nd !rt 4New YorkB !olu,bia %ni+ersity Press, 19=75, #) 7"-77,119-113) 17) For an a''ount ot how subaltern D#ositionsN are at on'e #rodu'tions and e((a'e,ents, see Gayatri !hakra+orty &#i+ak) D&ubaltern &radiesB /e'onstru'ting ;istoriogra#hy,N in RanaFit Guha and Gayatri !hakra+orty &#i+ak) eds) 7elcted 7ub#ltern 7tudies 4LondonB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19==1, ##) 1?-AL 2:) &ee Gloria *n3akhia) 3orden#nds ?# fr'se,n 4&an Fran'is'oB &#insters, )*nne LoneG 19=?5, ##) ??-91)

2 -

BODIES THAT MATTER

1=) :he Juestion o( how ra'e is li+ed as se3uality e'hoes the #hrasing o( Paul Gilroy who argues that Dra'eD is not a ,onolith but is li+ed in di((erential ,odalities o( 'lass) &ee Paul Gilroy, DERa'e,E !lass, and *gen'y,D in /T*ere !in/t Mo 3l#cA in t*e Hnion J#cA"4 T*e $ultur#l 2olitics of C#ce #nd M#tion 4LondonB ;ut'hinson, 19=?5, ##) 16-"9) &ee also *bdul 0anAoha,,ed, D&e3uality on1o( the Ra'ial BorderB Fou'ault, Cright and the *rti'ulation o( ERa'iali.ed &e3uality,ED in &iscourses of 7exu#lity, ##) 9"-117G A) 0a'Jui *le3ander, DRedra(ting AoralityB :he Post'olonial &tate and the &e3ual @((en'es Bill o( :rinidad and :obagoD and !handra :al#ade Aohanty, D%nder Cestern yesB Fe,inist &'holarshi# and !olonial /is'ourses,D in !handra :al#ade Aohanty, *nn Russo, Lourdes :orres, eds), T*ird >orld >o'en #nd t*e 2olitics of Ke'inis' 4Bloo,ingtonB 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press, 19915, ##) 133-69 and ##) 61-=0G Frant. Fanon, 3l#cA 7Ain, >*ite "#sAs 4New YorkB Gro+e Press, 197?5G Rey !how, >o'#n #nd $*inese "odernity4 T*e 2olitics of Ce#din% 3et,een E#st #nd >est 4AinnesotaB %ni+ersity o( Ainnesota Press, 19915G Lisa Lowe, $ritic#l Terr#ins4 Krenc* #nd 3ritis* 8rient#lis's 42tha'aB !ornell %ni+ersity Press, 19915G Calter L) Cillia,s, T*e 7(irit #nd t*e Kles*4 7exu#l &iversity in !'eric#n .ndi#n $ulture 4BostonB Bea'on Press, 19=75) 19) &igni(i'antly, it is less o(ten indi+idual authors or works that su''eed in this kind o( 'o,#le3 work, but rather +olu,es whi'h #ro,ote the 'onsideration o( di((erent #ers#e'ti+es in a dyna,i' relationshi# to one another) For an e3'ellent e3a,#le o( this kind o( 'olle'ti+e authorial e+ent, see :oni Aorrison, ed), C#ce:in% Justice, En:%enderin% 2o,er4 Ess#ys on !nit# <ill, $l#rence T*o'#s, #nd t*e $onstruction of 7oci#l Ce#lity 4New YorkB Pantheon,

19995)
CHAPTER () GENDER IS BURNING) 0UESTIONS OF APPROPRIATION AND SUB+ERSION

1) Louis *lthusser, D2deology and 2deologi'al &tate *##aratuses,D ##) 1?0-1??G see also DFreud and La'an,D in ?enin, ##) 1=9-990) 9) Gloria *n.aldua writes, Dthat (o'al #oint or (ul'ru,, that Fun'ture where the ,esti.a stands, is where #heno,ena tend to 'ollideD 4#) ?95 and, later, Dthe work o( 'esti+# 'ons'iousness is to break down the subFe't-obFe't duality that kee#s her a #risoner,D DLa 'on'ien'ia de la ,esti.a,D 3orderl#nds@?# Kronteru, #) =0) 3) &ee AarForie Garber, Gested .nterests4 $ross:&ressin% #nd $ultur#l !nxiety 4New YorkB Routledge, 19995, #) "0) ") bell hooks, D2s Paris BurningKD Q, &isters o( the Ya, 'olu,n 40une 19915B #) 71)

NOTES TO CHAPTER 5

271

6) Chereas 2 a''e#t the #sy'hoanalyti' (or,ulation that both the obFe't and ai, o( lo+e are (or,ed in (#rt by those obFe'ts and ai,s that are re#udiated, 2 'onsider it a 'yni'al and ho,o#hobi' use o( that insight to 'lai, that ho,ose3uality is nothing other than re#udiated heterose3uality) Gi+en the 'ulturally re#udiated status o( ho,ose3uality as a (or, o( lo+e, the argu,ent that seeks to redu'e ho,ose3uality to the in+ersion or de(le'tion o( heterose3ual ity (un'tions to re'onsolidate heterose3ual hege,ony) :his is also why the analysis o( ho,ose3ual ,elan'holy 'annot be regarded as sy,,etri'al to the analysis of heterose3ual ,elan'holy) :he latter is 'ulturally en(or'ed in a way that the (or,er 'learly is not, e3'e#t within se#aratist 'o,,unities whi'h 'annot wield the sa,e #ower of #rohibition as 'o,,unities o( 'o,#ulsory heterose3is,) 7) Hobena Aer'er has o((ered ri'h work on this Juestion and its relation to a #sy'hoanalyti' notion of Da,bi+alen'e)D &ee DLooking (or :rouble,D re#rinted in ;enry *belo+e, Ai'hele Barale, and /a+id A) ;al#erin, eds), T*e ?esbi#n #nd G#y 7tudies Ce#der 4New YorkB Routledge, 19935, ##) 360-69) @riginally #ublished in Tr#nsition 61 419915G D&kin ;ead &e3 :hingB Ra'ial /i((eren'e and the ;o,oerori' .'#%in#ry" in Bad @bFe't-!hoi'es, ed), <o, &o . ?ooAJLueer Kil' #nd Gideo 4&eattleB Bay Press, 19915, ##) 179-910G D ngendered &#e'ies,D !rtfbru' +ol) 30, no) 10 4&u,,er 19995B ##) ?"-?=) &ee also on the relationshi# between #sy'hoanalysis, ra'e, and a,bi+alen'e, ;o,i Bhabha, D@( Ai,i'ry and AanB :he *,bi+alen'e o( !olonial /is'ourseD in 8ctober 2R 4&#ring 19="5B ##) 196-133) ?) &ee Linda &inger, Erotic >elf#re4 7exu#l T*eory #nd 2olitics in t*e !%e of E(ide'ic 4New YorkB Routledge, 19995) =) For an argu,ent against die 'onstrual o( the La'anian sy,boli' as stati' and i,,utable, see :eresa Brennan, <istory !fter ?#c#n 4LondonB Routledge, 19935)
CHAPTER 5) *DANGEROUS CROSSING*) WILLA CATHER1S MASCULINE NAMES

2 would like to e3#ress ,y a##re'iation to +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k and Ai'hael Aoon (or introdu'ing ,e to the work o( Cilla !ather and to the #ossibilities of a Jueer reading o( her te3ts) 2 a, #arti'ularly grate(ul to the se,inar on Literary :heory at :ulane %ni+ersity in Aay of 1991 that +e &edgwi'k in+ited ,e to tea'h, and whi'h 2 had the good (ortune to do with Ai'hael Aoon) 2 would also like to thank die audien'e at the !enter (or literary and !ultural &tudies at ;ar+ard %ni+ersity in the s#ring o( 1993 (or their nu,erous and hel#(ul suggestions on this 'ha#ter) 1) &haron @EBrien, >ill# G#t*er4 T*e E'er%in% Goice 4New YorkB Ball an tine, 19=?5,

BODIES THAT MATTER

##) 13-39) For an interesting reFoinder whi'h (o'uses on GatherEs enduring hostility to wo,en, seeFeane ;arris, D* !ode o( ;er @wnB *ttitudes toward Co,en in Cilla !atherEs &hort Fi'tionD "odern Kiction 7tudies, +ol) 37, no) 1 4&#ring 19905B ##) =1-=9) ;er,ione Lee, >ill# 5l#t*er4 &ouble ?ives 4New YorkB Iintage, 19=95, ##) 10-16) +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k, D*'ross Gender, *'ross &e3ualityB Cilla !ather and @thers,D T*e 7out* !tl#ntic Lu#rterly, +ol) ==, no) 1 4Cinter 19=95B ##) 63-?9) +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k, E(iste'olo%y of t*e $losetB see es#e'ially the dis'ussion o( the #lurali.ation and s#e'i(i'ation o( Dignoran'esD 4#) =5 and the #heno,e-nologi'al des'ri#tion o( gay and lesbian youth as Da ga# in the dis'ursi+e (abri' o( the gi+enD 4#) "35, *drienne Ri'h, DFor 0ulia in Nebraska,D in ! >ild 2#tience <#s T#Aen "e T*is 1+1r4New YorkB Norton, 19=15, #) 1?) Cilla !ather, "y !ntoni# 4BostonB ;oughton Ai((lin, 19==5) D:o,,y the %nsenti,entalD in >ill# $#t*er 24 7tories, &haron @EBrien, ed), 4New YorkB Penguin, 19=?5, ##) 79-?1) &ee also on Dbohe,iaD &edgwi'k, E(iste'olo%y of t*e $loset, ##) 193-96, and Ri'hard Ailler, 3o*e'i#4 T*e 2rotoculture T*en #nd Mo, 4!hi'agoB Nelson-;all, 19??5, 'ited in &edgwi'k) 2 a, indebted to Harin !o#eEs reading o( Gertrude &tein on the Juestion o( the li,itations o( no,ination (or the arti'ulation o( se3uality) &ee her DEPubli'ity 2s our PrideEB :he Passionate Gra,,ar o( Gertrude &teinD 2retext 4&u,,er 19935, and Gertrude 7tein #nd t*e ?ove of Error 4Ainnea#olisB %ni+ersity o( 33 Ainnesota Press, (orth'o,ing5) 2t a##ears that !ather is here 60 ,i,ing &hakes#eare) Not only did she 'all hersel( DCillD and DCillia,D when she was a young wo,an, but in these te3ts she in+okes the abbre+iated D CD as &hakes#eare hi,sel( was wont to do) &ee 01 Phyllis !) Robinson, >ill#4 T*e ?ife of >ill# $#t*er 4New YorkB /oubleday, 19=35, ##) 31-39) &ee also 0oel Fine,an, D&hakes#eareEs >ill/ :he :e,#orality o( =? Ra#e,D Ce(resent#tions no) 90 4Fall 19=?5B ##) 96-?7) 2n a letter dated 190= to Cilla !ather, &arah @rne 0ewett obFe'ted to what she understood as !atherEs narrati+e de+i'e o( writing as a ,an and about ,ale #rotagonists, es#e'ially in !atherEs story D@n the GullsE RoadD 4190=5G D:he lo+er is as well done as he 'ould be when a wo,an writes in the ,anEs

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'hara'teiy8it ,ust always, 2 belie+e, be so,ething o( a ,asJuerade) *nd you 'ould al,ost ha+e done it yoursel(8a wo,an 'ould lo+e her in that sa,e #rote'ting way8a wo,an 'ould e+en 'are enough to wish to take her away (ro, su'h a li(e, by so,e ,eans or other) But oh, how 'lose8how tender8 how true the (eeling isP :he sea air blows through the +ery letters on the #ageD 5?etters of 7#r#* 8'e fe,ett, *nnie Fields, ed) SBostonB ;oughton-Ai((lin, 1911R, ##) 9"7-"?5) &arah @rneFewettEs own (i'tion, #arti'ularly DAarthaEs LadyD 41=9?5 and Tbe $ountry oft*e 2ointed Kin 41=975, 'on'ern Juestions o( gender and se3uality si,ilar to !atherEs own) *nd the relation between the anony,ous narrator o( !atherEs "y!ntoni# and 0i, Burden #arallels the narrator who re'ei+es the story and the teller o(the story inFewettEs Tbe $ountry oft*e 2ointed Kirs Both 0ewettEs no+el and !atherEs D:o,,y the %nsenti,entalD 4#ublished the sa,e year5 interrogate the narrati+e and eroti' dyna,i's o( gi(tgi+ing and sa'ri(i'e) 19)&la+oF Qi.ek, Tbe 7ubli'e 8b)ect of .deolo%y 4LondonB Ierso, 19=95, ##) =?-109) 13) &ee &edgwi'k on Dsenti,entalityD in Tbe E(iste'olo%y of t*e $loset, ##) 19399) &ee also @EBrienEs argu,ent that !ather ,i,es and sub+erts senti,ental (i'tion by #ublishing this story in <o'e "ont*ly ,aga.ine, 'on(or,ing to a (or,ula a''e#table to its editors, but only to ,o'k senti,ental 'on+entions in the #ro'ess, in >iH# $#t*er4 Tbe E'er%in% Goice, ##) 99=-931) 1") &ee note 11 abo+e) 16) !harlotte Bronte e+idently used D&hirleyD as a wo,anEs na,e (or the (irst ti,e in her no+el 7*irley 41="95) !ather a##ears to be 'ontinuing and re+ersing that D'oiningD in this story, (irst, by establishing D:o,,yD as a girlEs na,e and, se'ond, by establishing &hirley as a #atrony,) :his 'itation o( Bronte suggests that the na,e is not nu,eri'ally related to gender, but (un'tions as an in+ersion o( gendered e3#e'tations) 17)8xford En%lis* &iction#ry, se'ond edition) 1?) For a dis'ussion o(the signature as a line o( 'redit, see /erridaEs reading o( Niet.s'heEs Ecce <o'o on the te,#orality o(the signature in 0a'Jues /errida, D@tobiogra#hiesB :he :ea'hing o( Niet.s'he and the Politi's o( the Pro#er Na,e,D in Peggy Ha,u( ed ,Tbe E#r oft*e 8t*er, tr) *+ital Ronell 4Lin'olnB %ni+ersity o( Nebraska SPR Press, 19=65, ##) 1-"0) 1=) ;a+elo'k llis e+idently linked blindness to se3ual in+ersion in the 1=90s and !ather ,ay ha+e known o( his theory) ;e also 'lai,ed that blind #eo#le were #rone to se3ual DshynessD and D,odesty,D suggesting a link between inhibited desire and (ailing eyesight) &ee ;a+elo'k llis, 7tudies in t*e 2syc*olo%y of 7ex, Gol 14Philadel#hiaB /a+is !o), 199=5, #) ??G see also 7tudies in

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the Ptychology of Sex, Vol, II, #art 7, D:he :heory o( &e3ual 2n+ersionD 4Philadel#hiaB /a+it, !o), 199=5, ##) 31?-35=)

??9069693
19) Publi' dehnt's on the a##ro#riateness o( wo,en riding bi'y'les were highly #ubli'i.ed throughout the 1=90s in the #ress, raising the Juestion o( whether too ,u'h bi'y'ling was har,(ul to wo,enEs health and whether it ,ight not e3'ite wo,enEs se3uality in untoward ways) For a dis'ussion o( this literature whi'h links the bi'y'le 'ontro+ersy to larger (ears about wo,enEs growing inde#enden'e during the ti,e o( D:he New Co,an,D see Patri'ia Aarks, 3icycles, <#n%s, #nd 3loo'ers4 T*e Me, >o'#n in t*e 2o(ul#r 2ress 4Le3ingtonB Hentu'ky 9?=? %ni+ersity Press, 19905, ##) 1?"-903G see also Iirgil *lbertini, DCilln !ather and the Bi'y'le,D T*e 2l#tte G#lley Cevie,, Iol) 16 no) 1 4&#ring 19=?5B ##) 19-99) 90) DPaulEs !ase,D Cilla !ather, Kive 7tories 4New YorkB Iintage, 19675, #) 1"9) 91) GatherEs ,isogyny e((e'ti+ely renders D:o,,y the %nsenti,entalD i,#lausible as a narrati+e o( lo+e and loss) :hat 0essi'a is degraded (ro, the start ,akes the (inal Dsa'ri(i'eD a##ear su#er(luous) 2n this res#e't it see,s es#e'ially use(ul to 'onsider :oni AorrisonEs a'ute 'riti'is, o( !atherEs 7#((*ir# #nd t*e 7l#ve Girl Aorrison argues that the 'redibility o( !atherEs narrati+e is under,ined by a re'urring and aggrandi.ing ra'is,) :he relation between &a##hira, the sla+e-,istress, and Nan'y, daughter o( a de+oted sla+e, la'ks #lausibility, and the relation between Nan'y and her own ,other is ne+er 'redibly re#resented, be'ause !ather, like &a##hira, has #rodu'ed the sla+e girl in the ser+i'e o( her own grati(i'ation) &u'h a

?=
dis#la'e,ent resonates with the dis#la'e,ents o( !atherEs 'ross-gendered narrations as well, raising the Juestion o( the e3tent to whi'h (i'tional dis#la'e,ent 'an be read as a strategy o( re#udiation) &ee :oni Aorrison, 2l#yin% in t*e &#rA >*iteness #nd t*e ?iter#ry .'#%in#tion 4!a,bridgeB ;ar+ard %ni+ersity Press, 19995, ##) 1=-9=) 99) Cilli !ather, D:o, @utlandEs &tory,D Kive 7tories, #) 77) 93) For a list o( !atherEs early #seudony,ous na,es, see @EBrien, >ill# $#t*er, #) 930)

CHAPTER O) PASSING. 0UEERING) NELLA LARSEN1S PS"CHOANAL"TIC CHALLENGE

6997
on

=0

:he (ollowing is a re+ised +ersion o( a le'ture gi+en at the %ni+ersity o( &anta !ru. in @'tober 1999 as #art o( a 'on(eren'e DPsy'hoanalysis in *(ri'anN*,eri'an !onte3tsB Fe,inist Re'on(igurationsD s#onsored by li.abeth *bel, Barbara !hristian, and ;elene Aoglen)

1) &ee Lu'e irigarny, Etbu)uc de l# difference sexuelle, #) 13)

NOTES TO CHAFTER 2

2 5

9) FreudEs Tote' #nd T#boo attests to the inse#arability o( the dis'ourse o( s#e'ies re#rodu'tion and the dis'ourse o( ra'e) 2n that te3t, one ,ight 'onsider the twin uses o( Dde+elo#,entD as 4a5 the ,o+e,ent toward an ad+an'ed state o( 'ulture and 4b5 the Da'hie+e,entD o( genital se3uality within ,onoga,ous heterose3uality) 3) 2#ssin%, in !n .nti'#tion of T*in%s &ist#nt T*e $ollected Kiction ofMell# ?#rsen, !harles Larson, ed), (orward by Aarita Golden 4New YorkB *n'hor Books, 19995, ##) 173-9?7) ") :his suggests one sense in whi'h Dra'eD ,ight be 'onstrued as #er(or,ati+e) Bellew #rodu'es his whiteness through a rituali.ed #rodu'tion o( its se3ual barriers) :his an3ious re#etition a''u,ulates the (or'e o( the ,aterial e((e't o( a 'ir'u,s'ribed whiteness, but its boundary 'on'edes its tenuous status #re'isely be'ause it reJuires the Dbla'knessD that it e3'ludes) 2n this sense, a do,inant Dra'eD is 'onstru'ted 4in the sense o( '#teri#li+ed6 through reiteration and e3'lusion) 6) :his is like the 'oloni.ed subFe't who ,ust rese,ble the 'oloni.er to a 'ertain degree, but who is #rohibited (ro, rese,bling the 'oloni.er too well) For a (uller des'ri#tion o( this dyna,i', see ;o,i Bhabha, D@( Ai,i'ry and Aan,D #) 197) 7) Chere re(eren'es in the te3t are ,ade to the (ollowing authors, they are to the (ollowing studies unless otherwise indi'atedB ;ouston *) Baker, 0r), "odernis' #nd t*e <#rle' Cen#iss#nce 4!hi'agoB !hi'ago %ni+ersity Press, 19=?5G Robert Bone, T*e Me%ro Movel in !'eric# 4New ;a+enB Yale %ni+ersity Press, 196=5G ;a.el !arby, Ceconstructin% >o'#n*ood4 T*e E'er%ence of t*e !fro: !'eric#n >o'#n Movelist 4London and New YorkB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19=?5G Barbara !hristian, 3l#cA >o'en Movelists4 T*e &evelo('ent of # Tr#dition 1892:1916 4Cest#ort, !tB Greenwood Press, 19=05 and D:raFe'tories o( &el(/e(initionB Pla'ing !onte,#orary *(ro-*,eri'an Co,enEs Fi'tion,D in AarForie Pryse and ;ortense 0) &#illers, eds), $on)urin%4 3l#cA >o'en, Kiction, #nd ?iter#ry Tr#dition 4Bloo,ingtonB 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press, 19=65, ##) 933"=G ;enry Louis Gates, 0r), Ki%ures in 3l#cA >ords, 7i%ns, #nd t*e "C#ci#l" 7elf 4New York and LondonB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19=?5G Nathan ;uggins, <#rle' Cen#iss#nce 4New York and LondonB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19?15G Gloria ;ull, $olor, 7ex, #nd 2oetry4 T*ree >o'en >riters of t*e <#rle' Cen#iss#nce 4Bloo,ingtonB 2ndiana %ni+ersity Press, 19=?5G /eborah ) A'/owell, D2ntrodu'tionD in LuicAs#nd #nd 2#ssin% 4New Brunswi'kB Rutgers %ni+ersity Press, 19=75G 0a'Juelyn Y) A'Lendon, D&el(-Re#resentation as *rt in the No+els o( Nella Larsen,D in 0ani'e Aorgan and !olette :) ;all, eds), Cedefinin% !utobio%r#(*y in T,entiet*:$entury Kiction 4New YorkB Garland, 19915G ;iroko &ato, D%nder the ;arle, &hadowB * &tudy o( 0essie Fau'et and Nella Larsen,D in *rno Bonte,#s, ed), T*e <#rle' Cen#iss#nce Ce'e'bered

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4New YorkB /odd, 19?95, ##) 73-=9G *,ritFit &ingh, T*e M#vels of t*e <#rle' Cen#iss#nce 4&tate !ollegeB Pennsyl+ania &tate %ni+ersity Press, 19?75!laudia :ate, DNella LarsenEs 2#ssin% * Proble, o( 2nter#retation,D 3l#cA !'eric#n ?iter#ture Koru' 1"B" 419=05B ##) 1"9-"7G ;ortense :hornton, D&e3is, as <uag,ireB Nella LarsenEs LuicAs#ndJ $?! Journ#l 17 419?35B ##) 9=6-301G !heryl Call, DPassing (or ChatK *s#e'ts o( 2dentity in Nella LarsenEs No+els,D 3l#cA !'eric#n ?iter#ture Koru', +ol) 90, nos) 1-9 419=75, ##) 9?-111G Aary ;elen Cashington, .nvented ?ives4 M#rr#tives of 3l#cA >o'en 1861:1961 4New YorkB *n'hor-/oubleday, 19=?5) ?) /eborah ) A'/owell, DE:hat na,eless)))sha,e(ul i,#ulseEB &e3uality in Nella LarsenEs LuicAs#nd and 2#ssin%," in 0oel Cei3l,ann and ;ouston *) Baker, 0r), eds), 3l#cA Ke'inist $riticis' #nd $ritic#l T*eory4 7tudies in 3l#cA !'eric#n ?iter#ture, +ol) 3 4Greenwood, Fla)B Penke+ill Publishing !o,#any, 19==5, #) 1"1) Re#rinted in #art as D2ntrodu'tionD to LuicAs#nd #nd 2#ssin% *ll (urther 'itations to A'/owell in the te3t are to this essay) =) 0ewelle Go,e. suggests that bla'k lesbian se3uality +ery o(ten thri+ed behind the 'hur'h #ew) &ee 0ewelle Go,e., D* !ultural Lega'y /enied and /is'o+eredB Bla'k Lesbians in Fi'tion by Co,en,D <o'e Girls4 ! 3l#cA Ke'inist !nt*olo%y 4Latha,, NYB Hit'hen :able Press, 19=35, ##) 190-91) 9) For an analysis o( the ra'ist i,#li'ations o( su'h #atronage, see Bru'e Hellner, DERe(ined Ra'is,EB Chite Patronage in the ;arle, Renaissan'e,D in T*e <#rle' Cen#iss#nce Ceconsidered, ##) 93-107) 10) A'/owell writes, DRe+iewing !laude A'HayEs <o'e to <#rle' and LarsenEs LuicAs#nd together (or T*e $risis, (or e3a,#le, /u Bois #raised LarsenEs no+el as Ea (ine, thought(ul and 'ourageous #ie'e o( work,E but 'riti'i.ed A'HayEs as so EnauseatingE in its e,#hasis on Edrunkenness, (ighting, and se3ual #ro,is'uityE that it ,ade hi, (eel)))like taking a bath)D &he 'ites DR#t in Goices of # 3l#cA M#tion4 2olitic#l Journ#lis' in t*e <#rle' Cen#iss#nce, :heodore G) Iin'ent, ed), 4&an Fran'is'oB Ra,#arts Press, 19?35, #) 369,D in A'/owell, #) 17") 11) 2ndeed, it is the ways in whi'h ;elga !rane 'onsistently uses the language o( the D#ri,iti+eD and the DFungleD to des'ribe se3ual (eeling that #la'es her in a tragi' allian'e with /u Bois) 19) For an e((ort to re'on'ile #sy'hoanalyti' 'on(li't and the #roble,ati' o( in'est and the s#e'i(i' history o( the *(ri'an-*,eri'an (a,ily #ost-sla+ery, see ;ortense 0) &#illers, DE:he Per,anent @bliJuity o( the 2n4#ha5llibly &traightEB 2n the :i,e o( the /aughters and the Fathers,D in !heryl Call, ed), $*#n%in% 8ur 8,n >ords 5Me, Brunswi'kB Rutgers, 19=95, ##) 19?-1"9)

NOTES TO CHAPTER

13 &ie,und Freud, D&o,e Neuroti' Ae'hanis,s in 0ealousy, Paranoia and ;o,ose3uality,DV Iol) 1=,1999, #) 996) 1" &igni(i'antly, Freud argues that 'ons'ien'e is the subli,ation o( ho,ose3ual libido that the ho,ose3ual desires whi'h are #rohibited are not thoroughly destroyed- they are satis(ied by the #rohibition itsel() 2n this way, the #angs o( 'ons'ien'e are nothing other than the dis#la'ed satis(a'tions o( ho,ose3ual desire) :he guilt about su'h desire is, oddly, the +ery way in whi'h that desire is #reser+ed) :his 'onsideration o( guilt as a way o( lo'king u# or sa(eguarding desire ,ay well ha+e i,#li'ations (or the the,e o( white guilt) For the Juestion there is whether white guilt is itsel( the satis(a'tion o( ra'ist #assion, whether the reli+ing o( ra'is, that white guilt 'onstantly #er(or,s is not itsel( the +ery satis(a'tion o( ra'is, that white guilt ostensibly abhors) For white guilt8when it is not lost to sel(-#ity8#rodu'es a #aralyti' ,orali.ing that re=uires ra'is, to sustain its own san'ti,onious #osturingG #re'isely be'ause white ,orali.ing is itsel( nourished by ra'ist #assions, it 'an ne+er be the basis on whi'h to build and a((ir, a 'o,,unity a'ross di((eren'eG rooted in the desire to be e3e,#ted (ro, white ra'is,, to #rodu'e onesel( as the e3e,#tion, this strategy +irtually reJuires that the white 'o,,unity re,ain ,ired in ra'is,G hatred is ,erely trans(erred outward, and thereby #reser+ed, but it is not o+er'o,e) 16) Nor,a *iar'on, D:he :heoreti'al &ubFe't4s5 o( T*is 3rid%e $#lled "y 3#cA and *nglo-*,eri'an Fe,inis,,D in Gloria *n.aldua, ed), "#Ain% K#ce, "#Ain% 7oul: <#ciendo $#r#s 4&an Fran'is'oB *unt Lute, 19905, ##) 367-79) 17) Barbara !hristian, D:he Ra'e (or :heoryD in T*e M#ture #nd $ontext of "inority &iscourse 5Me, YorkB @3(ord %ni+ersity Press, 19905, ##) 3?-"9) 1?) :oni Aorrison, 7ul# 4New YorkB Hno#(, 19?35, #) 1?") 1=) ;enry Louis Gates, 0r), Ki%ures, #) 909) 19) 2 a, thank(ul to Barbara !hristian (or #ointing out to ,e the link between the the,e o( D#assingD and the a''usation o( #lagiaris, against Larsen)
CHAPTER ) ARGUING WTTH THE REAL

1) &la+oF Qi.ek, T*e 7ubli'e 8b)ect of .deolo%y !ited in the te3t as 78 2 2t is at the theori.arion o( this Dnegati+ityN that Ni+eA rightly links the La'anian notion o( the Dla'kD to the ;egelian notion o( Dnegati+ity)D

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3) Freud distinguishes between re#ression 5Gerdrdn%un%6 and (ore'losure 5Ger,erfun%6 to distinguish between a negation #ro#er to neurosis and that #ro#er to #sy'hosis) :his distin'tion will be dis'ussed (urther on this essay in 'onFun'tion with the real whi'h, La'an argues, is #rodu'ed through (ore'losure) ") &ee rnesto La'lau and !hantal Aou((e, <e%e'ony #nd 7oci#list 7tr#te%y 4LondonB Ierso, 19=65) 6) :he n on-ideologi'ally 'onstrained notion o( (uturity o#ened u# by the ne'essary in'o,#leteness o( any dis'ursi+e (or,ation within the #oliti'al (ield links the #roFe't o( radi'al de,o'ra'y with /erridaEs work) Later the Juestion will be taken u#, whether and how Qi.ekEs strong 'riti'is,s o( de'onstru'tion and /errida in #arti'ular, situate his theory in relation to (uturity) Ay argu,ent will be that the grounding o( D'ontingen'yD in the La'anian notion o( the real #rodu'es the so'ial (ield as a #er,anent stasis, and that this #osition aligns hi, ,ore 'losely with the *lthusserian do'trine o( D#er,anent ideologyD than with the notion o( in'al'ulable (uturity (ound in the work o( /errida, /ru'illa !ornell, and so,e as#e'ts o( the La'lau1Aou((e +ersion o( radi'al de,o'ra'y) 7) &ee !hantal Aou((e, DFe,inis,, !iti.enshi#, and Radi'al /e,o'rati' Politi's,D in Ke'inists T*eori+e t*e 2olitic#l, ##) 379-=") ?) &ee La'lauEs illu,inating essay, DNew Re(le'tions on the Re+olution o( our :i,e,D in the book with the sa,e na,e 4LondonB Ierso, 19915) !ited in the te3t as MCET =) La'lau writes, Dthe hege,oni' relationshi# 'an be thought only by assu,ing the 'ategory o( l#cA as a #oint o( de#arture)D &ee DPsy'hoanalysis and Aar3is,D in Me, Ceflections on t*e Cevolution of our Ti'e, ##) 93-97) 9) ;ere it see,s that Qi.ek and La'lau also 'on+erge at the ;egelian assu,#tion that la'k #rodu'es the desire and1or tenden'y toward the e((e't o( being or substan'e) !onsider the un#roble,ati.ed status o( DtendingD in the (ollowing 'lai, by La'lauB D)))we (ind the #arado3 do,inating the whole o( so'ial a'tionB (reedo, e3ists be'ause so'iety does not a'hie+e 'onstitution as a stru'tural obFe'ti+e orderG but any so'ial a'tion tends to,#rds the 'onstitution o( that i,#ossible obFe't, and thus towards the eli,ination o( the 'onditions o( liberty itsel(D 4""5) 10)Qi.ek, 7ubli'e 8b)ect, #) ?9) 10) &ig,und Freud, D*nalysis :er,inable and 2nter,inable,D in T*er#(y #nd Tec*ni=ue, tr) 0oan Ri+iere 4New YorkB Aa'Aillan, 19735, #) 9?1G Ges#''elte

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>erA Iol 17)1 thank Harin !o#e (or drawing ,y attention to this 'itation) 19) 2nterestingly, as a (igure within the ,eta#hysi's o( substan'e, it is one whi'h is used also by ;usserl to des'ribe the noe,ari' nu'leus o( the obFe't o( 'ognition i)e) that whi'h re,ains sel(-identi'al in an obFe't re%#rdless of its c*#n%e of #ttributes 2n La'lau, this ;usserlian take on the kernel1nu'leus is e+ident in des'ri#tions like the (ollowingK D:he s#atiali.ation o( the e+entEs te,#orality takes #la'e through re#etition, through the redu'tion o( its +ariation to an in+ariable nu'leus whi'h is an internal ,o,ent o( the #re-gi+en stru'rurew4AKyK?D, #) "15) 2( what is being des'ribed is a noe,ati' nu'leus that subsists des#ite and through its #ossible i,aginary +ariations, on the ,odel o( ;usserlEs .de#s, this use o( the Dnu'leusD a##ears to su##ort the antides'ri#ti+ist #osition that La'lau and Qi.ek want to o##ose) 2n the third se,inar ?es 2syc*oses, La'an re(ers to #sy'hosis as a Dkernel o( inertiaD 4#) 395) :his DkernelD 9le noy#u6 (igures a re'al'itran'e to the Na,e o( the Father, a re#udiation whi'h re,ains linked to the +ery sy,boli.ing #ro'ess it re(uses) 2t ,ight be o( interest to 'onsult Ni'olas *braha, and Aaria :orokEs ?/tcorce et le noy#u 4ParisB Fla,,arion, 19=?5 (or the 'ontestation o( the #ri,a'y o( that substantial truth and the theori.ation o( #sy'hosis e3'lusi+ely in relation to sy,boli' #aternity) 13) Ai'hael Calsh, DReading the Real,D in Patri'k !ol, ;ogan and Lalita Pandit eds), $riticis' #nd ?#c#n 4*thensB %ni+ersity o( Georgia Press, 19905, ##) 7"-=7) 1") Qi.ek argues that Dthe Real is SlanguageEsR inherent li,it, the un(atho,able (old whi'h #re+ents it (ro, a'hie+ing its identity with itsel() :herein 'onsists the (unda,ental #arado3 o( the relation between the &y,boli' and the RealB the bar whi'h se#arates the, is strictly intern#l to t*e 7y'bolicJ 2n the e3#li'ation o( this Dbar,D he 'ontinues, Dthis is what La'an ,eans when he says that DCo,an doesnEt e3istDB Co,an Jua obFe't is nothing but the ,ateriali.ation o( a 'ertain bar in the sy,boli' uni+erse8witness /on Gio+anni)D &la+oF Qi.ek, Kor T*ey Pno, Mot >*#t T*ey &o 4LondonB Ierso, 19915, #) 119) &ee also by the sa,e author, ?ooAin% !,ry4 !n .ntroduction to J#c=ues ?#c#n t*rou%* 2o(ul#r $ulture 4BostonB A2: Press, 19915, ##) 1-77) 16) &aul Hri#ke, M#'in% #nd Mecessity 4!a,bridge, Aass)B ;ar+ard %ni+ersity Press, 19=05, #) "6) !ited in the te3t as MM 17) *lthough a ba#tis, is the 'on(erring o( the #ersonal or D'hristianD na,e at birth, as o##osed to the surna,e, it is also, by +irtue o( being the D'hristianD na,e, the initiation or, literally, the i,,ersion into the 'hur'h and its authority) ;obbes des'ribes ba#tis, as Dthe sa'ra,ent o( allegian'e o( the, that are to be re'ei+ed into the kingdo, o( GodD 4'ited in the 8E& as "?evi#t*#n, "99D5) 2nterestingly, the gi+ing o( the (irst na,e is the initiation

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into the order o( di+ine #aternity) *da,Es na,ing is at on'e a blessing and an initiation into the kingdo, o( God o( all things na,ed in Genesis, and ba#tis, is the 'ontinuation o( the *da,i' na,ing o( #ersons who thereby be'o,e initiated into that di+ine lineage) Ay thanks to Lisa Lowe (or a ti,ely inter+ention on this ,atter) 1?) !ata'hresis ,ight be thought in ter,s o( what La'an re(ers to as Dneologis,D in the language o( #sy'hosis) 2nso(ar as the 'ata'hresis o( na,ing the aard+ark Na#oleon 'onstitutes within dis'ourse a resistan'e to sy,boli' #aternity, it ,ight be understood as a #oliti'ally enabling de#loy,ent o( #sy'hoti' s#ee'h) :he Dneologis,D in La'an is the inde3 o( #sy'hosis be'ause a word is 'oined to 'o+er o+er a signi(ier that is e3'ludedG both 'ata'hresis and neologis, ,ight be 'onstrued as a linguisti' ,odality o( suturing) 1=) 2n Mu,in% #nd Mecessity Hri#ke ,aintained that to the e3tent that na,es (un'tion as rigid designators, they 'ould ne+er be understood as synony,ous or identi'al with a des'ri#tion or set o( des'ri#tions o((ered about the #erson who is na,ed) * na,e re(ers rigidly, that is, uni+ersally and without e3'e#) tion, to a #erson no ,atter in what way the des'ri#tions o( that #erson ,ay 'hange or, to use the language, in all 'ounter(a'tual situations) :he a''ount o( rigid designation #resu##oses that na,es at so,e #oint in ti,e be'a,e atta'hed to #ersons) *nd yet, it a##ears that they 'an be atta'hed to #ersons only on the 'ondition that #ersons are (irst identi(ied on the basis o( des'ri#ti+e (eatures) *re there sel(-identi'al #ersons who 'an be said to e3ist #rior to the (a't o( their being na,edK /oes the na,e re(er to, and #resu##ose, the sel(-identity o( #ersons a#art (ro, any des'ri#tionK @r does the na,e 'onstitute the sell-identity o( #ersonsK 2n the #ri,al ba#tis,, the na,e thus (un'tions as a kind o( #er,anent label or tag) Hri#ke 'on'edes that in this (irst ,o,ent, in as'ertaining, as it were, where #re'isely to #la'e this tag, the one with the tag in hand 4a (i'tional oneK not already na,edK the unna,eable oneK YahwehK5, who does the na,ing, needs re'ourse to so,e #reli,inary des'ri#tions) ;en'e, in the ba#tis,al ,o,ent, there ,ust be a des'ri#ti+e basts (or the a't o( na,ing) *nd he 'on'edes that #ersons are bearers o( so,e de(inite des'ri#tions, like gene seJuen'es, that do guarantee their identity through ti,e and 'ir'u,stan'e) *nd yet, whate+er #ro+isional des'ri#tions are 'onsulted in order to (i3 the na,e to the #erson and whate+er essential attributes ,ight be (ound to 'onstitute #ersons, neither the des'ri#tions nor the attributes are synony,ous with the na,e) ;en'e, e+en i( des'ri#tions are in+oked in na,ing, in the #ri,al ba#tis,, those des'ri#tions do not (un'tion as rigid designatorsB that is the sole (un'tion o( the na,e) :he 'luster o( des'ri#tions that 'onstitute the #erson #rior to the na,e do not guarantee the identity o( the #erson a'ross #ossible worldsG only the na,e, in its (un'tion as rigid designator, 'an #ro+ide that guarantee)

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19) Gayatri &#i+ak re(ers to the 'ategory o( Dwo,anD as a ,istake in relation to linguisti' #ro#riety in her DNiet.s'he and the /is#la'e,ent o( Co,en,D in Aark Hru#ni'k, ed), &is(l#ce'ent 4Bloo,ingtonB %ni+ersity o( 2ndiana Press, 19=35, ##) 179-97) *lthough her later theory o( strategi' ess'ntialis,, one on whi'h she hersel( has re'ently 'ast doubt, works in a slightly di((erent register, she a##ears to unders'ore the use o( i,#ossible totali.ations as ter,s o( #oliti'al analysis and ,obili.ation)

369
90) Lauren Berlant, D:he Fe,ale !o,#laint,D 7oci#l Text 19190 4Fall, 19==5, ##) 93?69) 91) @n the #oliti'al bene(its o( disidenti(i'ation, see Ai'hel Pe'heu3, ?#n%u#%e, 7e'iotics, .deolo%y 4BostonB &t) AartinEs Press, 19?65G D2deologyB Fortress or Parado3i'al &#a'e,D in &akari ;anninnen and Leena Paldan, eds), Cet*inAin% .deolo%y4 ! "#rxist &eb#te 9Me, YorkB 2nternational Press, 19=35G and 'ha#ter three in Rose,ary ;ennessy, "#teri#list Ke'inis' #nd t*e 2olities of Ke'inis' 4New YorkB Rou (ledge, 19995) 99) &ee /enise Riley, d'@t*#tM#'eJ5Me, YorkB Aa'Aillan, 19=95)
CHAPTER 2) CRITICALL" 0UEER

:his essay was originally #ublished in G?L, +ol) 1, no) 1 4Foil 19935) 2 thank /a+id ;al#erin and !arolyn /inshaw (or their use(ul editorial suggestions) :his 'ha#ter is an altered +ersion o( that essay) 1) :his is a Juestion that #ertains ,ost urgently to re'ent Juestions o( Dhate s#ee'h)D 9) Fou'ault, <istory of 7exu#lity, Golu'e 8ne, ##) 99-3) 3) &ee +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'kEs D<ueer Per(or,ati+ityD in 5il L) +ol) 1, no) 1 4&#ring 19935, 2 a, indebted to her #ro+o'ati+e work and (or #ro,#ting ,e to rethink the relationshi# between gender and #er(or,ati+ity) ") 2t is, o( 'ourse, ne+er Juite right to say that language or dis'ourse D#er(or,s,D sin'e it

06"6 373= "=0= 36 6=

is un'lear that language is #ri,arily 'onstituted as a set o( Da'tsD) *(ter all, this des'ri#tion o( an Da'tD 'annot be sustained through the tro#e that established the a't as a singular e+ent, (or the a't will turn out to re(er to #rior a'ts and to a reiteration o( Da'tsD that is #erha#s ,ore suitably des'ribed as a 'itational 'hain) Paul de Aan #oints out in DRhetori' o( PersuasionD that the distin'tion between 'onstati+e and #er(or,ati+e utteran'es is 'on(ounded by the (i'tional status o( bothBY), )the #ossibility (or language to #er(or, is Fust as (i'tional as the #ossibility (or language to assertD 4#) 1995) Further, he writes,

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D'onsidered as #ersuasion, rhetori' is #er(or,ati+e, but 'onsidered as a syste, o( tro#es, it de'onstru'ts its own #er(or,an'eD 4##) 130-131, in !lle%ories of Ce#din% SNew ;a+enB Yale %ni+ersity Press, 19=?R5) 6) 2n what (ollows, that set o( #er(or,ati+es that *ustin ter,s illo'utionary will be at issue, those in whi'h the binding #ower o( the a't #((e#rs to be deri+ed (ro, the intention or will o( the s#eaker) 2n D&ignature, +ent, !onte3t,D /errida argues that the binding #ower that *ustin attributes to the s#eakerEs intention in su'h illo'utionary a'ts is ,ore #ro#erly attributable to a 'itation al (or'e o( the s#eaking, the iterability that establishes the authority o( the s#ee'h a't, but whi'h establishes the non-singular 'hara'ter o( that a't 2n this sense, e+ery Da'tD is an e'ho or 'itational 'hain, and it is its 'itationality that 'onstitutes its #er(or,ati+e (or'e) 7) D&ignature, +ent, !onte3t,D #) 1=) ?) :he histori'ity o( dis'ourse i,#lies the way in whi'h history is 'onstituti+e o( dis'ourse itsel() 2t is not si,#ly that dis'ourses are lo'ated in histories, but that they ha+e their own 'onstituti+e histori'al 'hara'ter) ;istori'ity is a ter, whi'h dire'tly i,#lies the 'onstituti+e 'hara'ter o( history in dis'ursi+e #ra'ti'e, that is, a 'ondition in whi'h a D#ra'ti'eD 'ould not e3ist a#art (ro, the sedi,entation o( 'on+entions by whi'h it is #rodu'ed and be'o,es legible) =) Ay understanding o( the 'harge of #resentis, is that an inJuiry is #resentist to the e3tent that it 4a5 uni+ersali.es a set o( 'lai,s regardless o( histori'al and 'ultural 'hallenges to that uni+ersali.ation or 4b5 takes a histori'ally s#e'i(i' set o( ter,s and uni+ersali.es the, (alsely) 2t ,ay be that both gestures in a gi+en instan'e are the sa,e) 2t would, howe+er, be a ,istake to 'lai, that all 'on'e#tual language or #hiloso#hi'al language is D#resentist,D a 'lai, whi'h would be tanta,ount to #res'ribing that all #hiloso#hy be'o,e history) Ay understanding o( Fou'aultEs notion o( genealogy is that it is a s#e'i(i'ally #hiloso#hi'al e3er'ise in e3#osing and tra'ing the installation and o#eration o( (alse uni+ersals) Ay thanks to Aary Poo+ey and 0oan C) &'ott (or e3#laining this 'on'e#t to ,e) 9) &ee !herry &,yth, ?esbi#ns T#lA Lueer Motions 4LondonB &'arlet Press, 19995) 10) &ee @,i and Cinant, C#ci#l Kor'#tion in t*e Hnited 7t#tes4 Kro' t*e 1961s to t*e 1981s 11) :heatri'ality is not (or that reason (ully intentional, but 2 ,ight ha+e ,ade that reading #ossible through ,y re(eren'e to gender as Dintentional and non-re(erentialD in DPer(or,ati+e *'ts and Gender !onstitution,N an essay #ublished in &ue- llen !ase, ed), 2erfor'in% Ke'inis's 4Balti,oreB 0ohns

N@: & :@ !;*P: R =

283

;o#kins %ni+ersity, 19915, ##) 9?0-=9)1 use the ter, DintentionalD in a s#e'i(i'ally #heno,enologi'al sense) D2ntentionalityD within #heno,enology does not ,ean +oluntary or deliberate, but is, rather, a way o( 'hara'teri.ing 'ons'iousness 4or language5 as *#vin% #n ob)ect, ,ore s#e'i(i'ally, as dire'ted toward an obFe't whi'h ,ay or ,ay not e3ist) 2n this sense, an a't o( 'ons'iousness ,ay intend 4#osit, 'onstitute, a##rehend5 an i'#%in#ry obFe't) Gender, in its ideality, ,ight be 'onstrued as an intentional obFe't, an ideal whi'h is 'onstituted but whi'h does not e3ist 2n this sense, gender would be like Dthe (e,inineD as it is dis'ussed as an i,#ossibility by /ru'illa !ornell in 3eyond !cco''od#tion 4New YorkB Routledge, 19995) 19) &ee /a+id Ro,an, DE2tEs Ay Party and 2Ell /ie 2( 2 Cant :oPNB Gay Aen, *2/&, and the !ir'ulation o( !a,# in %)&) :heatre,D T*e#tre Journ#l "" 419995B ##) 306-39?G see also by Ro,an, DPer(or,ing *ll @ur Li+esB *2/&, Per(or,an'e, !o,,unity,D in 0anelle Reinelt and 0ose#h Roa'h, eds), $ritic#l T*eory #nd 2erfor'#nce 5A#n *rborB %ni+ersity o( Ai'higan Press, 19995) 13) &ee Larry Hra,er, Ce(orts fro' t*e <oloc#ust4 T*e "#Ain% of #n !.&7 !ctivist 4New YorkB &t) AartinEs Press, 19=95G /ouglas !ri,# and *da, Rolston, eds), !.&7&E"8GC!2<.$7 4&eattleB Bay Press, 19905G and /oug &adowni'k, D*!: %P Aakes a &#e'ta'le o( *2/&,D <i%* 2erfor'#nce 13 419905B ##) 97-31) Ay thanks to /a+id Ro,an (or dire'ting ,e to this last essay) 1") Gender Trouble, ##) 6?-76) &ee also ,y DAelan'holy Genders, Re(used 2denti(i'ations,D in 2syc*o#n#lytic &i#lo%ues 4(orth'o,ing5) 16) 2 thank Laura Aul+ey (or asking ,e to 'onsider the relation between #er(or,ati+ity and disa+owal, and Cendy Brown (or en'ouraging ,e to think about the relation between ,elan'holia and drag and (or asking whether the denaturali.ation o( gender nor,s is the sa,e as their sub+ersion) 2 also thank Aandy Aer'k (or nu,erous enlightening Juestions that led to these s#e'ulations, in'luding the suggestion that i( disa+owal 'onditions #er(or,ati+ity, then #erha#s gender itsel( ,ight be understood on the ,odel o( the (etish) 17) &ee DFreud and the Aelan'holia o( Gender,D in Gender Trouble 1?) :his is not to suggest that an e3'lusionary ,atri3 rigorously distinguishes between how one identi(ies and how one desiresG it is Juite #ossible to ha+e o+erla##ing identi(i'ation and desire in heterose3ual or ho,ose3ual e3'hange, or in a bise3ual history o( se3ual #ra'ti'e) Further, D,as'ulinityD and D(e,ininityD do not e3haust the ter,s (or either eroti'i.ed identi(i'ation or desire) 1) &ee /ouglas !ri,#, DAourning and Ailitan'y,D 8ctober 61 4Cinter 19=95B ##) 9?-10?)

!24

BODIES THAT MATTER

&ee &edgwi'k, D*'ross Gender, *'ross &e3ualityB Cill a !ather and @thers)D &ee Gayle Rubin, D:hinking &e3B Notes (or a Radi'al :heory o( the Politi's o( &e3uality,D in !arole &) Ian'e, ed), 2le#sure #nd &#n%er 4New YorkB Routledge, 19="5, ##) 97?-319G +e Hoso(sky &edgwi'k, E(iste'olo%y of t*e $loset, ##) 9?-39) :oward the end o( the short theoreti'al 'on'lusion o( D:hinking &e3,D Rubin returns to (e,inis, in a gestural way, suggesting that Din the long run, (e,inis,Es 'ritiJue o( gender hierar'hy ,ust be in'or#orated into a radi'al theory o( se3, and the 'ritiJue o( se3ual o##ression should enri'h (e,inis,) But an autono,ous theory and #oliti's s#e'i(i' to se3uality ,ust be de+elo#edD 43095)

INDE& OF NAMES

*braha,, Harl, =0 *braha,, Ni'olas, 9?9 *!: %P, 933 *lar'on, Nor,a, 1=9, 9?? *le3ander, A)0a'Jui, 9?0 *lthusser, Louis, 36, 79, 191, 199, 1==, 190, 191,996,969, 2 96=,9?0 *ndrews, 0ulie, 197 *n.aldua, Gloria, 19", 979, 9?0, 9?? *##iah, *nthony, 9"? *ristotle, 1?, 31-36, "0, "9, 96096" *ustin, 0)L), 99",9"", 9"7,9=0 Barrie0)A), 16" Bataille, Georges, 977 Bergson, ;enriLouis, 9"" Berlant, Lauren, 919, 9=1 Bernal, Aartin, 96? Bersani, Leo, 113,979 Bhabha, ;o,i, 9?1, 9?6 Blo'h, rnst, 960 Bor'h-0a'obsen, Ai'hel, 9"7 Bourdieu, Pierre, 9"7 Brennan, :eresa, 9?1 Bre'ht, Bertolt, 993 Bronte, !harlotte, 16", 9?9

Brown, Cendy, 960,977 Bus'h, Cilhel,, 58, 71 Butler, 0udith, ix, 9"3, 9"7, 9"9, 2 97=, 979,9=3 !arby, ;a.el, 1?3-1?6,1?=, 9?6 !aruth, !athy, 9"" !ather, Cilla, 17, 19, 90, 19", 13=-1"0, 1"3-1"6, 1"=-169, 16", 166, 16?-170, 179-17", 1?9, 9"=, 969, 967, 9?0,

0& 9?1-9?"
!hodorow, Nan'y, 9"1 !how, Rey, 11?,9?0 !hristian, Barbara, 1?3, 1=9, 9?", 9?6, 9?? !o#e, Harin, 9?9 !ornell, /ru'illa, 967, 9?=,9=3 !ri,#, /ouglas, 9=3 de Beau+oir, &i,one, " de Lauretis, :eresa, 976, 97? de Aan, Paul, 9=1 /eleu.e, Gilles, " /errida, 0a'Jues, 1, 13, 30, 3=, 39, "1, 1=9, 191, 19", 997, 9"7-9"=, 969, 96"-967, 97", B 2 3. 2 3. 232 /iori,a, 96?

286

BODIES THAT MATTER

/oane, Aary *nn, 9"7, 976 /ouglas, Aary, 96? /uBois, Page, 966 /u Bois, C) ) B,, 1?=,9?9 llis, ;a+elo'k, 9?3 Fanon, Frant., 11?,9?0 Fel,an, &hoshana, 9"7 Feuerba'h, Ludwig, 960 Fine,an, 0oel, 9?9 N Fou'ault, Ai'hel, 9, 10, 1?, 99, 39-36, 93, 109, 1=9, 199, 19?, 900, 907, 993, 99", 9"", 9"6, 9"7, 9"=, 9"9, 961, 977, 97=-9?0,9=1,9=9 Fo3 Heller, +elyn, 960 Freud, &ig,und, 13, 17, 1?, 66, 6?-76,?1-?",=9,=3,90,91, 106, 110, 1=0-1=9,900,90", 93", 9"", 9"7, 9"9, 960, 966, 967, 969-979, 97", 97?, 979, 9?3, 9?6, 9?7, 9?=, 9=3 Frye, Aarilyn, 197 Fuss, /iana, 9"7 Gallo#Fane, 3=,6?,=9, 963,96= Garber, AarForie, 9?0 Garland,0udy, *:, 933 Gates, ;enry Louis, 0r), 1=3, 9"?,9?6,9?? Gilroy, Paul, 9?0 Go,e., 0ewel 2e, 9?7 Gra,s'i, *ntonio, 11",139 Gros., li.abeth, 963, 96= Guillau,in, !olette, 9"?

;aber,as,0urgen, 199 ;all, Rad'lyr:e, 976 ;al#erin, /a+id, 96? ;araway, /onna, 1,96? ;arris, 0eane, 9?9 ;egel, Georg Cilhel, Friedri'h, 113,117,19",91?,9?? ;eidegger, Aartin, 9"6 ;o((,an, /ustin, 197 ;olo#hernes, 109 hooks, bell, 197,133-137,9?0 ;uggins, Nathan, 9?6 ;ull, Gloria, 1?3,9?6 ;usserl, d,und, 9?9 2rigaray, Lu'e, 1?, 9?, 39, 36-39, "1-61, 6", ?3,19", 17?,1=?, 969-96?, 969, 970,979,9?" 2r,a 4FreudEs 'ase5, 96= 0anAoha,,ed, *bdul R), 11?, 9"?, 97= 0ewett, &arah @rne, 9?9, 9?3 0ohnson, Barbara, 9"7 0ones, rnest, =1 Ha(ka, Fran., 1"?, 979 Hant, 2,,anuel, 66 Hellner, Bru'e, 9?7 Hlein, Aelanie, =1, 969 HoFe+e, *le3andre, 971 Hra,er, Larry, 9=3 Hri#ke, &aul, 163, 907, 910-91", 917,91?,9?9,9=0 Hriste+a, 0ulia, "1, 79, ?0, 9"", 966,969

INDE& OF NAMES

287

La'an, 0a'Jues, 19, 1", 1?, 90, 99, 66, 6?-70, 73, 76, 79-=6, =?-90, 96-9=, 100, 101, 103, 107-10=, 110, 111, 199, 130, 13=, 1"0,169, 163, 1=1, 1=9, 1=?-191, 19"-19=, 909, 90", 907, 90=, 909, 911, 91", 917, 9"3, 9"", 9"?-9"9, 967-97", 977, 97=, 9?0, 9?1, 9??-9?9, 9=0 La'lau, rnesto, 91, 191-19", 909, 90?, 909, 910-919, 917, 91?,9?=,9?9 La'oue-Labarthe, Phili##e, 97= La#lan'he, 0ean, 9"3,976,97? LaJueur, :ho,as, 960 Larsen, Nella, 17, 1=, 90, 119, 199, 17?-1?0, 1?9-1?9, 1=9, 1=3,1=6,9?"-9?7 Lee, ;er,ione, 9?9 Le,,on,0a'k, 197 LeYi-&trauss, !laude, 976 Leys, Ruth, 9"7 Li+ingston, 0ennie, 17, 19=, 133137 L$567. D89:7. 2( L5;e. L:s8. !! .2(3.2 Lyotard, 0ean-Fran'ois, 9"" Ly#sinka, 933 Aa'hia+elli, Ni''olo, 960 A'/onald, Bridget, 969 A'/owell, /eborah ]), 1?31?6,1?9,9?6,9?7 A'Hay, !laude, 9?7 Aa'Hinnon, !atharine, 93= A'Lendon,0a'Juelyn Y), 9?6

Aadonna, 130 Aar'us, &haron, 9"9 Aarks, Patri'ia, 9?" Aar3, Harl, 31, 17?,900, 960 Aer'er, Hobena, 9?1 Aerleau-Ponty, Aauri'e, 79, 969 Ailler, 0a,es, 977 Ailler, Ri'hard, 9?9 Ainne0li, Li.a, 933 Ainh-ha, :rinh :), 17? Aohanty, !handra :al#ade, 1?, 9"=,9?0 Aorrison, :oni, 1=3, 9?0, 9?", 9?? Aou(l(e, !hantal, 91, 199, 193, 90?,909,917,9?= Nagel, :ho,as, 919 N*A & ProFe't, 937 Nan'y, 0ean-Lu', 97= Niet.s'he, Friedri'h, 1", 3=, =?, 191,993,99",9"?,9?3 NinFa, Cilli, 130 NiranFana, :eFaswini, 9"= Nunokawa, 0e(F, 7",969 @EBrien, Aary, 961 @EBrien, &haron, 1"3, 1"", 9?19?" @,i, Ai'hael, 9"?, 9=9 @rtner, &herry, 9"3 Pe'heu3, Ai'hel, 9=1 Plato, 17, 1?, 39, 36-"=, 60, 6366,73,19",963-96? Plorinus)"9,"3

288

BODIES THAT MATTER

Pontalis, 0)B), 9"3, 976, 97? Pratt, Aary Louise, 9"7 <ueer Nation, 933 Rainey, Aa, 1?6 Ran'iere, 0a'Jues, 979 Ray,ond, 0ani'e, 197 Ri'h, *drienne, 1"6,9?9 Riley, /enise, 9=1 Robinson, Phyllis !, 9?9 Ro,an, /a+id, 9=3 Rose, 0a'Jueline, 973,97? Rubin, Gayle, 939, 97=, 9=9 &adowni'k, /oug, 9=3 &t Laurent, @'ta+ia, 136 &artre, 0ean-Paul, 979 &ato, ;iroko, 9?6 &'hor, Nao,i, "6,963,967,970 &earle, 0ohn, 9"" &edgwi'k, +e Hoso(sky, 90, 1"", 1"6, 170, 179, 99", 93=, 9"=,9?1,9?9,9?3,9=1,9=9 &hakes#eare, Cillia,, 9?9 &il+er,an, HaFa, 9"7,96=,97= &inger, Linda, 9?1 &ingh, *,ritFit, 1?3, 9?7 &o'rates, 96",96? &,ith, Bessie, 1?6 &,yth, !herry, 9=9 &#el,an, li.abeth, 969 &#illers, ;ortense 0), 9?6 &#i+ak, Gayatri !hakra+orty, 1, 9?, 99, 11?, 199, 999, 9"=, 967,979,9=1 &tein, Gertrude, 9?9

&trawson, P) , 919 :ate, !laudia, 1?3,1?", 1=3, 9?7 :hornton, ;ortense, 9?7 :orok, Aaria, 97",976,9?9 Ian Ie'hten, !arl, 1?= Iatti,o, Gianni, 9?,9"9 Call, !heryl, 1?3,1?", 9?7 Calsh, Ai'hael, 90",9?9 Cashington, Aary ;elen, 1?3, 9?7 Ceed, li.abeth, 963 Chit(ord, Aargaret, "?, 963, 967, 970, 979 Cilde, @s'ar, 169,16=,170,173 Cillia,s, Patri'ia, 193 Cillia,s, Calter, 11?,9?0 Cinant, ;oward, 9"?, 9=9 Cinkler0ohn0), 96" 2 Cittgenstein, Ludwig, 9"7,976 Cittig, AoniJue, 969 Col( Aan 4FreudEs 'ase5, 90" Collhei,, Ri'hard, 969 Cynter, &yl+ia, 9"? Ttra+agan.a, ;ouse o(, 196,13" Ttra+agan.a, Ienus, 196, 199133 Yale %ni+ersity, 133,176 You,ans, Aary Aabel, 1?3 Qi.ek, &la+oF, 90, 91, 163, 1==199, 19"-911,91",917-990, 9?3,9??, 9?9

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