By Judith Butler
The distinguished writer of Gender hassle the following redefines Antigone's legacy, recuperating her progressive value and releasing it for a revolutionary feminism and sexual politics. Antigone has lengthy been a feminist icon of defiance. yet what has remained doubtful is whether or not she escapes from the sorts of strength that she opposes, because the type of defiance she exemplifies additionally results in her dying. Butler argues that Antigone represents a sort of feminist and sexual corporation that's fraught with possibility. furthermore, Antigone indicates how a tradition of normative heterosexuality obstructs our means to work out what sexual freedom and political employer might be.
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Extra resources for Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (The Wellek Library Lectures)
He does this precisely by ridding her action of any unconscious motivation, and identifying her with a fully conscious act: “The ethical consciousness is more complete, its guilt more inexcusable, if it knows beforehand the law and the power which it opposes, if it takes them to be violence and wrong, to be ethical merely by accident, and, like Antigone, knowingly commits the crime [wissentlich . . ” As if taking on the point of view of Creon who cannot get Antigone to perform a full enough confession for him, Hegel concludes this discussion with the claim that “The ethical consciousness must, on account of this actuality and on account of its deed, acknowledge its opposite as its own actuality, [and] 33 02ch 12/3/01 12:16 PM Page 34 L Box HD/Columba/Butler/138797 L Box Unwritten Laws, Aberrant Transmissions must acknowledge its guilt” (284, 348).
Indeed, we hear a great deal of “position” talk within recent cultural theory, and are not always aware of its genesis. It also paved the way for a queer critique of feminism that has had, and continues to have, divisive and productive effects within sexuality and gender studies. From this perspective, we ask, Is there a social life left for kinship, one that might well accommodate change within kinship relations? For anyone working within con- 18 antigone’s claim temporary gender and sexuality studies, the task is not easy, given the legacy of theoretical work that derives from this structuralist paradigm and its Hegelian precursors.
As a permanent elsewhere that is “in” man, the symbolic decenters the subject that it engenders. But what is the status of this elsewhere? An elsewhere to the human order, the symbolic is not, therefore, precisely divine. But let us consider as a qualification to this last disavowal Lévi-Strauss’s own fear, reported by Lacan, that he might be ushering God out one door only to usher God in through another. Lacan emphasizes instead that the symbolic is universal and contingent at once, enforcing an appearance of its universality but having no mandate outside itself that might serve as a transcendental ground for its own functioning.
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