most people don’t write
at a distance, they don’t exist
plants don’t write
my cat, never
|Slavoj Žižek [Verso Books]|
from Slavoj Žižek’s “You May” in London Review of Books:
|Judith Butler [word pond]|
There are advantages to remaining less than intelligible, if intelligibility is understood as that which is produced as a consequence of recognition according to prevailing social norms. Indeed, if my options are loathsome, if I have no desire to be recognized within a certain set of norms, then it follows that my sense of survival depends upon escaping the clutch of those norms by which recognition is conferred. It may well be that my sense of social belonging is impaired by the distance I take, but surely that estrangement is preferable to gaining a sense of intelligibility by virtue of norms that will only do me in from another direction. Indeed, the capacity to develop a critical relation to these norms presupposes a distance from them, an ability to suspend or defer the need for them, even as there is a desire for norms that might let one live. . . . If I am someone who cannot be without doing . . . If I have any agency, it is opened up by the fact that I am constituted by a social world I never chose. That my agency is riven with paradox does not mean it is impossible. It means only that paradox is the condition of its possibility. . . .
I may feel that without some recognizability I cannot live. But I may also feel that the terms by which I am recognized make life unlivable. . . .
The very attribution of femininity to female bodies as if it were a natural or necessary property takes place within a normative framework in which the assignment of femininity to femaleness is one mechanism for the production of gender itself. . . .
There are those who rightly [sic] argue that sexual difference is no more primary than racial or ethnic difference and that one cannot apprehend sexual difference outside of the racial and ethnic frames by which it is articulated. . . .
what if sexuality is the means by which I am dispossessed? . . .
one mourns when one accepts the fact that the loss one undergoes will be the one that changes you, changes you possibly forever, and that mourning has to do with agreeing to undergo a transformation the full result of which you cannot know in advance. . . .
Many people think that grief is privatizing, that it returns us to a solitary situation, but I think it exposes the constitutive sociality of the self . . .
those of us who are living in certain ways beside ourselves, whether it is in sexual passion, or emotional grief, or political rage. In a sense, the predicament is to understand what kind of community is composed of those who are beside themselves. . . .
passion and grief and rage, all of which tear us from ourselves, bind us to others, transport us, undo us, and implicate us in lives that are not our own, sometimes fatally, irreversibly.