oh brother's blog

courting and pursuing death

Edelman and our last two authors touch on death as crucial to the thinking of a new order (or, for Edelman, to the opposition to our current social order). Butler asks, "What would it mean for a subject to desire something other than its continued 'social existence'?

edelman on baudrillard

Edelman's interpretation of Baudrillard's "The Final Solution"* resonated with what I've read in Baudrillard's book America.

are we not men? (D-E-V-O)

I have a rather basic confusion re: the definition of homo sacer that I've been trying to sort out this morning, but since I have to leave for work in five minutes, I might as well put it to the public:


On page 170, Butler (citing Freud) distinguishes between melancholia and mourning: in mourning, the object is "declared" lost, but in melancholia, no declaration is possible. Melancholia therefore paves the way for mourning.

gender performance

Before reading The Psychic Life of Power, I had often thought of the performance of drag as a sort of simulacrum.


So: where does the subject stand in D&G? It's as if agency is returned to the individual by deterritorializing the individual--"not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I." By emphasizing agency of the collective instead of the subject, or rather by exploding the dichotomy of subject and collective into rhizomic fireworks, D&G suggest that we can create new planes and a politics of desire freed from beliefs. Any other thoughts about (individual?) agency in D&G?


In Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari very often describe their multiplicity of concepts in spatial terms: a recording surface covering a body without organs, points of disjunction forming circles on the body without organs, machines that are adjoined next to the desiring-machine. The rhizome is always in the middle, between things. All these prepositions, off-shoots and parabolic sweeps serve to let the reader work out these concepts in space, a picture of machines in motion, gears inter-locked.

i confess

In the West, "the obligation to confess is now relayed through so many different points, is so deeply ingrained in us, that we no longer perceive it as the effect of a power that constrains us; on the contrary, it seems to us that truth, lodged in our most secret nature, demands only to surface" (60).

"With these confessed truths, we are a long way from the learned initiations into pleasure, with their technique and their mystery" (62).

homogeneous space-time and the hypermarket

"The hypermarket is already...the model of all future forms of controlled socialization: retotalization in a homogeneous space-time of all the dispersed functions of the body, and of social life...; retranscription of the contradictory fluxes in terms of integrated circuits; space-time of a whole operational simulation of social life, of a whole structure of living and traffic." (76)

How does this statement map onto considerations of space & time in Harvey and Jameson?

parody & pastiche

Although I agree with Hutcheon that postmodern parody is useful in contesting representations in history and the history of authorization, it seems to be a device that can easily slip into the (scaaaary) category of Jameson's pastiche. It's not just that it legitimizes that which is parodied while subverting it--I actually think that such double-codedness, that is must work within such contradictions and problematic relationships, makes it an especially complex and interesting form of art & representation.

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