Dial 'M' for Metaphor

Was anybody else surprised to hear that Althusser killed his wife? The nonchalance with which Butler dropped this fact made me think it might be something everyone in the critical theory community knew about Althusser and was just too discrete to bring up in polite conversation(113). But, then again, it may just be a function of Butler's style, which I thought was nicely explained in this slight on the next page: "Neither Althusser nor Vincent considers the possibility that the exemplary status of certain metaphors may occasion a symptomatic reading that "weakens" rigorous argument." I hope to have something more constructive to say shortly...

Was anybody else (after page 96) distracted by an internal sound-bite of a heater hissing "Judithththththhhhhhh"? I doubt that I'll say anything constructive about this shortly...

I know what you mean about Butler's (unnervingly) non-chalant rhetorical approach. There's this passage in Contingency, Hegemony, Universality where she viciously attacks her co-contributors, Laclau and Zizek, but the phraseology is so circuitous and mired in Butlerian jargon that the comedic weight of her insult is easily missed. To rehash it (somewhat creatively) from memory: "Although both Laclau and Zizek claim that patriarchal violence is not an inherent consequence of their mutual valorization of the moment of phallic castration qua absolute castration, one wonders whether consdierations of subjective positionality might pre-emptively undermine the propositional content of their claim." I.e., if they weren't male, they would (presumably) realize that to separate phallogocentrism and patriarchy is downright ridiculous. After reading it three or four times, I was like, "well, that's actually quite clever." I'm especially fond of the "one wonders" structure (which, although I inevitably "re-imagined" some aspects of the quotation, was definitely in the original). It's like thoeretical deadpan; a cross-pollination of Mitch Hedberg and Martin Heidegger, with some Deleuzo-Guattarian playfulness sprinkled in. Could this be a radically kynical, subversive, by-all-accounts-wonderful modality of theoretical intervention?(!) If so, we need to come up with some polysyllabic terminology. Perhaps, "comedicality." Or "jocular metaphoricity." Or - my personal favorite - "facetiology."