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 & Baudrillard

I'm not sure how I feel about Edelman's use of Baudrillard, especially the sentence "And all this [the human race slipping into the void] because (heterosexual) sex has "become extraneous, a useless function"" (65). First, I read Baudrillard as opposing two types of death: the death of the individual versus a second death, which is really more like deathlessness, that comes from identicality.

jouissance and death

Jouissance, as Edelman explains, is a movement beyond pleasure and pain, "a voyage beyond identity, meaning, and law." (25) This got me to thinking that what exactly lays beyond "identity, meaning, and law?" I came to the same answer Edelman did one paragraph later, which is the obvious theme of at least the first chapter, death.

Class Discussion


Something I'd like us to talk about in class today is whether Butler, who really does seem committed to finding (to crib capt. haddock) 'escape mechanisms' from this process of subordination and subjectivation, ever gives a convincing account of how those escape mechanisms would work. Haddock pointed to one escape mechanism on p.28, this notion of alterity, i.e.

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