Index for the terms/names excerpted from David Macey, The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory (2000). These terms are highlighted in the text.

Index for the terms/names excerpted from David Macey, The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory (2000). These terms are highlighted in the text.

Afrocentricity/afrocentrism Agitprop Alienation Barthes, Roland Beauvoir, Simone de Deconstruction Desire Discourse Discursive formation Essentialism Ethnocentrism Eurocentrism Existentialism Fanon, Frantz Feminism Feminist criticism Fetishism Foucault, Michel Friedan, Betty Gates, Henry Louis Jr Gaze Gender Identity politics Lacan, Jacques Marxism Marxist criticism Masquerade Mirror-phase or mirror stage Negritude Nochlin, Linda Other Paradigm Patriarchy Performative Postcolonial theory Postmodernism Postmodernity Poststructuralism Queer Radical feminism Said, Edward Subject

 

 

.,�

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Sunderland, England, in 1949 and educated at University College London, David Macey is a freelance writer and translator. He is the author of Lacan in Contexts (1988), The Lives of Michel Foucault (1993) and Frantz Fanon: A Life (2000). The most recent of his many translations from the French are of Alain Touraine’s What is Democracy? (1997) and the same author’s Can We Live Together? Equality and Difference (2000). David Macey lives and works in Leeds.

The Penguin Dictionary of

CRI CA

TH ORY • l David Macey

‘ ‘…

PENGUIN BOOKS

I

 

 

Afroceotrlcity I , ______:__________________ L..:

verbal Icon (Wimsatt 1954), and which attacks semantic criticism ror Its psycho· logical Impressionism. To succumb to the affective fallacy Is to mistake the poem for Its emotional result, or to derive a standard of criticism from Its psychological affects. As with the related INTENTIONAL FALLACY, the poem itself disappears as psychological speculation replaces criticism.

Afrocentricity (also known as Afrocentrism) A school of thought which builds upon the precedents of NEGRITUDE and the pan-Afrlcanlst writings of Marcus Garvey (1887-1940; see Garvey 1969), and which reacts against EUROCENTRISM by stressing the Importance of classical African civilization and of the historical links between Ancient Egypt and modem African cultures. It is particularly strong in the Un!led States. Afrocentrism can take many dlrferent forms, but most argue that Afro-Americans are a distinct nationality with a civilization of their own; some claim superiority over other ethnic groups. Following authors like DIOr and BERNAL, Afrocentrists such as Molen Kete Asante (1988, 1990) insist that the Ancient Egyptians were black, and that Greek civillz.ation, supposedly the source or European culture, was the product of interaction with African civilizations. Europe and Asia are therefore viewed as mere variants on the original African theme In philosophy and science. The theorists of Afrocentricity urge black people (described by Asante as ‘overseas Africans’), and especially Afro-Americans, to reconnect with the African past and to develop a vigilantly Afrocentric consciousness. According to Asante, this implies a rejection of Islam on the grounds that Its Arab origins imply the destructive adoption or non-African customs and values.

Asante’s Afrocentricity has been criticized for its reliance on a simplistic notion of tradition and its appeal to a ‘true self• which is transparently self-conscious. This quasi-Cartesian vision or black subjectivity has been

1 unfavourably compared with

the ‘double consciousness’ thesis elaborated by 01 BOIS (Gilroy 1993a). READING: Howe t1998)

aga saga Term applied, usually pejoratively, to a subgenre of popular novel (GEN RE) set in a semi-rural area and centred on the domestic and emotlona I entanglements of affluent middle-class characters. It derives from the proprietary name of a type of .stove which has come to symbolize a wealthy cosiness. According to the entertaining Oxford Dlctio1111ry of New Words (1997), ‘aga saga• is a journalistic coinage current since the mid-1990s; it appears to have been applied originally to the popular fiction or British novelist Joanna Trollope; see her 111e Rector’s Wife (1991).

agitprop A condensation of ‘agitation and propaganda’, often applied to radical forms of theatre (and particularly street theatre) developed In many countries in the 1960s and 1970s. The expression originates in the cultural practices of the early years of the Russian Revolution, when agit-tralns and even aglt•ships showing films and displaying poster art were used to spread propaganda amongst the rural population (Grey 1962; Art i11Revol11tio111971). The term is also applied lo the political EPIC theatre developed in the 1920s by the German theatre director Envin Piscator ( 1893-1966).

alienation The term is used widely and In a number of different senses, but always

, 1!-.J __________________ alienation _ connotes a sense of loss or estrangement. In property law it refers to a transfer or loss of ownership. In psychology the word ‘alienation’ was used to mean insanity or the loss of mental faculties; in the mid-nineteenth century, ‘alienist’ replaced the earlier ‘mad doctor’ (Porter 1987). That usage is now archaic In English, but the equivalent terms still survive in the Romance languages (d. the French allcne and the Italian alie1111to).

The modern meaning of ‘alienation’ derives mainly from the early writings of Marx and especially Crom his ‘Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts’ (1844, first published in Moscow in 1932). Marx’s theory of alienation owes much to the Hegelian and neo-Hegelian traditions In German philosophy. In 11,eP/Je1wme11ology of Mind (18o7), Hegel describes the ‘unhappy consciousness• sei11’) typical of philosophical scepticism as an alienated soul

(‘1111glilckliches which Is conscious

Bew11sst· of

Itself as a divided being, or a doubled and contradictory being whose aspirations towards universality have been frustrated. In his Esse11ce of Cllristi,mity (1841; the English translation of 1842 is by George Eliot), the neo-Hegelian Ludwig Feue1bach argues that the Christian God is a rRoJECTION of a human essence that has been alienated or abstracted from human being. objectified and turned lnlo an object of worship. Most subsequent descriptions of alienation combine the themes of estrangement and division with that of the inversion of a natural order.

For Marx, alienation is a characteristic feature of modern capitalism and of the coMMOOITY FETISHISM whose devaluation of the human world Is proportional to its overvaluation or things (Marx 1867). Because he does not own it, the product of the worker’s Jabour appears to take on an alien and threatening lire of Its own. The labour process is therefore experienced not as a joyful act of creation, but as a loss or reality. The worker who creates the object of labour both loses it and becomes a slave to it, whilst the employer’s appropriation of the product is experienced as estrangement and alienation. The alienation of labour estranges human beings from their own bodies, from the natural world and from their polentially universal essence. The abolition of the private ownership of the means of produclion and or the commodity system ls, according to Marx. a prerequisite for the overcoming of alienation and for the emergence of a truly human society.

Ever since their publication the Economic mid Pliilosop/Jical Mmmsc:ripts have been of major importance to the tradition of WESTERN MARXISM and particularly to LUKACS and some of those associated with the FRANKFURT SCHOOL {who, like MARCUSE, tend to use the relaled term REIFICATION rather than ‘alienation’). The great attraction of the manuscripts Is that they appear to provide the theoretical basis for a socialist humanism and for a crilique of the dogmatic DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM associated with Stallnlsm. Marx’s theory of allenation Is also a major Influence on Guy DEBORo’s caustic descriptions of the ‘society of the spectacle’. In his attacks on humanism, AL THUSS ER, in contrast, argues (t96<>, 1961) that alienation Is part of a pre-Marxist or Feucrbachlan PROBLEMATIC, and that the sclentilicpwork of the mature Marx (and especially C<1pital) departs from that problematic thanks to a decisive ErlSTEMOLOGICAL BREAK.

READING: Meszaros (l97r)

 

 

Barthes, Roland BakhtiD, Mikhail Mlkhaylovich I ,1 ,n I———-‘— ————–l….= �————————- Bakbtin, Mikhail Mlkhaylovi�h (1895-1975) Russian literary theorist. Despite his considerable influence on 01scouasE analysis, Bakhtln remains an elusive and enigmatic figure. His writings are difficult to date with any certainty and some of hJs works have been lost; the fragment of the essay on the BJ LOUNG SRO MAN (1936- 8), for example, is all that remains of a much longer study that was never completed. There are also doubts as to just who was the major partner in the production of the coauthored texts on ‘the formal method’ (with Medvedev 1928) and Marxism and the philosophy of language (with Voloshlnov 1929), and they are therefore sometimes attributed to ‘the Bakhtin group’. Forced into internal exile In 1929 Bakhtln was always a fairly obscure figure in his native Russia. Jn the West, Bak

1

htin was dis· covered only at the end of the 1g6Qs. An extract from his study of Rabelais (1965) published in Yale French Studies In 1968 generated a certain Interest, but it was KRISTEVA’s essay ‘Word, Dialogue and Novel’ (1969) and her preface to the 1970 French translation of his study of Dostoyevsky (1929) that both made Bakhtin a major point of reference and allowed Kristeva to elaborate her influential story of INTERTEXUALITY.

..;….

I Bakhtin’s earliest known works (1924; with Medvedev 1928; with Voloshlnov

1929) both contain a critique of RUSSIAN FORMALISM and begin to outline lhe characteristic theme of ‘dlaloglsm’. Formalism Is criticized for Its abstraction, Its failure to analyse the content of literary works and the difficulty it finds in analysing linguistic and Ideological changes. The critique ts then extended to linguistics as such and SAUSSURE in particular. According to Bakhtln, the purely linguistic approach to both language and literature Is limited In that It isolates linguistic units or literary texts from their social context and ofrers no analysts of the relations that exist between both Individual speakers and texts. He therefore proposes a historical POETICS or a ‘transllngulstics’ (1934-5) which can demonstrate that all social Inter· course Is generated from verbal communication and interaction, and that linguistic signs are conditioned by the social organization of the participants. In Bakhtln’s later work (r952-3), the notion of a historical poetics develops Into a theory of ‘speech genres’ or ‘typical forms of utterances’, and It Is claimed that the weakness of Saussure’s linguistics Is that it concentrates solely on Individual utterances and cannot analyse how they are combined Into relatively stable types of utterance. The theory of speech genres Is incomplete, but was clearly extremely ambitious as it was intended to apply to everything from proverbs to muJti.volume novels by analysing their common verbal nature.

I

Bakhtln’s first maJor literary study was the long essay on Dostoyevsky, which established dlalogism and polyphony as his main themes. Dostoyevsky’s novels are said to be polyphonic In that there Is no central ‘voice’ and in that their characters are characterized not by their temperament or their psychological make,up but by I heir ideas and the way they expound and discuss them. The reader remembers Ivan Karamazov, for example, as an embodiment of the proposition that ‘if God does not exist, then everything Is pennlsslble’ and not as a bundle of psychological traits. According to Bakhtin’s ,malysls, Dostoyevsky describes a world in which the final word has never been spoken and in which the dialogue goes on perpetually. In this literary dialogue, there is no privileged point of view, and Bakhtln contrasts

Dostoyevsky’s polyphony with the monologlcal blocks of Tolstoy, which Imprison the characters’ words in the words of the author, notably In the long discourse on history atthe end of War and Peace. Self-consciousness is a product of the dialogue In which Dostoyevsky’s characters engage with themselves, their Ideas and their inter• tocutors; they do not exist In themselves or for themselves, but with and for others. The ‘dlalogtc principle’ explains the structural elements of Dostoyevsky’s fiction, which is described as Introducing a new GENRE and even as Inaugurating a corERNI· CAN REVOLUTION with respect to the monologism of Gogol and Tolstoy. Dostoyev. sky’s novels are polyphonic in that the reader can sense In every utterance the nature of the social language that gives It Its background, Its overall meaning and Its truth. At a much more general level, the dlaloglcprinciple provides the model for Krlsteva’s intertextuallty by describing how texts and GENRES engage In a conversation that never ends. Cervantes is in constant dialogue with the novels of chivalry read by Don Quixote; Fielding, Smollet and Sterne converse with the genres and styles they parody. The polyUnguistlc structure of the novel uses, that Is, the discourses of other novels and writers to refract Its own discourse (Bakhtln 1934-5).

Bakhtin’s late study of Rabelais again uses the dialogic model, but also expands upon the Important theme of the carnlvalesque. The tradition of carnival, whose history Is traced back to the Roman saturnalia, Is described by Bakhtln as abolishing the boundaries between the public and private spheres and bpetween performers and spectators, and as establishing an inverted order in which fools and outsiders become kings for the day. It offers a mocking challenge to the ‘serious’ official culture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by desuoylng social hierarchies and making all social strata and all age.groups equal. For Bakhtln, carnival Is a re-enactment of the ancient cults of fertility and rebirth; the mocking challenge to authority represents a popular force of renewal that opens the way to a new future. The characteristic features of Rabelais’s fiction – the giants Pantagruel and Gargan­ tua, with their enormous appetites and gluttony, the emphasis on excretion and the sheer verbal exuberance – are all explained as reflections of the spirit of carnival: Rabelais camlvallzes literature and In doing so challenges and demystifies the dogmatic serious culture of his times. Bakhtin’s emphasis on the popular element in Rabelais has not found much favour with professional Renaissance specialists, not least because it tends to ignore the very serious theological themes in his work (on Rabelais’s theology, see Screech 1958).

READING: Bemard-Donals (1994); Todorov (1981)

Bartbes, Roland (1915-80) French literary critic and theorist. Barthes’ prolific output (collected 1993-5) is so consistently innovative and inventive as to make him one of the most important and lnOuentlal critics of the twentieth century. Although his work goes through a number of distinct phases, he often remarks that although the theoretical languages he uses change, his basic concerns remain relatively constant, as Is eVident from a reading of a selection (1981a) of the Interviews given by Barthes between 1962 and 1980. His fundamental concern Is with the relationship between language and the social world, and with the literary forms that mediate between the two. A taste for creating neologisms, a fascination with

 

 

�——————–“-I ‘” .. I Bartbe.s, Roland ——————–t..2′.’. Bataille, Georges

and combined them into a meal (1964a). With this analysis, Barthes’ synlagmatic

classification and structuralism reaches its apotheosis in an exquisite exercise In

categorization that most readers find quite unreadable.

As the dream of sclentlficlty fades, Barthes’ fascination with classification t

in a short the form of a close reading of the plethora of narrative codes he Ide

ntifies elaborated by

story by Balzac (1970a), and then of the strange systems of thought

the utopian socialist Fourier and the Jesuit Ignatius of Loyola (1971a). The t ext

Sade, a cause for a hedonisllc ls no longer an object for cold scientific analysis, but rather

celebration that has strong sexual overtones. The utopian strand reappe ars In an

of Barthes’ ttavels 10 Japan (1970b), described as the ’empire of signs’ and

account experienced (or rather constructed) as a utopia in which signs and signifie

rs finally

constraints of the Western system of meaning and become delicate escape the theme of DESIRE comes to the fore in the delightful objects to be played with. The

deliberately misleading autobiographical study of but Roland Bartl/es by Rolaml

lime at his homosexuality, Bartl1es (1975), in which Bart hes quietly hinls for the first pleasures and in the delicate fragments that analyse the longings, frustrations an

d it, the utopian of sexual love (1977). like the old dream of scientificlty before

eventually fades into a melancholy of longing and loss which most hedonism provoked by the death of Darthes’ mother in 1977. The commentators agree was

of this late period is the elegiac study of photography (1980) publlshed great work in the year of,Barthes’ death in a banal road accident.

akes

READING: Calvet (1990); Culler (1983b); L.avers (1982); Wiseman (1989)

base/superstructure The classic Marx.1st theory of IDEOLOGY holds lhat the re is

(the forces and relations a relationship of detennlnation between an economic base and of production) and a superstructure made up of the state, and legal, polit

ical in

ideological fonns. Elements of a 1heory of base and superstructure are outlin ed

(1845-6), but the clearest exposition is to be Marx and Engels’s TIie Gennan Ideology fpund in the preface to Marx’s Contrib11tio11 to tlle Critique of Political Econom

y (1859).

the MODE OF PRODUCTION of material life determines social, Here Marx argues that their political and intellectual life: ‘It Is not the consciousness of men that determines

their consciousness.’ It follows existence, but their social existence that determines

the ruling ideas or dominant ideolo�ryof any given historical period are the ideas

lhat ideology of its ruling class. Changes at the level of the economic baseof society w

ill or

ideological superstructure. In his famous letter of zr/ eventually transfonn the entire September 1890 to Joseph Bloch (in Marx and Engels 1965), Engels insists, however

, 22

mean that the economic is the sole deter­1hat the base/superstructure model does not superstructural fonns also have an Influence on the minant of ideology, and thal

historical struggles. Many of the debates that have taken place within course of WESTERN MARXISM focus on an attempt to avoid the crude economic determi

nism

of the base/superstructure model and the claim that ideology of the simpler forms reflection of an underlying economic reality. is no more than a distorted

Bataille, Georges (1897-1962) French writer, critic, cofounder of the COLLEGE P E

the journal CRITIQUE. The publication of the soc10LoGJE and founding editor of

‘ classificatory systems and a tendency to work with pairs of concepts, such as \I/RITER LY A ND REAOERLY TEX TS (1970a) or pleasure and JOUJSSANCE (1973a), are also constant features or his work. Whilst such pairs of concepts certainly renect the importance of binary oppositions in STRUCTURALISM, they are also an index of the elegant sense of play(ulness that Is to be found In so much of Barthes’ wriling; for Barthes, concepts are In a sense intellectual playthings. As one of the best studies or Barthes notes (Knight 1997), there is an important utopian dimension to his work, and its presence is often revealed by the second of the paired concepts. A ‘writerly’ text, remarks Barthcs (1970a), is unllkely to be found in a bookshop; it Is both a utopia towards which he strives and a theoretical weapon that factlitates the critique of the banal ‘readerly’ text.

J

Barthes’ concern with writing is apparent from his first major essay jr953), which demonstrates that no form or style of writing is a Cree expression of an author’s subjectivity. Writing is always loaded with social and ideological values, and lan­ guage is never innocent. A sense of the need for a CRITIQUE or fonns of wrtling that mask the historical-political features of the social world by making it appear ‘natural’ or inevitable, together with a utopian longing for a different world and different forms of writing, provides the impulse behind the analyses of MYTHOLOGIES (1957) that first gave Barthes a non-academic readership.

The long analytic essay appended to Mytllologies marks the beginning of what is usually seen as Barthes’ structuralist or semlological phase. Elements ofSemiology (1964a) played an enormously Important role ln making SEMIOLOGY an integral part of Intellectual life, and soon came lo have the status of a classic textbook, whllst Barthes’ major contributions (e.g. 1966a) lo the emerging science of NARRATOLOGY helped to make structuralism the dominant discourse orthe period. The structuralist Darthes was also a controversial figure. His study of Racine (1963), which abandons the conventional author-and-works approach (and thus prefigures the announce­ ment of the DEATH OF THE AUTIIOR in 1968) in favour of an anthropological and psychoanalytic reading of canonical texts (CANON), drew down the wrath of the very traditionalist Raymond l’icard (1965) and sparked a controversy that went to the.heart of French intellectual life (see Doubrovsky 1966). The stakes were high, given that Racine ls In some ways lhe rrench Shakespeare; Barthes’ new criticism was denounced as an imposture. Barthes• predlctable, and slinging, response (Barthes 1966b) was I hat criticism, like language itself, is never neutral and that the specificity of lilerature can be examined only within the context of a semiology or a general theory of slgns. It was precisely the generality of semiology that attracted Barihes, who would speak (1971b) in retrospect of the euphoric dream of scientilicity that it inspired; ii Inspired a sense of wonder at the potential ofa system that seemed applicable lo anything and everything. The most sophisticated product of the structuralist perlod is Darthes’ study of the fashion system ( 1967). It does not examine fashion as such, but looks at the descriptions of garments contained in women’s magazines and demonstrates that the implicit system operating there can be ana­ lysed as though it were a language. Individual garments are selected from a PARA­ DIGM of types and styles, and combined in the sYNTAGM of an i ndivldual ensemble of clothes, just as Darthes had already selected items from a paradlgmalic menu

 

 

———————-� Bazin, Andre r_pn aml� ____________________e_e..;Jc…___n…; ‘p…:Wlllt�e�:.:.::::: In the service of absolute modem power created It; understanding the Holocaust is an essential task for any theory of modernity and the civilizing process that suppos­edly accompanies It.

• –

with the feminist movement and became involved in campaigns for the right to contraception and abortion. Regrettably, the notoriously Inaccurate English translation denies non-French speaking readers access to the full richness of Beau­ voir’s thought.

Beauvoir’s status as one of the founding mothers of feminism has not gone unchallenged. Later writers such as KRISTEVA, c,xous and IRIGAIIAY are highly critical of her failure to place a positive emphasis on women’s sexual difference and of her apparently negative descriptions of the female body. Her reliance on Sartrean theory, and the close relationship with Sartrehimself, havealso led to theaccusation that she Is a ‘male-Identified’ woman. Many critics also deny that Beauvoir makes any original contribution to philosophy, but it has been argued (Vintger 1992) that her essays on ethics (1947a) offer an escape from Sartre’s alleged sours,sM by stressing that freedom can be achieved by a combination of willing-oneself free and an emotional fusion with the other. Despite the crltlcisms that have been addr�ssed to Beauvoir, who Is now more widely read in the English-speaking world than in France, it remains true to say that The Seco11tl Sex Is a book of which many women can say: ‘It changed my life’ (Forster and Sutton 1989).

Bazin, Andre (1918-58) French film critic and cofounder, in 1951, of CAltlERS ou CINfMA. Bazin never published a systematic book on the theory of film; his influen­ tial What Is Cl11ema? (1958-62), which had a major impact on the young directors of the NOUVELLE VAGUE, consists of reviews and short articles published between 19’15 and 1958. The four-volume French edition Includes some sixty essays; almost half have been published In English In a two-volume selection (1967, 1971). Bazin Is one of the first serious cinema critics and regards film as a language whose evolution can be traced through an examination of styles of editing and of the Introduction of s�ch new techniques as Gregg Toland’s deep-focus photography, which Is such a stnklng feature of Orson Welles’s Citizen Ka11e (1941, but not shown in France until after the Second World War). Bazln’s aesthetics of cinema Is a realistic aesthetic. Like photography, cinema is described as creating an ideal world that Is made In the Image of the real. For Balin, ‘realism’ does not refer to the subject-matter of the film, but the reality of the space without which moving pictures cannot become cinema. Cinema Is the art of the real because It records the spatiality of objects and the physicality of the space in which they exist. Bazin’s articles on Italian NEOREALISM, which he praised for Its ‘respect for reality’, are particularly fine. Although Incomplete and fragmentary, his study of the French directorJean Renoir {189-1-1979) Is an important contribution to the AUTEUR THEORY of cinema (,971).

lltADING: Andrew (1976); Andrew and Truffaut (1971)

Beauvoir, Simone de (19()8-86) French philosopher, novelist and feminist. Her TheSeco11tl Sex (19-19) is generally regarded as one of the great manifestos of modern FCMINISM.

The underlying philosophical structure of Tile Second Sex Is grounded in the Self­ Other relationship described by SARTRE’S classic essay on EXISTENTIALISM (1943a), but the emphasis placed upon GENDER introduces themes that are not present there. Ac�ordlng to Beauvoir’s schema, women have been turned into an objectified Other, whilst men have appropriated the Subject position and have thus made it Impossible for women to live in the mode of the for-itself (see IN·ITSEU/FORp·ITSELF). The fa�ous sentence ‘One Is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’ Is the starting­ point for a detailed phenomenological description of ‘becoming a woman’ and for an attack on all the myths of the eternal feminine that reduce women to a timeless ess�nce. Unlike Sartre, Beauvoir attaches great importance to the social and econ­ omic forces that determine women’s existence, and demonstrates the oppressive effects of education, family structure, conventional marriage, housework and ‘.notherhood. TIie Secom/ Sex Is a powerful call for women to grasp freedom and independence,and Insists thateconomic independence Is an essential precondition for s�ial and existential freedom. Paradoxically, Beauvoir did not regard herself as a feminist at the lime of writing, and believed that some fonn of socialism would lead to women’s emancipation. It was not until the 1970s that she openly identified

Like the best of her novels, n,e M1111dari11s (195p4), Beauvoir’s autobiographical works (1958, 1900, 1963, 1972) provide a remarkable chronicle of French Intellectual life, and a self-portrait of ‘the emblematic intellectual woman of the twentieth century’ (Moi 1994). It Is, however, clear from the posthumously published letters and diaries (1990a, 1990b) that there is an element of idealization and even self­ censorship In the account of how an ‘essential relationship’ with Sartre could be freely combined with more transient and ‘contingent’ relationships with others.

READING: Bair (1990); Fallaize (1998); Forster and Sutton (1989)

BcnjllDllD, Walter (1892-1940) Jewish-German critic, philosopher and man of 1etters. Benjamin is one of the most intriguing and elusive figures of the twentieth century, and his posthumous career has been both fascinating and a source or misunderstandings. The publication In 1955 of a two-volume edition of his works edited by ADORNO (since superseded by the seven volumes of the collected works. 1974-9) made him a significant fib’Ure for the German NEW LEFT and his reputation spread to the English-speaklng world thanks to a collection edited by ARENDT (1969), who also selected the material Included In the later Ref1ectio11s (1978). His Image of the FLANEUR (1939a, 1939b), his comments on the loss of aura of the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction (1936), his discussion of photography (1931) and his characterization of Paris as the ‘capital of the nineteenth century’ (1935) have become familiar features or debates on the origins and nature of MODERNITY, whilst his essays on BRECHT (1973) have provided many readers with a good introduction to EPIC theatre. His occasional pieces on Naples (1924) and Marseille (1928b, 1928c), the autobiographical ‘Berlin Chronicle’ (1932) and the diary kept during a visit to Moscow in 1926-7 (1986) are major contributions to the literature or the modem city.

Whilst Benjamin is widely regarded as a key figure In WESTERN MARXISM, his relationship with the FRANKFURT SCHOOL (documented in Jay 1973 and Buck-Morss

 

 

– —–� ————— – – — deconstruction Deboird, Guy.Ernest _____:….:..:.:..!.�==————- � s• I

and denies the Importance of what ICRISTEVA terms its INTERTEXTUALITY. Texts are not, that is, produced by authors, but by intertextuality and other texts. The death of the author signals the liberation of the reader, who no longer has to accept

.unquestioningly that a novel has a single meaning enshrined In the biography of Its author.

decentrlng Widely used to describe the COPERNICAN REVOLUTION that displaces the apparent source or focus of subjectivity and meaning away from the traditional SUBJECT. Different theories have combined to give decentring a complex sense in most forms of STRUCTURALISM and POSTSTRUCTUAALISM, ranging from FOU· CAULT’S DEATH OF MAN to LACAN’S insistence that the seeming unity of the EGO is an illusion. It might be argued that they have a common source in section 17 of Deyoml Gootl ,111,I Evil (1886), in which Nietzsche contends in arguing against t<ant that it is false to say that the subject ‘I’ is the condition of the predicate ‘think’, and that ‘it’ (d”s Es; the JD) thinks unbidden by the ‘I’.

The centr�lity of the author is challenged by the classic texts of MODERNISM. The poetry of Stephane Mallarme (1842-98) reaches the point at which language can be said lo be ‘speaking Itself ‘ through an imperson;il WRITING, and it ceases to be either ii psychological expression of the poet’s subjectivity or a representation of something external to its own workings. Despite the supposed acuity of his psy�hological analyses, Proust has, according to Barthes, written the epic of modem writing. The narrator of A la recherche d11 temps perd11 Is, that is, a product of the text rather than its point of origin or its signified.

Similar issues are raised by FOUCAULT in his paper ‘What is an Author?’ (1969b), but he goes on to explore the notion of a historically variable author-function defined by a variety of DISCOURSES and institulions (and not least the law of copy�ght which determines the ownership of a text). The emergence of the author­ function signalsan individualization ohvriting that occurred quite recen lly; ancient £Plcs do not have authors in the modern sense of the word. According to Foucault the death of the author, which he links to the broader theme of the DEATH OF MAN• pr��uces a feeling of indifference that is one of the ethical features of mode� .writing. This ‘ethical indifference’ emphasizes that writing is not something that �an be completed and therefore appropriated, but an endless practice. Foucault ,,illustrates his theme by citing Beckett; ‘p”What does it matter who is speaking someone sa

‘ id, “What does It matter who is speaking?”.’

Deboird, Guy-Ernest 11931-94) French political activist, film-maker and, together with VANEIGEM, the principal theorist of SITUATIONISM.

Debord is bpest own for his (1967) which, he rem rked . _ � Society of the Spectacle awith some pride 1n 1993, remained in print almost continuously for twenty-five years, havi�g been reprlnled every eighteen months (it is still in print). The book, .which anticipates many aspects of the work of BAUDRILLARD, describes in 221 numbered paragraphs the profound ALIENATION in which the circulation of images �as become more important than the accumulation of material commodities. Life IS no longer something to be lived, but a spectacle to be watched from a distance The specta le is notpmerely set of images, but a social relationship between peopl� tha

� _ � t is me�1ated by images; 1t does not realize philosophy, but philosophizes reality.

In �he society of the spectacle, the concrete life of all is debased to being a speculallve universe. Even violent revolt is liilble to be incorporated into the constant and constantly changing spectacle. Debord’s work ls as deeply pessimistic as that of MARCUSE, but Is relieved by the glacial elegance of his aphoristic style. He wrote .relatively httle, and in 1989 wryly – and quite accurately – described himself as one who had written much less than most people who write, but who had drun.lc much more than most people who drink.

READING; Plant (r992); Sadler (1998)

In his /11tro,l11ctory Lectures Psyclloa11alysis, Freud (1916-17) writes that ‘the naive self-love of men’ has suffered

011

maJor blows at the hands of the Copernican revolution and then the Darwinian revolution that demonstrated that man was descended from the animals and did not have a privileged place in creation. A third blow is struck by the psychoanalytic discovery of the UNCONSC1ous, which reveals that the EGO Is ‘not even master in its own house’ and that human beings are governed, not by their conscious thoughts, but by unconscious forces and DRIVES. The idea of a loss of the conscious self-control exercised by a rational SUBJECT is implicit in all theories of decentring. Structuralists note, for example, that meanIng is an etrect of differential SIGNS and not of a subjectivity that decides the meanings of words, whilst HEIDEGGER famously observes (1951) that whilst man acts as though he were ‘the shaper and master of Janb,uage’, it is in fact language that is the master of man in that it determines his very existence.

Lacan follows Freud when he remarks (1978) that the core of our being does not coincide with the ego, and that the ego is an IMAGINARY structure in which the subject ls alienated because it identifies with the illusory self-image of lhe MIRROR­ STAGE. For Lacan (1949), psychoanalysis inaugurates a revolution against any phil· osophy based on the Cartesian cogito that states ‘l think, therefore I :am.’ As he argues elsewhere (1957), the existence of the unconscious means that ‘I thinkwhere 1 am not, therefore I am where I do not think.’

ALTHUSSER then incorporates this version of decentJing inlo his Lacani,10· lnnuenced theory of IDEOLOGY by contending (1969b) that the ideological subject is decentred to that extent that It is created by a structure that has no centre except the imaginary recognition of the ego, or the ideological formation in which ii ‘recognizes’ itself. More generally, Althusser also argues (1962a) that the social total­ ity itself is decentred; the existence and effects of OVER-DETERMINATION at the economic, political and ideological levels mean that it has no essence andno single centre.

deconstruction A form of textual analysis associated mainly with the French philosopher Jacques DERRIDA, the American criticl’aul DE MAN and his fellow ‘Yale deconslructionists’ Harold BLOOM, Geoffrey Hartman ( 1970, 1979)andJ. Hillis Miller. One of the principal strands in POSTSTRUCTURALISM, deconstruction has had an immense influence on literary studies – though this is more marked in the English­ speaking world than in France – philosophy and historiography. Thanks In part to Derrida’s translator Gayatri Chakravorty SPIVAK, it has had a major impact upon

 

 

________ ____ _ ——————-� deconstruction !J deictic __ _ __

pllannnko,i (meaning both ‘poison’ and ‘antidote’). This I s the subject of one

rlato’s of Denlda’s most brilliant essays (1968).

Derrida’s detailed reading of Saussure in Of Grammat ology (1967a) exemplifies

deconstruction’s insistence on unravelling the logic and contradictions of the text

itself. In one of his most lucid statements of principle, De rrida (1972c) explains that

deconslructing a philosophical text means working thr ough I� concepts and logic .

determine what it cannot descnbe, wh�t its history in such a way as to discover and excluded in order to constitute it as what it Is. De Man m

akes a similar point has

be coherent and self-consistent, literary when he argues (1979) that, if they are to METAPHORS and other figures of RHETORIC texts must of necessity be blind to the of those

that constitute them as texts. Deconstruction’s rigo rous examination

fipgures reveals the weakness of the links that hold them l ogether.

Although deconstruction has become an extraordinarily, a nd somewhat bewilder­

see also the ingly, sophisticated exercise in reading, Derrida’s early

review (1963; . Derrida 1991) of FOUCAULT’S first major book, Fo/ie et

dha1so,1: later discussion In

folie ii t’dge clnssique (1961; translated into English as Mad

Histoire de ta � ess a11d

nnclples Civitizatio,r: A History of ft1Sanity i11 tl1e Age of Ret1Sot1), Illus

trates many of its p

inherent In It. Foucault claims to be both writing the and some of the difficulties archaeology of the silence surrounding madness an

d the gesture that divorced

y confining the mad In the asylums of seventeenth· reason from unreason by literall France. Derrida contends that Foucault has confused a si

ngular event with century

and has misconstrued the meaning of the ‘great the category of reason as such, constitutes Itself by expelllng madness from the confinement’ of the insane; reason

subjectivity. The exclusion of madness Is therefore not an event, but a

definillon of definition of reason. The categories of ‘reason’ and ‘mad

ness’ precondition for the

pt of madness Is part of the constitutive definition are not mutually exclusive: a conce reason. Foucault’s book Inadvertently or blindly reprod

uces the structures that of to breach that exclude madness. To attempt to write the archaeology

of a silence is etrated against the Insane; Foucault’s book is silence. co repeat the violence perp It

itself a gesture of confipnement, a Cartesian gesture for the twenti�th century.

madness denves from the Is ‘Cartesian’ In that classical reason’s definition of

certainty of not being mad. That certainty Is founded upo n the cogito, and the whole

thrust of deconstruction Is to undermine such certaint ies.

no means uns to deconstruction, remar� <1� 4)

VATTtMO, who Is by ympathetic cntictsm .a common that It often resembles a form of virtuoso performance

art, and Lentrl ­

is that the authority of the virtuoso Is the one thing that Is unchallenged. �

instance, has commented (1980) unfavourably n the app arently unassa1�­chia, for �

able authority and certainty displayed by De Man. In hts belated reply to D�r��a s .

/a tie, Foucault (1972) makes the more damnmg cnttctsm

criticisms of his Histoire ,le fo deconstruction gives the master a limitless sovereignty

, and simply teaches that students to repeat and reproduce his words.

iREADING: Culler (1983a); Hobson (1998); Norr s (1982)

ics as a synonym for what JAKOBS�N deictic Term commonly used In linguist the Greek deiktos, an adjective derived m terms a SHIFTER. The term derives from

POSTCOLONIAL THEORY. It has also become an Important element in QUEER theory. Although the practitioners of deconstruction insist that it Is not a ‘theory• or

‘philosophyp’ that can be applied, or even one that can be defined in a set of propositions, a number of general principles can be Identified. All forms of decon­ struction rely upon extremely close readings or the texts under analypsis and tend to refrain from Introducing external evaluative criteria; to that extent, deconstruction can be seen as an extreme form or Immanent CRITIQUE. Indeed, De Man c,979) argues, In terms reminiscent of the NEW CRtT1c1si.t’s veneration of the autonomy of the ‘verbal icon•, that deconstruction Is not something that ls added to the text; a literary text deconstructs itself because it simultaneously asserts and denies the authority of Its own rhetoric. Little or no distinction is made between GENRES: philosophical texts are to be analypsed in the same terms as literary texts, and one of th� stated goals of deconstruction Is to undermine philosophyp’s prestige by showmg that It too Is a rhetorical construct (in similar fashion, WHITE demonstrates that history Is a rhetorical construct).

In strictly philosophical terms, deconstruction’s ancestry can be traced 10 NIETZ· SCH£ and his con1ent1on that there are no facts, only Interpretations (1901), and to HEIDEGGER ‘s critique of the priority that is traditionally given to the present tense In attempts to discuss the nature of being. One of Derrida’s constanl concerns ls wpith the ‘metaphypsics of presence’, wphich he regards as central to the history of Western philosophyp, or the thesis that the SUBJECT can be self-understanding and can express itself fully in speech. rn his earliest work (1967a, 1967b, 1967c), he makes a far-reaching critique of what he calls LOGOCENTRtSt.t or phonocentrlsm, which assumes that speech exists prior to WRITING and wphich Is typpified by the biblical ‘In the beginning wpas the Word.’ By claiming that speech is the primal and full form of expression, logocentrism inevitably Ignores or conceals the fact that if wpriting is a SUPPLEMENT to speech (a theme that can be easily traced from rlat; to SAUSSURE). something must be absent in the speech that has to be supplemented. Spee�h, that Is, does not have a point of origin, but arises from an ‘origlnary lack’. Derrida follows Saussure In describing language as a series of supplements and substitutions, but argues that the theory of the SIGN (a self-sufficient union or signifier and signified) Is Itself an instance of logocentrism. In his critique of the sign, Derrida introduces the crucial notion of DIFFiR,tNCE (meaning both ‘difference’ and ‘deferral’) to demonstrate that language and meaning have no point of origin and no end: the ‘meaning’ ls alwayps the product of the difference betwpeen signs, and u is alwpayps ‘deferred’ by a temporal structural that never comes to an end. There ts, moreover, no final or correct reading of a text; any reading generates a supplemen­ tary reading. The effect of this emphasis on a never-ending process of 1liffera11ce Is to unsettle the binary oppositions that are so Important to STRUCTURALISM (the most elementary being that between differential rHoNEMES such as /fl and /p/) by demonstrating both that one element (male as opposed to female; white as opposed to black) is alwayps dominant and that they are inherently unstable because the Implicit hierarchy can, in principle, be inverted. The unlversalist ambitions of structuralism are also challenged by deconstructipon’s emphasis on undecidable AroRptAs wphich cannot be described in terms of sets of binary oppositions such as

 

 

———desire desiring machines——— – – —- 1 ••� •• 1�—- ——————“—-

READING: Culler (1983a); Hobson (1998);Johnson (1993)

desire ·rbe concept of desire, thanks largely to LACAN, has become a vital category in contemporary thought, but In Introducing it Into PSYCHOANALYSIS Lacan draws on an old philosophical tradition as well as on the theories of FREUD. More specific• ally, the Lacanlan concept of desire Is Inseparable from the reading of Hegel under­ taken by KOJEVE and from the postwar writings of French Hegelians such as Jean Hyppolite; in that sense, 1/esir serves as a translation of Hegel’s Begierde (longing, desire, appetite), and that term Is very rarely used by Freud. In psychoanalytic terms, clesir Is, however, the normal French translation or Freud’s W1111scl1, which is rendered as ‘wish’ by James Strachey in the Standard Edition or Freud’s works, whilst the W1111sche,tiilll111g (‘wish-fulfilment’) that defines the function of dreamlng (Freud 1900) becomes realis11tio11p1f11 desir. All Lacan’s translators have opted to translate the word as ‘desire’, and whilst that choice is faithful to French usage, something of Freud’s original sense begins lo disappear, particularly as ‘desire’ tends to replace ‘LIBIDO’ in Lacan’s texts from the 1950s onward. Paradoxically, the emphasis placed by Lacan on a very broad concept or desire tends to desexuallze Freud’s libido theory.

Desire begins to come to the fore in Lacan’s seminar of 1954-5 on the ego (1978), and is discussed in very clear terms ln section XVIII where the Freudian world ls described as ‘a world of desire as such’, but it is in 1958 that the theory really crystallizes with the distinction between need, demand and desire (1958b). Lacan now speaks of demand as the verbalized expression of a fundamental need (such as the child’s biological need for nutrition if it is to survive) and of desire as a longing

lhat persists once needs have been satisfied. Ultimately, deslle Is not caused by the wish 10 possess an object: it Is caused by •a lack of being’ that signals the split or division at the heart of the SUBJECT. Ultimately, the Inherent dissatisfaction of desire is caused by the evanescent quality of what Lacan will call ‘oBJET (PETIT) A’. It ts obviously possible to relate this triple structure to Freud’s description of how the libido is gradually separated out from the biological DRIVES whose alms are self-preservation and nutrition, and acquires a sexual OBJECT of Its own (Freud 1905a), but Lacan introduces a rather different note by adding that desire is an appeal to receive from the OTHER the complement to what It lacks. When he goes on to formulate the classic thesis that •man’s desire is the desire of the Other’. it Is clear that he Is integrating Into psychoanalysis l<ojeve’s description of the dialectic of desire in which the slave seeks the recognition of the master and whlch generates the struggle for pure prestige. Lacan thus returns not so much to Freud as to the French Hegelianlsm of the 1940s, when Jean Hyppolite wrote (1947) that ‘human desire Is always a desire for the desire of an other’.

In making desire so central to psychoanalysis and defining it in terms of a founding lack or absence, Lacan effects a circuitous return to one of the oldest themes In Western philosophy. In Plato’s S1•mposi111n Socrates forces Agathon to concede that love or desire exists only in relation to some object that It lacks. Spinoza defines desire (wpitlitas) as ‘nothing else than the very essence or nature or man’ (1677), whilst Descartes describes it as ‘an agitation of the soul’ which disposes lt to possess things it sees as agreeable but does not possess (1649).

Like Lacan, classical theories of desire define desire In negative terms, or in terms of something that Is lacked by the desiring subject. That perspective is Inverted by DELEUZE and GUATTARI and the other so-called ‘philosophers or desire’ such as LYOTARD. In this theory or desire, desire creales lts objects and, rather than signify· Ing a relationship determined by lack , opens up new possibilities. Guattari puts It very slmply (1975a): an individual falls ln love with someone or something in an apparently closed universe, and his or her desire opens up new and infinite possibilities. For Deleuze and Guattari, desire Is not the product of an encounter with an object, however ephemeral, but a universal force or flow that exists prior to the establishment of the subject-object distinction and prior to representation (Guattari 1975a). Always resistant to representation and socialization, desire ls a marginal and marginalizing force associated with outsiders; Guattari remarks (1975a) that in twenty-five years or psychiatric practice he never once encountered a hetero­ sexual married couple who functioned In accordance with the perverse and poly­ morphous Oows of desire. Yet even the proponents of such a radical theory or desire have to admit that they have their classical forebears; in the first chapter of their Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari acknowledge (1972) that It was Kant who brought about the revolution In the philosophy of desire in the Introduction to the Critique of /11dgeme11t (r790) when he defined desire as ‘a faculty which by means or its representations is the cause of the actuality of the objects of those representations’.

desiring machines Concept Introduced by DELEUZE and GUATTARI in the course of their polemical assault on PSYCHOANALYSIS in Anti-Oedipus (1972.). In Tlie

done only from within. The very notion or GENRE is subverted to such a degree as to blur all distinctions between philosophy, literature and criticism. Dertlda has often been accused of reducing philosophy to nothing more than a sophisticated literary criticism; the whole thrust of his deconstruction is to argue that such criticisms rest upon the unthought assumption that philosophy is a higher form of DISCOURSE, whereas It in fact, like any literary text, consists of metaphors and figures and remains, as De Man would put it, blind to its own workings. The deconstruclion of binary opposllions such as Inside/outside, or male/female, has had an Immense Influence on the many forms of posTMODERNISM and QUEER theory.

Derrida’s deconstructions Involve detailed readings of a wide variety of authors from Plato (1968) to FREUD (1966b), Nietzsche (1978b), Heidegger (1987), MARX (1994) and the fascinating French poet Francis Ponge (1978a; a selection of Ponge’s work was published in translation In 1998). Whilst Derrida’s brilliance as a reader cannot be questioned, doubts must arise as to the selection of the texts he reads. Thechoice of texts to be deconstructed seems almost arbitrary, especially in (1974) where Hegel is discussed together with the French writerJean Genet, and

Gl,ts

where both text and commentary are printed In parallel columns. Like De Man’s authoritative interpretations, Derrida’s choice of texts appears to be governed by little more than a personal authority that Is, by the very nature of deconstruction, very difficult to challenge.

 

 

d1scourse ·-1�� ��������� � ��������� ����� � I – – d-‘ s—- – – lsp ltl� ——– – — =-_o_-‘-f and especially the short story, that emerged In the early 1980s (Gra,ita 8, 1983). Dirty realism Is characterized by its pared-down style and Its concentJallon on the mundanity of suburban lire, petty crime and the bleak lives or characters who drift aimlessly through a depersonalized society. The most important authors assoclilled with the trend are Raymond Carver (1939-88), Jayne Anne Phillips (1952-) and Rlchard Ford (1944-).

discourse Term traditionally used to designate a formal discussion of a topic, a treatise or homily, or an exposition of a thesis with a pedagogical or methodological purpose. The titles of Descartes’ Discourse on the Metll0tl and Machiavelli’s Discourses 011 Livy provide classic examples of that usage. In most forms of linguistics, ‘dis• course’ is used to refer to an extended piece of text, or its verbal equivalent, that forms a unit of analysis. In the contemporary HUMAN SCIENCES, the term is widely, and often very loosely, used to describe any organized body or corpus of statements and utterances governed by rules and conventions of which the user ls largely unconscious. The very Wide use or the term reflects STRUCTURALISM’s promotion of the linguistic model as a model for all communication: It thus becomes possible to speak of the discourse of advertising, or the discourse of Impressionist palnling. Here, ‘discourse’ easily becomes a near-synonym for’IOEoLooy’. More generally, the new emphasis on discourse is influenced by the thesis that language, and symbolic systems in general, ls not an expression of subjectivity, but rather the agency that produces subjectivity by positioning human beings as SUBJECTS. In all these senses, ‘discourse’ is heaVily influenced by the French discours, which has extremely broad connotations and which, unlike its English equivalent, Is part of everyday speech: te11ir 1111 tlisco11rs .mr . . . means little more than ‘to talk about .p. .’. Modern French thus retains the sense, now archaic or archly literary in English, of ‘discourse’ as ‘conve1sation’ or ‘talk’. Something of that usage survives In LACAN’s ‘discourse of the unconscious’; this refers quite literally to ‘what the unconscious is saying’.

Wlthi n the human sciences, the most influential definition of the word ‘discourse• is that given by the French linguist BENVENISTE. In the fifth section of Problems ofGeneral Li11g11istics (1966), which deals mainly with language and subjectivity, llenveniste defines the tenn ‘discourse’ In the broadest of senses as any utterance involving a speaker and a hearer, and an Intention, on the part of the speaker, of influencing the hearer. Both a trivial conversation and a formal oration can thus be seen as instances of discourse. Benveniste also describes ‘discourse’ as a supra­ lingulsttc phenomenon. The sentence is defined as the highest or most complex of the system of SIGNS that is language in that it is the product of lhe comblnatton of more basic units such as PHONEMES and signs. With the analysis of the sentence, the domain of linguistics proper is abandoned and the analyst enters a universe In which language is an instrument of communication, with discourse as Its form of expression.

Although theories or discourse, from Foucault’s DISCURSIVE FORMATIONS to l’ECHEUX’saulomatic (i.e.computerized) discourse analysis, vary considerably, most are informed by Benveniste’s original formulations and stress lhat discourse is an intersubjective phenomenon, is not a direct product of subjectivity and has a

constituent role in the production of the symbolic systems that govern human existence. Most would also agree that the analysis of discourse begins at the polnt where llngulslics reaches the limits of its technical competence.

d1scurslve formation A group of statements in which it Is possible to find a pattern of regularity defined in terms of order, correlation, position and function. Discursive formations are the objects studied by FOUCAULT’S ARCHAEOLOGY Of KNOWLEDGE; the formations examined In his Les Mots et Jes choses (1966; translated as TI1e Orderof111it1gs), where the term ls used for lhe first time, include philology, biology and polltlcal economy. A more formalized description of discursive forma­ tions will be found in hisArchaeology of K,io1vledge (1969a). Following Foucault, SAID analyses ORIENTALISM (1978) as a discursive formation that justified the West’s dominance over the East In terms of its supposedly Innate superiority.

Discursive formations are the products of DISCOURSES and or their formation of objects, SUBJECT•posltions, concepts and strategies. Nineteenth-century psycho­ pathology, for example, includes a wide variety of phenomena within the category of mental illness (which It constitutes as an object of knowledge), detennlnes the role of subjects such as doctors and health administrators, produces concepts of the normal and the pathological, and then generates strategies for the treatment of the mentally ill. Relations of force and power are involved at every level or a discursive formation; for Foucault, knowledge is always a form of power.

Discursive formations do not refer to ‘things’ In the way that the linguistic REFERENT designates an extra-linguistic object; they both constitute their objects and generate knowledge about those objects. Although they constantly Interact with non-discursive formations (institutions, political events and economic pro­ cesses) and are therefore not completely Independent of them, discursive formations are relatively autonomous and are not subject to the mechanical determination or the non-discursive. They do not have ‘authors’ In the traditional sense, and are constituted by ARCHIVES or anonymous collections of texts that have acquired a dominant role in their field.

Foucault’s introduction of the concept of dlscursive formations extends the idea of the DEATH oF THE AUTHOR beyond lhe purely literary domain and provides a theory of IDEOLOGY that Is not dependent upon a crudely mechanical model of BASE/SUPERSTRUCTURE.

d1splacement Like CONDENSATION, an essential feature of the workings of the unconscious and of DREAM•WORK, as described by PSYCHOANALYSIS (Freud r900). The mechanism of displacement detaches the AFFECT or emotional charge of an unconscious idea and transfers It to a less intens..tea which is linked lo the first by a chain of associations. Bothcondensation and’displacement can also be observed In other unconscious formations such as symptoms: they are also an important feature of jokes (Freud 1905b). Following JAKOBSON (1956), LACAN likens conden­ sation and displacement to the linguistic mechanisms of METAPHOR/METONYMY.

dlsposltlf An important term in FOUCAULT’S later work (1976a, 1977), where it tends to replace the earlier EPISTEME. It is difficult lo translate and has often been

 

 

7 �—…=..:.———————epistemology � I � _______________________ _pEu_pro_pce_p_pn_pt_prismp_ that the discovery of the UNCONSCIOUS Is Freud’s COPERNICAN REVOLUTION or <!plstemologlcal break, ALTHUSSER contends that the sclentlficlty of HISTORICAL MATERIALISM is <?stablished by the <!plstemological break between the work of the mature Marx and the young Marx, who was stlll under the sway of Hegel and Feuerbach. The core of scientific rationality common to Marxism and psychoanaly. sis allows them to be so articulated as to produce a unified theory of IDEOLOGY and the SUBJECT.

epistemology That branch of philosophy which deals with the theory, nature, scope and basis of knowledge (Greek episteme), or which Investigates the posslblllty of knowledge ‘theory o!

itself. The French philosophical tradition makes a distinction between k owledge’ and ‘epistemology’, and defines the latter as the critical study �of the prmc1ples, hypotheses and findings of the various sciences. Defined In that

sense, eplst<?mology seeks to determine the logical origins, value and objective import of the sciences. BACHELARD and CANGUILJIEM are the great representatives of the French school of historical epistemology, which Is a major influence on FOUCAULT.

Epistemology can take many different forms, ranging from Plato’s doctrine of fonns, which distinguishes betwe<?n the unchanging ronn which is the object of thought, the copy of that form that is perceived by the senses, and the CHOR,, or rect!ptacle that is the nurse of all change (Timaeus), to the Cartesian cogito which founds the certainty of knowledge by using a process of methodical doubt to conclude ‘I am thinking, therefore I am’ (Descartes 1637). The epistemology of EMriR1crst.1, in contrast, derives all knowledge from the input of the senses and views the mind as a blank sheet or tabula rasa on which knowledge Is Imprinted.

Epistemology has traditionally been seen as sitting in judgement on other areas of philosophy or functioning as a court of appeal which rules on what can and cannot be known. Epistemology functions, that is, acts, as First Philosophy (Des­ c,1Ctes 1641). It still plays that rol<? with respect to the history of the sciences In the French tradition. Elsewhere, Its traditional function has been redefined or challenged. The tradition of ANALYTIC PHILOsorirv tends to displace the issue or epistemology towards the analysis or the nature, coherence and meaning of propositions. Critics of FOUNOA TIONALISM like RORTY doubt the very possibility of a correspondence between knowledge and its objects and question the need for any theory of knowledge, whilst VATTIMO and WHITE propose the HERMENEUTICS of RtrETORIC as an alternative to the cast-iron certainties of epistemology.

Feminist epistemology can take the fonn of the critiques of PIIALLOCENTRISM and rHALLOGOCENTRISM put fonvard by CIXOUS, KRISTEVA or IRIGARAY, who attempt to map a specifically feminine IMAGINARY and a new sexual economy that can speak of and to women’s needs and desires. It can also take the form of an attempt to GENDER knowledge by challenging the supposed objectivity and value-neutrality of knowledge, and especially science, and demonstrating that knowledge Is always socially constructed, and therefore influenced by the social c struction of gender (Harding 1976; Lennon and Whitford 1994). Such gender �� critiques have been particularly significant in the social, biological and medical

sciences, and often take as one of their starting-points Foucault’s thesis that any form of epistemology Is also a regime of power.

epoche In Greek philosophy, the term refers to the withholding of assent or the suspension of judgement associated with scepticism. In twentieth-century philos­ ophy, the term Is synonymous with the ‘bracketing’ associated with the rllENOMEN· OLOGY of HUSSERL and with the method of phenomenological reduction (Husserl 1913). II refers both to the refusal to pass any judgement on the theoretical content of all previous philosophy, and to the ‘putting out of action’ of all theses as to the nature of spatio-temporal existence in order to arrive at a pure perception of phenomena that ts devoid of all presuppositions or assumptions.

cssentlallsm Term derived from ‘essence’, meaning the true or permanent nature or being of a phenomenon, as opposed to the accidents that may befall It. It might be argued that IDENTITY POLITICS is a contemporary variety of essentlallsm. One of the earliest and fullest accounts of essentlallsm Is given by Aristotle in Book Gamma of The Metaphysics, where ‘essence’ Is synonymous with the Intrinsic properties of a phenomenon, and where It Is stated that the task of philosophy is to get to know both the essence of things and their accidents. The ability to do so is assumed to be an intrinsic property of human reason or 11ous.

Although the tenn ls still used in Its traditional or technical sense, ‘essentlallsm’ can also be employed In a critical and pejorative sense, particularly within modem FEMINISM which has, from BEAUVOIR (1949) onwards, always challenged the view that there exists an unchanging or eternal ‘female nature’. It Is also argued that those forms of femlnism that stress women’s difference to the exclusion of everything else lapse Into essentlalism. tRIGARAY, for example, has been criticized for reducing women’s sexuality to a biological essence (Sayers 1982) and for invoking a psychic essentlalism by invoking an Inherently female LIBIDO which perpetuates the myth of the eternal feminine (Segal 1987). Whilst srtVAK is another critic of essentlalism, she also insists that there is a need for a moment of ‘strategic essentlalism’, when it becomes necessary to abandon universalism so as to speak ‘as a woman’ or ‘as an Asian’ in order to contest the IIEGEIIIONV of colonial discourse.

ethnocentrism The tendency to judge the characteristics and cultures of other groups by the standards defined or recognized by the observer’s own ethnic group. Cultur.il judgements made on an ethnocentric basis are inevitably negative and pejorative, and serve to justify the denigration or other cultures and to promote racism. Both EUROCENTRISIII and AFROCENTRICITY are forms of ethnocentrism.

Eurocentrlsm A form of ethnocentrism which holds that Europe is the centre of the world and that its culture Is by definition superior to all others. Eurocentrism is one of the Issues at stake In debates as to what is POLITICALLY CORRECT, and fuels the controversy about DEAD WIIITE EUROPEAN MALES. Hegel’s notorious remark that Africa is ‘no historical part of the world’ (1Ru) Is a classic Instance of Eurocentric thinking, as is Marx’s comment (1853) that India has no history and that one of the benefits of British colonialism is that it will bring the subcontinent Into the narrative

 

 

_p_p__ __ _ ______ � � _________ _p _p _p_p_p_p_p_p_p

r

teotlallsm _exJ_sp_ _p ____ _ _ _ _ ____ _ _______ ___ptp_pl…,p….:….cp n……:.y is__ exJsten_i_pap�sy hoapal s

of Western history. The literary critic Harold BLOOM perpetuates the tradition when he opines (1975a) that America Is the ‘evening land’ or ‘the last phase of Mediterranean culture’.

existentialism The broadest definitions of existentialism would regard it as part of lhebroader tradition orpthe rHENOMENOLOGV ofHUSSERLandHEIDEGGER, which is its main source, and would trace it back to Kierkegaard’s Insight that human beings have a special mode of existence (existe11z; the word is used in both Danish and German) that distinguishes them from both animals and natural objects. There are, however, grounds for defining It In narrower terms as the dominant trend within the French philosophy of the 1940s and 1950s, when it began to be displaced by ST�UCTURALISM. Its preeminent representalive Is Jean-Paul SARTRE, but the important contributions made by Simone de BEAUVOIR (1944, 1947a) should not be overlooked (see Vintges 1992). In the ‘Letter on “Humanism” ‘ (1946) addressed lo his French translator Jean Beaufret, Heidegger Is careful to distance himself from Sartre, objects to ‘DASEIN’ being translated as ‘human reality’ (‘rcnlite l111m11i11e’) and places ‘existentialism’ in disdainful inverted commas {see Rockmore 1995). Ironically, Sartre himself had doubts about the advisability of using that term and preferred to speak of ‘philosophy of existence’ until popular pressure forced him to adopt the more popular lerm.

The classic text of French existentialism Is Sartre’s Bei11g m11/ Nothi11g11ess (1943a), but many of its themes are anticipated in his novel Nausea (1938).The ‘nausea’ refers to lhe feeling of disgust induced in the narrator by the sight of a chestnut tree In a park: the tree reveals the stark physicality of the meaninglessness of existence by simply being there. At the same time, it reveals the fundamental difference between thebeing ofthingsand thebeingof human beings. Whilst thechestnut tree is always identical to itself, andexists solely IN·ITSELF, human beingsexist both in themselves and for themselves. Because they exist for themselves and project themselves inlo a future existence by negating (‘nihllating’) what they are, human beings are free or, rather, condemned to freedom. The major ethical theses of Sartrean existential­ ism stem from the i11-ftself/for-itsel{ distinction and from the insistence on human freedom. Freedom means that individuals have no destiny, and are obliged to choose freely what they become. To refuse to choose is in ilself a choice, but it implies the self-deception of BAD FAITH, or a surrender 10 the temptation to exist in lhe in-itself mode of a natural object. At lhe same time, freedom is contlngent upon or restricted by the SITUATION in which the individual exists and by the FACTICITY which defines him or her in terms of class, race and GENDER. Freedom or AUTHEN· TICITY does not mean freedom from a situation or factlcity but the ability to assume it consciously. Theethic Implicit in Sartre Is a stark one: there are no excuses. Sartre’s biographical exercises in EXISTENTIAL rsYCHOANALVSIS are lucid illustrations of the interplay between situation, factlcity, authenticity and bad faith.

Sartrean existentialism is very much an Individualist philosophy, and has often been criticized for its sours lSM. Relationsbetween SUBJECT and OTIIER are antagon­ istic, and are typically structured by the GAZE which reduces the subject to the dimension of being-for-others, or 10 existing purely in terms defined by the Other.

FANON’s description (r952a) of how his being-for-himseJr was reduced to objecthood or facticity when a white child looked at him, turned to ils mother and said ‘Look, a Negro’ is a perrect illustration of lhe mechanism of the gaze. At the same time, Sartredoes outline a theory of lntersubjectlvityvia a critical comment or Heidegger’s Mittsei11 (‘being with’) which claims that Heidegger understands ‘being with’ as meaning ‘being alongside’ in the sense that objects exist alongside one another. For Sartre, a distinctive ‘we’ appears when a group of individuals witness an event (or a theatrical performance) together and briefly fuse into a ‘we’ that watches it. Although Sartre does not expand on lhls in Being t1nd Nollling11ess, the emergence or the ‘we’ anticipates the themes or SERIALITY and GRour-lN·FUSION of his later work (1960).

Being and Notl1i11g,1ess is a technical and demanding study In philosophy. It was the popularized or even vulgarized summary given In lhe lecture on existentialism and humanism (1947b) that turned Sartre’s version of existentialism Into the fashionable philosophy that made him the most famous – and most vilified – thinker of the postwar decade. The popular perception was then that there \Vas a close link between existentialism and the theory of the ABSURD associated with Camus (1942a, 1942b) , even though that theory has none of Sartre’s rigour. Nicely satirized by the novelist Boris Vian In his novel The Froth the Daydream (1947), the vulgarized exislentialism of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, wit

011

h singer Juliette Greco in ‘existentialist’ black, captured the lnloxlcating feellng of freedom after the Occu­ pation, but had little to do with the austere and demanding vision of a world without preglven moral values in which Individuals are condemned to be free, but also 10 be responsible for how they use their freedom.

existential psychoanalysis A mode of analysis outlined by SARTRE in his classic essay on phenomenologlcal ontology (Sartre 1943a). Its principles are derived from Sartre’s EXISTENTIALISM and It supplies the basic methodology for his biographical studies of Baudelaire (1947a), Genet (1952) and Flaubert (r971-2) and for his essay In autobiography (1964).

Existential psychoanalysis difle1s from the rsvcttoANALYS1s elaborated by FREUD In a number of important respects. It has no therapeutic goal as such, even though elements of the theory do feed Into lhe practices of ANTl·rSYCHIATRY, but Is Intended to provide a means of understanding lndividuals. Given the fundamental Sartrean contention that It Is death alone that transforms a llfe Into a destiny or something that can be fully understood, biography is Its main field of application. Sartre explicitly rejects the postulate of the unconscious, arguing that all mental phenomena are coextensive with consciousness even though the mechanisms of BAD FAITH mean that the subject Is not lucidly aware of them. Other aspects of Freud’s metapsychology are criticized for their abstraction. DESIRE for an object is not, for example, a symbolization or some more fundamental sexual desire but a mode of consciousness expressing a desire to be or, ultimately, to achieve the impossible unity of being-In-oneself and being-for-oneself. The psychoanalytic reliance on symbolic equations, such as the unconscious equation between faeces and gold, Is criticized for its failure to grasp the meaning of such equations for

 

 

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factidty Term derived from the German Faktizitiit and the French facticite, used In PHENOMENOLOGY to describe the (act that being always means being-In-the· world, or what HEIDEGGER terms the ‘(act’ or ‘factuality’ of OASEIN’s being (1927). The word refers to the non-essential or contingent aspects of being. SARTRE defines it In terms of an Individual’s circumstances of birth, class, race, nationality, and In terms of the physiological and bodlly structures that necessarily condition that individual’s SITUATION or belng•in·the-world (1943a). Whereas transcendence defines consciousness’s movement away from any given state of being in order to achieve its freedom and realize Its potential, Cactlcity restricts and limits freedom by reintroducing the dimension of contingency or the fact of being in a situation that is not freely chosen or determined.

false memory syndrome Term used to describe the recovery, during psycho· therapy, of memories of childhood sexual abuse, usually at the hands of a male rela· tive, that did not actually occur. Typical cases involve adults accusing their parents of having abused them when they were children, or of having abused or even murdered other children. Critics of false memory syndrome claim that such accusations are often the result of persistent and leading questions by the therapist involved, of con­ tamination by suggestion and of the assumption that the very absence of memories can be proof that abuse occurred. Resultant court cases have led to fathers being imprisoned despite their claims of Innocence. A False Memory Foundation was estab­ lished in Philadelphia In 1992 to defend parents who claim to be victims of the syn­ drome, and a similar society was formed in Britain the following year.

The debate over false memory syndrome and RECOVERED MEMORY is a phenom· enon of the 1990s, and arose out of the realization In the previous decade of the wide extent of child sexual abuse in the wake of events like the Cleveland (UK) scandal In which almost two hundred children were taken into care after alleged abuse (for conflicting accounts of the case, see Bell 1988 and Campbell 1988). The serious criticism that PSYCHOANALYSIS is a sophisticated form of false memory syndrome has revived earlier controversies about the SEDUCTION THEORY (Crews et al. 1997). In 1998 the British Royal College orPsychiatrists published, after much debate, a report concluding that any memory recovered through hypnosis, dream interpretation or regression therapy Is almost certainly false (Brandon, Boakes, Glaser and Green 1998).

falsifiability The principle of Calslfiablllty, also kno\m as the verification prln· clple, has been popularized by POPPER (1935) and is the criterion used by the VIENNA CIRCLE to establish the scientific nature of a proposition or theory. The principle derives from the view that science makes no ultimate statements and does not recognize the exlstence of Insoluble problems. Scientific theories cannot be verified In any absolute sense, but they can be refuted or falsified by new evidence. Scientists therefore test the validlty of their theories by attempting to refute them, and do not look for evidence that confirms them. One of the standard criticisms of PSYCHO· ANALYSIS Is that FREUD and his followers do not make use of the principle of falsifiabillty, but seek to confirm their theories.

fllDlily romance A form of fantasy in which a child Imagines that it is not being brought up by its real parents and that Its ‘true’ parents are of noble birth (Freud 1909a). In some variants, only one parent is involved in the fantasy. The child fantasizes that it is illegitimate and that one of its parents, usually that of the same sex, is unknown or has abandoned it. Family romance Is often a means of warding off or controlling the incestuous fantasies and desires linked to the OEDIPUS COM· rux. It can also be a way of dealing with sibling rivalry.

The French critic Marthe Robert (1914-96) uses Freud’s short paper on family romance to construct a typological theory of the novel (1972). She Identifies two archetypal heroes: the foundling, whose story illustrates the child’s belief In the omnipotence of wishes, and the bastard whose story Is an epic of self.reliance and self-creation. Doti Quixote andRobi11so11 Cmsoe are Robert’s prototypical novels.

Fanoo, Fra tz (1925-61) Psychiatrist and revolutionary activist. Born In the then n French colony of Martinique, Fanon trained In France and subsequently worked as a psychiatrist in colonial Algeria, where he became actively involved In the Front de Liberation Nalionale’s armed struggle for independence, which was finally vie· torious in 1962. Expelled from Algeria in 1957, Fanon worked in Tunis as a journalist and continued to practise as a psychiatrist. The unsigned articles written for the FLN’s paper El Momljallidtwere posthumously published in volume form (1964) and argue the case for a pan-Afrlcan revolution ln which Algeria would play a leading role.

Fanon’s first book, Black Sk/11, White Masks (1952a; it should be noted that the published English translation is very unreliable}, is an important study of the psychological and cultural ALIENATION induced by coloniallsm, and of the psy. chology of racism. An eclectic study which draws on a wide range of authorities from Adler to SARTRE and LACAN, It is deeply rooted In personal experience and dominated by the realization that, whilst he had always been taught – and had believed – that he was French, the average French citizen regarded Fanon as a racial inferior. It also reflects the experience of the North African and black soldiers who, like Fanon, fought with the French army in the Second World War. Having liberated their colonizers, they were then recolonized by them. Fanon’s analysis of while racism draws on the model provided by Sartre’s study of antl·Semitlsm (1946), and he also analyses the negrophobla of his fellow Martlnlquans, who had internalaized

 

 

————————— -� feminism � _________________________fiem____inlsm_ white stereotypes to such an extent as to deny their own blackness and to despise black Africans. Although there is no evidence to suggest that Fanon had ever read DU eo1s, there is a distinct similarity between his image of a black man wearing a white mask, and the latter’s theory of double consciousness.

like GLISSANT and others of his generation, Fanon was greatly lnnuenced by ctSAIRE and often cites his Notebook of a Rehm, to my Native La11tl (1939). He ls, however, highly critical of NEGRITUDE, which he regards as a mirage and an ESSEN· TJALISM. The basic thesis of Black Skl11, Wl1ite Masks is that whilst blacks must be liberated from their Inferiority complex, whites must be liberated from an equally alienating superiority complex.

TIie Wretched oftlle Earth (1961) Is widely regarded as one of the great classics of decolonization andof theTHIRD WORLD’Sstruggle for independence and liberation. Notorious for Its apologia for the use of violence when all the alternatives have failed, it challenges MARXISM’S traditional emphasis on the historical role of the industrial working class, and argues that the landless peasantry and thedispossessed of the shanty towns surrounding the cities of the THIRD WORLD are the only true agents of revolutionary change.

Fanon’s clinical writings on psychiatry are often overlooked, or obscured by his Oeetlng references to rsvc110ANALYSIS, and have never been collected (the most important are reprinted in L’lnfomu1etio11 psyclliatriq11e 1975; see also fanon 1952b). Mainly concerned with the practicalities of constructing a truly transcultural psy• chiatry (Verges 1996), they offer a virulent critique of the colonial psychiatry that regarded Algerians as primitives with an innate propensity for Impulse and homi­ cidal violence.

The Fanon of TIie w,etched ofthe Earth was a key figure In the Third Worldism of the 1960s (Macey 1998) and an inspiration to the American militants of the Black rower movement (Carmichael and Hamilton 1967); Black Ski11, Wl,ite Masks Is now regarded (Bhabha, 1990b; Gordon, Sharpley-Whlting, Denean and White 1996; Read 1996) as a key text in roSTCOLONIAL THEORY.

READING: Gordon, Sharpley-Whiting. Denean and White (1996); Macey (2000)

feminism Although feminism, which became one ohhe most important forces in twentieth-century politics andthought, cantake many different forms, itscommon core is the thesis that the relationship between the sexes is one of Inequality or oppression. All forms of feminism seek to identify the causes or that Inequality and to remedy It, bul the Issue of precisely which agency produces and reproduces Inequality is the source of many of the differences between feminists. The long association between socialism and feminism leads the supporters of s oc1AL1ST FEMINISM to explain the inequality of the sexes in terms of the social relations and economic structures of capitalism, whilst RADICAL FEMINISM tends 10 argue that the nuclear family or PATRIARCHY – or even men in general – is/arc to blame. The issue of equality itself Is contentious, and the question of whether the emphasis should fall on the demand for equality or on the celebration of GENDER difference (as In ECRITVRE FEMININE and forms of LESBIAN FEMINISM) continues to arouse controversy.

The first recorded use of the French {emi11isme d.ltes from the 1830s, and the term Is usually agreed to have been coined by the utopian socialist Charles Fourh?r (1772- 1837), for whom the degree of women’s emancipation was the measure of the emancipation of society as a whole. ‘feminism’ was In use In English by 1851, but became much more widely used In the 1119<>s when it became synonymous with ‘advocacy ofwomen’s rights’ andwas associated with thesuffragette movement led by the Women’s Social and Political Union in the period 1906-r4 (Llddington and Norris 1978). Limited suffrage was won in 1918,andfullsuffrage In1928; in theUnited States, the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution gave women the vote In 1920.

Whilst the term ‘feminism’ dates from the 1830s, feminist or protofemlnlst thought Is much older (see the materials anthologized In Schneier 1996). Whilst it can be argued that the attack on literary misogyny made by Christine de Pisan’s Dookoftl1eCityo(Ladies (fourteenth century) isan earlyexample or feminist thought, most historians would agree that modem feminism first emerges In the wake of the American and French Revolutions of the late eighleenth century. In 1791 Olympe deGouges published a Declaration des droits de la {emme et de la citoye,me (Declaration of the rights of woman and of the female citizen); Wolls1onecraft’s Vindication of the Rights ofWoman appeared a year later (seeTomalin 1974). Wollstonecraft argued that women were the slaves of men, but immediately added that slavery degrades both masler and slave. Married women are memorably described as birds ‘confined 10 their cages’ with ‘nothing to do but plume themselves’. Wollstonecraft was also the first to describe marriage asa form oflegal prostitution; that theme runs through a whole socialist tradition – it Is, for instance, present in the Comm1mist Manifesto (Marx and Engels 1847-8)-and Is pcrpetualed In the anti-marriage, anti-family line within socialist feminism (Barrett and McIntosh 1982). The assoclatJon with slavery is not merely metaphorical; in both Britain and the United States there was a considerable overlap between abolltlonlsm and feminism throughout the nine· teenth century (Berg 1978; Ware 1992). The relationship was not always an easy one, and Isseen bysome assettingin motion lhe trend that equated ‘women’s liberation’ with the liberation of while women, and ‘black liberation’ with the liberation of bl,1ck men, but not necessarily black women (hooks 198r). Nor was the relationship with socialism easy. Although there was a connection in most countries between utopian socialism’s desire to create a ‘new moral world’ and the aspiration of early fcmlnlsts (.Taylor 1983), and although the ‘woman question’ was supposedly high on the socialist agenda especially In Germany and Russia (ThOnnersen 1969; Row· botham 1972) thedemandfor’equal payfor equal work’ hasnotalways been popular with male trade-unionists.

It has become conventional to describe lhe history of feminism as one ofsuccess­ ive waves which peak and then recede. The various campaigns to obtain the vote have often been described as the first wave of modern feminism, and the WOMEN’S LIBERATION movement of the 1970s, which still dominates popular perceptions of feminism, as its second wave. The key figures for this period are GREER, MITCHELL, MILLETT and FIRESTONE, but BEAUVOIR andFRIEDAN arc commonly seen asthe first mothers of women’s liberation (Beauvoir 1949; Friedan 1963). Mention should also

 

 

————————–� � _____________________ r_em_ln__ist__c_rl_l_ic_lsm_ feminist criticism 1 ,….,

The 1980s have been described as the decade of the backlash against feminism or of an undeclared war against women fought largely in the media, which claimed that feminism had ‘gone too far’ and was even to blame for women’s discontents (Faludi 1991; for thoughtful discussion of the backlash thesis, see the essays in Oakley and Mitchell 1997). Yet the same period saw the emergence of women’s studies or gender studies as a major academic discipline (Jackson et al. 1993; Robinson and Richardson 1997), the spectacular rise of remlnist publishing houses and of FEMINIST CRITICISM, and a much more general awareness of the issues surrounding GENDER. The institutionalization of feminism does have its critics, who argue that ii implies a refection of the ‘liberation’ aspect of women’s liberation (Curthoys 1997), but it can also be claimed that it makes feminism ‘ordinary’ In the sense that WILLIAMS describes culture as ordinary. This has sometimes led to the idea of a ‘post-feminist’ era in which young women enjoy the benefits won by earlier feminist struggles but either reject or know nothing of Ideas such as sisterhood.

Whilst many of the debates inaugurated in the 1970s are still In a sense ongoing, a younger generation of women is also arguing for a new feminism. In the United States, Naomi Wolf (1962-) contends (1993) that women must abandon the old ‘victim fominism’ that portrayed them as helpless Victims in favour of a ‘power feminism’ that views them as potent agents of change with many resources at their disposal. In Britain, Natasha Walter (1967-) also argues (1998) for a ‘new feminism’ (In which men too have a role 10 play) which will runction as a spreading consensus or social movement promoting a long overdue economic equality with men, and not a female-centred culture. Her claim that Margaret Thatcher (Britain’s first woman Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990) is the ‘unsung heroine’ of British feminism because she normalized female success has proved very controversial; survivors horn that era point out that one of Margaret Thatcher’s first acts was to restrict access to paid maternity leave.

feminist criticism The expression can be applied to an enormously wide and rich body of criticism covering literature, the visual arts and film. There is no one school of feminist criticism and It renects the many tendencies that coexist within F EI\IJN1 SM itself. Ah hough there is always a commitment to some polilical definition of fem tnlsm, feminist criticism can take its methodological inspiration from theories as varied as I\IARXISI\I and SOCIALIST FEI\IINISM, STRUCTURALISM, PSYCHOANALYSIS and PSYCltOANALYTIC CRITICISM or DECONSTRUCTION. The gradual inslitutlonal­ izatlon of women’s studies and gender studies in British and American universllies

be made of the somewhat neglected Hannah Gavron (1936-65), whose sociological study of ‘captive wives’ (1966) foreshadows later critiques or the domestic role imposed on so many women. The early women’s liberation movement was predi­ cated on the Idea of sisterhood, or the theory that all women had interests in common (Morgan 1970). That utopian unity was undermined by the growing per­ ception that the Interests of black women were not necessarily Identical with those of white women (Mirza 1997), as well as by differences over class and sexual orientation ( Hirsch and Keller 1990).

from the mid-197os onwards (Jackson et al. 1993; Robinson and Richardson 1997) has given feminist criticism such a high profile that it is easy to forget that it is a recent phenomenon.

Although Virginia Woolf (1929, 1979) can be seen as one of its most Important predecessors and although Beauvoir’s Tl,e Seco11d Sex (1949) devotes much space to the discussion of literary texts, contemporary reminist criticism really emerges out of the WOMEN’S LIBERATION movement of the 1970s and colncides with the explosion of feminist art, literature and film. The first International Festival of Women’s Films was held inJune 1972, and London’s National Film Theatre showed lts first season of Women’s Cinema a year later (Johnston 1973). Feminist literary criticism, helpfully surveyed in such studies as Maki11g a Difference: Feminist Literary Criticism by Green and Khan (1985), Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader by Mary Eagleton (1986) and Feminisms: All Anthology of Literary 111eory aml Criticism by Warhol and Herndl (1992), has been neatly defined as combining the study of women writers with the analysis of women In literature (Kaplan 1986). That the Women’s Movement discussed literature from its earliest beginnings Is not surpris­ ing, given that major figures like GREER, MlLLETT and MITCHELL all hadan academic background in English literature. The thlrd part of Mlllett’s Sexual Politics (1969) is entitled ‘The Literary Reflection’ and examines the stereotypical representation of women in the writings of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and Norman Mailer. Although Millett’saccount ofmale misogynyandrATRIARCHY is, by later standards, fairly crude, it does establish Important precedents for the study of the represen­ tatlon of women. The issue of the stereotypical representation of women, and especially their sexuality, is a major component in critiques or advertising and In the campaign against pornography, and also informs texts like Molly Haskell’s From Rel’erence toRape (1974), which is an early survey of the depiction of women in film from the 1920s onwards. As a slogan coined In the 1970s put it, ‘pornography is the theory; rape is the practice.’

Although Individual women obviously made vital contributions lo feminist theory, the collectivist ethos of 1970s feminism meant that mudt work was also done insmallgroups. One of the mostsignificant was the Marxist Feminist Literature Collective (1975-7), which gradually worked through a reading list comprising MARXIST CRITICISM and ‘French THEORY’. This group succeeded in turning theory Into performance art when ten of Its members gave a paper on nineteenth-century women’s literature to the 1977 Conference on the Sociology of Literature at the University of Essex.The ten took the platform together, and then took turns to read out sections of the collective paper (Marxist Feminist Lllerature Collective _1978; see the account in Kaplan 1986).

One of the major themes of the Women’s Liberation Movement is that women have been ‘hidden from history’ (Rowbotham 1973a), and it Is reflected in the many attempts to rescue or rediscover a tradition of women’s writing that has been marginalized or excluded rrom the CANON. This is also the major impetus behind the London-based Virago publishing house’s extremely successful ‘Virago Classics’ series, which has made available numerous major but neglected texts. Moers (1976)

 

 

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celebrates the existence of a centuries-old tradition of ‘pgreat women writers’. The establishment of a female tradition Is also the objective of SHOWALTER ‘s A Literat11re of t/,eir Ow11 (1977), whilst her theory of GYNOCRmcs proposes the existence of a specifically ‘female’ criticism or women’s writing. Perhaps the most monumental contribution to the canon-making strand In feminist criticism is GILBERT and GUBAR’s Madwoman in the ,lttic (1979a) and Its successor volumes.

In the domain or art history, the problem or exclusion is a serious one: a standard work like GOMBRICH’s best-selling Story of Art (1950) contains no references to women artists. As in the literary field, the initial feminist response was to Insist that there have always been great women artists and to rediscover their hidden heritage (Tuft 1974; Nochlin and Harris 1976). Although subsequent critics are sceptical about this search for’old mistresses’, they acknowledge that it was a necessary preliminary to the feminist Intervention within art history (Parker and Pollock 1981). Concen­ tration on hidden traditions alone is seen by Pollock as problematic In that it leaves intact the very notions of authorship, creativity and genius that are undermined by structuralism, psychoanalysis and theories or IDEOLOGY. The feminist approprl· atlon of psychoanalysis, and particularly of LACAN’s concept of the GAZE, has had, since Mulvey’s pioneering essay on visual pleasure (1975), a powerful impact on film studies and has allowed feminist critics 10 move beyond Haskell’s early classificatory study of the representation of women to studies of how women are Ideologically and sexually ‘positioned’ both within films and within the social institution of cinema (see Kuhn 1982).

In many areas feminist criticism overlaps with feminist art practice to such a degree that the two become virtually Indistinguishable, as In the French concept of an ECRITURE FEMININE that is at once a new form or writing celebrating femininity and a critical renection on a society (and texts) dominated by the image of the PHALLUS. Here creative writing merges almost seamlessly with the theoretical work of women such as IRIG/\RAY and l<RISTEVA (see Moi 1985). Feminist art criticism Is Inseparable from the creative work of inventing new networks of exhibition and distribution (Lippard 1976; see also the final chapter of Chadwick 1990 and the introductory chapter In Pollock 1996). The related art practices have often proved controversial; when the Swedish artist Monica Sjoo exhibited her painting God Giving Birth (r969, reproduced in Chadwick 1990) In England in 1971, she was threat­ ened with prosecution on charges of blasphemy and obscenity. The ensuing protests led directly to the formation of the Women’s Art History Workshop (see Parker and Pollock 1987). Other manifestations of lhe Interplay between theory and creativity were more confrontational. The London Institute of Contemporary Arts’ exhibition ohvomen’s Images of men ( Womeu ‘s Images of Men 1980), partly Inspired by Margaret Waiters’ major study of the ‘forgotten’ tradition of the male nude (1978), was a direct response to pop artist Allen Jones’s exhibition In the same space of women transformed into furniture. Given the circumstances, many of the images of men on show at the ICA in 198<> were surprisingly tender.

fetishism In the psychoanalytic theory of sexual perversion, very broadly defined as any activity that deviates from heterosexual intercourse, a fetish ls a non-sexual

part of the body or an object such as a foot, ashoe, or a piece of fur or velvet which I s highly cathected (CATHEXIS) with usmo. A fetish Is described by FREUD as a substl· tute for the mother’s penis that the little boy once believed in (1927c). The realization that she does not in fact possess a penis gives rise to the child’s ‘sexual theory’ (Freud 1908a) that she once possessed one and has been deprived of It, and to the child’s fear that he too might be castrated. The fetish-object is thus both a means of denying the existence of sexual difference and a defence against the fear of castration. The typical fetishist simultaneously retains and has given up the belief In the maternal penis, and fetishism Is usually accompanied by an aversion to the real female genitals. Fetishism is a typically male perversion and Is very rare In women.

The term ‘fetishism’ was coined by the French psychologist Alfred Binet (r857- 19n; see Sulloway 1979) and derives from European perceptions of the amulets used In traditional West African religions. Freud’s remark to the effect (r905a) that fetish-objects can be ‘likened to the fetishes in which savages believe that their gods are embodied’ Is, like the subtitle of his theoretical study Totem and Taboo (1913: ‘Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics’), a reminder that psychoanalytic theory is reliant upon an evolutionary schema characterized by a high degree of EUROCENTRISI\I. Marx’s theory of COMI\.IODITV FETISHISM also Invokes the notion or a magical belief In the power or Inanimate objects.

Feyerabend, l’aul (1924-94) Austrian-American historian and philosopher of science. Feyerabend’s early work (collected 1981a, 198rb) was on the philosophy of quantum physics and was heavily influenced by rorrER and LOGICAL r0S1T1v1sM; In his later work (1975, 1992) he abandons his earlier positions and outlines what he terms an anarchistic methodology for an anarchistic science that functions in accordance with the principle of ‘anything goes’.

For the later Feyerabend, the world, Including the world of science, Is a comple,c: entity that cannot be explained by any one theory. The idea or a fixed scientific method or a fixed theory of rationality rests upon a naive and restrictive view of the universe: all methodologies have their limits and nothing is ever settled. Scientists do not work with any one method. They break the rules or scientific method, speculate and work by rule of thumb, and their discoveries usually result from the convergence of disparate and often connlcting trends. Unanimity of opinion suits rigid churches and tyrannies; objective knowledge can only nourish when a variety of opinion exists. The power of science Is social rather than epistemological, and Feyerabend contends that a free society Is one In which science, like the church, Is separated from the state. Although Feyerabend’s claims may appear wild, they are underpinned by a thorough study of the history or science and of Galileo In particular.

Feyerabend’s scepticism about the claims orscience stems from two main sources. WorkJng in an Increasingly multicultural environment In Callfomla In the 196os, he became uncomfortably aware that the ‘unlversalist’ history of science that he was teaching was in fact an extreme fonn of EUROCENTRISM. According to his own account (1995), AUSTIN’S work on ORDINARY LANGUAGE convinced him that, when

 

 

� ——- ———- — — —1 , … … 1 Foucault, l,licbel Fordism/Podfordism����� ��������������������� � broadcasting a popular programme such as an established soap opera at the begin· ning of the evening In the belief (for which there Is some statistical evidence) that viewers will go on to watch whatever follows. The ease wilh which one can speak of the activity of ‘watching television’, as opposed to ‘watching a programme’, or of ‘an evening’s viewing’ Indicates how deeply the notion of a now is Ingrained in television culture. The introduction of MTV and of CNN’s rolling news, In which Information is supplied on a continuous basis rather than in specific segments, further highlights the Importance of now. British television’s continuous or rolling coverage of the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales on 6September 1997 was a perfect instance of televlslon as How.

Fordism/Postford.ism The notion of Fordism, first Identified as a dlstlnctlve development within American capitalism by GRAMS c1 In his notes on ‘ Americanism and Fordism’ In the Prison Notebooks (197r), was further elaborated by the French ‘regulatlonlst’ theory of Marxisteconomics (Aglielta 1976; Lipletz 1987), which dlstln· guishes between ‘regimes of accumulation’, or the modes In which capitalIs accumu­ lated and profits maximized, and ‘modes of regulation’, or the institutional forms that persuade economic agents to conform to the demands of those regimes. The transition from Fordism to Postfordlsm is sometimes seen as the determining factor in the move from MODERNITY to POSfMOOERNITY (Harvey [989).

Fordism develops out of the earlier stage of ‘Taylorism’, In which the application of the principles of ‘scientific management’ breaks down the labour process Into a series of repetitive and unskilled tasks to be performed within limited periods of time, destroys the traditional skllls of cra(t workers and allows their knowledge to be appropriated by a new class of managers and planners (Taylor 1914; Doray 1981). The principles of Tayiorism were first applied in the slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants of Chicago, but Fordlsm transposes them to the car plants of Detroit. Henry Ford’s great Innovationwas the movtng assembly line which allowed standard production models to be built as they moved through the factory. Although Fordist produclion methods required a high level of capital investment, they improved produclivity levels to such an extent that it was possible to pay relatively high wages, which allowed workers to purchase the very cars (the standard Model-T Ford) they were building, and this promoted a new form of mass con­ sumerism. High wages and the provision of social benefits had the further effect of weakening trades unionism by producing the ‘Fordman’, who identified fully with the factory, its products and its labour-intensive ethos. The classic description of Fordism in action Is Benyon’s Working for Ford (1973).

Postfordism is the product of a number of factors ranging from the rise in oil prices in the 1970s and inflation to the introduction or computerization and numerically controlled machines. Advanced technology means that factories can be built quickly, but also that production can be relocated in other countries if local political conditions appear unfriendly. This decimates the Fordlst work force, but also requires more skilledworkers organized into Japanese-style ‘quality circles’. Whereas the Fordlst worker performed one strictly defined task, the Postfordist worker Is expected to be flexible, adaptable and mobile. Postfordism is further characterized

by a wide diversity or consumer choice, reflected in· the postmodern image of a supermarket In which personal life-styles can be bought off the shelf and, for Harvey and others, In the characteristically fragmented experience of both space and time.

foreclosure The standard Engllsh translation of LACAN’s forcl11sion, which Is used to describe the psychical mechanism responsible for the triggering of PSYCHOSIS (Lacan 1957-8). The mechanism of foreclosure means that a primordial signifier such as the PHALLUS or the NAME·OF-TIIE•FATIIER is expelled from the SYMBOLIC universe of the SUBJECT. Unlike a repressed signifier, a foreclosed signifier ls not absorbed into the UNCONSCIOUS and therefore does not reappear In the psyche in the form of a neurotic symptom. II returns, rather, in the REAL, usually in the form of a persecutory hallucl nation.

foregrounding An important part of the conceptual terminology used in RUSSIAN FORMALISM and by the theorists associated with the PRAGUE SCHOOL. The concept of foregrounding derives from a phenomenological or Gestaltist description (GES· T ALT) of visual perception: on perceiving an object, the viewer foregrounds certain clements and suppresses, or ‘backgrounds’, others. In tenns of formalist POETICS (Mukarovsky 1932), foregrounding refers to the poem’s drawing of the reader’s attention to the artifices that give it LITERATURNOST’ or ‘literariness’. Repetition, parallelisms and foregrounded llterary devices draw attention to the poetic function ilnd defamillarize the nonns of language (see OSTRANENIE). In tenns of Jakobson’s diagrammatic representation of theCODE/MESSAGE model ofcommunication ( 1956), foregrounding places the emphasis on lhc poetic £unction, whilst the referential or discursive function is undermined or backgrounded.

formalization The translation or a proposition or body or propositions into a more formal language, such as that or mathematics or symbolic logic, usually In order to clarify or explicate the information content, as in the MATHEME of LACA N. FREGE’s concept script (Begriffssc:llri/t), which was designed to ‘break the power of the word over lhe human mind’ (1879), is a classic example of fonnalization.

fort-Da game The name of a game played by an eighteen-month-old boy, as observed by FREUD (192oa), has become an important Iheme in PSYCHOANALYSIS. Left alone In a bedroom by his mother, the boy repeatedly throws a wooden reel out of his cot and then retrieves it by means of the string attached to It. As he does so, he utters the sounds ‘Oo’ and ‘ Ah’, which are interpreted by Freud as approximating to 1hewords(ott(‘gone’) anddn (‘there’). Thegame altows thechildto controlaphysical object, and 10 achieve a symbolic mastery or the anxiety caused by his molher’s absence. For Lacan(1953), lherepeated’Oo/Ah’ represents differentialPHONEMEs and the game anticipates the use of a linguistic system based upon binary oppositions.

Foucault, �flcbel (1926-84) Although Foucault is orten described as a French philosopher and historian, he htmsetr provided a more accurate setr-descriptlon when, on being elected to the College de France in 1970, he stated that he was a specialist in the history of systems of thought.

Foucault wrote on a wide variety of topics ranging from the history and

 

 

_F_o _ca_u ,__ _____________ ______ �_u _lt_l’t_flc_h_e_l __ � ______ ____ F_o _a_l_t,_MJ_h__ ___________ _a_ca _a:_el

philosophy of science lo literature (r963b) – an aspect of his work that has rarely been studied in detail (see During 1992)- and the history orthe prison system (1975). His work Is resolutely Interdisciplinary and therefore dlflicult to categorize in terms or the traditional divisions of knowledge, but certain constants do emerge despite the frequent changes o’f direction and the refusal to be defined that is encapsulated In the famous passage from the Introduction to The Arcllaeologyo(Knowle,tge (1969a): ‘Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same.’ The question that is constantly being asked by Foucault himself is ‘How have my objects or knowledge and the questions I address to them been produced?’

Insofar as he can be described as a historian, Foucault has much In common with both the historians of MENTALITIES associated with ANN,\LES and the historical eplstemologists BACIIELARD and CANGUILHEM. His first major work on the history of madness (Folie et deraiso11, 1961; the English translation of 1967 is brutally abridged; for a discussion of the effects or the abridgement see Gordon 1990) explores how madness Is socially constructed by a wide variety of DISCOURSES that give rise lo collective attitudes or mentalities defining insanity. Although the book has been criticized on the grounds that It is hlstorically inaccurate (Stone 1982; Porter 1987), the basic thesis that, like the lepers of the Middle Ages, the mad are eitcluded In a gesture that helps to construct modern society and its Image of reason did prove very attractive to the spokesmen for British ANTI -rs YCHIATR Y and their counterparts in other countries. Canguilhem’s influence on Foucault is most apparent in the latter’s study or the origins of modem medicine (1963a), which demonstrates that the sciences of the past are not simply false constructs but coherent systems of concepts that define and determine which modes of thought are possible in a given historical period. Foucault’s major works explore the question of why, in any given period, it is necessary lo think In certain terms about madness, illness, sexuality or prisons. By implication, they therefore ask if it is possible to think .ibout those topics In different ways.

In philosophical terms, Foucault works within the broad tradition established by NIETZSCHE, from whom he borrows the technique of GENEALOGY and the insight that the search for knowledge is also an expression of a will to power over other people. For Foucault, knowledge is always a form of power. Hence t�e ambiguity of new developments in psychiatry and mental-health care. They are presented as forms of liberation, but Foucault’s critique of the REPRESSIVE HYPOTHESIS (r976a) demonstrates that they are also new technologies that categorize certain forms of social and sexu.il behaviour as deviant in order to control them. Like the confessor. priest, the psychoanalyst or psychiatrist who asks his patient to say what he desires is establishing a relationship of power and control. Similarly, the prison-reform movements of the post-Enlightenment period abolish legal torture and public executions, but they also establish a regime of rANOrnc1sM in whlch Foucault sees power as not a matter of repression but of the constant surveillance of a population (1975). Foucault’s thesis that power is not an ‘object’ that can be seized, held or lost, but a network of forces in which power always meets with resistance (r976.i), can also be traced back to Nietzsche’s Will to f’ower (1901).

Foucault’s earliest writings reveal the influence of HEIDEGGER’s rHENOMENOLOGY

(Foucault and Binswanger 1954), but his rise to prominence Is due to his perceived association with STRUCTURALISM. Published at the height of the structuralist boom, his l.es Mots et /es choses (r966; translated Into English as 111e Order of 11,ings) was commonly read as an exercise In structuralism, even though It makes little use of the Saussurean-derived linguistic model that underpins classical structuralism (SAUSSURE). The controversial themes of the DEATH OF THE AUTHOR (1969b) and the DEATH OF MAN (1966) are related to the anti-humanism of ALTHUSSER and others, but the crucial role played by the concepts of the EPISTEME and DISCURSIVE FORMATION (especially 1969a) indicates that Foucault’s true concern is Indeed with the formation and limitations of systems of thought.

Although Foucault’s major works can seem abstract and even arcane and make few concessions to his readers, it Is apparent from the materials collected in the four volumes of the posthumous Dits et ecrits {Sayings .ind writings, 1994; a three-volume selectlon of ‘essential works’ has been made available In English, 1997-9) that they have surprisingly concrete and Immediate lmplicaUons. The author of the deeply pessimistic Discipli11e a11d P1111isll (1975), which suggests that the mechanisms of power are all-powerful, was also a political activist deeply involved in campaigns to publicize conditions ln the French penal system. Foucault’s greatest political Virtue is that he never outlines programmes of reform, but constantly rorces his reader to challenge everyday assumptions about the very nature or punishment, sexuality and mental health.

In his later works Foucault moves away from his earlier themes and, after a programmatic study or the history of sexuality (1976a), beglns to write a history of the desiring subject and of the construction of personal and sexual identity by look.Ing at the ‘use of pleasure’ (1984a) and the ‘care of the sell’ (1984b) in bolh the Greek and Christian traditions. In these late studies the sel£Is seen not as a personal essence, but rather as an aesthetic and ethical object to be created and cultivated, whilst pleasure is viewed as a disciplined form or self-government ralher than an unbridled liberation of repressed desires. In his return to a version of the Stoic tradition, Foucault poses important and disturbing questions about sexuality: given that sexuality Is not a matter of repressed essences, there can be no liberation of sexuality, and Foucault suggests that liberation from sexuality may be more import­ ant than the unleashing of DESIRE. The theme of the care or government or the self merges with the broader theme of how human beings and their societies are gov­ erned as Foucault returns to the ethical question of the relationship between self and society. The same concern for ethics appe.irs in Foucault’s derence of human rights and insistence that those who are governed must be freed from the will to power of those who govern them.

Whilst It would be a mistake to overestimate the inauence of Foucault’s homo· sexuality on his work (he laughed at the Idea or being described as a ‘gay philos­ opher’, as opposed to a philosopher who was gay), lt Is perhaps fitting that in the latest of his many incarnations, he has become an icon of QUEER theory (Halperin 1995).

READING: Bernauer (1990); During (199:z); Macey (1993); Sheridan (1980)

 

 

Freud, Sigmund …—–“———————– I� F dan Betty_r _p –=-� _____________________ l_e _…;.•___p estrangement and then a hostile rejection of his former associate. The most famous Instance of this is the story of the friendship and break with JUNG, as chronicled in their correspondence (Freud and Jung 1974). Spills and schisms originating in disagreements in which personal and theoretical differences are often Inextricably linked are a recurrent feature of the history of psychoanalysis.

The origins of psychoanalysis Ile in Freud’s search for an aetiology or causal explanation for hysteria, and can be tr�ed In his lengthy correspondence wilh Wilhelm Riess (Freud 1985), an ear, nose and throat specialist with whom he was in frequent cont.ict between 1887 and 1904. The lniti.il explanation, furpther refined in collaboration wilh Joseph Breuer (Freud 1896; Freud and Breuer 1903-05), was that the origins of hysteria are sexual in nature and that hysterical symptoms are a somatic reproduction of the repressed memory of a traumallc sexual event. Repressed in childhood, the memory Is reactivated, with traumatic effects, at puberty. Freud habitually describes the traumatic effect as ‘seduction’; this is a euphemism for sexual abuse, rape or some other brutal encounter with an .idult sexuality that the child does not understand. In this Initial scenario, the child is the passive victim of an active adult, and the discovery of an active Infantile sexuality is one of the factors that led Freud to abandon his early theory. Although he originally belleved that all hysterics had suffered a traumatic seduction (1896), by 1897 Freud was forced lo conclude In a letter to Fliess that his theory implied an improbably high incidence of incest and child abuse. His so-called abandonment of the SEDUCTION THEORY continues to cause controversy (Masson 1984), particu­ larly in the light of revelations of the extent of the sexual abuse of children and in view of the controversies surrounding FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME and RECOVERED MEMORY trealment (Crews ct al. 1997). It should, however, be recalled that Freud never denies that the sexual abuse of children does occur (1938).

Freud’s mature theory ofhys1eria and NEUROSIS develops graduallyand in tandem wilh the elaboration of the theory of stages or sexual development known as the u11mo theory, and culminates in the discovery of the OEDIPUS COMPLEX. A first TOPOGRAPHY of the psyche or mind is developed In the period 1900-15, as Freud explores the way In which the workings of the unconscious .ire revealed by dreams (1900), rARAPRAXES (1901) and jokes (1905b). His writings of this period are in part a product of the long and difficult process of his own self-analysis, which he never describes in any detail even though Tire f11tcrpretatio11 ofDreams (1900) abounds In autobiographical details (see Anzieu 1975). A second or ‘structural’ topography Is developed from the 1920s onwards, and Introduces the tripartite model of ID, EGO and SUPEREGO and the mature theory of DRIVES. After the introduction of the concept of a DEATH-DRIVE (192oa), the struclure of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis remains largely unchanged.

Freud’s last years were devoted mainly to the study of art and the origins of civilization and religion (1930, 1939). His writings on llter.iture (e.g. 1927a) and culture provide the basis for the various schools of rsvcHOANALYTIC CRIT1c1s111. Wide-ranging and, as he himself admits, highly speculative, Freud’s writings on civilization and religion are deeply pessimistic and take the view that the achieve­ ments of culture are grounded In the repression or SUBLIMATION of Instinctual and

. I

sexual drives that constantly threaten to undermine them.They are also marked by comments on ‘primitive’ religions and societies that reveal his evolutionary theory to be a classic expression of EUROCENTRISM.

Freud’s work remains controversial. Although It Is claimed by Lacan and others that psychoanalysis Is a science of the unconscious, critics such as POPPER point out that Freud continually looks for confirmation of his theories and does not use the criterion of FALSIFIABILITY to test them. The Freudian theory of sexuality has been enonnously Influential but It too remains controversial for those feminists who, from MILLETT to tRIGARAY, argue that Freud, who viewed female sexuality as an unknown and unknowable ‘dark continent’ (1926pa; see also 1931a and the chapter on femininity in 1933), always takes the boy as his developmental model and does not provide a comparable model for girls. The relationship between rsYCHOANALY­ s1s AND FEMINISM is therefore a fraught one. In more general terms, It canbe argued that Freud provides a liberating vision of sexuality in that he broadens Its definition and refuses to restrict the word to meaning only genital or reproductive actiVlty. Freud also demonstrates that, just as attenuated forms of neurotic behaviour are commonplace In ‘normal’ life, sexual perversions are not abenations or Indications of an Inherent depravity, but part of the broad continuum of human sexual behaviour.

READING: Gay (1988); Laplanche and Pontalis (1967); Schur (197:z)

Friedan, Be tty (1921-) American feminist and cofounder, in 1966, of the National Organization of Women. She served as NO W ‘s President until 1970.

Friedan’s Tl,e Femi11i11e Mystiq11e (1963) Is one of the founding texts of modern FEMINISM. The ‘mystique’ of the title is the creation of the sociologists, advertisers, neo-Freudian psychoanalysts and psychologists who convinced a postwar genera­ tion of American women that the acceptance of their femininity would be a source of personal fulfilment, and that it Implied an acceptance of sexual passivity and male domination, and a personal commitment to the provision of nurturing maternal love. It offered women a choice between being a woman or risking the pain of human growth. Friedan was one of the first to diagnose what she calls ‘the problem with no name’ or the ‘housewife’s syndrome’: the vague and undefined wish for something more than a prosperous suburban domesticity. For Friedan, the solution lay In the education and professional training of women.

Although It Is rightly seen as a classic of feminism, 11,e Fe111i11i11e Mysti1111e has much In common with less GENDER-specific critiques of the American society of the 1950s and early 1960s, and especially with the ‘lonely crowd’ thesis that a salary was no longer an adequate source of identity, and that creative work that contributed to a wider human community was more likely to promote Individual growth (Riesman ct al. i950).

Representatives of RADICAL FEMINISM such asFIRESTONE have always been critical of what they see as Friedan and NOW’s conservatism, and Friedan has often been equally critical of their ‘exttemlsm’. Her 111e SecotulSt11ge (1981), which stresses the Importance of the family circle and ‘women’s ‘ sphere and recommends that women should abandon the campaign for equal rights In favour of personal Involvement

 

 

Fromm, Erich Frye, Herman Northrop

In the voluntary sector, has been described (Faludi 1991) as making a major contri­ bution to the 19Sos backlash again.st feminism.

READING: Horowitz (1998)

Fromm, Erich (1900-80) German-American theorist of a post-Freudian analytical social psychology.

As a member of the FRANKFURT SCHOOL in prewar Germany, Fromm was influen­ tial In making l’SYCHOANALYSIS an important reference for the school’s CRITICAL THEORY but rapidly distanced himself from Freud by challenging the central role ascribed to sexuality by the latter’s LIBIDO theory and arguing, like JUNG, that it should be replaced by a more general and desexuallzed theory of psychic energy. In a series of popular works published after his departure for the United States (1941, 1956, 1963), Fromm outlines a theory of social psychology that combines elements of psychoanalysis with a quasi-Marxist theory of ALIENATION. His concept of the social unconscious allows various character traits (including the authoritarian per­ sonality and the marketing orientation) to be seen as resulting from the adaptation of the unconscious instinctual apparatus to specific socioeconomic situations. In his later works in particular, Fromm’s description of the search for human happiness moves from a classic theory of alienation to a vaguely defined humanism that can accommodate theories as disparate as Zen Buddhism and the thesis that the hypothetical matriarchy that is sometimes held to have existed before the emerg­ ence of l’ATRIARCIIY can provide the model for a caring society based upon human solidarity. 11,e Ericll Fromm Rem/er (1985) provides a clear and useful introduction to his work.

Frye, RenallD Northrop (1912-91) Canadian literary theorist. A prolific and erudite scholar, Frye was originally a Blake specialist (1947) but also wrote signUicant studies of Shakespeare (1965a, 1967), Milton (1965b) and the Dible (1982). He is best known for the theory of literary archetypes elaborated In his monumental Anatomy of Criticism !(957), which makes a major contribution to the theory of GENRE. Frye has also written eloquently on the liberal humanist tradition In education (particularly in 1970 and 1971), arguing that the study of literature ts the central component in the humanities. Frye’s importance in the United States is difficult to overestimate. In 1965 the English Institute devoted a full session to his work (proceedings published as Krieger 1966), and Oenham’s En11111erative Bibllogroplly (1974) catalogues the extraordinary number of articles and reviews that have been devoted to his work.

In the ‘polemical lnuoduction’ to theA11ntomy, Frye argues the case for examining literatu,e in terms ofa conceptual framework that can be derived from the Inductive study or the entire literary field. By following what is later termed ‘the critical path’ (1971) the scholar should be able to arrive at a theory that can simullaneously account for the phenomena of literary experience and situate the role of literature within civilization as a whole. Unllke the literary critic, the scholar Is not concerned with passing value-judgements on individual works, but with organizing our know­ ledge of past cultures. Nor does the scholar evaluate the past in terms of the present

in terms of a temporal scale of values. Frye remarks (1971) that there are no dead ideas in literature; there are only tired readers. When released from the obligations of evaluative criticism, the serious critic is tolerant of the whole of literary culture and finds It impossible to express preferences for any one kind of poem.

For Frye, literature Is an autonomous verbal structure in which words are used for their own sake, and in which their individual values and meanings are subordinate toa structure of interconnected motifs. Literary structures are not shaped by external forces. Frye often uses musical analogies to illustrate his argument, and contends that a literary form such as tragedy can no more exist outside literature than the sonata form can exist outside music. On the basis of perceived analogies of form across a vast range of literary material, Frye posits the existence of broad categories that are broader than or logically prior to genres, as understood in the conventional sense, and suggests that they should be studied by applying the methods pioneered by JUNG and Frazer (17re Golden Boug/,, 1890-1915) in their studies of the folk-tales, ballads and ritualsof oral cultures. Such broad categories are described as generic plots or mytl1ol (mytl1os is Aristotle’sonce-used term for ‘plot’ or ‘narrative’) and aresaid to be archetypal, though in later essays Frye uses the expression ‘containing form’ in preference to ‘ARCHETYPE’. Four archetypal mythoi are identified: romantic, tragic, comic and ironicor realistic.The fourconespond to the cycle of the seasons, comedy being equated with spring, ROMANCE with summer or the Idealized world of wish­ fulliiment, tragedy with autumn, and winter with IRONY and satire. Each has a typical plot, examples of which can be round in countless individual works. The archetypal plot of comedy-spring, for example, involves a young man whose desire for a young woman is frustrated, usually by her father, but who finally triumphs thanks to the resolution of the comic plot. Examples of the romance of summer, which involves a perilous journey, a struggle between hero and foe and the final triumph of the hero, and which takes place in an Idealized world of beautiful heroines and wicked villains, range from the story of St George to the chivalric romances or the Middle Ages to the revolutionary romances of Soviet Russia.

Within this archetypal classification, Frye establishes five modes of fiction, each defined by the relationship between the hero and other men or the environment: a hero who Is superior in kind to other men is the divine hero of a myth; the hero who Is superior in degree is the hero of a romance who performs marvellous actions but remains human. In the high mimetic mode typified by epic and tragedy, the hero is a leader who is superior to other men, but not the environment, whilst the hero of the low mimetic mode (which includes most comedy and realist liction) Is superior to neither other men nor the environment. TI1e hero who is inferior in power or Intelligence belongs, finally, to the ironic mode. The main genres of literature are then categorized as drama, epic and lyric. In the final essay of the Anatomy, entitled ‘Theory of Genres’ (GENRE), the classifications and subclassifica­ tions proliferate to such an extent that one critic (Todorov 1970) is reminded of the lexicographers and dialectoiogists of the nineteenth century who scoured villages In search of rare or precious words.

Frye’s vision of the central role of literary studies within the humanities is grounded in a classic liberal humanism, and It ls significant that he was an ordained

 

 

________ ___________ _______ …….;::_ � �-

Gadamer, Hans-Georg 1 ,., -� ————- ——–.JK�•�Y

phenomenological tTaditlon. Given that prejudice cannot be eradicated, because human existence or DASEIN Is ahvays/already historically situated, it follows that there can be no prior truth, ‘first philosophy’ or METAPHYSICS that establishes the certainty o( knowledge; there is only the constant work of interpretation. Meaning is not something that can be ‘extracted’ from a text or other object, but rather an event that takes place through and in Interpretation, and thus transforms the Interpreter. Hermeneutics is Oasein’s mode of being (196o). To exist as a human being is to exist as a member of a hermeneutic community.

The hermeneutical tradition, whose history is traced in Tmtli a11d Method, origin• ated in PHILOLOGY and the textual study of scripture (largely as a means of avoiding false interpretations). Although Gadamer draws on this tradition, and extends It to the law (l.iwyers and judges interpret legal texts before applying them), he is also critical of its tendency to tum hermeneutics into an ancillary method or tool to be used in the human sciences (Geistes111issenscllaflt11). As the general phenomenon commonly described as the LINGUISTIC TURN reveals that language pervades the entire human experience of the world, hermeneutics ceases to be a methodology; it becomes philosophy itself. Gadamer’s criticisms of traditional hermeneulics overlap with the rejection of the claims of metaphysics and FOUNDATIONALISM. The rise of the empirical sciences, together with an increasingly specialized division of intellectual labour between different domains or knowledge, destroys the claims of philosophy and metaphysics to being the ultimate mode of knowledge or the ‘queen or the sciences’; It Is now hermeneutics, or even the Interpret­ Ive understanding of works of art, that provides the model for human self­ understanding. At the same time, the sciences themselves are freed from the model of ‘comprehensive’ knowledge elaborated by the metaphysical tradition that goes back to Aristotle. The empirical sciences offer not comprehensive knowledge, but a never-ending process of Investigation based upon hypothesis and experimentation, and Gadamer remarks that testing a hypothesis Is in fact a hermeneutlcal operation. Whilst there is a hermeneutlcal aspectto the sciences, they do not, however, provide ‘understanding’ (Verstcl1en) but merely ‘explanation’ (Erklitnmg). Their methods .ire inappropriate to the human sciences, which have no empirical object and In which the questions th.it are asked and the objects o( research are constituted by the Inquiry Itself.

Gadamer’s insistence on the centrality of language does not lead him to endorse the linguistics of SAUSSURE or CHOMSKY, which he criticizes on the grounds that they produce formal monologlc grammars which take no account of the fact that the use of language always Involves ihe speaker in a dialogue or conversation. To that extent, his thought is close to some aspects of SPEECH ACT theory, and Insists that the individual Is always p.irt of a language community. It is language that allows the horizons of the past to influence our culture and present life, but It is also language that Influences everything that can be hoped for, or feared, in the future. The encounter with language Is therefore an encounter with an unfinished event; given the finitude of historical existence, it would be absurd to claim that there can be only one correct interpretation of that event. Hermeneutics can, on the other hand, ensure that individu.ils participate in a process of transmission

which constantly mediates between past and present. Gadamer’s hermeneutics leads him to rejoin the great tradition of humanism: the constant work of interpret­ ation allows human action to be organized for the s.ike of a common tradition and order of things, and to ensure that all Individuals know and acknowledge that tradition and that order as the common one.

READING: Sullivan (1989); Welnshelmer (1985)

Gates, Henry Louis Jr (1950-) African•Amerlc.in literary theorist. Gates’s m.ijor project can be characterized as an attempt to synthesize elements of Western literary theory with a black vernacular tradition In order to produce .a synthetic and self-sustaining African-American criticism. Although he is highly critical of the EUROCENTRISM of white critical theory, With its CANON of MALES, Gates does not argue for Its completi: rejection, and

DEAD

nor WHITE

does he EUROPEAN

argue for the celebration of an undifferentiated ‘Black Experience’. The emblematic figure In Gates’s influential studies (1987, 1988) Is the ‘signifying monkey’. This is the ‘trickster’ figure in the bfack oral tradition, who constantly outwits the more powerful lion by using the verbal strategy of a rhetorical double talk. According to Gates, the signifying monkey is a descendant of Essu-Elegbara, the Yoruba trickster figure to whom he was introduced by the Nigerian Wole Soyinka who, in Gates’s view, provides the model for a new African literature. Signlfyln(g) Is the model for both musical and oral tTadltions; blues .ind jazz musicians constantly quote one another (‘Signifying’ is the title of a composition by Count Basie), and the black literary tradition can be described as one in which books talk to one another. Drawing on the fiction (1934) and anthropological work (1935, 1938) o( Zora Neale Hurston, Gates also relates signifyln(g) to the old custom of the ‘Dirty Dozens’, in which a sm.ill group exchanges disparaging 1emarks (usually of a crudely sexual nature) about those they love; this is described in Oliver’s classic study of the blues (196<>). Signify· Ing, quotation, mockery, Imitation and double-talk .ire seen as the hallmarks of the African-American vern.icular and literary tTaditlon horn the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s (Huggins 1971; Baker 1987) to Ellison’s l11visible Mm1 (1952)andpAllce Walker’s TIie Colour P11rple (1983).

The essays collected as Loose C1111011s (1992) cover the topics of canon formation and the role of the African-American intellectual in a very entertaining manner. Here Gates describes what he calls the ‘tax.I fallacy’: the black intellectual’s know­ ledge that ‘race’ Is a construct is of little help when a tax.I refuses to pick him up, and there is little point in shouting ‘It’s only a trope’ at the taxi-driver.

As the general editor of the ‘Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers’, Gates has played a major role in redisco�ering, preserving and publicizing the many narratives in which black slaves ‘wrote themselves Into being’.

gay Synonym for homosexual, usually used in the masculine, as In ‘lesbians and gay men’. In nineteenth-century slang the .adjective ‘gay’ was applied to prostitutes and ‘loose women’, but had taken on its present sense in the United States by the mid-195os. The term was occasionally used in Britain, but was usually thought to

 

 

_____________ _ _ — ———————–� -:,.,..

gaz� I … � _________ G_ee_ _fo_C_ll_f_,r_tz rd

have upper-class connotations. ‘QUEER’ was used within the homosexual com­ munity, but was also widely used as a derogatory term of abuse. It was only at the end of the 1960s that ‘gay’ came into common use as a positive self-designation.

Although homosexual ‘reform societies’ existed throughout the twentieth cen­ tury, it Is widely accepted that the modem gay movement originates in the riots that erupted after police raided the Stonewall Inn ln New York’s Chrislopher Street in June 1969. Whilst pollce raids were not an unusual occurrence, this time the gay customers fought back. The New York Gay Llbcralion Front was rormed In the aftermath or the riots (which are chronicled In Duberman 1993) and issued a mani­ festo stating: ‘We reject society’s attempt to impose sexual roles and delinitions of our nature. We are stepping out or those roles and simplistic myths. WE ARE GOING TO BE WHO WE ARE’ (cited Weeks 1977). The first Gay Pride march took place a year later. The example of the American Gay Liberation Movement, which was in part modelled on the WOMEN’S LIBERATION movement and the Black Power movement of the late 196os, was soon imitated in most European countries and its vocabulary was widely adopted. The expression ‘coming out’, widely used to mean acceptance and open admission of one’s homosexuality, derives from the American ‘coming out of the closet’, the closet being the symbol or concealment, oppression and self-oppression (Sedgwick 1985).

In Britain, the first meeting of the Gay Liberation Front was held in the autumn of 1970 and athacted only nine people; within a year up to live hundred were attending ils weekly meetings (Weeks 1977). GLF ltselr was short-lived and did not survive the end of the counter-culture of the late t96os and early 1970s. From the outset, there were internal political diVisions between the advocates of lifestyle politics and the ‘politicos’, not to mention those between women, who were always in the minority, and men (Watney 1980). Its very existence did, however, indicate a change of mood. The adoption of the word ‘gay’, which I ended to be replaced by ‘queer’ from the early 1990s onwards, signalled a rejection of the older reformist groups such as the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, which sought acceptance and equality, and the positive assertion of an uncompromising identity.

READING: Abelove, Darale and Halperin (1993); Cruikshank (1992)

gaze The expression le regard is used by both SARTRE and LACAN, but a certain confusion has .irisen in English .is the translator of Sartre’s Bei11g a11d Nothi11g11ess (1943a) has opted to translate it as ‘the look’, whilst Lacan’s various translators render it as ‘the gaze’.

Becoming the object of the look ls, in Sartre’s rHENOMENOLOGY, an important aspect of being-for-others (iitre•po11r-a11tn11), whlcn can be defined as the for-ltself’s (IN·ITSELF/fOR·JTSELF) mode of being when it apprehends itself as having become an object for another consciousness. Insofar as it ls being looked at, the for-itseir exists as an object like any other and ls allenated from its potential freedom because it is no longer in control of the situation. Being the object or the other’s look is often accompanied by a feeling of shame. Shame is a form of consciousness characterized by INTENTIONALITY, and implies the recognition or consciousness of being the object of the look: I am indeed the object that is being looked at and judged

by the other. ‘Being in the sight of God’ is the ultimate instance of being-for-others as there is no escape rrom the all-seeing gaze of the diVinity.

Visual perception is an important theme in Lacan’s earliest paper; the infant­ SUBJECT is, that is, entranced by its own image in the MIRROR-PHASE (Lacan 1936, 1949). In the first year of the seminar that began in 1954 (published 1975), L.lcan describes the phenomenology of intersubjective relations in terms similar to those of Sartre’s analysis of being-for-others, but he subsequently develops a different theory of the gaze and of the scopic DRIVE (1973). The gaze is now viewed as a property of the object rather than of the subject. As the subject gazes at the object of its perception, It senses that the object is gazing back at it from a point that lies outside the lield of subjective perception. The subject is thus lured Into the image of the object by the mechanism illustrated by the ANAMORl’HIS of Holbein’s The Ambassadors (1533, National Gallery, London). Lacan’s analysis of the gaze has become an important element in feminist discussions of how women are con­ structed as the object of a male gaze in film and the visual arts (Mulvey 1975; Rose 1986).

Geertz, Clifford (1926-) American anthropologist. Whilst the monographs based on Geertz’s fieldwork in Indonesia and Morocco (1960, 1968) are primarily addressed to a professional audience of fellow anthropologists, his essays (1973, 1983, 1988) have a much wider appeal which is in part due to his vivid style of writing. The description of Balinese cockfighting and its rituals (in Geertz 1973) is particularly memorable.

As a cultural anthropologist, Geertz adopts a broadly semiotic approach lo his object of study and describes his work in Weberlan terms as an interpretive science that is in search of meaning. The goal of the anthropologist is not lo establish pseudo-scientific laws, but to gain access to a conceptual world that initlally appears opaquely foreign, just as Weber (1904-05) enters the conceptual world in which Calvinists lived. Borrowing an expression rrom the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle (1966-7, 1967), Geertz refers to anthropology as an elaborale exercise in THICK DESCRIPTION that seeks to analyse the interwoven systems or signs that make up any culture. These arc not mere superstructures, but organized systems without which human behaviour would be both ungovernable and Incomprehensible because man is, ultimately, a symbolizing, conceptualizing and meaning-seeking animal.

Geertz is highly critical of the FUNCTIONALISM that reduces a work of art or a cultural arlefact to the status of an elaborate mechanism for de lining social ielatlons, suslaining social roles or reinforcing social values, and insists, in terms that are lnfiuenced by the rHENOMENOLOGY of Alfred Schutz, that It materializes a way of experiencing the world (Schutz 1967).

Geertz also writes (1973) on the problems faced by the new states that emerged, like Indonesia, from postwar decolonization, as they struggle to Integrate groups whose primordial loyalties are to tribes and clans or religious and even linguistic communities into a new and much more impersonal ciVll state. His sympathetic Interest In the anthropology of social change leads him to criticize LEVI-STRAUSS

 

 

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for his notorious lack of concern for history, his tendency to reduce sentiment to the shadow of intellect, and the minds of particular savages to a universal ‘savage mind’ whose structures are inherent in all human beings.

gender The term traditionally refers to both the classification of nouns and their corresponding modifiers as ‘masculine’, ‘feminine’ and ‘neuter’, and the sense of being male or female. A distinction between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ began to be made in Engllsh in the 1970s, largely as a result of the impact or FEMINISM and WOMEN’S LIBERATIO N, and Gender Studies subsequently emerged as a specific academic di sci· pllne. The verb ‘lo gender’ is sometimes used to describe the Introduction or the Issue of gender difference Into a debate perceived as being dominated by the assumption that ‘he’ is a universal or neutral pronoun. In the mid·198os references to gender difference began to be replaced by the broader and less dualistic term ‘sexual difrerence’, one of the key events that provoked the shift being the confer­ ence on sexual difference organized by the Oxford Literary Review at the University of Southampton in 1985 (the main papers were published In the Oxford Literary Rei•iew 1986).

Although she does not use the French equivalent of ‘gender’ (genre is still very rarely used In French to indicate sexual difference), Simone lie BEAUVOIR anticipates many or the concerns of the gender-sex debate when she remarks that ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’ (1949) and argues that reminlnity Is the product of contingent forces and not an eternal essence. The actual starling-point for the early feminist distinction between sex and gender was the research carried out by Robert Stoller (1924-91) at the California Gender Identity Center, where lt was found that in cases where genital malformation resulted In erroneous gender assignment at birth, it was easier lo undo the biological effects of the gender assignment than to unravel the psychological effects of having lived as the ‘wrong’ gender (Stoller 1968; Millett 1969). Sex could lhus be defined in lerms ofbiologlcal differences at the level of lhe genilals, chromosomes and secondary sexual characteristics, whilst gendercouldbe equated with socially construcled notions of femininity and mascu­ linity. In England the distinction was widely popularized by feminisls like Ann Oakley who argued (1972) that ‘sex’ was a biological lerm, and ‘gender’ a social and psychological term and (1974, 1996) that people are either male or female In b[ological terms, but in cultural terms are pressured to be or become masculine or feminine through processes ofsociali;zatlon.

Although the sex-gender distinction is widely accepted, theories as to how gender is produced and reproduced vary greatly. Studies such as Sharpe’s account of how girls become women (1976) stress the differential soclallzatlon of girls and boys at home and in school, whilst authors like Lees (1993) stress that the construction of masculinity and femininity lnvolves the reproduclion of relations of power that define both domestic roles and forms of sexuality in lerms detrimental to girls and women. Adopting a very different approach based upon SPEECH ACT theory rather than empirical sociology, BUTLER regards the ascription ofgender as the result of a process of ‘girting’ or ‘boying’ that begins when it is said of a neonate that ‘It’s a boy/girl’ and which is repeatedly reinforced by the use of rERFORMATIVES, though

it should be added that ultrasound technology now means that glrllng/boying can begin before birth. The psychoanalytic contribution to the gender debate is a major issue ln the often acrimonious dialogue between PSYCHOANALYSIS AND FEMINISM. Whilst Freudian psychoanalysis holds that human beings are Innately bisexual and therefore come to adopt gendered ‘attitudes’ or ‘positions’, FREUD himself (and LACAN after him) tends to take a very normative view ofmasculinity and femininity, and to take the male child as the developmental norm. Freud’s conviction that the glrl who takes her father as her love•OBJECT is adopting a ‘normal female attitude’ indicates that he still relies on a normative thesis that equates gender with sex (see for example Freud 1931a).

The introduction of GAY sexuality and Identity into discussions of gender tends to make the issue more complex as gay sexuality Is not necessarily modelled on a binary masculine/feminine model, with one partner playing the ‘male’ role, whilst practices such as cross•dresslng and deliberate role•playing (the theatrically ‘butch’ lesbian and her exqulsi tely hyper-femininep’ femme’ partner) further unsettle gender differences. Talk of gender can, it is argued, actually perpetuate stereotyping by inadvertently promoting monolithic and unchanging models of masculinlty and feminlnity (Watney 1986). Such criticisms, which lead to the emergence of QUEER theory, can be reinforced by appeals to DECONSTRUCTION and the theories of ro sTMODERNITY that seek to undermine all binary oppositions and to free DESIRE from its constraints.

genealogy A mode of historical Inquiry adopted by FOUCAULT from 1971 onwards and derived horn the wirkliche Historie (‘effective’ or ‘critical history’) invoked in the second of Nietzsche’s Untimely Meditations (Nietzsche 1874; Foucault 197ia); Foucault’s choice of terminology also makes an obvious allusion to Nietzsche’s Genealogy o{Momls (l887), in which it is argued that the actual causes of a thing’s origins and Its eventual uses are worlds apart. Nietzsche speaks of the need to break up and dissolve the past, and Foucault’s genealogies or power (1975) and sexuality (1976a) seek to demonstrate that bodies or knowledge do not have discrele points of origin and are not stable configurations. Genealogy uproots the traditional foundations of history and disrupts hislory’s apparent continuity by concentrating on minor events and ‘accidents’ and insisting that knowledge is always rooted in power, but seeks to deny its own origins. There is no hidden or inner truth in a category such as GENDER, which Is constructed by the bodies of knowledge (sexol­ ogy, psychoanalysis) that claim to be able to explain it. A genealogical study of gender does not, therefore, look forward to the liberation ofsome repressed essence. bul, rather, to a liberation horn the categories or gender. Ultimately, Foucault’s genealogy enables him to ask (198o): ‘Do we tndy need a tme sex?’

Although ‘genealogy’ tends to replace Foucault’s earlier description ofhis method­ ology as an ARCHAEOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE, he appears lo regard the terms as being complementary rather than mutually exclusive.

Genette, Gerard (1931r) French literary theorist and, together wilh BARTHES and TOOOROV, one of the major figures In French NARRATOLOGY and POETICS. Genetic

 

 

!J

icon Word derived from the Greek eikon, meaning ‘likeness’ or ‘Image’. In the SEMIOTICS elaborated by rEIRCE, an Icon Is ii type of RErRESENTAMEN or SIGN In which the relationship between the slgnans and slgnatum (or signifier and signified, to use SAUSSURE’S more familiar terminology) Is one of factual similarity. A picture of a lion is an Icon because of the factual resemblance between It and the real animal It depicts.

Icons are the sacred Images of saints or holy personages that are venerated In the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Toe cult of icons Is influenced by the neo-Platonic belief that a visible image can demonstrate an invlslble religious truth. This meaning has been transfened to persons or things that are regarded as particularly representa· live of a given place, mood or period. In that sense, James Dean can be said to be an Icon of teenage rebellion.

iconography Traditionally defined In art history as the ldentlticatlon of the subjects of portraits, and especially those featured on coins. It has also come to mean the Identification and analysis of conventional Images, stories and allegories, and the description and classification of those pictorial motifs. Toe lconographical approach to art history was largely pioneered by the French historian Louis MJle (1862-1954) in his studies of the religious art of the Gothic period (1902), which contend that the art of the Middle Ages was primarily a form of ‘sacred writing’ whose characters had to be learned by every artist. An iconographic study of Dutch GENRE painting would read a still life depicting musical Instruments, songbooks and precious metalware as an icon of va11/t4s, or of the vanity of life In a world where all Is destined to perish. A woman standing by a map would be read as an Image of ‘Lady World’, who Is the personification of worldliness.

In his studies of the Renaissance, rANOFSKY (1939) introduces an important dis• tinctlon between iconography and iconology. Whereas Iconography simply classl· lies the Images used by a pictorial tradition, iconology looks for and Interprets symbolic meanings of which the individual artists may not be fully conscious. It treats the work of art as a historical document providing insights Into how, In different historical conditions, essential tendencies of the human mind can be expressed through specific terms and relationships between terms. Toe erudite essays that make up ranofsky’s Mea11i11g i11 tire Visual Arts (1955) demonstrate lcon­ ology to be an Interdisciplinary mode of Interpretation that relies upon a deep

ldeo_lp stap ar__:a:.:.tus___ o…;;gt_ca1_p _p..:.p_ _te a _p = _p __ _ ..:.____________� ___

understanding or literary and philosophical traditions as well as of the history of pictorial motifs.

Id A translation of the German ,tns Es (literally ‘the It’), Introduced into the vocabulary of PSYCHOANALYSIS by FREUD (1923a). Freud borrows the term from the German psychiatrist Georg Groddeck, who held that ‘man Is animated by the Unknown’ and that ‘Man Is lived by the It’ (Groddeck 1923). The origins of the word can be traced back to Nietzsche, who remarks InBeyo11dGood nndEvilthat ‘a thought comes when “It” wants, not when “I” want • . . it thinks’ (1886).

Toe Id is one of the three agencies of the psyche described In Freud’s second or structural TOroGRArHv, the others being the EGO and the sur£REGO, and tends to replace the UNC0Nsc1ous or the first topography. Sometimes described by Freud as a reservoir of LIBIDO, the Id Is the Instinctual pole of the personality and its contents are an expression of the DRIVES. There is no clear boundary between the ego and the id. Part of the ego merges into the Id, and It draws energy ham it thanks 10 the process of SUBLIMATION.

The French equivalent to das Es is It fa. LACAN frequently uses expressions such as f4 parle (‘It/Id speaks’), playing upon a very familiar register of everyday French ((:a va? means ‘How are things?’ or ‘How’s it going?’, and 9a 11e fait rien ‘It doesn’t matter’) to capture the radical impersonality of the id. For Lacan the id Is not, however, the locus of uncontrollable biological or instinctual forces. 11011s can be interpreted as meaning that

94 parle

‘Id speaks through us’ or that ‘we are spoken by it’, or in other words that human beings are not fully In command of the language that speaks through them and constitutes them as SUBJECTS.

l . .

identity politics Increasingly important from the 1970s onwards, identity politics is based upon the contention that collectivities and individuals defined by criteria of ethnicity, religion, GENDER or sexual orientation have Interests that are not or cannot be promoted or defended by broader agencies such as class or a constitutional state. Identity politics usually takes the form of a demand for the right to be different, and for that difference to be recognized as legitimate. lllis form of politics can be viewed either as a celebration of cultural diversity and a defence of minority rights, or as a betrayal of the unlversallst values of the ENLIGHTENMENT. For its critics, it is a form of ESSENTIALISM which assumes that politics is a direct and unmedlated expression of personal or collective experience. In their various ways, QUEER theory, CREOLENESs and the idea of HYBRIDITY all question the assumptions of identity politics, and raise the Issue of whether lhe notion of a fixed identity Is In Itself desirable.

ideological state apparatus MARXISM has traditionally emphasized the role played by the repressive agencies of the state (the army, police and courts) In ensuring the maintenance of the social order. Just as GRAMSCI recognized that consent Is as Important as coercion If a HEGEMONY is to be established and main· talned, ALT11ussu (1970) stresses that repression alone cannot reproduce the exist· ing social relations of production and that IDEOLOGY also has a crucial role to play. His category of Ideological state apparatuses Includes the educational system, the

 

 

—————————- � Kubo, Thomas Samuel I ,,� Kuhn now began 10 describe scientific history as consipsting of long peaceful inter­ ludes, which he described as periods of NORMAL SCIENCE, punctuated by the intel­ Jeclual revolutions brought about by paradigm shUts. He saw the transition from Newtonian to Einsteinian mechanics as a particularly clear example or how a scientific revolution displaces the entire conceptual network through which the scientific community views the world.

For Kuhn, the task of the historian of sclence Is twofold: to determine when and by whom a given scientific fact or theory was discovered, and to describe the errors, myths and superstitions that inhibited a more rapid accumulation of the constituent elements of modem science. The close historical study of the state of a science at any given time discloses a set of recurrent and almost standard illustrations of a number of theories. These are the paradigms of the normal science of a scientific community. Further study of these paradigms reveals how they were finally aban­ doned, not because they were Inherently false or untrue, but because they could not answer all the questions they themselves raised. The railure of existing rules Is therefore the prelude to the quest for new rules. Kuhn notes (1962) that the shift from Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy began with the growing realization that, whilst the former could predict the position of the stars and planets, it was unable to predict the precession of the equinoxes.

Lacao,Jacques (1901-81) French psychoanalyst. The most controversial psycho­ analyst slncc FREUD himself, La can has had an immense Influence on literary theory, philosophy and, more controversially, feminism (rsvCHOANALYSIS AND FE�UNtSM!, as well as on rsvcHOANALYSJS itself. Despite the notorious difficulties posed by his prose style, Lacan’s work has done more than that or any other analyst to make psychoanalysis a central reference to a whole field of disciplines within the HUMAN SCIENCES.

Lacan’s most important papers are collected in his Ecrits (1966); £ewer than one· 1hird of them are included In the English Ecrits: A Selection (1977). Until the publi­ cation of Ecrits, the main vector for the dissemination of his ideas was the weekly seminar that began In 1953 and continued until shortly before his death. Edited transcripts of the seminar began to be published during his lifetime (r975b), and twenty-six volumes are planned. The quality of the editing Is a matter for contro­ versy (Roudinesco 1993); no notes have been appended to the eleven volumes lo have been published to date and they are not indexed. Paradoxically, It is easier to work with the annotated English translations (1975a, 1978, 1981) than with the originals. Dylan Evans’s l11trod11ctory Didio11ary of Laca11ia11 Psyclloa11alysis (r9g6) provides an Invaluable guide to Lacan’s terminology and concepts.

Lacan’s career was dogged by controversy and regularly punctuated by conflicts wilh the psychoanalytic establishment, most of them focusing on his refusal to follow the conventions of the ‘analytic hour’ and his Insistence on using short sessions of varying length during training analyses. In 1953 Lacan and others resigned from the Societe rsychanalyt!que de Paris (SPP) to found the Soclete rsychanalytique de France (SPF); Lacan’s continued use of short sessions ensured that the latter was never recognized as a competent society by the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). In 1963, similar Issues led to a split in the new association and to the foundation of the ECOLE FREUDIENNE DE PARIS (Psychoana­ lytic School of Paris), which was unilaterally dissolved by Lacan himself ln 1980.

Lacan’s original training was in medicine and psychiatry, and his prepsychoana­ lytic early work was on paranoia. The publication of his doctoral thesis, which dealt mainly with a woman patient suffering from a PSYCHOSIS that led her to attempt to murder an actress (1932), won him the admiration of BRETON and the surrealist group, with which he was briefly associated. Lacan’s writings are steeped in allusions to SURREALISM, and It is probable that surrealist experiments with language (and

 

 

—– ——Lacan,Jacques � ___ ___ _____ _ ___ ______ lan -•g�·g es_ _gu e am =- .::: .!=..::::: = par ll cu Jar l y automatic writing) and speculations about the relationship bet\veen forms of language and different psychical states had a long-term influence on his famous conlention that the unconscious is structured like a language. His notion of the FRAGMENTED BODY Is one of the clearest Indications of his debt to surrealism (Bowie 1991). The association wilh surrealism is less surprising than it might seem; the surrealists, to Freud’s Irritation, were much more sympathetic to his ideas than lhe French medical establishment.

Lacan began his analysis with Rudolph Lowensleln in 1934, and was elected to the SPP in the same year. Ironically, Lowenstein was one of the pioneers of the EGo-rsYct10LOGY that Lacan came to loathe so much. Lacan’s first contribution to psychoanalysis was made in 19361 when he presented his paper on the MIRROR· STAGE to the Marienbad Conference of the IPA. For reasons that have never been clearly explained, it has never been published; the version included in Ecrits was written thirteen years later (1949). In the late 1940s Lacan began to use lhe Idea of the mirror-stage to elaborate a theory of subjectivity that views the EGO as a largely IMAGINARY construct based upon an alienating identification with the mirror-Image of the SUBJECT. At the intersubjective level, the subject Is drawn at a very early age Into a DIALECTIC of identification with an aggression lowards the OTHER t1948). Originally based upon the findings of child psychology and primate ethology (from which Lacan adopts the thesis that a child, unlike a young chimpanzee, recognizes its own image in a minor), the theory of subjectivity is subsequently recast in lerms of a dialectic of DESIRE (see in particular Lacan 196o). The Influence of KOJEVE’s seminar on Hegel’s Plleriomeuology of Mind (1947) Is crucial here; Lacan was an assiduous attender, and all hls numerous allusions to Hegel should in fact be read as allusions to Kojcve.

The paper on language and speech in psychoanalysis (1953) read to the founding congress of lhe SPF in Rome In 1953 (and therefore often referred to as the ‘Rome Discourse’) is the first great manifesto of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Lacan calls for a ‘return to Freud’, stressing the pressing need to read Freud in detail (and preferably in German) and denouncing the dominant tendencies within contemporary psychoanalysis (ego-psychology, Klelnlan analysis-KLEIN -and OBJECT·RELATIONS theory) as so many forms of revisionism. At lhe same time he elaborates an immensely broad synthetic vision in which psychoanalysis appropriates the find· ings or philosophy (notably Kojeve and HEIDEGGER), the structural anthropology of LEVl·STRAUSS and the linguistics of SAUSSURE. Thls vision is consistent with the thesis that psychoanalysis Is Indeed a TALKING CURE, with speech and language as its only media, but It also allows Lacan to develop a universallst theory of the origins of human subjectivity. Levl-Strauss’s accounts of the non-conscious structures or kinship and alliance, and of the crucial transition from nature to culture, allow Lacan to describe the OEDIPUS COMPLEX as a structural moment that Integrates the child inlo a preexisting SYMBOLIC order by obliging it to recognize the NAME·OF· THE·FATHER and to abandon its claim to being the sole object of the mother’s desire (rllALLUS).

Although the 1953 paper abounds in reference to language and linguistics, it is only in his paper on the agency of the letter ( 1957) that La can truly begins to explore

and appropriate the legacy of Saussure. At the same time he also relies heavily on JAKOBSON’S work of PHONEME analysis and on METAPHOR/METONYMY, which are likened to the mechanisms of CONDENSATION and DISPLACEMENT. Language is now defined as a synchronic system of SIGNS which generate meaning through their Interaction; meaning insists In and through a chain of slgnlfiers, and does not reside in any one element. The structural isomorphism between the workings of language and the unconscious mechanisms of the DREAM•WOAK allows Lacan to conclude that the unconscious is structured like a language. For Lacan there is never any dlrect correspondence between signifier and signified, and meaning is therefore always In danger of sliding or slipping out of control. An element of stability is, he argues, provided by privileged slgnifiers such as the phallus and the name-of-the­ father, and It is this claim that exposes him to DERRIDA’S accusations of LOGOCEN· TRISM and rHALLOGOCENTRISM.

Lacan’s early use of linguistics anticipates a distinctive feature of his later work in that he makes use of quasi-mathematical formulae to illustrate the workings of metaphor and metonymy (1957). The Initial formulae are no doubt little more than pedagogic devices, but they gradually develop Into a so-called Lacanlan algebra (which is clearly described by Evans) and a set of MA THEMES designed to ensure that psychoanalytic theory can be subiected to a FORMALIZATION and to guarantee its Integral 1ransmission. The major Influence here Is the historical EPISTEMOLOGY of BACIIELARD, CANGUILHEM and KOYIIE.

READING: Macey (1988); Roudinesco (19ll2, 1986); Turkle (1978); Weber (1990)

language-games Notion Introduced by WITTGENSTEIN in notes dictated In 1933- 4 and in the draft for what eventually became his Philosophical l11vestigatio11s (1953). Known respectively as the ‘Blue’ and ‘Brown’ Books, the notes and draft were published posthumously (1958).

Wittgensleln defines a language-game as a way of using signs that is simpler than 1hat in which the signs of everyday language are used, and contends bolh that lanb’Uage-games arc the forms of language with which children first make use of words and that they are primitive forms of language. In philosophical terms the study of such simplified languages has a therapeutic goal and is designed to clarify our thinking about language, and to dear up the problems created by linguistic confusion as to the meanings of categories such as ‘true’ and ‘false’. Language, lhat is, is viewed as a matter of practical convention or actual use in which usage dclermlnes meaning, and Wittgenstein challenges the conventional view that It is an expression of preexisting mental images. The introduction of the notion of language-games lhus breaks with the so-called ‘picture theory’ of the earlierTractalUs Logico-Pliilosopllims (1921) which, under the influence of FREGE’s \ogle, held Chat truth depended upon the resemblance between a sentence and that of which it was a plcture.

Wittgenstein proposes a number of hypothetical games of growing complexity that display a family resemblance. He Invites, for instance, the reader to imagine a language in which the sentence-form ‘lhe water in the glass’ does not exist. A more complex game consists of the words ‘cube’, ‘brick’, ‘slab’ and ‘column’ and is used

 

 

——“-”———————� � —————————-Mllrinetti, Filippo Tommaso r •- :z.o• I Marxism Hegelian strand In MARXISM Is much more important than the Soviet version of IIISTORICAL and DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM would allow. He stresses the impor­ tance of Marx’s early work, and particularly the ‘Economic and Philosophical Manu­ scripts’ (1844), which he uses to elaborate a critical theory of ALIENATION and IIEIFICATION.

In an epilogue added to his sl\ldy of Hegel (1941) In 1954, Marcuse remarks that the defeat of Fascism had not arrested the drift towards totalitarianism and that freedom was still on the retreat. His remarks outline the themes that would dominate his later work: the enslavement of man by the growth In productivity that should have liberated him, the repressive mastery of nature, the manufacture of consent to and acceptance of the status quo, and the development of human potential within a framework of domination. Ont-Dimensional Ma11 (1964) Is the classic expression of these themes. Here a deeply pessimistic Marcuse describes an advanced Industrial society in which the total administration of human beings is both necessary and possible. People are erliclently manipulated and organized, and the mechanisms of REPRESSIVE TOLERANCE ensure that even rebellion is tolerated, recuperated and turned Into a repressive force. In such a society every need is catered for but they are all false needs planned to meet the requirements of the system of production rather than those of individuals. The very possibillty of rebellion or even opposition appears to have been extinguished. The upsurge of student rebellion in the late 196os and the rise of tHIRD WORLD radicalism in Vietnam and Cuba did lead Marcuse to the more optimistic view that a new culture was emerging and that It would fulfil the promise of emancipation that had been betrayed by both traditional culture and the totally administered societyp(1969), but the optimism was short-lived. In his last published work. Marcuse (1977) argues that It is only the aesthetic realm that preserves both the memory or a happier existence and the hope for a ruture emancipation.

Marlncttf, Rllppo Tommaso (1876-1944) Italian poet and principal spokesman for FUTURISM. Marlneltl’s writings celebrate speed, machines and violence, and he captures the spirit of futurism in his famous declaration that a speeding motor car is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. The title of an English-language version of his selected writings Is a good indication of his violent rejection of traditional poetry: let’s M11rder the Moo11slii11e (1971).

l’tfarxlsm The body of thought associated with and Inspired by the works of l<arl Marx (1818-83) and Friedrich Engels (1820-95), comprising a system of political economy. a theory of politics and a materialist philosophy of history and nature. It was one of the most influential Intellectual forces of the twentieth century. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Marxism, now also known as Marxism-Leninism, became the official political IDEOLOGY of the Soviet Union and, subsequently, of the so-called ‘People’s Democracies’ of Eastern Europe and China. Paradoxically, Marxism has always flourished best under non-Marxist regimes and the many variants of WESTERN MARXISM are much more sophlsticaled than anything developed In the ‘soclallst’ countries. A similar paradox can be noted outside the

‘socialist’ bloc, where Communist parties usually developed a reductive and mech­ anistic form of Marxism, and where the most creative developments have been the work of relatively marginal organizations and Individuals. This suggests that Marxism may outlive the collapse of communism in the East.

Although Marxism takes many different forms, its core concepts derive from two main sources. On the one hand, the political economy elaborated by British writers such as Adam Smith (TI1e Wealtli of Nations, r776) and David Ricardo (Principles of Political Economy, 1817) is developed and transformed Into the critical account of the capitalist economy advanced in the three volumes of Marx’s unfinished Capital (1867, 1885, 1894) and in numerous shorter texts such as the Contribution to tlie Critique of Political Economy (1859) and ‘Wages, Price and Profit’ (1865). In parallel to this, a philosophy of history (HISTORICAL MATERIALISM) centred on the Idea that history Is driven by a DIALECTIC of conflict between social classes Is derived from the Hegelian tradition. This is expressed most clearly in Marx’s political writings, many of which deal with the history and politics of nineteenth-century France, and especially in the programmatic Comm,mist Manifesto (Marx and Engels, 1847-8), which, together with Marx’s lapidary ‘Theses on Feuerbach’ (1845), is certainly the most widely read of all Marxist texts. The fonner provided the International movement with Its most rousing slogan: ‘The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!’ The last of the eleven ‘Theses’ neatly summarizes Marxism’s philosophical-political ambitions: ‘The philosophers have only i11terprcted the world, In various ways; the point Is to change It.’ The elaboration of DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM as a philosophy of nature and science Is largely the wo.rk of Engels (1875-82, 1878).

The most significant of Marx’s early writings are the so-called ‘Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts’ (1844). These were not intended for publication, and did not appear in print until 1932, when, together with Tire Germa11 Ideology (Marx and Engels 1845-6), they were round to contain a theory ofALIENATION and IDEOL· OGY which explains human consciousness in terms of the material realityof human existence. Whereas the earlier Hegelian tradition had viewed history as the product of the development of Ideas and consciousness, Marx contended that consciousness wasdetermined bysocial existence and thatthe alienation and COMMODITY FETISH· ISM characteristic or capitalist society were effects of the property relations that estranged men from the product of their own labour. Although these early writings are dismissed by ALTHUSSER as deriving from ii Hegelian PROBLEMATIC and as being ‘pre-Marxist’, they provide the basis for the many varieties of Marxist humanism and for the earliest work of the NEw LEFT.

Marxist economics centres on the analysis of the commodity, defined as an object that satisfies ii human need, or as having a use-value. Commodities also have an exchange-value to the extent that they can be exchanged for other commodities. Thecommon property that makes It possible for commodities to be exchange-values is the quantity of human labour-power or value contained In them. The value of a commodity is determined by the quantity of labour-time required to produce it, and therefore by historical and social variations In the productivity of labour. The

 

 

—————- – ——� r.farxist criticism I 242 value of labour-power itself is determined by the value of the necessities required to reproduce it, or in other words to sustain the wage-labourer or proletarian. Under capitalism, according to Marxist economic theory, the wage-labourer does not, however, simply reproduce the value of his wage. He also produces surplus-value, or value in excess of the cost of reproducing his wages; this Is the source or the capitalist profit without which the system cannot work. The ratio between the time spent on reproducing the value of labour-power and the time spent on producing surplus-value is re£erred to as the rate of surplus-value. The rate of surplus-value is variable, and is the subject of both negotiations and conOict between workers and capitallsts, but surplus-value must always be produced. Whilst working conditions can be improved up to a point, the need to extract surplus-value means that the traditional demand for a ‘fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work’ is meaningless; under capitalism, wages are always paidon an ‘unrair basis’. Ultimately, the system cannot be reformed for the benefit of the wage-earning proletarian, and must be over­ thrown.

Tile Comm1111ist Manifesto proclaims that the history of all society hitherto has been the history of class struggles in which classes defined by economic relations ofproduction come into conflict and either reconstitute society through revolution or destroy one another. In the age of capitalism, the struggle is one between the bourgeoisie, which owns the means of production, and the proletariat, which has nothing but the labour-power it is forced to sell in order to survive. By creating the modem capitalist system, or capitalist MODE OF rRODUCTION, and the proletariat exploited by that system, the bourgeoisie has created the means of its own destruc­ tion. At the same time, it has reduced lhe whole of human exislence to naked self-interest and the cash nexus that destroys human relations. Being the product of the capitalisl mode of production, the proletariat is both its enemy and its heir; the continued development of modem Industry threatens to reduce the working classes to extreme poverty, and it is lherefore In their interests to abolish classes by abolishing the private ownership of property and capitalist relatlons of production and establishing a diclatorship of the proletariat. Only then will it be possible to establish an association of citizens in which ‘the free development of each ls the condition for the free development of all.’

Marxist economics provides the basis for the analysis of culture, ideology and politics in accordance with the BASE/SUPERSTRUCTURE model. This Is notoriously Marxism’s weak point; it has a marked tendency to reduce all phenomena from ideological service to the stale (classically seen as the agency for the polltlcal dictatorship ofan economic cl.iss) to mere expressions or reflectionsof the economic base and to deny them any real autonomy.

l\farxist critJdsm Ahhough the writings of Marx and Engels abound in literary references and allusions, the founders of MARXISM cannot really be said to have elaborated a theory of literature. Their scauered and fragmented comments on literature have, however, often been anthologized; the anthology compiled by Baxandall and Morawski Is one of the most useful (Marx and Engels 1973). In his preface to A Co11trib11tio11 to the CritiqueofPolitical Economy (1859), Marx generically

describes the legal, political, religious or philosophical forms through which men become conscious of social conflict as ‘ideological’, and there is a marked tendency within many forms or Marxist criticism to reduce literature or art to IDEOLOGY and to analyse lt in terms of the BASE/surERSTRUCTURE model. Although Engels insists in his letter of 1890 toJoseph Bloch (ln Marx and Engels 1965) that whilst Ideological forms are ultimately determined by the economic production and reproduction of real life, the economic element Is not the only one, it has always been difficult for Marxists to escape the base/superstructure model.

In a typical product of the Marxism of the 1930s, the English poet and critic Christopher Caudwell (I.e. Christopher St John Sprigg, 1907-37) traces the history or the ‘movement of bourgeois poetry’ by establishing a series of economic periods characterized by both ‘general characteristics’ and ‘technical characteristics’ (1937). The Elizabethan Age Is thus said to be a period of primitive accumulation in which the dynamic force of individuallty is realized in poetry; the technical device of the !amble pentameter indicates the boundless development of the personal will. Although Caudwell’s formulation is crude, It typifies the way In which Marxist criticism uses literary texts to identify values and ideologies associated with social classes and economic developments. The infinitely more sophisticated EAGLETON (1988) describes David Lodge’s campus novel Small World (1984) as symptomatic of a liberal humanism which has fallen on hard times since its Victorian heyday. To parody SARTRE’S remark that Paul Valery is a petty bourgeois intellectual but not all petty bourgeois intellectuals are Paul Valery (196o), it has to be said in Lodge’s defence that not all symptoms of liberal humanism are as funny as Smid/ World.

In a letter to the novelist Margaret Harkness (in Marx and Engels 1965) Engels makes a further crucial contribution to Marxist aesthetics when he defines realism In terms of both ‘truth ofdetail’ and ‘truth in the reproduction of typical characters under typlcal circumstances’, and thus Jays the foundations for both LUKAcs’s aesthetic of Balzaclan realism and SOCIALIST REALISM. The stress on ‘typicality’ is indicativeofMarxism’s insistence on the need fou.111,.1 ESis and fora realist depiction of the social relations obtaining in any given period, whilst the debate between 11Loc11 and Lukacsover German EXPRESSIONISM in the 1930s illustrates howdifficult Marxists find it to come to terms with the many fonns of MODERNISM, ADORNO being one of the more notable exceptions.

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Marxism coexisted uneasily with very different currents such as RUSSIAN FORMALISM and the work of BAKHTIN, but the growing emphasis on the ‘social command’ Inevitably resulted in the political utilitarianism exemplified by the argument that ‘the incomplete acceptance of the revolution, Insistence upon inessential details, superficiality, empty eloquence and sketchiness prevent completeness of socialist realism’ (Kirpotin 1933). Not surpris­ ingly, what is now recognized as Marxist criticism is a product of Western Marxism and not of the former ‘socialist’ countdes. The most important contributors to the development of Marxist criticism include Lukacs and his follower GOLDMANN, BENJAMIN, Adorno, WILLIAMS and Eagleton. Marxist criticism obviously does not develop In Isolation, and many of Its most sophisticated products have been born

 

 

———————–� Marxist criticism I ’44 ..s I mAtbeme=._J _______________________ __;:� of an interaction between forms of Marxl.sm and such currents as PSYCHOANAL vs1s and STRUCTURALISM.

AL TH US SER ‘s comments on literature and art (1962b, 1966a, 1966b) are laconic but influentl.il. He argues that ‘real art’ Is not to be ranked among the Ideologies, even though it Inevitably uses ideology as its raw materi.il. The claim that the function of ‘real art’ is to reveal the workings and effects of ideology, together with the theory of SYMPTOMATIC READING, provides the theoretical basis for the important work of his student Pierre Macherey (1966; see also Eagleton 1976). For Macherey, what the literary text says Is less Important than what it does; literature Is a form of intellectual production that works ideological raw material Into literary texts, and In doing so transforms the raw material. Jules Verne’s n,e Mysterious ls/a,1d reworks the Robin· son Crusoe myth (which Marx so often uses to mock political economists who ignore economic realities In their celebrations of the individual hero) In an attempt to show that science and Industry can Oourish In conditions of isolation, but undermines the Crusoe myth by making It obvious that the Island Is not uninhab­ ited. Captain Nemo’s submarine Is based beneath It, and he supplies Verne’s cast­ aways with their needs; no Island Is isolated in the age of imperialism. The point Is not that Verne is aware of the contradictions of his story, but that a symptomatic reading can reveal them. Macherey’s later work (1990), which overlaps with a more general exploration of the history of materialist philosophy, explores similar themes and comes to the conclusion that the role of literature is to say what a period thinks of itself without necessarily understanding itself.

Perhaps the most sophisticated of contemporary Marxist critics Is the American Frederic Jameson, who argues that whilst history Is not a text, It Is inaccessible to us except In textual terms (1974, 1981, 1988a, 1988b). He writes under the programmatic slogan ‘always historlclze’ (1981) and asserts that, although organic life may be absurd, history itself is meaningful and that the task of the critic Is to recover Its meaning. Accepting that the MOOE OF PRODUCTION Is the ultimate determinant of literary forms, Jameson argues that all literature must be read as a symbolic mediation of the destiny of community. Rather like Macherey, Jameson holds that ideology is literature’s raw material; it supplies the Inherited narrative PARADIGMS (referred to as ‘ideologemes’ – the tenn is modelled on PHONEME and MYTHEME) with which the novel works and which It transforms into Individual texts which function as lndiVidual utterances of the broader system of class discourse. The model here Is the UNGUE/r,1RoLE distinction of SAUSSURE, with text corresponding to parole, discourse to lc111g11e. The borrowing from Saussure Is symptomatic of Jameson’s belief that a Mar.x.ist HERMENEUTICS can subsume other critical methods Into a greater whole because it permits the coordination of a formal analysis of the individual text with the twin diachronic perspective of the history of fonns and the evolution of social life. The sophistication of Jameson’s HISTORICISM Is not to be denied, but he has been criticized ( Young 1990) for the ‘relentless synthesizing’ with which he Incorporates everyone from PROPP and Ltv1-sTRAUss to GREIMAS into an extremely rich brew. Yet even Jameson reverts to a version of the base/superstructure model when he describes rosn.toDERNISM as an effect of the transition to Mandel’s ‘late capitalism’ (1988c, 1991) and claims (1981) that the DEATH OF MAN, DERRIDA’S

‘dissemination’ .ind LYOTARo’s otRtVE are .ill symptoms of a modific.itlon of the experience of the subject in consumer or late monopoly capitalism.

masquerade The notion that femininity is a masquerade, or a matter of acting outa role, was originally advanced by the British psychoanalyst Joan Riviere in her paper ‘Womanliness as Masquerade’ published In 1929. The Idea of a masquerade Is not uncommon in feminist theory, and is often invoked In protests against the compulsion to conform to masculine stereotypes of fomlninity. Germaine GREER, for Instance, writes: ‘I am sick of the masquerade . . . I’m sick of belying my own intelllgence, my own wlll, my own sex’ (1970).

Observing the behaviour of ‘a particular type of Intellectual woman’, Riviere notes that, although such women hold positions that are conventionally described as •masculine’, they habitually seek approval from father-figures by adopting an exaggeratedly feminine or even Otrtatious mode of behaviour. The deliberate display of femininity is Interpreted as a propitiatory ploy designed to ward off aggression and retribution from men who sense that such women have usurped a masculine role thanks to a symbolic castration of their fathers. For the women In question, it Is a way of overcoming the fear that the father wlll take his revenge.

Rlvicre’s short paper is highly ambiguous. Although she uses ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ In a purely conventional sense and suggests that GENDER is reducible to biological characteristics, she also refuses to make any distinction between ‘genuine womanliness’ and the ‘masquerade’ and moves from a description of a ‘particular type’ of woman to ‘womanliness’ as such. She thus hints both that the behaviour she describes Is a general phenomenon, and, more Importantly, that there is no true femininity that exists behind or prior to the masquerade. BUTLER argues (1990) that Rlvicre’s paper implies that gender Is always a matter of performance, and that It is therefore to be understood as a cultural construct and not as an expression of a biological reality.

The early work of the American artist Cindy Sherman (1954-) explores the theme of the masquerade, and the related theme of the GAZE, in a series of ‘untitled film stills’ (reproduced in Krauss 1993). The sixty-five black and white photographs made between 1977 and 1980 appear to show the artist In stllls from Hollywood or NOUVELLE v,1GUE films; .icting out a variety of female roles, she appears as the pluckyHitchcock heroine, the woman detectiveand so on, but the scenes are staged. Like BAUDRILLARo’s s111.tULACRUM, the untitled stills are reproductions without an originalor excerpts from .i masquerade that conceals no reality. They tell us nothing about Sherman herself.

matheme Neologism coined by LACAN in the early 1970s. Formed by derivation from ‘mathematics’ and by .inalogy with PHONEME and LEVl·STRAUSS’SMYTHEME, the term Is an equivalent to ‘mathematical sign’. It Is not used In conventional mathematics.

Lacan begins to use a variety of graphs and ‘schemata’ at an early stage in his work. Originally used as teaching aids, these range from the relatively simple ‘schema L’ lllustrating the imaginary function of the EGO in the 1955 paper on

 

 

I mlp r-phase (or -sta )� ____________________prr_o_.c.___p_____g_pe_I I

Debates about mimesis begin with the Greeks, and the issues involved are illus­ trated by the differences of opinion expressed in Aristotle’s Poetics and Book Ill of Plato’s Republic. Plato adopts a very broad definition: all the arts, lhe sciences and all forms of discourse are mimetic to the extent that they imitate the Ideal objects (ideas) described in the famous fable of the cave in which men dimly perceive the shadows of the ideal. For Aristotle, mimesis Is more narrowly defined as a characteristic of the poetry (above all, epic and tragic poetry and drama) that represents men In action, or men actually doing things. Unlike RHETORIC, whose function Is to persuade, and unlike DIALECTIC which establishes truth, mimesis Is, at one level, a representation of human actions that founds the possibility of both history and what would now be termed realist fiction. At the same time, it Is said by Aristotle to be an expression of an inherent instinct for imitalion that is a source of both knowledge and pleasure. For Placo, In contrast, mimetic imitation is a potential source of danger and he contrasts it unfavourably with DIEGESIS. It is not simply that ‘true reality’ Is lo be preferred to ‘mere appearances’ or that the poets are sophists who tell Iles (and who should therefore be excluded from the ideal republic); mimesis implies a threat to the social order because, If any Individual can mimic a carpenter, a doctor or a soldier, the boundary lines that define a society In which everyone has his or her place will dissolve, and society will collapse. The inescapable paradox Is lhat Plato himself is speaking mimetically: he imitates Soc­ rates and thus forsakes what he himself describes as the virtues of ‘speaking in one’s own name’ or diegesis (for a deconstructlve reading of the many paradoxes and /\PORIA involved here, see Derrida r968).

Debates about the nature of mimesis continue lhroughout modem philosophy and critical theory. When LUKACS defines HISTORICISM as the writer’s ‘fidelity to history’ or as a faithful reproduction of the past (1937), he Is invoking a mimetic theory of both history and literature; when RORTY attacks the traditional view lhat philosophy Is the ‘mirror of nature’ (1980), he is openly calling into question the whole notion or mimesis, and indeed Its epistemological utility.

The association between mimetic realism and the novel is a very common one, exemplified by AUERBACH’S great study In comparative literature (1946) and, In the case of English literature, by Ian Watt’s classic study or the rise of the novel (1957; on the French realist tradition, see Prendergast 1986, the first l\vo chapters of which provide a very helpful discussion of mimesis in general), even though the term ‘realism’ originates, significantly, In French debates about the visual arts (Nochlin 1971). The metaphors of ‘windows’, ‘mirrors’ and ‘pictures’ that abound in so many discussions of realism can be traced back 10 Plato’s dialogue Craty/1,s, where Socrates describes how Zeuxis painted grapes so realistically that the birds tried to eat them. That anecdote points to a further paradox about mimesis: an imitation exists only if we can in some sense perceive lhe difference between it and the original. If that difference doesnotexist, It ls a replica like thefamous grapes. The theory of mimesis thus opens up the question of VERISIMILITUDE, or ‘seeming-to-be-real’.

Inthe twentieth century, mimesis has come underattack ona number of grounds. BRECIIT tries to undermine mimetic realism In the theatre by introducing an ALIEN· ATION·EFFECT that distances spectators from the thealrical lllusion and asks them

1″‘ ”

to be critical of it In a directly political sense. RUSSIAN FORMALISM destroys the realist Illusion by demonstrating that any text is made up of formal devices that have no representational function in the traditional sense, whilst the NEW CRITI· c1sr.i defines poetry ln such terms as to make it refer to nothing but ltself. The ‘verbal icon’ does not represent anything: it simply is (Wimsatt 1954). In much broader terms, the entire thrust of post-Saussurean linguistics (SAUSSURE), and the literary theories derived from it, is to provide powerful arguments against mimesis bystressing the arbltr;iry nature of the s10N. The sign does not imit;ite an external reality; It alludes in apurelyconventional wayto a REFERENT.Thestructural analyses of BARTHES and others demonstrate that, far from being a rellection of reality, a ‘realist’ text sustains an Illusion of reality by creating a REALITY-EFFECT. Barthes’ (1957) MYTHOLOGIES demonstrate that the most ‘natural’ Images are constructed by the mechanisms of an ideologically motivated system of connotation; here realism is effectively equated with ‘bourgeois IDEOLOGY’. In his study of a short story by Balzac (1970a), the same critic describes mimesis as inducing a sense of nausea.

Mimesis remains, despite all the attacks, a central category of both aesthetic experience and everyday life. Any child will use ‘realistic’ as a lerm to praise a film, television programme or video game and whilst lhe painters of HYPERREALITV take thedebate about mimesis to anewandironic level, itsbasicterms remain remarkably constant and ace still broadly defined by Plato and Aristotle.

mirror-phase (or -stage) LACAN’s description of lhe mirror-phase was his first major contribution to the theory of PSYCHOANALYSIS. It Is of central importance to his theory of the origins of subjectivity and provides the basis for his critique of EGO-PSYCHOLOGY. Although l.acan first described the mirror-phase In a paper read to the Marienbad Conference of the International Psychoanalytic Association in 1936, he did not publish his findings until the late 1940s (1948, 1949, 1951b).

The notion of a mirror-phase derives from two main sources, and also alludes to the rellection Image that inspires FREUD’S notion of NARCISSISM. l.acan draws on the studies of child psychology carried out by Henri Wallon In the 1930s, which describe the reactions of very young children on seeing their rellectlon in a mirror (Wallon 1947). The perception of a mirror-image Is described by Wallon as an essential stage in self-perception ;ind the development of a sense of selfhood. Lacan also draws on studies in primate ethology which claim to demonstrate that ayoung chimpanzee confronted with a mirror does not behave in the same way as a human infant and takes no interest in its own rellection.

The mirror-phase Is a vital moment in the constitution of a human SUBJECT and typically occurs at the age of between six and eighteen months. A child which is still helpless, unable to speak and without any control over Its motor activities is confronted with the image of Its own body In a mirror or some equlvalent. Its immediate reaction Is one of jubilation, as the Image shpws it a functional unity it has yet to achieve. The child thus Identifies with an image of what it will become, but that image is illusory and the child’s identification signals the beginning of a dialectic In which recognition Is simultaneously a form of misrecognltion: a child is not an image in a mirror. For Lacan, the element or recognition signals that the

 

 

mlse-en-abyme I

�- modernism EGO Is a product of the IMAGINARY or an Illusory structure In which the subject becomes trapped into ALIENATION.

The minor-phrase is associated with the threatening fantasy of the FIUGMENTED BODY, which expresses the (ear that the unity perceived in the minor will disintegrate or be tom apart. A child In the minor-phase often displays a character• ls tic pattern of behaviour described as ‘transitiVlty’. It Identifies so snongly with the image of the other that it cries when it sees another child fall; a child who strikes another will claim to have been struck. Transltivism is an interpersonal instance of the play of recognition and misrecognition Initiated by the recognition of the self In an Illusory Image.

mlse-en-abyme French expression originally used In heraldry to describe a small shield set within a larger shield bearing the same device. In English the smaller shield is said to be ‘set in escutcheon’; the expression is used only In heraldry. Equivalent formal devices have long been used In both literature and the visual arts, the obvious examples being the play within a play in Hamlet and Velazquez’s Las Meninas, which depicts the artist painting the court scene shown on the canvas. The expression mise-en-abyme was given a new currency by the French novelist Andre Gide (1869-1951), who defined it as the representation within a work of art of that work’s structure. Gide often uses the device in his novels, especially In n,e Vntican Cellars (1925). Mise-en-nbymetis frequently used by the writers associated with the Nouve,w ROMAN, and a similar self-reflexivity Is typical of much postmodernist fiction. The opening of ltalo CALVINo’s lf 011 a Willter’s Nigl,tt” Traveller (1979) is a particularly fine example.

READING: Dallenbach (1977)

�fitcbell,Jullet (1940-) British feminist and psychoanalyst, born in New Zealand. Originally published In New le� RevielY, Mitchell’s Influential article ‘Women:

The Longest Revolution’ (1966; reprinted 1984) is one of the earliest statements of modem British FEMINISM and argues that the situation of women is different from that of any other social group in that women are at once fundamental to the human condition, but exploited and marginalized in their economic, social and political roles. Widely circulated, often In pirate form, in the years following the emergence of an organized WOMEN’S LIBERATION Movement In 1970, It was expanded to form the basis of Women’s Estate (1971), which remains a classic text of the feminist movement. The title of the original article Is a direct allusion to RAYMOND WIL· L1A11.ts’s n,eLong Revolution (1961).

Mitchell’s interest In how IDEOLOG v constructs representations of women led to a study of psychoanalysis. Her Psyc/1oa11alysis and Femi11ism (1974) attacks feminist critics of psychoanalysis such as GREER and FRIEDAN, arguing that psychoanalysis Is not, as they supposed, a recommendation for a patriarchal society, but an analysis of one. It follows that a rejection or psychoanalysis Is fatal for feminism. Mitchell’s criticisms of the neo-Freudlanlsm of FROMM and REICH and or the ANTl-rsvcmATRV ofLaing begin to open up a new and important dialogue between psychoanalysis and feminism in ,vhlch FREUD and LACAN become the crucial figures. The Importance of

.,..

Lacan was subsequently underlined when Mitchell produced an edited collection of Lacanlan writing on female sexuality In collaboration withJacquellne Rose (1982).

After publlshlng Psyclioa11alysis and Feml11lsm, Mitchell trained as a psychoanalyst. Despite the lmpo�ant role she played In lnnoduclng Lacan to readers In Britain, she trained with the Independent Group In the British Psychoanalytic Association and her subsequent work on psychoanalysis (see, for example, 1984) Is closer to the OBJECT·RELATIONS school than to Lacan.

READING: New Formations 26 (1995)

mode of production Term used In MARXISM and HISTORICAL MATERIALISM to characterize the articulation, within a given historical period, of social relations and forms of production, and forces of production. The social relations and forms of production are the modes In which surplus labour (that labour which does more than merely reproduce the work force and Its physical requirements) Is appropriated and the ways in which It is distributed. The forces of production are the forms in which nature and raw materials are appropriated and used In the labour process. In a feudal mode of production, the relations of production are the social relations that allow dues or rents to be collected, or which provide for the supply of corvee labour on an estate once the vassals have produced the food and other material requirements needed to reproduce a vassal class. The forces of production are the land and plant such as mills, and their use Is subject to political and social controls.

Classic Marxist texts such as Marx’s Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859) and the lirst volume of Capital (1867) and Engels’s Orlgi11s of tl,e Family, Privatte Propert}• a11d the State (1884) describe a historical sequence of modes of production that succeed one another in accordance with the laws of the DIALECTIC. They range from hypothetical primitive communism, in which private property does not exist, to the slave modes or Classical Antiquity, the feudal mode of production and then capitalism, which will, It is claimed, give way to socialism. Marx also speaks almost in passing (1853, 1867) of an Asiatic mode of production characterized by the despotic state’s construction of hydraulic works and supposedly reflecting the ‘unchang­ ingness of Asiatic societies’. Karl August Wlttfogel (1896-1941), who was associated with the FRANKFURT SCHOOL, uses the idea or an Asiatic mode of production to argue that there are two paths of historical development leading, respectively, to the pluralism of the West and to oriental despotism (1955). The argument ls not widely accepted by Marxists (Anderson 1974b).

According to ALTHuss�R, historical materialism Is a ‘science of modes of pro­ duction’; the most sophisticated exposition or this science Is contained In Etienne Balibar’s contribution 10 Reading ‘Capilnl’ (Althusser and Balibar 1965).

modenusm The term is widely used to describe a variety of tendencies within the European, and especially Anglo-American, literature of the early twentieth century.

Virginia Woolf captures something of the essential experience of modernism when she remarks (1924) that ‘In or about December 1910, human character changed’. Many would agree that something, If not human character itself, changed in the first decades of the twentieth century but some would proclaim 1922 – which saw

 

 

_______p _______________ _p_p_p_p_p DIUTatee———————–� � negrltude thus provides the libidinal basis for an identification with ideal figuan res. ce of The pr reaimary ppear­narcissism is an Important aspect of the FANTASY w lives ho p of proj areec ntt st , heir own lost Ideals onto their children’s future lives. LACAN’s theory of the MIRROR·l’HASE explicitly Invokes the GNarci reek ss legu es, nt d. he Like child literally falls in love with Its own image ant d he thudi s m ee ntns eri s o In nto o f the IMAGINARY.

therefore, as Barthes in particular argues, considered to be amenable to the kind of analysis practised In linguistics. The notion of a narrative grammar or logic implies that any given set of narrative structures will display recurrent features that can be identified as distinctive regularities. The grammar is constructed on the basis of such regularities; it consists of a limited number of principles (such as Propp’s functions, or Greimas’s ACTANTS) and functional rules which generate the pro­ duction ofnarratives. Narrative grammar Is not visibly present in any given folk-tale or novel. Just as the speaker of a natural language Is not consciously aware of CHOMSKY’S deep structures, neither the reader nor the writer or a story is truly aware of the grammar on which It depends. Genette demonstrates this (1972) byextending theSTORY /!’LOT distinction and differentiatingbetween ‘story’ (l1istoire), ‘text’ (recit) and ‘narration’ (narration). The story Is a sequence of events, and the text the discoursewhich tells of them. ‘Narration’ is at once the grammar that makesthe text and Its storypossible, and theabstraction produced by the theoryofnarratology. We read a text telling a story, but the narration that generates them Is notsporitaneously available to us as we read.

D1UTate e A translation of the French t1am1taire, which Is modelled on desti11ataire, t�e French term for the ‘addressee’ in JAKOBSON’s CODE-MESSAGE model of linguis­ tic communication. The term is used in some forms of NAIIRATOLOGV to describe the agent (BREMOND) or ACTANT (GREIMAS) who is addressed by a narrator. The narratee may be extradiegetic or ‘outside’ the story, and is then addressed directly by the n�rrat�r. Examples Include the Sultan who is toldstories by Scheherazade in the Arab1a,1 N1gl1ts, but who never appears in the stories, or the sailors who listen to Marlow’s story in Conrad’s Hea,t of Dark11ess. The narratee may also appear in the story. The play between narrator and narratee is at its most complex In epistolary novels such as Richardson’s Pamela or Laclos’ Les Llaiso11s dange11re11ses; here charac­ ters alternate between the two positions as they write and read the letters they exchange.

READING: Prince (1973a, 1973b); Rlmmon-Kenan t1983)

narratology Whilst narratology can be broadly defined as the study of narrative, it ts perha�s best described as the structuralist study of narrative plots. One of the most significant developments in narratology was the publication in 1966 of the eighth iss�e of Comm1111ications, the journal of the Centre for the Study of Mass Communtcatlons at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, which was for a long time the main bastion of French STRUCTURALISM. Prefaced by an introduction to the structural analysis of narrative by IIARTll£S (19663), it included major contri­ butions by the main theorists of narratology: GREIMAS, BREMOND, METZ, TODOROV and G E NETTE; and Umberto Eco’s essay on the narrative structures of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels provided a timely reminder that structuralist analysis ,an be entertaining.

Narratology�raws on two main sources. It owes much to LtVI-SfRAus s’s applica­ tion of linguistic principles to the analysis of myths (especially 1957) and to the thesis that apparently disparate myths are in fact variants on more basic themes that express underlying and constant universal structures. Those structures can be revealed by �reaklng down mythical narratives into a finite number of component MYTIIEMES. fhe second major source is the POETICS of RUSSIAN FORMALISM and rR�rr’s morphological analysis of Russian folk-tales, which demonstrates that a ll�tted number of narrative elements (‘functions’) and roles can be combined in different ways to generate an almost Infinite number of stories. Using these models, the contributors to Co111111u11iwtio11s attempt to formulate what Bremond terms a ‘logl� of narrative’ and what Todorov describes (1969) as a ‘grammar’ which can provide a fonnal description of narrative possibllities. The structures observable in narratives are held to be analogous to those found in natural language, and are

Narratology deals with narrative at the level of METALANGUAGE: narratives are the ‘natural language’ of which it speaks. It is not a form of literary criticism and does not seek to evaluate texts by making value-judgements. Its underlying thesis is that the same mode of analysis can be applied 10 Fleming’s ‘Bond’ novels and Boccaccio’s Decameron (Todorov 1969); at the narratological level, the distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is strictly non-pertinent.

READING: Rimmon-Kenan (1983)

negritude French noun, now current in English, designating the francophone Afro-Caribbean cultural movement associated with ctsAtRE, DAMAS, SENGHOR and the journal PRESENCE AFR/CAINE.

The word was first used by Alme Cesalre In his great prose poem Notebook of a Ret11m to my Native Laml (1939). It encapsulates a defiantsenseof Identity (‘Accommo­ date me. I’m not going to accommodate you’) which Is linked to a sense of history by the allusion to the Haitian Insurrection of 1791 (‘Haiti, where negritude stood up for the first time and said that it believed in its humanity’). Ce.salre’s neologism ts also an appropriation of negre – which can mean either ‘negro’ or ‘nigger’ – that gives a positive sense to a potentially pejorative word. Negritude Is In part a positive celebration of a black culture that had been dismissed as primitive barbarism. His fellow Martiniquan fANON remarks (1952b) that It was only with the appearance of Cesaire that negritude or blackness became a condition that would be assumed with pride by a French West Indian.

Although It is influenced by the BlackAmerican writers ofthe Harlem Renaissance, the true origins of negritude Ile in the publications of small surreallst-lniluenced groups or African and West Indian students active in Paris in the 1930s (see Mireille Rosello’s Introduction to the English translation or Cesaire 1939; many of the rele• vant texts are now collected In Richardson 1996). Its full iniluence was not felt until the late 1940s and 1950s, and coincided with the beginnings of French decolonlza· tion. The idea of negritude was given a much wider currency and acquired a more

 

 

_p_p_p� _________________p _______p _p_pneorealism 1 ,… J neurosls———————– � _ COMMITTED LITERATURE, which was popularized by the translations published In

Elio Vittorini’s journal 11 Politealico (1945-7). The dominant themes are drawn from the Gennan occupthe struggle of the Resista ce against Muss lini nd then atio

n n o a

forces, the best-kn wn examples being Vasco Pratolini’s Cllrouicles of Poor Lo vers

o

(1947) and Ello Vittorini’s iMe11e1111d Not Men (1945). The early fict on of CALVINO is

also cl se t oio o the aesthetic of ncorealism; see h s 1964 preface to his first n vel 11,e

Path to the Nest of Spiders (1947). political sed up n an appeal tIn terms, neoreallst cinema and fiction are ba o

o

hope that the ideals or the wartime resistance movement would freedom and the national renewal grou ded in the values or ‘the peon ple’, a rather vague lead to a

category including the urban working classes, the rural poor or the reg�ons a�d the ir

intellectual-artistic allies. Neorealism declined as the unity of the wartime resistanc e

doo polarization between an increasingly gmatic Communl�t gave way t a harsh Party and the dominant Christian Democrats. It has also been argued that Felli

n� s o a T/1e (Lt1 Stmcl11, 1954) signalled the demise f neoreallst cinem

sentimentalized Roar/

by indulging m

a poetry of poverty.

.,., l

philosophical dimension when SARTRE prefaced Senghor’s anthology of negritude poetry (1948), claimed that it was the only revolutionary poetry of the day and spoke of negritude as a salutary ‘anti-racist racism’. Adapting Senghor’s argument that negritude Is ‘the collective personality of black peoples’, Sartre described it as ‘a certain quality common to the thought and behaviour of black people’ or a black mode of being-in-the-world.

The cultural geography of negritude centres on the triangle made up by Paris, the French Caribbean and Senegal. The reclamation of a lost African identity and heritage is a maj

 

or theme in Cesaire’s Notebook, but Senghor in particular tends to equate negritude with an essentialist celebration of an inherently African affectivity and personality (see the essays collected in Senghor 1964a).

Negritude was the major theme of the international congresses organized by the journal Prese11ce a(ricai11e In 1956 and 1959, but there was little agreement as to its political content. In Cesaire’s native Martinique there is now a tendency to reject and criticize his negritude in favour of CREOLENEss.

READING: Corzani (1978); Kennedy (1975) READING: Armes (1972); Re (1990)

ncorcaUsm The ltallan 11eorealismo was first coined in the 1920s to translate the German NEVE SACHLICHKEIT, but applies more specifically 10 the films and novels produced In the decade following the fall of Mussolini in 1943. The first film to be described as ‘neorealist’ was Luchino Visconti’sObsessio11, made in 1942 and adapted from James Cal ne’s novel The Postman Al1mys Ri11gs Twice (1934). The acknowledged classics of neorealist cinema Include Roberto Rossellini’sRome Open City (Roma, cittil aperta, 1945), P11isa11 (1946) and Gem1a11y Ytar Zero (1947), which deal with the end and aftermath of the war in Italy and Gennany, Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves {1948), which paints a sympathetic portrait of the precarious life of the Roman poor, and Visconti’s TIie Earth Trembles (La trrra trema, 1947), a powerful and tragic portrayal of Sicilian fishermen.

Neorealist cinema is characterized by its naturalistic depiclion of the lives of ordlnary people and breaks decisively with the conventions of the historical cos­ tume dramas made during the fascist period. Most films were shot on location and on low budgets, often using non-professional actors. Rossellini in particular introduces into fictional films many of the techniques normally associated with documentary; It is difficult lo believe at first that the outdoor sequences in Rome Ope11 City are in fact reconstructions and not documentary footage. The so-called ‘poetic realism’ of the French cinema of the 1930s, and especially of Jean Renoir (1894-1979), is also a significant influence. Although widely regarded as classlcs o( world cinema, not all neorealist films were immediately successful on release in Italian. Tire Earth Trembles, for example, was not a success, partly because its uncom­ promising use of Sicilian dialect meant that it had to be subtitled for exhibition in mainland Italy.

Neoreallst literature is less well known outside Italy. It draws on the verismo tradition associated with Giovanni Verga (whose / 1,lalm’Osfia of 1881 provided the inspiration for TIie Earth Trembles); in Italian, the tenn verismo is often used in preference to neorealismo. It Is also heavily influenced by SARTRE’S theory of

Neue Sachllchkeit ‘New objectivity’ is a ma1or trend within art and photography in the Germany or the 1920s and early 1930s. Unusually for a twentieth-century AVANT-GARDE movement, Ne11e Saclllicllkeit did not produce any manifestos or theorelical statements. It reppresents a retreat (rom both the excesses or DADA and EXPRESSIONISM, and a return to a more conventional figurative art, but retains elements of Dada’s bitter condemnation of the First World War and Its aftermath. The expression was first coined in 1923 in the publicity material for a collective exhibition to be held In Mannheim. It did not In (act open until 1925, and featured work by Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and George Grosz. Although there are obvious stylistic differences between the artists grouped together under the Neue Sacl1licl,keit label, there are also constants. The lnlluence or the ltallan De Chirico’s ‘metap�ys­ lcal paintings’ of 1910-17 is apparent in the sober depiction of almost empty architec­ tural spaces In which human figures are dwarfed by alien artefacts. Firm lines replace the blur of abstraction and banal, everyday objects are painted with a sobriety that makes them unfamlliar in a way that recalls both the Russian formalist nolion of OSTR,\NENIE and BRECHT’S ALIENATION-EFFECT, For Its detractors, Neue Sac/J//c/1keit was ‘a ra�ade concealing nothing’ and a mere simulation of profundity (Kracauer 1930). The movement came to an end in 1933, when the ruling Nazi Party condemned Neue S11cl,/ic/1keitas a form of ENTARTETE KUNST or degenerate art.

READING: Ne11e Sac/1/icllkeit 11111/Gem11111 Realism of tire T111e11ties (1979)

neurosis A pathological mental condition in which there are no observable lesions in the neuropsychological system (as there are in, for instance, epilepsy). The patient is nonnall y aware of the morbidity of his or her condition and a neurosis can, unlike a rsYc11o s1s, be treated wilh the patient’s consent. Although a neurosis can have long-term effects, they are rarely incapacitating. In cunent usage, neurosis is usually understood in the sense in which it is defined by PSYCHOANALYSIS, that Is as a

 

 

——————-� �———————-“-T ,., 1 Nouvelle Vague Nocbllo, Linda plea for the overcoming of nihilism and for lhe adoption of the new values of the superman.

I Robbe-Grillet (TI1e Erasers, 1953), Claude Simon (TI1e Word, 1957) and Michel Butor (Passi11g Time, 1957).I

The tcnn le 11ouveau roman was first used In a special Issue of the monthly Esprit In July-August 1958, and helped to create the Impression that these very different authors were embarked upon a joint project. The polemical essays collected In Robbe-Gdllet’s Towards a New Novel (1963) helped to strengthen that impression, even though It was clear that his was a very Individual voice. As most of the ‘new novelists’ were published by Editions de Minuit (‘Midnight Editions’), reference was also made to a so-called Minuit School; the first serious discussion In English described the new novelists as ‘Midnight Novelists’ (Yale Frmch Studies 1959).

NocbUn, Unda (1931-) American art historian and critic, specializing In nine• teenth-century European art. Her ma/or study of realism in the visual arts (1971a) examines the political upheavals of mid-nineteenth-century Europe and the related desire for democracy in art that led to the rise of a new and contemporary style of realism in the art of Courbet, Degas, Manet and other European and American realists. Her many articles (collected 1989, 1991) deal with related issues, but concen­ trate primarily on the representation or women. Her frequent examinations of the representation of work and leisure in Impressionist painting are particularly fine.

Nochlin’s ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ (1971b) is widely regarded as one of the pioneering studies to apply the principles of an emergent FEMINIST CRITICISM to the visual arts. Like Griselda Pollock (1988), Nochlin regards th�search for undiscovered or forgotten women artists (Nochlln and Harris 1976) as �� important aspect of the feminist intervention into art history, but concedes that 1t 1s only a starting-point. Wheieas standard histories of modem art concentrate on form and a heroic sequence or AVANT·GARDts (see Pollock 1998), feminist criticism must examine the social forces and ideologies that create the woman artist and assign her a specific position In the artistic hierarchy. There are, for instance, no great women history painters quite simply because throughout the nineteenth century women were excluded from the nude life class which provided the essential apprenticeship in figure painting. Women became nower painters and painters of m�ther and child portraits not because of some innate femininity, but because the artistic equivalent of FRIEDAN’s feminine mystique confined them to such minor OEN RES. He�e Nochlin’s crucial essay anticipates Parker and Pollock’s study (i98i) of how embroidery, once regarded as an important art form, was reduced to the status of a minor women’s craft thanks to the workings of the IDEOLOGY that redefined women’s social roles.

The essays published in Esprit in 1958 define the nouveau roman in almost purely negative terms. The authors concerned are described as rejecting traditional fonns of narration and as degrading human beings. Their impersonal style and concen­ tration of description (best exemplified by Robbe-Grillet’s hypnotic description of physical objects) and the almost complete absence of traditional characters and psychology led to accusations of formalism and aridity. Esprit thus establishes the criteria that allow Marxist critics like GOLDMANN to claim that the new novel is a product of ALIENATION and a reOectlon of the Impersonality of the consumer society. The alternative view is that the no11veau roma,1 Introduces a self-conscious and sophisticated practice of writing which explores and reveals the fonnal devices Inherent in any form of fiction and thus demonstrates the dominant style of realism to be an IDEOLOGY (Heath 1972).

• I I I

no�mal science The activity characteristic of those long periods in the history of a �c1e?ce when resp_earch is based upon past achievements that are accepted by a scientific commumty as supplying the foundations for their future practice (Kuhn 1962). In such periods scientists can take for granted the rARADIGMs that govern their normal science, and do not have to start from first principles In order to justify the use of every concept they invoke. The description and Justification or first principles are tasks for the writers of textbooks.

Periods of normal science are punctuated by the recognition of anomalies that cannot be explained by the existing paradigms, and by crises culminating in the scientific revolutions brought about by paradigm shifts.

nou�eau roman French phrase meaning ‘new novel’, and used as a generic descnptlon of a loose grouping of novelists who came to prominence In the 1950s, even though certain of them had, like Nathalie Sarraute, first been published before the Second World War (TI1e Age o(Smpicion, 1939). The most prominent are Alain

Although it Is difficult to generalize or to draw out similarities between Robbe­ Grillet’s obJectivlsm, Sarraute’s exquisitely delicate explorations of the automatic tropisms that subtend conversations, Simon’s baroque studies of obsessive mem­ ories, and Butor’s multiple narratives, some common features do emerge. The rejection of conventional realism, characters and psychology (exemplified by Robbe-Grillet’s attacks on the anecdotal nature of Balzacian realism), and the FORE· GROUNDING of devices such as MISE·EN·ABYME, point to the artificiality of all narrative activity. The constant reminder that we are reading a linguistic construct, and not a reproduction of events that exist outside or prior to the text, can be a source of considerable intellectual pleasure.

Although it was originally a specifically French phenomenon, the nouveau roman clearly has its equivalent In other languages. Obvious examples include CALVINO’s If011 a Winter’s Night a Traveller (1979), the fiction of the Algerian novelist Rachid Boudjedra, 1Yho adds a political dimension to what is usually seen as an apolitical style (1975), and the work of the British novelist Christine Brooke-Rose, who exploits the ludic and even comic potential of a new practice of writing (see the four novels collected as Brooke-Rose 1986). Viewed In a wider historical perspective, the 11011vea11 roman can be seen as a continuation of the long tradition of novels that ironically recount their own genesis or describe the writer’s inability to tell the story he Is supposed to be narrating. The obvious predecessors include Sterne’s Tristram S11at1dy, Diderot’s Jacques le fataliste and Cervantes’s Don Q11ixote.

Nouvelle Vague French term meaning ‘new wave’, widely applied to any artistic

 

 

_ _p _____________ _p_p� _p _ _ ________ _p_p�O:..:.___ G _pe _____ rwe:..:.1.1:..:,p:…e �_:…or�g:….________________ other

OrweU, George (1903-50) Pseudonym of Eric Blair, British cultural critic and novelist.

Orwell is something of a paradox. Although disillusioned with organized social­ ism by his experiences in the Spanish Civil War (1938), he remained a socialist in a sense but was always scathing about bearded, sandal-wearing socialists, and is perhaps best remembered for his Animal Fann (1945), which uses the old convention of an ALLEGORY, with animals representing humans, to satirize Stalinism. His numerous essays include the celebrated readings of boys’ magazines (1939), English leisure occupations (‘The Lion and the Unicom’, 1941) and the ‘saucy’ postcards of Donald McGill (1942; such postcards are still part of the British seaside experience), which might be compared with HOGGART’s sympathetic analysis of working-class culture. They are part of a tradition of investigating ‘what it means to be English’ and should be seen as harbingers of what has come to be known as CULTURAL STUDIES. Consciously written In the uadltlon of Cobbett’s Rural Rides (1830), but also contesting its optimism, Tl1e Road to Wiga11 Pier(1937) is an unforgettable picture of poverty and depression. It has helped to establish a form of reportage which has produced some fine writing on contemporary Britain, such as Danziger’s account of his travels in the urban badlands (1996) and Hudson’s extraordinary account of a year In a mining vlllage In East Durham (1994). The feminist Beatrix campbell (1984) is scornful of Orwell’s elevation of the miner to heroic status, and scathing about his failure to note that there were more women working in lhe mills around Wigan than there were men in the mines, but cannot escape the Orwellian model or tone in her account of poverty in the 1980s.

ostranenle The Russian term can be translated as ‘making strange’ or ‘defamlliar­ ization’, and ls an important feature of lhe poetics of RUSSIAN FORMALISM. It ls especially associated wilh Vlktor SHKLOVSKV (1917, 1925).

Ostra11e11ie denotes the poetic use of devices such as disrupted metrical patterns, long descriptive passages, METArHoRs and other figures of RHETORIC to produce a semantic shift which makes the habitual appear strangely unfamiliar, rather as though it were being perceived for the first time. The distortion of form produced by the poetic device destabilizes the relationship between the perceiving subject and the object of perception, slowing down the act of perception and making it more difficult. It thus serves the poetic function of promoting seeing, as opposed to recognizing something that is already Camiliar and known. Shklovsky (1940) takes the example of Tolstoy’s description of dusting his room in his diaries to demon· strate how the writer uses newly discovered words 10 restore a perception of everyday llfe by destroying the conventional logic of verbal associations. In doing so, he makes everday life ‘more perceptible’ and thus underlines the artificiality of his own description.

Although Shklovsky’s notion of making strange Is intimately bound up with the poetics of formalism and FUTURISM, it is not difficult 10 relate it to BRECHT’S ALIENATION-EFFECT or 10 the analysis of mythologies undertaken by BARTHES in the 1950s. In all three cases, there ls an implicit contrast between the AVANT·GARDE or experimental work of art which challenges received perceptions by forcing the

reader or viewer to perceive its formality or artificiality, and the conventional work in which the formal devices are concealed in such a way as to make lt appear natural and ahistorlcal.

READING: Erlich (1965); Sherwood (1973)

other The notion of the other Is widely used In a variety of disciplines ranging from philosophy, and especially PHENOMENOLOGY, to l’SVCHOANALVSIS and POST­ COLONIAL THEORY. Although the meaning of the term varies considerably, it refers, at its most general level, to one pole of the relationship between a SUBJECT and a person or thing defined or constituted as a non-self that ls different or other.

Following HUSSERL, bolh SARTRE (1943a) and MERLEAU-rONTV (1945) see the other as the source of a threat to the autonomy and freedom of lhe subject or the ‘I’. Whilst the subject exists both in-itself and for-itself (1N-1TsELF/FoR-ITSELF), it does not exist in isolation but alongside other subjectivities, and therefore has a third mode of existence, described as ‘being-for-others’ (etre-po11r-aut111i). The classic description of being.for-others is to be found in Sartre’s phenomenological account of the GAZE (1943a) with which the other reduces the for-ltsell existence of the subject to a thing-like in-itself existence, takes away its autonomy and denies it its freedom. For Sartre in particular, the relationship with the other is always confllct-ridden and antagonislic as it is based upon a dialectic In which the only possibilities are being dominated or being dominant. No real solution to this dilemma Is orrered in Bei11g cmd Notl,ingness and it ls only in his later Marxist writings that Sartre begins to outline a theory of collectivity that breaks with the individualism or even SOLIPSISM of his early work. For LEVINAS, in contrast, the encounter with the other, and more specifically the face of the other, is positive in that, by challenging the subject’s feeling of self-assurance and self-containment, it inaugurates the possibility of an ethics. For Levinas, the naked face of the other appeals to the subject in a way that cannot be Ignored or forgotten; lt ls an appeal for the subject to go towards, to welcome and to take responsibility for the other (1961, 1972). In this perspective, the identity of lhe subject is dependent upon an otherness that Is always and already present before the subject is constituted, and it is founded by the ethical demand to take responsibility for the other.

Perhaps the most Influential account of the other is that advanced by LACAN and it too originates in a phenomenological tradition. In his enormously Influential reading of Hegel’s Pllenomenology of Mi11d, KOJEVE (1947) contends that self­ consciousness exists only to the extent that it exists for another self-consciousness, and only to the extent that it is recognized by the other as existing. The paradigm for this relationship is the dialectic between the master and the slave, in which both parties strive for recognition in the eyes of their other. This relationship lnaugurates a dialectic of DESIRE, in whlch the subject strives after an object that Is always in the possession of the other. Lacan will therefore say that man’s desire is the desire of the other (see in particular 1960), and the formula is now so closely associated with him that it is easy to forget that It enjoyed a very wide currency in the France of the later 1940s and 1950s (Hyppolite 1947 is a typical instance).

In lhe quasi-algebraic formulae that are the source of his concept of the MA nt EM E,

 

 

� _________________________ ___p_p_p_pOULIPO 1 …� ���������� ������� ����� – � oxymoron Lacan hequently uses the notations ‘n[autref and ‘A[a11tref – ‘o[therJ’ and ‘O[therl’ – to describe two modalities of otherness (1978). Although his usage is not entirely consistent, ‘a’ tends to cepresent an other that is not truly ‘other’ but a projection or etrect of the EGo, the prototype being the specular image with which the subject identifies in the alienation of the MIRROR·STAGE (1949). The alienation of the mirror-stage and the DECENTRING etrects of the UNCONsc1ous are such that Lacan can, like the poet Rimbaud, conclude (1978 and elsewhere) that ‘I is an other’ (fe est 11nnutre). ‘A’, or the’bigOther’, refers, in contrast, to thesYMBouc and to language itself insofar as they are orders that are quite alien to and inassimilable by the subject, but into which the subject must be Inserted or inscribed tr It Is to be able to speak and exist as a human being. Speech does not, according to Lacan, originate in the subject or the ego but in the Other; speech Is outside the subject’s control and it can thus be said that ‘the unconscious is the discourse of lhe Olher’ (1955b). Here Lacan is also referring to the spatial metaphors of FREUD’s TOPOGRAPHY: the unconscious is elsewhere and performs on a different scene or in a different theatre (ein anderer Schauplatz), as Freud puts it in 111e Interpretation ofDreams (1900).

The conference held atEssex University entitled Europe and its Others (Barker 1985) Is an indication that the other, defined In a slightly dirferent but not unrelated sense, is also a major theme In POSTCOLONIAL THEORY. In this context the term refers to the discursive production of an other – a process typified by the way in which Europe produces an Orient-as-other through the discourse of the ORIEN· TALISM analysed by SAID. This has been described as ‘othering’ (Spivak 1985a). Europe, that Is, functions asa subject, asserts its controlover the means ofcommuni­ cation and intepretatlon, and at the same time constitutes its colonial peoples and nations as ‘other’. According to another theorist of postcolonlalism (Bhabha 1984), the dominant discourse constructs otherness In an ambivalent manner. Whilst it attempts to construct the other as radically different from itself, It must, that Is, also ascribe to the other an element of its identity in order to valorize or justify the control it exerts.

OULIPO The OUvroir de Lllterature POtentielle (Workshop on Potential Litera­ ture) is a small but influential research group founded in 1960 by the French novelist Raymond Queneau (r903-76) and the mathematician Fran,;ois Le Lionnals (1901- 84) to explore the Interaction between mathematics and literature. Many of the original members once belonged to the now dormant College des ‘Pataphystciens, which was established to promote ‘rATAPHYSICS or the science of Imaginary sol­ utions. Members of OULIPO include Queneau, Italo CALVINO, Marcel Duchamp, Harry Matthews and Georges Perec; it should be noted that published lists of members make no distinction between the living and the dead. The group’s title is a typical exampleofQueneau’sslyhumour:1111ouvroir isasewing room ina nunnery.

Most of OULIPO’s activitics are dcvoled to illustrating the thesis that all literature is a combination of inspiration and constraint, and to exploring how formal con­ slraints can be used to generate literary texts. Examples of the formal constraints include LIPOGRAMS, acrostics, palindromes and the ‘S + 7’ method, in which every noun in a passage is replaced by the seventh noun lo follow it In the dictionary.

Mathematical structures are also used lo generate texts. The most sustained and successful examples or OULIPO’s research are provided by Perec and Calvino. The chapter plan of the farmer’s monumental novel (or novels, according to its subtitle) life: A User’s Ma11ual (1978) mimics the ‘knight’s tour’ problem in chess, in which the knight’s moves are so plotted that the piece lands on every square of lhe board in a preordained sequence, whilst Calvino’s If On A Wi11ter’s Night A Traveller (1979) explores a set ofnarrative options generated by GRElMAS’s semiotic square. OULIPO has declared 2002 the ‘Year of the Palindrome’.

READING: Mathews and Bratchie (1998); OULIPO (1973, 1981)

over-determination Also known as ‘multiple delermination’. In 1>svc110ANALY· sis the term is used to indicate that an unconscious formation such as a dream or a symptom is not the result of a single causal factor. In the earliest psychoanalytic descripllons or the ‘nucleus’ of a symptom FREUD speaks of a ramifying system of associations lhat over-determine it (Freud and Breuer 1893-5). In a later and more generally accepted formulation, Freud (1900) states that the same element of a dream may be represented many times over in the dream-thoughts and in the patient’s associations. Such over-delermination is the result of the way the DREAM· WORK makes use of the mechanisms of CONDENSATION and DISPLACEMENT.

ALTHUSSER uses the term (1962a) todescribe the manner in which the CONTRAOIC· TIONS within the practices that make up a social formation affect that formation In its entirety. The contradiction between labour and capital is never a simple contradiction that exists at the economic level alone; it is over-determined by the specific historical form In which Itexists, and that form is in its tumover-determined by political and ideological practices. Althusser’s critique of HISTORICISM relies heavily on the concept orover-determination. Because every contradiction is over­ determined, it is impossible to make an ‘essential section’ which demonstrates that lhe same essential contradiction runs through every aspect of society in the way that the same lettering runs through a sllck of rock.

oxymoron A figure of RHETORIC in which conlradictory lmages or words are juxtaposed in order to intensify a stalement or lo produce a heightened poetic effect, as in Milton’s ‘No light, but rather darkness visible’ (Parn,lise Lost I. 63).

 

 

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repression but upon the constant surpvelllance of a population and ‘disclpline’, or the reglmentation or the body. ranopticism is an lmportant feature of modem disciplinary societies. Foucault derives the notion of panoptlcism from the writings or the British utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832; see the materials collected as Bentham 1996). Bentham’s orlglnal ‘panoptlcon’ is a model prison. A tower stands at the centre of a hollow circular structure housing a number of individual cells. The tower, which is also circular, is pierced by windows that allow a supervisor to look into the cells without being seen. The individual prisoner never knows whether he is under surveillance or not, and thererore assumes that he Is; he is trapped by his vlsibility.

For Foucault, the major effect of the panoptlcon is to Induce in the inmate a reeling of conscious and permanent visibility that ensures the automatic functioning or a regime of silent discipline. He argues that panopticism is also a structural feature of mental hospitals, educational institutions and ractories, and that it introduces a regime of power based upon Visibility and silence. Foucault’s study of panopticism and the origins of the modem prison system opens with a diptych contrasting the noisy spectacle of the public judicial torture or the Anclen Regime and the silent discipline of the contemporary prison.

paradigm In grammar, a list serving as a standard model or pattern.The inOeclions orthe Latin verb amare (amo, amas, amat .e. . ) provide the paradigm for regular verbs of the first con jugatlon. The term is widely used in related senses in linguistics, the history of science and the social sciences.

In post-Saussurean linguistics (SAUSSURE), a paradigm Is usually understood as a set from which lexical Items are selected and then combined to form a SYNTAGM. The paradigmatic dimenslon of language ls represented as a vertical set, as opposed to the horizontal dimension of the syntagm. BARTIIES demonstrates how items are selected from a paradigmatic menu and combined to form a syntagmatic meal (1964a), and that items of clothing are selected from a paradigm or styles to produce the syntagm of an Individual ensemble. Saussure himsetr does not use the term ‘paradigm’, but the ‘associative relations’ he describes in his Course i11 General Li11g11istics (1916) are often said to be paradigmatic. According to JAKOBSON (1956), paradigm and syntagm conespond respectively to the metaphoric and metonymic poles of language revealed In studies of ArHASIA.

KUHN defines paradigms as the universally recognized scientific achievements wh lch for a time provide a scientific community with model problems and solutions (1962). They provide the basis for the NORMAL SCIENCE that is the usual activity of most scientists. At the same time, a paradigm restricts the phenomenologlcal field that Is available for scientific investigation by blinding scientists to potentially important problems that are literally invisible to thelr normal science. As anomalies are recognized, normal science enters a period of crisis, and new and competing paradigms emerge. A paradigm gains status and acceptance because it is recognized as being better at solving acute problems than its competitors, and the resultant par.idigm shift inaugurates a scientific revolution.

In Kuhn’s own view, the theory of paradigms and paradigm shifts applies only to

the natural sciences because no other discipline of knowledge has achieved the same degree of maturity. His views have been largely ignored, and the Ideas of ‘paradigm’ and ‘paradigm shift’ are widely Invoked In a variety of disciplines ranging from sociology to literary theory.

parapraxh In psychoanalytic theory, a bungled action such as a sllp of the tongue whose goal Is not achieved and which is replaced by another. like symptoms, parapraxes are interpreted by FREUD as compromise formations resulting from a conflict between conscious intentions and repressed £eelings or impulses. One of the many examples given by Freud (1901) is the story of the President of the Lower House of the Austrian Parliament who opened a sitting by noting the presence of a full quorum and therefore declared the sitting closedbecause he wished it were over.

paratext Modelled somewhat archly on ‘paramllltary’, the term is used by GENETTE (1982a) to describe the wtde variety of devices, Including titles, subtitles, prefaces, epigraphs and cover ‘blurbs’, which act upon the reader by raising expec­ tations and creating a contract between reader and text.The paratext ‘novel’ creates expectations different from those created by the paratext ‘collected poems’. The role of a para text can be ambiguous. When James Joyce’s Ulysses was first published in Instalments, each section had a title (‘Nauslcaa’, ‘Penelope’) indicating Its origins In the HYPERTEXT supplied by 111e Odyssey; their non-inclusion in the final text raises the intriguing question of whether or not they should be considered part of Ulysses.

‘pataphysics The science of imaginary solutions, as defined (and spelled) by Alfred J ARRv In his novel Gestes et opinions du Docteur Faustroll (Deeds and opinions of Docto Faustroll, 1911). It is described by Jarry as extending as far beyond META· rHvs 1cs as the latter extends beyond physics. ‘God Is the tangent point of zero and Infinity’ Is a typical ‘pataphyslcal proposition. The deliberately mysterious College de ‘pataphyslque was founded in December 1948 and can be seen as one of the forebears of OULIPO. Its members included Ionesco and other writers associated with the THEATRE oF THE ABSURD and, although now di£ficult to obtain, its periodi­ cal Calliers is an Important source of information on both Jarry and the absurdists. The College went into voluntary ‘occultation’ in 1975, but was due to reappear in 2000.

BAUD R ILLARD revives] arry’s ‘pataphyslcs to describe the work of military planners and the inexorable build-up of sophisticated weapons-systems that are designed not to be used (1983). DELEULE {1993) has suggested that his ‘pataphysics makes Jarry an unrecognized precursor of HEIDEGGER.

patriarchy The term’s literal meaning Is ‘rule of the father’, but It is habitually used, particularly within FEMINISM, to mean ‘male domination’ In a much more general sense. One of the first writers to use it In thatpsense was !<ate MILLETT, whose Sexual Politics (r969) outlines a sketch ‘which might be described as “notes towards a theory of patriarchy'”. MIiiett argues that patriarchy’s main institution Is the family, ‘a patriarchal unit within a patriarchal whole’. In historical terms, Millett’s

 

 

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The major problem with both Bachofen’s and Freud’s theories is that, whilst matrilinear societies in which the line or legltlmale descent Is traced through the mother (as in Judaism) arc by no means unknown, no anthropologist has discovered a truly matriarchal society. Few contemporary psychoanalysts would accept Freud’s anthropological speculations at face value, but most would argue that they do contain a symbolic or metaphorical truth that helps to explain the universal taboo on incest and the universality of the Oedipus complex. Perhaps the greatest inno­ vation of LACAN’s rereading of Freud In the light of the structural anthropology and linguistics of LtVI-STRAUSS (Lacan 1953) is the abandonment of the evolutionary perspective. The prevalence of the Oedipus complex is now explained In terms of the child’s need to renounce a potentially Incestuous relationship with the mother and to accept that a symbolic submission to theNAME·Ol’·THE·FATHER is thep1econ­ dltlon for accession to the SYMBOLIC and culture. Much of the debate between PSYCHOANALYSIS AND FEMINISM centres on whether Freudian, and subsequently Lacanian theory, supplies a historical or structural explanation of the origins of patriarchy, as MITCHELL would argue (1974), or whether, as FRIEDAN or MILLETT contend, it Justifies the continued existence and reproduction of women’s subordi· nation. The Lacanian theory of the name-of-the-father is equally controversial and has been seriously challenged by writers such as IR IGA RA v.

thesis can be seen as part of a broader debate. MARXISM and PSYCHOANALYSIS supply contradictory accounts of the origins of patriarchy and the modem family and, as Coward has shown (1983), they originate from within the nineteenth-century debales over the nature of ‘primitive’ society that gave rise to so much of the modem discipline of anthropology. Although the term ‘patriarchy’ ls widely used, there Is little agreement as to either Its meaning or Its relevance to contemporary debates about the social position of women.

The Marxist strand In the patriarchy debate is best summarized by ENGELS’s Origins of the Family, Private Property arid the State (1884) which relies heavily on Johann Jakob Bachofen’s Mutter-Recht (Mother-right 186r; in Bachofen 1968) and Lewis Henry Morgan’s Ancient Society (1877). On the basis of a study of Greek mythology and tragedy, Bachofen argues that patriarchy was preceded by a state of primitive promiscuity in which the principle, or even the nature, of paternity was unknown and In which the preference for the mother therefore prevailed. The discovery of the biological workings of paternity and procreation is represented as the great intellectual discovery that both inaugurates the dawn of a truly human history and abolishes mother-right, which Is equated with the sensual, the malerial and the animal (a thesis with considerable appeal for Freudian revisionists such as FROMM), by establishing a father-right that can be equated with intellectuality. Engels argues against lhe ‘primitive promiscuity’ thesis, claiming that the earliest human societies were characterized by the existence of collective or group marriage, communal households and the common ownership of property (primitive commu­ nism). Patriarchy originates within the division of labour which, as agriculture and stock-rearing become more widespread, assigns different roles to men and women. He follows Bachofen in arguing that the establishment of father-right is a major historical and intellectual advance in that it promotes both economic and political development, but adds that ‘the overthrow of mother-right was the world-historic defeat of the female sex’. Engels’s account of the origins of patriarchy had an immense influence on socialist thinking in the twentieth century and contributes to the argument that WOMEN’S LIBERATION can become a reality only through the socialist revolution that abolishes classes and private property. This is still an important argument within SOCl,\LIST FEMINISM.

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I richeux, Michel (1938-83) French philosopher, linguist and specialist in ms­ COURSE analysis. He himself (1975) describes his work as taking place under the sign of a ‘Triple Alliance’ concluded in the 1900s between ALTHUSSER, LACAN and SAUSSURE, but it is also heavily influenced by BACHELARD and CANGUILHEM.

I

I For Pecheux, language and discourses are to be regarded as social practices,

and their analysis therefore merges with that of the nature of IDEOLOGY and the constitution of the SUBJECT. His work on discourse analysis is intended to promote an EPISTEMOLOGICAL BREAK that will wrest the social sciences away from bourgeois IDEOLOGY by Identifying the conditions of their production thanks to a process of FORMALIZATION and eventually computerization. Discourses are broken down into elementary utterances resembling Z. S. Harris’s ‘kernel sentences’ (see Hartis 1970); when broken down In this way, they become the formal input of a process of analysis whose output is an understanding of the political production of meaning. The best introduction to this ambitious and difficult project is provided by the essays by Pecheux and his collaborators and the introductory materials included in a collection published twelve years after his premature death (1995).

Pelrce, Charles Sanders (1839-1914) American philosopher, best known as the founder of pragmaticism and SEMIOTICS (see also SEMIOLOGY/SEMIOTICS). Although he lectured on logic at Harvard in the t86os and at Johns Hopkins in 1879- 84, Peirce did not enjoy a successful academic career and never published a book expounding his complex theories, even though he wrote widely on mathematics, logic and the sciences. His numerous essays – which originally appeared in such journals as Popular Sdence Motltllly – and voluminous unpublished writings are collected in the eight-volume Collected Writings published by Harvard University

FREUo’s hypothetical account of patriarchy (1913, 1939) derives from his attempts to explain the prohibition of incest and the OEDIPUS COMPLEX by establishing an evolutionary parallel between lhe structure of the u NCONsc1 ous and the history of the human race. In stark contrast with Bacho(en, he speculates that the earliest human societies were dominated by a male horde under the despotic control of a father whose monopoly on all the females in the group inspired such Jealousy In his sons that they banded together to kill and eat him in a primal totemic meal. The murder of the father inaugurated a lengthy period of maternal dominance or matriarchy which was ended when the brothers realized the folly and destructive• ness of fighting amongst themselves over their father’s heritage (namely their mother and sisters) and formed an alliance, recognized their mutual obligations and renounced their incestuous Instinctual demands. Matriarchy, and the concomitant Importance of goddess-figures, thus ends with the reestablishment of patriarchy.

 

 

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Press between 1931 and 1958. Selectetl Pl1ilosopfiical Writings (1955) provides a compre­ hensive introduction to his work.

Peirce’s pragmaticism stems from his distrust of METAPHYSICS – regularly dis­ missed by him as ‘moonshine’ – and his conviction that !ogle and science alone will allow us to know what we think and to be masters of our own thinking. Together, they will sweep away dogma and belief, or Ingrained habits of thinking; what will remain are those problems that are capable of Investigation by theobserva­ tional method of the sciences. Logic Is described by Peirce as the theory of self. controlled or deliberate thought, but he holds that even logic cannot overcome the problem of ‘fallibillsm’ or the fact that we cannot obtain absolule certainty concerning questions of fact. Pragmaticlsm Itself Is defined simply as a method of ascertaining the meaning of ‘hard words and abstract concepts’. Any theory lhat goes beyond this and Ihat cannot be at least approximately defined through further discussion ls dismissed as ‘metaphysical gabble’.

In his PHENOMENOLOGY, which Is not an equivalent to HUSSERL’S ‘pure phenom. enology’ but rather a descriptive classification of modes of being, Peirce establishes a hierarchy of ‘Firstness’, ‘Secondness’ and ‘Thirdness’. Flrstness denoles the raw qualities of a subject’s being precisely what It Is, and is not amenable toobservalion. Flrstness is the quality of ‘redness’ before any red exists in the world. Secondness Is a mode of being In which one thing consists In how a second object is; this category of being corresponds to the actual fact of the existence of objects that exist alongside others and are defined by their relationship with them. Thlrdness denotes a mode of being in whlch the future fact of secondness will lake on a detcrminale general character: this is the level of thought and of the eslabUshment of patterns and laws.

Thirdness is a matter of lnlerpretatlon, logic and semiotics, defined as a quasl­ necessary or formal doctrine of signs. Although Peirce’s semiotics was elaborated at much the same time as SAUSSURE’S semiology, there are major dirferences between their theories. Whereas Saussure tends lo work with dyads such as the signifier and signified that logether constitute a SIGN, Peirce works with a triadic structure. The sign or REPRESENTAMEN is something which stands to somebody for something; it addresses someone and creates In his or her mind an equivalent sign. This is the ‘interpretant’ of the first sign, and It too stands for something, n:imcly 1he object or ‘Idea’ of that first sign. All communication is therefore the result of the Interplay be1ween representamen, interprelant and idea. Peirce goes on, especially In volumes :z and 4 of lhe CollectC’1l Writi11gs, to establish an extremely complex typology of ten classes of slgns, such as the ‘quallsign’ (a quality such as the ‘feeling of red’ insofar as it is a sign) and the ‘iconic sinslgn’ (an Individual diagram) and the ‘dicent sinsign’ (a weathercock or any sign that affords information about Its object). The syslcm of classification is so complex, and Peirce’s terminology so arcane, that it has never been widely accepted in its original form. The most familiar of Peirce’s categories are the ICON, the INDEX and the SYMBOL (described in an article in Col/ecte,l l’npers II), which JAKOBSON Incorporates into his study of ArHASIA (1956).

READING: Feib\eman (1960)

performative A form of speech in which the Issuing of the utterance is also the performance or an action, as in the biblical ‘Let lhere be light: and there was light’ (Genesis l.3). Standard examples include the utterances ‘I do [take this woman to be my lawful wedded wife)’ and ‘I name this ship . . .’ in, respectively, the context of the marriage ceremony and that of the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle against theship’sstem. Unlike a CONSTAT.IVE,a performative Isneither true norfalse.

The perform.itlve was first described by the British philosopher AUSTIN in a radio talk on ‘performatlve utterances’ given in i956 (and published posthumously in Austin 1970). In his later work (1962a), Austin modifies his theory slightly, and now speaks of LOCUTIONARY ACTS, ILLOCUTIONARY ACTS and PERLOCUTIONARY ACTS, which are viewed as the component parts of a srEECH ACT. Austin’s performatlve is an essential element in speech-act theory, and has also been applied in other forms of discourse analysis. The thesis lhat pornography Is not a form of speech but a performative equivalent to an act of sexual degradation provides the lheorelical basis for the MACKINNON-DWORKIN LAW.Judith BUTLER applies the theory of the performatlve to the production of GENDER, arguing that gendering is a reiterated performatlve process that begins when someone says of the neon:ile: ‘It’s a glrl.’

perlocutionary ac:t In a modification of his first description of the form of utterance known as the rERFORMATtVE, AUSTIN describes the perlocutionary act as an utterance which has consequential effects on the feelings, lhoughts or actions of either the audience or the speaker. Convincing, persuading and deterring are perlocutlonary acts.

persona The term is used in JUNG ‘s analytical psychology to describe the social mask or role behind which most people live. A form of compromise between lhe individual and what society requires that individual tobe, the persona Is a collective phenomenon, or a socially acceptable ‘packaging’ or presentation of the EGO. As Jung remarks (1953), society expects a man who is a parson to play the role of ‘lhe parson’ as flawlessly as possible, and most parsons do precisely that. Failure to adopt an appropriate persona may make Individuals seem gauche or clumsy; the adoption of too rigid a persona, on the other hand, may lead to a denial of other aspects of lhe personality. The term Is borrowed from the Latin word for the masks worn by the actors orAntiquity to Indicate which role they were playing.

petitio prbu:lpH A Lalin phrase literally meaning ‘begging of the principle’ and often rendered as ‘begging the question’. It describes the logical fallacy In which the conclusion Is taken for granted in the premise or in which the validityof a mode of argument is established through its use.

phallocentrism The tendency to focus all discussion of sexual dirfercnce on the primacy of the PHALLUS.

The adjective ‘phallo-centric’ was coined by the British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones inadiscussion of lhe earlydevelopmentof femalesexuality(1927) thatbrought him into conflict wilh FREUD over the question of the phallic phase, in which children believe that the penis is lhe sole sexual organ and that femininity is the

 

 

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or scientific propositions rather than on Comte’s rather crude notion of experi­ mentalism, whilst the Religion of Humanity Is viewed simply as an episode in the history of utopianism.

Jn methodological terms, postcolonial theory tends to be dominated by the theoretical discourses associated with POSTMODERNITY, or in other words DE.CON· STRUCTION, forms of Lacanian PSYCHOANALYSIS (LACAN) and forms of DISCOURSE ANALYSIS derlved In.part from FOUCAULT. The field is dominated by the names of BIIABHA, SAID and SPIVAK and sceptics have expressed doubts about the promotion of ‘name-brand theory’ (Loomba 1998). More virulent critics complain that postcol­ onial theory ignores the economics of colonialism and imperialism, that it has depoliticized the major debates that took place about the nature of postcolonlal states tn the 197os, or even that it is a postmodern attempt to recolonize non­ European literatures and cultures which rename ‘Third World literature’ ‘postcol· onial literature’ as the theoretical framework shifts from Third World nationalism to postmodernism (Ahmad 1992, 1995; Ahmad is referring to the debates sparked by Alavi 1972).

READING: J<olakowski (1966)

postcoloalal theory A broad tendency In literary studies that has developed out of the earlier theories of COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE and of THIRD WORLD studies, and which seeks to analyse the global effects of European colonialism. Although SAID’sOrienta/ism(1978) is widely regarded as oneof thefoundingtexts of poslcolonial theory, both the term and thediscipline are products of the late 1980s and the 1990s. The field, whose orlglns and terminology have been carefullytraced by Mishra and Hodge (1991), has been broadlydefined byTIie Empire Writes B11ck (Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin 1989) and influential readers In poslcolonial studies appeared in the mid- 1990s (Williams and Chrisman 1994; Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin 1995). The popu­ larity of the discipline has been enhanced by the success of writers such as Salman Rushdie; the litle of TIie Empire Writes Back is, significantly, bonowed from a news­ paper anicle by Rushdie which makes playful alluslon to 111e Empire Fights Back, the second film in thehugelysuccessfulStar Wars trilogy (Mishra and Hodge 1991).

The term ‘postcolonial’ can be slightly misleading. In general , it refers not, as might be expected, to the period following the Independenceof theformercolonies, but to lhe period that began with colonization Itself. In geographical terms, it refers to a vast spatial unity. Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin describe the poslcolonial as referring lo ‘all the cultures affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day’. Postcolonial theorythus seeks to studythecultures and literatures of India as well as Africa, of Australia as well as Canada and New Zealand. Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin further argue that the llterature of the United States ‘should also be placed in this category’ on the grounds that nineteenth­ century American literature was marked by an attempt to construct a CANON that was not dominated by the English classics. It has often been noted by critics that such a broad definition ls very problematic, and the exampleof Canada is frequently mentioned (see, for Instance, Moore-Gilbert 1997). Whilst Canada was a British dominion that sought to define its own literary identity, it is sometimes argued that it is now in danger of becoming an American colony. For the French-speaking population of Quebec, however, it ls the anglophone majority that is the colonizing force; in the 1960s Quebecois separatists defined themselves in Fanonian terms as ‘the wretched of the earth’ (FANON) and ‘the white niggers of America’ (Vallieres 1968); in the 1980s and 1990s the francophone Quebecois were themselves accused of being colonialists by the Mohawks and other members of the First Nations as bitter disputes broke out over land rights. The First Nations do not speak French, and their rights are based upon negotiations with the federal government inOttawa and not the francophone authorities of Quebec. When the separatists narrowly lost a referendum on Independence In 1995, they blamed their defeat on the ‘ethnic nole’, meaning the Flrst Nations. Other critics polnt out that the aboriginal peoples of Australia and New Zealand are involved in anti-colonial struggles rather than a postcolonial culture (Rattans! 1997).

Postcolonlal theory breaks with the Ideology associated with COMMONWEALTH LITERATURE’S unthinkingclaim that the cultural role of anglophone writers around the world Is to enrich English literature, and has successfully demonstrated that the centre-periphery relationship is much more complex than such claims would suggest. In rather different ways, Said and Spivak have shown that ‘the periphery’ is In fact present in ‘the centre’: the wealth that built the Mansfield Park of Austen’s quintessentially English novel is based on slavery in the West Indies (Said 19�3); the emergence of Jane Eyre as the white Individualist heroine requires the sacnfice of the mulatto woman, and may even evoke the Indian custom of suttee (Spivak 19ssb). The profoundly ambivalent Images of colonialism In Conrad’s Heart of Dark11ess have been analysed so often that little remains of the classically ‘English’ Conrad promoted, or even created, by the Leavlslte canon (LEAVIS). Much of the best work associated with postcolonial theory has followed the origlnal thesis put forward by Sald on how colonial conquests resulted in an attempt to know and administer colonial subjects which inagurated an othering (OTHER) generating the pervasive images of effeminate Indians, savage Africans and inscrutably sinister Orientals that are so common In the literature of Empire.

• I

The hidden kinship with Commonwealth Literature Is, however, apparent at an lnstitutional level. rostcolonlal theory has emerged In, oron the marginsof, English departments and, despite references to ‘all the cultures’ affected by Imperialism, has defined its field in almost exclusively anglophone terms. Thus although FANON Is often evoked, there have been few attempts to extend the debate to the rich cultures of FRA NCOl’HONIE or Latin America.The concentration on the anglophone literature of the Indian subcontinent, as opposed to its vernacular literatures, has also been criticized, and it ls to be hoped that Macmillan India’s 1996 decision to launch an extensive series of ‘Modern Indian Novels In Translation’ will extend the debate (see Nayar 1998).

postmodemism The term Is applied, often loosely, to a wide variety of cultural practices and theoretical discourses associated with the experience of rosn100- ERNITY, and Is usually contrasted with the MODERNISM of the earlier twentleth century. rostmodernism, together with DECONSTRUCTION, has become one of the

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ostmodern———- ————‘p· _p _p_l � – ::…_p__ __pit…:..y main themes of rosTSTRUCTURALISM. Early r<?fcrences to postmodemism derive from discussions of the visual arts and literature (especially In the United States), and the debat<!subsequentlyincorporalesdiscusslons ofdevelopments within archI· lecture. Elements of contemporary philosophy, mainly French, are then introduced into a very wide and hotlycontested debate.

Although the postmodernist debate Is mainly a product of the 1970s, the term ‘postmodemlsm’ Itself Is much older and has been traced (Anderson 1998) to an anthology of Spanish and Hispanic poetry from 188z to 193z (Onls 1934); here It Is described as a reactionary tendency within modernism, and Is contrasted with the 11ltramodemls1110 associated wilh lorca, Borges and Neruda. Two decades later the tenn was being used by American poets such as Charles Olson and Robert Creeley, and then in the artistic circles where Pop Art was beginning 10 challenge the modernist abstraclion championed by GREENBERG. In 1971 the journal New Litm1ry History published a special issue on ‘Modernism and Poslmodernism• which Included lhab Hassan’s inOuentlal ‘paracrltical bibliography’ of postmodernlsm (1971), which both summarized and went beyond his earlier work on the ‘literature of silence’, defined as spanning the period marked by the names of l<afka and Beckett. Hassan (whose evolution is conveniently traced in Bertens 1995) now spoke of a ‘change within modernism’ and of a literature in search of Itself. With an elltraordlnary ech.•ctlcism, Hassan namesJARRY and his ‘rATArHvs1cs, Andy War­ hol , William Burroughs, MCLIJHAN, John Barth’s novel Giles Goat Boy(1966) and the music ofJohn Cage as harblnge1s of postmodernism. Linda Hutcheon’s much more substantfal and reasoned survey of postmodernism in literature (1988) also cites Dilrth, along with Vonnegut, ECO ilnd Salman Rushdie, as one of the exemplars of a postmodern or metafictlonal literature which deliberately and playfully employs paradoll to display its own artificiality and contradictions, which plays with GENRE and Its convention and allud�s to both high and popular culture in such a way as to appeal to a very wide audience. An emphasis on the playful and popularity is a rrequent theme In discussions of postmodernlsm, and a reminder that one of the objcc.ttons to the modern has always been that ii Is ‘difficult’. l11at the adjective ‘postmodernist’ can be alilrmingly Imprecise is noted by Barth himself (1995), who 1ecalls that his novels The Sot-Wt’ed Fi1ctor (196o), Giles Goat Boy (1966) and Lost i11 tire F1mHo11se(1968) were described as ‘fabullst’ before they became ‘p stmodernist’, and Ihilt the latter term is now retrospectively applied lo his earlier

po fiction, success­

ively described in the past as ‘provincial American eJ1istentlalism’, ‘fabullsm’ or ‘black humour’.

In architectural circles the idea of postmodernlsm – if not the term itself – was originally associated with the critique of the INTERNATIONAL STYLE initiated by Robert Venturi (1966) and expanded in the seminal Leanri11gfrom las \feg11s (Venturi et al . 1972), which celebrated the neon signs ilnd extraordinary palaces of the gambling strip in the desert which are so often dismissed as KITSCH. The populist ilrchltecture of the ‘decorated shed’, whose startling neon signs are constantlybeing altered and redesigned in a relentlessqu<?st for novelty, iscontrasted with thealleged elitism, purilanism and sterility of lntemalional modernism. The first to speak of postmodernist architecture as such appears to have be<?n CharlesJencks, who in a

i series of essays (1977. 1996) outlines the Important theme of ‘double coding’ In his descriptions of buildings which allude to or quote from a variety of historical styles. The architectural examples cited byJencks (1996) include the Byker Wall housing estate (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1974), where traditional and modem milterials, dyed wood and concrete arecombined to remarkable (and genuinely popular) erfect, and the Neue Slaatsgalerie (1977-84 Stuttgart), where the public descends a curved walkway leading into a sculpture whose style borrows hom the Pantheon and Hildrian’s Villa. Such knowing juJ1taposltions are the source of the much-abused term ‘postmod<?mist irony’. A perfecl ellample of what is actually meant by that term Is provided by fonner pop artist Peter Blake’s 11,e Meeting, or Have a Nice Day, Mr Huck11ey (1981-3, Tate Gallery, London). It shows the artists Howard Hodgkin, David Hockney and Blake himself ln a Venice, California that looks more like a Hockney painting than an actual cityscape, and mimics Gustave Courbet’s The Meeti11g,or8011/ourMo11sie11rCourbtt(1854, MuseeFabre, Montpellier),often described as inaugurating the age of heroic realism in European arl (see Nochlln 1971a).

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In philosophical terms, the key postmodernist text is LYOTARD’s La Cotufition postmodenre, which alludes to Hassan’s early notes on postmodemism as well as 10 theeffects on human knowledge of computerization and the more general idea of a postindustrial society (Touraine 1969; Bell 1973, 1976), but associates the postmodern primarily \Yith contemporary incredulity to the GRAND NARRATIVES of progress, socialism and the ENLIGIITENMENT. Like RORT\”S rejection of fOUNDATIONALISM and vATTIMo’s celebration or ‘WEAK THOUGHT’. Lyotard’s rejection of grand narra­ tives unsettles the stability of traditional notions of reason and rationality, whilst BAUORILLARD’S comment on the SIMULACRUM (1981) calls Into question the exlst• ence of reality itself by pointing out (1986) that in some senses Disneyland Is more real than the ‘real’ America In which It was built.

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Criticisms of postmodernlsm come from many sources. Some black writers (Gilroy 1993b) and certain feminists (Lovibond 1990) object 10 the seeming complacency with which Lyotard announces lhe demise of grand narratives, pointing out that the grand narrative of tltelr emancipation has by no means come to an end. HAB· ERMAS (1g8o, 1985) argues that postmodemism is in fact an anti-modernism that betrays the promise of modernity by retreating into a wildly eclectic lrralionalism, \Yhilst the conservative Christopher Lasch (1979, 1995) holds that it is an expression of the rampant individualism of a ‘culture of narcissism’ which has lost all sense of values. For one of lhe most thorough historians of the idea of the postmodern, postmodemism represents the cultural logic of a period of late capitalism in \Yhlch COMMODITY FETISHISM has become so extreme that it is the commodification process itseUthatIsbeingconsumed (Jameson 1991, 1998). Defenders of postmodern. ism, in contrast, tend to insist that It affords a liberation from a rationality that has indeed, ln Weber’s phrase (1904-05), become an ‘iron cage’, and is ushering In an era of relativism and a welcome pluralism.

postmoderoity Although the debate aboul postmodemlty and rosTMODERNISM is characterized by a degree of chronological and conceptual confusion, ‘ppost· modernity’ usually refers to a historical period subsequent to modernity, whilst

 

 

postmoderoity�—�—————–� — —–=-___________ � ———– practJca1 criticism-

‘posnnodemism’ tends to refer to the cultural and above all artistic manifestations of that period.

The transition from modernity to postmodernlty, or the period of accelerated change that began after the Second World War, is usually assumed to be governed by some form of social or economic change and the postmodernist debate Is _ ironically, given that most participants would no longer consider classical MARXISM relevant to their concerns – often Informed by a tacit appeal to the BASE/surER· STRUCTURE model which explains Ideological phenomena In termsofan underlying economic structure. JAMESON, one of the few self-confessed Marxists to have con­ tributed to the debate, bases his analysis of postmodemlty (,991), described as embodying the cultural logic of late capitalism, on the Belgian economist Ernest Mandel’s thesis (19n) that in the postwar period market capitalism and then mon­ opoly capitalism have been superseded by a third technological revolution that gives rise to an era of SpiltJ:apitalism11s or late capitalism. This era Is characterized, according to Mandel, by an unprecedented fusion of science, technology and production as the new technologies of nuclear energy and computers extend Indus­ trialization to all sectors of the economy and society. The Importance of manual and physical labour declines as continuous nows of production and computerized _ control come to dominate industry and accord a new Importance to Intellectual workers such as scientists, laboratory workers and technicians.

Althoug�Mandel himself denies It, his analysis does have something In common with the w1de�pread argument that postmodernity ls the era or a postindustrial society (Tourame 1969; Bell 1973, 1976) In which the production of commodities gives way to the production and manipulation of knowledge. Computerization Is ?gain accorded a major role in the transition to postmodemity; Touraine makes postindustrial society’ synonymous with ‘the programmed society’, whilst LYO·

TA�O also refers In his seminal account or the postmodern (1979a) to the hegemony of infor�atlon technology as ,veil as to the vaguely McLuhanlte account of a global electron,� revolution (MCLUHAN) invoked by Hassan (1971) In one of the early contrlbuttons to the postmodemity debate. A similar theory of technological modernization underpins BAUDRILLARD’s vision of a postmodemity dominated by the accelerated circulation of signs and the new dominance or the SIMULACRUM though It ls also very reminiscent of DEBORo’s theory of the society of the spectacle� The shift from modernity to postmodernlty has also been explained in terms of a transition horn FOROISM to rosTFORDtSM (Harvey 1989), notably by those who, like Stuart HALL, argue that Britain began to live in ‘new times’ under the period or Conservative government that lasted horn 1979 to 1997. The widespread feeling that modernity has in some sense come to an end Is echoed by FUl<UYAMA’s reworking of KOJEVE’s thesis lhat history Itself has come to an end and that we are Jiving In a post-historical period (1992).

Most theorists regard posnnodernlty as marking a break with modernity and, in more general terms, the whole ENLIGHTENMENT protect. HABERMAS (l98o) argues that postrnodemlsm represents an irrationallst reaction against a modernity which failed to supply the emancipation it promised, and that the project of modernity must therefore be continued. The more hequent argument, associated primarily

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with LYOTARD, is that postmodemity represents a liberation from the illusory GRAND NARRATIVES of the Enlightenment and Its successors. BAUMAN, for his part, remarks (1992): ‘modernity was a long march to prison’, but also holds that, given that modernity’s promise was never fulfilled, the task of the intellectual Is to discover new forms of emancipation rather than surrendering to the seductions or postmodern consumerism.

READING: Bertens (1995); Theory, Culture.and Society vol. s nos 2-3 (1988)

posutructuralbm It might be argued that the idea or a ‘poststructuralism’ first emerged just as STRUCTURALISM reached its zenith at the International conference on ‘The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man’ held at Johns Hopkins University in October 1966. In the discussion that followed his paper ‘Structure, Sign and Play In the Discourse of the Human Sciences’, Derrida described his DECONSTRUCTION as ‘a criticism or structuralism’ (1966; In Macksey and Donato 1972). And in their preface to the second (1972) edition of the published conference proceedings, Mackseyand Donato remark: ‘Today [November 1971) we mayquestion the existence of structuralism as a meaningful concept.’ BARTHES was already speak­ ing (1971b) of his awakening from ‘the dream of scientlficity’ he had associated with SEMIOLOGY .-nd structuralism. Elsewhere, more political doubts about the value or structuralism were being voiced (see Macey 1994). When the Sorbonne was occupied by revolutionary students in May 1968, one Item or graffiti proclaimed that ‘Struc­ tures do not take to the streets’, to which an anonymous hand added ‘Nor does Barth es.’ Another accused: •Altlrusseri’i rlen’ (‘ Althusser no good’ orp’Al, you’re useless: – ‘Al, hi sers ii rie,i’).

The term ‘poststructuralism’ Is used very loosely and It is difficul t to identify it with any specific school of thought. DERRIDA, BAUOIULLARD, OELEUZE, LYOTARO, RORTY and the later Barthes could all be described aspoststructuralists; poststructur­ alism Is often equated with deconstruction, also with rosTMODERNtSM in general, but can also be seen as a strand within everything from NEW HISTORICISM to rosTCOLONtAL THEORY. If there ts a common core to all the tendencies that have been described as poststructuraiist, it lies in a reluctance to ground discourse in any theory of metaphysical origins, an insistence on the inevitable plurality and instability or meaning. a distrust or systematic scientificity, and the abandoning or the old ENLIGHTENMENT project.

practical criticism A mode of literaryanalysis centred on the intellectual explor­ ation of the internal coherence of a short text or poem without maldng reference to external factors such as the author’s biography or the historical context, and taking care to respect the liberty and autonomy of the text. The underlying assump­ tion ls that no poem can be judged by standflrds external to Itself. Jntimalely associated with the close reading advocat�d by both LEAVJS and the NEW cRtTICtSM, the method originates in an experiment In the psychology of reading carried out by RICHARDS at Cambridge University in the 1920s (Richards 1929).

Having asked a group of students to read and comment on a set of poems whose author remained unidentified, Richards was struck by the lack of skill In reading

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_:…p_;sy:….c_b_o_sls___ ____________________ � I psychiatric hospltals before he became a psychoanalyst (1932) and therefore elabor­ ates a more specific theory of the origins of psychosis.

Contrasting neurosis and psychosis, Freud argues (1924c, 1924d) that, whibt both conditions originate ln a conO!ct between the EGO andother agencies or the psyche, psychosis results from a disturbance In the ego’s relationship with the external world, neurosis from a connict between the ego and the 10. In psychosis the ego withdraws from some part or aspect of the real world, either failing to perceive it or being unaffected by its perception Qf it. In schizophrenia, for Instance, there is no participation In the world. A rent appears in the relationship with the world, and it is ‘patched’ by delusions and hallucinations.

Lacan draws on Freud’s comment, and especially his remarks (19nb) on the case of Daniel Paul Schreber, an appeal court judge who wrote an autobiographical account of his paranoid delusions, to elaborate the thesis that psychosis is triggered by the specific mechanism of FORECLOSURE (Lacan 1957-8, 1981). A key signifier such as the PHALLUS or the NAME·OF·THE·FATHER is expelled or foreclosed from the subject’s symbolic ,vorld, and a holeor rent Is lert ln !Is place. The foreclosed signifier is not integrated into the UNCONsc1ous thanks to an actof repression, and therefore cannot return In the form of a neurotic signifier. It returns, rather, in the REAL, usually In the form of persecutory hallucinations and delusions.

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queer Synonym for ‘homosexual’ or ‘GAY’. The word has traditionally been used in a highlypejorative sense andhas been seen as a classicexpression ofHOMOrHOBIA but, according to Green’s authoritative dictionary of slang (1998), did not acquire negative connotations until c. 1925. It was reappropriated as a positive seir-designatlon by gay or queer militants In the early 1990s. In the United Stales the militant Queer Nation organization was founded in 1990; the gay newspaper 111e Acfrocate proclaimed 1992 the ‘Year of the Queer’. The change of terminology reflects both a growing unease with the gay IDENTITY rOLITICS of lhe previous decades and the impact of the new and angry militancy provoked by the media panic over the spread of AIDS and medla attempts to ‘blame’ gays for it (Watney 1987). Queer theory questions the early gay llberationlst notion of a stable or core gay identity, pointing out that homosexuality Is a category of knowledge rather than a tangible reality. It also atlempts to broaden the definition of gay and lesbian politics to include a bisexuality that is often viewed with suspicion by gays and feminists alike ([‘helan 1997).

Queer theory ls largely a product of the 1990s and has been influential in literary studies, rosTCOLONIAL THEORY and some areas or sociology (Seidman 1996). A numberof influences can be detected, but the starting-point for most queer Iheory Is FOUCAULT’S theses about regimes of sexuality and the epistemological shiJt brought about by the emergence of the calegory of ‘lhe homosexual’, when a taxonomy of acts (such as the remarkably vague notion of ‘sodomy’) was replaced by a typology of sexual idenllties (Foucault 1976a; sec also Weeks 1977). One of the key texts in the development of queer theory describes those theses as ‘axiomatic’ (Sedgwick 1990). DERRIDA’S DECONSTRUCTION ls frequently evoked ln order to demonstrate the instabilityof binary oppositions such as male/female and hetero/homosexuality, as are Judith BUTLER’S theses on GENDER as l’ERFORMATIVE (1990). Masculinity can be demonstrated to be an unstable cluster of fears about effeminacy and repressed homosexual or homosocial desires, rather than the ‘simple’ opposite of femininity. There is, for some, a considerableoverlap between queer theory, NE w H ISTO R 1c1 SM, CULTURAL MATERIALISM and lhe theory of StJBCUL TURES (Dollimore 1991; Sinlield 1994), and It is argued that it is part of a more general defence of minority cultures.

In literary terms, the most Important fields for queer theory are the Renaissance and early modem periods (Sedgwick 1985; Greenblatt 1985; Traub 1992). In her important aftenvord to the anthology Qm:eri11g tile Renaissance (Goldberg 1994),

 

 

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Margaret Hunt explains that Renaissance societies are sufficiently different from modern societies to destabilize received notions or gender, sexuallty and Identity because they did not, for example, have any psychological or medical model of homosexuality; at the same time, the Renaissance orten provides models that are used to validate mainstream concepts of indlvlduallty. The literature of those societies thus makes it possible lo chart the rise or modern Western social-political systems and the way they define gender in normative terms. In the same anthology Alan Bray examines the uncertain boundary between male friendship and homo­ sexuallty by looking at the ambiguous relationship between Edward and Gaveston in Marlowe’s Edward II; what could be a sodomitical relationship is seemingly inscribed within the socially acceptable category of passionate male friendship, but the tension between the two categories ls never resolved. Queer theory ultimately raises the question of whether the notion of fixed sexual identities is desirable or even lenable.

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radical feminism A tendency within FEMINISM and the WOMEN’S LIBERATION movement, typified by FIRESTONE’S Dialectic ofSex (1971), which defines women as forming a class in a quasi-Marxist sense and considers the sex-class division as lhe fundamental division within a society domln!lted by PATRIARCHY. Many or the earllest stalemenls from theAmerican women’s movement weremade from aradical feminist perspective (see lhe materials collected as Morgan 1970) and, although the British movement tended lo be dominated by SOCIALIST FEMINISM, radical feminism was a powerful force in Brilain from the early 1970s onwards.

Whilst not all Its supporters would agree with Firestone that women’s oppresslon is grounded in their biological role as potential mothers, most radical feminists would agree that all women are to be regarded as potential allles In a struggle for liberation that brings them into conflict with all men. The insistence that the primary struggle isone against men and rATRlARCIIY, rather than against the social structures of capitalist society, leads radical feminists to be suspicious of the broader concerns of socialist feminism, which, they argue, subordinates women’s inlerests to those of male-dominc1ted polllical parties, trade unions and other organizations. Differences of opinion between socialist and radical feminists lay at the origins of many or the divisions within the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. The most extreme forms of radical feminism led to separallsm, or a refusal to cooperate even with heterosexual women, tocalls for male babies tobe excluded from women’s conferences, ancl lo the argument that the logical choice for ‘women-identified women’ was political lesbianism.

READING: Coote and Campbell t1982)

Radical Pldlosophr British journal founded in 1972, Initially published three times a year bul appearing bimonthly sinceJanuary 1995 (issue 69). Ra,lical Philosophy is a product or the NEW LEFT, born of discontentwith the complacency of traditional departments of philosophy ant.I of impatience with the dominant tradition or ANALYTIC rH1LosorHv. The journal has long been a major forum for the discussion of WESTERN MARXISM and strands of CONTINENTAL l’HILOSOrHY. Although it Is subtitled ‘AJournal or Socialist and Feminist Philosophy’, It was not until 1977 (Issue 17) that ‘women and philosophy’ became one of its major concerns. Collectively edited, financially independent ancl accessible to non-professionals, Radical

 

 

Said, Edward WIiiiam (1935-) Palestinian-American literary and cultural critic. His major study of ORIENTALISM (1978) is widely regarded as one of the founding texts of POSTCOLON[AL THEORY.

Said has described himself as a secular or worldly critic and he ls critical of the undue emphasis on ‘limilless Interpretation’ that has forced so many literary theorists to retreat into a labyrinth of textuallty quite divorced from the world. He argues the case (1983) for a form of criticism that is life-enhancing, opposed to every form of tyranny, and that promotes non-coercive forms of knowledge that further the goals of human freedom. His own evolution might in fact be described as a gradual exit from the labyrinth of textuality. Said’s first book was a study of Joseph Conrad (1966), an author to whom he returns again and again but In Increasingly politicized ways, and whose Heart of Darkness eventually becomes (1993) a paradig• matic text (PARADIGM) of both imperialism and the uneasy sense that imperialism’s knowledge and control of the dark continent is neither complete nor final. His important study of beginnings in both fiction and philosophy (r975), which con­ trasts the theological notion of ‘origins’ with a secular ‘beginning’ that allows a writer to work with a set of instruments and to begin a performance, takes the vlew that literary theory could be an insurrectional discourse and provides, almost in passing, an excellent lntroduclion to STRUCTURALISM. In his later works, Said (1993) seems to take lhe more traditional erudition of AUERBACH and Leo Spitzer (1887- 196o; see 1948a, 1948b) as a model for intellectual work, and is openly sceptical about the value of high theory.

C11Jhire and Imperialism (19931 ls in many ways a continuation and expansion or Orie11tnlism. Like so many of the products of rosTCOLONIAL THEORY, it is relatively weak on the economics of colonialism and tends to blur the differences between forms of colonialism, equating French colonialism in Algeria with British col­ onialism in India in an ove�simplilied way. The book’s great strength Iles in Sald’s demonstration that novels, travel diaries and a host of other literary forms serve to naturalize imperialism by making it part of a common experience and both legitimizing the subordination of ‘inferior peoples’ and reproducing their subordl· nation. The very hostile reaclions he provoked by pointing out that lhe life of Jane Austen’s Mn11sfielcl Park is materially supported by slavery on the Bertrams’ plantations in Anligua indicate that he had indeed touched a sore point. Similarly, the insistence on the material condilions that allowed Verdi’s Aicla lo be first

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performed in Cairo In 1872 has the salutary eCfect of grounding High Culture in a very secular world. Sald’s argument Is not the reductive claim that culture reflects imperialist realities, still less that it causes lhem. It Is, ralher, that cultural forms appropriate space and time in such a way as to naturalize imperialism by monopoJiz. ingall the ways In wnlch it can be represented. Kipling’s Kim, for Instance, represents an India in which the British can do or become literally anything by promoting a self-consciousness that understands both the country itself and how lhe mechan­ isms of control work.

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Said has long been a defender of lhe Palestinian struggle for self-determination and a stem critic of US foreign policy in the Middle East, and is a very good analyst of how government statements and media presentations alike have constructed a mystifying image of a monoUtnlc Islam whose very existence poses a threat to Western clvlllzation (1981). From 1977 to 1991 he was an Important member of the Palestinian National Council, but became Increasingly critical of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (1994), partly on the grounds that it was corrupt but mainly on the grounds that its acceptance of the negotiated partial settlement with Israel under lhe ‘land for peace’ terms of the Oslo Accords of 1994 was a betrayal of the Palestinian cause. He was also very critical of the P LO’s support for Iraq during the Gulf War of 1991. In September 1996 his books were banned in the PLO-controlled territories of Gaza and the West Bank. Whilst the Reith Lectures of 1993 provide a general description of what Said sees as the political responsibilities of the Intellec­ tual, they are also a poignant personal account of his own experience of national and political exile.

READING: Moore-Gilbert (1997)

Samuel, Raphal!I (1934-96) British historian and cofounder, in 1967, of HISTORY WORKSHOP.

As the guiding spirit behind History Workshop, Samuel was one of the most important figures involved In the historiographical tradition associated with the British NEW LEFT and, as a tutor at Ruskin College, Oxford from 1962 to 1996, influenced generations of working-class mature students and trade-unionists attracted to the adult education movement. Born into a communist family in the East End of London and a very youthful member of the COMMUNIST PARTY HISTORIANS’ GROUP, he left the Party in 1956, and was in 196o one of the founders of NEIi’ LEFT REVlf:IV. The long article on ‘The Lost World of Drilish Communism’ published In four parts in New Left Review (1985-7) is a remarkable autobiographical document as well as a rich evocation of working-class life, politics and culture.

Samuel had little interest in theoretical discussions on the nature of history, and was primarily an empirical historian with a remarkable feel for the detail of place and time, especially in the case ofhis native East End. Although he was passionate! Y committed to his work on people’s history or HISTORV FROM BELOW, most of Samuel’s remarkable energies went into editing History Worksliop/011mal and assocl· ated publications rather than writing and it was not until two years before his death that he published his first sole-authored book (1994; a second volume was posthumously published in 1998). A typical product of his endeavours was the oral

 

 

sublect I—————— — —— 161� subpmatlo� __ ____ _____ _U__p__ _ _ _ _________ ___a signalled by styles of dress and a strong sense of territoriality to create a sense of identity that at once demarcated them from their parents and reproduced elements of the ‘parent culture’, and Paul Willls’s study of motorcycle gangs (1972). An Important issue of Working Papers i11 C11lt11ml Sh1dies (published by Birmingham University’s Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies) devoted to Resistn11ce thro11gll Rih,als (1975) further consolidated the discipline by examining how groups of young people used music, dress and symbolic activities to create meanings and an identity. As the title indicates, the creation of subcultures centred on distinctive activities, pattems of consumption and ‘focal concerns’, and was seen as a forrn of resistance that helped to contest the HEGEMONY of the wider society and its values. The subcultures studied were those of mods, teddy boys, skinheads, drug-users and lbstafarians. Two women contributors were quick to point out that subcultures were being viewed In very mascullnist temts that paid little or no attention to the role of girls or even suggested that specifically female subcultures do not really exist (McRobbie and Garber 1975).

There are obvious precedents for subcultural studies In ORWELL and in IIOGGART’s classic study of working-class life 77re Uses of Literacy (1957), as well as in much earlier studies of the London poor by Mayhew (1851) and Booth (see the selection In Booth 1969). It could also be argued that Colin Maclnnes’s novels offer a fictional prototype: his City of Spades (1957) deals with the subculture of London’s black Immigrants whilst Abso/11te Begi1111ers (1959) Is one of the first novels to look at the then new phenomenon of ‘the teenager’. Methodological Inputs to subcultural studies come from participant-observer sociology and from lhe sociology of deviancy typified by Young’s study of the recrealional use of drugs (1972). Hebdige’s study of the social meaning of style (1979) Is one of the classics of subcultural studies, whilst Savage’s definitive account of the punk rock subculture of the late 1970s (1991) combines subcultural theory with musicology to remarkable effect.

Whilst subcultural theory, with its stress on the active crealion of meanings, Is a good antidote to more pessimistic theories that tend to view, say, the CULTURE INDUSTRY as all-powerful and monolithic, its practitioners do not always avoid the trap of voyeurism or that of a vicarious idenlification with their subjects.

sublect Few terrns are more ubiquitous in the contemporary HUMAN SCIENCES th.in ‘the subject’, and few are more elusive. It is typically used in work deriving from CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY, the psychoanalysis of LACAN and the MARXISM of ALTIIUSSER, and rrom all those descriptions of DECENTRING that displace the source of meaning away from the Individual (often described as the ‘Cartesian subject’) and towards structures, impersonal or unconscious processes and IDEOL· OGY. For most theories of the subject, lhe ‘individual’ Is a product rather than a source of meaning. The concept of the subject is thus frequently Invoked to under· mine the notion that an innate sense of ‘self’ can provide a stable personal ldentity or be the focus of experience. The goal of much writing on the subject Is to subvert th.it sense of immediate identity. When KRISTEVA, for Instance, writes (1973) of ‘1111 sriiet e11 proces’ she Is playing on the double meaning of e11proces: the subject ls both involved In or produced by a process, and on trial. The inherent ambiguity of the

term goes some way to explaining its popularity and productivity. It is both a grammatical term (‘the subject of a sentence’) and a political-legal category (‘a British subject’), and at once active (‘subject of’) and passive (‘subject’ or ‘subjected to’).The term ‘the s�bject’ is not used In the PHENOMENOLOGY of SARTRE (who uses it only in crltlcat discussions of structuralism, e.g. 1966) or MERLEAU·PONTY, but nor is It a standard expiesslon in all forrns of STRUCTURALISM; LEVI-STRAUSS very rarely employs it.

lacan refers to ‘the subject’ in his very first publications but when he refers In his thesis (1932) to ‘the psychosis of our subjl?ct’, he Is simply following the conventional medical-psychiatric usage that speaks of ‘the subject of an experiment’ or of ‘the subject under examination’. In his other prewar writings lacan refers to the analys­ and, or the patient In analysis, as ‘the subject’ (1936); this too appears to be a variant on traditional usage. It Is in the 1950s that Lacan introduces the crucial distinction between ego and subject (1953). The EGO ls now described as a product of the 1>1IRROR·STAGE and as belonging to the order of the IMAGINARY, whilst the subject is understood to mean ‘the subject of the unconscious’. In a typical display of wordplay, lacan makes his polnt by stressing the homophony between the lnilial letter of the word s11jet and the German Es (the ID). The true subject of human behaviour Is to be found, that is, In the unconscious. The entry of the subject into the dimension of the SYMBOLIC produces a further splitting or decentring of the subject by subordinating (subjecting) It to the laws or language and to the unavoid· able dl[ference between the subject of the utterance (er1011ct) and the subject or the enunciation (e11onciation): the ‘I’ that speaks does not coincide with the ‘I’ that appears in the message it sends.

Lacan uses the related expression ‘the subject who is supposed to know’ (‘le s11jet s11ppose s,woir’) to describe an important dimension of the TRANSFERENCE (1973). Thus It is the analysand’s supposition that the analyst knows the meaning of his words or has a privileged insight into his behaviour that sets in motion the transference.

Althusser uses ‘subject’ in a broadly similar sense to Lacan in his theory of IDEOLOGY and in his description of its fundamental mechanism of INTERPELLATION (1970): the subject does not exist prior to its interpellation, but Is summoned into being by it. For Althusser, the existence of OVER-DETERMINATION means that the social totality has no essence or single focus, and therefore no subject. It follows that history ls a process without a subject (Althusser 1969() and that Individuals are no more than the ‘supports’ for a subjectless DIALECTIC.

subllmotion In chemistry, the vaporization of a solld without the intermediate formation of a liquid. The term is used in a derivalive sense in PSYCHOANALYSIS to describe the diversion of a DRIVE towards a non-sexual aim or a socially valued OBJECT (Freud 1933), and in an analogous sense byNIETZSCHE when he claims (1872) that the Apollonian culture of Greece is a sublimation of the violence on which it is founded.

The term is widely used InPSYCIIOANALYTIC CRITICISM to describe the conversion of sexual drives and energies into creative and intellectual activity, and this usage

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