By Judith Butler

The distinguished writer of Gender hassle right here redefines Antigone's legacy, getting better her innovative value and releasing it for a innovative feminism and sexual politics. Antigone has lengthy been a feminist icon of defiance. yet what has remained uncertain is whether or not she escapes from the sorts of strength that she opposes, because the type of defiance she exemplifies additionally results in her demise. Butler argues that Antigone represents a sort of feminist and sexual enterprise that's fraught with danger. in addition, Antigone exhibits how a tradition of normative heterosexuality obstructs our capability to determine what sexual freedom and political company may be.

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Additional info for Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (The Wellek Library Lectures)

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For the Oedipus complex to be universal by virtue of being symbolic, for Lacan, does not mean that the Oedipus complex has to be globally evidenced for it to be regarded as universal. The problem is not that the symbolic represents a false universal. Rather, where and when the Oedipus complex appears, it exercises the function of universalization: it appears as that which is everywhere true. In this sense, it is not a universal concretely realized or realizable; its failure at realization is precisely what sustains its status as a universal possibility.

Is it perhaps the unlivable desire with which she lives, incest itself, that makes of her life a living death, that has no place within the terms that confer intelligibility on life? As she approaches the tomb, where she must remain entombed in life, she remarks, O tomb, O bridal chamber, O deep-dug home, to be guarded for ever, where I go to join those who are my own [tous (891–893) emautes]. 23 Antigone’s claim Thus death is figured as a kind of marriage to those in her family who are already dead, affirming the deathlike quality of those loves for which there is no viable and livable place in culture.

The law beyond laws will finally put an end to the anxiety produced by a critical relation to final authority that clearly does not know when to stop: a limit to the social, the subversive, the possibility of agency and change, a limit that we cling to, symptomatically, as the final defeat of our own power. Its defenders claim that to be without such a law is pure voluntarism or radical anarchy! Or is it? And to accept such a law as a final arbiter of kinship life? Is that not to resolve by theological means the concrete dilemmas of human sexual arrangements that have no ultimate normative form?

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