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Seductions of fate [Elektronisk resurs] Tragic subjectivity, ethics, politics / Gabriela Basterra.

Basterra, Gabriela. (författare)
ISBN 9780230508194
Publicerad: Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004
Engelska 232 p.
  • E-bok
Innehållsförteckning Sammanfattning Ämnesord
  • Acknowledgements INTRODUCTION: SELF-DENYING CREATIVITY Necessary fate The allure of tragic guilt Tragic modern subjectivity The fiction of fate Tragic autonomy meets ethical heteronomy PART I: NECESSARY FATE A fractured source of authority Agent and victim at once: Creon Cooperating with death: Agamemnon, Etocles Destiny's other side PART II: THE ALLURE OF TRAGIC GUILT Objective necessity as the desire of the Other: Phaedra with Lacan Death as evasion Exceeding sublime tragic sense: Oedipus, Antigone Failures of the imagination: Aristotle's plot and Kant's antinomies Tragedy's refusal of meditation PART III: TRAGIC MODERN SUBJECTIVITY Hegel and the Double Blinds of Consciousness Self-Created Victims: Freud, Althusser, Foucault Staying on This Side of power or the subject's participation Subjection for the sake of autonomy Agency premised on constraint Beyond sublimation or worse than tragic Subjectivity as necessary fiction PART IV: THE FICTION OF FATE Creating destiny: Lorca's Blood Wedding Exiting death From self-victimization to responsibility Awareness of fictionality PART V: TRAGIC AUTONOMY MEETS ETHICAL HETERONOMY The enigma of Kant's ethics Levinas and the ethical demand A freedom ineluctably invoked Authoring the Other's decision The limited perspective of autonomy Tragic heteronomy and ethical heteronomy A politics beyond commitment Notes Works Cited Index.
  • Engaging with a wide variety of literary, philosophical and psychoanalytic texts (from Aeschylus to Lorca, from Aristotle to Kant, from Hegel and Freud to Lacan and Levinas), Seductions of Fate argues that tragedy shapes our subjectivity. We, modern subjects, constitute ourselves on new versions of destiny, such as 'power', the law or the past. Though this tragic self-representation seems to contradict the modern rationality, it allows the self to protect its freedom from the ethical experience that would put it into question. Autonomy and freedom are thus enabled by the very victimization they claim to overcome. Hence the paradox of our tragic subjectivity: we represent ourselves as victims in order to preserve our autonomy. What is it we fear so much as to prefer to become tragic subjects? What is it we evade by resorting to tragic death? It is daring to decide what our duty is beyond legitimizing social rules. It is acting without guarantee, expanding the political beyond institutions and laws. When facing this terrifying emptiness, this endless responsibility, the death that reaffirms our position in the social symbolic order comes as a relief. This radical ethical experience-which is here traced in Kant's ethics, Lacan's psychoanalysis and Levinas's ethical subjectivity-constitutes the subject as other than itself. Focusing primarily on this gap within the self, which compels the self to act on an unconditional but impossible address, this book opens a new perspective on the rapport between ethics and politics. 
  • 'Basterra's thesis - that tragedy structures modern subjectivity - is amply and originally demonstrated here. The range of texts she brings to the fore is unprecedented in its cultural breadth and illuminating force. Written with erudition in both philosophy and literature, this book is impressive, moving, serious, passionate and important.' - Judith Butler, Department of Rhetoric and Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, USA 'In an exploration of an exceptional intellectual rigour and intertextual complexity Gabriela Basterra draws, in this book, a most insightful and fascinating picture of the tragic destiny of modern subjectivity. There can be little doubt that Seductions of Fate will be seen as one of the great theoretical interventions of the last ten years.' - Ernesto Laclau, Department of Government, University of Essex, UK 'The quality, scope and originality of this book sets an important (indeed, rare) example for future research.' - Francisco-J. Hernandez Adrian, Department of Romance Studies, Duke University, USA 'Basterra's is a rare and important new voice on the international scene, and this work, as no other with which I am personally familiar, points the way beyond the post-modernist orthodoxies that preoccupy and hobble so much contemporary thought. Her work engages real possibilities for thinking about political and ethical subjectivity.' - James Creech, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of French and Italian, Miami University, USA 'How does one read texts that are infused with a prestige and an authority that render them, it would seem, critically unassailable? This question may serve as a reminder that myth-making is not the exclusive province of mythology and tragedy as they have been variously appropriated by Europeans since the Renaissance. How does one argue that tragedy and the tragic, in texts spanning the length of so-called Western history, conceal a structure that might also suggest the way out of the necessity of subjectivity? In other words, what are the ethics, and the politics of tragic subjectivity? In this remarkable new book by Gabriela Basterra, these questions are addressed soberly and critically through breath-taking readings and arguments on a vertigo-inspiring constellation of classical and modern; philosophical, literary, and theoretical texts. The result is an original theory of subjectivity where ethics and politics have taken central stage.' - Revista de Estudios Hispanicos. 


Literary theory.  (bicssc)
Ethics & moral philosophy.  (bicssc)
Literature.  (eflch)


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