The Signifying Body: Toward an Ethics of Sexual and Racial Difference

The Signifying Body: Toward an Ethics of Sexual and Racial Difference

by Penelope Ingram
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791474437

ISBN-13: 9780791474433

Pub. Date: 05/08/2008

Publisher: State University of New York Press

How do we live ethically? What role do sex and race play in living or being ethically? Can ethics lead to ontology? Can literature play a role in ethical being? Drawing extensively on the work of Luce Irigaray, Frantz Fanon, and Martin Heidegger, Penelope Ingram argues that ethical questions must be understood in light of ontological ones. It is only when sexual and…  See more details below

Overview

How do we live ethically? What role do sex and race play in living or being ethically? Can ethics lead to ontology? Can literature play a role in ethical being? Drawing extensively on the work of Luce Irigaray, Frantz Fanon, and Martin Heidegger, Penelope Ingram argues that ethical questions must be understood in light of ontological ones. It is only when sexual and racial difference are viewed at an ontological level that ethics is truly possible. Central to the connection between ontology and ethics is the role of language. Ingram revisits the relationship between representation and matter in order to advance a theory of material signification. She examines a number of twentieth-century film and literary texts, including Neil Jordan's The Crying Game, J. M. Coetzee's Foe, Toni Morrison's Paradise, and Don DeLillo's The Body Artist, to demonstrate that material signification, rather than representation, is crucial to our experience of living authentically and achieving an ethical relation with the Other. By attending closely to Heidegger's, Irigaray's, and Fanon's positions on language, this original work argues that the literary text is indispensable to a "revealing" of the relationship between ontology and ethics, and through it, the reader can experience a state of "authentic Being ethically."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791474433
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
05/08/2008
Series:
SUNY series in Gender Theory Series
Pages:
190
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Making Metaphysics Matter

Ch. 1 Representing Difference 1

Ch. 2 Mocking the Mirror 23

Ch. 3 The Call to Ethics 47

Ch. 4 Embodying Transcendence 71

Ch. 5 Reading the Signifying Body 91

Conclusion: Language and Ethics: Signifyingthe Work of Art 107

Notes 123

Works Cited 141

Index 151

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